Goodbye IBM Notes: Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services

September 5, 2018

One of the largest and most loyal customers of IBM Notes/Domino in Australia is moving to Microsoft Office365 and Exchange.

The move sounds the death knell for the one of the last and largest known hold-out enclaves of the once mighty and celebrated fax-era platform.

A post by Victorian DHHS CIO Steve Hodginkson revealed that the department started the move a few weeks ago, with around 400 users moved to the Microsoft platform already but another 12,000 plus waiting to migrate “over the next year.”

iTnews understands that Notes has been present at the Department since 1998 after it was adopted across much of the Victorian public service. That gives it three decades on the clock.

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They recognize that some Domino applications may be hanging around for a while.

The article isn’t all doom and gloom for IBM Notes/Domino, though. The author writes about the IBM/HCL partnership, what’s coming in Domino 10, and more.

And then there are the comments. It’s exactly what I expected from the Microsoft and the Notes/Domino users.

I really don’t think that the Notes/Domino camp understands that the argument isn’t about the technical superiority of one product over another. If that was the case, you’d be reading about the plethora of IBM Notes/Domino wins. It is about the perception of one stack versus another. Perception makes companies move more than any other trigger. The perception of IBM is that it is not the best messaging/application development platform for current business users. And for the past 10 years, what has been done to change that perception? IBM Verse? Please.

Maybe the article will pique the interest of other Australian/New Zealand companies that are on the fence with their decision and will wait and see what IBM/HCL delivers this year. Maybe not. However, at least the article makes mention of the changes coming in Notes/Domino.


#domino2025 Webcast

February 28, 2018

I, along with a reported 1,500+ others, attended the IBM/HCL #domino2025 webcast today. I was happy to hear the excitement in the voices, the number of questions being answered, and the overall positive reviews from the faithful. But then, the skeptic in me kicked in, and I wasn’t that surprised at all; IBM/HCL was preaching to the one group of people that would be overjoyed to hear about the future of IBM Notes/Domino.

After some introductions, IBM/HCL launched into their presentation. The first slide that caught my attention was titled “Experience in Domino V10:”

I sure hope, that after my last post, the highlighted area is well and truly delivered when the product is released, sometime in late 2018.

Then, there is this slide:

I suppose that “Rocks JavaScript” is a fun little phrase. However, it is the “future proof” and “abundant skills” that caught my eye. I’ve heard a similar take on “future proof” as it dealt with earlier releases, hell, I can probably find something like it from the R5 days. But if you don’t keep pushing forward, you find yourself at the back of the pack. And then there is the “abundant skills.” I don’t know a damn thing about Node.js, however if you tell a prospective developer that he will be working on Node.js in Domino or with Domino, is that a guarantee that the developer will be happy to sign on? Or, do you play it safe and not even mention Domino?

Keeping an eye on the Q&A chat, there was a lot of “yes, we are looking into that,” but there was also this question and answer:

This really pleased me, as it appears that IBM/HCL actually listened to us. What gets delivered this year will probably be a “bit” different, but at least they were reading IdeaJam. Mr. Skeptic wonders, though, “What took you so damn long?” Years of adding ideas, voting on them, IBM had a gold mine of improvements from the people that actually use the product, in the real world. Your customers were telling you exactly what you needed to know to make the product better. But then, some other things probably got in the way. Hopefully, this is the one area that HCL will leverage to their advantage.

Time for a poll question.

That looks pretty good. And, based on the reactions from the presenters, exactly what they were expecting.

Finally, their “Go to Market” slide.

So, they’ll be presenting their vision and slides to more of the faithful this year. Good, get them all happy to see the new version. However, what’s the plan for those that aren’t attending THINK or any of the user group events? And by that, I mean, those that may already have Notes/Domino but never attend any of those events? Shouldn’t you be contacting them in some manner, letting them know what is on the horizon? Allowing them to realize that they aren’t running “legacy” software? That is a pretty tall order, I know, but there is only so much THINK and user group attendees can do for Domino 10. You are basically rebooting Domino, how about rebooting how you communicate with your customers, from the little shops to the large corporations?

Finally, about the presentation itself. It assumed a lot of knowledge from the attendees. There were a lot of jargon and abbreviations thrown around with no explanation of either. Based on the Q&A chat, I wasn’t the only one confused at times by what I was hearing and seeing. If you’re going to use jargon and abbreviations, please allow the speaker to explain them so that nothing is lost during the presentation.

Overall, I was very happy to see and hear the new directions that Domino is taking. There is a lot on HCL’s plate and it will be very interesting to see what is delivered later this year. Hopefully, we’ll continue to see the progress that HCL is making during the year and also learn more about the message that will be delivered to the marketplace.