Friday, October 3, 2008

Fud Buster Friday #8 - The Ex-Lotii Knows

Ex-Lotus people who end up at Microsoft always have great insights about what's wrong with Lotus? Or IBM killed Notes! Or Websphere will replace Domino!

I could accept their premises, if not for the fact when these rats abandoned ship R7 wasn't even out yet.

Now some would argue what about me, I left Lotus in 2001 and what do I know or why do I care. I care because clients should know what they are getting into. True sharing and collaboration can exist, no matter what solution the client wants, IF the client wants to make it happen.

Back to the questions above.

Nothing is wrong with Lotus and as far as I know, IBM sales people do not go around saying Microsoft has problems because they lost their head and the body is flailing in the wind grasping at dead branches. Yes, IBM has reduced head count for Lotus at times and detoured down a Workplace path but the last 6 months to a year has seen a renewed interest in everything Lotus, not just from the company but from the Press, advertisements and general sentiment. So unless you have been under a rock for the last year Lotus is anything but dead.

IBM killed Lotus Notes. No, Workplace did hurt the company but as discussed previously the recent 3 years growth is unprecedented in a flat market. If anything IBM encourages Lotus to move forward by not only working with Apple, RIM and Nokia but providing advances in development and technology into the core products. And IBM spent the money to have the R8 UI improved to a point where Outlook users prefer it.

Websphere will replace Domino? This one is possibly true(again what would I know as an outsider), but more than likely is they will coexist in a way which will only make the 2 products even stronger. IBM gets closer to this reality with every release and the robustness of the 2 together will make a very formidable opponent to Microsoft.

So the next time you hear a Microsoft sales rep or ex-Lotus person lay down some silly ideas about Lotus, remind them that even great baseball hitters only hit the ball 1/3 of the time. But if you don't take a chance with some pitches out of your comfort zone you may miss an easy home run too.