HCL Showed Us The Licensing Money

Volt Licensing

Yesterday the HCL Masters were invited to a webinar where we were given a presentation about Domino Volt. This webinar also revealed very interesting stuff about the future of Domino Licensing

IBM had a very complex licensing model for Domino that was very hard to understand and get a handle on. This has also created a lot of work for HCL as they’ve had to sort through it to see how they could offer a simpler licensing model.

This uncertainty has made it very hard for business partners to give good renewal prices for customers. Because they simply don’t know that the pricing model will be like in the future.

During the Volt webinar yesterday, we were told that HCL is soon ready with a much simpler licensing model.

Now, even if this licensing model is supposed to be easier, we were several persons in the meeting that were still confused. But here’s how I understood the new licensing modell will work. And please correct me if I’m wrong, HCL, and I will update this.

As of today the following licensing models exist:

  • Domino Utility Server or Domino Utility Express (D55MVLL, E0227LL, D18JXLL and D1D1BLL)
  • Domino Messaging Server or Messaging Express (D0B7JLL, D53V5LL, D55J9LL, E07UNLL, E01B3LL and E020ILL)
  • Mail Dual Entitlement Only (D1HY2LL)

These licenses cannot be converted to the new licensing models, nor get licenses for Volt.

In addition we have the following licensing models today:

  • CEO Communications (D0C1YLL and E08BRLL)
  • Collaborations Express (D18JWLL, D52VQLL and E00ZZLL)
  • Domino Enterprise CAL (D0B7HLL, D1D17LL and E07UMLL)
  • Mail Dual Entitlement Plus Applications (D1HY5LL)
  • Mail Dual Entitlement Plus Applications and S1 (D1HY8LL)
  • Customers on Dual Entitlement for Mail & Social Collaboration (D1HYBLL)

All of these may be converted to one of the two new licensing models:

  • Complete Collaboration Bundle (D1VC7LL, D1VCLLL and E0NXRLL)
  • Bundle Mail and Social Collaboration (#TN100231M01)

And here is the good news: If you convert to any of these two, the licensing price for your customer will be the same as it was before!

Here is the neutral news: If you want to use Domino Volt, you have to convert to one of these two licensing models!

Here is the less good news: You will have to buy an extra license for Volt, for every single user in your organisation. This means that if you have 450 users, you have to pay for 450 Volt licenses, in addition to the usual Domino license fee.

And: As of today, Domino Volt does not support anonymous users. So if you want to let people outside of your organisation use your Volt applications, you have to register a completely new Domino user for them, and pay for it.

Anonymous users will be a part of the next release of Volt, but HCL still hasn’t presented plans on how the licensing for those users will be.

So, you can convert your customer to the new licensing models for the same price as before. But what will the pricing be if you want Domino Volt too?

Well, that’s very simple:

  • If you have 1-200 licenses, add 10% to the price of each user license per month
  • If you have more than 200 licenses, add 6% to the price of each user license per month

“But wait”, I hear you shout. “What if I have new customers not using Domino today?” HCL has a solution for that too:

If you purchase licenses for a new customer that will renew annually:

  • 1-200 users: $7.50 for each Domino user license pr month. If they want Volt, add $1 to each license pr month
  • 201+ users: $5.63 for each Domino user license per month. If they want Volt, add $0.75 to each license per month

If you purchase licenses for a new customers and they have perpetual licensing:

  • Complete Collaboration Bundle AU LIC + SW S&S: $315 for Domino and $33.58 for the Domino Volt Tiers
  • Complete Collaboration Bundle AU S&S: $82 for Domino and $6.72 for the Domino Volt Tiers

Phew! I think that’s an accurate summary on how this will work. What do you think?

32 thoughts on “HCL Showed Us The Licensing Money”

  1. Hummmm,

    Thank you for the summary. Have you seen anything on what happens to XWork Server? It used to sell for about 100$/month with unlimited users when bundle with your APP.


    – Pierre

    1. I don’t know. I thought HCL discontinuned XWork with Domino V10, but Richard Moy says he’s working towards HCL to continue supporting XWorks. He is building a case and wants to get in touch with as many customers and BPs as possible. I suggest you contact him. Good luck!

  2. So the utility server license will be converted to per use license too ? That’s bad news since customers that use utility usually buy it because it is cheaper than per user license.

    1. Most competitors have a pr user licensing system. I guess that’s why they do it. And also to simplify the licensing rules. Nobody understood IBM’s system. Not even IBM

    2. Nice write up. Thank you!
      What are differences between the both bundles?
      Any news to a community edition or free of charge for private use only or very small number of users?

      1. You’re welcome. And thanks. The difference between the two packages… you know… I simply don’t know. My guess it has to do with whether you want mail and/or Connections and Sametime, in addition to Domino. When I find out, I will blog about it.

          1. Hey, Erik. Thanks for your reply and that information. However, the link gives me a 404

  3. I disagree with “Most competitors have a per user licensing system. I guess that’s why they do it.”

    If you are providing non mail browser based applications not many providers charge per head – can you imagine if Easyjet etc. had to pay per head for customers to use their applications ? Or for their suppliers to use their collaborative tools.

    I do absolutely understand the need to pay for Domino but approaching things from the perspective of only mail users will push many people away from Domino.

    1. Lamentablemente el mismo IBM mato su propio producto donde tenia ganado el mercado ante Microsoft. Domino una plataforma muy noble, muy robusta y muy mal el esquema de licenciamiento, eso ha orillado a muchas empresas a irse con Microsoft por sus costos tan bajos, ojala HCL tenga mejores alternativas y precios más agresivos para competir fuerte con la competencia, de lo contrario los pocos que quedamos y que por muchos años hemos desarrollado con Domino estaremos pensando migrar a plataformas Open Source

  4. FYI: We’re not “approaching things from the perspective of only mail users”.
    They key points are:
    1) Domino Volt licensing is per user. So it’s a “flatrate” in terms of the number of Volt applications that you can built and run. If you prefer a “charge per app” model instead, you can get that with HCL LEAP.
    2) In order to run Domino Volt, you need a Domino license, that allows the use of applications AND is per user.
    That’s why you can’t run Domino Volt on top of a PVU based licensing model (e.g. Domino Utility or Utility Express) or on top of a mail-only licensing model (e.g. Domino Messaging CAL or Domino Messaging Express).

    1. What they said was: “because it adds value to your Domino infrastructure” and “the costs are very low in comparison to other low code apps in the market”

      1. let’s see how that works out in reality then. IBM had their way to calculate themselves rich and see how well that went. Thought HCL was going a different direction?

        1. Well, considering that most other businesses charge pr application, or they have a certain number of applications allowed with your license, I don’t think this is “calculating themselves rich.” You pay pr user pr month, and that’s it. Then you can set up an unlimited amount of apps.

  5. Microsoft licencing can be very complex for onprem but the O365 licence is £10 for an E1, $20 for an E3 and $35 for an E5. Most people simply need an E3. It took me half an hour to sift through chaff , including the official HCL sites, to finally find a Loti that talked some sense regarding possible pricing.

    So it is $8.50 for a user. Sounds reasonable but the devil is in the detail. A O365 licence requires no backend hardware or significant infrastructure. You buy the licence and off you go. The great driver for O365, apart from an email client that does email properly and only email is now Teams. Teams is what Notes needed to be, and at some point was, and in some forward looking companies still is.

    So what we need from HCL is a cloud based virtual (ASP) Domino scalable server solution (and anybody that adds “smart” anywhere in the name should be immediately sacked) with Sametime and 50 nifty PROPER starter business apps, such as HR, Stock control, Project management, etc, at a cost of around $15 or less per user.

    The biggest challenge Microsoft faces after this dreadful virus is Guest accounts or what used to be known as B2B B2C accounts. This is so that licenced user from org A can access Teams in org B as a proper federated user without incurring extra licensing cost. This is the panacea and they are pushing it out now.

    So imagine a world where a Notes user without the dreadful, awful, useless, pointless, etc, eclipse interface, and a shiny new intuitive interface can access a teams like databases to collaborate with internal and external groups. If any one even suggest QP then as above in reference to “smart”. Once you realize that the server and desktop executable is roughly the same code with a built in restriction to not allow peer to sharing you will understand the power we always had but was not allowed to use.

    Imagine being able to collaborate, locally, peer to peer with colleagues but also have the ability to replicate with the teams databases on the virtual ASP server to share with other including other external licenced federated Notes users seamlessly.

    There is an opportunity for this imagined scenario to be a viable alternative to MS if only the ex IBMers in HCL are brave, flexible and dynamic and make it happen.

    HCL will certainly get my $15 a month if I can do this and I will immediately start a new business to help businesses uncouple from Microsoft. It is not about pricing but the value of the price. My two cents.

    1. Thank you for a very valuable and insightful comment. It’s certainly food for thought. AFAIK, HCL has no intention of becoming cloud providers. They want to leave that up to the BP (my employer does this). I will point som key HCL people to your comments here, and maybe I can get them to reply to you.

    2. Hey @raydavies thx for comprehensive comment and suggestions. We will get back to the entire community asap on these matters !
      … U

    3. Ray,

      “So what we need from HCL is a cloud based virtual (ASP) Domino scalable server solution (and anybody that adds “smart” anywhere in the name should be immediately sacked) with Sametime and 50 nifty PROPER starter business apps, such as HR, Stock control, Project management, etc, at a cost of around $15 or less per user.”

      Phora Group is rolling out something similar to what you are looking for next quarter so stay tuned. Sametime Chat integration unfortunately won’t be in the 2021Q1 release. But that is something that we are planning and looking into. Please contact me on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin and let us know what types of apps you are looking for.

  6. Hi all,

    Not sure it’s the place to talk about it here, but for people which current licencing model does not allow to use Volt, there is an alternative no-code platform for Domino called PickaForm.
    It allows to build apps at lightspeed, 100% from the browser.

    On-premise licences are 1€/user/month for existing Domino customers, with an entry point at 50$/month. But you can first try it online, and send me a PM if you want a screenshare session to see it in action.


  7. I tried to order Domino Utility Express licensing for our Domino web app that we charge our clients to use. HCL no longer sells this license, they will renew but not sell new licenses. At least that’s what my HCL rep tells me.

      1. We need a licensing model that allows us to use domino to develop web apps where potentially thousands of users will access…like a SaaS offering based on domino. I am not sure of the new licensing models but wonder what the alternatives to the domino utility express that eould offer flexibility and cost effectiveness to develop and scale web apps using domino. I have read some on LEAP but will existing apps run on this?

        1. HCL is working on a licesing model for SAAS provides. It’s not yet finalized but HCL is working with partners that build applications with this model to get win-win value.

          I suggest you reach out to HCL and ask about CCS licensing for Domino.

          1. Hola, tengo 26 años dedicándome al desarrollo de software con Domino y lamentablemente he visto a lo largo de estos años como empresas de gran tamaño que tenían Domino simplemente lo han quitado, ojala HCL si pueda sacar una licencia flexible para sobre todo para seguir potenciando el desarrollo con domino y ganar nuevamente terreno a Microsoft.

  8. Nice writeup.

    Anyone have any ballpark pricing for the CCX users per month? I’m not able to find it anywhere.

    1. Part Number TR100405M01, ~US$1.56 per user per month (there will be a local currency price for you). Check with your business partner.

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