A New-Age Messaging and Collaboration Platform from IBM

IBM Domino, formerly known as IBM Lotus Domino, is an on-premises messaging and collaboration platform known for its robust collaboration, security and stability features. It provides facilities for emailing, real-time communication, calendaring and scheduling, and contact management. Thus, it provides an advanced enterprise-level collaboration environment in the organization. IBM Domino follows a client-server model just like the other prominent on-premises messaging platforms like MS Exchange Server and Novell GroupWise.

Market Share of IBM Domino

Though cloud based messaging platforms are gaining popularity, many organizations consider on-premises messaging platforms as secure and safe compared to the cloud based ones. Therefore, large organizations are more interested in on-premises platforms like IBM Domino. As per the claims by IBM, Domino platform is deployed in as many as 50,000 organizations across the globe. In order to compete with MS Exchange that owns about 60% of the market share, platforms like Domino offer cost-effective deployment and maintenance, support to non-Windows platforms and many other unique services.

Advantages of Domino over Other Platforms

Domino is not just an emailing and calendaring platform. Apart from these functions, Domino supports application development, document editing, team rooms, libraries, workflows etc. Some important reasons for choosing Domino as the messaging platform are given below.

  • IBM Domino runs on open source operating systems that are more scalable compared to Windows. Currently Domino is available on Windows, Linux, UNIX and Z/OS. In addition, Domino is less prone to viruses and malwares.
  • Numerous email clients and protocols can access Domino; some popular clients that can be used with Domino are Lotus Notes Clients, IBM Workplace, MS Outlook, POP3/IMAP4 clients like Mozilla Thunderbird and web mails (through a browser).
  • The client side security provided by Domino is near perfect. While using Domino, there is no need to invest on security infrastructure, as it owns a large number of security features by default. Domino makes use of complex cryptographic techniques like public key and systematic key encryption, public key certificates and digital signatures.
  • As Domino owns its own directory, it has external dependence only on its OS and network. (MS Exchange is dependent on Active Directory and Novell is dependent on eDirectory). So moving from one platform to another is easy in the case of Domino. It is also very easy to move from one version of Domino to another.
  • Domino has more functions than any other collaboration system (in terms of Microsoft products, Domino performs the functions of Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint, Life Connection Server and SQL).
  • It is easy to administer Domino as it provides policy based administrative features and owns domain-monitoring capacity.
  • Domino allows cross-version and cross platform clustering, and load balancing to improve its fault tolerance.
  • Domino uses separate database for every user. It can be synchronized with multiple servers and multiple clients. Therefore, it is less prone to failures. By implementing active clustering and by choosing platforms properly, downtime can be completely avoided in Domino system.
  • Domino provides very advanced application environment, in addition to the messaging facilities. Domino supports instant messaging also.
  • Domino makes it possible to keep local replicas of applications in addition to that of emails, contacts and calendars. Offline applications can be accessed with Domino Offline Services (DOLS).

Unlike other similar platforms, it is easy to install and deploy IBM Domino. Before installing you need not conduct readiness check or need to install extra components (like a framework or some OS components). For Domino, you have all the required files in the Domino installer. Also, you can setup and run Domino within a few minutes and can choose the required tasks from the choice list interface; it does not involve many steps or take a lot of time.

Many organizations choose to move to IBM Domino form MS Exchange Server and Novell Domino, because of the benefits and advantages discussed above.

Moving to Other Platforms from Domino

Organizations choose a collaboration platform, after carefully studying their requirements and analyzing the availability of infrastructure. Sometimes after working in one system for many years, they may choose another system while they expand. In such situations, some organizations prefer MS Exchange Server to Domino, mainly due to the ease of working in the Windows environment. However, some organizations choose to move to Novell GroupWise. Many small organizations, in order to avoid heavy investment in the infrastructure, choose the cloud environment of Office 365 over on-premises platforms like Domino. Before taking a decision on email migration, the organization should have a clear idea about their future requirements and the infrastructure they require for the migration.

Email Migration Tools for Domino

The developers of collaboration platforms have taken care to supply some simple inbuilt features, or downloadable tools to facilitate email migration or co-existence between different platforms. However, no such feature or tool is perfect for the migration. In order to attract more users from other platforms, collaboration software providers may include more features in future. As of now, users have to depend on professional third-party email migration tools for large-scale migrations. If the trial version of the migration software is available, users can try a trial migration before purchasing the tool. It will help to analyze the tool closely, and to understand its strengths and limitations. Also, it will provide a better understanding about the feasibility of the migration.