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IBM doesn't need a new Notes client, it needs to drop the Notes client.

How's that for an ASW heading then?  I'm not proposing that IBM actually stops selling Domino or Notes, they should continue investing, I'm proposing that IBM create a Domino server with no mail components, no 1352 traffic to it apart from Designer and offer up a pure Domino Server with a new name.  After watching David Leedy's very compelling short demo of XPages this morning, I can't help but feel if people saw that without thinking about email, without thinking about mail administration, they wouldn't find it compelling.

The problem with Notes/Domino for many potential customers is it does too much.  Go into an Exchange shop and they've already got Email so they don't want any Domino. Years ago Microsoft were really smart by always comparing Exchange to Notes, and making it an eMail comparison, and IBM and Lotus should take a lot of the blame for letting that happen.  But Microsoft is pretty clear in differentiating their products, you want eMail you get exchange, you want collaboration you get Sharepoint, you want telephony you get Lync, you want a rich programmable client you get office, you want a database you get SQL.  With IBM it's all about choice, you want an App server, they have tonnes of them, you want some Desktop productivity suite, they've got two of those, you want Telephony, they have multiple offerings there, you want social collaboration, hell even Lotus has multiple offerings, finding it hard to decide between the different IBM offerings? Finding it hard to make them work together? Don't worry IBM has a farm of consultants they can send it to figure it out for you, and if you look at IBMs stock price (I think a poor way to judge, but it's the current way) the model is working for them.

So back to my point at hand, IBM is always going to offer choices so we can't fix that, but they can try and fix the association of Notes/Domino with purely email.   We know the internet young guns are all over none relational databases (hello NSF) and we all know they often like to hack around in raw code (hello XPages), sadly we all know they hate Domino.  So ship a new server, put it in a nice pastel web 2.0 box, and push it like crazy.  Make it so that it's Microsoft ASP cheap for companies like GoDaddy, ServerBeach  to host it, create tonnes and tonnes of samples, get IBMers evangelizing at every VC, startup, networking event they can.  If the only way to get IBM bigwigs to buy into it, call it WebSphere lite or something.

Breath some life back into this wonderful platform.


Gravatar Image1 - LMAO - I think this is a great idea! (why am I laughing? Because, well, I might maybe possibly be working on this already)

Gravatar Image2 - After watching that video - I'd buy it.
That's an absolutely cracker demo.

Gravatar Image3 - I think you meant to say that people "would" find it compelling.

Here's my concern. You can repackage and rename all you want. BUT, that will only get you so far. As you say, IBM would need to "push it like crazy" and "get IBMers evangelizing at every VC, startup, networking event they can."

IBM can throw out the Lotus or Domino names if IBM doesn't want to spend the money to change the brand perception. But then IBM still has to spend money to drive market awareness of the specific solutions they have, whatever they call them. This is not in IBM's DNA, and I don't see that changing.

Gravatar Image4 - I would be very careful about removing server - server replication.

1) It is a great way to maintain and troubleshoot applications which are running on "on premises" appliances in low bandwidth situations

2) More generally the low bandwidth distributed capabilities of Domino are just as valid with distrubuted "XPage Servers" as they are with Domino servers.

Gravatar Image5 - I was just going to say that I think Ed's already going down this road. He beat me to it @1 though, so you get it straight from the horse's mouth. Emoticon Check out his marketing focus group blog post from awhile back.

The trick will be IBM's marketing.

Gravatar Image6 - This is interesting. I heard the inverse just last week. "it would be great is Notes was just email (and PIM)." The argument was that all the other things that the person used Notes for, was now done better by Quickr or Connections.

Gravatar Image7 - @3 You're correct.

@4 You're correct also. Server to server replication is a key component to a web application server.

Gravatar Image8 - I really like the idea! let's call it the Lotus Chess server! Emoticon

Gravatar Image9 - How about something short, simple:
IBM XPages Server
and another to go with IBM XPages Designer free download:
IBM XPages Server Community Edition

Gravatar Image10 - Great ideas Carl. I love this post! Perhaps it's time to retire both the Notes and Lotus names altogether.

Here are my suggestions.

Old ==> New

Lotus Notes(mail only) ==> IBM Mail
Lotus Notes ==> IBM Legacy
Lotus Domino ==> IBM Legacy Enterprise Server
Domino Xpages ==> IBM XPages Server

Give people a clear indication that Notes and Domino will be phased out over several years. Give everyone clear path to migrate all their notes apps to the XPages server and all their Notes clients to IBM Mail. Even create a conversion tool to help migrate apps.

Rebrand Notes and Domino as Legacy and keep it around for x number of years till everyone has migrated. Similar to cc:Mail in the 90's. Call it legacy for what it is.

A fresh start leveraging the old technology could revitalize this platform.

Gravatar Image11 - Yep, that was what I proposed at Lotusphere as well in this blog post.
{ Link }

Gravatar Image12 - The amount of hype Podio is getting these days amazes me. It's a more modern version of Lotus Notes, all web based with some really snazzy view level features (and no email). They simply provide a drag and drop UI for building forms which they call applications. They have an app store filled with hundreds of examples. I'm both impressed and also annoyed I did not start it Emoticon

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