IBM Pitch to Former Lotus Notes Customers: We Host Exchange
IBM is quietly sending a key message to channel partners and customers: If you’re leaving Lotus Notes for hosted Microsoft Exchange, then consider letting IBM host Exchange in Big Blue’s own data centers. The move comes as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer personally visits corporate CIOs and pitches BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) and Exchange Online to customers. Here are the details.
The story starts with an escalating SaaS and cloud computing showdown between Ballmer and the Google Apps team. The result: Microsoft appears to be taking some BPOS and Exchange Online deals direct (with special pricing, in some cases) in order to fend off Google Apps competition, according to two service providers that work closely with Microsoft.
Now for the IBM twist: The two channel partners say they’ve heard from IBM in recent months. The IBM pitch is rather simple: In order to help MSPs compete with Microsoft BPOS and Exchange Online, IBM is offering to host Exchange in Big Blue’s data centers, the MSPs say.
IBM launched hosted Notes in 2008. But by 2009, IBM had hedged its hosting bets — partnering with Ceryx Inc. to promote hosted Exchange. Ceryx is a well-known Microsoft partner that has extensive managed hosting experience.
The VAR Guy has reached out to IBM and Ceryx for an update on the effort. In the meantime, it sounds like Big Blue is busy calling on Microsoft partners to promote hosted Notes — or, worst case scenario, hosted Exchange. As the old saying goes: Whoever manages the customer data ultimately owns the customer…