This morning, IBM announced availability of a new Domino Utility Server for LotusLive:

Based on the same model as the Domino Utility Server, this new license allows you, as LotusLive Notes subscribers, to use the included Notes client for access to Notes/Domino applications. That means that instead of paying per-user software subscription to continue to use Notes/Domino applications, regardless of client/browser access method, you can now switch to a server-only based licensing model. Instead of paying for everyone in an organization to continue to use those applications, you can pay for anyone in the organization to use those applications. You are able to more easily evaluate and value your Domino applications in a separate context from the commodity and cost-focused decisions around messaging, and yet retain all the benefit of existing and future investment in building applications on Domino.

Many organizations have wanted to separate the mail and applications discussion. This new approach recognizes that trend and addresses it for businesses moving to the cloud.
At Lotusphere 2011 we made a two part announcement. The first part was this new license type, now available as described in the announcement.

The second part was the ability to run Domino applications in the cloud, on the IBM Smart Business cloud (formerly development and test cloud) or Amazon EC2. This piece of the announcement covered the ability to deploy production Domino images in the cloud, using the same fixed, predictable pricing model as other cloud services. Now, these cloud services are a little different in that they offer much in the way of customization. The IBM cloud, for example, allows you to either use a pre-built Domino Linux server (8.5.1 now, 8.5.2 soon) or bring your own image. You can either pay-as-you-go for the Domino server license (Enterprise now, Utility soon)--in increments as small as hourly rates--or bring your own Domino license. You can either go public cloud over the Internet, or private connection. You can deploy on one of three different data centers -- US, Canada, Germany. Lots and lots of flexibility to Smart Business cloud. Amazon EC2 (no production images yet, so only the bring your own approach) also adds credit card billing but is only a public access model.

This announcement is really the beginning of a shift my team and I are undertaking to ensure the Domino applications side of our story garners full attention. In too many of the initial LotusLive Notes conversations with existing customers, organizations have been struggling to figure out how to approach their Domino apps going forward. Per-user pricing, CEO licenses, compliance situations, version compatibility, all of these became discussion points in the mix whilst a customer was simply looking to evaluate mail and collaboration in the cloud. Now, we can isolate the discussion around applications running on Domino in a way that allows a customer to get away from per-user analysis (does Bob access that app? What about Sue?) and simply provide apps in their environment. It may mean changing the way the organization is licensed for Domino today, but with credit for past investment. One time change, easy-peasy.

In short, many of my licensing-related actions in Notes/Domino land over the last 18 months have been designed to move away from selling the way IBM want towards the way customers and prospects want. We're going to keep going in that direction, with lots more to come this year.

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