Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lotus Foundations Server SMB Sales Ideas

It thinks it can invade the SMB territory. Here's why:
IBM wants to encourage SMB to get off Microsoft Small Business server.
It's great they want them to go to Linux which is why they bought Nitix.
I applaud the direction of trying to put Domino on yet another Linux platform, and try to certify it for the Nitix distribution.
It runs Domino(basic mail server).
OK so it also handles Exchange, not everything is perfect.

Now, I am in the process of sending my Micro II server in an envelope back to Nitix.

I do want to remain a BP of theirs, I love the idea and presented a 1/2 dozen reasons why BPs should be selling this or using it. However I was told unless I bought a server I could not be a BP. Possibly I could buy the Nitix license and stay a BP. My instinct says IBM will revise the BP structure soon and we can revisit it then. So I decided to send it back anyway as I can not use it for anything and a new Dell PC costs $1,000 less even after licenses or if use Ubuntu nearly free from licenses.

6 Suggestions of sales ideas:
1) Backup solution for small businesses, Nitix promotes this idea, but I do not mean using it as a backup drive or tape offline, Imean as a backup hot swappable Domino server for an SMB or household.
2) Household server. Why would a LInux person buy this and use it that way? They wouldn't. But peopel who see themsleves as technical lovers, albeit without the true geekiness, would love to say they have a linux box at home doing x,yz. And their mail server too.
3) Use it as the Sametime server for SMB's. Or App server or Mail server.
4) DRP/BC "pick up and go" server. I'm in Florida, Hurricane central and the idea of grabbing my network and going someplace is very appealing to SMB clients, even larger organizations which know they can not take a whole server would like to take targeted groups or divisions information with them.
5) Trade show/Event staff who always need a server but really a 5-10 user one is fine and this would be perfect. No more prying a server from someone or always rebuilding your demos because someone took your server.
6) Home Web server. Moving forward a static IP address at home should be de facto standard(hello Comcast pay attention!)and so should the ability to have a web server running.

Unfortunately I also had some valid reasons for not wanting the little box to stay in our offices.

My main issue is the 5 user limitation. Which to be fair is a hardware issue somewhat but more a business decision as they feel beyond 5 users the box will perform not so well. I poionted out that it could and should be licenses to at least 15, possibly 25 in this condition although even I realize this would be an absolute maximum..

Sadly my pleas although stated to sales, marketing, technical and Lotus Execs for Nitix, fell on deaf ears for now. They recognize it isn't ready for any of the uses I had in mind and the IBM take over has put them in a middle ground which will take another quarter or 2 to resolve and produce some newer products. In addition to the capability of running Sametime and Quickr on top of it with presumably beefier hardware and RAM.

Looking forward to it in the future but for now it does not meet my SMB needs in the small form factor. Would love to be part of the internal discussion around this if anyone is reading this from within.


  1. You should check out Office Appliance the Helm. They have been around longer than Nitix and have more functional and affordable "All in One" solution. All with NO USER LICENSES and free WARRANTY!

    I have had mine for years with no gliches. It also manages my VoIP and offsite back-ups all in the same company.

    Did I mention it is way more inexpensive than Nitix and built in the USA.

    Oh and they are developing a home Helm...

    Check them out at www.officeappliance.com

  2. Carmelina, Thank you for letting me know about this.
    It is an interesting idea. Perhaps IBM only bought Nitix because they ported over Lotus Domino.
    There is no magic to this, but the cost of a server and a prebuilt OS.
    In fact I am working on something similar.