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I always wondered what it would be like to have IBM's full support behind Lotus Notes and Domino. Now we're finding out.

By Andrew Pollack on 05/18/2006 at 07:40 AM EDT

Support at IBM for Lotus Notes and Domino is as high now as I've ever seen it, and its fantastic. IBM's renewed commitment to Lotus Notes and Domino first became noticeable with the now famous whitepaper in 2003. For the first time in a few years, you could start talking about Domino inside IBM seriously again. Revisionists will tell you it wasn't that bad, but I'm not about to let them forget. Before Dr. Goyal was able to sift through the competing strategies and oversee the development of a plan to incorporate Lotus Notes and Domino into the rest of the IBM product strategy things were pretty bleak for the dedicated Domino fanatics. Isn't it great how things have changed since those days?

The Hannover team deserves a great deal of credit for the success you're about to start seeing in the market place. The workplace effort ended up creating a few very important technologies which have found their way through the process and now form the core of the changes coming to the Notes world. The success of the Notes team is that when presented with these technologies they were able to adapt and even surpass the original workplace designs so quickly that they are clearly now leading the development cycle.

The new Lotus Notes client, while fully compatible with previous versions -- so much so that any incompatibility is to be considered a bug and addressed as such -- is so obviously improved and exciting that it has gained clear support within IBM's toughest customer. IBM. The same IBM that derided its own product while pushing Websphere and Portal based on the industry pundits' promise of huge cash in that market is now stepping up to the plate and making things happen for Notes and Domino. I expect BIG things from then around Hannover.

What are we seeing? We're seeing fantastic advertising that has an inclusive message and clearly sets the stage for a big "Collaboration" push. We're seeing integration deals that are being pushed at the highest levels and are resulting in great deals and tighter integration with important vendors like Blackberry -- who are now offering the "BlackBerry Enterprise Server for IBM Lotus Domino Quick Start Edition Offer."

Is this Mike Rhodin's doing? Will he turn out to be as good for the Marketing side of Lotus products as Dr. Goyal was on the technical side? I wouldn't have guessed that would be the case, as I've only known him on the technical side of the organization and I wasn't a fan of his Lotusphere performance but if its true I'll take it and be grateful. Maybe the product's success is letting people like Ed Brill have more of a say in the marketing. Who knows.

One thing I know for sure -- LotusSphere 2007 in January is going to be one you do not want to miss.

There are  - loading -  comments....

I just spent four days with those folks at DNUGBy Wild Bill on 05/18/2006 at 12:12 PM EDT
DNUG is a much smaller event than Lotusphere, and as a result, I spent a lot of
social time with the Lotus senior folks.

Without breaking the unwritten rule of "what goes in Karlsruhle stays in
Karlsruhle" can I just say that these guys are on a complete roll.

No talk of gloom, doom, etc. No talk of lack of support. If anything, grumbling
about the requirement for *more* good team players, and demanding quality
questions from customers that they can resolve.

Its a real sea change from the Dark Dark "Zoller" days for sure. They really
reinforced the feel-good factor..

Is it all to do with Mike Rhodin ? I'm sure thats he's not responsble for it
all - no one person could - but I think the breaking down of "Iris's" doors and
componentisation played a big part. As did the five straight "growth" quarters.

Next Lotusphere will be exiting in many many ways. Not least because I'm going
to throw the biggest, baddest Party that Lotusphere has ever seen.....

---* Bill
Thank you.By Ed Brill on 05/18/2006 at 08:24 PM EDT
I think there are a lot of factors, some of which start at the top and some of
which are in the development team and some of which are in sales and marketing
and some of which are, surprisingly, due to the increased competitive
pressure. Oh, and a lot is due to great partners.

I have to save some other observations for my post-retirement book, but for
sure, there's a lot to be happy about in the Lotus organization today.
the bookBy on 05/19/2006 at 08:05 AM EDT
Can I put in an advance order?

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