Thursday, November 8, 2007

Microsoft Lies, Lotus Laughs, Support Rules

Ed Brill quotes from an email he received:
"I was just in a Microsoft presentation where our company's decision makers were told that the Microsoft share in email has grown from 52% to 86% here in the [sub-region of the USA], and that while companies are constantly converting "from Notes to Exchange" there has never been a conversion in the other direction."

Now I am not privy to the sales of either company let alone sales to a region or state.
But it's an interesting usage of statistics.

I am however interested in which region it is. Surely MS would like everyone to think they own the messaging world, and maybe they do, but why do so many companies admit to not liking Exchange but not liking Domino either?

Is there a better soluton out there? Yes and no.

Simple answer is yes there are always other possibilities. And depending on your size business some may make sense for you.

But the reality is NO for most companies. Why? Because of one word, Support.
Love 'em or hate 'em, Microsoft and IBM have robust and excellent support for their products, until they end of life them, and then us business partners come into play.

But let's talk about the other support. Personnel resources support.
Doing a simple search on for Lotus Notes Administrator gets 26, Domino gets 15, Exchange gets 73, Outlook gets 2. Total for their database just now.
So a total of 41 vs 75. Or in statistics terms(stats lie?!) 35% for Lotus and 65% for Exchange.

Some discussions have centered around the lack of jr admin available for Domino. And others argue in a similar light that the senior people move on and leave an organization without a proper evangelist or just move on for greener pastures.
Some argue long time professionals ask for too much money for work that could be done cheaper, IF you can get someone.

So what is happenning is eerily similar to the Mainframes. Now you can't find younger staff to code to it, so IBM made it accessible to Linux and other OS's. Brilliant by IBM, really it was. Saved a whole business line and gave younger coders an opportunity to possibly do more.

What can Lotus do for software? R8 is the answer, today. Based on the Eclipse platform and clients which can/will run on Mac and Linux, browsers and phones makes a push to the younger generation. BUT the younger generation still does not care about Lotus. Or do they? I look to Lotusphere 2008 for some insight.

Where's the love? What's in it for them? Do they like learning new languages every 2-3 years or prefer a stable platform? I would guess they prefer a stable platform as they get older but only time will tell.

They do want a fully customizable experiencee, note to car manufacturers, get with the program if they want black seats and black paint with a yellow lightning painted on the hood, you better be offerring it to them, price is what it is, they don't seem to care.

So, for instance, why is it so difficult to change the grey workspace background?
Why do I only have a choice of which pieces to look at it from my start page instead of SIMPLY setting them up?
No one wants to code their email client, well most of us don't.

So help the jr admins grow, find them and train them and ge them interested.

But the bottom line is if you are in a company that has Notes and you hear the MS guys are coming, call IBM or your Business Partner now. Why roll over for them? It will only hurt productivity, waste money AND put you out of a job(possibly).

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