ZipMail for IBM Notes & Domino ROI

IBM Notes & Domino Cost Reduction
ROI and Cost-Avoidance Benefits of ZipMail for your IBM Notes & Domino Organization

This page is about the ROI and cost-avoidance Benefits of using our ZipMail compression suite within your IBM Notes & Domino organization.

You will learn why our ZipMail software product line is a the leading cost reduction solution worldwide for IBM Notes using organizations.



General overview identifying the main sources of costs in IBM Notes Domino infrastructures and pointing the risks attached to the volume explosion.

  1. Volumes = Costs
  2. Attached files = Up to 90% to 95% of the Notes volumes
  3. The power of numbers
  4. About the non-linearity of cost increase
  5. Bandwidth and storage are very cheap by these days! Yes, you are perfectly right…and dirty wrong!
  6. Keeping Notes volumes low is ALWAYS key
  7. What can be done – Think about solving the problem at the source!
  8. The ZipMail Compression Suite for IBM Notes and Domino
  9. About Hidden Costs
  10. IBM Notes customers love ZipMail
  11. Now, build your own case!


Sample of a ROI and Cost Avoidance case study.

  1. Zip Compression reduces the size of files by 2 to 10 times on average
  2. Copied and pasted image optimization gives still better results!
  3. Using our solutions in your IBM Notes organization
  4. ZipMail Comparative Return On Investment
  5. ZipMail and Cost-Avoidance
  6. ZipMail for IBM Notes Databases Return On Investment
  7. ZipMail for IBM Notes Databases Cost-Avoidance
  8. ZipMail and ZipMail for IBM Notes Databases Cumulative Effects
  9. Additional Benefits
  10. Where to go from here?



1. Volumes = Costs

In electronic messaging, the volumes of information to exchange are the main source of infrastructure costs.
If you have to face a 35% increase of your Notes related traffic, most of your IBM Notes budget line items will increase, on average, in the same proportion.

2. Attached Files = Up to 95% of the Notes Volumes

Most of the Notes data volume is made of attached files. The text of a message is, on average not even few Kbytes. Typical attached file sizes goes from few tens of Kilobytes to few tens of Megabytes. More and more messages contain attached files.

3. The Power of Numbers

In the IBM Notes messaging business, you have to face big numbers; big numbers of users, big numbers of messages, big numbers of attached files…
All these big numbers makes for lots of terabytes of storage and bandwidth at the end of the day.

Let’s take for instance, this user sending a 15 MB message full of attached MS-Word and Excel documents to 30 colleagues. If you think it is not a big deal, look again, he or she just instantly burned 450 MB of your Notes storage. Yes, almost half a gigabyte for a few attached files sent to 30 persons!

For clustered Notes organizations, these 450 MB, once replicated on one or more clustered servers can easily be 900, 1,350 or even more MB, not even talking about backups.

Any IBM Notes Administrators can realize, by now, whatever is the number of Notes users in his/her organization, from a few hundred to over one hundred thousand, the insane power of numbers.

4. About the Non-Linearity of Cost Increase

Depending on the budget line items, increase of costs may not be 100% linear.

For instance, you may have enough free space on your servers and other storage devices and enough available network bandwidth to absorb the increase of exchanged (and thus stored) data in Notes for a given period of time. Your existing infrastructure would, in this case, be able to absorb a significant part, or even your overall traffic increase for let’s say, the year to come, at no immediate additional cost.

In this case, the increase of your Notes traffic seems to have neither financial nor technical impact. (Of course this is not true because you consume your existing resources and you will have to extend them in the future).

On another hand, non-linearity may sometime cause serious financial and/or technical issues.
For instance, your servers are already nearly 100% full. The bay or the server hosting the hard drives is also full and you need a new one to host any further extension.
Your backup devices cannot handle more data without breaking your backup policy and you will also need to handle this issue.

Your international network will also need to be upgraded to handle this traffic increase because your users already complain about response times.
And here, you are really in bad shape since for 50% of your international network links, the only choice you have is to double your bandwidth, even if you need only 30% more today.

Your Notes budget can simply not afford such an expense and, on the top of it, you just remembered that your routers would also need to be upgraded in case you need to increase the bandwidth of your international network links.

5. Bandwidth and storage are very cheap by these days! Yes, you are perfectly right…and dirty wrong!

It is true that gigabytes of storage on personal computers as well as high speed internet access are low-cost items.

And this contributes to the volume (and cost) explosion in Notes organizations.

Dirty cheap gigabytes and network bandwidth on the field of operations, remote offices, departments, subsidiaries, local area networks, contribute to a more intensive use (if not to say a waste) of these apparently unlimited resources.

It is common to see two colleagues in a same office exchanging multi-megabyte Notes messages full of attached files for their daily business. It is super easy and apparently free. You can't prevent them to do so.

Your organization has thousands and thousands of such colleagues. Notes database sizes grow fast and Notes becomes progressively the preferred data storage location of the users.

The Notes databases host more and more critical data and the Notes infrastructure has to be upgraded in order to provide the adequate level of security and availability.

This generally means progressive consolidation of the Domino servers, more powerful and sophisticated servers supporting RAID devices, clustered servers, gigabytes of network bandwidth, powerful uninterruptible power supply, square meters, backup devices, air cooling, fire protection, highly qualified Notes Administrators and infrastructure managers, support contracts…).

And this is not cheap anymore!
The cost of one single managed gigabyte of Notes storage in such Notes organizations is commonly from several hundred to over a thousand of US Dollars per year.
Thousands of (not so) little data streams make big data rivers and create huge bandwidth, storage and other IT infrastructure needs in your Notes organization.

6. Keeping Notes Volumes Low is ALWAYS key

As you can see, even if your current IT infrastructure for Notes is comfortably dimensioned compared to your today's needs, your strong interest is to keep your Notes data volumes as low as possible.

Increase of volumes ALWAYS means:

7. What can be Done - Think About Solving the Problem at the Source!

There are so many different possible options to deal with the Notes volume issues: Permanent hardware upgrades of your Notes infrastructure like buying more bandwidth, installing more servers, installing bigger servers, installing more of these bigger servers, or exploring Domino server consolidation options, externalize the management of the Domino servers, imposing quotas and limitations to the Notes users, improving the archiving policies, teaching the users about volume issues etc…

All of these options are just perfectly fine… provided you previously managed to reduce the Notes volumes at the source. Else, it would just be like patching a wooden leg!

There is no fun in increasing your costly Notes RAID5 managed storage if the size of the Notes databases it will store could have been easily reduced by 30% to 50%, while not changing anything for the users.

Server consolidation is OK, but not if you consolidate Notes databases that could have had their size reduced by 30% to 50% and not if messages sent and received by the consolidated servers could have their attached file and copied and pasted image size cut by 30% to 50% or more.

Notes user quotas and limitations are perfectly fine, but not if the reduced amount of available user disk space is consumed by Notes attached files and copies and pasted images that could have had their size automatically and transparently reduced by 30% to 50% or more.

Solving a problem at the source is always the very best method!

An analogy with air pollution matches perfectly: It is better and cheaper to reduce emissions at the source than to deal with billions of tons of toxic gas once they have polluted the entire atmosphere.

We have no solutions for air pollution issues, but for Notes volume and cost reduction, we have exactly what you need. Please see the next section.

8. The ZipMail Compression Suite for IBM Notes and Domino

The ZipMail Compression Suite for IBM Notes is a software product line dedicated to Notes volume and cost reduction.

In short, the three main products of the ZipMail Compression Suite are:

ZipMail for Notes Clients (also available for iNotes)
ZipMail adds transparent Zip compression features to the IBM Notes client. Once ZipMail installed, the files attached by the users to their IBM Notes messages and documents get automatically and transparently compressed into Zip files, saving huge amounts of network bandwidth and disk space.
ZipMail also provides fully integrated automatic and transparent decompression of IBM Notes attached Zip files.
ZipMail is also available for Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Web Access and any web mail or web application accessed via Microsoft Internet Explorer.
With the ZipMail client version, you can handle the volume issue at the source (i.e. at the time the attachments are created).
That's the reason why, even if ZipMail is not the only option to handle the Notes volume explosion at your company, it should always be considered first.
Because solving a problem at the source is always more efficient and less expensive than trying to deal with it after it has already caused undesired and costly effects.

ZipMail for IBM Notes Databases - Server version
ZipMail /DB server is a Domino server software that compresses all of the attached files stored into your existing IBM Notes databases (email and non-email) into standard Zip files, freeing up huge amounts of disk space on your Domino servers
ZipMail /DB Server includes state-of-the-art bitmap optimization features that drastically reduce the storage consumed on your Domino servers by all the bitmaps, pictures and other screen shots copied & pasted by your users in their Notes documents.
The addition of Zip compression and bitmap optimization now integrated in ZipMail /DB Server enables you to obtain spectacular reductions in the size of your Notes databases.
Most of our customers experience, (with the current version of ZipMail /DB Server not including Bitmap Optimization), a typical 25% to 50% reduction of their Notes database sizes.
The compression engine of ZipMail /DB server is also available as an add-in to the Notes Clients (ZipMail /DB Client).
ZipMail /DB client adds a new Action/ZipMail Compression menu to the Notes Client, enabling users to compress the attached files located in their existing IBM Notes (email and non-email) databases, saving Gigabytes of disk space.

ZipMail Real-Time for IBM Notes
ZipMail Real-Time is Domino server software for real time compression of incoming and outgoing attached files.
ZipMail RT intercepts all incoming and outgoing emails, Zip their attachments and optionally optimize copy-pasted images.
Rules can be defined to have ZipMail processing only some emails based on the email properties like sender, recipients size of the attached files, destination domains etc...
ZipMail RT prevents your Domino servers to forward uncompressed attachments across your Notes organization. It is a kind of volume filter for Notes.

For more detailed information about the above products and about our other optimization products for IBM Notes, please see the product section of this web site

9. About Hidden Costs

ZipMail has no hidden costs. This is a key point.

ZipMail Client version (for "on-the-fly" compression of files attached by your Notes users) is 100% transparent, user education costs are zero.
ZipMail Client version is a single 500 Kb DLL file to deploy. It is so easy to deploy that unlimited deployment assistance and setup packages customization are included in your annual support contract!

The server version (ZipMail /DB, that compresses attachments in your existing databases) is also delivered with an automated setup program (you do not even have stop your server to install it).

Then it takes less than 10 minutes to get ZipMail /DB up and running, and automatically compressing your many thousands if not millions of existing attachments at zero administration costs.

Both versions are extremely easy to understand and to maintain.
Architecture of the products is ultra-clean and simple.
There is no need for highly skilled IT personal to manage ZipMail over time.

10. IBM Notes customers love ZipMail

Over 6 millions users of our ZipMail compression software for IBM Notes save each year over 600 terabytes of network bandwidth and disk space valued in excess of US$500 million per year.

Several of the biggest Notes using companies in the world like Ernst & Young, Bayer, JP Morgan Chase & Co, EDF, Alstom, TOTAL, Air France, Henkel, LVMH, Novartis, as well as hundreds of Notes using companies of all sizes and in all economic sectors, have already adopted ZipMail for their entire organization as a key solution to fight the volume explosion in their IBM Notes organizations.

Our ZipMail Compression Suite for IBM Notes & Domino helps them to keep their Notes volumes as low as physically possible and so to keep their IBM Notes operating budget under tight control.

To know more about some of our customers please see the Customers section of this web site.

11. Now, build own your case!

Now, you hopefully have a good idea of what our ZipMail solution is about.

In the second part of this document, you will find the elements to start building your own business case, ROI and cost-avoidance plan.


Part II

1. Zip Compression reduces the size of files by 2 to 10 times on average

Compression ratios obtained with the industry-standard Zip compression used by the ZipMail product line are impressive with most of the attached files exchanged between your IBM Notes users.
For instance, compressing all of the .XLS (Microsoft Excel) files on one of our computers shows a compression ratio of 4.9 (compressed file size is only 20.35% of initial file size), while compressing all of the .DOC (Microsoft Word) files shows a compression ratio of 7.1 (Compressed file size is only 13.54% of the initial file size).

In this quick test performed on some of the most commonly used file types, compressed file sizes were between 5 times to 7 times less than the initial file sizes.

Copied and pasted image optimization gives still better results!

The volume needed to store the images (screen shots, pictures) copied and pasted by your IBM Notes users into their messages and documents can be reduced to only 5% of the original object volume by ZipMap, ZipMail /DB and ZipMail /DB Server, and this while keeping the same rendering quality.

3. Using our solutions in your IBM Notes organization!

IBM Notes traffic reduction:
It is commonly accepted that email attached files and the copied and pasted images make most of the corporate IBM Notes traffic (between 85% and 95% of the IBM Notes traffic).

- the file compression and image optimization ratios mentioned before
- the variation of the file compression ratios depending on file types and file contents
- the IBM Notes internal optimization options (Huffman, LZ1, see our White Paper about ZipMail vs. LZ1 compression)
Our solutions providing a net 40% overall Notes traffic reduction has to be considered as a realistic hypothesis.

Let's take the following email traffic increase hypothesis for the 5 next years (T being your email traffic in year 1), with and without ZipMail:

Your IBM Notes email traffic without and with ZipMail on five years

Your Lotus Notes email traffic without and with ZipMail from 2003 to 2006

This graph visualizes the fantastic return on investment obtained with ZipMail. The more time passes and the more your email traffic increases, the more ZipMail is profitable!

In Year 5, ZipMail will absorb the equivalent of email traffic that is equal to 1.8 times your current Year 1 traffic, making ZipMail 4.5 times more productive in term of savings than in Year 1 (with 1.8 T saved in year 5 against 0.4 T Saved in Year 1), and this occurring at no additional cost!

It is important to notice that the more the time passes, the more the two curves (representing your traffic growth with and without ZipMail) diverge.

IBM Notes storage reduction:
We could draw exactly the same graphs with the disk space used to host your Notes databases as well as with the database backup storage.

This graph related to the disk space used on your Domino servers would most probably be still more impressive because an email sent to a single recipient is stored twice, one time at the sender and another time at the recipients. In this case the stored volume is two times the network traffic.
With an email sent to 10 recipients, the email is stored 11 times, one time at the sender and 10 times at the recipients.
If you have a Notes cluster and if you replicate the email databases on 2 clustered servers, the global amount of storage consumed by the email databases of the Notes users is 3 times the amount consumed on a single server.

Even with many emails deleted by the users, the disk space consumed by the mail databases of the users is, most often, more than the volume of the email traffic. Consequently the ZipMail savings on storage are still more impressive (in number of gigabytes) than the savings on the corresponding email traffic.

4. ZipMail Comparative Return On Investment

Contrary to any other investment in bandwidth or in mass storage, ZipMail volume and cost reduction effects are permanent, in percent of your traffic, for each year.
As we have seen before, the more your IBM Notes email traffic grows, the more your initial investment in ZipMail is profitable!

In our previous example, let's say that, in Year 1, you buy a bandwidth extension enabling you to absorb an additional 0.4 T (and a disk space extension in order to store the messages and documents corresponding to this traffic increase).

This extension will absorb your traffic increase in Year 2 but you will have to invest again in Year 3 and Year 4 to handle the corresponding traffic increases.

Without ZipMail, you will have to buy from Year 1 to Year 4, enough bandwidth to absorb a total excess of 3.5 T of traffic (0.5 T in Year 1 + 0.5 T in Year 2 + 1.0 T in Year 3 + 1.5 T in Year 4) and also the necessary disk space extensions enabling your to store messages and documents corresponding to this traffic increase).

With ZipMail, based on a conservative working hypothesis of a 40% net IBM Notes traffic reduction from Year 1, you have enough bandwidth until the last quarter of Year 3!
You will only have to buy, from Year 1 to Year 4, enough bandwidth to support a 1.70 T increase of traffic, (against a 3.5 T extension without ZipMail).

2 times less bandwidth to buy until Year 4, thanks to ZipMail!

And given the fact that an email sent to n recipients is stored n+1 times (as we saw in the previous section), the reduction of your note storage needs will be at least as impressive as the network bandwidth savings.

Your bandwidth extension needs with and without ZipMail
from year 2 to year 5 (Stacked)

Your bandwidth extension needs with and without ZipMail from 2003 to 2006 (Stacked)

And, here again, we could draw exactly the same graphs with the disk space used to host your Notes databases, the database backup storage and Internet gateways.

On the top of this, ZipMail is extremely fast to install and to deploy, providing you immediate benefits and cost savings. This is in sharp contrast to bandwidth and hardware extensions, as well as adding new Domino servers or new gateways to your Notes infrastructure, which require more complex and more costly operations in time and money.

5. ZipMail and Cost-Avoidance

As we saw above, ZipMail greatly reduces your IBM Notes traffic and your needs for Notes storage upgrades and network bandwidth extensions.

With ZipMail, you can also host more users on your existing Notes infrastructure.

This enables you to defer or cancel heavy investments in bandwidth, network devices, gateways, Domino servers, Domino server storage and backup storage, while increasing the overall performance of your Notes organization.

6. ZipMail for IBM Notes Databases Return On Investment

With ZipMail for IBM Notes Databases, you can compress all of the files stored into your existing databases, instantly saving gigabytes to terabytes of storage and tens of thousands to millions of US Dollars, depending on the size of your Notes organization.

Depending on the size of your organization, volume savings obtained with ZipMail can be really huge, up to several terabytes for the biggest IBM Notes organizations.

With ZipMail /DB, the Return on Investment is incredibly easy to obtain and to calculate.


In a given IBM Notes organization:
The average mail file size is 400 MB.
The attached files and the copied and pasted images make 2/3 of the volume of the mail files (266 MB).

Let’s take an extremely conservative hypothesis:
ZipMail /DB will reduce the volume of attached files and copied and pasted images sizes by 30% on average. Thus, you would save 80 MB per mail file (20% of the mail database size, an extremely conservative hypothesis).
Let’s say that the cost of a fully managed GB of storage per year is US$ 350.

10,000 users
For your 10,000 users, your storage savings would be 10,000 x 80 MB, equaling 0.8 Terabytes (300,000 MB)!
If your cost to manage 1 GB per year is, say US$ 350 per year, your savings:
800 GB x US$ 350 = US$ 280,000 per year.

50,000 users
If you have 50,000 users, your storage savings would be 50,000 x 80 MB, equaling 4 Terabytes (4,000,000 MB)!
If your cost to manage 1 GB per year is, say US$ 350 per year, your savings:
4,000 GB x US$ 350 = US$ 1,400,000 per year.

100,000 users
Based on the same numbers, for a 100,000 IBM Notes user organization, savings on storage would be US$ 2,800,000 per year.

These numbers do not include Domino cluster nodes (if you have a 2 clustered Domino servers, you double your savings), application databases (that can also be processed by ZipMail /DB) backups, network bandwidth savings.

7. ZipMail for IBM Notes Databases Cost-Avoidance

As we saw above, running ZipMail /DB against your Notes databases will free up hundreds to thousands of gigabytes of disk space on your IBM Domino servers, enabling you to defer disk space extensions for 12 to 24 months or even more!

At the same time, you will be able to host more users on your existing Domino servers, allowing you to defer purchasing new servers to handle the potential increases in number of Notes users.

Not only the ZipMail /DB ROI is extremely fast (few months on average), but you also benefit of the opportunity to defer heavy investments.

8. ZipMail and ZipMail for IBM Notes Databases Cumulative Effects

The ZipMail Compression Suite for IBM Notes including ZipMail and ZipMail /DB gives you an incredible opportunity to reduce your IBM Notes TCO in huge proportions and to defer numerous and heavy investments in storage, bandwidth and hardware extensions for your IBM Notes infrastructure.

This is done in a very short amount of time and with absolutely no hidden costs (fast and easy deployment, no need for user training).

9. Additional Benefits

These huge financial advantages provide a global increase in the overall performance of your Notes organization (because it is always faster to deal with smaller attached files and smaller databases, at all of the Notes processing steps).

Your users do not complain anymore about response times.

You reduce your delays in your business processes and the issues due to excess of volumes as well.

You improve the global reactivity of your organization.

10. Where to go from here?

See for yourself, try it for real! You can get fully functional evaluation versions of each our products on this web site.
Please contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to start a serious "Pilot Program" evaluation of our solutions at your organization.
Our consultants will provide you with anything you need, including free evaluation packages and assistance.


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