It’s the same old song and dance…

And once again, my clients, long time Lotus Notes users, are talking about moving to Exchange.  Their reasons is the same old song and dance: we hate Notes; our users hate Notes; we don’t use Notes for anything but email, so why keep it; we don’t use any other IBM products; nobody uses Notes anymore…  Etc., etc., etc.  I can probably continue for a while.  Ed [Brill], you already know about both of these places, we’re talking.

Why is it that around here, in Midwest, Lotus Notes is a perpetual uphill battle in the SMB arena?  There may not be any real business value in migrating, no ROI to speak of, but people still migrate.  The greatest ROI is possibly a very intangible one — happy users.  Organizations appear to be willing to spend lots of dollars just to avoid hearing for the umpteenth time, “Why are we using Notes”?

Has bad {fill in blanks} become the norm?

Bad driving, bad language, bad manners, bad behavior. Have all those things become a norm in our society?

Drivers, myself included, get irritated by responsible drivers: those that come to a complete stop, those that obey posted speed limits on the highway, those that yield to merging cars.

We don’t pay heed to bad language or bad manners. Most men don’t think twice about swearing around women, something that my grandfather or father would never have done. And a rare comedian will not swear once or twice on stage.

When did all this become the norm?

Would you become a new Lotus Notes administrator TODAY?

The other day I received an email with the subject that asked “Is there future in Lotus Notes?”. The email was from one my friends who works as a PC technician/Help Desk support. His company uses Lotus Notes and he was given an opportunity to attend training to become a Lotus Notes and BlackBerry administrator for his company. In his email my friend wanted my opinion whether he should “waste” his time, would these skills be valuable to him in the future or are they possibly becoming obsolete.

Technology matters aside, this is not about the roadmap of Lotus Notes, IBM’s much trumpeted commitment to the product or signing the contract with Disney to host Lotuspheres through 2015. This is about a much different issue. This is about growing as an IT professional.  This is about taking risks and jumping into the unknown.

In the case of my friend, being a PC tech is a very comfortable position: low stress, fixed hours and even overtime pay, which gets him very close to what an administrator earns.  Becoming an administrator is the scary unknown: more stress, questionable hours, a salaried position.  So, do you take the plunge and learn and become an administrator of a mature technology?  Or do you stay where you are?

The answer is simple and obvious — go forth and learn.  If you’re not learning, not advancing, do you have 10 years of experience or 1 year repeated 10 times?

It is better to be learning Aramaic than not to be learning a new language at all.  It is better to learn to be a Lotus Notes administrator than hope to retire as a PC tech.

90% of success is showing up

I believe it was Woody Allen who said that 90% of success is showing up.  If you’re not showing up on your blog, nobody else is.  Stale blogs are about as appetizing as stale beer accompanied by a stale slice of pizza.  Yummy!

I have allowed my blog to become stale and have no one to blame for it but myself.  Alright!  Enough self-flagellation!  It’s time to write something.

Google alerts on Lotus and Microsoft

I’ve been using Google Alerts for quite a long time to keep up-to-date on new posts and such as related to Lotus Notes, Quickr, SameTime and other members of the Lotus family.  What struck me was how little hits some of these products, i.e. Quickr, generate.  For comparison’s sake I decided to add alerts on Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint.  The biggest contrast, I think, is in the results on “Quickr” and “SharePoint”.  While Quickr-related alerts produce maybe a couple of entries, and half of those are due to misspelling of the word “quicker”, SharePoint results are much more populous and richer.  SharePoint articles talk about new products designed to integrate with SharePoint, websites built on that technology and other positive and uplifting messages.  That kind of content I almost never see in any of the Lotus product alerts.  I wonder if that can be changed.

Lotus Domino has better features than Exchange

That’s nearly verbatim what my client told me yesterday.  This client just completed migration from Exchange to Lotus Notes and that’s what their administrator — a former Exchange administrator, an MCSE — told me in a meeting.

Wow!!!  That was very cool.

PSC hosts a Lotus/IBM blog from Russia

Last week PSC expanded the list of blogs that we host by adding yet another Lotus-related IBM blog — Lotuscube. This blog is maintained by a couple of authors and generally talks about anything and everything as related to the various IBM software, mainly the products that come under the Lotus pillar.  This is not a new blog, it is just newly hosted by PSC.

What makes this blog a little more extra special for me is the fact that it is from Russia and is primarily in Russian.  And while I am tickled pink, this blog does act as a constant reminder of how truly bad is my “computer”-Russian.

Alex Debian and CatOgre, welcome!

To sleep or to blog? That is the question

I think I have finally figured out why I don’t blog as much as some people. I approach blogging as somewhat of a creative process. My “best” thoughts and ideas come to me just around midnight. It’s becoming an every day dilemma: to sleep or to blog. Some days, like for the past week and a half, sleep wins. Other nights, like tonight, I guess I won’t be getting my full 8 hours of sleep.

Interestingly enough, there seems to be a direct mathematical correlation between the hours of sleep I get every night and the number of visitors my blog receives. I haven’t quite worked out the exact formula, but increased hours of sleep = X*visitors to the site. Stale blogs are not interesting.