Monday, November 11, 2019

Old vs Future

If you know what dot matrix means, and I do not refer to the character in Spaceballs, then you probably are in my age bracket.

To many, we are old.

  • We don't work so hard
  • We don't work so lat
  • We don't use <insert some app name no one heard of and will disappear in a month)
  • We use email
  • We like our old ways
  • We don't like change
  • We are too slow
  • We need too much in salary
  • We don't like to travel for work. 


I could just as well say the same things about the younger generation too, aside from the email part :-)

And yet, inside your company, you are maintaining pretty old hardware and software. Why? and is paid for itself many times over the years.

Then one day your company says some old systems have to go. Why? They make you money, they run smoothly and everyone is trained on them.

New systems, to do the same thing as the old system, but from a new company. Why? How much money has to be wasted in conversion/migration fees to get what you already have?

If this was a car analogy, you would be leasing a new car every 3 years and never look back, and it usually does not cost you much more if anything for the next lease. Marginal cost but maximum gain.

I don't see that from your software solutions that you want to change. I see huge money spent with Business Partners from the new Vendor laughing all the way to the bank.

Intrinsically, when you look upon Microsoft Office, yes, it has had a good run, over 30 years old and still works, like a Volkswagen Beetle. Has it really advanced in all these years? Has Outlook? Exchange? Using Google Spreadsheet will really stop you from producing your simple spreadsheets which rely on the same basic functionality as 30 years ago?


The same arguments have been used against Domino and Notes and Sametime. Maybe the UI was getting a bit dated, but functionally it was still the same as ever. And yet, what replaces Domino completely?


Thus your company will spend a lot of money, millions usually, and get a nice UI but not even 75% of the functionality in return.

Sounds crazy right? Who would let their executives do such a poor deal? What Board of Directors would allow such malfeasance?

But they do.

If a new UI was necessary, or better integration into other applications was required, or something else was desired that you as CIO or CMO or CEO need for your business, wouldn't you try to get the most out of your existing solution?

Oh, right, it's old. Forgot about that nugget of wisdom.

And so instead of getting a new lease on your software, with a minimum of cost to your business, you prefer to go out and buy a whole new package...and then you want that new one to look and feel like the old one, but you know, not in that way, just you know, newer.

Right, because that makes sense. So much for your transformation project.

The future of Domino is what you make of it. HCL is adding items all the time to it so they will be ahead of your curve and know what you need before you do, so it will be there waiting for when your new executive walks in on their first day and starts asking why are you maintaining old software.

You can say, you just wrote this app this year, you advance all your apps every year and it is costing the company nothing but your salaries.

But the choice is yours, teach the new kids, learn from the new kids. Everyone that learned to play guitar, or skateboard, or drive had to watch and learn from others, usually, and this is no different. Together we can build a better future,

So are we old? Yes

Are our apps? Sometimes

Can they be updated? Almost always

Should they be? Absolutely!

You may not be listening to HCL yet, but if you do, you may find what your executives seek.


  1. How often does new software re-introduce an issue solved by the “out-of-date” software, an issue virtually all users had forgotten ever existed and so forgotten needed avoiding? It’s not just what the software does, it’s what it *deliberately* doesn’t do. This comes from two things - knowledge and experience. And because no one ever wrote it down, knowledge is lost. So you need experience. It’s not just about learning from past mistakes, it’s about improving while also not re-introducing them.

    1. Yes, knowledge and experience are key. Companies, however, do not see it that way.

  2. All use of software in the enterprise should contribute to that the:
    processes are efficient, simple and transparent,
    information is effectively collected and reusable,
    document and quality templates are easy to update and use on all platforms,
    documents and information are available to anyone who should have access and can be shared outside the organization,
    it is easy to record and share experiences,
    to keep employees and external customers, suppliers informed of daily events that are useful and important for the interaction in the processes.
    HCL's 'interaction platform' is well suited to meet the needs of any business. However, it will be useful for existing and new customers that the applications that support the processes are readily available, either directly from HCL or partners. Not necessarily so that every customer of HCL must develop their own applications, but must be able to make customizations and integrations to the extent that the processes in the companies need this.
    I do not see that HCL has emphasized this so far. Only focus on server / client development and 'WEB' version (and new design) of standard applications. I'm waiting for the NTFs to show up for download and testing and the full integration between Domino / Notes / Sametime and Connections springs into full bloom.

    1. They are working on some templates and we, the HCL Masters have been asking for them as well. Let's see what comes out with V11.

  3. but that's the way it is.
    Notes is seen as an old thing (I domino IT adore it because it is robust)
    The big problem is that IT does not govern business decisions....
    Not for a long time.
    The image on any product is important...
    I'm just talking about Notes: 30,000 files (including .jar) that create software is not software that you can keep in a company (they drive IT crazy from installation to management)
    The modernity of a software is fundamental also for this reason...
    It's not just a new interface...

    1. I agree 30,000 files is not small, but the average user, even the average IT person, never sees, nor cares about this. If they did, no one would use windows which is many times more files and many times more issues. But they do use it.
      UI goes a long way, look at cars, look at clothing, look at shoes, look at magazines, old stuff, but new looks bring people in every day.

  4. 30,000 files? I think nobody uses as many * .NSF annually. Still, it is comfortable to be able to find information and documents on the Domino server, from the mid-90s, when a customer contacts to update old construction projects. None of the document files saved at that time are readable unless they were saved as * .TXT files.
    Domino / Notes is safer than the bank.

    1. I'm talking about the files that make up a client notes ... not NSF ... a client notes today (because of eclipse) has so many files (over 40,000 if you also use designers and administrators)
      A company must adopt a variety of strategies to disable A/V, remove Microsoft indexing...
      Jars from antivirus are seen as ZIP so they are also analyzed content...
      Is it a manageable program for you in a company?

    2. I am pretty sure he was referring to the install files not .nsf files. And my mail archives of Notes mail go back to 93 and everything is readable, but then I keep old copies of software around, just in case.

  5. To Answer Dany's last questions, yes it is manageable and yes we all do it using various tools and manual edits in some cases. The larger the company the more resources and solutions exist to help manage it. Even small companies can manage it easily, when you have admins that know what they are doing. Your corporate anti-virus has builtin options to exempt or require files and folders, zip or not. Iron port and other similar appliances manage the content sent. Focus on the business benefit, not the IT nitty gritty, the IT stuff is dealt with usually.

    1. corporate data is secure in an NSF.This is not an issue...
      But it's fair to understand the issues of a company and the choices.
      Customers are moving towards other horizons for many reason...
      3 macro reason:
      1) graphics and components (which makes it clear to the less technical that the product is in step with the times)
      2) technical point of view (system administrators complain that notes is very heavy) and the third aspect
      3)native integration with other software (Notes is often not integrated).

      I personally love Notes is clear...
      But these three things are the cause of abandonment... and they are the real facts.
      HCL should be very careful to understand this... and should first of all improve the client notes (it is the first entry point in the company) and in parallel follow the application aspect.
      HCL is doing a huge job and not easy...
      But I have the feeling that too many years will be needed to get where you should be...
      And in the meantime the customers will leave...

    2. I will presume you refer to install team complaining about the size of Notes.
      To be fair, Outlook is not smaller, since you need Windows to make it work and almost all of OFfice, but no one ever discusses that, until I show up at a client.
      Native integration, outside of MAC and Linux, where else will you get native? iSeries?
      If you refer to other webapps integrating, like via API or whatever, keep in mind that Notes is about corporate security. Website integration is usually consumer side only, at least at better companies that care abut their security. This is why more companies are reverting to on premises installs, they now realize the security nightmares of the Cloud.
      I had a user complain we had no emojis, sorry but in business, they are not needed. We do have them, sametime uses them, so they do exist, just not like Outlook.
      But to compare Outlook to Notes is like comparing a motorcycle to a Tesla. One will rocket off, the other is in control and rocketing off.
      If I were you I would look to the Notes client evolving finally to a web client or some other method.