I’ve been looking at all the hype around the Domino Social Edition and trying to understand its positioning. Coming out of Lotusphere I saw this as a way for IBM to slow the leak. Inevitably, lack of position in the market would lead companies to migrate away from Domino. Mail would be first. Applications soon after. One of the biggest inhibitors to migrating away from Domino is how to get rid of the applicaitons. If I can’t get rid of Notes Client than what is the real cost savings to migrating off email.
Migration of Notes is a complex endeavor. Companies go into it because of the anti-domino sentiment that exists in a company. They do it because they think that they are going to save money. They believe it costs less to run an Exchange shop then it does to run an Notes shop. They do it because they buy into the alternative. i.e. Sharepoint is such a great platform. Now we could argue these points out but it wouldn’t change the fact that the world is changing quickly on us.
We’ve been working with numerous clients on a structured migration process which helps move clients through the short to long term plan based on their needs. We provide all the critical data and guidance required for companies to make these difficult and complex decisions. With applications its not just simply swapping out a client.
Where does the Domino Social Edition play into this? Well, it muddies the waters a bit. It give companies the false impression that they can now get rid of the notes client and run a light version of notes in a browser. So, companies are now left with the impression that they don’t have to do anything with their notes applications. Go ahead, migrate email and continue to serve up applications in a browser.
Unfortunately the Social Edition plugin is the notes basic client. It only runs in a windows environment and runs with all the limitations of the notes basic client with some new ones.
Let me make sure that I understand the idea around this…. The Marketing spin is – Run notes in a browser. The Reality is -You need to install (behind the scenes) a notes basic client which only runs on windows based machines (ie: no support for OSX or LINUX) and you still need to have a notes ID file.
So what have companies actually obtained. I think that this is a great marketing pitch which helps companies stay on the platform a little longer but it muddies their longer term strategy. It muddies the fact that companies could have started to look at better transitioning these applications to HTML5 or Xpages. It also makes it harder for the partner community to sell these transition services to things such as Xpages.