First off, I’d like to wish all of you a very belated happy New Year!
May your 2012 be a year of filled with good health, lots of happiness and plenty of business prosperity!
I fully realize that I’ve been a bit behind on my blogging thanks to the post-holiday dig out. But, as luck would have it, the Pacific Northwest is currently in the throws of a large snowstorm which has afforded me the opportunity to work from home (thank you Lync and Exchange!) and the time to catch up.
It dawned on me—while on a break from reviewing Messaging competency plans, presenting to ISVs and general emailin’—that this is the week of IBM’s annual Lotusphere conference. Considering the event, in recent years, has been described by some as “pretty depressing”, I was very curious about what IBM would be using this year’s confab to promote.
Not surprising, IBM continues to push “social” as the high order bit, as evidence by their event tagline: “Business. Made Social.”
Now, I am not claiming that Microsoft (nor any company focused on productivity offerings) thinks social is a bunch of malarkey, but clearly we’ve been thinking about this in the scope of the Future of Productivity and not just a bolt-on message to breath new life into a legacy platform.
But, that wasn’t what really caught my attention.
It was this formula that IBM posted on their Lotusphere webpage:
Again, I don’t disagree that social, mobile or the cloud all offer opportunity—you can easily say the very same about SharePoint, Exchange, Lync and Office 365—but the “opportunity3” just sounds way too high-level to be meaningful.
So, in effort to help out here, I thought I would share some more useful information about the opportunity3 (or, opportunity triple play) around migrating (or rescuing, as we like to say) customers from their Lotus Notes infrastructure to Exchange 2010 and/or Office 365.
Opportunity #1: We know that customers want to move to off of Notes.
You don’t need to look far to see this validated.
As I shared a short while back, our annual product satisfaction survey revealed that “nearly a third of Lotus Notes users” are looking to make the switch over the next 12 months, with nearly 20% of the remaining base is “strongly considering” making the change.
But, just don’t take our word for it: take a look at some of the recent industry analyst reports where leading pundits (like Matt Cain of Gartner) have said that “We continue to see widespread interest in the Domino base in migrating to alternative platforms.” (You can read the whole MarketScope for Email Systems, 2011 via our website).
So, strike while the iron remains hot! Show your costumers customers what Exchange and the rest of the stack can do for them, and then help them get there once you’ve convinced them!
Opportunity #2: You’ve got plenty of evidence that can help start this conversation with your customers.
Before I provide you the “laundry list”, nothing makes life easier than references. Heck, nothing makes life easier than a ton of customer cases studies highlighting how the move from Notes to Exchange has paid off.
For example, Adrian Steel, Head of Infrastructure Management of the Royal Mail Group happens to mention that they “believe that the Microsoft business productivity suite—compared to Lotus Notes with the same capabilities—will save more than £1 million over the four-year duration of this deal.” And, with 165,000 employees, saving some dough on critical infrastructure is, well, critical.
Here are a few more examples to help strengthen your pitch with customers:
I could share more, but I want to get to opportunity #3.
Opportunity #3: You can benefit from the long list of tools, services, and support we provide to help you rescue Notes customers.
Just head to the Microsoft Partner Network, and grab one of many, many, many resources we offer and keep up-to-date to help you win these customers.
For example, you can find:
We also have Why Microsoft? which is the first link I send to any customer to give them an opportunity to see it for themselves.
In short, I hope this is a little more productive than a high-level formula that equates to opportunity.
Oh, if you didn’t think this was enough, how about another triple play?
Exchange Server 2010 + Exchange Online + Hybrid Deployment = The Most Choice available for email services delivered your way (and not a mash-up of different solutions from different sources).
Ian Group Product Manager Exchange Partner Marketing