Microsoft 365 vs LotusLive – Part 1.

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With the launch of Rivit we decided to rethink the way we do business. We had a number of ideas about how the company had to be run:

  1. Stay small. Try to do the best job you can with the right number of people. A large number of employees doesn’t make a better company.
  2. Stay light. It is important to move with the market. Know what your clients want and try to get there before they want it.
  3. Avoid politics. There is no room for arrogance.
  4. Only hire good people. Ok.. This one is easier said than done.
  5. Make decisions. There is no room for bottlenecks in any company.  Everybody is a decision maker.  Waiting on people to make a decision only makes a company stagnant.  It’s better to make a decision than not to make a decision. You can always go back and correct the wrong decision. In most case the “wrong decision” just has to be tweaked.   At Rivit we put a time limit on responses. When we ask for input we ask with options and prioritize the options. If we don’t hear back from any one after that time period we move on. Make the decision and inform everyone what the decision is.
  6. Worry about your business and not your infrastructure. We needed to focus on our core business of providing products and services and not managing our own servers.

Okay.. I can go on and on about what we did. Probably worth doing a series of blogs on.

But back to the subject at hand. One of the key decisions we made was about the fact that we didn’t want to host our own email infrastructure anymore. We did it for 14 years as metaLogic.  But it now made better sense to look at Cloud based solutions.

Cloud based solutions provided a:

  1. Guaranteed SLA.  Let someone else worry about keeping the system running.  When it doesn’t run or there is a slowdown in service.  Complain!
  2. Low monthly cost.  But it goes beyond just a low cost per license.  You no longer have to buy or upgrade server hardware.
  3. Large product and feature set available
  4. Elastic growth – Well they aren’t exactly there but your certainly get a very large mailbox to start.
  5. Virus and Anti-spam protection
  6. High Availability – The service will go down but your SLA will guarantee when it comes up.  In the meantime, you can rest assured that your clients won’t be getting bounce backs on emails they just sent you.
  7. etc..

So we started a project to evaluate three products.   Google Apps, IBM LotusLive, and Microsoft Office 365.

We quickly removed Google Apps.  Personally, I like Google Mail as my home mail client but I can’t stand it in the context of business.  If I have to live in my email I am sure not going to live in Google mail.  The Google, “keep it simple”, philosophy just doesn’t work in the context of everyday business.

That provided us with a better shortlist to work with.

We are both a IBM and Microsoft partners.  We sell both solutions to clients.  We migrate clients to either solution.   I just want to put that out there that we support both.

Both IBM and Microsoft provide similar services offerings tailored to the SMB or Enterprise client.  We compared the following product list for the SMB community.

Microsoft Office365 IBM LotusLive
Document Management
Store & share Yes Yes
Version control Yes Yes
Notifications Yes Yes
Permissions Yes Yes
Online authoring Yes Yes
Full text search Yes Yes
Project Management
Task lists Yes Yes
Gantt Charts Yes Yes
Dependencies Yes No
To-do lists Yes Yes
Intranet/Extranet Publishing
Team sites Yes Yes
Personal sites Yes Yes
Public sites Yes No
Wikis Yes Yes
Hosted Email/Webmail Yes Yes
Outlook sync Yes Yes
IM Yes Yes
Web conferencing Yes Yes
Major Devices Supported
iPhone Yes Yes
BlackBerry Yes Yes
Android Yes Yes
Nokia Yes Yes
Windows Mobile Yes Yes
Protocols Supported
Activesync Yes Yes
SyncML Yes No
Features Supported
Mail Yes Yes
Contacts Yes Yes
Calendars Yes Yes
Tasks Yes No

If I missed anything in the table let me know.

We than started to use the each service to see which one we liked.

I’ll share that with you in Part 2.



  1. John Turnbow  October 3, 2011

    I think your chart is misleading.

    • Rob Salerno  October 3, 2011

      Hi John.. Don’t mean to mislead anyone… What’s misleading about it and we’ll try to correct.

  2. Alberto Robles  October 4, 2011

    Is this the original source?

    I think the list should include more accurate data, like mailbox size, when comparing similar services. It would be nice to include additional offerings like forms, third party integration (salesforce, skype, etc.), ability to grow with mixed infraestructures (access to corporate directory and email services from in-house developments), etc.

    • Rob Salerno  October 4, 2011

      Hi Alberto… Good point. It is an original source but it wasn’t intending to include the whole feature set. But I will update with links to appropriate sites as suggested by Jyotiprakash.

  3. Jyotiprakash mohanty  October 4, 2011

    I think LotusLive and LotusLive wiki websites are self sufficient for the features.

  4. Erik Vos  October 9, 2011

    A couple of list features you should add

    Document managment
    download history Office365(No)-LotusLive(yes)
    add comments Ofiice365(yes)-LotusLive(yes)
    share one file across several teamsites Office365(No)-LotusLive(yes)

    able to start webmeeting from Mac Office365(No)-LotusLive (Yes)
    able to participate in webmeeting from a Mac Office365(yes)-LotusLive (yes)

    able to create teamsite (non-administrator) Office365(No)-LotusLive(yes)


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