Messaging (IBM vs Microsoft) – Age old debate !

Exchange2010

Recently I witnessed a healthy debate on a topic that anyone associated with messaging has gone through and goes through frequently – Domino or Exchange? Why?

What started this debate was a recent blog http://blogs.technet.com/uc/archive/2009/07/23/notes.aspx by Julia White (Director of Exchange Marketing, Microsoft), and subsequent responses from Ed Brill http://www.edbrill.com/ebrill/edbrill.nsf/dx/an-open-letter-to-ferris-research-and-microsoft and http://www.edbrill.com/ebrill/edbrill.nsf/dx/a-week-later-a-microsoft-correction.

Having worked on both Notes and Exchange, I do have my own opinion – all I can say is “Having made a conscious decision to focus on Exchange few years back, I do not really regret my decision“. A lot of people agree that most of Messaging migration projects are from Lotus to Exchange, I have seen very few other way round. Challenges? Yes they are there and will always be there. After all migration exisiting Workflow applications to a new platform cannot be done overnight, and this results in an environment where both Lotus and Exchange run parallelly – for years at times. Cost? Due to coexistence cost will be a factor in terms of licenses, hardware, application development, end user & IT staff trainings etc etc. But, at the end of the day, we cannot really depend upon third party sponsored surveys, as they are generally biased towards the Sponsor, without being incorrect, they tend to focus on sponsors strengths majorly.

For us being the guys who actually architect the solutions for our clients, we need to give the value add to customers by being very honest, about the fact that whether a Migration would actually help them or not – to start with. Well one of the easiest cases where Migrations make sense are Mergers and Acquisitions, where both parties have their own messaging environments and consilidation (migration) would actually save cost.

Those blogs from Julia/Ed are examples of ongoing tussle which has become more of a religious battle rather than anything else.

[Sametime, Lotus Notes, SharePoint, OCS all are drawn in too]