Google introduces Google Apps Migration for Lotus Notes, a program designed to help users of the popular IBM Lotus Notes e-mail application move their mail, calendar and contacts to Gmail. The move marks the latest step in Google's quest to bring customers from IBM and Microsoft's legacy messaging and collaboration software to Google's cloud computing platform. Google also releases Calendar Labs.
continued its assault on the e-mail incumbents July 14, introducing a
new database program to help users of the popular IBM
Lotus Notes e-mail application move their mail, calendar and contacts to Google's
Google Apps Migration for Lotus Notes is actually a native Notes
application, meaning it installs like a Lotus Notes application on a server and
communicates with Google's data APIs. Once customers migrate their Lotus Notes
data with the tool, Gmail will open Notes links in Lotus Notes, Google Apps
Senior Product Manager Chris Vander Mey told eWEEK.
The tool, demonstrated in this video,
is free for customers of Google
Apps Premier Edition, which costs $50 per user, per year.
Other perks Google is promising with the tool include a centrally
administered server-side migration process, so IT administrators can deploy
multiple copies of the tool to offices around the world; no downtime, so users
can continue to use Notes during the migration process; the ability to migrate
10 users simultaneously per server; and event logging to manage and monitor
migration across any number of Lotus Domino servers and sites.
Fairchild Semiconductor, Hamilton Beach,
JohnsonDiversey and Valeo (through Capgemini) are four of the 40 companies that
have already used the Google Apps Migration for Lotus Notes application. Those
four businesses moved nearly 50,000 Lotus Notes users to Google Apps.
The tool comes more than a month after Google on June 9 released Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook,
a plug-in users add to
their PCs that allows them access their Gmail Webmail, calendar and contacts
through the Outlook interface. Google had a bit of trouble getting Google Apps Sync
to play nice with Microsoft
Outlook features, but has since ironed out the issues.
Vander Mey told eWEEK that the Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook migration
tools presented different challenges for Google, and the Google Apps team will
continue to improve both tools. He declined to discuss what other migration
tools Google is working on.
These migration tools indicate Google's competitive desire to go after
dominant e-mail incumbents Microsoft, with about 70 percent of the business
e-mail market, and IBM, which commands 17
percent, according to Gartner. These giants have locked up the on-premises
e-mail market for more than a decade. Google is trying to bring Microsoft and IBM
customers into the cloud with promises of faster Web applications and cost
Google hosts Google Apps on its own servers, so customers don't have to
purchase additional servers to support the Web applications. And Google completed beta testing of Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs and
July 7, a move that should make the suite more attractive to
businesses that have stayed away because the software still had the test tag.
Google July 14 also opened the door to Google Calendar Labs,
a Web workshop where Google
programmers will build new experimental features for the company's calendar application.
When users sign into Calendar and click settings, they will see a new option
Google is making its experimental Calendar features
to users. In fact, there are already six new Labs features
in the list, including Next Meeting, which shows users "how much time you
have to procrastinate" before the next meeting; Free or Busy, which allows
users to see which friends or colleagues are in meetings; and World Clock,
which tracks different time zones for users who schedule meetings.
Google also released an experimental API
to let programmers build Calendar features to better suit their business needs.
Google Calendar Labs comes more than a year after Google launched Gmail
Labs, which went on to produce some two dozen features for users, including SMS
(Short Message Service) chat, which has been disabled
for three weeks; Canned Responses; and import
tools that let users pull Google Docs and Calendar data into Gmail.
Google retired the Gmail Labs feature giving right-side labels
July 1, sparking an outcry from angry users. But Gmail Labs features can also