Email – Evaluating Alternative Solutions to Lotus Notes

The accompanying slides look at the costs in late 2009 of alterna...
Email – Evaluating Alternative Solutions to Lotus Notes

    Moving to Salesforce, which was tried and found lacking, woul...
Email – Evaluating Alternative Solutions to Lotus Notes

Open Source Alternatives

Regarding Open Source solutions, the sa...
Email – Evaluating Alternative Solutions to Lotus Notes

4 of 6

Email – Evaluating Alternative Solutions to Lotus Notes

Email – Evaluating Alternative Solutions to Lotus Notes

Development Costs one time conversion expenses

Application    ...
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Lotus Notes and Email alternatives


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Evaluation of Lotus Notes and Google Apps along with two open source email systems, Zimbra & Scalix

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Lotus Notes and Email alternatives

  1. 1. Email – Evaluating Alternative Solutions to Lotus Notes The accompanying slides look at the costs in late 2009 of alternative solutions to Lotus Notes. Several items should be noted when looking at these numbers. First, Personnel costs and all the associated expenses (training, PC’s, supporting materials) have been excluded from this analysis because all these alternatives require that you provide your own administrative staff. Whether you have on-site staff or outsource it, these expenses would be the same regardless of the solution selected. Second, this analysis was completed in late 2009 before the current iteration of LotusLive and so only looks at Google, two open source email systems and Lotus Notes on premise. Third, as noted in the financial analysis, our current servers are fully depreciated and still going strong. Replacing the servers would increase the Lotus Notes solution an additional $30,000. Both the depreciated and non-depreciated totals are shown. The depreciation cost reflects new non-virtualized servers. It may be that a few larger virtualized servers capable of supporting the number of Domino servers we operate may reduce this annual expense. Google Apps Premier Edition While the Google Apps Premier Edition suite initially looks compelling, however the overall cost savings are not sufficient to warrant moving off of Lotus Notes. There are also a number of issues need to be addressed. Senior Management should fully understand and agree to these items, especially availability and confidentiality before proceeding. • Availability will always be of concern as Google has experienced a number of extended period outages. We must be willing to live with these likelihoods while holding them to their commitment of uptime based on their SLA’s. • While the terms of service and privacy policy seem to indicate what’s ours is ours, we must remain constantly on guard to the ever shifting terms of service and privacy rights as several other providers, including Google have made missteps in the past that call into question their perceived (on their part) ownership of content. • Legal must review and determine policies for HIPAA and other regulated documents stored within Google docs, Google email or on Google Sites. • Legal must also understand and agree with any terms in the agreement regarding Legal Discovery Requests. It’s one thing to have physical control over your information and another when a third-party has physical control. A number of posting on these two subjects are available on the internet and there doesn’t seems to be a clear cut decision on exactly how this will play out. • While they offer email import allowing us to keep existing email, if we adopt their application we should seriously limit what people can move by defining an email policy and retention guideline • We have a commercial Lotus Notes based CRM application which synchronizes to our users Blackberries and this would need to be replaced by another product. 1 of 6 4/30/10
  2. 2. Email – Evaluating Alternative Solutions to Lotus Notes Moving to Salesforce, which was tried and found lacking, would cost and additional net $18,650 per year for licenses. • Existing Notes applications for Helpdesk and a number of other Lotus Notes applications would need to be replaced before we could fully move off of Lotus Notes. • General Mailboxes will require a user account to be setup. This adds to the overall number of accounts to be paid. Currently we have about 325 various mailboxes not related to individuals. • All access to the Goggle apps will be through a browser, even the offline access they have recently announced (late 2009) and now more recently (May 2010) is being discontinued • Blackberry integration will be through the browser on the Blackberry or a downloaded application from Google. It’s not clear if this will be a push technology as the users currently have, or will be a pull type connection requiring you to have data service available on your mobile device at the time you want to check your email. • Determination of when and how to upgrade is much more restricted when using Google as they will determine when upgrades and features are added and removed. While to some extent this may be viewed as a good thing whereby you are generally always working with the latest version and because it’s browser based you have very low, if any, deployment costs. It also means that should you integrate Google into other applications, you may need to allocate resources to handle changes to these integration points. The timing of these may not always coincide with your development or business cycle. Regardless, there are potential development costs that should be recognized around this aspect of using Google or any other hosted solution. Microsoft Exchange I’ve not included or deeply evaluated moving to Microsoft Exchange. There are others who have done this analysis and could provide the details for comparing Exchange to Notes migrations. Based on what I’ve read of these accounts it seems to be a costly and painful process. Additional servers and Microsoft products would need to be installed to replace the Lotus Notes applications. You would need to run parallel hardware platforms during the transition increasing hardware and software costs and your staff would need to be knowledgeable in both systems. When Microsoft releases new versions of their email systems, these require a significant effort to migrate along with the potential lose of existing email. This certainly is not an enticing prospect for moving to their email platform. Most articles start out with, “working with your Microsoft integration partner”. So there are significant additional expenses to consider when contemplating moving to Exchange. With Lotus Notes, I’ve never given a moments thought about whether my email would migrating to the next version during the 5 versions I’ve used, it simple works. I’ve never needed a “specialist” to help migrate my Notes environment. 2 of 6 4/30/10
  3. 3. Email – Evaluating Alternative Solutions to Lotus Notes Open Source Alternatives Regarding Open Source solutions, the savings are not there to justify moving off of Lotus Notes. Not only would we need to change email systems but if we manage these fully in- house we would also need to install advanced versions of the Linux operating system on servers to make these work. New server hardware must be purchased and power added to the computer room so that the new email environment can be setup and fully tested before migrating users to the new email system. Some assumed cost for end user training has been included but it’s unclear if this would be sufficient to address the training needs. Lost user productivity has not been considered in the financial evaluation but will certainly have some impact which can be minimized through training but not fully eliminated. Conclusion This analysis was based on a request to look specifically at Google Apps as it was presumed to be a less expensive alternative to Lotus Notes. It expanded into evaluating two open source email solutions as with all the talk of open source solutions these days this certainly seemed like a potentially less expensive alternative as well in terms of licensing of client, servers and server OS’s. At any given time you can find variations in the numbers however at the end of the day if you look fairly at all the alternatives you’ll find that if you’ve done your job to leverage Lotus Notes to benefit your company to solve your business problems, then moving to something else just does not make economic or business sense. The financial analysis is on the following pages. 3 of 6 4/30/10
  4. 4. Email – Evaluating Alternative Solutions to Lotus Notes 4 of 6 4/30/10
  5. 5. Email – Evaluating Alternative Solutions to Lotus Notes Google Apps Costs Lotus Notes Premier Edition Zimbra Scalix Additional Expenses $20,500 (hardware & software maintenance & expenses) Depreciationbut new equipment would be -currently $0 $0 (12K Equipment (7 servers) -$5k Hard maint not needed) Depreciation 2 $30,000 DR Site expenses $22,500 $0 $0 $0 Licensing 1325 Active users $69,708 $66,250 $28,620 $95,400 Notes CEO Client license cost (applies to IBM only) General Mailboxes (325 existing) $0 $16,250 $7,020 $23,400 Annual hosting Charge $30,000 $0 Mobile User Licensing $2,520 $19,440 Setup Fee Hosting site $5,000 $0 End User training materials $0 $500 $500 $500 Web Server to host converted applications listed below $9,000 $9,000 $9,000 (hardware(depreciated) & software costs) Salesplace vs $3,850 $22,500 $22,500 $22,500 would need to migrate 15 users Totals $146,558 $114,500 $105,160 $170,240 w/ depreciation @ 0 $116,558 All solutions have antivirus software incorporated in their pricing on the mail servers. Zimbra Hosting license price includes 20% annual software/technical support Depreciation - Our current servers are currently fully depreciated. Depreciation 2 - New Servers, plus storage would run about $40,000 annually minus $10,000 of hardware support as they would be covered under warranty support for a net annual increase of $30,000 for Lotus Notes. 5 of 6 4/30/10
  6. 6. Email – Evaluating Alternative Solutions to Lotus Notes Development Costs one time conversion expenses Application Effort Min Max 8 - Notes DB's to Google Sites 3 to 4 weeks $11,250 $15,000 Salesplace to Salesforce 1 to 2 weeks $3,750 $7,500 10 Additional Notes Applications 1 to 4 weeks $78,750 $127,500 that would require porting to for each application another system. Additional Expenses $93,750 $150,000 These are estimates for the amount of development time necessary to produce the applications in another language and hosted on another platform. An estimate of hosting costs for these applications was included on the previous page. Several of these are workflow enabled applications that will require integration to the email system as well as establishing security to control access and rights within the applications. 6 of 6 4/30/10