Microsoft Exchange provides businesses with email, calendar, and contacts on the PC, phone & web, so employees can stay connected and in sync. On the other hand IBM Lotus Notes keeps you working in context, so you don’t have to move across disjointed applications and web pages. Lotus Notes provides integrated collaboration functionality, including email, calendar, contacts management, to do tracking, instant messaging, an office productivity suite (IBM Lotus Symphony) and access to other Lotus Domino applications and databases.
Comparing the feature sets of both the products, it appears that Microsoft has a clear advantage over IBM. This is because all the modules necessary for creating a complete unified messaging solution are incorporated into the exchange 2010 but on the other hand, one needs to install a wide variety of IBM products in order to attain the same solution in IBM lotus notes.
Exchange now supports SATA hard drives and it also provides the ability to integrate voicemail into Outlook Web Access. On the other hand lotus notes has also provided some enhancements but they have been present in exchange for quite some time now like the auto email address complete functionality and the ability to send and receive vCards. It has also provided one new unique feature which is the ability to mash up your calendar; you can add activities, private or public Google calendars or other Notes calendars to yours. Although lotus has provided some new features too but more or less the look and feel hasn’t changed much in the newer client software versions of lotus as compared to exchange. So exchange has a clear cut advantage.
Talking about performance, surprisingly there is almost an estimated improvement of about 70% in exchange 2010 as compared to exchange 2007. The client fires up quickly and mail routing, internally, is fast. On the other hand such a performance improvement was not seen on lotus notes. Reviewing the pricing side of both the products, it seems that there isn’t much difference between the overall prices comparing them on the basis of standard and enterprise editions.
Since majority of the systems are using windows based operating systems, exchange seems to be the best option in this regard because no known compatibility issues arise in them since developers at Microsoft have themselves tested the product extensively on windows based systems. Lastly reviewing the installation of both the products and the amount of complexity present in them, it appears that Microsoft’s exchange wins again although lotus’s installation was faster and required lesser system reboots then the installation of exchange server but it was not glitch free. A lot of technical complexity was present which would have been difficult to resolve for a person who was installing it for the first time or who wasn’t familiar with the process. So all in all, at the end it seems like Exchange has advantages over lotus as a whole.