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My thoughts on eWeek's 'IBM Puts Google Apps in Its Crosshairs with Lotus Cloud E-Mail'
10/07/2009 01:03 PM by Chris Toohey
Clint Boulton writes about IBM's latest cloud/SaaS offering -- LotusLive iNotes -- and how this new offering from IBM Lotus is "a blatant attack on Google's cloud computing-based messaging and collaboration applications". IBM, which the article reports, is setting the price at $3/User/Month ($36/User/Year) which does appear to not only directly compete with but undercut Google Premier pricing of $4.16^/User/Month ($50/User/Year). $14/User/Year in savings - and that can quickly add up when you understand that target audience for these services: the SMB and mom-and-pop-shop businesses. But I wonder -- what would really make LotusLive iNotes a killer solution?
Well, I've not been quiet regarding my recent epiphany in regards to the Apple iPhone/Touch -- in a numbers game where you're more than likely to only get single-digit percentages of the marketshare, it's just good business and simple math to go for the largest marketshare. In the case of the Apple iPhone/Touch, it's the platform - which is why you see so many applications being written for the Apple App Store: even if you only sell to 1% of the entire iPhone/Touch marketshare (something like 50 million), you're hitting over 500,000 consumers. So, take a $1.99 product and sell it to just 1%, and with the Apple App Store profit sharing model you're bringing in over $500,000USD!
With the release of Lotus Traveler 8.5.1, we now completely support the iPhone. Google Gmail Premier customers - while they have various options for accessing their email - are stuck with IMAP for the iPhone. If IBM wanted to make their LotusLive iNotes offering a truly killer solution, they would pitch this to the device that most consumers (who work for these SMB/mom-and-pop-shops) are using: the iPhone.
The competitive marketing material practically writes itself here. This isn't even considering that Traveler also supports S60 and Windows Mobile; it's BYO-mobile device, and you get out-of-the-box native support for your newly hosted LotusLive iNotes messaging and collaboration investment.
... and it shouldn't be that difficult, since Lotus Greenhouse - another Connections implementation - is now running Traveler 8.5.1 and thus supporting not only S60 and Windows Mobile, but also the iPhone!
I'm checking with a few people on the IBM side to see if this is even possible (I admittedly don't know everything!), but I have to image that the bolt-on of Traveler 8.5.1 would introduce such potential interest by consumers that it would be a no-brainer to implement this yesterday and get as much consumer-facing marketing around this offering.