Monday, April 1, 2019

Is Your Company #DominoForever or Exiting Stage Left?

A good friend of mine sent me a link to this post from David Giller and I recognized much of what he posted (crowdsourced) happens in all industries and businesses.

But for those on the cusp of debating "should we stay, or should we go", read on.

"Too little, too late" is what I hear and see from people and my reply is, quite honestly, well, there is not too little now thanks to HCL.

Too late is a relative term in an Enterprise. If you decided today to change your course, it would be months, possibly years for some of your larger companies, before you even took a step forward with a new partner or vendor to architect where you are going.

There are also the costs involved in any big project, and this would be a big project. Ask yourself, or your executive, do you really want to spend money on swapping one mail system for another?

A rough estimate I use with customers asking is, at a minimum, the cost to migrate will exceed $1,000 per user/email address moved.

The number doubles if you are big enough and need both worlds maintained in parallel. 

The number triples if you also "must have" coexistence so your calendaring and scheduling can work together.

And I did not even get to your licensing and hardware purchases, that is if you are not going to a Cloud solution.

If you are going to a cloud solution, don't forget the costs and time involved to get your security, Directory, and single sign-on parts to work and upgrade your telecommunications because that bandwidth is going sky high next.

Okay, enough scary tactics, feel free to argue with me, I am all ears to anyone who says I am lying. Maybe my numbers are off, if anything, they are low. Seriously.

Back to Mr. Giller's post, here is my SCNDT (Sametime, Connections, Notes, Domino, Traveler) version of some of them. You need to recognize and fix these before you face the end of the road:

  • No business teams are providing requests for new applications, if they ever did, and you find you are not being involved in the meetings about the future of business applications.
  • When was the last time someone asked, and you got approval, for application enhancements?
  • When was the last time you DID NOT SAY "give me a few days/hours I will come up with something". And instead explained to your boss how this would be a serious enterprise required application that should be on the next IT budget meeting. If your apps are not Enterprise need, your infrastructure is not either.
  • Your admins left or were moved along and it is now up to the help desk or the developers, if any are still around, to maintain the environment. Would you let the pizza delivery person fix your Porsche?
  • Rolling out SalesForce? ServiceNow? Not integrating them with Domino? You have lost a huge opportunity because you know what? Both of the former requires a small army to customize it so it is useful. You already had much of this at your fingertips. 
  • Your company may say they want "best of breed" or the latest app in the Cloud, but you know your company and why that is probably not the safest most secure way to implement something that really could have been built on Domino.
  • Someone complains about the high cost of maintaining the Domino Infrastructure.
    • Ha, April Fool's, no one ever complains about the high cost of the Domino Infrastructure, except Microsoft and Google.
  • Executives say they want O365 but really have no business reason for it. the Outlook they use at home is not the same as in business. Directories and lookups, calendars, public/private information, multiple depositories for files are just some of the "functions" they have yet to use or think about. 
  • Look at the companies that tried to blame their problems on their email system and moved away from Domino only to die a miserable death soon afterward or fall into a serious free fall. Hello Comcast, BlockBuster, and Qantas Airlines to name some famous ones.
  • If your executive that has backed SCNDT all this time is now shying away, or leaves, who you gonna call? I am available.
  • Have you tried to provide ideas for how your infrastructure could be leveraged to management? They are grasping at straws and need a light, no matter how small, to help them.
  • You hear about database bloat. Look, you are the admin or developer and you should be trying to retire a database a day, that is about 250 a year and no one will argue with you even if you say you removed 30, 50, or 100. Be proactive or face negative reactive management.
  • There is a lack of vision by the management to understand how to leverage the SCNDT platforms to streamline and automate processes – instead of simply replicating the same backward manual way things have always been done….in Excel. And Excel, which is over 30 years old, is what runs many sales teams and finance departments. Just. Stop. It.
  • Some Microsoft tech complains about having to cover your servers when you are on vacation, you do take a vacation I hope, and you don't try to educate them, you lose the best chance of getting them on your side. Remember, no one ever says they love Exchange.
  • Training doesn't exist. I get it. But you know what? Leverage the hell out of your intranet. Wiki, blog posts, status updates, if you are not posting something, then the executives think it doesn't exist and what doesn't exist, doesn't get funded, and disappears. 
  • 1 great admin can manage a few dozen servers and between 1-3,000 users or more if given the right tools, for support issues and has minimal complaints and usually exceptional uptime. Learn your craft, read more blogs, go to user group events....The opposite of having bad admins is a sure sign the end is nigh.
  • Management thinks that Domino data is simply “ONE OF” the other systems that we have (resulting in siloed data being dispersed across multiple systems throughout the organization, making 360 degrees reporting practically impossible). This one I stole from Mr. Giller's post because it is still true.
  • If your organization cannot articulate their current or future business processes and expectations in a way that makes sense to a normal person, you may have a problem.
  • Middle management is more interested in their job and budget than benefiting the company. Small mind = no advancement.
  • Not leveraging Domino policies, Panagenda's Marvel Client or any of the configurable options that make user's lives better. I have been told by clients that Notes "should look and act like other apps" so they do not enable all the preferences. My retort usually is something like "Tesla didn't build a car, they built a car everyone wants because they included options people want and need." Yes, this is public enemy number one of a reluctant IT staff to maintain Domino.