Blogger: Bill Pray
After shedding the beta label last week, Google announced today a migration tool – Google Apps Migration for Lotus Notes. In order to win e-mail market share, a vendor needs migration tools. This addition to Google’s growing enterprise feature set for Google Apps demonstrates Google’s intent to seriously compete for enterprise market share. This kind of competition is good for the enterprise and will help mature SaaS e-mail offerings more rapidly.
However, having a migration tool and winning market share are two different things. Google will be hard pressed to win seats from the IBM Lotus Notes faithful – just ask Microsoft. Even Lotus Notes accounts that migrate to another vendor’s e-mail solution tend to keep Lotus Notes for the custom applications. Furthermore, if IBM can get customers to their latest versions of Notes (8 or better), these customers are not likely to be shopping for another solution. IBM is aggressively working to move their customers to the latest version (8.5). Google has a small window of opportunity for those customers who haven’t upgraded yet.
Google also has to reassure the IBM enterprise customers they are targeting that Google is in the best position to solve some of the challenges of software-as-a-service e-mail – e.g. security, compliance, regulatory requirements, discovery, storage, bandwidth, management, and provisioning. IBM’s LotusLive gives IBM the inside track with IBM’s customer base on providing e-mail from the cloud – particularly if they can perfect a flexible, hybrid model of SaaS and on-premise delivery of the e-mail services.