Happy 10th birthday, Notes R5
This week, I think, marks the 10th birthday of Lotus Notes R5. I say "think"…
That’s nice to know isn’t it… especially as it pays my mortgage, feeds my family and keeps the wife in shoes. According to ChannelWeb, Domino not being dead is one of the ten big IBM stories of the year. Well, it is true, I can confirm Domino is not dead. Domino 8.5 is a major new version and will ship soon, certainly before Lotusphere, and boasts loads of new features. Some of these features will provide a lower cost of ownership to businesses using Domino – of which there are about 46,000 around the globe.
I would argue their statement about “Notes / Domino may have fallen way behind Microsoft’s Exchange / Outlook communications and collaboration platform in the market share race” – fallen behind, yes – way behind, no. Not according to the analysts. And Exchange is a collaboration platform now? Oh, of course, e-mail is a form of collaboration. And it has public folders. Aren’t they removing public folders from Exchange?
Furthermore, 2007 saw an increase of about 10% in Notes / Domino customers on active maintenance, and we’re tracking the same sort of increase for 2008. I would speculate that this is a result of customers seeing a solid roadmap and the fact that Notes 8 puts to bed the old ‘Notes is ugly’ argument. Not to mention the fact that integrated Lotus Symphony provides a viable low-cost alternative to Microsoft Office.
Add to that the fact that we are still taking customers off competitive products, and 2008 saw some major brand names switch to Notes / Domino. Needless to say, I can’t wait for these to turn into public references in 2009.
One last thing to say about this… Domino dead? Domino has a roadmap, one which we’ve talked about publicly. While the fine details of the features may be not public knowledge, many of our customers know about them. We know that the next version of Domino will be delivered in 2010, it will be based on the consistent architecture and will be an evolution, not a rip-and-replace overhaul. Ask yourself this… if you use a solution from another company, and that product doesn’t have a publicly-announced roadmap, shouldn’t we being questioning whether that’s dead instead?