Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pivotal Point in History

A few days from now, we will mark the 145th anniversary for one of the most pivotal points in the history of our country, the Battle of Gettysburg. Thought the battle technically occurred from July 1 through July 3, 1863, the actions that occurred for the past few days 145 years ago set things in motion that resulted in one of the bloodiest battle in the history of the United States. Each year we celebrate July 4 as our day of independence. However, most people do not know how critical the actions and sacrifices that 160,000 men made 145 years ago shaped who we are as a country. I encourage everyone to study our history. It serves as a guide in business and life. If you do not want to read the hundreds of books written about the Battle of Gettysburg and would like to get a pretty accurate account of the Battle of Gettysburg, I suggest you get the Gettysburg Movie on DVD. Warning it is a very long movie. The Extended LaserDisc Edition is even longer and it is great. Even better go and visit the Gettysburg battlefield. Note, if you want to avoid crowds do not go this time of year.

Coming soon more Lotus Notes Interface tricks.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New IBM Lotus Notes Web Site - Almost there

The new refresh of the IBM Lotus Notes/Domino Web site I believe is better and cleaner then before. I glad that IBM is providing a clearer message. They still need to integrate it better with the main IBM web site. The question is when you go to the small business link from the main site where is Lotus Quickr? Shouldn't Quickr be there?

http://www-304.ibm.com/jct03004c/businesscenter/smallbusiness/us/en/software

Also shouldn't there be a link to this page from the small business site?

Also an added notes where is Lotus Foundations?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Domino an Application Server with Mail or a Mail Server that you can Runs Applications

Unfortunately, I was not able to present my presentation, "SOA, Not Just for the Web" at the June GRANITE Lotus Notes Users Group meeting. Because of all the flooding and weather related problems the attendance was less than normal. And with additional emergencies that came up during the other presentations, it was decided that my presentation will be postponed to the next meeting in August. However after lunch, we had an interesting conversation about how IBM is marketing their products especially to the SMB. Things that came up included improving awareness through better education materials and giving away licenses of Notes and Domino similarity to how Microsoft uses giveaways to get people hooked on their products. I have talked about IBM's marketing to SMB in the past and its lack of coherently. With the Lotus Foundation Start product now shipping with Domino, one needs to ask how small businesses is viewing Domino and Lotus Foundations.

Is Domino an application server that comes with mail or it is a mail server that you can run applications? This is extremely important because it determine how you approach the SMB market. Notes and Domino's initial sucess was not as an email server but as a rapid development application server. It is critical applications and business processes that drive the need for IT solutions. Yes, email is an critical application that companies need, but for small businesses you are competing not only with Exchange, but with Yahoo mail, Gmail and many other open source solutions. This is also true when it comes to IM. What will drive Domino small business sales are COMPETITIVE applications that are critical to a business. These applications need to be designed for small businesses in mind in terms of look and feel and functionality. Too many times I have seen companies strip down their applications, cut the price and call it a SMB product. That does not work in this competitive environment where we have SaaS, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and others competing for the same space. Notes and Domino with it unique capabilities offer so much possibilities to small businesses and it is a shame that more has not been done. People have been blogging and demonstrating all the new features of Notes 8 and Domino 8 which are great, but when marketing to small businesses will that drive sales, in my opinion no. If we market Notes and Domino just as an email server that can run applications then companies could easily migrate to Exchange because there is no critical reason why they should keep using Notes and Domino. On the other hand, if a company is running their entire business using Notes and Domino you have a keeper.

If you are a partner who works in the small business market or you work for a small business using Notes/Domino, I would like to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Presenting at June 2008 GRANITE Lotus User Group Meeting

The June 2008 GRANITE Lotus User Group Meeting is coming up on Monday, June 9, 2008. If you are in the area come join us at the IBM Center in Chicago.

I will be presenting a short presentation on titled "SOA, Not Just for the Web." It will be a short version of a longer presentation that I have been creating. The presentation will show how you can use SOA-like techniques to create Notes applications that are easier to develop and maintain and works with the Notes Classic client. Our Integrated Business Framework v3 system uses an advanced version of this technique. If I have time this weekend, I will create a demo and combine it with the composite application technique that I demo a while back and show it working using the Notes Classic client.