In advance of Lotusphere, IBM is touting a big cloud win with Panasonic who they claim will be using LotusLive for 380,000 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, which has just under 300,000 employees, 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.

Julia White 
Director, Exchange Product Management