Exchange vs. Lotus Domino

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Exchange vs. Lotus Domino
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Which do you use in your environment: Exchange or Lotus Domino? Why did you choose one over the other? I'd like to know your thoughts on your preferred e-mail system. Be sure to include what version you're using.

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You really need to understand your business drivers clearly before even entertaining the thought of a migration to one other of these enterprise systems.. Drivers for migration include user preferences for one or other of the platforms, solving integration issues, lack of skills, consolidation to reduce operating costs and changes in IT strategy/technical architecture directions. However, once we entered into our evaluations/analysis, it was our view, that there are no unequivocal, platform-specific drivers for migrating from LND to MS Exc.

Both vendors are market leaders. Both application platforms are highly mature, have viable forward strategic paths, and are capable of meeting the complex functional needs of large enterprises. Both platforms have received huge investment and at the time of our investigation/analysis were due for significant functional enhancements in 2007.

Making sense of the issues around LND migration requires an understanding of the both vendors and their strategies, and their implications for the specific circumstances of within our organisation. The two platforms both offer comparable functions and features. The primary differentiators that might lead to seeing benefits in migration include the following:

· in favour of Microsoft is the benefit of moving closer towards a single vendor relationship and consolidating to a ‘pure Microsoft stack’ and .NET development environment … although the extent to which this is seen as a benefit depends very much on organisation-specific IT strategy, architecture and procurement policy drivers

· in favour of IBM is the relative strength of its platform as a collaboration environment, its stronger commitment to supporting heterogeneous environments, open standards and open source software, and its approach to evolutionary – rather than revolutionary – upgrade strategies.

Evaluating the benefits of migration required an in-depth analysis of the current application portfolio in the context of strategic thinking about the shape of both our IT organisation, IT architecture strategy and the application portfolio of the future.

A head-to-head comparison between the two platforms is a complex exercise due to the large number of different software products involved. What we had found in our costs, benefits, et al project in 2007 was that we could continue to leverage the excellent features, functions, and benefits we had already invested in LND.

We have used LND since 1996. Currently on 8.5 also using Quickr and Sametime. The 2007 cost comparison of Exchange/Outlook/Sharepoint vs. LND found that the difference in costs were hugely vast with an MS migration being far more expensive – note that both hard and soft costs were considered.

Since we go far beyond the classic mail and C&S, all components required from MS to replace LND had to be considered. The project would have been multi-year with a huge tech transfer process required. And, for example, “ripping and replacing” the core end user systems is unlikely to be justifiable on a technology architecture driver alone.

At the end of the day, it’s really the Senior Executives that will make the decisions. Some are often based on their predilection for Outlook, since the desktop is really the only thing they see/use. IBM’s Lotus Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook software enables an Outlook UI to be used while still running the Notes/Domino back end. It works great and saves us this from this constant LND vs Exchange issue. This is something that can’t be offered with MS Exchange.

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We use Exchange 2007.

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We use Exchange 2007. We migrated from Lotus 5 years ago. The decision was made due to the greater flexibility and scalability of Exchange plus the performance improvement was dramatic. We have over 12,000 mailboxes and Exchange is definitely better for our organization.

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We use Exchange 2003 currently with a project in place to migrate to Exchange 2007. Exchange overall has been more scalable and integrates very well with other things we have in our environment like SharePoint. In my previous career on the consulting side, I have migrated companies from Notes to Exchange since those companies saw the price savings with a better return on investments (ROI).

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We use Domino. In 2000 we migrated from Exchange to Domino as part of incorporating numerous LAN’s into a WAN. We started with Version 5.0.1 and now are running 7.0.3 with plans to go to 8.5. We like Domino because it allows us to incorporate internally developed Lotus databasesapplications with email and BPCSMAPICS environments. Domino fits well in our company since we are an AS400 shop and we run Domino on an AS400.

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I guess I should have put my response here.

I don’t want to get into a Domion vs. Exchange thing here but if you’re just looking for email and C&S, the go with Exchange. However, if you’re looking for something much more robust, with email, C&S, and collaboration and tied in tightly along with the ability to easily develop your own apps, then go wtih Notes/Domino.
The first post mentioned migrating to Exchange 5 years ago. So I am assuming he/she is comparing EXchange 07 with what, Domino 6.x at best, maybe version 5? Neither a good nor fair comparison.
The second post mentioed a bette ROI with Exchange. How can that be when you need more hardware to run Exchange coupled with the fact that Exchange HAS to run on Windows (the cost of more licensing) where Domino is OS agnostic. Plus, with Notes 8.x you get Symphony FREE !!! Eliminating the cost of licenses for MS Office.
I dunno, you be the judge.

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  • huxbar
    We use Domino. In 2000 we migrated from Exchange to Domino as part of incorporating numerous LAN's into a WAN. We started with Version 5.0.1 and now are running 7.0.3 with plans to go to 8.5. We like Domino because it allows us to incorporate internally developed Lotus databasesapplications with email and BPCSMAPICS environments. Domino fits well in our company since we are an AS400 shop and we run Domino on an AS400.
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  • Petetm
    I don't want to get into a Domion vs. Exchange thing here but if you're just looking for email and C&S, the go with Exchange. However, if you're looking for something much more robust, with email, C&S, and collaboration and tied in tightly along with the ability to easily develop your own apps, then go wtih Notes/Domino. The first post mentioned migrating to Exchange 5 years ago. So I am assuming he/she is comparing EXchange 07 with what, Domino 6.x at best, maybe version 5? Neither a good nor fair comparison. The second post mentioed a bette ROI with Exchange. How can that be when you need more hardware to run Exchange coupled with the fact that Exchange HAS to run on Windows (the cost of more licensing) where Domino is OS agnostic. Plus, with Notes 8.x you get Symphony FREE !!! Eliminating the cost of licenses for MS Office. I dunno, you be the judge.
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  • Ledlincoln
    During and after our migration from Lotus to Exchange, the comparative licensing costs continue to astonish me. In our attempt to replace Lotus/Domino, we have installed at least eleven Exchange and related servers, plus the cost of the CALs for the clients. We are still maintaining our two Domino servers, because there are still many things that Lotus/Domino are doing for us that can't be duplicate by Exchange/Sharepoint. For the record, a single Domino Enterprise server runs mail, calendaring & scheduling, instant messaging, Webmail and Web services for Domino databases, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, LDAP, and replication, in addition to the Domino database/application services. Am I exposing any bias here? :-)
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  • Petetm
    Ledlincoln , I don't think it's biased when you're just stating facts. ;-) Like I said, people that claim a better ROI with Exchange are either lying or not taking all costs into account.
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  • Gabe9527
    Now Biased is saying that Exchange is a virus propagation service that is about as secure as a wet paper bag that already has rumerous holes already in it :-) There are allot of things that are good in exchange... TLS per domain , advanced controls for user management out of the box. like message filters controls etc. This is possible with Domino but are not out of the box. It does come down to the question : is it just mail you want.... if so GMail (joke) Exchange.... but if you want the rest that Domino has to offer then that is the choice taken for you.
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  • Pgoovaerts
    We are using Notes from v4.x and followed each upgrade all along, now on 8.5.1 so i have a bit of experience with Domino. My opinion: Years of frustration with: damaged mailboxes, unrecoverable dataloss attachments (DAOS is better now), damaged transactionlogs, unable to restore backups etc, etc. Always upgrading to newer versions in an attempt to solve the problems, but discovering new probs... and discovering that Notes is adding stuff which already is available in an earlier version of Exchange/Outlook... Since v7 we are also getting Symphony for FREE... but who is using it? nobody! Why? Compatibility issues and interoperability with our clients enforce us to keep on using MS Office. Ask the users what they use at home... MS Office, no such free tools because they learned Word- Spreadsheet tools at school or in "after hours class" with... yep, MS Office. Finally, be honest IBM, Symphony for FREE, it's nothing more than OpenOffice which we all can download free from the web, don't we? Collaborationtools? NOT FREE! 'some' things are made free but what can we do with it? If you really want collaboration you need the full Sametime which, not only isn't cheap, but you can only contact 'Domino Notes' users. IBM is using Notes, other big companies use Notes but our clients don't. If we want to use instant messaging with a client, we can give him a choice between MSN or SKYPE. Both free downloadable, no such Notes tool is available. Document management tools? Notes is offering Quickr which they compare with Sharepoint. No way! Yes you can move a message from Notes to Quickr but the message stay's in Notes. When you remove it from Notes, you cannot load the saved message in Quickr! In stead of shrinking mailfiles by moving mails from Notes to Quickr, you end up needing more space. You get links inside Quickr but cannot remove the items from Notes. I cannot go into detail here but my comparison study Quicker/Sharepoint ended with a meeting with IBM guy's who finally told us that we cannot use Quickr and that Sharepoint is a better option for us. What about keeping Notes as a mailserver but using Outlook as a client? This was possible until version 8.0. Now that we're investigating this option.... we are told by IBM that they do not continue to support it anymore... Notes Developer: This is coming free of charge in next releases (as i was told) but i'm sure, as i have experienced with previous 'free' tools from IBM, it will become payable again! Why? It is Eclipsed based and i think this is a first step moving the tool to WDSCi (IBMS Developer studio) as a seperate (payable) module. And it is NOT CHEAP! I'm using Outlook for many years now and i have never had any problem with my mailfile. Nor did i with MSN, Office, etc... We get the same message from our users, customers,... After many years of patience, our board of directors are asking us to investigate the cost for migration from Notes to Exchange and i have not many 'real' reasons to stick with Notes, are there? Notes has many extra features but they are either not of any use (Symphony), not mature enough (quickr) or too limited (Instant Messaging) but it has 1 very big PRO: Running Domino on AS400 is cheap and rock solid! We are running 6 Notes server in an AS400 with another 6 servers on another AS400 in a cluster environment. We only have to pay 2 server licences (one for each AS400) and an x-user license fee, so it's cheap. Running Notes on an AS400 gives you a very robust environment which results in (keeps fingers crossed) no unexpected system shutdowns. Yes, from time to time we need to restart a server because one of it's files is damaged. But it is only the server-instance itself, all other servers and erp-system keeps active. This finally gives me this hate/love relationship with Notes. I don't like the GUI, it is not userfriendly, i miss the instant messaging with contacts outside, i miss the link to a descent document management system (although payable tools are available), i hate it when users call us that their mailfiles are corrupt or that transactionlogs are corrupt when we enter the office, but overall, the environment in which we run Domino is rock solid. And what about Exchange? We have no experience with Exchange but i wonder if we will get rid of the problems we have now with Notes. No more damaged mailfiles anymore? No unexpected shutdowns? No Exchange stall's? mmmh... keep on dreaming?
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