Don’t Be the Last Company on Notes


The new year is starting off with a bang – a great new set of Notes customers decided to Exchange and SharePoint.  At this rate, 2011 could be one of our biggest Notes “switcher” years, yet.    With IBM’s annual Lotusphere conference starting next week, it means that Notes customers are evaluating what they can improve with their mail, messaging, and collaboration infrastructure.  And for many Notes customers, it means taking a look at what Microsoft has to offer.

All this week, I will be posting here to the UC Blog stories from some of our customers who have switched from Notes and our Partners who help with the transition.  These are just a few examples from the wave of customers migrating off of Lotus Notes –customers that include Daimler, Qantas, Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, NTT DoCoMo, and Godiva Chocolatier.

Back in September in this post, I highlighted a Gartner report on email that I encourage everyone to read, regardless of what email system you use and whether or not you are considering changing your email system.

In another blog post last month, I cited an internal research study which shows “that Exchange market share has never been greater.  In US enterprises with over 500 PC’s, an incredible 73% of organizations use Exchange as their primary email system.  The next closest email platform is at 7%.”  What I didn’t mention at the time was that the 7% market share is Lotus Notes.  Microsoft has migrated 20 million Notes seats over to Microsoft in the last 5 years.  All but 2 companies in the Fortune 30 use Exchange as their primary email system, and one of those companies is IBM.  The question facing many attendees at Lotusphere this week is if they want to be the last organization left running Notes or if 2011 is the year to move to Exchange and SharePoint, the world’s leading email, calendaring and collaboration solutions.

I’ll talk more about our customer and partner stories later this week.  Check back each day this week for a new post.

Julia White

Senior Director, Exchange Product Management


Comments (45)

  1. Chris Blatnick says:

    If you are a customer looking at your messaging solution, performing due diligence means researching if what a vendor tells you is reality or their own "spin".  The figures quoted above are grossly inaccurate and I have personally been involved in many *recent* projects in moving Exchange customers to Lotus Notes.  Regardless of your mail system, moving from one to another rarely makes sense if you evaluate the financial case.  Consider the source and do your own evaluations and calculations.

  2. Ratish Nair says:

    Exchange to Notes??? You gotta be kidding me…

    MSExchange is "The Best" corporate messaging product and I know that coz I've played with Notes. Let's forget technology for a while and think in an end user perspective. There is no better experience any product gives what outlook + exchange gotta offer. Again, the way MS take care of it's customers play a huge role in their success. MS PSS does a great job maintaining excellent SLA's.

  3. Darren Duke says:

    Ratish, I urge you to use an Apple product if you really believe "there is no better [user] experience". I think you head is a tad buried somewhere.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Notes!?! HAH!  We're still running Novell (soon, Attachmate) GroupWise :-(  I can only dream of running Notes, much less Exchange :-(  I wish Microsoft could make us a sweet deal.

  5. Anonymous says:

    @Darren – what Apple product that runs enterprise class email and calendaring systems would you be referring to?  Let's compare (wait for it) Apple to Apples here.

  6. Craig Wiseman says:

    Anonymous, huh? Love those. Set ignore=on.

    Mr. Ratish… I'm sure you meant, "If you're used to Outlook only, then there is no better experience any product gives what outlook + exchange gotta offer."  Because if you meant something else, you're incorrect.

    Back to the post… I know that whenever I go looking for products to buy (software, cars, etc.), I always rely on "internal research stud(ies)" from each vendor to make my decisions. They're always reliable and unbiased.

  7. Pete says:

    Love how you couldn't even spell Qantas correctly….

  8. Ratish Nair says:

    @Darren- I use an iPhone4 myself and got an iPad too. I love it and guess it makes me "Apple Aware".  The discussion is not abt knowing what or "not". If yes, tell me if you like Xbox…

    With my "limited experience" of around 100+ enterprise customers, I dont see a lot of people liking other products and trust me they are all well qualified and "know what they're talking about… Unless you have a Macbook pro for your personal use, how many company could afford to provide it to their employees. I myself prepared the SOP's for MacMail, Entourage, thunderbird etc and a lot of other clients too to talk to Exchange/SendMail..

    @Craig Wiseman – If you think Outlook+Exchange combination works only if you are used Outlook, then I guess you gotta work on your Exchange/corporate messaging deployment coz with E2K7/E2010 with OL2010/2007, I bet ya "There aint no better combination" out there !!!

    Moral of the story – I was just mentioning abt the larger chunk of orgn's by saying "MSExchange is "The Best" corporate messaging product".

  9. Anonymous says:

    Every large site in Australia that I've seen that has made the move is now running two environments. Exchange for messaging and Domino for apps. Every single one. They have all increased the complexity of their IT environments and also significantly increased the amount of money they are spending.

    I think other more serious, real world, professionally sound questions need to be asked.

  10. Russ Maher says:

    Procter & Gamble getting off Notes?  Really?  I personally delivered Notes and Domino developer and sys admin training to a large number of P&G folk in Cincinatti when they deployed Notes and I have heard every year since 2000 that they were "getting off of Notes".  After you hear it year after year and see that it has not happened you start to ignore the talk.  Then when you hear the same thing from a competing salesperson who mentions a bunch of other companies "leaving Notes"…well, it does make one question the speaker's credibility.

  11. Michael says:

    Spelling Qantas correctly would be a good start.

  12. and why would Ray leave? says:

    Ray Ozzie leaves M$? wonder why……

  13. Ian Randall says:

    So if MS Exchange is really such a first rate messaging platform and better than Lotus Notes and other competitors, then why did the Radicati Group recently report from a survey of several hundred organisations in 2010 that the average number of unplanned downtime for Exchange was 300 minutes (5 hours) per week, almost double the downtime rate of Exchange users for 2009 and significantly higher that competitors such as lotus Notes and Groupware.

    I have been using Lotus Notes for email for 17 years, and I don't think that I have been down for even a total of 30 minutes in that entire time.

    Let's face it, both Exchange and Lotus Notes are fine enterprize-class email platforms, and are both fine products.  But to claim that Exchange is superior in any way, or that any organization can cost justify switching from one platform to another is just rubbish.

    The title to this blog entry is the key to why organisations switch email platforms, because they believe all the marketing from Microsoft without questioning it.  But to try and justify that people are switching because Exchange is a superior product or because a switch to any another corporate email platform is cost justifyable is total nonsense.

    Wake up people, the salesman just lied to you and you fell for it.

  14. The Notes Guy In Seattle says:

    While we're on the topic, I think they just reran the episode of The Johnny Carson Show from Dec 19, 1973.  The CTOs at Qantas, P&G, and Godiva were all seen at the grocery store stocking up on toilet paper.  Some people just never get it.  

    Enough tongue-in-cheek.  My compliments to MS on hiring Dr. A.K. Pradeep to help with marketing.  Using his ideas on neuro-marketing are so effective they could convince Obama to vote Republican.  IBM is not so clever at marketing.  They seem to put all their R&D into products.

  15. Tim Tripcony says:

    Messaging is a commodity. A necessary one, but a decreasingly significant factor in the sum total of what determines an organization's productivity and competitive positioning. Whether migrating from Exchange to Domino or from Domino to Exchange for messaging, what you have to show after the fact for a multi-million-dollar expenditure is precisely what you had prior to the migration: a messaging system. While there may be subtle differences between the two that cause Domino to appeal to one organization and Exchange to appeal to another, it is disingenuous for supporters of either platform to claim that a migration between the two solely on the basis of those differences will produce a true improvement to the organization's bottom line so significant that the effort is likely to have paid for itself in less than five years.

    It has long been, and continues to be, "all about the apps". As has already been mentioned in this thread, it is common for an organization to decide to abandon Domino, viewing it only as a messaging system that is easily replaced, only to discover that, even if their messaging migration is successful, there are dozens – or even hundreds – of custom applications critical to their business running on Domino, with no feasible replacement available. My first Notes job was at a company that was already "getting rid of Notes" when I arrived 13 years ago; to this day, not only does Domino still have a presence in that organization, but they support a Domino-based application template that they distribute to their own large business customers.

    In addition to the many organizations who have traded Domino messaging for Exchange only to find that they now need to maintain (and pay for) both platforms indefinitely in order to avoid crippling their employees' ability to continue to do their jobs by removing the very applications that have reliably run their business up until now, many are now being seduced by the hype promising that SharePoint is an adequate substitute for Domino's custom application architecture. In many cases they rapidly discover to their chagrin that the featureset is actually far more analogous to that of Quickr than Domino… applications that could be spun up in a few days or even an afternoon within their previous Domino infrastructure now take months to deploy and a geometrical increase in development headcount to maintain.

    Perhaps most telling of all is that those who are forced by their employers to become Domino developers quite frequently fall in love with the platform and become passionate supporters of it (notice that only one comment thus far in this thread is from an actual IBMer; the rest – including this one – are from third parties), whereas online forums for SharePoint developers overflow with vitriol from those who have been shackled to the platform by decision makers who believed the hype but aren't actually the ones who get stuck trying to force SharePoint to become what it is supposedly able to deliver.

    This is not necessarily proof that SharePoint is a poorly executed product; rather, it is evidence that the nature of what it has been fundamentally designed to do well has been grossly over-hyped; even Domino struggles when asked to do something that isn't a good fit for the platform. The key difference is that the flexibility inherent in Domino allows a far broader expanse of custom application development to fit comfortably within the scope of uses at which it excels. It can't do everything… but SharePoint promises to and, in reality, delivers far less.

  16. Luke says:

    Everyone's entitled to his opinions. But please, don't be the last home user on Microsoft!

    money.cnn.com/…/index.htm

  17. Julian Smith says:

    Does anyone remember the 'BetaMax' versus 'VHS' debate back in the 80's?  Lots of similarities in this arena – but with a slight twist.

    Whilst the Domino Platform is probably more sophisticated technically , the Microsoft product range in this space has critical mass in both the back and front-office.  In video parlance, there are more MS and 3rd Party titles on the shelves (apps in & out-of-the-box), more stores (resellers) and more support services (people) at lower cost.

    The twist is that the 'arena' is now way broader than just commodity email or instant messaging but also collaboration (portal/intranet/internet capabilities) including, critically, the desktop tools.  The key point here is the level of integration between the MS product suite – Office is 'integrated' with SharePoint2010 to make end-user adoption as straight-forward as possible.

    Ultimately getting people using these tools day-to-day within their Departments, across their company and with their upstream/downstream supply chains is the challenge for business and IT….as it's driving cultural/behavioural change that's key to gain business benefit from investment in either Platform?

  18. Peter Presnell says:

    Mail and messaging?????  Isn't this a bit like suggesting to companies "don't be the last company left using an IBM typewriter"?  The world has moved on quite a bit over the past 20 years.  Its such as shame Microsoft hasn't caught up.  It's the products like Exchange and SharePoint that are the dinosaurs of the new era of social software.  Lotus Notes started adapting to that new era quite some time ago.  I guess you guys failed to notice that.

  19. Ch. River says:

    I'd like to see the customer who is stupid enough to believe this nonsense. If Microsoft still believes that they can gain interest with a plain messaging system then they are very wrong. Look at your competitors and look what IBM offers for a much better price than yours. Our comany recently moved from Exchange to Lotus Domino and we now get much more functionality for the same (or slightly better) price.

    I do encourage customers to ignore these marketing statements, because the statistics are nothing else than playing with figures.

    Do you really think that calculating companies is the right way to do it??? e.g. taking 3 companies with 500 users and 1 company with 100.000 users will give a market share of 75% for Exchange?

    Clever people (+clever companies) take Notes/Domino because thats all you need for building your corporate applications incl. your web platform. Microsoft instead is advertising 1 product, but they ignore that you have to purchase multiple of them ($$$) in order to make use of it.

    So please open your eyes and carefully look at what you get for your money!

  20. sannie says:

    What a complete # blog this is!….give me one good reason to spent lots of money to migrate to a system that is far from perfect? And why should I use Microsoft products as everything is so vendor locked…..MIcrosoft products are in my opinion not suited for global companies. To expensive and to hard to maintain. Microsoft get alive and get awake…..you are far behind on almost everything else availible in the market…..

  21. anonymous says:

    Why not mention the Microsoft customers moving to Google Apps and Lotus Live……o sorry this is a commercial blog #fail (thats twitter language).

  22. a small business company says:

    M$ is beyond expensive – what it took us to do with 5 Exchange servers and 2 admin is done with 2 Domino server and 1 admin and giving us much more than just email.  Perhaps we pay more for that one admin, but does not exceed the cost of 2.  This is complete FUD.  I don't even want to get into Sharepoint … that's a server sprawl waiting to happen from what I've seen.

  23. Anonymous says:

    All I can say is that Microsoft is not the future. The old paradigm of Client/Server technology and clunky old desktop PCs is going by way of the do-do bird. The Windows O/S will be like DOS in ten years. Dead! That means Microsoft's cash cow for the last 20 years will be gone. How many teenagers even use a PC except to do homework?

    The world is moving to mobile technology and cloud computing at an breakneck pace. Smart phones, laptops, tablets, etc… In ten years office computing will be vastly different than it is today. Operating systems like Android, Apple iOS and others are paving the road for the future of computing… what is Microsoft doing? Let's take a look.

    Who owns a Windows Phone? Only Microsoft employees.

    Who has a Microsoft tablet? There isn't one!

    How many companies plan to upgrade to Windows 7? Why???

    Where is Microsoft in terms of social networking or social business??

    Bing? Huh, what?

    Microsoft is like IBM from the 70's and is being left behind by progress.

    So go ahead, switch to Exchange and spend a million dollars… you're being left behind.

    Microsoft is dying!

  24. Mark says:

    Loving the responses!  Nice to know MS spin is exactly that, just pure nonsense.

  25. Patrick P. says:

    @Mark +1

    A slight difference, I don't think MS in that sentence..

    Unfortunately, the world seems to be driven by nonsense… not only in IT  though …. subprimes ?.

    This taken, why would a software editor seeking for success talk another language ?

    @Julia White.

    Wow a whole article for only 7% off of the market while tou own 73% ?  This is being hungry. Really. I'm impressed.

    BTW. Didn't you forget some customers running both system at the same time ?

    Didn't you, as well, forget some customers still stuck in migration process because Exchange + Sharepoint can't take all what's Notes+Domino does ?

    Just wondering.

  26. Joel says:

    For mail, and only mail, Exchange Vs. Notes Vs. Whatever, speaking only for ease of use, the Whatever wins hands down.  If there aren't other issues, very few things will beat Google Apps.  Disclaimer, I have not used Lotus Live or Microsoft's equivalent.  I have also not used Exchange since 2003.  I have seen the 2007 Outlook client and I am left with my normal "who cares" reaction to most of its features.  I found search to be better in Notes.  With the Eclipse client, the Notes mail interface is just as robust and professional.  However, as an independent developer, I don't use either one.  Most of the small businesses I do work with are moving to cloud based e-mail.  By far, this means Google Apps.  

    For a mail to mail comparison, I do understand that this is all marketing hype.  A large company's CIO would have to be truly idiotic (or forced to listen to his boss who has no idea when it comes to technology) to spend the money it would take to migrate in either direction based on performance/scalability/cost alone.  This is without considering the costs of migrating all of those applications, which would only vastly exacerbate the problem.

  27. Prabhat says:

    Thanks Julia for the update.. Exchange is always better than notes.

  28. Mic Van Osch says:

    Promotion of personal businesses are not allowed, according to Microsoft TechNet’s Terms of Use.

  29. Lindon says:

    Hmm, the VHS v Betamax analogy may be quite apt…  regardless of whether VHS won that battle, how many people actually use VHS recorders these days for anything other than playing old tapes?

  30. Jon Pyke says:

    Promotion of personal businesses are not allowed, according to Microsoft TechNet’s Terms of Use.

  31. Annon says:

    Wowww….Guys its better to say I hate Microsoft rather than claiming Exchange is nonsense. As I am writing this post I am migrating mailboxes from Lotus notes to Exchange moving applications to sharepoint.

    When I asked the CTO why did they make this decision the answer was Lotus notes is nothing like recycle bin on Windows OS four flat files storing the identity and no central control. In the last 12 years of my career I have seen Lotus notes been migrated to Exchange

  32. David Bell says:

    @Annon – no recycle bin ? Most of these decisions are made by the woefully uninformed. No central control ? MS is the very epitome of server sprawl and lack of control.

  33. Jyotiprakash says:

    Promotion of personal businesses are not allowed, according to Microsoft TechNets Terms of Use.

  34. Jyotiprakash says:

    Promotion of personal businesses are not allowed, according to Microsoft TechNets Terms of Use.

  35. Bamboo says:

    When large Corporations face  a $10M+ upgrade fee from IBM to step up to Lotus 8.5, they think twice.

    This happens quite often these days. The cost of operating Lotus Notes kills them.

    So more large companies will switch to MS Exchange soon.

    Just lean back and watch.

  36. Mic Van Osch says:

    Promotion of personal businesses are not allowed, according to Microsoft TechNets Terms of Use.

  37. Jon Pyke says:

    Promotion of personal businesses are not allowed, according to Microsoft TechNets Terms of Use.

  38. jon pyke says:

    Promotion of personal businesses are not allowed, according to Microsoft TechNets Terms of Use.

  39. anonymous says:

    @ a small business company:- If i am not mistaken MS has a simple solution for you….. its called a small business server …. try it on a smoke test some day

  40. Vijay says:

    We are running Lotus Domino last 20 year even  20 minutes down time per year . We had exchange server in DMZ all most every week 1 hour down time.

    If you want peace of mind and relability trust Domino . Upgrade to 8.5.2 was just 10 minutes jobs for 7 release.

    Do not belive on under cut marketing strategy

  41. SIR_Bones says:

    Peek 'under the hood' of Notes/Domino and you will find grace and elegance, a commodity increasingly scarce in today's IT landscape.

    The result?  Efficiency and developer loyalty enjoyed by few others.

    Peek 'under the hood' of Exchange/Sharepoint and you find product(s) designed to stimulate sales of SQL server, Visual Studio, Office, IE, AD, Windows operating systems, and in the case of Sharepoint, an Admin interface that only a mother could love.

    The result? More of everything, especially developer resource and licence costs.

    Please do not misunderstand me here, the core email functionality of Exchange and the Outlook client is undeniable – but that is just about all it will ever be without significant effort and expense.  

    Users who want only base functionality or can afford additional development / support costs will be well served.  

    The big problem with Notes/Domino is IBM marketing / management – the product is hugely capable.  

    The big problem with Exchange / Sharepoint is extremely tight integration with the Microsoft 'stack' and how little can be achieved without swallowing .NET and adding significant support costs.

    Customers have a clear choice, which they must make extremely carefully.

    In my opinion, Exchange / Sharepoint is NOT an email / collaboration solution, rather it is the beginning of a steep descent into the heart of Microsoft technologies.  

    For some, this will be perfectly acceptable.  

    Others may choose to disagree.

  42. Charles says:

    Promotion of personal businesses are not allowed, according to Microsoft TechNets Terms of Use.

  43. Vic says:

    What a marketing gimmick again by MS 😛

  44. David Bell says:

    Don't be the last company using Microsoft email for collaboration !

    MS has demonstrated extremely well over the last decade that it has no clue about how people work together outside of email. But current generations have moved on from email, and don't care to use it much anymore.

    While IBM leads the innovation into the Social Business space, the embrace of social tools in business and recognizes that collaboration is about people, not documents, Microsoft fights tooth and nail to keep their cash cow at the center of their collaborative universe. Redmond, the rest of the world has moved on.

    Don't be the last customer clinging to Microsoft, wishing you could "exchange" their mediocre tools for something more modern and useful, all the while hoping that some day they will actually get what collaboration is all about. They won't.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Pingback from Don’t be the last company on Notes | Brettjo :: Office 365 and Everything UC