Friday, February 27, 2009

Calendar Profile...Don't you hate that error?

Keith Taylor commented about it from my last post, Fud Buster Friday #29, and I realized I never blogged it before although I see it EVERYWHERE.

There are numerous errors and issues, some are more obvious than others. These appear when you first start up Domino and the server is checking various points of interest, well points of it's own interest. You can also find these, if you never noticed them, in your statrep.nsf(using the infamous name, Monitoring Results) file. Select Events, By Severity.
This will also show you what is wrong in your server(s). Before you do this, be warned, not everything you see is bad, so pay attention and react accordingly. If you need help, ask me.

I will try to hit the main ones in this post.

1)Keep in mind, the most common reason, if you as the Admin open up an employee's mail file and look at the preferences under the more option in the mail file you will see YOUR name NOT the employee. You can either have the employee login and fix this by selecting their name or you will have to run a lotus script agent to resolve it. See more details here(technote #1088892). This is usually the way to do it but I will list a few more possibilities in case you see other messages.

2) SchedMgr: Error processing calendar profile document
(NoteID: NT0000XXXX) in database mail\UserMailFile.NSF: Can't find user in Name and Address Book

Basically what it says is the mail file exists but the user no longer does.
Move the mail file out of the Domino directory to your file server and this goes away. For more details(it's an adminp issue based on what YOU the admin tell it) see the technote #1089324.

3)"SchedMgr: Error processing calendar profile document (NoteID: NT0000xxxx) in database filename.nsf: Can't find $BusyName field on profile"

Also somewhat cryptic but obvious. If you can't find a name on the preferences field of course this won't work. Right? Right.

So you have a few ways to resolve this, read the technote it goes into detail and includes code for you to fix this.

I would have included more except IBM's support search site went down and I need to head out. May update this or post a 2nd entry on this topic if anyone has more odd profile issues they want answered.

Fud Buster Friday #29 - One Outage isn't so bad.. is it?

Naturally it depends on who has the outage and how long it lasts and well, a million other things.

As we know Google had an outage this week. Ho hum. Welcome to IT guys. The world keeps spinning, we get blamed, we fix it, life moves on. Or does it?

Just spent over a week on a server crashing daily problem, because of my laziness and lack of attention to the clients plight. Well, to be fair, I was at 2 new clients this week, plus demoing for a 3rd and rewiring my office but the bottom line is I took a casual liberty attitude with a clients business and that's not good.

The client is extremely happy I have resolved the problem, will wait 72 hours before total acceptance.

But this taught me, and should teach you too, that one outage is too many for ANY client. And repeated ones spell disaster for any IT credit or expectations and it is VERY hard to recover from this and in some cases leads the customer to think about alternative email solutions.

The client had turned down clustering, even a backup replicated server(I am sure some PC could have been found but I digress). Their backup procedures are appalling and they have no idea why they were running LDAP, POP3,DECS, DIIOP or IMAP on the server. (Note to jr admins, just because you see a check box does NOT mean it must be checked.)

The server was throwing out the usual errors about calendar profiles, users not found in the NAB and a bunch of agent signing errors, which happen to run their apps but signed by a previous admin/developer, of course. And they had small quotas like 150MB. And of course you can guess which mail files had these errors. Funny how nonexistent people can fill up a mail file,waste disk space, routing, backup time and space and even have agents running! Also, if you have a donotreply@corp.com address, be prepared to have many replies to it. The fix is to just have an entry in the NAB and a mail file for it that purges every day or 7 or whatever you want. Otherwise, like the client, you could have 100's of dead mails in your 4 mail.box files.

Suggested to the client to take care of these, only to realize they could have been all along and never did. So as any good consultant would, we billed them for the mini clean up and are planning on a bigger clean up under a new project.

I saw the errors upfront, but we were working on a (thought we were)bigger problem and could fix these later. Remember, Eat the Frog, do the stuff you don't like or want to first and move forward. Taking the easy way out will never help you as an admin.

The other thing is delegate. It was bumped to me as others had tried to tackle it already. I was not happy none of them had resolved the errors or the small things.

Training is important, but walk the talk. As the Worst Practices session at LS08 showed, even the great ones don't always follow their own guidelines.

So I apologized to the client and oddly enough they were just happy anyone could resolve the problem. It has been a month or so off and on.

The downside is their clients just expect the server to be down and even if it stays up won't care. The worst part, for me, was after it all, they tell me they are going to move off Domino for mail. Working on that problem next and may blog it if it gets interesting.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

ST-SNTT Embedded Awareness of 8.5 clients

note the line below is LYING
Late update before I split to go grilling tonight.

Received a call from my partner that he can not get awareness to work in his inbox since going to the 8.5 Lotus notes client and Sametime 8.0.2 which he is using on the embedded side.

I use the connect client so hadn't tested this recently.
Sure enough it didn't work.

Updated the Sametime.ini with any version of client code(list is here) not listed yet that I know we use, just in case.

Logged in again, still no change.

Now go find the option above in the picture under the community you are trying to log in from the preferences.

In our case we run an LDAP canonical login so swap the two and all worked again.

Now can someone please tell me why I can login to ibmext from my Vista laptop using 801 ST connect but can not from my XP using the same version(or 802 as I just updated it).

Enjoy, time to go home and grill.

Microsoft Elevate America Plans

like teh NY subway, color coded and all

This is for real, and although I would like to see IBM for Lotus do something similar, my state appreciates the effort.

In an email link I received from the InternetCoast which is intermingled with the CIO Council I am part of as well as the South Florida Technology Alliance, they discussed Microsoft's new training initiative.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A new training effort spearheaded by Microsoft will offer free tech training to millions. Elevate America, the initiative launched by Microsoft Sunday, aims to give 2 million people during the next two years tech training both online and at regional telecenters.

The online resource is focused on helping users figure out what types of technical skills are required for IT jobs, and provides resources to help acquire these skills. The Web site offers access to several Microsoft online training programs, from very basic (e.g., "How to use the Internet") to much more advanced (e.g., "Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Windows XP Professional").

To provide a variety of training, Microsoft will partner with state and local governments. Florida, New York and Washington will be the first states to offer Elevate America courses.


The odd reference to XP aside, this is a good thing for many of the out of work people in the country. In the IT industry one can and usually will make more money, up to a point, than in many other jobs in the world.

That article will lead you to this page which outlines various people and ways to get trained or enhanced your knowledge of Microsoft products.

But what is truly amazing to me, and I love the way it reminds me of the NY subway maps, and makes it easy to follow is this pdf found if you select the "Expand Your Skills" option of "Find the IT skills needed for jobs you want".

Maybe IBM can do this as well and provide a similar chart for certifications.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Google Joins Mozilla vs. Microsoft

In what will be a defining moment, sometime in our children's lifetime at this point, the EU will listen to Google and Mozilla discuss why Microsoft should not be allowed to include IE with Windows in the future.

This discussion could take place in the US, but unfortunately the vast majority of Capitol hill is non-technically inclined and wouldn't know the difference between sms,smtp,ssl or ssh let alone UML, XML, HTTP to name a few items. My own rep argued against digital voting, Florida does have its problems.

Read the ZD post here.
Thanks to Guy Kawasaki for posting it and saying this to go with it:
You have to almost feel sorry for Microsoft about this--or at least see the irony of Google's efforts


Now if IBM had a browser to go with Symphony, Notes, Sametime imagine a true Linux world.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

MS Office Delayed...till 2010...if...maybe?

Twitter is so full of information it is hard to remember to post some of it.
Not in this case.

So Office 2007 was to be followed up with a quick, um, refresh might be a good word, and out in 2009. But not so fast, it looks like it is definitely pushed to 2010. January 1 or December 32nd is the question, my bet is on Q2/Q3 which happens to fall around their fiscal year.

Could it be Microsoft was looking to stop the 4-5 year cycle so their Software Assurance customers wouldn't have to complain, yet again, that they wasted all that money for nothing. And it IS quite a bit of money one can waste.

Just like the extra warranty you don't need from the dealer/store, you don't need the SA from Microsoft either.

Sure someone will say they are waiting for their "Cloud" to be ready or maybe the next rendition of Sharepoint, either way, what are they promising you that you have to PAY them to wait for it?

Drop Office, I have, pick up Lotus Symphony or Star office or anything else really. Make Microsoft work for your money, don't just give it to them and get nothing in return.

I have a client going to take a Ubuntu Linux desktop setup based on one I am showing him from my office. Why? Because they realized that a call center with multiple copies of Office and Windows gets real expensive fast especially when you are using it only for a mail client and a word processor.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lotus Won an Oscar!

As far as I know, this is a first.
Andrew Stanton, ex-Lotus now at Pixar accepted the award for Wall-E.
I believe as a writer, perhaps now director?

I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't work at Pixar, aside from my kids loving me for it, how often can you say you created something which lives forever in a kid's or adults eye?

Congrats to Andy and it goes to show you there is a whole world out there waiting for you if you have the drive.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fud Buster Friday #28 - We're a Cutting Edge type of Company

Riiiiiiiiight!
Sure, whatever.

So you don't use windows then? A cutting edge company would not use a 5 year old OS nor Vista of course.(personal note I use Vista on one laptop and it is fine, really).

So you don't have some old routers from Cisco which still haven't been patched?

You aren't using 2-3-4 year old laptops or desktops running older software would you now?

You run Outlook 2003 as your mail client? In 2009?
And it is of course tied in to Exchange 2003, a 5 year old email server and it still doesn't format for HTML properly.

Maybe you are a Lotus shop and your Notes clients are R6,R7 which is 2-4 years old now, you could update them AT ANY TIME. Your servers are of course up to date, see below.

You can't move to Open Office, Star Office or Lotus Symphony, because you need to be tied to some legacy Office Suite from a company that still can't get table formatting correct?

You still make all your employees go to the office instead of telecommute? How 80's of you.

You run Ethernet cabling everywhere because you are afraid of Wi-Fi security breaches. It's okay, we know your cables are faster....NOT!

You make sure your servers are up to date with the latest patches, even at the risk of some down time, right?

You tossed all the Windows servers in favor of Linux, iSeries, Zseries or some other server type or grid computing platform. Okay, you can keep the BES Windows server, RIM is a good company and you can't live without your Blackberry.

Which brings me to your phones. What no Bold or Storm? Ah but you have iPhones right? Yes neat, cool, but really why doesn't everyone have new phones that are under a year old and take advantage of memory and security enhancements.

Right, I forgot, you are a cutting edge company. Sounds it too. Wake me up before you go home tonight so I can get all your Domino servers upgraded to 8.5 in under 15 minutes.

You may not believe it but Lotus lets you stay on the cutting edge, and people like your admins help it happen because it really does take less than 15 minutes to be on the cutting edge.

Oh and if you wanted all your users to be on webmail, running 8.5 gets them to the cutting edge, NOW.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

SnTT - NIF means NOT INDEXING FULLY

Sometimes I need to be more granular than I am when troubleshooting problems.
I don't like to be because I feel it inhibits my ability to grok the total issue.
But some servers just demand it.

Admittedly NIF stands for Notes Indexing Facility. But my explanation is more accurate when it is not functioning.

So I ran DCT, the excellent Domino Configuration Tuner on the clients Domino Windows server running 703FP1, after temporarily installing the 8.5 client on the server.

It of course told me the basics I know already, mutlithread the full text index, enhance various other notes.ini settings like:
UPDATE_FULLTEXT_THREAD=1
SERVER_NAME_LOOKUP_NO_UPDATE=1
DEBUG_ENABLE_UPDATE_FIX=8191
NSF_BACKUP_MEMORY_CONSTRAINED=1
SF_BACKUP_MEMORY_LIMIT=104857600

and my personal favorite: view_rebuild_dir=e:\lotustemp\

This last line allows you to specify where the temporary space required for the rebuilds are located. always helpful when one of the hard drives is running low and can lead to other issues.

The bottom line is the problem occurs and it seems to be an agent which is stuck. Thought about and DCT confirmed, web agents were not running concurrently, trying that change too.

Enable agents to run asynchronously through the Server document -> Internet Protocols -> Domino Web Engine tab. Under Web Agents, enable the "Run Web Agents Concurrently" setting.

And found a very corrupted file, which turned out to be some bad restored file anyway.
Cleared it all and what happened? dead server in 2 days instead of 1. Improvement yes, fixed, no.

Called IBM Support, I had done more than my usual efforts and was tired of trying.

They suggested using the line, ftg_use_sys_memory=1, which came out in 5.0.9, link to the technote.
This will instruct the full-text (FT) engine to use direct malloc calls from the operating system for large allocations, instead of requesting memory through the Notes Memory Manager.


And we wait to see if this indeed fixed it as IBM suggested. Updated late Wen. night, it did not resolve it, although it hung on longer.

Issue seems to be when users are logging in during the morning, I wonder about peaking or utilization.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

PSA - Remember Young Admins...

You can not register users while running an older Lotus Admin client version than your Lotus Domino server.
However, you can register users running a newer Admin client than your server.

The moral of the story is always stay equal or ahead of your server.

And R8.X will run on Windows 2000, but it IS unsupported.

Monday, February 16, 2009

HP and me, looks good so far

Some of you know my penchant for HP printers is historically heavy with bias to any others.

Others know I have a new Lenovo Ideapad. As Dilbert said once, I hope she doesn't ask about the laptop.

Others will recall seeing me with my gargantuan elephant of a 17" screen laptop at LS08. Well this elephant, an HP 9027US is headed back to HP. It seems, hard to believe I know, that this laptop can run a bit hot and evidently leads to a problem in the left hinge area.
I found this out the other night when opening my laptop produced a gut hurting CRACK and I knew immediately what happened. I was upset, what had I done, I take such great care of this monster? Well started trolling the internet looking for advice on where to get a new piece of plastic frame and such as we DIY people do and was pointed to a website from HP dedicated to this exact problem.

Realizing my laptop was out of warranty, it is now an elderly 20 months old, just slightly older than my baby, I figured I was out of luck. But no, my serial number and part number and all are included for a free repair, including shipping.

Needless to say I was ecstatic and depressed at the same time. I could get it fixed, yes, but I had already thought about looking into new laptops.

As a Lenovo dealer in Thinkpads and Ideapads you can bet what I will be next time.

So they are sending me a box to Fedex it back and after about 10 business days, or in normal terms about 3 weeks, my laptop will return.

So good news for the Ideapad, it gets to run around a bit more now. Now if I can just fix a quirky Wi-Fi problem on the Ideapad all will be well. So if you try to ping me Tuesday and i am not online, its because I am backing my hard drive up from the laptop to some other drive...just in case.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Microsoft Stores Live POC

I see my friend Bilal, of the Lotus Foundations team already posted on this, but let's see it in a different light.

As many know by now, Microsoft plans on having stores, a la Apple.

What they may be thinking is the new hardware they are coming out with will really impress everyone. We should only be so lucky to see those new Microsoft mouse and keyboard designs.(in spirit of truth in writing, I have a wireless Microsoft keyboard/mouse combo and they work fine).

What do they think they can accomplish? Better yet, who will be working there? I would bet not the best and brightest of Redmond. Thus easy pickings for anyone that wants to go convert a bunch of customers to Lotus or any other product.

Just imagine going in there and asking why Exchange or Sharepoint for that matter can't send a 100MB attachment or store it without causing issue. I know someone will say they do it, but I bet the store limits attachments to 10MB or something small.
So go test and have fun.

While you are at it, ask them to show you in a graphical representation the network architecture in the store which will enable them to use Sharepoint with Exchange. Raise your hand if you think it's only 2 servers. Sorry you must be a CIO in Microsoft's pocket if you still think that! Go read my other posts start here and get your head around how much it will cost and how many cals, licenses, servers you will need.
Lotus has you on this one Redmond.

What I think you may see from the stores, potentially, is a POC location. Every store, quite easily, could be rolled out with ALL the products running and in synch and easily shown or detailed live so customers can see it does all work together so well. But remember to count the # of servers, it will be staggering. Even if they use a central one, which we know they can't because Exchange and Sharepoint do not play well across a WAN, it will still be interesting to see.

Also will they ban people like me from their stores fort harassing the "tech" staff?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fud Buster Friday #27 - Administrators are Expenses

If you were offered a Ferrari for a one year lease with the stipulation you had to pay for gas and insurance and any repairs or maintenance, would you still do it?
I see.
Those of you out there that said yes, you are the Fortune 50 companies of the world.
Everyone that said no, you are every other company.

I chose this, aside from being most people's dream cars(mine is still a Corvette AND I owned a 1962)it is representative of how we see the world from an IT window.

Now let's imagine instead of just leasing the Ferrari, you also got free maintenance with it? Now how many would do it? And what if that free maintenance included someone or something that would proactively record and analyze your habits to help with future driving or gas mileage? Now would you do it?

And so we come to the admins of the world. The picked on, hated/revered, always say NO people who are basically firemen/women who rarely get any respect let alone bonuses have been slaving away to keep your infrastructure flowing and prospering on the small budget you gave them.

You want to cut more corners, reduce expenses, yet have you (executive title person) ever once gone to your admins and asked what they can do to enhance usage, reduce bandwidth or expenses in any way shape or form? Even wondered how changing the way a process is accomplished could save you over $750,000, repeatedly, as I submitted for one client recently?

Your admins can make or break your business, future and finances so treat them with respect, encourage them, give them bonuses and then create a Lotus consulting team and go call a non competing company using Lotus Notes and ask if your team can manage their infrastructure.

What you say? I'm crazy? Who would do such a thing? Someone who trusts their staff, knows what they are doing and appreciates that they work 8-9 hours a day, 5 days a week(occasional off hours items may come up of course but in general..). Because with Lotus Domino you really don't need to work that hard, if your admins know what they are doing.

Your admins can and will save you money, but you never ask them do you?
PS - Developers can help too, but that is for another post.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Too Funny not to Post(see pic)

Life is much better than art

While posting a comment on John's blog about the sad state of company DRP I was then asked to prove I am human by typing this.

The Post I never thought I would Write

Sad as it is, I must confess, I have sinned beyond all reason and may get banned from Paul and Bill's session at LS10, should they be lucky enough to get one again.

I have ventured into the occult, the mystical, the darkside, no, not Microsoft or even Websphere (more on this coming in the future), but application development.

While the demo I wrote performed well, my friends client was impressed he could do it all in 2 weeks. In fact I did it over about 6-7 hours! Sadly they want to see an experienced application from Canada first before my friends application. The upside is my friend may want me to create the full application anyway so he can sell it to other clients! Go figure...from a demo! Lotus Notes and Domino really is a RAD (Rapid Application Development) tool and program and if this doesn't prove it, not sure what does. Oh yeah, my friend's original guy couldn't finish it which is why I got asked, and he had 2 weeks to do it in VB!

But I did not post this to describe what happened although its a nice benefit, the truth is I have some complaints about my foray into the development land. I am sure my more experienced developers will tell me I am just a young grasshopper, but here it goes anyway. It's not that I have never coded, years ago I wrote many relational databases, point of sale, financial, sales, ID, so I am not without some intelligence in the area, or so I thought. Keep in mind I had about 24 hours to accomplish the task.

I did the coding in an 8.5 Eclipse designer client if you want to know.

First, why can I not search the designer help for practical things, like how to perform an average on a set of numbers in fields within a specific form, NOT a view which for some reason is the only answer one finds in the help file? I sent that part out to someone, and hopefully he has a solution for me, but I know its not his priority to help me and now I am not in a rush anymore. You can't plan for everything in a help file, but if there is an online source with some of the basics, let me know.

Second, Wanted to code it, put it up on Domino and use the browser for the demo(see my post below about runtime) however, when I did that, what do I see? Admins would guess the app, but in hideous format. Nope, sorry. Devs would say, a view, if I was lucky. And therein lies something which I have known, but hated, that one must code for client and browser, that just sucks. Easy way out? Not that I see, just grin and bear it. I knew it going in, just forgot how hard it could be at times.

Third, Xpages....right, not on my timetable. But if someone can point me to the LS09 session or some other tutorial online I can watch and learn from, that should be interesting.

Fourth, Linking between forms was rather odd in my eyes from a coding perspective, but for the sake of my demo and time I will just put this one down to lack of training.

Fifth, Why don't the %^&*ing fields line up properly like they do in Design mode! I put text in the left side, put a field right next to it, do this for 5 lines, same size words and spaces or so it appears, but NO one or two are just off kilter. My developer told me to use tables. I HATE tables, ok that is because of Microsoft Word about 10 years ago, but still, this is an obviously major issue when working on a form I would think. Any better way to resolve it or did I miss something in shotgun class?

Sixth, Append means to add on. Insert does too. Enough said. Needless to say the table transformation took the longest for me.

Seventh, Why can't I create a drop down that has multiple listings in multiple colors? Free T-shirt(the one I wore at Speedgeeking that says I love taking my Domino Server on vacation, Size L)for the first answer that works.

Eighth, Why can't I just select a form to use as my starting page? I had to create a navigator of all things. Couldn't you rename it portal page, starting page, anything?

Ninth, Pages can be a blank form? No. Forms can be blank pages, yes. But neither the 2 interact together the way I thought they would. DOH! I'll chalk this up to education too, but someone be nice enough to explain it to me?

Sorry this got so long! That's the ones I remember. But I did it! And I have nothing but even greater respect for developers for putting up with coding stuff. If it wasn't for Lotus Notes being so easy to develop in I would have been out a client.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lotus Runtime Update..Because NOMAD isn't the answer

Well, not every time at least. I am fond of Kiosk mode going back to some R4 days.
Seems my posting on ideajam is not making a hit, so far at -4. Not surprising, but I am interested in why you say no to it.
I understand the need is not common, after all if you are a Lotus BP or customer or developer or anything of course you have a Lotus Notes client to demo with.
I in fact have 6, not including multiple iNotes/DWA and mobile clients or NOMADS.Probably have almost 15 ways in fact.

Yes, NOMAD was the way I was able to help my friend with the demo.

However, I still feel that I should be able to runtime a DB if that is what is required. Think about a Journal runtimed into a google gadget as one idea.

Naturally this is not very practical for heavy apps or even Notes email really, but there are times when we or our client may not want to see a Lotus, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Java demo then what do you do?

If any of my gifted developer friends read this, have you come up with a better way?

Should I expect Lotus to resolve this? No. A browser demo should resolve this usually, it just so happened I am not a developer(see next post later today) and so was out of time to code the web side.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Why is there no Runtime way to run nsf files?

Maybe someone has a better idea on ideajam

Go vote for this if you want it, someone inside Lotus reads these things, sometimes.

Years ago I lamented this, when I was inside Lotus. But here it goes again.

I believe in most major programs there is a way to run your application on its own, except in Lotus Notes.

A friend of mine wants a demo of a db/app to give to his customer and asked me to mock something up. Naturally Lotus Notes being a RAD type of environment and my appdev skills being so excellent, ahem, I figured why not just make the main form, a main view and a "report" and see what happens.

The problem is my friend, and the client, do not use Notes. So, wihtout my being there, how can my friend do the demo(he knows nothing of Lotus, he's in construction) without a Lotus Notes client.

In fact, how can anyone demo an nsf file without a Lotus notes client?

I have only come up with 2 ways and a 3rd which I have yet to test. Oh and a 4th but it's a sort of hack.

1) HTTP is your friend in this case. BUT they may not want a browser based app, my friend says, I said it doesn't matter, it's "The Cloud" and laugh like Vincent Price.

2) Sametime meeting and I can demo it for them. Perhaps but something tells me in this case its not going to happen.

3) DOLS? Maybe. Lars suggested this but I am not sure, in the 24 hours i have to do this task, that it can get done in a way that makes sense,

4) Kiosk mode. Yes, quiet and unassuming this has been out there for years, just add /kiosk at the end of the notes.exe run statement properties.
Like so: C:\Lotus\Notes\Notes.Exe /Kiosk demogod.nsf

Pedrorq suggested having my browser be autoloaded for the nsf from my HTTP server. Problem is browsers don't read .nsf extensions anyway so this goes back to #1.

I had at least 5 different responses on twitter which either asked for the answer or were stumped themselves.

So to all my readers out there, even you guys at Microsoft, any ideas are appreciated for this conundrum of a project.

Even if there was a program 10 years ago to do it, let me know I will find it and make it happen.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fud Buster Friday #26 - You Can't Measure ROI

Really? Did Google say that because free is the best ROI?
Did Microsoft suggest it because well, we all know the ROI from anything Microsoft is staggering....in their pocket, not yours.
Maybe your university professor wants to get the point across about ROI. And really it is a good point, but if you don't understand and know your customers environment you can't really produce a decent ROI proposal.

2 different clients this week have inquired about Lotus Quickr. I love them for it.
What they both want is a quantifiable ROI to justify the corporate wide installation, licensing and services fees.

So where can you find ROI? It is everywhere, but you have to know what you are looking for to start.

In both cases the easiest way was to explain that the postal service would lose a lot of revenue. Both clients mail out cd's, usb drives and other documents to their sales force around the world. At least 4 times a year if not monthly in some cases. Imagine the costs saved after 1 shipping is no longer needed. Now multiply it all year. Plus reduce the cost and time of packing, labeling, shipping, etc... not to mention the trees and waste saved by going digital.

Sounds ancient, almost hard to believe in this day and age companies still don't put more money and time into their online projects. Yet it's all true and it happens everywhere. Go find new clients and ask them.

Or in a different light, we removed about 500 pounds of computer equipment from a law office and they in turn got back much needed space and piece of mind. The cost was much cheaper than if they removed it themselves and faster too. Yet few companies see it that way. They would rather find the cheapest solution, spend months figuring it out and in the mean time waste prime real estate or warehouse space of theirs.

A third direction is telecommunication costs. Sending links, instead of full 50MB attachments reduces stress on your bandwidth, networks, disk space, backups and of course time. Not everyone or every place has T1, cable or DSL lines, modem speed is still average in many places. Remember that next time you try to rollout some beefy application with your client.

And thanks to everyone for the Birthday wishes and I am happy to say the move to the new office is finally completed. Look for this blog to be moved sometime in the not so distant future.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Pirate looks at 40 - Personal Note

Scotch is always welcome
Added the picture from my email just now at noon.

Jimmy Buffet got it mostly right, stanza 4, yup, stanza 5(it's really about Lotusphere but he exaggerated on the 2 week thing). My wife meets stanza 6, but she stayed, guess she didn't mind my carousing with yellows.
Sadly for many stanza 8 is still true.
It's been a long hard road and it's still pretty unpaved up ahead, but there are lights on the side of the road so all is not lost just yet. Oddly enough I was sent a quote to pave my development yesterday, funny how these things work.

I received not one, not 2 but 6 calls today asking about the previous owner of my office phone number. Almost 5 years now, I think some serious data pruning needs to be done at some of the telemarketing companies.

Nice to know I am still of interest, in this economy, the same 2 companies keep calling me in, then saying no, not sure what they want by now, but it is always interesting. I live in South Florida, get over it, if you want me, deal with it, they both have offices here, go figure.

We decided to outbuild a Lotus Foundations Server. Funny how adventurous one can be when one thinks they know what they are doing. And scary to see that I really do know too. And nice to see the interest and growth of this new line of business.

When I joined Lotus my partner Brendan told me once I forgot more than most people know about Notes & Domino. While the context of the situation may have been right, I knew, and continue to find, greater knowledge than mine from fellow bloggers and readers. And it's humbling to know others read my posts, even the people I annoy sometimes. It's also nice to include others when possible, IBM support gets maligned by some, but I try to help the people that help me there.

Like the toll booth workers, I always used to talk to them and thank them for their work, it's s mall thing but their life sucks and you know it. And now they don't have those jobs either because we all have little meters in our cars with rfid/bluetooth/wi-fi or whatever yours works with in your area.

So why write a post for my birthday? Sometimes you want to throw out some personal pieces and let others know the world is not always so boring and cold.

My kids think I am ancient, funny, so did I when I thought about turning 40, when I was 20 and graduating college. Where did the 20 go? 3 in Lotus were some of my best working years that I can honestly say I met so many great people. 2 years working on Broadway, 1 time on stage, but business and IT, even then.

Banks, I worked with many, and still do, but Bankers Trust and the old 130 Liberty Street building was home for a few years and we had a great team, FE, Carl, Larry, Chi, Brian, and so many others lost to time. Burger King and Ryder, twice in 12 years, who would have guessed.

I spent my 30th birthday in Athens, with Lotus and my then girlfriend, now wife, and it's hard to beat that one for birthdays. This year it's quiet. I told my wife real geeks only celebrate their 42nd birthday. So watch out for that one!

We lost Grandma Sylvia, Vanessa's grandmother at 94, New Years Day and she was sharp as a nail to the end and had a memory to match. There's no joy in Raleigh Close anymore.

Makes you wonder what we are all trying to do here after all. Found some old friends, or I should say they found me, thanks Facebook and Linkedin.

I need more hours in my day, more days in my week and more weeks in a year...or maybe just hire some more employees. Don't send resumes, I'll let you know when I am open for them.

It's not a normal time management issue, it is a too many balls for one person, delegation is key.

Thanks to everyone out there, at home, love to Vanessa, Noffiya, Elnadav and Shalhevet, at the office and in places I hope to see again sometime soon. If you read this far I probably owe you money, a drink or will be partnering with you on something soon.