Who is your customer?

by Volker Weber

Ray has posted a long rant after resting his weblog for almost a month. It is a long and winding story, touching on design points in Notes and Groove, that I don't completely agree with. What I find most interesting is his conclusion:

The technology leaders of the past - enterprise IT - are now focused (for very good economic reason!!) on cost reduction and efficiency, on "fast solutions", and on a very tough regulatory environment, through strict controls. Liability, and the sheer mass and difficulty of managing broad ICT deployments encourages conservatism, and this won't be changing anytime soon. The new leader in ICT is the fast-moving, pragmatic yet open minded ultra-small business or virtual organization.

I could not agree more. But then again: Why is Groove Networks focussing its sales & marketing on the large enterprise?

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PS: I said I don't agree with everything he says. Here's why: Notes' biggest problem is present in Groove as well. It is a closed environment. You can only play if you are "in". Yes, you can access a Notes server (a.k.a. Domino) via all sorts of open protocols. But the true power is only available to Notes clients or servers (iNotes or Quickplace offline capabilities depend on a hidden local thin server). Groove has exaclty the same problem. That's why you don't play if you are on Linux or a Mac. So far you don't even communicate, let alone collaborate.


Ozzie's posting puzzles me. And I fully agree with your criticism, Volker.
After all, why designing an "architecture" for communication & collaboration which is tight to one OS and some related products? More to the point, isn't Groove a multi-device application rather than an architecture and can it ever be more than that?
Isn't it an "afterthought" (to use Ozzie's word)to fit in with that particular monopolist?

Moritz Schroeder, 2003-07-06

Volker, I agree totally with you.

Ozzie talks about "fast-moving, pragmatic yet open minded ultra-small business or virtual organization" but sells Groove architecture mainly to Fortune 100 companies...

Pablo Corral, 2003-07-09

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