I guess I missed this one - You'll Pry Lotus Notes Out of Their Cold, Dead Hands
, by Esther Schindler. Catchy title, and caused some measure of debate and discussion, prior to the article being written, on vowe.net
. The article itself is favorable to Notes and has some good quotes from customers, including this one:
""At one Fortune 150 pharmaceutical company, there are over 80 Dominoservers in the US, and another 50 globally. There are dozens of fullyfunctioning applications that are still fully functional, with littleto no maintenance for the last several years. These applications areused by over 50,000 users globally, and this company isn't using Dominofor e-mail," [Finkelstein] said."
As has been stated previously many, many times, there is no ROI in migrating or even re-writing many of the Notes applications that exist today. Upgrading? Yes. Putting a modern face on them? Yes. But not wholesale migration. You'd have to basically re-build all the features of Domino to get equivalent functionality. Even Ray Ozzie could not do that successfully.
And this, from Andrew Pollack
"Pollack recently performed a security review for a major financial firm, where 15,000 users employ Notes for e-mail and hundreds of corporate applications. The Notes systems are managed by 16 people, spread across several office buildings. The company also has a Microsoft desktop team to support workstation software, such as Microsoft Office and Windows XP. Said Pollack, "The desktops are locked down, so you'd think this would be a small team. The desktops are identical, locked, and managed. That team has a couple of hundred people.""
It sounds like there might be another legacy - I mean "mature" - product out there. Over the years, Notes systems have gotten easier to manage requiring less people, but a "productivity" application requires hundreds of people to manage? Granted, they are not just dealing with Office, but with the total desktop, including Windows (with all the security updates that come down the pike - I know, because we get them quite often here at IBM.) Is this what other companies are experiencing?
In an interesting twist, an argument is put forth that because Notes is so reliable and requires less people to maintain it or build apps for it, it gets less attention from within IT. And, therefore, because the alternative solution requires more people (i.e. MS), the IT empire-builder is in favor of that solution. Very bizarre logic, from my point of view, but I guess it makes sense. Victims of our own low TCO! And IBM gets accused of making complex, hard to manage products just so we can sell more service and consulting contracts - ha! Another myth is busted
Finally, I think the real reason Notes and Domino are still in use, is summed up by Mr. Finkelstein again:
"Explained Finkelstein, "Nothing can beat Notes as a rapid application/development platform. With very little effort, a fully functional application prototype can be created in days, rather than weeks or months. In spite of efforts to migrate the Notes development community to Websphere (and IBM has made a substantial effort in that direction), you still just can't beat the simplicity, productivity, and functionality." "
say that, too? Or, was it Ed
Read the whole article to find out why Notes continues to have life out there, even in its teen years.
Sr. Product Manager, Workplace Designer