The dis-integration of Domino

thumb_white.gifI had to watch Lotusphere from afar this year and try to read the runes coming from the partner Blogosphere.

Although there were many ‘announcements’ they seemed to be mostly re-spinning of information that had been fairly clearly signposted the previous year at Lotusphere 2008.

It is not that there was no new stuff, but what was fresh was either being delivered in Websphere or recently purchased platforms..

It seems that although IBM is clearly signposting its support for core Notes / Domino for the foreseeable future, innovation will come and be delivered from different directions.

Quickr (nee Quickplace), Sametime are both drifting away from their origins which may be technically better but does make IT planning a bit of a chore when you have multiple administrative interfaces over many more server types (virtualised or physical) to cope with.. 

IBM and Microsoft are watching the progress (or lack of it) of Google into the Enterprise, and as result of this activity I ran across this quote from that I found quite shocking:

“Google Apps was definitely bought as an additional tool set, but Lotus Notes

will be disappearing as a result of this,” Beale said. “It will take a while

because we have a range of applications running on Domino but Notes as a mail

platform will be phased out, I suspect. “

Of course I have an axe to grind but I think IBM partners need to take a close look at the Google axe before they become victims.

I cannot help wonder as the Domino Server platform goes through yet another round of optimisation and looses the dumped products (Domino.Doc and others) maybe it is like the Curious Case of Benjamin Button and grows younger through the years and ends its eventual life as the Notes Server.

Those of you who drank the cool-aid in Orlando might after a months reflection let me know if I am right or wrong. I am on vacation right now and I fancy a bit of banter over the coming week.

This entry is timed to post as I take-off!

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I think there was a lot of positives from Lotusphere. - A new CEO - Bob Picciano - who appears smart, leads from the front and is approachable. To the point where he joined the unwashed masses in the karaoke bar a few times. Something the slightly more formal previous incumbents would not have done. Less Ivy League, more Web 2.0. - A new Marketing person at Lotus. Wow! This surprised me. We've not seen any serious marketing on the lotus brand or products (especially here in old blighty) since 'superhumansoftware in 1999. Perhaps this person might just achieve this. But I'm not holding my breath - the last impressive new Marketing person didnt last long. - Notes/Domino 8.5 was released. Cooler, faster, cheaper to run, easier to support, and looks damnned good to boot. A real 21st century collaboration platform. Finally, the Mac and Linux clients were released and -gasp - they're actually really good. I'm a Mac convert now (after 2 months of Vista) and the Mac client is good. Thank god. - Symphony grows and grows, and is now being used as the thin edge of the open-source wedge, separating companies from their MS Office addiction, and opening up the way to actually getting linux or Mac desktops out there. Something that Steve 'Developer Developer Developer' Ballmer must be worried about. - Foundations -the fully assimiliated Nitix Linux platform and Domino is very impressive now, and should - if IBM actually bothers marketing it - get impressive gains in SMB. Its cheap, does file+print sharing, does its own backup, can 'self-heal' (Something that the iSeries or AS/400 stuff did for years) and is a doddle to rebuild. This is a product simple enough for a small corporate to buy off the shelf, install themselves, and fix themselves. All the benefits of cloud, but in a box in the office. Cheap, too. - got off to a shaky start. Its not competing with Google apps yet, but if it delivers on the easy integration with Notes promise, it'll grow. - Connections 2.5. yes, bits are built on Websphere server. Quickr also has a version built on Websphere server. Shouldnt be an issue - they're just as easy to install as Domino server. - Notes 8.5.1 announced with impressive Active Directory integration. This is one to keep an eye on. So yeah, the Lotus stuff keeps getting better. This 8.5 release is actually faster, and allows 64-bit server support. Whilst this is mandated in Exchange 2007, its optional in Domino, and I know of a few customers opting to move from Solaris (for instance) to Windows/64. Basically, the 64-bit mode allows far more concurrent user support. And the IBM folks keep telling us that Lotusphere is bigger than last year, that Lotus have had another impressive quarter of growth, and that the number of customers has increased. Frankly, I dont know. Scorecard ? Impressively good morale boosting tub-thumping from Lotus, fantastic product and delivery, badly let down with a market presence best described as 'absent'. ---* Bill
Thanks Bill, you did not actually disagree with my summation however if the number one highlight is a new GM (even one who lets his hair down in Kimono's) and number two on the list is a new (VP?) of Marketing then I am not sure that in the short term there is a terribly rosy future. I would ask what the marketing budget is but that would only be adding salt to the wound. The most interesting comment and one I had noted (last year when it was announced like almost everthing else) was the ability to have the (yet to be released) Domino 8.5.1 server use AD in place of the NAB other than for Server configs and suchlike. This may be cool but strikes me as giving corporations that would like to migrate from Domino (there are some) a much easier path to follow - at least for the administrators. It will be interesting to see how this year pans out.