Monday, October 05, 2009

LotusLive iNotes: Like Gmail, but Without the Outages

As launch dates go, the timing could not be better. Less than a week after Google’s Gmail suffered its fourth service disruption this year, IBM debuted a competing Web mail service intended to undercut it. Called LotusLive iNotes it’s an email, calendaring, and contact management system aimed squarely at the enterprise space Google has been so diligently courting.

Priced at about $36 per user per year, iNotes is cheaper than Google’s (GOOG) Apps Premier Edition offering, which costs about $50 per user per year. And while it might not offer as many bells and whistles (IBM’s 1GB of storage is significantly less than the 25GB that Google provides), IBM (IBM) claims it more than makes up for it in security, reliability and privacy.

“We run the world’s most mission critical systems for banks, telcos and utilities,” said Sean Poulley, IBM’s vice president of online collaboration services. “It’s fair to say we’re pretty trusted….Candidly, Google has shown itself to be weak….There is a world of difference between supporting a consumer-grade service and a business-grade service. We’re bringing business class services and support with mission critical reliability at a price lower than the competition.”