Friday, July 22, 2011

Fud Buster Friday #60: Sharepoint is the Future

I love this graphic, no idea if it really was used but thanks to Sharepoint magazine for sharing it.

In a blog post, A Guide to Leaving Lotus Notes and Moving to Microsoft SharePoint, by Andrew Vevers which was a finalist entry for the Aspiring Authors Competition 2011 according to the post, we see a classic case of ignoring the obvious.

What is the focus really about here? Is it to gain Mr. Vevers new clients? Is it to be used as a sales tool to persuade companies to move off Lotus Domino? Maybe to teach other consultants how to make money off their clients? Like this line:
"If you think they might not be sure what they need to keep, consider offering to migrate the last six months’ data or implement a per-GB data migration charging model. That’ll get them thinking!"

No, I believe the focus is entirely misguided. It is focused on the past. Cleaning the data? Design? For what? To "convert" to Sharepoint? Really? Is that the best you can offer your clients Mr. Vevers? The past? Like this line:
"Despite these factors, your main focus should always be on reproducing the functionality, not adding unnecessary bells and whistles."

What about the future? Don't you think that if you were going to convince people to move off a well used platform that it should be to something new, improved and providing more benefits? But the bells and whistles could have been part of the Domino application all along, even in R7 where he last left his Lotus knowledge.

The discussion never hits web apps and stays focused on Notes apps.

While I agree that companies should have been building apps for the web for years, it has not always been their focus until the last 2-3 years, Notes applications are not impossible to update for the web. Recent efforts have been made to transform apps to Xpages and more web/mobile access and perhaps this would be a cheaper solution in some cases, if not all.

Those of you in a similar situation, the crossroads of business and technology should keep in mind. The future is bright but only if you can see it. If you can enhance your applications, do it. Be agile, customer centric, responsive. Help your management see the better future, do a mockup, do something. If you are an employee it costs you and the company nothing more to enhance your apps, and you should be doing it no matter who owns the app or how old it is. Your administrators will get their job done and get you to 8.5.2 but if you aren't helping the apps, then why bother going beyond R5 or R6?

Sharepoint is not the future. It may be new and shiny, but it is NOT the future nor does it represent it in any way, shape or form. It is just another platform which just happens to be licensing, server and hardware heavy. Posts like Mr. Vevers do not fairly discuss the issue because it is presumed already one will be migrating.

I don't believe that many companies have removed Domino from their data centers and I do not believe many will still for years to come. I believe at least 85% of the Fortune 500 still run Domino applications today and I hope at some point IBM will bring back the campaigns that highlighted the usage across industries because it is true and it is important to get that information into the minds of executives.