Thursday, September 9, 2010

Clients leave Lotus products because of us?

Met a new client Tuesday who wants to leave Notes, they have apps and are not moving them off of Domino, so we discussed mail.

I asked why they want to leave. Failures, support, errors, network, etc..

When pushed they said they had an IT manager(I think he was really a developer from the sounds of it) who in the end, after 4 years, could not get the job done and was let go.

So I asked why they would toss out a perfectly good R7 installation because of a bad IT Manager. No real answer aside from levels of frustration reserved for Chicago Cubs fans.

I asked, if we could right the ship and bring it around and assist everyone to use the system to better capabilities would they give it another chance?

OK, I also asked what was so great about Outlook and they couldn't name anything which helps us as well.

They said they would reconsider the idea after seeing R8.5.2.

Their apps were written by the now fired IT Manager. Look to be well written so my thinking was he was a developer 1st, admin 2nd. And that rarely works out for a company for long.

He also had them hosting their Domino, which would be fine, but the latency causes at least a minute every click or refresh, that isn't cool either. Which explains why they all use local copies.

While the idea to help them onto LousLive is a good one, and will save them money from their host, we have a lot to clean up in security, ACLs, ID files(they don't have all certs and passwords for them) and move them to 852 for Traveler and performance reasons for their app server, mail and Sametime will likely go to Lotuslive.

And the application should be web written and for mobile devices and they like this idea, especially given they are dispersed across the US working from home most of them.

So why do I say clients will leave because of us? Because there are those out there that can not admit what they do not know to clients or customers and that in turn hurts all of us. Know your limitations and tell your clients, they will love you all the more, although may bring in someone else to handle something. But that is ok, because if it is out of your comfort zones, you should not go there to begin with. To lie to your customer and tell them you can handle something you can't sets you and your business up to fail usually. Plus if you end up calling someone like us to help you, the cost is much higher than if you brought us in to start when bidding the contract. Much higher.

My first questions to new customers is always about their existing or previous administrators because that sets the tone for our discussions and brings out any issues that may lie hidden normally, like wanting to move off the Lotus platform.

So if you have clients leaving Lotus, then what did you do or not do to assist it?