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.


Goodbye IBM Notes: City of Cornwall

February 28, 2018

A couple of articles on the same topic, the City of Cornwall has decided to move off of IBM Notes to Microsoft Office365 (emphasis, mine).

Cornwall’s information technology department is asking to spend almost $900,000 on software and equipment to keep up with the times.

The budget is proposing $898,000 for several different projects. There is a three-year phase in for a Microsoft Office upgrade and desktop virtualization.

 

. . . There is also money for moving corporate emails to Microsoft Outlook which will more seamlessly integrate with the other programs the city uses. The migration to Microsoft programs will lead to the city abandoning Lotus Notes, a software suite now owned by IBM, in favour of Microsoft’s shared and remote-computer platforms.

There is also money for a new records management system called for social housing after the province pulled support for implementing such systems recently in favour of producing their own system.

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But the “money quote” comes from a second article:

“Hallelujah!” Coun. Bernadette Clement remarked on word the city would be ditching Lotus.

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That is exactly the problem IBM has long confronted but never addressed.  Now, that same sentiment will spill over to HCL. You can argue the technological advantages of IBM Notes/Domino all you want, but it doesn’t make any difference in the minds of a lot of users and, more importantly, the decision makers with the purse strings.

So, I ask, “IBM, how is Domino 10 going to change those people’s minds?” Because until you can show me that the updated version is positioned to make people think well about their Domino investment, and I don’t mean the faithful that have attended some or all of your #domino2025 webinars and sessions, it won’t matter. Oh, you’ll keep some accounts that were waffling, maybe gain a couple of new ones, but until you can change the minds of the users, all of the work you are doing on Domino 10, and beyond, will only make the faithful happy.

 


#Domino2025 Virtual Jam – What’s the Point?

December 18, 2017

Sure, a bit of a clickbait title, however, why not?

I attended the #Domino2025 virtual jam today. The first half (or more) was primarily focused on Application Development. The remaining time was on Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Sametime, the Notes Client, and iNotes. Throughout the presentation, the moderators allowed 10 minutes of open Q&A and also asked us to answer some survey questions. Sadly, none of the survey questions included an option for “Not Applicable,” “No development needs,” or similar answers. You had to pick an option, even if it didn’t apply to you or your company.

It was during the conversation about mail, calendar, and the Notes client that I perked up. I watched the online Q&A, I listened to the speakers, I listened to the audience. It was then that it struck me – IBM is asking the same questions they’ve asked us over the years. The online Q&A was filled with the questions you’ve heard and asked throughout the years. The answers were all pretty much the same, “thank you for your feedback.” In fact, IBM had a Twitter widget in the Jam, that was watching for mentions of the hashtag #Domino2025.

Being a bit of a realist (I’m trying that word out, instead of “cynic”), I tweeted and received a reply:

Now, who among you have attended Lotusphere/Connect/whatever over the years? Did you attend the sessions “Ask The Developers?” “Ask the Product Managers?” That line, “we’ll take it back with us,” is a handy phrase from both of those sessions. Realistically, it means that nothing will happen.

Now, back to the Jam. What is the point? IBM is asking the (remaining) faithful for their opinions. I ask, what have you done with all of the opinions we have provided to you over the years?

Let’s start with IdeaJam. There are still ideas, voted on by people that work with the products, on that site. What did you do with any of those ideas? Why wouldn’t you go to a site that is designed for ideas, mine them, and implement the most popular ones? This site goes back years. At any time in the past, all you had to do was to take a look and implement some of them. You would not be in your current position of asking, yet again, for our thoughts and ideas. Further, if you had implemented some of the more popular ones, you may not be in your current position.

Next, every year, in January or February, you gathered the faithful in Orlando. You had two, specific sessions, where the audience asked for features, direction, and wishes. I am guessing that none of you ever wrote down the questions or the answers and never “took it back with you.” Although, I do know one person that did. And you didn’t like that he would return, year after year, to simply ask for an update. Yet, as far as I can tell, nothing ever came from those sessions, popular as they were.

Finally, your sales reps and technical reps appeared in companies that used your software. They were told certain things, they were begged for certain things. What happened to all of that feedback? Who collated that information and turned it into enhancement requests? Which Product Manager added those items to the build list and delivered those features?

It is telling that the very people that bet on the success of IBM software, that shared their wants and needs with IBM, were, in essence, ignored. These were people that  made their living selling, listening to customers, upgrading, creating applications, using your software. And they all told you how to make it better. You chose not to listen.

Now, here you are again, hand out, asking for feedback, answering with “we’ll take it back with us.”

I’ve read many editions of this book, in many different formats, the ending is always the same.

 


Goodbye IBM Notes: Australian Securities & Investment Commission

December 8, 2016

The Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) has completed a proof of concept using Microsoft Office 365, and will be moving their mail and applications from IBM to the Microsoft cloud.

Perhaps most limiting of all, it has left ASIC glued to its ageing Lotus Notes system and the capability of its platform lagging well behind that of other government agencies.

“There’s a valid reason for that. We’ve still got a lot of systems that run off Lotus Notes applications and some of that is held up because of the registry separation decision. Because we’ve got Lotus Notes applications we haven’t been able to get off the Lotus Notes email but we’re doing both those things in parallel now. In effect we’re getting off the Lotus Notes email while getting off the old Lotus Notes systems,” Bryant said.

Bryant was referring to ASIC’s new project to split its classified and unclassified workloads to make way for Office 365 email and cut a path to move off the ageing Lotus Notes systems.

This really isn’t groundbreaking news, but what I found most interesting is the list of approved cloud providers.

None of the Australian Signals Directorate’s panel of approved cloud providers, which includes Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Macquarie Telecom, Salesforce, former CRN Fast50 No.1 Sliced Tech and Vault Systems, have yet been certified to carry ASIC’s classified data.

Hmmm, there seems to be a missing “premier” cloud provider on that list. But, I suppose that if you’re leaving IBM products in the on-prem world, why would you consider the IBM cloud?

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IBM Verse: Introducing Offline Mode

March 22, 2016

IBM has published a Technote detailing Verse Offline.

But watch those caveats.

verse_offline

Hat tip to Alan for the link.


“I went to IBM Connect and saw Verse . . . “ – Part II

February 12, 2016

Apparently, the lack of a overarching message concerning, among other things, IBM Verse is being recognized by more than one tech writer.

IBM’s assets in the collaboration and communications market really have not received as much attention as they should have. To be in a presentation where products such as Verse (IBM’s cloud-based e-mail solution and, as we learned, future on-premises upgrade to Domino) were referred to as having a ‘secret sauce’ seemed a missed opportunity.

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So, there are a few people out there, attempting to spread the word concerning IBM Verse and other solutions in the IBM portfolio and come away wondering why IBM is missing their opportunity. And the window is shutting. The Connect conference is done and put away, which means that free publicity like this will dry up as it waits for something / anything out of Armonk regarding the announcements and demonstrations.

“Momentum” is more like “fits and starts” or “wait and see.”

That is not what this product deserves or needs.

 


“I went to IBM Connect and saw Verse . . . “

February 10, 2016

This is a very positive article, but one that concerns me. It should raise flags within IBM, if they follow their products in the news.

I attended IBM Connect last week, where I checked out one of the most interesting products you’ve likely never heard of — a new email offering called “IBM Verse.” While there was a lot of discussion about how it better integrated social networking, what really intrigued me was the idea of putting cognitive computing inside an email client.

. . . I’ll close with my product of the week, which has to be IBM Verse, the fascinating email product that focuses on the user. If I don’t tell you about it, you’ll likely never hear of it.

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