Microsoft owns the majority of the collaborative platform software market, but that is not stopping it from trying to grab additional share away from its nearest rival, IBM.
The software giant has announced the availability of a suite of new and updated tools to help IBM customers “analyze” whether their existing Notes/Domino application environment works for them and, if not, to assist them in moving important data to Microsoft’s collaboration platform, Exchange.
Among the new tools Microsoft has introduced are Microsoft Application Analyzer 2006 for Lotus Domino, Microsoft Data Migrator 2006 for Lotus Domino, and new Windows SharePoint Services Application Templates, all of which are available for free.
Microsoft Application Analyzer 2006 for Lotus Domino, which will be available in Q1, provides a decision-making framework for companies that want to examine a potential transition to the Exchange platform.
Microsoft Data Migrator 2006 for Lotus Domino, when it becomes available in Q2, will allow organizations to move information from Lotus Domino template-based applications to Windows SharePoint Services Application Templates.
In addition, the software giant has introduced updated messaging and calendaring migration tools, also available for free download, including Exchange Connector for Lotus Notes/Domino, Exchange Calendar Connector for Lotus Notes/Domino and Migration Wizard for Lotus Notes/Domino.
51 Percent and Counting
Microsoft has a 51 percent share of the integrated collaborative environment marketplace, according to a recent IDC report, which represents a 10 percent lead over its nearest competitor, based on 2004 revenue figures.
Dynamics in this space are shifting — mainly due to the introduction of Web services-based tools and applications. IBM, in particular, is making substantial investments in an effort to divert some of Microsoft’s growth. Still, Microsoft is unlikely to lose its lead position in this market anytime soon.
In addition to announcing the new tools, Microsoft unveiled plans to develop a way for customers to build and customize workflow-enabled applications on SharePoint Products and Technologies.
IBM’s stability in this area — especially during a time when Microsoft is the desktop choice for the vast majority of corporate users — is a testament to its solid product line, Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT Research, told the E-commerce Times.
The Microsoft and IBM products are largely equal in functionality, he said. Therefore, companies that are weighing whether to jump from one platform to another should give serious consideration to the vendor relationship they wish to have.
“For a lot of companies, it will come down to which vendor is best able to meet a customer’s most elemental needs,” King remarked.
The decision to adopt either Exchange or Lotus/Notes, he said, involves a long-term commitment to the chosen vendor.