IBM out-cheaps Google with web-based business email
No frills for $36 per worker per year
IBM has launched a bare bones web-based email system for businesses, calculated to undercut Google's own popular offering.
Big Blue's new LotusLive iNotes service starts at $36 annually per worker, compared to the $50 annually per worker that Google charges for its more comprehensive package.
The service includes 1GB of storage per user and comes with calendar and contact capabilities – although customers can buy an additional 100GB storage as needed. Google, meanwhile, starts off with a 25GB inbox and tosses in web-hosted word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications, as well as a tool for building a business intranet.
IBM's spin on a lack of extras is that it's "ideal for corporate workers who don't currently have access to corporate email or who are over-served by feature-rich collaboration capability that they don't use." And perhaps it's not too far off from what a typical worker actually needs in such a service.
The company is also banking heavily on its reputation as a venerable enterprise software and service provider. Google's recent spate of highly-publicized outages is therefore manna from heaven for IBM marketers to contrast with Big Blue's abundant claims of "proven reliability." However, Google isn't using exactly Tinker Toys to runs Gmail, and the very nature of web-based software is there's no guarantee of 100 per cent uptime. This is a boast that could bite IBM in the ass later.
IBM must also be careful not to cannibalize its similarly no-frills LotusLive Notes service, an on-premise email package that starts at $108 annually per user. LotusLive iNotes will also compete against Microsoft's web-based email package that costs about $120 annually per year.
The service is being offered in two flavors: $3 per month for annual payments or $3.75 monthly. IBM is also offering a free 30-day trial to prime the pump. ®
@Mathematically Challenged AC
I have over 10,000 unread emails in my Gmail account (no idea how many thousand I have read), and am only using 364Mb.
And as for Google Apps, I would have thought that you can get a similar cut down Lotus Symphony suite, supported by IBM for a relatively cheap price. And you can actually see where your business data is hosted....
I'd believe the reliability claims...
I've seen Google screw up quite a few business mail accounts over the last few months, and they are rarely in a hurry to admit error or get things fixed. Google tends to come at problems with the web mindset that if something fails, it isn't that big of a deal, because there are always more servers out there. Unfortunately Google's mail servers will occasional go pear-shaped in such a way that the remote mail server won't cycle to the next MX record (no idea how big G pulls that off...) and incoming mail is dropped for a while. I've seen more than a couple arguments on support forums between a collection of users that share an MTA, and a Google support rep mostly telling them the problem is on the user end. The resolution, then, tends to be to switch MX records so that the faulty server is last or excluded, which indicates that the server is where the problem is.
Hopefully IBM will come at this with an enterprise software mindset, and actually behave as if email is an essential service.
Hum, lets do the math...
How many folks are going to use exactly a G? Only the North Korean Post Office has workers who need less than 1G space and they are going to use only a tiny fraction of that. Maybe 10M a year to get announcements about what their Dear Leader is up to at the weekend and how the steal production quotas are up 200% on last year. All gravy for Big Blue who cap their income at 10c a G per day stored at the price they are offering (Amazon will do you 12c a G per day retail and they are not making the hardware themselves) .
Doesn't google start out giving private punters a G email for free? Such punters and going to attract a lot more spam and bandwidth than the average North Korean postal worker...