IBM's big win: Panasonic dumps Exchange, moves to LotusLive cloud services

IBM's big win: Panasonic dumps Exchange, moves to LotusLive cloud services

Summary: IBM will tout a big cloud computing win. Consumer electronics giant Panasonic will migrate a total of 300,000 employees and partners off of Microsoft Exchange and other collaboration technologies to Big Blue's LotusLive platform.


IBM on Thursday will tout a big cloud computing win. Consumer electronics giant Panasonic will migrate a total of 300,000 employees and partners off of Microsoft Exchange and other collaboration technologies to Big Blue's LotusLive platform.

The migration, which will be detailed at IBM's Lotusphere conference next week, will start with 100,000 employees and expand to more 300,000 workers, suppliers and partners over time.

IBM is hailing the move as "the largest enterprise cloud computing deployment in history." Update: However, IBM's deployment isn't the largest cloud deployment in history. SuccessFactors landed a 420,000 seat deployment with Siemens and also nailed a 300,000 seat deployment with a large retailer.

There's quite the dogfight in this space. Google is wooing IT executives to move from Exchange to its Google Apps platform for mail and calendar services. IBM's LotusLive unit is trying to undercut Google in the enterprise. And Microsoft is duking it out with both Google and Big Blue.

This scrum means nice negotiating leverage for IT buyers.

Specifically, Panasonic will use IBM LotusLive for:

  • Web conferencing;
  • File sharing;
  • Instant messaging;
  • Project management;
  • Email;
  • Calendaring;
  • And contact management.

Update 2: Microsoft had a to-the-point response to the IBM news. In a blog post, Julia White, Director, Exchange Product Management, said:

These claims around Panasonic compel me to shed some light on the real facts.  Panasonic, which has just under 300,000 employees, was already using Notes worldwide, and fewer than 4% of their employees were using Exchange Server – most of them in North America. As with many recent IBM claims, this win is little more than keeping an existing customer. Then again, with a multi-year trend of declining Lotus market share, perhaps keeping an existing customer is a win.

Also: IBM beefs up Lotus Connections with enterprise microblogging

Topics: Virtualization, Cloud, Google, Hardware, IBM

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  • Good luck, Panasonic

    Nice con job, IBM.
    • Why the con job

      IBM was there before MS and will be there long
      after ms will eat root by the tip.

      Everything is a cycle .... mid 80's IBM was
      everywhere .. then MS screw they up on OS/2 warp
      then now Lotus is back on track and get a kick in
      the butt to ms ....

      Its a con job its pay back that all
      • Revisionist history ...

        IBM screwed up OS/2 all by itself.

        Gates was smart enough not to enter into an exclusive relationship with IBM when he first sold them DOS (a product he didn't even own at the time). When Microsoft developed Windows, IBM wanted a piece of the action so they decided to co-develop OS/2 with Microsoft.

        By the time Microsoft started to work on the NT kernel, their intent was to build both Windows and OS/2 on top of the same NT kernel.

        IBM didn't want the competition and decided to go it's own way. Shortly thereafter, Gerstner joined IBM and wanted to move them back into their core business - SERVICE. OS/2 became a stepchild. IBM screwed themselves on OS/2 and screwed their loyal customers (by not supporting OS/2 long-term - and that's why Panasonic needs to be leery.)

        IBM doesn't like to have to sell it's customers Windows and it will do whatever it takes to steal business from MS.

        You are correct though, it is all cyclical. Sooner or later someone will displace Microsoft just as Microsoft displaced Digital Research, and WordPerfect, and Lotus, and Ashton-Tate and who knows how many others.

        In the end though, Microsoft will not be displaced by IBM. IBM has a different business model. Altogether.

        Just as Apple sells a premium product for a premium price to consumers, IBM sells a premium product as a premium price to business.

        Microsoft sells software to OEMs who turn around and sell their products to consumers and to business.

        Like it or not, IBM is currently dependent upon Micorsoft to meet the needs of many of its customers but IBM simply cannot compete in the desktop software space - and Microsoft cannot compete in the IBM space.
        M Wagner
        • Good example of revisionist history

          Microsoft co-developed OS/2 with IBM and then
          walked away taking the knowledge from the
          partnership to create the NT kernel. It was as
          close to robbery as you could get.
          And you are mad to compare IBM to Apple in any
          way. IBM does not sell premium software, they
          sell premium services and is not at all
          dependent on Microsoft for delivery. IBM
          refuses to play in a commodity hardware market
          (and therefore Lenovo has all client computing
          business and is getting more and more into the
          server computing business). Did you miss the
          part of the article where LotusLive undercuts
          Google by $14/user/year. How can you call that
          a premium product.
          Microsoft realizes all of this and will be
          forced by the market to reinvent itself as a
          service company over the next 3-7 years. All
          hardware is currently commoditized and all
          software from the OS up is going toward
          commoditization as well. Services are the only
          thing that will get a premium paid in many of
          our lifetimes.
          • The NT 3 kernel was already under ...

            ... development when IBM walked away from their partnership with Microsoft. IBM owns all the OS/2 intellectual property. NT 3 was going to be the codebase for IBM OS/2 3.0 right along with Windows NT 3.0 but IBM wouldn't hear of it. IBM severed the contract - not Microsoft.

            I always find it amusing that Apple people are incensesd whenever others observe that Apple and IBM (and Microsoft) share some of the same business practices even though they cater to widely different audiences.

            Each has their niche and each is served very well (and they serve their customers very well) in that niche.

            Many IBM customers rely on Microsoft for their desktop OS and that sticks in IBMs craw (to use and old phrase) but IBM has been unsuccessful in pushing their customers onto desktop AIX or desktop Linux. That's why this LotusLive contract with Panasonic is SUCH A BIG DEAL.

            If IBM can use this deal to leverage other enterprise customers away from Exchange, just maybe IBM can make some inroads against Microsoft on the personal productivity side of enterprise machine room. If they can also displace MS Office as a result, then so much the better for IBM.

            IBM couldn't care less if Google takes the consumer side of the market. For IBM, the money is in the enterprise machine room.
            M Wagner
          • One important detail missing.

            The falling-out over the OS/3 project was over Microsoft's insistence on making it run Windows applications natively through the Win32 API. That was an extremely short-sighted move on Microsoft's part that imported the classic Windows headaches to the NT platform. IBM wanted no part of that. Looking at the years Microsoft had to spend untangling the mess that arose from that decision, I have to agree with IBM.
            Lester Young
          • MS moving to a service model would be a good thing.

            The license sales model is the biggest drawback to Microsoft products right now, and competition from the cloud is likely to force a change.
            Lester Young
        • Microsoft can compete with IBM

          But only indirectly through third party system integrators. Those people do compete directly with IBM and Microsoft should bend over backwards to support them.
          • Yes, you are correct. And Microsoft does ...

            ... support those system integrators. That is the reason why Microsoft has been so successful in the enterprise machine room.

            Windows licenses may pay the ligtht bill but even for Microsoft, the enterprise machine room is where the profits are.
            M Wagner
        • Wrong history

          This is not what actually happened. First of all, IBM's core business was not service; it was hardware. Yes, they supplied the OS on S/36, S/38, AS/400, S/390, etc. and the DB on those platforms, and they provided support for those platforms. Remember how IBM ran Amdahl to the ground?

          IBM got into the software business a bit late. Yes, they had clueless executives, but I recall an IBM-MS joint presentation where the IBM rep pitched the OS/2 future and then just disappeared, leaving Bill Gates to continue the presentation with the same message. Instead, Bill took it in a different direction and pushed Windows. IBM was arrogant and stupid, and that's what really happened. On top of that, they had the worst marketing. Remember the OS/2 billboard? "OS/2; it'll obliterate your software!" People thought it was a virus. Sure, IBM bought Lotus in the 90's, and that's when they got serious about software.

          More IBM stupidity? OS/2 for the PowerPC. The number of customers who bought it? I quote: "in the single digits." WorkPlace OS - where did that go? Project Monterey? IBM didn't listen to customers and EVENTUALLY began focusing the lucrative services sector.
        • DEC?

          I thought MS stole NT from DEC??
          • MS stole NT from DEC??

            Well, not exactly, but they did hire Dave Cutler from DEC, who was the the equivalent of chief scientist on the NT kernel in 1988 for NT 1.0. Dave was/is a VMS guru and one of the foremost OS minds in the world. I commercially tested NT 1.0 on DEC Alphas (the only hardware it ran on at that time) vis a vis OS/2 on Intel hardware for Automatic Data Processing, in 1989-1990. It was a phenominal departure from anything anyone had ever seen and was cohesive and smooth especially compared to OS/2s clunky and quirky workplace shell. Microsoft tried mightily to convince IBM that the OS/2 kernel and architecture was not solid enough to use as the foundation for future of their OS refinement and development. IBM, being the marketeers they were, and continuing to be stung by the colossal failure of their PS/2 hardware fiasco, wanted something to sell NOW. MS was telling them it would take another 12 to 18 months to finish development on NT kernel. They could not be persuaded to step back from OS/2. IBM did all they could to scuttle NT. They marched into the sunset pushing OS/2 and you know how that worked out.
            Woned B. Fooldagan
        • @mwagner

          Speaking of revisionist history. Go watch Triump of the Nerds. Bill Gates himself explains what happened between them and IBM in an interview. And according to Bill Gates, they dumped IBM, not the other way around as you claim.
      • Sorry, but IBM will drop out of sight.....

        IBM is a dinosaur ready for the trash barrel and until they get it thru their ultra-thick skulls that cloud computing is a farce and gimmick, they will continue on their free-fall from computer market. IBM, just doesnt get it, probably will never get it. Best reason they have fallen off of their high horse and are scraping the bottom of the sewer track for business.
        • well i would klike to have all the money and patent they have

          the list of stuff that IBM does is huge
          I would not kick them out yet ... you could be suprise .

          they also said that apple was done too ....look now .
        • Marketplace

          It is the marketplace that speaks to business success, and
          between MS, IBM, and Google. MS seems to be the only one
          loosing financial ground, laying off employees etc. in this
          • Marketplace

            Layoffs mean nothing. Most layoffs are for the purpose of impressing analysts that management is doing something.
            Woned B. Fooldagan
    • Random anonymous, meaningless insult

      A random poster lobbing unfounded accusations about something he/she doesn't/is paid not to like is so common these days...
    • Why? You can do more with Less in Notes

      Simple as that. Not tied to the MS platform and Notes servers can run more mailboxes with less cost than Exchange.

      Notes Rocks and Exchange is a POS. Simple as that.
      • How is that true?

        Disk Space is so cheap.. what does your comment even mean in the new low cost world of massive disk storage?


        If you want to declare war on MS Exchange your gunna need way way more ammo than just name calling kid.