Quest Software and Proposion just signed an agreement for Quest to acquire Proposion (details will not be made public). The Proposion products augment Quest's Lotus Notes to Exchange migration tools with SharePoint migration and integration capabilities, making the entire Quest solution set the most complete package in the Notes to Exchange/SharePoint/.NET migration and integration market today. While there are few vendors in this domain, it is a market that is highly competitive and instrumental in Microsoft's compete strategy with IBM Lotus - or what Microsoft calls the "Notes Transition" space.
Immediate plans from Quest include streamlining the suite of Proposion tools into bundles that will offer solution sets for migrating and integrating Notes and SharePoint. Proposion recently updated its Portal Migrator 4.0, which supports the migration of content from IBM Lotus Notes, IBM Lotus QuickPlace, and IBM Lotus Domino.doc into SharePoint, all via server-based utilities that can be accessed by users anywhere on the network. The tools also provide utilities to convert Notes documents into InfoPath forms on-the-fly during migration and will convert/preserve document links to SharePoint and Notes regardless of where the linked-to document resides. The Proposion tools are built on top of the core Proposion N2N Notes to .NET data connectors that support the migration and coexistence of Notes and SharePoint applications.
Quest's acquisition of the Proposion solutions complements other Quest management and support tools, and presents a significant challenge to other vendors in this space, including Microsoft, CASAHL Technology, and BinaryTree. Of course, Microsoft ultimately still benefits, despite offering its own (limited) integration tools, since the broader context is migrating enterprises from IBM Lotus products to the Microsoft product suite.
Still, migrating Notes applications to SharePoint (or other platforms) is very challenging, and a hurdle Microsoft has not completely overcome. The consolidation of Quest and Proposion illustrates that the solution is not a found in a single tool but through a combination of data and application logic utilities that support the intermediate steps required to be successful.
We can expect that IBM will respond, as it is otherwise faced with the prospect of watching intensifying competition for the opportunity to migrate organizations from IBM Lotus products to the Microsoft suite. The Quest/Proposion deal was relatively small in terms of the deal size, but it will likely have important consequences for the broader superplatform competitive landscape in collaboration and content management.