Ed Brill: And what did all that marketing get them?

Although I focus on new turf these days, I couldn’t resist getting back once more into the old Notes vs Exchange discussion triggered by Vowe’s ‘wiki-challenge’ …(I hope I won’t regret it 🙂 )

Related to this Ed Brill posted an interesting analysis of an ISV providing solutions for migrating Notes/Domino to the Microsoft platform and also some marketshare related conclusions :

… Via Duffbert, I just had an interesting read of the transcript from Unify Corp.’s 2008 year-end earnings call.  Unify, as you may recall, is the company whose migration product from Notes to Microsoft, Composer, was aggressively marketed to SearchDomino subscribers from December 2007 until a few months ago.  By our collective reckoning, their mailing went out at least four times to SearchDomino mailing lists…. could have been hundreds of thousands of impressions. …

… Closed eight deals — two full migrations.  Out of some 65,000 plus Notes customers (actively on maintenance with IBM or otherwise), the success rate is 8/65,000.. …

… The six pilots and two full-scale deals generated US$1.1 million in revenue.  That means the cost of the migration tool — not the migration, just the tool and services for the tool — is in the six-figure range. …

I do not mean to take stuff out of context, but merely want to highlight some of the analysis instead of an integral quote of the blogpost.

So …

  • Unify Corp may have a poor return on their marketing efforts acording to Ed.
  • There are more costs associated to a migration than a tool alone. According to the Unify Composer Whitepaper, Composer is not a tool but is provided as a Service :

… Composer for Lotus Notes, Microsoft Edition is a complete solution to the problem of migrating complex Lotus Notes applications to an SOA platform.

(Composer for Lotus Notes, Java Edition is available in addition to the Microsoft .NET version.) Composer provides a non-disruptive approach that results in complete “production-to-production, like-for-like” applications that have identical user interfaces, so that neither users nor managers need to be retrained to operate them. And because Composer is delivered as a service by Unify, it provides a fast solution, using proven techniques and technologies,
that does not tie up developers and in-house staff for long periods of time.

Composer has been deployed repeatedly at small and mid-sized businesses as well as large enterprises, so managers can rely on Composer to fully complete the migration from Lotus Notes on budget and on schedule….

The approach provided by Unify is also ROI driven according to their information in the service. This seams very logical and let’s assume for a moment that Unify’s clients actually :

a) are looking for a solution to migrate their Domino application legacy

b) want some proof that it works

c) are keen on an ROI on whatever criteria they determine and value

Nothing shocking there. Ed may think it’s expensive, but its really up to the organisation who want’s to migrate their applications. Aparently they are prepared to invest in that …


Ed continues in his post :

… This doesn’t exactly seem like the groundswell of "everybody’s migrating" that the competition likes to portray.  Actually, very little empirical evidence supports that theory. …

There’s the link to the wiki. The “competition” is claiming that everybody is migrating … Although that would be nice, this is not reality.

The marketshare figures quoted by Ed later on in his post are selective (we’ve had the marketshare discussion more often so look search in this list of posts) but do provide some insight.

I do think there is a trend. More companies are moving off of Notes / Domino to the Microsoft platform. This is almost a oneway trend confirmed by for example Gartner. I do hope this trend becomes more obvious in the results shown in the wiki (after the dust clears ? and I do trust Volker as the referee )

Look also at the list currently up on the wiki (and I know this is not a final / undisputed list). It does show numerous organsiation who may be still on Notes/Domino but are migrating to Exchange.

Look also at the growing list of case studies up on the Microsoft website which I have brought to the attention over the last years. Compare that to 01-01-2002&site=lotus&cty=en_us&frompage=ts&Start=1&Count=30" target=_blank>01-01-2002&site=lotus&cty=en_us&frompage=ts&Start=1&Count=30" target=_blank>IBM’s list of casestudies or any other external evidence produced.

Sure Notes/Domino share and user numbers can grow; the market is very large and not the whole world uses Notes/Domino or Exchange. There’s even mention of a few Groupwise migrations to Notes/Domino on the wiki.

We could argue all day long about the ROI of swapping email platforms like Ed suggests, but is not really what this is all about .. These organisations are switching to a new platform, Exchange does happen to be part of that. Ofcourse there’s investment / return involved, but I think this goes beyond license costs and the number of email admins …

Update 27-6-2008

And on the “trend” I forgot I hada post of Ed claiming a trend of organisations migrating from Exchange to Notes/Domino in 2004 : Permalink … Would be cool to add a timeline to the wiki ….


Peter de Haas
Peter de Haas

Peter is gepassioneerd door de grenzeloze mogelijkheden van technologische vooruitgang. Met meer dan 35 jaar ervaring in de IT heeft hij talloze ontwikkelingen zien opkomen en hun impact op organisaties en mensen meegemaakt. Met een scherp oog voor het identificeren van oplossingen waar anderen alleen problemen zien, is hij een ware expert in digitale transformaties.
Peter helpt individuen, teams en organisaties bij het ontwikkelen van nieuwe vaardigheden en het implementeren van baanbrekende oplossingen. Zijn inzichten en ervaringen maken hem een gewaardeerde bron voor iedereen die de nieuwste technologische trends wil begrijpen en toepassen.

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