Thursday, October 18, 2012

Email is not the Pony Express and Ignorance Never Goes Away

An article which was really a marketing lecture from the CEO of Hootsuite struck numerous chords across the web. Some argued he was right, many said he was just being arrogant, others felt he was purely pushing his own agenda/solution. And yes, I recognize the fact this only provides more awareness to him.

In the comments to the post another HootSuite employee tried to explain it from the end user perspective. Not sure he did any better at an explanation than his boss.

Normally I would just leave a comment, as I did, about the virtues of Lotus Notes and how his issues have been previously thought of and dealt with over the last 10+ years in one way or another.

But this provided insights which should be taught in school.

It's not his fault, funny how the evasion of accountability over the last few years has grown exponentially. Ryan points out they grew from 20 people to over 200 in a short amount of time. Having watched similar things happen to businesses across the IT spectrum this is not a rare occurrence.

However, as with many businesses, how you grow your business and how you grow your internal processes do not always correspond. "Everyone knows how to use email" is incorrect. Everyone knows how to send and receive email, beyond that the percentage of knowledge workers have about managing their time and inbox dwindles fast.

Maybe they do not have a CIO/CTO or VP of IT but surely someone "owns" their infrastructure and should have provided a path of tools and solutions to meet the growth and expected functionality. Perhaps they didn't have the time from the explosive growth.

Time spent on webmail is a vague term, is that browser mail or mobile phone mail? Why use email when you can send 50 status updates or tweets? Persistent chat rooms do help in this case, has he tried IBM Sametime? Maybe their Conversations app will help as well, but it is not unique nor an advancement.

Stop emailing attachments. Yes this was a Holy Grail which, again, Lotus Notes has had the ability to send a document link for a file which is in a database, or just on a file server almost from day one...over 20 years ago. IBM Quickr first started with offloading your attachments to a set web accessible site and integrated it into the R8 Lotus Notes code stream in 2007. With IBM Connections you can leave your files in there and just share the links to others inside outside your firewall.

Version controls have existed in various degrees for years within Domino databases and you could even go to openntf.org which hosts free and open licensed templates which usually solve most people's needs and no heavy coding.

Make it sound like Twitter, oh, we needed something to just do X and we built it, you will all love it. No. That is not how life works. First you let others use it and then afterwards you can say whatever floats your boat.

In the meanwhile I am a happy Lotus Notes user of nearly 20 years, even though I have worked on numerous email systems and variations through the years, because it lets me get my work done in ways nothing else has even come close to offerring.

If you do not believe it, ask me for a demo. Everything Ryan discussed he could not do, I and millions of others do every day.
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