Thursday, April 24, 2008

Long Live Lotus Workplace

Yes I said it and I stick to it.
Although not the way most people are thinking.

I was so happy to see it come out, finally an effort was being made to rebrand Lotsu Notes in some way, any way. How bad could it be? right? OK, so the technical side may have had some issues.

But finally someone in Marketing or Sales or Product Management at IBM or Lotus or Iris came up with the idea to rebrand Lotus Notes. If this was Mike Rhodin or not I can't say but hopefully this was the intent, although it seemed to everyone the Websphere people had a heavy hand on it.

You see, how many other products exist in the technology market place for nearly 20 years with the same moniker/name? Not many.

Microsoft is excellent at this gamne. IBM has not always been so good at it. Websphere was an excellent idea for a brand name for a half dozen products to be together and work, with some customization. Rebranding Lotus Notes or Sametime or Quickplace the IBM Communication suite or whatever thoughts really was not so helpful.

Microsoft reinvents it's own every few years or 2-3 versions. Looiing at tyhe client side alone:
Ms Mail? gone.
Jet mail? Who? Gone(check your Outlook and Exchange files and the updates to it's engine in EVERY version since MS Mail).
Exchange Mail 4,5,5.5 gone.
Outlook Express....gone but still in existence.
Outlook 2003 must still exist because few went to office 2007 or outlook 2007 without upgrading their whole infrastructure to Windows 2008 first and 64 bit too. W
Outlook 2007 may be the last time you hear about it.

Next up MS Live, Live Mail or whatever MS will call it. But I am fairly sure it will not be Outlook in name(although will be under the covers just as Jet and Msmail and exchange mail still run pieces of the Outlook client code.

The bottom line is if we want Lotus Notes and Domino to find a new base in a new era within a time frame web 2.0+ we must rebrand it and give up the name we so love and cherish.

Alan Lepofsky's recent post touches on this and it would be interesting to see where this goes.