IBM's eMail endgame plan
When IBM announced Project Vulcan last year is was a not so specific vision of the future of collaboration. With the announcement of the IBM Social Business Toolkit at Lotusphere 2011, that vision got its technical underpinning: it is based on a number of open standards like OpenSocial, ActivityStreams, AtomPub and others. But hidden in the Press release is IBM's eMail end game plan. While the Notes R8.x mail client was a big step forward there is still that perception (I'm not discussing the validity of that perception here!) that MS-Outlook is the better mail client. I stated before: " Exchange mail servers are the collateral damage of users wanting Outlook", (Again: I'm not judging that "want"), just compare deployment diagrams. So what would happen if Outlook is out of the picture:
- Customer deploys the new Vulcan platform (whatever it will be called) on premise, in the cloud or in a hybrid model
- Collaboration improves dramatically using IBM Activities and the integration of Activity streams from SAP and other line of business applications
- eMail notifications are replaced by Activity streams
- Whatever email (Notes, Exchange) surfaces as Social Mail in the new UI. Traditional eMail clients become ghosts of Christmas past
- Office documents are moved to LotusLive Symphony (There is no reason why it needs to stay a cloud only solution) or other browser based editors
- Suddenly eMail becomes a "backend only" decision since the UI doesn't change when you swap your server. And in backends IBM has really big boxes that are very efficient.