NaviSite: Lotus Meets SaaS

NaviSite: Lotus Meets SaaS

Last week, I reported that NaviSite was bringing hosted Lotus services to their NaviCloud application platform, including messaging through Domino. It takes guts to compete with Microsoft Exchange's apparent stronghold on the e-mail space. To get some perspective on NaviSite's strategy and the implications for managed services providers, I spoke with NaviSite's Product Manager, Tony Rorai. Here's a recap.

NaviSite handles everything from colocation to managed hosting to packaged applications -- and yes, they work with the channel, which is good news for anyone who wants to leverage the hosted Lotus suite as software as a service (SaaS). Rorai came to handle messaging services for NaviSite after the mid-2000s acquisition of Interline, itself a specialist in enterprise messaging formed in the 90's.

While Lotus Domino isn't really talked about as much as Microsoft's hosted offerings, Rorai claims it boasts more users than Microsoft BPOS, and it provides a platform for integrating business applications that give similar functionality. Moreover, MSPs should know that Domino has a new client coming out that is, by all reports, a quantum leap forward in usability. The bad news is that it's not a white-label solution.

A long story short, as Rorai puts it: Exchange is a fine solution for businesses, which is why so many service providers offer it. But, he says, if you're looking into BPOS, give Lotus a look, especially since you no longer need to run it on premises.

It's a bold move for both Lotus and NaviSite. The former gets to put their toes in the hosted services water and the latter gets to expand their SaaS offerings. The big questions: Do MSPs have Lotus technology on their radars?

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