That pretty much sums up my feelings toward all of the "Goodbye Lotus Notes" postings I've done lately. That "someone" is usually IBM. Now, since IBM probably had no idea that the "Anonymous Cleveland Company" and this "Anonymous Youngstown Company" even existed, let alone used one of their products, the tragedy is happening to me. You may now enjoy the comedic aspects of this post.
Let's travel back in time when I was contacted by a company in Youngstown, with roughly 125 employees, to assist with some light Domino Administration work. They had a really difficult time finding someone, any one, in Youngstown to help them with their IBM Lotus messaging and application environment. Fixed their Notes/Domino R6 environment running on Windows. They had me back, several times, to talk about upgrades and LotusLive. There were some technical issues with moving to LotusLive and some budget issues to upgrade their environment. So, they decided to stay on Domino 6 until the IBM cloud offering matured. But that didn't happen as fast they hoped and the Google alternative became much more appealing. Now, I will be migrating them to the Google cloud.
As for the applications? Those are either being jettisoned or replaced by another solution. It will depend upon the application.
You lose the IBM messaging platform, you lose the the entire IBM stack.
That "LotusLive" name? It will probably be rebranded soon. Quite possibly in the next few weeks. I'm sure there will some sort of "Smarter" name.
But what isn't going away will be the need for e-mail. Sure, there have been some people and organizations that have taken the step of eliminating it, however secure messaging within and outside of an organization will never go away. It may take different forms, but there will remain a persistent business need for creation, transmission, storage, recovery and security of one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-many rich text communications and on-board file cargo. None of the social media solutions provides all of this internally and externally to an organization in the way provided by a simple POP3-SMTP infrastructure.
Comment posted by Steve Medure12/06/2011 09:19:37 AM
Gregg, why is the retort to these reports often...
They got rid of email, but the applications won't be migrated for x number of years...that's gonna cost them more than Microsoft or Google told them about...score for Lotus, right? Notes is more than just email right?
That doesn't change the fact that as a company, a department, they decided to leave the platform. Sure, many of these migrations site costs as the deciding factor, but is it? Wouldn't they be concerned about the cost of migrating the apps then? I don't think the entire story is always told from the customers view either.
I think a lot of it has to do with what the "main stream" is doing. For example, in my environment we use Cisco Unity with the Domino Unified Communications client for voicemail. We've recently found out that Cisco (not a small company) has decided to DROP any and ALL support for Domino in their next release of Unity. They have decided not to support Lotus Domino at all...WTF? What sort of message does that send. Domino is dying...why else would Cisco drop them, that's what I heard from my CIO.
Sorry if this comment seems negative in nature, I certainly don't want to be. I just get tired of hearing the same response to these migrations from the Lotus community. "Yeah, but notes is more than just email"...so what, those companies still switched. It still adds fuel to the fire for those looking to see "what others are doing". It still adds to the "customer success stories" for Microsoft and Google. What kind of a message does that send to IBM, when some of these companies are willing to ditch Lotus regardless of the cost? You can argue that Microsoft or Google are hiding these "extra" costs, but if as a department you don't already know all of the cost involved...then something is extremely wrong anyway.
What are we doing as Admins to let this happen, is it completely our fault or is the product just dying? What other options are there when one vendor stops supporting the other? What is IBM doing to convince these companies, vendors, partners etc to stick with the Notes platform...anything?
Comment posted by Richard Moy12/06/2011 10:52:37 AM
The sad part is that these small and small mid-size companies make up the bulk of all companies in the world. IBM just does not seem to pay attention to this market. I will probably get an email from Ed.
It is not about how great the technology but product awareness and marketing to the masses. As I said over and over again the small masses drive the market. Doesn't IBM learn from what happened in Egypt and other social marketing where the small individual as a collective is more powerful than a large entity. The image that small individual companies preceives have huge impact on the enterprises. That is what Microsoft and Google have done. They started with the small individuals and small companies. Things are changing faster and faster. Apple with the iPad has turned Microsoft Windows inside out within a year. Google with its solutions has turned the market inside out and IBM is still trying to catch up as thing changes. Yes their technology is not can secure as IBMs and is not enterprise level, but that does not stop the bleeding.
Comment posted by Jim Soper12/06/2011 11:15:02 AM
It's not the admin's fault, especially in a Corporate Environment, because at the end of the day the final decision is beyond your pay level. We've had 3 large companies in our area switch to Exchange this year from Domino. I've talked to each of the decision makers as to why they switched, and they all said it was because of money, they knew they'd have to pay more money and were willing too. But the reason they switched was easy user adoption and the fact that 99% of new students coming out of University into the job market are familiar with Outlook and pretty much none have even heard of Lotus Notes before!
Comment posted by JIm Soper12/06/2011 11:17:00 AM
Sorry, edit to my comments, the reason they switched "wasn't" because of money!
Comment posted by Henning Heinz12/06/2011 12:16:48 PM
It is not IBM that has to learn something. It is you (or me). IBM does not need Notes and Domino to survive. If you do then think about it.
IBM has an offer. They make big enterprise software for big companies. The fact that Domino also works for small companies is being worked on (sorry for being sarcastic here). If you work in a company where you don't know the name of the colleagues sitting next door then IBM might still have a fantastic software stack for you.
And by the way. IMHO, if a product works really nice it does not matter if 99% of new students coming out of University don't know it. If it provides enough business value it would not matter that Google Apps costs $50/year.
Comment posted by Richard Moy12/06/2011 01:01:42 PM
You or I can not carry the weight of marketing and promoting a product. It is the responsibility of IBM to sell the story to the overall market. The problem is that they are selling the Connections story of which most companies can not afford. Regardless of the social business message of email being old, email still is and will always be the most important electronic communication media beside the telephone.
Comment posted by Henning Heinz12/06/2011 02:29:06 PM
The (from IBM's point of view) typical IBM customer for sure can afford Connections. And if they sell it to one 100.000 people shop they would need 1.000+ Domino SMB customers to make the same amount of money.
To be honest there aren't many 100.000 people shops you could sell Domino nowadays. They already run it or ran away from it some time ago. Lotusphere is coming soon. We will see if it offers more than a few product renames and lots of Connections stuff.
Comment posted by Gregg Eldred12/06/2011 02:40:24 PM
@Richard: While it may be true that the bulk of the companies are SMB, Henning is correct - IBM makes software for big organizations. The sooner you accept that there will never be a play for SMB (as we define it, not IBM), the sooner you can move on. They don't even market to the new IT consumer (the people that supposedly drive adoption of new tools in business IT) to get awareness, that isn't their target. Maybe the XWorks server is to feed the ISV a bone, so that there will still be a place for the ISV's XPages developers, but if you lost the e-mail war, most companies probably won't be looking for XPages developers.
Comment posted by Steve Medure12/06/2011 03:51:12 PM
The pain is felt even more so in the Mid size enterprise. If you are outside of their 1000 user cut off for most of the small business offerings you have to play and pay in the large enterprise price point. That's what everyone seems to forget, IBM has set the prices as a variable based on your market size, it is a tiered structure. Your rep is assigned to you by your market size, not by location.
Since the price point for domino server can be for example $10 to $25 per PVU depending on your organization size, the cost is always subjective as to what that company feels is too much. If you have a large number of users but operate and have the operating budget of a small business running a lean IT group, the costs can seem astronomical.
If you are a large, very large, company that falls into the top tier pricing with IBM and you get your domino server licenses per PVU at a much lower cost because the assumption is you are buying more. Over the years I have found that as you by more and you get discounted anywhere from 3-5% moving from tier to tier. This is what gives the projection that it is so expensive. The cost of the product isn't fixed, plus IBM adds in a modest 2-3% increase each year. Well at least I was told it was modest. Cost is obviously not the problem if the company is willing to pay more for a completely different solution.
The problem is the management of the solution from IBM's side of the fence. Take my example about Cisco Unity dropping support for domino, what did IBM do to try and improve their relationship with that vendor? How could they have pushed Cisco to build an solution for the Notes clients of the world. There are many cases of this where vendor integration is just not existent because "you run notes". Why isn't IBM building better partnerships with the other technology vendors out there to create a more open standard for integration? Why should customers, like myself, be limited in our solutions? Why is domino the crux of the technology world when other vendors choose what solutions their products will integrate with? I think if some of these places that have migrated gave honest answers as to why they moved off of notes, vendor integration would be at the top of the list.
Comment posted by Richard Moy12/07/2011 07:28:47 PM
XPages will eventually be a tool for IBM Connections. This is what I sense. And if you are working with an enterprise company whether you are a contractor or employee you will be okay. But I do not see this as a direction for us since we work with SMBs. I amhoping that XWork will be the solution for SMBs since email is already a lost cause that IBM created. So in a way IBM finally is getting what they wanted in replacing Notes and Domino with Websphere ( Workplace or whatever ), but whether companies completely buy the social message is yet to be seen. As most partners, we play the SMB space so I guess our days are numbered at least with the IBM stack.
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