Friday, February 5, 2010

Qantas Outsources their brains too?

By now most people have read or heard Qantas has decided to go to Outlook after being on Lotus Notes for 15 years or so....because their strategic partner, since April 2009, Fujitsu, said so.

This quote is interesting
"Subject to satisfactory piloting, we anticipate the migration to be substantially completed by the end of the year."

Qantas employees, fight this. Not because of Outlook or Notes but because of your job and the precarious nature of where this expense may send your company and thus your job.

Satisfactory piloting? Sounds like Mr. Hall is skeptical perhaps? After all this is the man who wanted to cut $100 million from his expenses. And the reason provided is
"This is part of the Qantas technology group's focus on leveraging technology to improve efficiencies for the business and enhancing communication effectiveness across our workforce,"

And this will do this how? Leveraging Outlook? It's a client side product. Exchange leveraging? I guess if one has the other pieces of the Microsoft puzzle it makes sense, but one could and should argue they would have been better served using LotusLive Notes or iNotes...but I don't think Fujitsu would do so. They would never allow IBM to get another foothold on their customer. Interesting to see if they go to Exchange in the Cloud or some hosted by Fujitsu version or wait for it...because Fujitsu probably wants to sell hardware as well. Sounds like the usual game and Qantas, or rather Mr. Hall bought into it big time.

I have said it before and will say it again. If you as the CIO/CEO/CTO want to leave Notes, pay for it out of your bonus because you are wasting your companies money. If you believe so strongly this move will not only save you money...but make you money then share in the wealth. but you can't because you know the truth and it's NOT about your company.

You will be very hard pressed to provide any cost benefit for making a change like this. While it may appear wise financially(somehow?) in the short term, the long term shows quite clearly that you will lose. But of course, the average tenure of an executive in your position is 5.3 years so you will be fine before the next huge bill comes back to the company. Especially if you start this process in year 2 of your tenure.

By the way, if you own Qantas shares get ready to sell them. If past histories tell us anything it's that companies that leave Lotus Notes to Exchange(or some other system) go into free fall for at least a year. Think about it, if you were blowing a few million for nothing, when will you get that back? And your internal IT systems wreck havoc with employees and various applications have to get rebuilt. Right, Fujitsu support staff knows Exchange but not Domino, so support costs will go down? Excuse me while I can't stop laughing. An increase in servers and staff and what will almost definitely be a hybrid environment for years to come. Fujitsu, or Mr. Hall, let us help you, contact me so we can show you the error of your ways.

A mess that anyone with some intelligence would look at and question. Instead try asking how else could we extend our systems. Hint, those millions you are spending could have gone VERY far, especially to staff that probably deserves it more.


  1. Well said. As a shareholder, I want the CIO to explain why they have just made a purchase into a technology that is inferior in security, scalability, features and funtional alignment to the rest of their messaging framework. The answer can't be strength of Microsoft solution from either a server-side or end user GUI perspective - since 2006, IBM made a large investment in the Notes client and when optimised, the end user experience between Notes and Outlook cannot be differentiated. But how about the services that are required to move the Domino databases and applications to a .Net framework? They will essentially need to be custom-coded from scratch. Domino is an open mail and messaging platform, an application development framework, a web browser. Last I checked, Exchange was... mail. That's unless you purchase SQL, Live Communications Server, Office Communications Server etc to get comparable functionality. But hey, that's new licensing for Fujitsu and certainly more margin than license maintenance costs that Qantas would have had a direct transaction through IBM with anyay. Qantas shareholders and workers, be aware!

  2. @anon thank you for the comments and as a shareholder hopefully it will work out in the long run.

  3. There are two sorts of people in the world: those who bleat about the benefits of Lotus Notes, and those who actually have to use it.

    Unfortunately, I fall into the latter category. It would take a lot of time & space to list all the problems with this product.

    Along with every single QF employee, I am excited to be moving to another e-mail product - any product - because it means I can just get on with my job instead of wasting hours every day with a thoroughly broken piece of software.

  4. @anonymous, I have been using a Notes client since version 2 for 18+ years. Been up and down with it through many iterations but never saw it crash regularly.
    But then it's my job to make sure all runs smoothly.
    What makes you think your admins/support people, who couldn't keep Notes running well, can keep Outlook running well?
    There are problems with every product.
    My question for Qantas was why not go to Gmail if money was the issue.
    Having worked on most of the largest, and smallest, Domino and Notes implementations I can feel your pain, but the problem stems from managements choices when hiring IT staff, not the product itself.
    You will see that the real problems will be found to be network bandwidth, outdated equipment or under performing equipment, scarce support/IT.
    If your car gets bad mileage is it the driver or the car? In some cases the car but usually it is the driver that has the largest influence.
    There are many customers not only happy with their Lotus infrastructure but it makes them money from the business applications because it is so dependable.
    I wish you all well, but truly a 1/4 of the money being spent to move could have been used to clean up your environment.
    I wish all my clients had that much money to waste on such folly.