Friday, February 1, 2008

Messaging as a Commodity

A commodity is anything for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a given market. From Wikipedia.

Lots of people argue these days email is just a commodity. A commodity which destroys people's concentration when it is not flowing or buzzing in their Blackberry. But users never care which system they are on and thus the commodity theory. "It's just email who cares what system we use".

Fine.

I beg to differ and strongly believe Lotus Domino provides that differentiation for email.

I have cc:mail server cd's from over 10 years ago for you to use for your corporation email. What? You need it to handle more than 100 people on a server? Why would you want that? Email's a commodity, you should have 100's of servers of course because as a vendor that is what we recommend to our clients. Here's some MS Mail cd's and some Groupwise ones and....you get the picture. A commodity with an ever growing requirement list. Toilet paper should have this many requirements as a commodity.

Don't log in to your eemail for personal or business reasons through a client for a week and see how you survive, it's not like orange juice in the morning.

I don't buy into the email is a commodity, if it were a commodity there would be 100's of types and proper standards. But there isn't really when it comes down to it for corporations. Consumers it is a commodity, a web based one at that as well.

Most companies in business today would argue they require 100% uptime and Business Continuity.

Ideally if you had your choice of how to maintain your data/email/databases/website so it could be accessible 100% of the time, you might want to think about these areas and if your current commodity solution can work in this way:

1. Built-in capability of replicating/synchonization of your databases and data to any other server
2.anywhere in the world
3.at any time
4.across multiple streams of telecommunication (TCP/IP, Dialup/Modem, X.25 or most any data standard of the last 30 years)
5.the ability to clsuter across over 6 different operating systems and their variations (zSeries, pSeries, iSeries, SUN, Windows Servers, Linux choices) and/or legacy applications (Novell and OS/2). (Yes, OS/2 is still used in some places)

In a Lotus Domino world you do have many options and clustering and failover which is not just for email, but your applications and instant messaging/conferencing as well. Again not a commodity solution.

If your messgaing system is a commodity, or you think your BES is one, or IM is just a toy, you will not increase your budget. But if you can show how you can produce full uptime, tools for business usage like audio/video conferencing and on any platform necessary, there is no limit on price for this and your budget should get rewarded.

No commoditiy solutions need apply.