ibmlogo_whitebg_2009.jpgIs LotusLive iNotes an audacious bid for cloud-space by IBM (news, site) or a folly in its attempts to challenge Google?

Productivity Apps in the Cloud

The race to the cloud has seen a lot of interesting developments and fumbling by most of the contenders. IBM gets in on the act with LotusLive iNotes, offering Web-based email, contacts and calendars for just US$ 3 per month.

Will it compete with Google's more rounded Apps offering or Microsoft's existing services?

Marketed as a solution to over-worked IT departments, the notion of taking an enterprise's email into the cloud is a brave one. But, for many smaller companies or start-ups, the trade-off may well be worth the savings in time and infrastructure.

iNotes Features

The service is compatible with Notes and Outlook desktop clients while the Web client looks pretty slick.

iNotes can handle gradual or total migrations to the cloud. While Google offers some 25GB of storage, iNotes users are limited to 1GB -- accessible from the desktop or a mobile device.

iNotes has tabs to link between features

Other features of Lotus iNotes include:

  • Spam and virus protection
  • POP, IMAP and SMTP access
  • SSL encryption
  • Secure password recovery
  • Easy-to-use administration tools

Better Than Google?

IBM highlights the much-publicized failings and downtime of Google's services and the effects on the business world, as a way of showing their offering is better. It's also cheaper than Google Apps -- US$36 vs Google's US$ 50 per year.

A 30-day free trial is available in a wide number of languages. iNotes costs US$ 3 a month if you pay annually and US $3.75 per month if you pay monthly (you still get an annual subscription).

Along with iNote, LotusLive contains a number of other services, including collaboration and web conferencing. Lotus won an award for LotusLive, The Enterprise 2.0 Cloud Computing Technology Buyers' Choice Award, at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston.