Fredrik Malmborg just posted an article (in Swedish) on his blog about how the Swedish government have been moving several departments (taxes, defence, etc) from an IBM/Lotus platform to the Microsoft stack. He noticed that a certain executive with sales responsibility for public sector at a big software company became Secretary of State (not the same as "Secretary of State" in the US) right before the government asked a certain software company (guess which one!) to write the specification for the new system. Coincidentally that same company (Microsoft) was then choosen to deliver the solution. IBM was never offered to even compete.
Here are some arguments used in the studies presented to the government why the switch should be done:
* Outlook is used privately by many users and thus have a higher acceptance.
* The similar interface improves the user experience.
I know that IBM does not believe in those arguments, but the customers and the ones in charge (may it be politicians, civil servants or a CEO) buy that argument. Line, hook and sinker... Especially if the persons in change are among the ones that use Outlook at home (since it come bundled with many versions of Office). I personally know several people who use Outlook (not Outlook Express!) at home for their private mail, as they can easily aggregate several mail accounts into one client. I been building/rebuilding a number of computers for friends lately, and the request to use Outlook came up several times.
I believe that IBM should create a "IBM Mail" client, with support for POP/IMAP/SMTP as well as direct support for Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo mail. Why not add Domino and Exchange support, to allow users to connect to work, without installing the full Notes client?
The client must be able to aggregate mail from multiple sources, and send mail using any of those services. When you compose a new mail, there should be a dropdown where you select Gmail, your ISP service or Yahoo mail (depending on what you have setup), the same way as it works on most smart phones today. If you reply to a mail, the service is was received on should be default, e.g. if the mail was received through one of my Gmail accountrs, the reply should be sent using the same account.
This client should look like Notes mail, contain a calendar, to-do, journal, perhaps an RSS feed and support for widgets. Why not throw in a couple of simple but useful applications? Show that "IBM Mail is not just mail". Strip away as much as possible when it comes to complicated menus, settings, etc. The properties/settings in the Notes client causes any normal user to get a headache instantly... Make it easy and quick to setup, and make it available as a free download, without any annoying registration. Most of all, make the client fast.
The market perception will not change overnight, but in the long run, showing that "IBM Mail" looks modern and has the functionality people need will benefit Notes.
#ThrowbackThursday – Worst Practives at Connect 2013
Thu, Sep 18th 2014 6:05a Karl-Henry Martinsson Paul Mooney and Bill Buchan returns with a brand new Worst Practices at IBM Connect 2013. This session alone is almost worth the cost to attend Lotusphere/Connect/ConnectED. There is a slight skip towards the end, when I had to switch batteries. Otherwise you have the whole session, including the warm-up performance. [read] Keywords: ibm
More on IBM ConnectED 2015
Wed, Sep 17th 2014 12:05p Karl-Henry Martinsson This morning Kristin Keene from IBM talked more about the upcoming IBM ConnectED 2015 in January at the ICS Community webcast. IBM realized that the last few years they been swinging over too much to the business side, and is now going back to a much more technical conference. As I mentioned the other day, […] [read] Keywords: ibm
Two more days to thank someone
Mon, Sep 15th 2014 5:45p Karl-Henry Martinsson It is now just two days left to nominate IBM Champions. So if you know someone who have been helping the community, perhaps through video tutorials, blogs, presenting at (or organizing) conferences or answering questions on different forums, submit a nomination. This is how IBM explains what a Champion is: An IBM Champion is someone who […] [read] Keywords: ibm
IBM ConnectED agenda published
Fri, Sep 12th 2014 9:00a Karl-Henry Martinsson The agenda for IBM ConnectED (the conference formerly known as Lotusphere and IBM Connect) has now been posted. As previously announced, the conference is one day shorter than before, ending already on Wednesday. There are no jumpstart sessions listed for Sunday, but the Master Class sessions are returning that day. The individual sessions have not been […] [read] Keywords: ibm
#ThrowbackThursday – My old HP calculators
Thu, Sep 11th 2014 6:57a Karl-Henry Martinsson I have previously here on my blog mentioned my preference for HP calculators. Our first calculator at home was the HP-21, with a red LED display, which we got in late 1975 (if I remember correctly), soon after it was released. My parents used it for all different kinds of calculations, especially taxes (back then the Swedish tax system […] [read] Keywords:
#ThrowbackThursday – World War 1
Thu, Sep 4th 2014 1:05p Karl-Henry Martinsson OK, this is a pretty extreme #ThrowbackThursday, but I wanted to promote a blog I have been reading since the beginning of the year. Arthur Linfoot, who took part in World War 1, wrote a diary every day from January 1 1914 to December 31 1918. It was written in Pitman’s shorthand, and his son […] [read] Keywords: