In advance of Lotusphere, IBM is touting
a big cloud win with Panasonic who will be using
LotusLive for 320,000 people, and IBM is claiming this as a replacement of
Microsoft Exchange. These claims around Panasonic compel me to shed some
light on the real facts. Panasonic
was already using Notes worldwide, and fewer than 4% of their employees were
using Exchange Server – most of them in North America. As with many
recent IBM claims, this win is little more than keeping an existing
customer. Then again, with a
multi-year trend of declining Lotus market share, perhaps keeping
an existing customer is a win.
Beyond IBM’s spin, the important aspect this news
is the impact of the cloud. We know from years of delivering Microsoft Online Services that there is growing worldwide interest in software plus
services, especially among Notes customers who make up 70% of Exchange
Online and SharePoint Online customers. IBM’s
approach reinforces Microsoft’s Software plus Services strategy.
Giving customers choice and flexibility in software delivery is an
important evolution for the cloud. The cloud is here, and for an
increasing number of businesses, it is ready for prime time.