Microsoft Outlook has become the prevalent e-mail solution for companies, small businesses, and home offices. But, should you give Lotus Notes some consideration? Perhaps, if you have a technical support person by your side.
Lotus Notes is the software installed on your computer, like Outlook, and will require a Domino server (not Microsoft Exchange), to administer the email accounts. We will discuss the Lotus Notes pros and cons below since most of you are less familiar with this e-mail software than Outlook.
Here are the positives with Lotus Notes:
- Includes diary, calendar, email, to-do list (like Outlook)
- Ability to create databases for workflow management (like public folders in Outlook)
- Mobile users may access e-mails remotely via VPN or webmail (like Windows remote access)
- It’s very secure (a plus over the more vulnerable Microsoft environment)
- Domino tech support is reliable
Now, for the negatives of Lotus Notes:
- Notes is a clunky looking interface similar to Outlook 97
- Navigation is awkward (think Netscape browser from the 90’s)
- Any type of workgroup creation, e-mail addition, or changes requires a technical administrative support person. This is the biggest negative. Out of the box, Lotus needs a lot of manipulation.
- Domino and Lotus Notes must be constantly updated and backed up for optimal processing (not as crucial with Outlook and Exchange Server).
Overall, we like Outlook over Lotus Notes. Outlook allows for an intuitive mind to get by using Outlook and with the proper permissions, allows for creating public folders, share e-mails and contacts, and for more overall flexibility. Lotus Notes typically needs to be administered through the Notes server for many options. Also, Lotus, due to its limited user base and thus slow software updates, is prone to running into database corruptions.
2 thoughts on “Microsoft Outlook vs. Lotus Notes”
There’s a new application, called StratoVista, that was just release (March 2009) that may provide a viable third option for some people looking for an alternative to Outlook or Lotus Notes – like Open Office users who don’t want or need any Microsoft Office products.
It has all of the email, calendar, notes document management features of Outlook and Lotus Notes but it’s unique in that it uses Web services in lieu of a captive server like Exchange Server or Domino.
In the case of the first release, StratoVista – Google Edition v1.0, it uses (as the name implies) Google’s Free Web Services as the ‘server’.
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