Hoping to take back market share that has disappeared into the cloud, IBM has announced it is now offering Lotus Notes as part of its cloud-based collaboration solution LotusLive and is offering it as a hosted service.
LotusLive Notes includes e-mail, shared calendar, instant messaging and personal contact services, starting at only $5 per user, per month. It is being offered as a standalone service or as part of LotusLive for $10 per user per month.
The company also is introducing a social networking-flavored service within LotusLive called Communities, designed to help employees collaborate both inside and outside their company. Within a Community, members can tag information, share files and bookmarks, track projects and host discussion forums.
In addition, IBM has added two third-party applications to LotusLive. Tungle.me online scheduling and calendar system from Tungle Corp. can be imported into LotusLive. And Vondle from Bricsys enables users to view and annotate documents from their browser.
Putting Lotus Notes into the cloud is a good news-bad news situation for the channel. Lotus Notes as a service doesn’t offer the traditional margins that Lotus Notes as an application provides. However, partners can still make money from the service through integration and support.