The Messaging is The Medium: survey results are in - IBM is down, but not out
From The Register: The Messaging is The Medium: survey results are in - IBM is down, but not out
Messaging is a thread that runs through IT from top to bottom, from humans exchanging information with each other, down to software and even hardware exchanging status messages and information packets. This report, which is based on feedback from readers of The Register provided during our last annual Barometer Survey, concentrates on asynchronous information exchanges where at least one human is involved. This enables us to rule out synchronous activities such as IP telephony and videoconferencing and the more technical message exchanges which are hidden from human view.
The survey itself looked at messaging in a number of guises, primarily as a platform but also in the context of mobility, collaboration and Web 2.0. These nuances are less important than the underlying story which is that of large software vendors such as IBM and Microsoft holding substantial sway over the present and future messaging habits of their customers and prospects. Waiting in the wings, of course, are companies like Google and Yahoo! and various other bit-part players who would like their own slice of the action.
The research examined preferences and activities by organisation size: corporate (over 5,000 employees); mid-market (250-5,000 employees) and SMB (up to 249 employees). Each segment has its characteristics but while the corporate and mid-market are closely aligned, the SMB sector marches to a slightly different drummer.
As with most surveys of this type, it should be no surprise that Microsoft scores highest, while the Lotus brand does not fare nearly as well, with terms like "legacy" coming up far too often. On the other hand, the writer does acknowledge that IBM has attempted a number of changes, and that the current offerings do bear examination, even if you're already a Microsoft shop.
To me, the most revealing fact is that the farther down the corporate size ladder you go, the less chance you have of seeing either Lotus *or* Microsoft:
Microsoft Exchange, at 57 per cent is still in the lead but, among SMBs, it's clearly far from the 'de facto' choice. This could be for a number of reasons, but the most likely is that a high percentage are not really ‘platform aware’ in the same way that larger organisations are. Only 56 percent claimed to be using an email/messaging platform. Many of the remainder will have their email and their web presence hosted by their ISP and they are unlikely to be aware of the underpinning architecture.
To an SMB, email truly *is* a commodity item, and the easiest/cheapest supplier of said commodity stands a good chance of winning out. Joe the dentist is just as likely to trust Comcast/Google as they are to trust a Foundation server.
And a side note to the product naming group... I know you're in a bit of a snit over Microsoft using Foundations Server after you went and launched the Lotus Foundation server. On the other hand, this line in the story shows there's not much room to throw stones:
However, the Google and Yahoo! figures suggest that smaller organisations are increasingly willing to move to hosted solutions, which is good news for both IBM and Microsoft and their recently-announced ‘Live’-branded SaaS offerings.
Windows Live... LotusLive... You'd almost think from this quote that Lotus and Microsoft had collaborated on something... :)