The top 10 advantages of Lotus Quickr! ? Not !

Over on the Lotus Quickr blog I found an interesting overview of points in which Lotus Quickr is supposed to have an advantage over Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or 2007 Office System in general (or at least I think Stuart is trying to make those comparisons).

The analysis is incomplete in some cases and wrong in others. Let’s go through them one by one :

The top 10 advantages of Lotus Quickr!

Well actually, top 11…

If you are an end-user considering your organisation’s options regarding team collaboration software, or else are working to convice your costomers of the merits of Lotus Quickr over other competitive solutions out there, then you may find this list of reasons to use Quickr of assistance.  

After all, it’s good to Share Points of interest like this, isn’t it 😉

The Top 10 11 Reasons to Use Lotus Quickr! 

1. Share content and collaborate from anywhere
Lotus Quickr client connectors integrate into multiple desktop applications

Multiple desktop applications. I assume Stuart means other applications besides Microsoft Office ? What other desktop applications would that be ?

Besides that my take on this is that MOSS is a platform to which all of the major ECM vendors integrate through browsers and in some cases also through their native desktop clients.

I look forward to the list of desktop applications …

 2. “No” to proprietary tools
Support for multiple HW/SW environments, open standards

Proprietary would be Windows Client and Windows Server I assume. This is true SharePoint only runs on Windows Server and related hardware platforms. Although this maybe an important fact to some organisations, the majority runs Windows Server and Windows Client already. Ofcourse this could change in the future, but up’ till now it has not proven to be a major advantage Lotus has over Microsoft. Look for example at the number of organisations running Lotus notes Domino on wintel vs other platforms. Other platform only represent a small percentage. 

3. No rip-and-replace
No need to replace your workstations to upgrade to Microsoft Vista and Microsoft Office 2007

Hang on where did this come from ? “Rip and Replace” ?? Who claims that running Windows Vista and Office 2007 is required when you need ‘Quickr-like’ functionality ? Do you know that Office 2007 does not really require Vista ?Remember SharePoint 2003 and WSS 2.0, the platform that was available prior to Vista and Office 2007 ? Or better have you ever read the document ‘FairGoodBetterBest‘ which describes the level of integration between MOSS 2007 and the current and previous versions of Office ?

4. Batteries are included
All components (RDB, LDAP, etc.) are in the box – and can scale

I assume this relates to the need of a database (SQL Server in the case of Microsoft) and a directory (AD in the case of Microsoft. Again, in itself its true Microsoft does require these components but the majority of organsiations already run one or more databases, have more than one user directory and often AD. SO the argument is true in splendid isolation but not in the real world …

5. Real-time integration
Web-based real-time presence and chat, integrate with Web conferences

Quickr is not the RTC platform of Lotus, that’s SameTime last time I checked. SameTime is the platform that provides presence, IM and Webconferencing capability.

For Microsoft that’s Office Communications Server 2007 and we all know what that does: the same …

6. Real offline access
Take an entire team space offline to work with presentation, logic, and data

This is something Microsoft can not do, at least not out of the box. For offline capability you either use Outlook (for documents and lists) or Groove (teamsites). Neither retain the look and feel. I could argue whether retaining the look and feel is crucial, but ok …

7. Real extranet collaboration
You just need email addresses of your partners to collaborate, not a call to IT

Assuming you have done the extranet setup with regards to security, etc than this is also the case for SharePoint. The difference would be anonymous access vs authenticated access. In the latter case you need a way to provision AD, as AD is required.

Microsoft runs multiple extranet setup with SharePoint for example our extranet for partners.

The alternate solution to ad-hoc collaboration information sharing would be Microsoft Office Groove as this also integrates with SharePoint a solution could also be a combination of both. It all depends on the scenario.

8. Bridge your islands of data
Bring structure and organization to your places with nested sites, and replication

Why exactly is this a differentiator ?

9. Interactive dashboards
Display interactive AJAX-based components on one page

Why exactly is this a differentiator ?

10. Extensibility & Flexibility
Easily build custom applications

Have you seen the Applications for SharePoint ? This is functionality ‘out-of-the-box’, but more than that it shows the capability and easy with which you can enable functionality on this platform.

11. Designed for the future
Manage content, not just Microsoft Office documents
Web 2.0 collaboration, not just an extension of Microsoft Office
Transparently access diverse repositories
End-to-end content management with IBM’s best-of-breed Content Management solutions

Let’s assume for a moment that Microsoft also has the future in mind when building and evolving SharePoint. Of you’ve paid any attention at all looking at the evolution in the last 3 SharePoint versions you understand what I mean.

– Manage content, not just Office Documents also goes for SharePoint : http://blogs.msdn.com/ifilter/default.aspx

– What’s Web 2.0 collaboration ? Finding colleagues, their profiles, their contact details ? Their organsiation structure ? It’s all in the MySite setup of SharePoint. I would agree that microsoft still has a lot of work to do and not being able to include Knowledge Network is a pity. Nevertheless I am not sure what edge Quickr in this case.

– Transparently assess diverse repositories

?

– The end to end ECM .. with IBM’s best of breed CM solutions
Yes, which one do you mean exactly, as IBM has several…

Peter de Haas
Peter de Haas

Peter is gedreven door de eindeloze mogelijkheden die technologische vooruitgang biedt. Met een scherp oog voor het herkennen van oplossingen waar anderen slechts problemen zien, is hij een expert in digitale transformaties. Peter zet zich met volle overgave in om individuen, teams en organisaties te begeleiden bij het ontwikkelen van nieuwe vaardigheden en het implementeren van innovatieve oplossingen.

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15 reacties

  1. Mike,
    These are your words.
    Sure they paid for it but more than that they utilise it today, so where is the advantage to them switching ?
    I don’t see the advantage of pooring in new “free” stuff with ‘out-of-the-box’ functionality that duplicates what organsiations already own and run.
    I do see you point that the potential uptake opf Linux / OpenOffice, etc will push Microsoft to continue to innovate.
    I did not intend to raise the impression that I take comfort in Microsoft’s cashflow. Sure it is good backing for the short term, but nevertheless this business is about innovation and competition.
    I wonder where the “modest income” of IBM comes from. They seem to make a lot of money (and to be growing) in Software and Services. So we might as well compare apples with apples in this discussion. There’s no such thing as a free lunch …
    I still believe strongly in the potential of commercial software and absolutely do not share the doom scenario you and others are claiming for years now.

  2. Re: points 1, 2 and 4. Accusation: to run the equivalent Microsoft solution, you must let Microsoft screw you for X amount of money, to run Y number of other Microsoft products, which together allow the Microsoft solution to work.
    Peter de Haas’s response: but we’re already screwing those companies for X amount of money, to run Y number of our products, so they won’t even notice the difference… not really.
    I imagine that Al Capone thought he was adding value when he ran protection rackets in Chicago.
    The following predictions may sound quite insane today, but in 10 years time they will be regarded as obvious:
    * Linux will take over from Windows on the desktop, home and corporate.
    * OpenOffice and/or its variants (StarOffice, Lotus Symphony) or Google Apps (needs off-line capabilities first though!) will take over from Microsoft Office.
    * Companies will no longer purchase any applications that are not cross-platform (Wintel, Mac and Linux)
    No doubt, Peter, you can take comfort in the extraordinary amount of cash that Microsoft continues to collect. And that will keep it going for a good few years yet. But the company is finished. I do hope that you see that. It’s only a matter of time.
    Cheers,
    – Mike

  3. @ C V
    Well put.
    For sure MS feels the pressure of all of these iniatives and that’s exactly what competition should be like. For customers it means more innovation in shorter timeframe and more value all together.

  4. “But the company is finished. I do hope that you see that. It’s only a matter of time”
    Wishful thinking and certainly not in the interest of customers. MS should be feeling flattered that so many are trying hard to displace it.

  5. @Peter
    > Sure they paid for it but more than that they utilise
    >it today, so where is the advantage to them switching ?
    Good point, but one that is based upon a false premise: that companies *own* Microsoft Office. I’m afraid that they don’t; not in any real sense. Rather they rent it. Either directly, via ongoing Software Assurance payments to Microsft, or by being forced to upgrade to newer versions of the suite when Microsoft decides that the file formats need changing (again). Maybe OOXML will put paid to the latter tactic? One can only hope!
    So, the value of a move to Open Source would be be the removal of a large *ongoing* cost.
    I, too, believe in the ongoing value of commercial software; I am a Lotus Notes developer, after all!! But the value must come from doing something that Open Source doesn’t do, or doing it much better than Open Source does. Lotus Notes has no obvious Open Source equivalent, and I guess you can say the same about Sharepoint, although I don’t know that product so well.
    A good example would be Adobe Photoshop vs something like the GIMP. The GIMP is good for a freebie, but on a feature by feature basis it lags well behind Photoshop. What’s more, with each new release Photoshop adds new features of the “wow, why didn’t anybody think of that before now?” variety (e.g., the Shadow/Highlight feature in Photoshop CS). That’s why companies and professionals continue to pay the very high prices (especially outside of the US!!!) that Adobe charges for it.
    It’s been a long time since I saw any equivalent “wow” factor feature in MS Office. (I’ve not seen the ribbon in Office 2007 yet though).
    Cheers,
    – Mike

  6. Mike,
    Organsiations do own Office in most cases. If they buy via Select or “rent” via an Enterprise Agreement they have the rights to that version until enernity. If they have SA, they are entitled to the latest version of that software.
    I is a myth that Open Source software is for free. Switching as you rightfully put is costs money and that ofcourse goes beyond just the application. Furthermore they’d need some sort of support for their “free” software which also has a cost associated to it. Add the learning curve, lack of functionality in OpenSource Office, etc. and I doubt where the real benefits are.
    You should really give Office 2007 and the ribbon a try. The functionality introduced in for example Excel (visualisation of data) and smartart is very strong. SmartArt saves me as heavy powerpoint user some 1-2 hours per presentation as it allows me to visualise concepts much faster and with impressive graphocs … just 2 examples of things OpenOffice can not deliver in the short term and rest assured that Microsoft will continue to invest in Office 😉

  7. Henning,
    You do have a point in : Unfortunately while IBM, Microsoft and others run a rally of “Who can do fatter” Google seems to be the only major competitor for doing it smarter.”
    I do however think Microsoft has a major asset in Windows Live, Silverlight, Windows Mobile, etc. which can be leveraged in the overall software + services strategy. From that perspective Microsoft does have major advantages over IBM who just is re-re-re-introducuing office for the desktop …
    Google will be a more difficult competitor mainly beause of their different business model …

  8. If you mention Adobe. I am quite disappointed what they delivered with Fireworks CS3. Performance like Photoshop but none of its power. Same for Flex, awesome technology but sold like cold dead fish. Sorry but mostly everything at Adobe stinks besides probably Photoshop. And what counts for Microsoft is equal for Adobe. 1.000 products but everything relies on Photoshop and Acrobat.
    I don’t get the Select story either. No one forces big companies to buy into Microsoft Select. If you run Office 2000 it still works and will, at least on Windows XP, until 2013 or so. And really, Open Office? This thing is free as in beer but it is slow. I am using it (although I bought Office 2007 this year) because it is feature rich but its speed is no fun.
    Google is another point but they have the advantage of permanent growth and being hyped. They will reach a point when investments turn into cost and still the market will cry out for more. And then investments like billions for YouTube will probably get the same treatment as maybe XBox or Zune get for Microsoft.
    Unfortunately while IBM, Microsoft and others run a rally of “Who can do fatter” Google seems to be the only major competitor for doing it smarter.
    Still Microsoft has talent and they can make up their mind and have enough money to adjust their strategy.
    Still Google does 11 billion revenues and Microsoft has an EBITDA of 20 billion. So while some start to count Microsoft out they are in a position of strength (much better than I would like it to be).

  9. We will actually be considering OpenOffice later on… Our EA agreement was cancelled this year (so we are entitled to Office 2007) – but we couldn’t defend the price to pay for a text-editor and a spreadsheet (i guess 98% of our users could do with just Notepad), and I believe that this is the case in many companies.
    Regarding the OOXML – just a notice – “Dansk Standard” – the danish ISO organization, has voted No to certifing the OOXML as a standard (because of Technical Difficulties – which Microsoft might work on solving).
    The only offical standad in Denmark is ODF – which is supported by OpenOffice (and Symphony for that matter).
    Besides – the Dutch government – has chosen to use ODF as the document standard of choice for every governmental institution.
    Why is it that Microsoft “never” (i don’t know if never is correct – but I cannot mention a case) adds to an existing standard, but constantly invents their own standards with at twist ?
    This has been the case with Internet Explorer, OOXML (as some well known), but i’m quite sure that i’ve had problems with unappropriate standard implementations regarding SMTP, LDAP when working with Windows, IIS and others.
    Also I do not understand why licensing a product should be so extremely complicated… It is virtually impossible to buy a computer today without having to pay for another copy of the Operating System… And then the license follows the computer – I do NOT understand the logic in this – besides from ‘legally steal’ money from your customers.

  10. Brian,
    Sorry to hear your organsiation has canceled the EA. It seems a business decision was made and this was the right financial outcome. As I don’t know the details of this decision I can not comment about it / give a perspective.
    With regards to OOXML, Microsoft did not make the fasttrack, but is on track for the normal certification. So its far to early to jump to conclusions.
    As you may know an ODF addin is also available for MS Office, so it can also be supported where and when neccassary.
    Microsoft does support and invest in open standards I would say the use of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol is a good example)
    Several online sources provide additional input :
    http://www.microsoft.com/interop/government/standards.aspx
    http://www.microsoft.com/emea/citizenship/businesspractices/openstandards.mspx
    I do know what you mean about licensing complexity. You are also referring to OEM licensing I understand, it can be rather complex.

  11. Brian,
    Microsoft has been quite clear on the reasons for developing OOXML and started this developed before / parallel to ODF. The intention was never a competitive one but rather the need to enhance / open the proprietary formats (doc, xls ppt)
    CHeck my blogs ‘Open Source’ category for more info on OOXML if you have some time. Info about the OOXML journey, the ODF plugin, etc is all there.
    The choice for format to save can be set in the Office properties (my default is still O2003 formats to retain compatibility with clients).
    This can ofcourse also be set trhough policies in an enterprise environment.
    And you should get, or at least I hope the information provided by Microsoft helps you understand. I don’t expect everyone to be / become a MS fan, but I do hope people see there’s no evil conspiracy here, but an objective to deliver an open standard with more options / choice alongside ODF …

  12. Didn’t know that an ODF plugin was available for Office – that’s cool… but why not just adhere to the emerging standard and use ODF in Office… I don’t see the need to yet another document format, when ‘everyone’ is working towards a common standard.
    As soon as Office uses OOXML as default – all users will save in OOXML, because they do not understand… And then everyone will once again be ‘forced’ into using a proprietary document format, and have to use the proper versions of the Office Suite to be able to communicate with customers and suppliers.
    I just don’t get it – and maybe I shouldn’t 🙂

  13. It might not appear that way – but I’m not “anti MS”… I actually think that they have some good products (some of them at least :-))
    I’m also aware that many settings can be managed centrally – the only problem is that in 90% or 95% of all installations (I take a wild guess here, I know) – nobody bothers to switch away from the default configuration… But I’m still blamed when we cannot open a Word 2007 document because customers or suppliers are ignorant of the possibillitis of the products they use.
    Therefore – a common document format would make everybodys life simpler – and it shouldn’t be up to the customer to figure out which document format is most appropriate to use.
    We, the nerds, might find it very interesting – but the average user just doesn’t want to know what happens when they hit save… It is a matter of interest – not a matter of intelligense. I’m not saying that people are stupid in general, they just don’t care.

  14. Brian,
    For older Office versions there is also the compatibility pack (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=941b3470-3ae9-4aee-8f43-c6bb74cd1466&displaylang=en) which allows users of previous Office versions to work with docx / xlsx and pptx files.
    I would thinks that that also has an impact because it needs to be installed, but that just a matter of what hurts the most 😉
    I totally agree that broadly supported open standards would be ideal. I anticipate similar issues however when ODF files are send around; it may take some time before all consumers and business users are able to work with these.

  15. Interesting to see your way of approach. Strange by the way, how ‘pro-IBM’-sites tend to not allow ‘con-IBM’ questions to be placed in their comments.
    You are hitting many points spot on. However, the very primal flaw in Quickr, is the lack of support for any other data type than a document.
    I have ported many process functionalities for departments or whole business processes into SharePoint, using Custom lists, Workflows and Content Types, and I see no possibility to do this on any version of Quickr (we are 2010 now). So…..how was it again that Quickr is better indeed?

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