Look, up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a rocket from India, AND it's Lotus Notes Hosted Messaging, a software-as-a-service version of IBM's popular e-mail offering.With pricing starting around $10 per user/month, IBM is targeting its hosted service at businesses with 1,000 to 10,000 employees, though the company can tailor it for smaller companies as well. The service "will have appeal for underserved users in large enterprises or new departments of large enterprises and small and medium-sized companies that don't want to have the responsibility of maintaining the infrastructure or want to add users on the fly," said John Dunderdale, Lotus' vice president of worldwide sales, in an interview with InternetNews.com.
Users' data is stored and managed on a server at an IBM data center, which means businesses don't have to buy additional hardware or further tax their existing servers, eWeek points out. Lotus Notes Hosted Messaging includes two service-level agreement options, spam and virus filtering, and backup and restore services. For now, however, customers can't use Notes applications and databases with the service, and there's a 1-GB-per-user mailbox limit, reports InformationWeek. "We're going to iterate quickly," said Ed Brill, a director with IBM.
This isn't the first time IBM's head has been in the cloud in recent weeks; earlier this month it released the Bluehouse suite of hosted online technologies, which allows businesses of all sizes to share documents and contacts, engage in joint project activities, host online meetings, and build social networking communities via the cloud.
And, no doubt, there's money up there is that cloud: Gartner says SaaS revenue will top $6.4 billion this year (up from $5.1 billion in 2007) and is expected to hit $14.8 billion by 2012.
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