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Eugen Tarnow


Some Companies Moving Back to Notes

Eugen Tarnow  August 9 2011 04:16:06 PM
This fine blog post written by a Lotus Notes professional says a lot. I’ll sum it up in a few words: Lotus Notes has unique, broad capabilities, and some of the companies that migrated away are returning. For the community of Lotus Notes professionals and vendors, that’s what we want to hear. This software is still very much a force to be reckoned.

Consider “Lotus Notes Wants to Bloom Again,” from Forbes of India. It is relatively recent, written in 2010, and it discusses demand for Lotus Notes in general and in India, suggesting that Lotus Notes is making a comeback from when Microsoft Exchange took serious chunks of its market share. I particularly appreciated the mention of a five-million increase in the user base. Think about it. In these rough times, there’s an upward trend.

The craziest thing abut that article, though, is the very fact that it is from Forbes, which has published a number of condescending anti-Lotus-Notes articles in the past. Take for example “More Bad News for Lotus Notes” and “IBM in Denial Over Lotus Notes” from 2005 or even “The Decline and Fall of Lotus Notes” from 1998. The 2010 article is still condescending, but at least it has a positive spin.

I mentioned India prior. Asia is certainty growing, and that may be where Lotus Notes really finds new momentum. To understand the scope of the Lotus Notes’s user base, try searching for Lotus Notes administrators on Linkedin because you’ll see not only a massive, but truly global contingent of people.

For the ReduceMail Pro team, however, which is on New York time, trying to service Asian clients may lead to untraditional sleep schedules. Any company deserves the opportunity to look at ReduceMail Pro regardless of season, time, or place.  

1Tim Tripcony  8/10/2011 1:51:37 AM  Some Companies Moving Back to Notes

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Notes isn't a messaging platform; it's an application development platform that includes integrated messaging capabilities.

This fundamental misunderstanding is the reason IBM has such difficulty marketing the platform. It's the same reason that analysts incorrectly judge its market share (and look foolish in retrospect when the product they claimed was already dead is still thriving 13 years later). And it's the reason that, throughout my entire career (which began in 1998, the same year that ridiculous Forbes article was published), there have always been many who are excited about the state of the product and optimistic about its future... while there exists a simultaneous cacophony from those who consider it to be in decline, if not all but extinct. Notes is always dying, and Notes is always growing; this ancient contradiction is unlikely to change unless IBM is somehow able to clearly communicate the true nature of the platform going forward.

What is the market share of ASP vs. PHP? Of DB2 vs. MS SQL? Apache vs. IIS? There's data out there, but I never hear analysts claiming that IIS is dead just because Apache has a far higher market share. Those of us who work with Notes and Domino should be trumpeting this distinction loud and clear at every opportunity. If we allow people to believe that Notes is email, but also allows creation of custom applications, it will continue to be perceived as it always has; if we instead spread the word that Notes is an application development platform - just like Joomla, Drupal, Salesforce, and so on - that includes integrated messaging features these other platforms do not, a few more people will start to compare its capabilities to its true competition and discover the many ways it can bring value to their organizations.

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