Last week, in more pre-Lotusphere PR, IBM announced their intent to acquire Outblaze’s email technology and make it part of Bluehouse, IBM’s cloud-based social computing and collaboration offering, which is now in beta. 

This is a fascinating acquisition.  Why acquire Outblaze when Lotus Notes is the #2 business email solution in the market?  What will happen to the hosted Notes messaging solution IBM announced last fall?  Why not scale Lotus Notes to a deliver a multi-tenant or Web-accessible offering?  Why make customers choose between Notes for on-premises email or Outblaze/LotusLive Notes for cloud-based email?  Couldn’t IBM convince enough users to get on hosted notes so they had to buy some consumer grade users to test scalability? 

 

When I talk to customers, they tell me they do not want a technology ultimatum – a hard choice between a roadmap in the cloud or on-premises.  Customers require the flexibility to use both and move between both modes of delivery, and that’s why our approach with Exchange Server and Exchange Online is catching on.  Will IBM’s new email strategy give customers that flexibility?  Only time will tell.

 

As in the days of Workplace, IBM’s email strategy seems once again murky.

 

Brandon Hoff

Exchange Technical Product Manager