Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Evangelists United

More poeple have begun to blog about evangelism and that is good, Lotus always needs it.
I prefer not to follow them on marketing, everyone can read about IBM's sales targets and revenues (Lotus was up 12%) in many places, I like to discuss competitive situations and hard sells.
Today I was on a conference call and there was a person who either does not want to do any work or is a MS lover. I say that because whenever someone picks on Lotus software for being slow or using bandwith too much I just like to laugh, its the odlest MS trick in the world.

It's not Lotus really, check it, sniff it, do whatever you want, Lotus uses whatever you have or as little as you want if you maintian thresholds/ratios for ports.

Why do the MS people keep harping on what has been proven wrong? Because they have ruin out of other routes to defense.

Remember in selling, if a person provides any defense at all, they are interested, just not ready, if you can drop their defense, (may not be exact)85% of the people do not have a 2nd reason and 98% do not have a 3rd.
So nip it in the bud, get it out there and then walk them through it all.
A good counter is perhaps showing how slow a Windows box is no matter how much memroy it has compared to a linux box or phones mobile to symbian.
There are always possibilities.....choose wisely!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

So far so Good

Not finished but the 1st competitive crisis of my new partner went well.
Money is always the issue, right?
Licenses would cost $20K to upgrade to R7/8 but MS wants to give them way for $1,000.
Great deal, save big money for the non-profit, right? Wrong!

Licenses, in the Lotus case is all it requires, yes some admin time, but since they have the staff it is not an issue.
Hardware, in the Microosft case is seriously required. 64-bit servers are not cheap, $8,000 for the one I looked up to configure andthat was without support contracts!
So if thy wanted an Exchange 2007 server they have to buy 2 servers of the exact same specifications, one for production, one for backup/drp. Cost so far $17,000.
But wait, they also need to update their AD infrastructure to 2007. More software licenses.
Plus they would want OWA which would mean more servers too!
Not going to continue this you get the idea...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Circles of Hell indeed

Today's post comes from a company which boasts to move your Domino apps to a Microsoft environment.
Souds great when you read the website(I will NOT tell you where to find it) but if you ask or figure it out....
However, at the bottom of the page is this graphic(sorry if it does not appear very clearly).
Note the following:
1 Domino Server or 1,000's of mail and applications server makes no difference since in theory you would need at least as many Exchange boxes, right?
Now let's say there is 1 Domino Server and it handles 200 people's email and 6 applications.
According to this MS business partner, in order to migrate your apps and email, you need the following based on their graphic:
1 Exchange server (note they use 2007 which requires a 64 bit architecture, thus a VERY NEW and expensive server to buy)
1 Active Directory (of course this comes with Server 2003/7 but you need a new box, again)
1 Visual Studio client, server maybe?
1 Sharepoint server 2007(again a new server)
1 .Net server
1 ASP .NET server(not sure if these can be combined)
1 SQL server (another server)
and Web Services
So now you want to go from 1 server doing everything to 6+ servers or one giant monster server with VM partitions.
And you need to buy all the software and licenses for 200 clients.
Now, what kind of ROI or TCO is this I ask you?
Anyone with pricing that wants to help me nail down the monetary side please advise.
Evangelism requires little work when you look at this graphic and review the steps, pieces.

Domino Server for sale, price $500K

Ed Brill has a discussion about Microsoft which has derailed into SAP and other issues.
Now SAP is huge and means everything to corporations IMHO.
Why doesn't Domino?
Well, Domino was never meant to be an ERP system, sure you can code one, but really there are better ways. BI yes, ERP no.
Someone rasied a point that SAP implementations were so expensive that there was no other way to use it but for everything and anything.
The everything looks like a nail to your hammer theory.

I proposed that perhaps Lotus should increase the cost of Domino to half a million dollars and no client license fees.
Naturally this will never happen, of course, perhaps if it had been this way early on we might still be holding authority over corprate messaging.

Now when a company debates changing systems it sounds better to say we like this one, it does a lot more than just email, hooks into our ERP and requires less administration.
And the price is only 1/2 million per server. A reverse price war, which would be insane now, but could have worked years ago.

The reponse is one of 2 ways, obvious is what are you crazy we get exchange for free! The CTO should retort yes but it's costing us $1million a week in downtime alone! If you do not believe me, I am available for this review of your company and I guarantee I will find at least $1million a week lost or you don't pay my fees.

The other response could be, interesting, we get real value, it hooks into SAP and can handle applications as well and works with the portal? Why don't we do this?

Now good readers, I have been around for a long time and I have seen crazy things, but nothing is crazier than an IT manager/director who tries to shuffle a Domino app to the CIO/CTO for 50K or even 250K and see it blown to pieces while a totally useless project(well technology speaking) claims to need $5million and gets it. The reason is executive speak. If a project costs above a certain amount, executives fear it and agree to it because it must be mission critical.

When the same exec gets a request for a small amount of money they look at it as nickel and diming them and it must be unimportant because if it was important they would ask for a few million!

Monday, July 9, 2007

La La La La ...Lemon

From my Partner connections blog since not everyone can read it there.

Yes, it's Berts favorite song from Sesame Street! Why? I think out of the box sometimes.
A bit off evangelism, although not entirely (see my public blog for the latest on that one by clicking the logo) today.
I have a theory, which I espoused with Ian White who was blogging here for a while.
Why is it all great smartphones so to speak, come from companies that are named after or for a fruit? Apple, Blackberry(RIM) and probably many more.
Then there is Motorola that just names phones like a bad personallzed license plate!
So the next phone to bring joy to the world should be called strawberry (although RIM probably bought the rights to it) or maybe a Melon (if you ever saw the Back to School movie you might get the reference.
But I think the world is ready for the Lemon phone. Smells good thanks to the citrus bark used to line the inner casing. Can always be found in the dark thanks to a yellow hue that glows(it is NOT radiation), a pebble grain casing(like the skin of a lemon) to give it good gripping power on your dashboard or hand.
Inside it would only work with Lotus, well because you can do these things, just ask RIM or PALM about exclusive clients. And it would run all your notes apps without havng to rewrite them since it actually runs an eclipse version of R8.
So why a Lemon, because no one would ever expect it to work and think of all the fun the press would have with it.
BUT THE THING WOULD WORK! Just not for Exchange.
So why not do it? IBM surely can get someone (Nokia preferably because they grok UI) to work it out.
Stranger things have occurred in life and maybe, just maybe, the mass commercial world, not just business, would also want it. Get Connectria or Prominic and all the other Domino hosters to help set up the network for it.
Would it be so bad to obtain a few million Lotus clients.
After all it's a fruit and everyone likes to turn lemons into lemonade.

Politics and IT don't mix

YEs, it's true, fire and water don't mix. IT and politics are almost as close.
Many company IT groups are run to just fix the problem, rarely creating the solution.
This has changed in the last few years, yet we still hear and read about companies that make a decision, then justify it on the public side.

Why do they do this? Why can't they just come out and say, hey Apple said they would personalize one in gold for me so we are buying 10,000 iPhones for the company.
Who cares if there is no great integration to our email and calendar I only cared about the personalized gold phone!

Now this may be reality for some people(I hope not) but for most ofus the truth is someplace in between.
So how can we play fair or cunningly at least so IT can trounce politics?
Well you could start by shutting the executive BES server down for 5 minutes to get their attention. :-) (just kidding, but you know the next time you need to work on a weekend..)
Now who holds the upper hand?
Should IT hold a company up because of a bad political decision? I don't know, but I would be willing to try it, perhaps in a different way.

In one client I recently finished a project their BES went down, HARD and so did a server of execs email. Bummer for them they were running Exchange and had NO way for the 100's of them at a major corporate event in Las Vegas to connect and they were very upset.

Being the Lotus evangelist that I am, aside from trying to help, I suggested in my report and to a few people that had they kept Domino as their mail server not only could I have rerouted all of them to their backup server (passthru options, cluster backup, many routes would have done it and even load http so they could webmail) in minutes, they might not have ever known there was a problem.
True story, ending was 5 hours later they got back on line. Estimated loss of business functional time in salary alone($45,000+) and lost revenue from the deals going on estimated because it was a 5,000 suppliers meeting to be anout $850,000.
That my friends is lost revenue, accounts, business, time you can add more to this cost.
And a cost which I would not want to be told by my CEO. Does Domino crash? I will not deny it can, but the built in and properly configured redundancy even if you only have 2 servers is excellent.
Did this change their perspectives, yes and no, some IT managers asked me more questions and we discussed possible scenarios, all of which I had covered already because they are BUILT IN TO DOMINO. Few of which had been done on the Exchange side, if at all possible because it required more pieces of the MS puzzle.
The SVPs were not impressed but then why would they, they either never sat in front of a admin screen or if they did it was too long ago to care.
Sadly sometimes it does take an emergency to make people sit up and think about their "corporate solution", politics have no where to go if your IT kills you for 5 hours.

Friday, July 6, 2007

R8 and Advertising for the Launch

Whoa! Stop the Presses!
Let's step away for a moment from pure Evangelism and look at possible advertising.
Warning, the likelihood of Lotus using these ideas are nominal, but you can't blame a guy from tryng to help.

R8 the next version of Lotus Notes & Domino could have some great tie ins, since it sounds like RATE (or if you want R8 is GR8) for example for print ads of course the name and tags are in Yellow:

FPL for instance could be shown with a FPL renewed energy R8
or Moody's could show the IBM R8 (clear this with legal first)
Any Lawyers professional R8
Top consulting firms guaranteed R8
Mortage companies provide best possible R8

Goofy, maybe. But although I laughed at the habitrail ads in IT magazines for Lotus, they just don't get much across to the average joe on the street, or myself because who wants to read text in an AD? Just stick on the logo and whatever this years IBM name/tag for Lotus is and leave it.

If the graphic doesn't say it all, you are wating your time, like showing a full slide of text in powerpoint presentations, no one reads it all.

Coke is it! But Lotus Notes is GR8!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

How Lotus Notes & Domino R8 could be launched

KABOOM!! Yep it's that time of year when everyone imitates Walt Disney World at 10pm. Just kidding, but for all you Lotusphere attendees you know what I mean.

Now I don't know about you, but where I live there are a plethora of firework stores and tent sales. Why? So people can go to the ER without fingers or eyebrows? No, because you would not know where to buy them if you did not see them, or in my case remember July 4th was around the corner.

What does this have to do with Lotus? Or R8 of Lotus Notes & Domino being launched? Because I would love to see a tent pop up on every corner with the big Lotus logo we all know and love on the day R8 comes out. But that will never happen (by the way anybody at Goodyear, can we borrow a blimp ).

However, if you are a BP out there reading this or an IBM Sales rep/SE/IGS consultant, get moving on figuring out how to have a Lotus R8 bash at every client, give out stuff left and right, show clients we support them and Lotus. Bring in doughnuts, coffee, cookies, anything yellow.

Just get out there and show your clients how much they mean to you and Lotus and IBM.

I would love to see responses to this as I plan some ideas myself. Yes I know we don't know yet what day it will be, but that is not important right now.

Lotus marketing, where are you, help us to help you!