Monday, July 1, 2019

Can We Get To Work Now?

As you may have heard, the divorce from IBM of the Lotus Portfolio of products has come to a conclusion and HCL has come out the winner,

The value of the deal ensures a decent rate of return to HCL within 3 years(maybe earlier) based solely on Support and Services, otherwise known as renewals.

The efforts to stop the leaving and increase the renewals only adds gravy to the deal for HCL.

But many of us want to see a new land, we want to not just see people hang on, but new customers come out of the cold. This could be the start of a renewal for the product line, sure, few companies have done it, Apple being the biggest turn around, and we have to do it without Steve Jobs. Not sure if that is the vision, but it is a goal which I think should be on everyone's mind.

We have to see the world, not like it was, not like we wish it was, but as it is and how we can once again be useful to people. Yet, once again, daily, we will have to prove that a venerable product, it  never went away in 30 years while so many disappeared, still runs and can run many companies worlds.

Sure, Salesforce now does workflow and automation, taking our niche potentially, or at least trying to if you believe a $200 million software project in Salesforce is required to replace, and not fully, a Domino application. The limitations and costs of Salesforce are not enough to convince someone to drop Salesforce, to push on those is working the competitive tactics of old.

Embrace and extend maybe is the answer, but that would end up a Business Partner play, aside from HCL getting the APIs to place nicely.

Microsoft of course still worries about us, funny how old flames die hard but the old ways, do not work the same and a better play in the competitive space is needed.

Google/Alphabet still sucks at calendaring and while the focus from HCL may not be messaging, messaging still is what runs a lot of businesses.

Workflow and automation demand a solid, stable, secure platform that can be relied upon to work no matter what you throw at it and no matter how little you babysit it. Do you ever hear Exchange admins say they love Exchange? No, not really, but there are 100s if not 1,000s of people out there that will say they love Domino.

Back to HCL Software and the future, while the dust settles and this 3 Billion dollar(Lotus bits)  startup creates logic where there was none, have some patience.

We would all like to see new commercials and marketing, but in a modern world, that doesn't cut it enough. If we really want this to succeed, we need to embrace the social media side, not just pay lip service to it.

We need to ingrain into people that MongoDB is only decades behind Domino in getting field level encryption in a NoSQL flat database.

And people treat that like news?

IBM would never let us go after this, but my hope is HCL will because if we don't bring the issues to the front, there is no press and no customers begging to come back.

Do we need new templates? Yes, and we need to find a way to make them flexible enough so customers can adopt them easily enough. I have some ideas in this space for another blog post.

Do we need to revise old ones? It wouldn't hurt, and these will help keep customers renewing. I gave my input already on the Rooms and Resources.

I have argued that to try to convince people to code with Domino is a hard sell, kids in college have never seen or heard of it. More importantly, the workforce is not what it was in the dawn of the PC industry.

Many employees are niche driven and not code happy, or even interested.

In the earlier days, those of us that wanted to find a better way or figure something out had to read anything we can find, play with everything, dig into stuff that even now I think about some of it was amazing.

But I don't see that spark in employees. The need to know more is gone, maybe because love of company went away over the last 20 years. If HCL can figure out how to light that spark again, we may be on top something.

I mentor startups and they listen to me explain long dead products that did what they plan to do and what went wrong so they can try to make a better way...while scratching their head why they never heard of these solutions.

HCL has the chance to do everything we have been begging IBM to do with the products for years. Now we just need to get on with it and be aware that the future is being built literally every minute as of officially 17 hours ago Grenwich Mean Time.

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