Lotus Notes alternatives

Lotus Notes
Lotus Notes is the client of a collaborative platform. It's an integrated desktop client option for accessing business e-mail, calendars and applications on IBM Lotus Domino server. Lotus Notes free open-source alternatives are Open-Xchange, Zimbra, SOGo, Zarafa.
Lotus Notes alternatives are:
MS Outlook, Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Google Apps, Zimbra
Here are the latest news about Lotus Notes:

2013 IBM kills Lotus. Microsoft kills SharePoint

Perhaps the two most famous brands in the history of enterprise software, Lotus and SharePoint, will soon disappear. We mean brands, not specific products. Because by renaming their products, vendors try to erase the association with outdated technologies in customer brain. For example, Lotus appeared back in the 80-s years of last century. In 1995 IBM acquired Lotus Development and began selling their products Lotus Notes/Domino. In the following years most IBM collaboration systems moved under the Lotus umbrella. But last year the revolution occurred. The last child of the Lotus family - SaaS suite LotusLive was renamed to SmartCloud for Social Business. And then the name Lotus was removed from other products. The final nail was the recent launch of Notes/Domino 9.0 Social Edition (without Lotus).

Regarding, Microsoft SharePoint - Office born this product and Office will kill it. SharePoint Team Services first appeared in 2000, as a package of web extensions for MS Office. For a long time SharePoint was a part of MS Office, but then due to its outstanding popularity and rapid development, it has been separated as an independent server product and became not just a collaboration tool but the platform on which the whole IT infrastructure is built.

But now, when SaaS products become more important for Microsoft, it doesn't need to sell the platform (because the platform works on the side of SaaS provider). And SharePoint quietly dissolves into the new office suite Office 365. The word SharePoint is almost never used in it. Instead, we see Sites, People, Newsfeed or the new brands SkyDrive and Yammer.

2010 IBM unveiles SaaS version of Lotus Domino

Lotus Domino
Companies like IBM and Microsoft love to confuse their customers with numerous services and titles. Not so long ago IBM launched the new mail service LotusLive iNotes, that costs $3 per month per user and provides corporate e-mail, contacts and calendar. And today IBM has unveiled another service called LotusLive Notes, that costs $5 per month and also includes e-mail, contacts and calendar. At first glance, the only difference is the price, but in fact the latest service is a multitenant SaaS version of Lotus Domino (Domino - is the name of server software in the traditional in-house Lotus Notes system). How it differs from LotusLive iNotes?

First, users can work with e-mail and calendar, not only via the web interface (like in LotusLive iNotes), but also in the traditional desktop client Lotus Notes. As we have noted, for the average office worker familiar interface - is a big deal.

Secondly, companies can integrate SaaS LotusLive Notes service  with the existing in-house Lotus Notes implementation. And both servers can be administered from the same Domino console.

In addition, unlike iNotes, LotusLive Notes includes a built-in messenger with online status control and supports syncing with mobile devices (with the mobile client Lotus Notes Traveler).

LotusLive iNotes
LotusLive Notes is a copmlete alternative to Microsoft's SaaS service Exchange Online, which also costs $5 per month per user. In addition, IBM now offers a bundle of LotusLive Notes + Connections + Engage for $10 per month per user. This is exactly the same price, as Microsoft asks for the BPOS suite.

2010 Email strikes back (on Intranet Portals)

Email was the first collaboration tool in the Intarnet. Then intranet portals emerged, and they wanted to kill Email because of its lacks: instead of sending back and forth messages and documents, they are placed on a portal web-page (for example, in the news, on the forum or file cabinet). But due to the fact that people got used to e-mail and email was also used for external communications - intranet portals failed to replace the Email as a primary workspace. Moreover, recently Email launched the counterattack. And it happened because the major enterprise Email-solutions (GMail, Outlook, Lotus Notes) have become the platforms that allow third-party developers to add new functionality.

Most clearly this trend can be noticed in Google moves. Google Wave was partially closed while GMail becomes the central point to access all other office applications. With its various extensions, GMail allows to communicate via video chat, manage documents, collaborate on tasks, plan calendar events, search for content in the online office.

Recently a large number of plug-ins, that help Email compete with intranet portals, appeared. For example, Xobni, Gist, Rapportive, Outlook Social Connector. First, they allow you to organize files and documents from email messages into ordered lists - almost like on a portal. And Harmony plug-in perfectly integrates Outlook and Google Docs and lets get rid of the file sending at all. It even allows to edit documents directly in Outlook.

Additionally, Email-solutions compete with the intranet portals for the function of corporate social network. Address book becomes a company social graph, and the above mentioned plug-ins create employee social profiles, pulling public data from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks. These profiles look much more interesting and more useful than the scanty profiles on intranet portal.

2010 Lotus Notes also becomes social

The world's most popular enterprise Email client, MS Outlook, is already equipped with various Enterprise 2.0 tools. Outlook is already integrated with social networks (Xobni and Outlook Social Connector), Google Apps, Google Docs (Harmony), Remember the Milk, etc. Now, when this place is crowded, the developers switched their attention to the second most popular enterprise Email client - Lotus Notes. Thus, the new plug-in + service Gist makes the same for Lotus Notes as Xobni for Outlook - allows you to see the social profiles of those with whom you communicate. Gist pulls the latest information about a person from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as recent news about his company from blogs and news sites. In addition, the plug-in displays in suitable form all correspondence with selected contact and files sent to/from him. It should be noted that Gist also works with Outlook, GMail, iPhone and may also be accessed as a web service.

2010 Salesforce launches ChatterExchange, aims at Lotus Notes and Sharepoint

Salesforce Chatter
When Google Apps Marketplace launched, we noticed that Google's partner Salesforce hadn't joined this ecosystem. Now it's clear why. Salesforce is building its own ecosystem of collaborative applications around Chatter. Although Chatter (Facebook for enterprise) is nothing like Google Apps (email + docs), however the aim of both tools is the same - collaboration. At the ChatterExchange presentation, Marc Benioff has clearly stated that Chatter will compete with MS Sharepoint and IBM Lotus Notes (he modestly omitted Google Apps). "Don't be confused that these systems have little in common" - said Benioff, - "the fact that Sharepoint and Lotus Notes were created back in these days when people didn't use Twitter and Facebook and when the top collaborative technologies were email and shared folders".

Salesforce Chatter
Chatter is an enterprise social network, based on a microblogs, profiles and groups. In Chatter, you can send private and public messages (with files and other content), discuss issues in real time, subscribe to employee and group feeds. Besides, in Chatter not only users can send messages, but also external sites (like Twitter or Facebook), and other enterprise applications (or objects in these applications). For example, you can subscribe to customer updates (the new orders, bills, support requests) or on messages from the ERP system (for example, new orders higher than $10000).

What is ChatterExchange? In fact, it's just a marketing action. It's just a new section in the AppExchange ecosystem. All the applications in this section are able to "chat" via Chatter.

Now Chatter is still at the private beta. 500 Salesforce customers are using it. Later this year Chatter will become available to all Salesforce 72,500 customers for free.