Feels good to get back to writing for myself again. Lots of work the past six weeks with Lotus Education, THE VIEW journal, plus corporate tax season. All combined, they consumed my schedule for any writing here. Happy to have some time again. During the window away, I noticed what might be a trend in recruiting projects. I typically use job site postings as a barometer for establishing market tolerance for consulting opportunities in areas of interest to me. Has worked well the past 14 years.
On the development side, I am receiving a significant number of requests for Domino development, with decent rates attached. Overall this is great. As I no longer code outside of my own needs, these positions are better served for someone else; but good to be considered regardless.
On the administration side, receiving Notes to Exchange projects in much higher numbers. Ever since I started work with Lotus Notes in 1993, I loved the product and all that it can do. As such, I have been a strong loyal advocate of Notes and Domino for over a decade. In fact, I have made it a policy to eschew any Notes to Exchange projects, instead opting for Notes upgrades, architecture, and migration projects from non-Notes to Notes. I have been offered, many lucrative contracts over the years to the contrary and even an executive slot at consulting firm who decided to work more on the Microsoft side by actively moving businesses to Microsoft Exchange. Although flattered, in each case I tactfully declined.
What I find curious this month is that firms are offering rates to move companies from Notes to Exchange at double the bill rate I could get as Notes Admin or engineer performing an upgrade or migration to Notes. Usually, the rates have been comparable all-around. For me---like many in the consulting field---business has been slow the past two years, and I have also seen an increase in clients either questioning or not paying their bills. Three instances occurred in the previous 12 month window: more than the past eight year aggregate.
The business climate is in a state of flux lacking a clear direction one way or another. Much uncertainty exists domestically, causing firms to seek stability and safety in whatever means necessary. Smaller firms now appear as expendable to larger firms, and corporate taxes are increasing in many states. All combined, businesses are on-edge for several reasons. One great aspect that helped provide some certainty for my Lotus customers was the Lotus Knows campaign. My Lotus clients liked it a lot. As it was slated for an 18 month to 24 month duration and received significant praise from the community...oddly, it died-off in less than a year. On this, I can only offer conjecture. In April 2010 one client with whom I spoke mentioned how thrilled the firm was to be on Notes and loved the marketing campaign witnessed in their city. The company wanted to upgrade later in 2010 or early 2011. I tweeted the success of this with the "lotusknows" hashtag. To my surprise, in March 2011 the same client thought of leaving Lotus Notes. I had to reassure said client of their investment plus the costs for migrating.
Back to the primary topic... in terms of business opportunities. the market appears to be changing. Firms are staying with Notes apps, but moving away from Lotus products. (You might see a different trend from your perspective.) I wish this perceived trend would change for the better, as I find it difficult to assist a firm with moving to a product that will cost them more to administer and upgrade than Lotus Notes. Worse to me is suggesting a product that restricts hardware and operating system choices; this can hardly be considered open and innovative. Yet, people seem to be moving in droves. Lotus is releasing new versions of Notes and Domino, plus additional products under the brand. They are being improved all the time through fix packs, critical fixes, quality support and development. Additionally IBM Lotus is actively seeking customer input -- like a recent session at VCU. Great components all-around.
Overall, the Lotus marketplace state is creating a conundrum for me. Slow business previously with glimmer of anemic growth this year, passion to move businesses forward with Lotus, changing product perceptions: it is difficult. Few enterprise software products experienced the run that Notes has enjoyed and continues to do so. Where to go from here with the business, to ensure profitability throughout 2011 is a challenge. I remain loyal to the brand that gave me a livelihood for so many years, and so many wonderful business colleagues along the way. Perhaps I am over thinking this as a whole. Several BPs do a significant amount of Microsoft work. To that point, do I start moving companies that request it, from Lotus to Microsoft?
Big News for ICS Partners!
Wed, Sep 17th 2014 10:15p Bill Malchisky Jr. After three years of working with IBM, I am proud to make the first public announcement of the beta milestone of a new IBM community feedback continuity tool entitled, Voice of the Partner. ICS is behind this at the highest levels and there is a strong desire within IBM to make this a success. Imagine that as a partner you have a tool where you can input ideas and concerns to IBM and receive a response in a meaningful way, that also ensures continuity of feedback throughout the issue's life [read] Keywords: ibm
I AM Speaking at ICON UK
Thu, Sep 11th 2014 11:13a Bill Malchisky Jr. Long story short, I will be speaking this Friday, 12 September in London, for the ICON UK renaissance. You can find me acting as emcee for the Ask IBM session at 2:00pm (1400h) and then again at 3:45pm (1545h) presenting The Headless Collaborator: Sametime 9 Command Line Install. If you are in London for this wonderful event, please do say, "Hi," or better yet, attend one of my sessions. See you Friday! [read] Keywords: ibm
iNotes Users -- Chrome 37 Creates Compatibility Issues
Fri, Sep 5th 2014 2:12p Bill Malchisky Jr. IBM released today, a new Technote for iNotes users, entitled, "Some iNotes operations fail to work correctly in Chrome browsers upgraded to Chrome version 37" and is available here. These five key areas introducing concern stem from Google deprecating the showModalDialog API. 1. Create/Edit Mail rule 2. Contacts Form and the Print action 3. Calendar view and results window displayed when using the "Import Holidays" action (off the "More" menu) 4. Preferences (Select [read] Keywords: ibm
Ubuntu: Clearing GPG -- BADSIG Errors During Update
Wed, Sep 3rd 2014 9:13a Bill Malchisky Jr. In updating my Ubuntu LTS host OS caused me to receive several GPG BADSIG errors, visually captured in the following Update Manager error message. You can see the errors more closely via a terminal window. malchw@san-domino:~$ sudo apt-get update W: A error occurred during the signature verification. The repository is not updated and the previous index files will be used. GPG error: http://extras.ubuntu.com precise Release: The following signatures were invalid: BADSIG 16126D3A3E5 [read] Keywords: domino
Fixing Public Key Repository Errors on Ubuntu
Tue, Sep 2nd 2014 12:15a Bill Malchisky Jr. Most of have seen at one point of another a error when updating packages, stemming from an untrusted repository. W: GPG error: http://security.ubuntu.com precise-security Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 40976EAF437D05B5 Here is one fix that works reliably well. Perhaps it will save you some time. 1. Syntax: sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 2. $ sudo apt-get update Repeat for [read] Keywords: domino
Train Tips for European Traveling - Part II
Wed, Aug 20th 2014 6:13a Bill Malchisky Jr. As I covered last year in Train Tips for European Traveling, train travel is a fun adventure. For my second installment, this year I chose the Dutch Intercity high speed and Eurostar lines and wanted to provide some information that may save you some time or alleviate logistical concerns. Enjoy! Train Service in The Netherlands 1. When arriving in Holland, you can take the local trains (making all major and minor stops), or the InterCity branch which runs express from city to city (major [read] Keywords: exchange
Some "Great Train Rides" of the World
Sun, Aug 10th 2014 10:12p Bill Malchisky Jr. The Wall Street Journal released an Off Duty Travel section article entitled, "Great Train Rides: Run Away on the Rails", covering six scenic and enjoyable routes on four continents plus the island nation of New Zealand--including input from Mike Smith, The Man in Seat Sixty-One. Although hardly cyclopedic nor meant to be, reader comments do indicate additional favorites. The leadoff permutation limns the joy of the London to Edinburgh run, which I am happy to say I enjoyed -- twice, while pre [read] Keywords: