Where does Mail.Next come from

Mat Newman  November 17 2014 09:00:00
In the past few weeks I've been asked a lot of questions as we approach the signature event launch of IBM Mail Next this week on November 18th.

If you haven't registered yet for the event on the 18th, do yourself a favour, the link is HERE (

The key to understanding IBM Mail Next is very simple; Mail.Next is NOT a new mail client, Mail.Next is a new way of working!

So where does IBM Mail Next come from?

I've put together the following infographic that I've been using in discussions with customers to enable them to understand the history behind this vision.

Figure 1: IBM Messaging & Collaboration Evolution

The evolution of IBM Mail.Next

The timeline at the bottom of the graphic is explained here:
Note:   Timeline:
1 1989

Lotus Development Corporation release the first version of the Lotus Notes Client and the Lotus Notes Server on the 27th of November
2 1996

To recognise the expanding capabilities of the Lotus Notes Server with it's ability to host applications accessed by a growing number of clients and protocols, Lotus rename the server component "Lotus Domino".
3 1998

The convergence between Messaging, Chat and Presence begins with the introduction of Lotus Sametime
4 2002

The first version of Notes/Domino and Sametime to officially carry the IBM brand "IBM Lotus Notes", "IBM Lotus Domino" and "IBM Lotus Sametime"
5 2003

Introduction of the Domino based iNotes browser client, a new way to access Domino hosted mail through a Browser
6 2007

IBM launches Lotus Connections, an enterprise social platform that would begin to dramatically transform interaction and communication within the enterprise.
7 2008

The launch of IBM's hosted cloud service for Messaging and Collaboration - LotusLive
8 2009

IBM acquires 'Outblaze' a web based SAAS offering providing mail, calendar and contacts
9 2010

Outblaze is incorporated into LotusLive and offered as "LotusLive iNotes" as an entry level cloud based messaging system which should not to be confused with Domino based iNotes, which on IBM's cloud is called "Notes Web Access"
10 2011

IBM announces the re-branding of LotusLive to IBM Smartcloud
11 2011

Rebranding of Lotus Connections to IBM Connections
12 2013

IBM begins removing individual 'brand' names from all of it's offerings, releasing IBM Notes, IBM iNotes and IBM Domino, version 9: "Social Edition" signifying the closer integration of IBM's Messaging & Collaboration and Social Business platforms.
13 2014

IBM's entry level SAAS mail offering (originally Outblaze) is renamed under the IBM Connections Cloud portfolio
14 2014

IBM Smartcloud rebranded as IBM Connections Cloud
15 2015

The convergence of Messaging & Collaboration and Enterprise Social platforms, backed by powerful Analytics capabilities, and tightly integrated Search, IBM's Mail.Next interface is released for General Availability.

What this history demonstrates is an evolution of capabilities, beginning with the software that revolutionised the messaging and collaboration space in Notes/Domino, the inclusion of realtime voice/video/meeting capabilities with Sametime, the extension of those features to the browser with (Domino based) iNotes, the introduction of a new more productive method of sharing information through an enterprise social platform in Connections, the importance of locating and analysing all of that collective intelligence and finally, bringing all of those capabilities together with a #NewWayToWork which is the vision for IBM Mail.Next.

It's an exciting time within IBM as we realise and implement one of our core values: Innovation that matters - for our company and for the world.

And of course, these capabilities are all built on your existing foundation of IBM's legendary Notes/Domino portfolio, which has meant an upgrade and an enhancement of capabilities, and no data migration, not once, not in 25 years! Investment protection is one of the hallmarks of the platform.

I look forward to discussing these developments with you as they unfold.

1Soumitra Limaye  11/18/2014 22:12:25  
Where does Mail.Next come from

excellent timeline snapshot Mat! Enjoyed going through the evolution

2Nikolay Vlasov  11/20/2014 0:07:09  
Where does Mail.Next come from

I recall the project with name "IBM Project Volcan" in 2012, which later transformed into a set of pieces: Activity Streams in Connections, Embedded Experience in both Notes and Connections as well as "Share" button, which you to choose form single dialog where your update should go to: email, blog or status update. The whole story was about working with all incoming data including email. Does it have any relation to MailNext/ IBM Verse ?

3Mat Newman

11/22/2014 14:19:55  Where does Mail.Next come from

@1, Soumitra: Thanks.

@2, Nikolay: Vulcan was the vision to "Vulcanise" (ie: join together) IBM software applications to enable them to more easily interact with one another under a consistent user interface (IBM's OneUI). The ability in Notes 9 to easily access Files and Activities from Connections, and Sametime Contacts, IM and Meetings from within Notes is an example of this. #IBMVerse goes one step further to make that interaction almost seamless, so that the user doesn't even have to think about the underlying technology or which application they are using. HTH

Mat Newman IBM Champion

4Bryan Schmiedeler  11/26/2014 0:04:58  
Where does Mail.Next come from


This is very interesting, and I think, telling.

IBM needs to STOP rebranding every product they have. Rebranding a product does not mean that automagically it has changed its functionality. MOST of what you lay out above is rebranding for rebranding sake, IMHO. I can't recall the exact case, but at times IBM has changed product name A to name B and then back to a version of A. What a waste of resources that only serves to dilute their marketing message and confuse customers.

IBM needs to STOP "reinventing" email or the way I work or how we communicate, how I live my left, etc. I am down in the trenches every day trying to make Lotus Notes work for users. My users and myself would appreciate less reinventing and rebranding and more bug fixing, UI fixes and improvements, stability improvements, etc etc etc.

Mat Newman

THE Lotus Notes Guy. Productivity Guru. Social Evangelist. IBM Champion for IBM Collaboration Solutions, 2011/2012/2013. IBMer. Views are my own.

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Mat Newman

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