IBM announced enhancements to LotusLive this week (see Ed Brill's write-up for details). At just $5.00 per user with a one user minimum, IBM offers a hosted version of Domino, accessible via either web browser or Lotus Notes client, and including support for Sametime instant messaging. IBM's offering provides an interesting alternative to gmail for those companies fearful of Google's privacy controls, or more comfortable with an enterprise-focused product that even includes a more traditional client (with off-line replication). IBM also counters Microsoft BPOS with a more extensible platform that now features a suite of integrated third-party applications including Skype and Tungle. For another $5 per user per month, IBM adds internal web conferencing and collaboration capabilities.
We've continued to hear concern about IBM's viability as an alternative to Exchange for on-premise systems, by going to the cloud IBM leverages the economics of the cloud to bolster its competitive position.