Some thoughts about the Microsoft briefing on Monday

by Volker Weber


A couple of days ago I was visiting the Microsoft CIO Roundtable in Köln before heading to CeBIT. It was a very interesting event because it gave me some perspectives I did not have before. The event was squarely aimed at customers who are currently running Lotus Notes and are re-evaluating their strategy. The interesting things happened in the Q&As and offline discussions. Some short observations that I have not put into a complete picture yet.

Microsoft seems to have a pretty good plan on how to win customers from Notes. And they have a full pipeline. Microsoft has also been hiring people formerly working in competitive roles in IBM.

If you read about major migrations from IBM to Microsoft, you are often asking yourself why. The answers you get are only showing a small part of the picture. If you make a business plan based solely on IT cost, none of those seem to make sense. But there is a larger picture around it. In some cases companies have decided on a two vendor strategy: SAP and Microsoft. Or they have gone from a best-of-breed strategy to a single vendor desktop. If your answer is that the customer is stupid, it is more likely that you are. ;-)


If your answer is that the customer is stupid, it is more likely that you are. ;-)Great line, Volker.

Microsoft has also been hiring people formerly working in competitive roles in IBM.We're seen a good number of people leave Lotus roles in IBM UK to join Microsoft, including Sian Bowles, formerly Business Unit Executive for Lotus UK.

Clearly Microsoft are on an aggressive campaign right now, the only question is whether they see real competitive value in the folks they are recruiting or if they are just trying to disrupt IBM. Based on the good folks involved, I'd say the former...

Stuart McIntyre, 2011-03-03

Without a doubt, the former.

Volker Weber, 2011-03-03

Does the touch screen include the red area?

Lucius Bobikiewicz, 2011-03-03

Yes it does.

Volker Weber, 2011-03-03

I would never call customers stupid, because we drive an it service business which is strongly dependend on them. And yes I am in those decisions since years, so this is really happening. But I cannot see why a two vendor strategy or a single vendor desktop strategy is the better one by definition. I did some big product move projects in the past and have never seen some real honest after-the-move analysis showing a real honest resumee on savings, strategic enhancement, outcomes for endusers and so on... I doubt the overall sense of those projects, of course in both directions.... What is in for the company, which is so positive to get over all the end user pain, spended project money, working discontinuity? Not speaking about none of those customers have only two vendors after moving from Notes/Domino Messaging to Outlook/Exchange. Most of them have an additional Server/Client System after the move for years because as you said application migration does not take place.

Henning Kunz, 2011-03-03

re: exchange wins on mobile support - is that because of the active synch or other access methods being available out of the box across a lot of different devices?

Chris Reckling, 2011-03-03

It's because vendors make sure that their stuff works with Exchange. In other words: if you have Exchange, the world automatically revolves around you. It does not rally matter which device you pick, it will support EAS, much in the same way everything reads and writes DOC, XLS, or PPT. Err, not everything reads and writes XLS, but it should. :-)

Volker Weber, 2011-03-03

So if you would then look at the "real honest after-the-move analysis" then you would
a) recommend all your customers on Notes and Domino to move to Outlook/Exchange
b) call those customers stupid

Henning Heinz, 2011-03-03

So qualify as second vendor after SAP (if they didn't supply the DB/2 already) IBM would need to offer a desktop OS and an ActiveDirectory alternative? The former had be tried with OS/2 and eSuite <shudder />, for the later some Tivoli stuff could be whipped into shape. The desktop OS scars probably still hurt today so buying Novell or Canonical is out of the picture (my guess).

Stephan H. Wissel, 2011-03-04

Who really wants a five vendor strategy?

1. SAP
2. Oracle
3. Microsoft
4. IBM Lotus
5. IBM Websphere

Peter Meuser, 2011-03-04

Good overview and I can relate to mist of this. Although I am not actively involved in the "Notes to Exchange" ballgame for some years, I can say that the 2 out of 3 stick with Notes statistic is way off for The Netherlands.

I the last 6 years over 80% of the larger organisations that ran Lotus Notes in The Netherlands are now running exchange. The question in some of these cases would be if they totally 'shut down' Notes or if they still run Domino for some apps.
Also the wiki you've launched 3 (or 4?) years ago illustrates abroader move I would say

TCO has always been the startingpoint in discussions and never the decision making argument. At the end of the day it is partly a rational (not IBM rationl :-) ) decision and partly emotional.

Peter de Haas, 2011-03-04

You will have to tell Gartner that their numbers are off. :-)

Most will continue to run Domino for reasons stated above.

Volker Weber, 2011-03-04

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe