Opinion: Radicati paper ignores new Lotus message

Developer John Vaughan says that like Radicati Group, many users were once disheartened by Lotus' strategy. But under Ambuj Goyal, the future for Notes and Domino looks bright.

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As a member of the Domino blogging community I have watched the recent Radicati uproar with interest. In particular, the following eWEEK article Lotus bloggers and analysts brawl, bogus postings alleged, with several quotes from Radicati Group president and CEO Sara Radicati, motivated me to offer a few comments.

If we win the argument in a man's mind, but have left a grudge in his heart, we've still lost the day.
John Vaughan,
According to the eWEEK article, Radicati said the analysis was based on surveys and interviews with corporate executives with purchasing decision power, and an analysis of the information provided by IBM and Microsoft.

From the Radicati Web site:

All of our publications are based on primary research. Our market data is based on ongoing worldwide customer surveys, traditional statistical methods, and analysis models developed by The Radicati Group.

Radicati Group is saying that the IBM Lotus messaging strategy has pushed the people who "hold the purse strings" away from Lotus and toward Microsoft. Fair enough; it was certainly the perception of many in the Lotus community that IBM was doing just that -- up until about a year ago, when the IBM message began to change under the leadership of Ambuj Goyal. We were all asking a lot of tough questions. Where was IBM taking Notes? How long before Lotusscript disappears? How long before the Notes client has been replaced by an Eclipse-based client?

We were trying to understand if IBM intended to kill Notes off. Ed Brill, manager of worldwide Notes and Domino sales, senior marketing manager Alan Lepofsky and others at Lotus did a great job interacting with the community. As far as I'm concerned, Lotus got the message and the strategy on a firm and quite brilliant footing. So it is surprising to me to see Radicati Group pushing the notion that the strategy is flawed.

Many comments have already been made about the quality of the report in question, and I'm not going to cover that ground again. But let's play devil's advocate regarding the statements made by Radicati after the report was issued. What if there is some truth in what Radicati is advocating here, namely that there are still customers out there who believe that IBM's strategy is the end of Lotus Notes?

Clearly a Lotus Notes and Domino "end-game" is not what IBM has been communicating, and how Radicati could have missed the message is beyond me. We have only to look at Jason Dumont's recent article, IBM Lotus Notes and Domino roadmap: Customers can chart their own course, to see the future of Lotus Notes in black and white. That doesn't look like an end-game strategy to me.

For more information

Read our exclusive: Domino users fuming over Radicati paper.

 

Check out our Featured Topic on the best Domino blogs.

What if Radicati is presenting us Domino diehards with an opportunity? Perhaps there are things we can be doing to educate our users and the people we report to about the benefits of the Lotus platform. Sharing Mr. Dumont's article is a great place to start.

I'd like to say as an aside to the Domino community that when our conversations get heated and the stakes seem to be very high, it is important to remember to be kind. There is a certain amount of groupthink present in the Domino community, and this can easily turn into mob mentality. When people get personal, it doesn't do anyone any good. If we win the argument in a man's mind, but have left a grudge in his heart, we've still lost the day.

Vaughan is a long-time Domino developer based in Tampa, Fla. He also runs the weblog jonvon.net. He can be reached at jonvon@gmail.com.

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