Tag Archive for 'Lotus Notes'

Ozzie has seen the future

Some excerpts from Ray Ozzies post „Dawn of a new day:

Complexity kills. Complexity sucks the life out of users, developers and IT. Complexity makes products difficult to plan, build, test and use. Complexity introduces security challenges. Complexity causes administrator frustration.

And as time goes on and as software products mature – even with the best of intent – complexity is inescapable.

Indeed, many have pointed out that there’s a flip side to complexity: in our industry, complexity of a successful product also tends to provide some assurance of its longevity. Complex interdependencies and any product’s inherent ‘quirks’ will virtually guarantee that broadly adopted systems won’t simply vanish overnight. And so long as a system is well-supported and continues to provide unique and material value to a customer, even many of the most complex and broadly maligned assets will hold their ground. And why not? They’re valuable. They work.

But so long as customer or competitive requirements drive teams to build layers of new function on top of a complex core, ultimately a limit will be reached. Fragility can grow to constrain agility. Some deep architectural strengths can become irrelevant – or worse, can become hindrances.

Remembers me not only of Microsoft products but of an collaborative solution he invented.

Furtheron about the shift toward the continuous services and connected devices model:

As we’ve begun to embrace today’s incredibly powerful app-capable phones and pads into our daily lives, and as we’ve embraced myriad innovative services & websites, the early adopters among us have decidedly begun to move away from mentally associating our computing activities with the hardware/software artifacts of our past such as PC’s, CD-installed programs, desktops, folders & files.

Instead, to cope with the inherent complexity of a world of devices, a world of websites, and a world of apps & personal data that is spread across myriad devices & websites, a simple conceptual model is taking shape that brings it all together. We’re moving toward a world of 1) cloud-based continuous services that connect us all and do our bidding, and 2) appliance-like connected devices enabling us to interact with those cloud-based services.

H sees a future of amazing, pervasive cloud-centric experiences delivered through a world of innovative devices that surround us:

Today’s PC’s, phones & pads are just the very beginning; we’ll see decades to come of incredible innovation from which will emerge all sorts of ‘connected companions’ that we’ll wear, we’ll carry, we’ll use on our desks & walls and the environment all around us. Service-connected devices going far beyond just the ‘screen, keyboard and mouse’: humanly-natural ‘conscious’ devices that’ll see, recognize, hear & listen to you and what’s around you, that’ll feel your touch and gestures and movement, that’ll detect your proximity to others; that’ll sense your location, direction, altitude, temperature, heartbeat & health.

I agree to his predictions for the future. Maybe its not the future of Microsoft he has seen. And even not Googles future. But it will happen.

And finally…

Lotus Notes on iMac

…even Lotus Notes 8.5 beta runs on my iMac – fast and without any problems. Alexander is a happy camper now.

What would you do, if you were in charge of Lotus?

Today I had the time to read all the comments to last weeks posts about Lotus Notes‘ core strengths and weaknesses. Finally Volker asked: What would you do, if you were in charge of Lotus?. And Alan Lepofsky, now Director of Marketing at Socialtext, hits the mark:

[…] DRAMATICALLY simplify the product portfolio down to only 3 offerings: Notes/Domino, Sametime, and Connections.

Gone as standalone products would be Quickr, Doc, Workflow, Portal, Forms, Portal, Mash-ups, Traveler, Symphony, and anything else I’ve left off. Not gone as features, just gone as stand alone purchasable units which require marketing, confuse customers and press, etc. Take their code, and weave it appropriately into the 3 products above.

For example, Quickr does two things, file/attachment sharing and team sharing sites. The main confusion over Quickr is Domino or J2EE? Fine, remove any talk about that, by taking the Domino Quickr code and moving it into… Domino. Take the J2EE Quickr code, and make it part of Connections. Don’t talk about parity across the platforms, talk about how Domino now has file sharing and team spaces, and how Connections now has file sharing and team spaces. That is not overlapping product functionality, as both products need those features. […]

-> read on

I know IBM is listening. I hope they will understand.

Some thoughts on Google Apps

So this used to happen a few years ago from time to time: a customer meeting with me and some other vendors. Somehow the discussion starts about Lotus Notes vs. Microsoft Exchange. The good and the evil. Platform dependency vs. freedom of choice. Mail-only client vs. platform for applications. Performance, backup, pricing, yada yada yada. But these kind of discussion seemed to stop a few years ago.

Today I had a kind of déjà vu experience. Me and my beloved competitor discussing about the question „why not migrating all that Notes stuff to Exchange?“. The customer is a small 50 user services company and uses Notes mainly for mail and calendaring. They want to have some Quickr style web based teamrooms, so it was obvious they raised that question. But this time it ended up at an interesting point: Why not use Google Apps instead of Notes or Exchange?

I know a few companies actually evaluating Google Apps. Most comments I get are like „looks very promising“. And I can understand it. As expected we covered the usual questions, and we received some unusual answers from the boss:

Some random vendor: Do you really trust Google when they hold all you e-mail data?
Boss: I trust you too. Why not trust Google?

V: But you know they can read everything?
B: My admin probably can read everything, too.

V: But your admin is your employee since years, you know him personally and you trust him!
B: Do I?

V: So what about reliability and availability? Look at the news about Googles outage a few weeks ago!
B: So you want to tell me that my server is more available in average?

V: No, I know, we had that disk crash last week, yes, but if you would have ordered our clustering offer, that crash would not have been any problem for you.
B: So what was exactly the price for „clustering“ our servers, I mean: hardware, software and your service?
V: Grmpf…

Our talk was not exactly like this, I took this to extremes. And yes, I know how a professional sales guy should act in that situation – this was fortunately a discussion between business men and friends.

But I have that feeling we are much closer at the point where messaging and collaboration components become a commodity than large software vendors are able and willing to admit. I read the discussion about Google Apps and SaaS at Ed Brills blog and we put some irony on it when the Domino servers were down in Westford.

My point is: I really don’t know anymore if I should advise my customers – especially in the SOHO and SMB market – to build and maintain their own operating and data center. Why should a small company with 50 employees run four to six servers in a room, which he could use for another employee for example? It costs money for space, for energy, for services. Yes, we as a service company sell the hardware, we do the services, we install and customize the software. But what they basically need is mail, calendaring, maybe teamrooms, document management, adress management, activities, CRM. Yes, they could do this with Lotus Notes/Quickr/Sametime/Connections or Microsoft Exchange/Sharepoint/etc. All theses services run on different servers, which are based on different technologies, and nobody from their own staff members ever wants to install a Websphere server to have Lotus Connections up and running. Good for us, you would say. No. They would never pay for that. And – to stay with my todays discussion – no SOHO company can afford a Domino licence which allows clustering – and two servers just for a reliable mail solution.

So why not just setup Google Apps? I know so many companies using salesforce.com, and they are happy. If you can get CRM as SaaS, why not messaging and collaboration? Google is nearly enterprise ready from my perspective, and I am not only talking with SOHO and SMB companies – I hear it from large accounts 5000+ too. I don’t see any other vendor in that space, even not IBM with its hesitant Bluehouse attempt. So this all makes me think. It is provocative, I know.

Correct me if I am wrong.

Eight Oh Two

Upgraded my X300 Windows Vista machine to Lotus Notes 8.0.2. Upgrade was smooth, startup is much faster than before. Office 2007 Fileviewer works now. Thats it. Lets see how it behaves the next hours on my desktop.

Still wait for the next Lotus Notes 8.5 beta for my Ubuntu machine.

One question comes into my mind: If something improves so much like the startup time in 8.0.2: What did they do wrong in the former 8.x releases?

Good news about DAOS

Chris Miller writes about his experience with the new Domino Attachment Object Store (DAOS).

It works, right out of the box folks. […] The benefits of usage and savings were staggering in the on disk sizes. Savings were in the 40-50% range right now. Here is the good news many people are missing. It is not shared mail in any way. it uses new NLO (Notes Large Object) file types and the darn thing works across ANY freaking database that shares the attachment and is enabled for DAOS.

I just stumbled upon Chris posting because I had exactly this discussion with a customer today. Back in the old days he enabled „Shared Mail“. It was one the darkest days in his history as he was not able to rebuild the references after a server crash and hundreds of users tried to kill him. Even IBM found no way to fix it and the IBM rep told him afterwards: „Nobody really uses that feature in real life, we built that because Exchange has it“.

So hopefully this time it will work in any freaking environment with any freaking database. I fear there are lots of customers who remember and will not trust.

Der Countdown läuft an IBM vorbei

Post von einem ehemaligen Mitarbeiter, der mittlerweile bei T-Systems schafft:

Hi Alexander,

[…] Wie Du sicherlich weißt, vetreiben wir gerade massenhaft das iphone. Einige unserer Firmenkunden haben natürlich immer noch Lotus Notes im Einsatz und wünschen sich eine sync möglichkeit zwischen Notes und iPhone.

Habt ihr da etwas im Köcher?


Nein, wir haben immer noch nichts im Köcher, was wir wirklich empfehlen können.

Übermorgen geht es offiziell los, das große Unboxing hat schon begonnen, und ich verfolge nur noch kopfschüttelnd, wie ein Unternehmen nach dem anderen eine -> solche Lösung bauen wird, weil sie leider „noch“ Lotus Notes im Einsatz haben. Was dann folgt, kann man sich lebhaft ausmalen.

Wieso IBM immer noch keine Lösung parat hat? Unklar. Wieso IBM meint, Apple müßte etwas tun? Arrogant. Warum man nicht den großen IBM Mobility-Partner RIM ein wenig zwingt, einen Blackberry-Client für das iPhone zu bauen? Ignorant. Selber hat IBM die Mobility-Entwicklung komplett verschlafen. Es herrscht Silo-Denken und alle haben die Scheuklappen auf. Das dürfte ein interessantes Lehrstück werden, wie solche als lächerlich wahrgenommenen Entscheidungen über Business Kasper Spielzeuge massiv Marktanteile im Messaging Markt verschieben können.

Notes or Exchange?

Please help us finding a better answer than the official statistics, go to Volkers site and add your input.

Statistics that seem to contradict each other make me curious. So let’s put an end to the discussion how many of the worlds largest corporations use Notes or Exchange.

Go to this wiki: http://dominoorexchange.pbwiki.com/, state your name and mail address and use the invite key „that is the question“.

Now you can look at the current list and add your own knowledge. We should be able to complete this list in less than a day.


Must Read for the Notes Geek

This is a a must read for the real Notes Geek at Ed Brills Site. I knew many of these Notes trivia questions, but learned a lot from the discussion around these questions.

  • What was the „Easter Egg“ in Notes R5?
  • Where did the name Shimmer (it was the code name for iNotes)
    come from?
  • When was Lotus purchase by IBM? For how much?
  • Who came up with the name „hinky minky“?
  • What was Notes‘ original name?
  • How many bottles of Scotch have been seen on the podium during
    a Lotusphere session?

Very funny. If you are a Notes geek, read the answers and many other stories at Ed Brill.