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Don’t Be the Last Company on Notes

Don’t Be the Last Company on Notes

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The new year is starting off with a bang – a great new set of Notes customers decided to Exchange and SharePoint.  At this rate, 2011 could be one of our biggest Notes “switcher” years, yet.    With IBM’s annual Lotusphere conference starting next week, it means that Notes customers are evaluating what they can improve with their mail, messaging, and collaboration infrastructure.  And for many Notes customers, it means taking a look at what Microsoft has to offer.

All this week, I will be posting here to the UC Blog stories from some of our customers who have switched from Notes and our Partners who help with the transition.  These are just a few examples from the wave of customers migrating off of Lotus Notes --customers that include Daimler, Qantas, Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, NTT DoCoMo, and Godiva Chocolatier.

Back in September in this post, I highlighted a Gartner report on email that I encourage everyone to read, regardless of what email system you use and whether or not you are considering changing your email system.

In another blog post last month, I cited an internal research study which shows “that Exchange market share has never been greater.  In US enterprises with over 500 PC’s, an incredible 73% of organizations use Exchange as their primary email system.  The next closest email platform is at 7%.”  What I didn’t mention at the time was that the 7% market share is Lotus Notes.  Microsoft has migrated 20 million Notes seats over to Microsoft in the last 5 years.  All but 2 companies in the Fortune 30 use Exchange as their primary email system, and one of those companies is IBM.  The question facing many attendees at Lotusphere this week is if they want to be the last organization left running Notes or if 2011 is the year to move to Exchange and SharePoint, the world’s leading email, calendaring and collaboration solutions.

I’ll talk more about our customer and partner stories later this week.  Check back each day this week for a new post.

Julia White

Senior Director, Exchange Product Management

  • If you are a customer looking at your messaging solution, performing due diligence means researching if what a vendor tells you is reality or their own "spin".  The figures quoted above are grossly inaccurate and I have personally been involved in many *recent* projects in moving Exchange customers to Lotus Notes.  Regardless of your mail system, moving from one to another rarely makes sense if you evaluate the financial case.  Consider the source and do your own evaluations and calculations.

  • Exchange to Notes??? You gotta be kidding me...

    MSExchange is "The Best" corporate messaging product and I know that coz I've played with Notes. Let's forget technology for a while and think in an end user perspective. There is no better experience any product gives what outlook + exchange gotta offer. Again, the way MS take care of it's customers play a huge role in their success. MS PSS does a great job maintaining excellent SLA's.

  • Ratish, I urge you to use an Apple product if you really believe "there is no better [user] experience". I think you head is a tad buried somewhere.

  • Notes!?! HAH!  We're still running Novell (soon, Attachmate) GroupWise :-(  I can only dream of running Notes, much less Exchange :-(  I wish Microsoft could make us a sweet deal.

  • @Darren - what Apple product that runs enterprise class email and calendaring systems would you be referring to?  Let's compare (wait for it) Apple to Apples here.

  • Anonymous, huh? Love those. Set ignore=on.

    Mr. Ratish... I'm sure you meant, "If you're used to Outlook only, then there is no better experience any product gives what outlook + exchange gotta offer."  Because if you meant something else, you're incorrect.

    Back to the post... I know that whenever I go looking for products to buy (software, cars, etc.), I always rely on "internal research stud(ies)" from each vendor to make my decisions. They're always reliable and unbiased.

  • Love how you couldn't even spell Qantas correctly....

  • @Darren- I use an iPhone4 myself and got an iPad too. I love it and guess it makes me "Apple Aware".  The discussion is not abt knowing what or "not". If yes, tell me if you like Xbox...

    With my "limited experience" of around 100+ enterprise customers, I dont see a lot of people liking other products and trust me they are all well qualified and "know what they're talking about... Unless you have a Macbook pro for your personal use, how many company could afford to provide it to their employees. I myself prepared the SOP's for MacMail, Entourage, thunderbird etc and a lot of other clients too to talk to Exchange/SendMail..

    @Craig Wiseman - If you think Outlook+Exchange combination works only if you are used Outlook, then I guess you gotta work on your Exchange/corporate messaging deployment coz with E2K7/E2010 with OL2010/2007, I bet ya "There aint no better combination" out there !!!

    Moral of the story - I was just mentioning abt the larger chunk of orgn's by saying "MSExchange is "The Best" corporate messaging product".

  • Every large site in Australia that I've seen that has made the move is now running two environments. Exchange for messaging and Domino for apps. Every single one. They have all increased the complexity of their IT environments and also significantly increased the amount of money they are spending.

    I think other more serious, real world, professionally sound questions need to be asked.

  • Procter & Gamble getting off Notes?  Really?  I personally delivered Notes and Domino developer and sys admin training to a large number of P&G folk in Cincinatti when they deployed Notes and I have heard every year since 2000 that they were "getting off of Notes".  After you hear it year after year and see that it has not happened you start to ignore the talk.  Then when you hear the same thing from a competing salesperson who mentions a bunch of other companies "leaving Notes"...well, it does make one question the speaker's credibility.

  • Spelling Qantas correctly would be a good start.

  • Ray Ozzie leaves M$? wonder why......

  • So if MS Exchange is really such a first rate messaging platform and better than Lotus Notes and other competitors, then why did the Radicati Group recently report from a survey of several hundred organisations in 2010 that the average number of unplanned downtime for Exchange was 300 minutes (5 hours) per week, almost double the downtime rate of Exchange users for 2009 and significantly higher that competitors such as lotus Notes and Groupware.

    I have been using Lotus Notes for email for 17 years, and I don't think that I have been down for even a total of 30 minutes in that entire time.

    Let's face it, both Exchange and Lotus Notes are fine enterprize-class email platforms, and are both fine products.  But to claim that Exchange is superior in any way, or that any organization can cost justify switching from one platform to another is just rubbish.

    The title to this blog entry is the key to why organisations switch email platforms, because they believe all the marketing from Microsoft without questioning it.  But to try and justify that people are switching because Exchange is a superior product or because a switch to any another corporate email platform is cost justifyable is total nonsense.

    Wake up people, the salesman just lied to you and you fell for it.

  • While we're on the topic, I think they just reran the episode of The Johnny Carson Show from Dec 19, 1973.  The CTOs at Qantas, P&G, and Godiva were all seen at the grocery store stocking up on toilet paper.  Some people just never get it.  

    Enough tongue-in-cheek.  My compliments to MS on hiring Dr. A.K. Pradeep to help with marketing.  Using his ideas on neuro-marketing are so effective they could convince Obama to vote Republican.  IBM is not so clever at marketing.  They seem to put all their R&D into products.

  • Messaging is a commodity. A necessary one, but a decreasingly significant factor in the sum total of what determines an organization's productivity and competitive positioning. Whether migrating from Exchange to Domino or from Domino to Exchange for messaging, what you have to show after the fact for a multi-million-dollar expenditure is precisely what you had prior to the migration: a messaging system. While there may be subtle differences between the two that cause Domino to appeal to one organization and Exchange to appeal to another, it is disingenuous for supporters of either platform to claim that a migration between the two solely on the basis of those differences will produce a true improvement to the organization's bottom line so significant that the effort is likely to have paid for itself in less than five years.

    It has long been, and continues to be, "all about the apps". As has already been mentioned in this thread, it is common for an organization to decide to abandon Domino, viewing it only as a messaging system that is easily replaced, only to discover that, even if their messaging migration is successful, there are dozens - or even hundreds - of custom applications critical to their business running on Domino, with no feasible replacement available. My first Notes job was at a company that was already "getting rid of Notes" when I arrived 13 years ago; to this day, not only does Domino still have a presence in that organization, but they support a Domino-based application template that they distribute to their own large business customers.

    In addition to the many organizations who have traded Domino messaging for Exchange only to find that they now need to maintain (and pay for) both platforms indefinitely in order to avoid crippling their employees' ability to continue to do their jobs by removing the very applications that have reliably run their business up until now, many are now being seduced by the hype promising that SharePoint is an adequate substitute for Domino's custom application architecture. In many cases they rapidly discover to their chagrin that the featureset is actually far more analogous to that of Quickr than Domino... applications that could be spun up in a few days or even an afternoon within their previous Domino infrastructure now take months to deploy and a geometrical increase in development headcount to maintain.

    Perhaps most telling of all is that those who are forced by their employers to become Domino developers quite frequently fall in love with the platform and become passionate supporters of it (notice that only one comment thus far in this thread is from an actual IBMer; the rest - including this one - are from third parties), whereas online forums for SharePoint developers overflow with vitriol from those who have been shackled to the platform by decision makers who believed the hype but aren't actually the ones who get stuck trying to force SharePoint to become what it is supposedly able to deliver.

    This is not necessarily proof that SharePoint is a poorly executed product; rather, it is evidence that the nature of what it has been fundamentally designed to do well has been grossly over-hyped; even Domino struggles when asked to do something that isn't a good fit for the platform. The key difference is that the flexibility inherent in Domino allows a far broader expanse of custom application development to fit comfortably within the scope of uses at which it excels. It can't do everything... but SharePoint promises to and, in reality, delivers far less.

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