Monday, November 30, 2009

Reasons to Upgrade/Migrate Domino.Doc to Quickr

I have mentioned it before and for the sake of those still on the fence, let's revisit Domino.Doc for a minute and why it is important you upgrade it.
I know few admins out there even know anything about it or ever maintained it, but having worked with Domino.Doc since it was in beta in 97/98 (Quickplace as well since it's beta) I am happy to see a resolution finally coming from IBM.

From the IBM page of Domino Document Manager:
As of May 12, 2009, the software will not be available for purchase; end of support will take effect on September 30, 2012.

1) IBM is granting you license for license "free" swaps from Doc to Lotus Quickr.
This is important to you because it means there is no upfront cost and in most
cases your support licensing costs will go down next year over this year.
There are also Filenet licenses for some circumstances.
NOTE: This offer only until September 2010

2) The tool is available to move your File cabinets to Lotus Quickr sites.
It works well and takes some time to configure all the tweaking you want for the
new site but once ready to go, can be done at your leisure.

3) You get to upgrade your Lotus infrastructure finally so all servers run 8.5.1.
The tool in #2 requires a Lotus Quickr 8.2 server running Domino 8.5 or newer.
Now you have the perfect reason to get some funding for your upgrades,
Piggy Back the Doc upgrade and start taking advantage of Traveler, DAOS,
ID Vault, DCT and so much more efficient systems compared to the R6 or R7
version you are stuck on currently.

4) Read the Redbook if you need to know more. Link to it is here.

5) Connectors/Enablers/Plugins what ever you want to call them make your life,
the life of your employees, and your extended workers lives so much easier.
Connecting from Windows Explorer, Lotus Sametime, Lotus Notes, Stand alone client,
Lotus Symphony and Microsoft Office makes storing and accessing yoru data
simple, fast and efficient.

Please don't jump in with anyone to do this. Make sure they know and understand about Domino, Quickr and Domino.Doc, not just Quickr. Also keep in mind that your preferred partner may be using us or others to handle the work so always ask who will be handling your data.

As we get closer to Lotusphere some of you may want to discuss this further with us so please get in touch and we will set something up.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's About We, not Me

Found this excellent poster and tempted to buy it
A twitter post caught me today and I replied that until it's not about me, but about we, one can't "get" Lotus.

This isn't the entire story of course, but it is critical.

The greater good, of the individual, or the company, is from the sharing of information and data.

It's NOT about:
Face to Face time

It's about everything as a whole and recognizing that what you know, someone else may not and by helping them you create a tsunami of savings in time, resources, money, family time, overtime and many other ways as well.

Yes one should be a part of everything, but not for the sole purpose of doing a job. The ability to share with others without recourse and without fear is a hard one for many people to understand. You may at times get something wrong, but that happens when you give of yourself to others because the greater good is what matters.

When you look around in your organization, do you see people that want to share or do you see people that want to win at all costs or are secretive or evasive?

The answers tell you a lot about where and who you work for and what systems they run internally. I don't care if you are a Lotus, Microsoft, Google or Novell shop but although the tools might exist and be available to you and your fellow employees, is there a true sharing and freedom? Or is it just more silos and sideline discussions?

So the answer to anyone that asks why you use, sell or manage Lotus products is we believe in the greater good and sharing everything will all of us.

Not an elevator pitch, just a simple answer to a question from someone who really does not understand what the question implies about themselves.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Truth or Myth? Password Resets are #1

In a discussion at lunch today I suggested the #1 call to a help desk is about passwords. Notes ID, Windows logins, FTP sites, Web usage for Sametime as an example, VPN login, Mobile devices, Voice Mail etc..

If you manage an infrastructure or are an admin in an organization or a help desk member or a manager who has dashboards for Remedy or Paradigm or whatever help desk solution, can you please comment?

So have an opinion? Is it #2? And if you have the metrics, how long does it take to make the change for the person? Keep in mind:

Time to call
Get user ID/info
Discuss problem
Login to the system or find the user
Find the ID(or start the process)
Complete the process
Have user test it(when applicable)
Hang up
Enter the details in the Help Desk system

I put it at about 5 minutes per call.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Microsoft not using the Transporter in 2010

An article posted on the site says Microsoft will not be creating a tool to migrate users from POP/IMAP or Lotus.

They claim 3rd party vendors have better tools and that the lack of a free tool may reduce the migrations due to the cost involved.

Michael Crowley, an enterprise/ messaging administrator with Germantown, Md.-based Microsoft product integrator Planet Technologies, Inc., said Microsoft's decision to stop offering its free tools is "a bigger deal than people realize."

Crowley said Lotus moves are usually done for cost reasons -- not because of any issues with IBM's mail server products, and POP3/IMAP4 to Exchange migrations are far more common.

Just what we have been saying for a long time, the issue is NOT the server. Of course the issue is not the price either when it is broken down properly.

And he goes on to say, and perhaps he is slightly confused by the Lotus admins as well:
"Generally the Domino administrators are happy with their software and sometimes even resist the migration," Crowley said.

Resist it? Sure we resist it, because it's a waste of money to leave a perfectly good platform for another one.

Most likely licensing is an issue, but really, aside from the initial expense, keeping your maintenance up is cheap next to whole new licenses. But if you had an older version, say 5,6,7 and stopped maintenance, then what do you expect IBM to do?

The licensing issue doesn't go away in the Cloud nor does it go away by going to Microsoft. In fact other licensing expenses go up, as does hardware costs.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No Abstracts for me this year

But it works out in your favor.

Some were about how to enhance your support methods or build up your documentation for SOX or Disaster Planning or Business Continuity, I will most likely blog these at some point, with dbs to help get you started as well when applicable.

Other sessions submitted were based on articles and presentations I did this year which are of interest to a core group of (Quickr mostly) people, but maybe not the vast audience. Back to the white board for next year.

We had discussed on Twitter about doing an Un-Sphere for those who really wanted their sessions to be heard. I suggest when Ed and team open up Lotusphere Idol you try again, but otherwise blog it, pod cast it or slide share it. That is if you want to go through with it all, which as some pointed out is unlikely. I encourage you to be disciplined, create a deadline and just do it. It might make your session better for next year or the next LUG event coming soon. Or you may come up with a better idea for next time.

Some of us had wondered if we should do a 15 minute thing for people at Lotusphere but to be honest, aside from Lunch, not sure when that would ever work. And, in my case, I think I would prefer to just have more Blog posting material. But if this idea is of interest, to do some at lunch, sort of a lunch and learn thing, we can try it, I guess on the Monday at lunch and if it works do it each day?

Go see the people that are speaking, especially the new ones, they deserve your time and maybe, you might like them too and add them to your list of "must sees" for LS11. Many bloggers are speakers, so you probably have a fair idea already what to expect, but live is always more fun. Remember the speakers are other Lotus lovers, just like you, and for that reason, there really are no bad sessions at Lotusphere.

You always learn something from every session.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

eWeek on Google Wave, What a Lark

David retweeted about this online slidedeck from Novell.

10 Persistent Messaging Problems that Google Wave Solves by Clint Boulton

You can see it here.

I appreciate that Novell is working on their Wave Server/services and it's an intriguing idea, but what does that say about Groupwise's future?

But I want to focus on some points in the slides, which were simplistic and in one case just blatant FUD.

Slide 1(Screen2) says Wave is free and open source. Great, just how long will Google support your file storage junkies for free? Last I checked there was no impediment to using Lotus products with other open source pieces. True the core Notes & Domino is IBM owned and not "free" but then it is more open to integration than Outlook and Exchange. You can even use Wave from your Notes client, or so I have been told, probably a sidebar app.

Slide 4 (screen5)Wave gives the same view to everyone, which to me is difficult to figure out the last development. But maybe I am just linear. I prefer a standardized way to see my information so every time I go there I don't need to relearn how to find information.

Slide 6 (screen7) FUD alert. 10MB limits exist because it's a default standard, which most admins never change and most companies never know they could change. Google has no such limits, per se. Just wait and see, corporates will limit it, when they start paying for the usage. Oh and tell your admins to raise the attachment limit or better yet use a Lotus Quickr server running DAOS on Domino to reduce the disk space used.

Slide 7 (screen8) a reminder that Outlook doesn't reply with attachments which drives people crazy, and why Notes clients have the options to send email with or without attachments. Wave will keep the attachments in place. Right, like Quickr does or Wiki's to a lesser extent.

They also discuss clean threading and error correcting data. So no one else has any live documents? IBM and Microsoft would argue differently. Yes past items might be stuck in a thread, but if you are using a modern platform, aside from your email to work in a collaborative manner, editing is not only available but open/secured as well to a much greater degree.

I liked Wave when I saw it but now that I have had time to play with it, I am not happy with how it works, for me, for business. Business needs a logic, sometimes bad logic, but needs logic for others to be able to work, repeat, reuse and provide training. If one has to jump around everywhere in a thread to find what could be easily defined or found using existing tools, this has a way to go to be ready for the business world.

What are your Developers Afraid of?

Or for that matter, what you afraid of?

I recently had some requests for Domino Web development work which were beyond my scope/interest and time due to some family emergencies.

What was interesting to me, as an admin and a business person, is how many people turned me down to do the work. And I know what's involved in doing it, and maybe you even had it done someplace, but nonetheless everyone I asked turned us down.

Paying jobs with have some trickle effect of business too I might add if anyone had said yes. I even offered a few people to take the time and do it, no rush and we would work out a deal.

This has me concerned. Now as an Admin I might not know how to manage an SAP environment, although I am sure I could manage if I needed to do so, and I would normally turn this down. However just because I haven't done any administrative work on a service(for 10 years or so), like MSD(Mobile Services for Domino) for example, I'm not adverse to handling it, especially if it is not an emergency, and even if it was I would still handle it.

So why aren't some developers as amenable to working on something new or at least different? Is coding for a Notes client application that different than coding for the Web? Is it Java/Javascript that scares you? Is it Quickr, Connections, Domino.Doc or Sametime code that has you afraid to touch it?

What do you tell the boss when they need something done or propose web applications?

Do we evolve? Do we stay in our comfort zone? Are we waiting for our company to get on R8.x before pushing ourselves to learn more?

In business, the best companies are the ones that not only expand their wings and try other venues of business but expand their core offerings as well. We spent some time looking at business and while it works for us, we have had to augment some parts which were not on the horizon, but now see how they will fit nicely.

Maybe this was a bad example and the reasons are much larger than they appear to me.

But what if this project, or a similar one, led to other work and a whole new line of business for you?

You will never know.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My S10e goes Ubuntu, You can too..Really

Been almost a year since I got my S10e and it's been great to have, while in London for the summer, Chicago for MWLUG, Lotusphere 2009, clients and flights.

But I was kind of lazy about updating it's OS, drive and loading Linux on it.

Now that I had a spare drive, and encouragement from Darren, who did it the other day, I figured it's time.

The spare drive is bigger than the default drive and came from my HP and runs Vista on it. I wanted to see if it would work first under Vista and with nothing changed it just worked. I need some screen drivers, etc.. but it was fine. Good thing as it's going to Windows 7 next.

Before I start this, if you put this on a USB you can run it from a USB if you don't want to mess with your hard drive. It's a bit slow, but works well.

Back to Ubuntu, go to this site, to grab the latest file for your netbook. Download the .iso file to your PC.

It then has a link to this page to help you put it on a USB. I had no luck with this, but did when I went to this page and the UnetBootin program as I did this on a Windows machine, Linux server is, um, in parts right now.

The program is straight forward, just tell it where the .iso file is and where your USB is. The program will set up the USB to boot and run Ubuntu. Once you boot your laptop with the USB, you will have the option to install Ubuntu on your PC itself.

So you have the USb ready to go, now set your laptop or pc to boot from the USB drive. Plug it in and wait for it to start.

Great graphical UI, and one item which shows on the main window asks to install Ubuntu to a PC. Let it do it. It has a built-in partition selector and divider so you can run it in parallel with Windows. Or just wipe your drive and go whole hog. I shared space.

Also updates will come, especially to Firefox so maybe wait for the updates to install before trying to install and download more. Once you can get online, go get the Linux code for Sametime, Notes and anything else you want.

Ubuntu also will let you interact with your windows partition so I have the best of both worlds right now. Go play and learn. I'm much happier with this version than one I tried on my previous Linux box.

So next up is to find out just what else I can toss on this machine and demo, work, maybe the big HP laptop will have to go Ubuntu soon too.

One last link, in case you need it:
Notes install issues

Do you know your CXO?

And better still, do they know you?

Yesterday when I discussed how to tackle "the talk" when management wants to discuss moving away from Domino or anything for that matter and their issues I wanted to follow up on one section, namely the CXO and what to do about them.

How do you get the CXO's attention? How do you keep them up to date? How do you make yourself heard, without upsetting politics and the common day actions of everyone?

Easier said than done of course, but maybe these ideas will help you.

Start with do you even know who they are and where they are located? This may sound simple or obvious, but when you are the low woman/man on the IT totem pole you might not know, or care. You should care if you read yesterday's post as your job is at stake potentially.

Great, now you know who the top people are and you can focus on who to help. Why help? Because they need it, but don't know it. This is your job, to help them learn from you, in various ways which are up to you.

Every time you upgrade a server or client template or really anything, you should be sending out an email to them to let them know what is new. Most companies don't do this, so step out there and be different.

If there are new mobile features let them know, if there is better access to an application, let them know, but don't just say we updated to R8.5.1 and your iPhone is now supported. Pitch them like it was a new idea for the company.

You may find that tailoring those emails for the CFO vs. the CEO are time consuming but will mean a lot to them.

Some of you are saying, yeah right my boss won't let me send such an email. Ok, let your boss know it's good PR for IT to do this and you are sue the execs will be happy to hear IT does anything aside from play video games(yes, I hear that still from some people, I think they mean twitter now)send it to everyone in the company, but send the execs a slightly more tailored one if you can.

Still not allowed? Post it on the company intranet somehow. No Intranet? Email the execs assistants and let THEM know how their job will be easier because of X,Y,Z and so will their boss and ask that they let them know as well.

Maybe none of this works for you, the mahogany halls scare you or the CEO's assistant can fire you on sight, well cheer up you have other ways to help.

There is an interoffice mail in every company. You can use it as well, print it off and send it to them.

If you are on the support or development side it might help you if you had a few minutes of a discussion with some execs about how they use your application or phone or whatever product in question. Your immediate boss might laugh this off, but remind them that a true user experience is based on the people using the system and if you want buy in from the CXO's, they have to see it and feel it and believe in it...and use it.

Guerrilla Evangelist tactics? Slightly, but if your job was at stake you would do whatever you could to save it.

Reality is much harder, it could take weeks to get to talk to the executive. Email and IM have made this an easier way to target them, if they use it. Not that I advocate everyone out there do this, but Bob Picciano, the Lotus General Manager, is usually on Lotus Sametime and if you wanted a minute he might give it to you.

Always be respectful of the executives time and ask if they have a few minutes for you to ask some questions or just relate something they might want to know about or need to get their job done. You might be surprised how often your little nuggets of coolness and/or productivity is just what they were looking for or wanted to know.

Again, it's not easy, in a Birds of a Feather Session at Lotusphere the last 2 years Tom and Gregg and Jess discussed how to be evangelists inside the organization. It was obvious from attendance that it's something people want to do and be a part of, I imagine if a similar session is held at Lotusphere 2010 in January it will be even larger attendance.

So get out there and start publishing, emails, blogs, videos, webinars, wikis, podcasts, basically however and whatever way you need to get the word out to everyone.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Google and Microsoft got you down?

Lotus beats the competition everytime
When a CEO lets you know they want to discuss alternatives, while you are building them a new Domino 8.5.1 server, you know this discussion is not going to start off well. Sales people might know where I am going, but having trained sales and technical people on this type of discussions, few EVER do it in reality. Some of the bloggers on Planet Lotus do this regularly, but not enough of us do in the corporate world sometimes.

You will hear all about how "easy" it is to "just work" with Google or that everything "works with Exchange", "Outlook is much faster", "everyone uses x" among other nuggets of generalities. There might be a list a mile long or only 2-3 items but either way, what will you do when faced with this test of your integrity and defense of your workhorse Domino infrastructure?

Before you get all defensive, remember, it's your job to teach, train and help the client/customer/employee/executive. If they are asking these questions then you at least have a good relationship and don't do anything to change it. Otherwise you would have been told "we are moving to X" next month.

But if they are asking these questions, you also have not been doing your job as well as possible and this can happen too. To be fair, you may not always get the CEO's time to "train" them but I will tackle this issue in a related post today or tomorrow.

So what do you do? Show up for the meeting or call or online conference, take a minute to ask about work/family/sports whatever just to relax yourself, then ask if the executive can elaborate on their thoughts for you so you can better assist them in their efforts and then SHUT UP. Seriously, let the person talk, however long they need to, because you should be TAKING NOTES on everything they say. Oh and let them know you are taking notes or working off an email or list they sent you already.

You can and should ask them to repeat something or ask for clarity but DO NOT under any circumstances try to defend or reply to anything they are saying.

When they are finished, thank them for bringing all of this to your attention. If there is a major point or thread that all else flows from, you must hit it first. If you don't see any logic, start with what you do understand or know about, then work your way backwards to items you may not have the details.

Many times the real issues stem from one thing and if you can address it first the rest does flow very well. In this case, an issue which had to do with an application was at fault. There were also issues about a lack of awareness or training about some newer benefits in the 8.0.2 and 8.5 and 8.5.1. Not entirely our fault as we have been waiting for them to commit to new hardware for a while and we just sat on it for a little too long.

After addressing the application issue, which really was more a configuration problem than an issue, we go to the discussion about everything from Traveler and it's benefits to iCal and backing up phone contacts among other items. It wasn't easy, the boss had read online forums complaining about this and that, Traveler was a heavy client he didn't want to use, (never heard that one yet) he was using Google to synch corporate details(we discussed security as well as why IBM Mobile Connect might be of interest) because "no one used Notes for calendaring". This of course is never true, and usually means they do not use it but nonetheless one must work out each point. He had no idea he could easily send and reply to Outlook users or Gmail users and have it all work well. He had never tried is my guess.

Keep in mind you may have to be honest and open about what does or doesn't work in your environment, but also be positive that it can be resolved if it doesn't work. Sometimes the promise of fixing it works really well. (See anything Microsoft has claimed for the last 20 years that is always coming in the next release) If you can't be honest with your client, boss, then you will not get any place with them.

Ask more questions, ask how they tried or what was wrong. Let them know you understand the issue and then when you think you have finished, ask them what else to cover or anything they still have questions about. If you have been asking and following your notes there really should not be anything major left to discuss.

So when all is said and done let them know what you will do for them and also what they need to do for you. Without buy in from them, you may be wasting your time. If you say you may need their help to troubleshoot some issues, and they don't say they will help, then you missed a step, possibly the honest answers part, go back and find the problem. You may not get a second chance.

If your job responsibilities included anything that was mentioned during the initial monologue from the boss, apologize for having not provided them the information appropriately and ask what the best way to keep them updated is. You may be pleasantly surprised to get 15 minutes a week with them because of this or at least sending them an email once a week with new ideas that will be read.

In the end, this post can't tell you what to say or how to say it for every possible discussion nor would I want to as it also would help the competition :-)

I can only provide you with the basics, the rest is up to you. If you don't feel comfortable in these discussions, ask me to help you or ask someone else you trust, because that's what we are here for, to help you and in some cases even save your job because of discussions just like this one I had today.

If you have a sales force that doesn't know how, that is doesn't WANT to discuss the competition with the client, let me know! We have ways of making them talk, or walk, but at least you will know when it happens and can protect your business before it gets too late.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why Google Frustrates me

I like Google usually, aside from when they try to act like a corporate provider.

In this case, as a consumer, they have some issues.

While working on our AdWords campaign I was sent an email to share access to it. You would think it would be easy enough, just login using my Google ID.

One problem...which ID is that? Keep in mind each of the ones listed below are absolutely 100% different logins and passwords.

My google Wave ID?
Gmail ID (I do not use gmail so don't bother emailing me there)
Other corporate login (not primary domains)
Blog login (Google bought Blogspot)
Adwords ID (don't recall but from at least 2 years ago)

The last one is the problem. Evidently I was supposed to use the same login for all adwords accounts. I chose to assign yet a new one, because Google wouldn't let me login with any of the above ones.

Then the page shows up in chinese when I try to login!
My Chinse is rusty

And if you had seen the screen before you would realize that my login is accepted but still not getting redirected to adwords or our campaign.

I don't know what Google's Directory plans are, but so far they don't have one as far as I can tell. I understand the average company has one Directory(or so google might lead you to believe) and so maybe that works for Google, but I don't think so.

Just wondering why I can't use an universal ID for all the Google pieces.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Installing the 8.5.1 clients on a Windows 2003 Server

While I still get nearly an hour of lunchtime from an install on Vista, the same can't be said about my recent install to a server.

One has enough time to get a drink and that's it.

Clocking in at just under 11 minutes to install all 3 clients(without Symphony) is pretty impressive.

Would have created a video but honestly who wants to watch paint dry for 11 minutes?

How are the times on Windows7?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Windows 7, Same As It Ever Was

Many years ago in some discussions with Microsoft I was asked what they should do to get companies to upgrade from Windows 2000 or 2003 to Windows 2007, I don't recall exactly, but the answer was the same from me.

Make it an in place solution and they will follow, like IBM does with Domino.

Now it is true, you may be out of luck if trying to install Domino 8.5.1 on a Windows 2000 server(it works, but unsupported) as one client found.

But this is a rare case. After all, that OS is now +/- 9 years old .

But every Domino version in memory just installs over itself, from version to version. Like any product should. Exchange however needs an OS refresh first.

Now look at Windows 7 and what do we, as consumers at home get? An error message when we try to update our XP machines to Windows 7. And it then proceeds to tell you there is no path from XP to Window 7.

You know this already, but what do you tell consumers? Buy new equipment? In truth it is probably cheaper in many ways to do so.

Microsoft still doesn't get the fact that the reason so many people stayed on Windows and Exchange 2000 or 2003 is the headache and cost of doing what could be a simple upgrade.

The IBM way for Domino makes it so simple, I even did a video of a server being updated in 3 minutes. If Microsoft had done that, where would the apple commercials be? And where would the majority of the world?

IBM continues to win customers by showing how resources can be used, not wasted, to build productive environments that can be maintained for years to come.

Corporations and individuals do not have an IT "Old Age Home" where they maintain extinct Operating Systems and other software just in case they need old data. Some keep those machines running forever, but at what cost? My data, as I have said many times, is still accessible to me just like it was in 1993 when I first started using Lotus Notes.

That is Data Mining.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

CIO Magazine Email survey

I was just asked to provide my input for a survey which asked:
What features of functions are lacking within your company's current messaging environment? What do you see as the potential benefits of cloud computing? Let us know your thoughts in our new 6 question quick poll below. Results will be posted in the Downloads section later this month.

But it really is a survey about Cloud computing. As usual a flawed poll from the CIO group. Why is it so hard for them to accept that some systems really do work well?

At least they included Lotus Notes and Domino as an option this time.

They asked in 3 different ways about problems in your email system, then turned around and asked why you were moving to the Cloud. If only this was the truth.

If the majority of companies run Exchange as so many claim, then if CIO believes you hate it, that would imply that Exchange has issues. But if you ask about it, no one claims any issues at all! So what's going on?

The questions asked about what's wrong are as usual generic and could be any company without an intelligent admin. But there is the problem. They should have asked about their admins and if they are any good or need training, or if they ever provide them training or if they resolve issues efficiently. Maybe even ask how much is invested annually to maintaining it?

But then you get to where CIO is going, costs reduction. What if you only analyze the Cloud by costs reduction, is that fair or responsible? I understand there are tax/budget implications for capital expense versus expenses themselves. But there is also a state of mind for your business that just may backfire, even if it is only once a year and for some companies, however malcontent their infrastructure is, it's theirs and they want to keep it that way.

Maybe next time they will ask if one would stay with their vendor or switch or bring in outside parties to manage it, correctly. Because if they don't, wouldn't you fire them like employees? Sadly no, because the contracts are written to guarantee too much, in favor of the vendor.

Naturally I said, truthfully, that I have no problems with our mail infrastructure and only would think about the Cloud from a cost reduction (hardware, electric, etc.).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ROI in 30 Days

While discussing the benefits of training employees how to make proper usage of graphics and email with Chris, it seemed to me that this has been going on since day one of email systems.

Wait till you see this picture, all 1.5MB of it.

What if that 1.5MB picture was sent out to everyone in your contacts list because it was your latest PR release? And what if you send this type of information regularly, like once a week?

If you have a list like mine, of over 5,000 people, one can start to see some serious numbers and dollars, being wasted.

Simple math(not including the size of the email for simplicity sake):
1.5MB x 5,000 = 6,500 MB or 6.5GB per weekly email sent is going out of my network.

That's a lot of bandwidth!

Plus the time involved to send each email, let's be really nice and say it takes 1 second per email to create and send from your server.

1 x 5,000 = 5,000 seconds or 84 minutes or 1 hour and 24 minutes
(Servers are multithreaded these days so this is purely theoretical # which is probably 4-5 times as large as it should be)

You think you just sent out a little email, but what you do not understand is you have now probably prevented others from sending perhaps for as long as an hour or more. Not to mention incur the wrath of your Administrator.

Now imagine if you did this inside your company with a new HR manual or employee time sheet or price guide? This gets a bit nastier.

6.5GB x 4 weeks = 26GB a month in new storage on your SAN or hard drives and email accounts. In theory. Why? Because presumably everyone will detach the attachment and store it locally and delete the email. Or at worst keep it until next week's version comes out.

Sadly I wish I was joking when I say that more than 75% will not delete the emails.

So you have now increased the daily, weekly and monthly backups(which includes tape, SAN, clustered servers, offsite storage, etc..) and over the year this would be 312GB or 234GB based on my 75% rule.

Big deal disk space is cheap, right?

Bandwidth? Internally? We have 1GB or more who cares?\
Your telecom people do if you need to keep that Quality of service up and running for that great VOIP system you have connected to Lotus Sametime. Every time you flood the network, you create a potential dam that blocks other traffic, important traffic, that needs to run efficiently so your CEO doesn't drop his calls every Monday morning.

Dollar value of this? Being nice and presuming $1-$5(real number is between $27 and $40 per month so based on this Forrester post from June 2009) a person to cover all expenses related to the bandwidth, backups, virus checker, mail system, disk space we could end up with $5,000-$25,000 lost or spent EVERYTIME this message goes out.

So monthly that's $20,000 - $100,000
Annually, $240,000 - $1.2 Million
3 years - $720,000 - $3.6 Million


Or, you could run Lotus Domino (8.5.1 is the latest) with it's DAOS (Domino Attachment and Object Service) which provides a one stop save for the attachment and sends a link to everyone else in your company.

So if you have DAOS setup to manage any attachment over 1MB(default is 4mb) you would only see a small blip of 1.5MB plus the text size of emails every week which even at 5,000 users is not more than 25MB per week.

A reduction in disk space of 99%! And all other costs as well.

Now, on top of this, use Lotus Quickr with it's built-in places for special groups or projects, with auto emails (links only no attachments)and group calendars to keep everyone involved and up to date and you can see some amazing ROI.

This is why we can promise a 30 day ROI to most companies.

Even if the licensing and consulting fees equals $100,000 it's still an ROI of one month at the higher end or 5 months at the low end. And this is on the low end and very generic.

If you or your company resembles even part of what was discussed, please allow us to provide more specific details to you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

New IBM Commercial Ideas

With the future well known, and sadly someone has probably already stole this thunder, but imagine what a cool ad campaign it would have been if there was "there's a plugin for that" for websphere or Domino, Sametime etc..

Or in Notes parlance, there's a db for that, well there used to be, now there's a sidebar widget :-)

Maybe we should be creating a set of ads making fun of the UI issue? Even use MBR as the spokes model, like the UPS commercials using the original designer?

There's a UI for that :-) Perhaps a past/present thing, like the college photo vs today which is better? Or look at what some cars were versus today?

Something that shows the product, enjoys the past but encourages the future as well as provide a variation on themes.

Are you a Silo or a Share?

The web has provided some great benefits to the world, but the greatest is the idea that together we can accomplish more than being alone.

In a blog at Computer World which Ed Brill opined about, I posted a comment.

Many of my clients enjoy sharing data because 1+1=3 and provides better information, faster details and endless possibilities in the future.

Some clients have a mixed environment and the comparison between the Lotus side and the non-Lotus side(usually Microsoft) is at times in sharp contrast and almost typical of what you imagine.

The Lotus side lives and works together in one happy office building is mobile and travel happy and help desk calls are more about "how to do something" instead of "this is broken". This office also uses Sametime extensively and prefers all customer projects be "in the system" and secured on various levels. Allows all employees, provided security levels, access to all servers regardless of location. Many have MAC users and tend to be looking a little ahead of the curve, not much, but a little.

The non-Lotus side likes to work in their office, away from others, likes to keep their servers local and for their office only. They also tend to not be MAC fans and not always ahead of the adoption curve. They understand they would gain from the switch to Lotus but can't give in to this urge....yet.

When we hear a CXO is new and immediately starts saying he wants Lotus out, we suggest to our contacts there that if you can fight it properly, do so, otherwise be prepared for a rather paranoid and close door policy coming.

When we hear a CXO wants to extend the Lotus infrastructure, I try to buy stock in the company as they will be better off later (any students want to entertain a thesis idea, let me know).

Google is a different discussion. They want to encourage sharing but it seems also encourage silo's, since not all their pieces come together yet(although Wave looks to be a "glue"). Don't get me wrong, IBM doesn't have everything talking perfectly either, but there is a strong push to ensure this is the case moving forward and I have seen or read about more of it coming and I am impressed.

It's not about needing more pieces to make the network work, it's about making all the pieces you have, whatever they may be, to work together and with external parties. IBM is pursuing this by leveraging Sametime, Quickr and Connections to integrate with what is inside your organization aside from your IBM items. Domino has always done it since it's inception.

It is this sharing which is most important. If you can share the infrastructure, across the world or a city, you have beat half the companies who can only share in one location at a time or act like this is the only way to work.

With IBM and Lotus you have the tools, in fact you had the tools for the last two decades but sometimes it takes a while for great ideas to catch on.

Don't believe me? Try it yourself.
Give me 30 days of one of your staffers time.
Like GM, if you don't like it, drop it, but at least try it.