Domino not dead yet

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?

Domino 8Furthermore, 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?


  1. Very well said. However, we need to take these points and make them more public. The peanut gallery in the little yellow bubble only influences people already within the little yellow bubble.

    For instance, head over to – arguably the blue chip computer press here in the UK and search for articles with Lotus Notes in the text. I just did and none of the articles on the first returned page were actually *about* lotus notes.

    8.5 is unarguably the best ever product delivered, and the server code is considered the best released code – ever – by insiders. The UI (thanks to Mary Beths’ team) can no longer be seen as ‘outlook 98’ ugly, and new platforms (win64, aix64), new clients (linux, mac) make this a very exciting release, especially combined with the success of Symphony, prizing the costly and buggy office suite out of users hands.

    But where is the mention in the press ? How does ‘Joe the Helpdesk’ buried deep in some UK corporation hear of this event changing stuff ? That his preconceptions of Lotus notes (based on a shonky 10 year out of date version of 4.5 at his previous place of work) now have to be reevaluated ?

    How are the journos going to find out about this? Is someone tasked with getting some basic PR news out to them, to encourage them to dig deeper, to get the whole story?

    —* Bill

  2. Can not agree more Bill. The product is not gaining market share or publicity. We need IBM to be more agressive and step in promoting this against competitors and to create some really good template for companies to use out of the box that incorporate new web techniques and looks.

    Also has paid lots of my expenses but have started consulting in competing techniques not as good but adopted in companies. Too bad Lotus.

  3. Last week, Mr Picciano was interviewed at and explicitly asked about widening the marketing for Lotus Domino. From his words, I’m afraid we’re not about to see any change. But maybe LotusSphere brings fresh wind into this emptiness.

    I agree with Bill, the perception in the market, in spite of such an extraordinary new release, outside our small Lotus community is still the same than it was five or six years ago.

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