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re: Top 10 Reasons I Left Lotus Notes for Google Apps

Lotus Attack 
Kittens Unite! David Hoff - a once happy Lotus product user - has gone the route of Google Apps and details his feelings via Top 10 list in his most recent post: Top 10 Reasons I Left Lotus Notes for Google Apps.

Now, if you can get past the Letterman-esc delivery, there are some things that David brings up that we as Lotus subject matter experts should certainly make ourselves aware of:

  1. Getting it right from go!

    We've all been there, whether you're a consultant or a new employee: you connect into a Domino environment that appears to have been setup by a sadist who actually put those same monkeys in the room with all of those typewriters, but has this time instead equipped them with server hardware and Lotus Domino installation media.

    I can not tell you how many customer complaints I hear daily whose root cause could be traced back to poor systems architecture, half-baked configurations, or untamed code running amok.

    And at the end of the day, it's the customer that loses here.

  2. Speed

    David's point on a "less than 5 seconds" click-to-launch was the major thing that jumped out at me. The customer wants things now. Enterprise customers need things 5 minutes ago. The demand for having a lightening-fast rich usage experience is something that we application developers should strive to achieve regardless of platform, and it's something that I don't think we really put much emphasis on in our efforts.

  3. Geeks are getting lazy.

    Do you remember when it was fun to upgrade an entire network? You'd spend time sneakernet'ing the entire company and a weekend high on pizzza and your own l33tn3ss upgrading this or implementing that.

    Now I have 4 kids playing 3 different sports and I can't tell you the last time I took a vacation day that was an actual vacation day. It's not that we're gotten lazy, it's just that we have so many things on our plates right now. Which is why cloud services are so appealing. It's tomorrow's outsourcing today.

    And it's my experience that business units love cloud services, particulary for 2 reasons:

    1. They get to play geek, which has become the cool thing to do.
    2. You can often get cloud services and SaaS under a departmental cost budget instead of going for capital investment.

As for the rest of the list, from Xs to Java, I'm not going to bother with that - the latest release of the Lotus Notes client combined with the innovations with the Lotus Domino server environment are making all of those moot points as far as I'm concerned...

I prefer to focus on the good that can come from such an article.

I have often said that the standard Mail Template - which is an amazing application, don't get me wrong - is very much a kitchen sink application. You have email, calendaring, and tasking capabilities wherein the majority of customers just use email.

Would a Email and Calendaring & Scheduling-only template work here? Help cut down on the overhead and make those 5 second launch times appear slow by comparison?

What can we do today for Notes shops to get best-practice setups for Lotus products to ensure that we're at least not tripping over the small stuff?

What killer apps do we need to be focusing on in our community instead of pimping our own products or agendas (or having all-out pissing contests) that can ensure that we're meeting the enterprise requirements of today while also focusing on the customer expectations for UI and functionality?

I think a huge part of this goes back to working with the vendor (in this case IBM) to coordinate such efforts. Some of that is being done today (by people like Joyce Davis and the efforts from the Lotus Technical Information and Education Team/Lotus Advocates teams), but what else can we be working on - right now - to improve things for the customer?

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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