Top 5 Lotus Notes alternatives

Last updated: March 22, 2013
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.

The best Lotus Notes alternatives:



MS Outlook



Microsoft Outlook is a personal information manager from Microsoft. It can be used as a stand-alone application, or can work with Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SharePoint Server for multiple users in an organization, such as shared mailboxes and calendars, Exchange public folders, SharePoint lists and meeting schedules. MS Outlook free alternatives are Mozilla Thunderbird, Opera Mail, EssentialPIM.

Microsoft Exchange



Microsoft Exchange Server is the server side of a client–server, collaborative application product developed by Microsoft. Exchange's major features consist of electronic mail, calendaring, contacts and tasks; support for mobile and web-based access to information; and support for data storage. Microsoft Exchange free open-source alternatives are Open-Xchange, Zimbra, SOGo, Zarafa.

SharePoint



SharePoint's multi-purpose platform allows for managing and provisioning of intranet portals, extranets and websites, document management and file management, collaboration spaces, social networking tools, enterprise search, business intelligence tooling, process/information integration, and third-party developed solutions. SharePoint can also be used as a web application development platform. SharePoint alternatives for small business are: Office 365, Box, G Suite, Zoho. There are also free open-source alternatives to Sharepoint - Alfresco, Nuxeo, Liferay Portal.

G Suite



Get business email, video conferencing, and cloud storage from Google. All you need to do your best work, together in one package that works seamlessly from your computer, phone or tablet. If you are looking for self-hosted G Suite alternatives pay attention to Microsoft Office and ONLYOFFICE.

Zimbra



Zimbra Collaboration Server is an email and calendar server plus much more; think about it like a next-generation Microsoft Exchange server. In addition to email and calendar, it provides file sharing, tasks, contacts, social media, document management and simplified administrative controls all in an award winning webmail user interface built with the latest AJAX web technology. ZCS also provides mobility and syncs to desktop client applications; the server is deployed on commodity Linux and Mac server hardware.



Latest news about Lotus Notes


2018. IBM sold Lotus Notes/Domino to HCL



IBM is selling its legendary enterprise collaboration software Lotus Notes to Indian firm HCL for $1.8 billion. These products were a big part of IBM’s enterprise business for a long time, but last year Big Blue began to pull away, selling the development part to HCL, while maintaining control of sales and marketing. With the development of the platform out of its control, and in need of cash after spending $34 billion for Red Hat, perhaps IBM simply decided it no longer made sense to keep any part of this in-house. As for HCL, it sees an opportunity to continue to build the Notes/Domino business, and it’s seizing it with this purchase. HCL is far more interested in Notes/Domino than IBM has been for a decade. They are investing heavily, trying to rejuvenate the brand. Notes and Domino are still in use in many corners of the enterprise, and this is especially true in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). This move makes sense for IBM, which is moving in a different direction as it develops its cloud business. The Red Hat acquisition in October, in particular, shows that the company wants to embrace private and hybrid cloud deployments, and older software like Lotus Notes and Domino don’t really play a role in that world.




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



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 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. 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. Project Vulcan - the future of IBM Lotus



The geek-developer dream comes true: a full-on collaboration environment with an open API and a name right out of Star Trek. Today at the Lotushpere conference IBM unveiled Project Vulcan - the new cloud platform for collaboration and social tools, that is already compared to Google Wave. But unlike Google Wave, Vulcan - is not a separate application, but an integrated environment for all future and existing Lotus apps, including Lotus Notes and LotusLive. Vulcan will be available to developers in the second half of 2010, and meanwhile it will be available to LotusLive Labs team, which has already shown 4 new projects for LotusLive: - Concord - an online word processor and spreadsheets for LotusLive with collaborative features - Slide Library - a tool for creating and sharing online presentations - Collaborative Recorded Meetings - a tool that records web-conferences and transcripts voice to text - Composer - tool for creating Mashups on LotusLive In addition, IBM has opened LotusLive API for all developers (previously it was only available for a few, such as Skype and Salesforce), announced a new version of the email-service LotusLive iNotes (with improved support for mobile devices and offline access), and announced a joint project with RIM (now IBM will be selling the Blackberry smartphones with installed Lotus applications: Sametime, Connections and Quickr).