Why Lotus migrations are underway
I’ve learned that Godiva Chocolates, a company with 1400 employees, evaluated Google Gmail, LotusLive cloud-based email from IBM, and Microsoft online services as potential replacements for their aging IBM Lotus Notes email system. They also sought a better user interface than they had with Notes. Choosing Microsoft online services they saved US $250,000 annually, witnessed cost-effective, high availability, were more responsive to business needs, and increased the scalability of their productivity tools.
Not only that, the second largest pharmaceutical firm in the world, GlaxoSmithKline, made a global transition for all its employees from Lotus Notes, Domino and Postini services to Microsoft online services. They made the switch to become more effective in developing markets, improve collaboration with business partners, and lower costs in operations and investments. Using the services’ email and productivity tools hosted in Microsoft data centers around the globe produced innovations, improved collaboration, simplified their users’ experience, and reduced operational cost. You can learn what IT leaders at these companies had to say on page 13 of the white paper.
Avoid trouble reaching paradise with Google Apps
Google is offering only lightweight tools for converting Lotus Notes/Lotus Domino email messages, and for moving some contact and calendar data to Google Apps. The tools don’t support archived mail, contacts, meeting rooms, tasks and advanced calendar items in Lotus Notes. Google also offers only simple coexistence capabilities during migration.
However, Microsoft created and tested a comprehensive, migration planning process to minimize impact on Lotus Notes/Domino Users during migration to our online services. Learn about the process, about Coca-Cola’s migration to a Microsoft-hosted solution, and learn what the trade-offs are in migrating data from Lotus Notes to either Exchange Online or to Google Apps for Business on pages 4 and 5 of the paper.
What end-users experience in the move
During migration to Office 365, Microsoft’s tools help you move end-user email and calendaring content with full fidelity: what you see in the previous user interface transmits to Office 365 without visual changes. During the transition, the Lotus and Office 365 applications coexist for messaging and calendaring. Even after user email is moved to Office 365, users can continue to use Lotus Notes to reserve meeting rooms and can use workflow messages. Users transitioned to Outlook are able to see colleagues’ and business partners’ presence, their free or busy status, and easily ‘catch’ someone for that last important bit of information they need.
Users experience something quite different during their transition from Lotus Notes to Google Apps. Google Apps converts Office documents to HTML which permanently alters content and often removes critical elements such as charts, without warning the user. There is no integrated way for the applications to each support recurring calendar items, complex mail messages or business process workflow messages. Instead, during the migration, users must continue to check a secondary mailbox on Lotus Notes for workflow messages.
Once transitioned to Gmail, users or IT teams have to deploy and configure two separate utilities from Google to obtain presence information. Information readily provided by Outlook’s Global Address List such as additional phone numbers and employee job titles is not available. Users are further frustrated by not having Outlook’s scheduling abilities such as those providing conference room availability, and suggesting meeting times.
Are you bound for the cloud?
Take a look at Migrating IBM Lotus Notes and Domino to the Cloud: Selecting Microsoft vs. Google for more information. You’ll find details to help you make a decision for your migration path, a window into the transition process, links to cloud migration tools, and contacts for experienced Microsoft partners who can help you. One partner even offers Weekend Express, a service for moving up to 10,000 Lotus Notes user accounts as well as their message data to Microsoft online services, over a single weekend!
Keep in touch. — Let us know how your Lotus Notes or Domino system migration is going.