Google Apps Add Features, Works With Lotus Notes


apps_logo Google (s goog), in its continuing push to lure more enterprise customers to its Apps suite of products, rolled out three new Apps features today: it’s incorporated Tasks as a standard Gmail feature, added Labs to Calendar and enabled a seamless migration to Apps from Lotus Notes. The rollout comes on the heels of other strategic moves Google has made aimed at allaying businesses’ concerns about switching to Apps, including rolling Apps out of beta and, with an eye to Microsoft (s msft), the ability sync Apps with Microsoft Outlook.

This time Google has shifted its sights onto IBM (s ibm), with a tool lets Lotus Notes users instantly move email, calendar and contacts to Apps. Google Senior Product Manager Chris Vander Mey said most small businesses use Lotus Notes and the new tool was specifically developed to encourage them to use its suite of Apps products. Meanwhile, after taking it out of beta last week, Google is incorporating its Tasks feature into Gmail, the first Gmail Labs feature to become a standard offering. Tasks was a highly anticipated feature for Gmail users, but hasn’t changed much since it was first released in December, when it received lukewarm reviews. [digg=]

While Google’s Calendar just moved out of beta as well, Google is still keeping a beta edge to it by adding Labs to the application today. Under the Settings link in Calendar, people can access six new Labs features in the application, including one that lets people view different time zones when they schedule meetings and another that shows how many hours and minutes people have until their next appointment. Google is also rolling out an open API for the Calendar application that allows developers to create their own features.




We’re seriously evaluating Google Apps and migrating away from Lotus Domino/Notes. Cost isn’t just a consideration. The amount of support given toward managing db quotas, local archives, clients, etc. is ridiculous. Not to mention integration with the iPhone (not a web client like Lotus offers). With the enterprise option, you also get Postini’s services included. I love the idea of a true cross-platform collaboration solution in the cloud. Our end users are equally encouraged. We can’t run away from Notes fast enough.


unless google apps been hiding something really good; the online microsoft pack, which is coming, is going to be a lot better. Google started a war with MS and MS seems prepared not sure about google.


google has lot to loose in this war than microsoft…google can only win DOC’s war if its OS is really complelling…I wonder why apple is not launching its iphone based app store into google chrome OS kind of web/cloud OS netbook platform…ofcourse google apps since being web based that could be default app

Don Neely, IBM

Tarun: Specific to “just email” a couple of analyst firms have pegged the cost breakeven point for hosted vs on-premise between 10,000 to 15,000 users. However, the vast majority of enterprises do not just want email, but also enterprise-capable calendaring, collaborative applications, and/or the ability to rapidly assemble collaborative applications, specific to their environment. So the question for an IT manager o ponder is whether it makes sense to deploy and maintain separate infrastructures – one for email and then another for the rest of an enterprises collaborative needs.

Tarun Chachra

We are evaluating Google Apps premier as we speak for a small corporate environment. This is to replace Exchange 2007 and the costs associated with it. The experience has been great thus far. The only thing holding us back from a full fledged migration is the BES connector for blackberries promised by Google. July was the promised month so I have my fingers crossed.


wow. you just summed up two months of my IT frustration beautifully!
i check literally everyday if it was released. any clue whats holding them back?

Matthew Glotzbach

You can contact me directly if you want to be a tester of the BES connector capabilities. It is in final production readiness shakedown, and will be available soon.

@Don – The Apps platform that everyone is speaking about includes enterprise-class Calendaring, Contacts, IM, Video Conferencing, VOIP, Video Sharing (private-label YouTube with security), a full office productivity suite in Google Docs, and a collaborative team site building platform in Google Sites. So its clearly not “just email”. :-)

Tarun Chachra

@seank – it would seem its almost out according to Mr. Matthey Glotzbach, and he should know…he is in charge of the operation. :-) – Maybe we can both beta test for Google and it will eventually release.

Tarun Chachra

@Matthew, how does one contact you to get into the beta test. I would love to try it out…it is the only road block I have before I cut over.

Om Malik

Not here as well. I am wondering how many people are active Lotus Notes users right now and how many would want to switch. It is something I have no idea about. I used Lotus Notes so long ago that I can’t even remember what it looks like. I also remember this thing called GroupWise. Man Outlook killed them all – or so it seems.

OK i am feeling too nostalgic today.

Don Neely, IBM

Om, We can schedule an update on Lotus Notes and the other members of the IBM collaboration portfolio, that demonstrate substantial improvements in user interface and functionality since your last use of Notes. The population of Notes customers continues to grow with offerings that span on-premise, appliance, and hosted environments, and that work atop a range of personal systems – Mac, Linux, Windows, Blackberry, iPhone, etc.

Tarun Chachra

Lotus Notes, Exchange/Outlook, and others are all great contenders…but at a premium. Who can compete with the $50/year and 25gb storage that Google Apps Premier offers? I dont think anyone comes close.

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