"This morning", I gave a Lotus strategy and technology update presentation to SNUG, the Dutch Lotus and WebSphere user group.  I counted about 60 attendees.  A fairly standard presentation, but we had some good discussions and interaction.

  • 100% of the audience have deployed custom Notes applications in their environment, either written by partners or themselves.
  • 100% of the audience use Notes for more than just mail.
  • 60-70% of the audience were running Notes/Domino 6.5.  Almost no 6.0.x deployments.  Still some R5 left.
  • The primary server platform was Windows, but there was a fair bit of Linux and iSeries.  Nobody running Solaris or zSeries.
  • Only a few had downloaded and examined the beta of Notes/Domino 7.
  • Only a few were using WebSphere Portal, but it was the leading portal product in the room -- almost no SAP portal, Oracle portal, BEA.  Not much SharePoint, either, for that matter.
One of the questions was about migrations.  I cited an internal number on customers who have bought Lotus's "move2lotus" or tradeup SKUs this year.  The question was, how many customers were migrating from Notes to Exchange?  I am not dodging the question, but genuinely, I don't have any data on this.  How could I, really?  The person asking the question clarified that they had the impression that there was a fair bit going on, because he had heard of three companies doing so.  I pointed out that the only ones he's likely to hear about are ones migrating -- a customer that makes a decision to continue their existing Notes investment doesn't get any headlines.  I told the story of a large British company that contemplated such a migration earlier this year, but realized that it didn't make any sense for them.... point being, he hadn't ever heard that outcome, since it wasn't "news".
Another related question was about Microsoft marketing.  In the Netherlands, Microsoft and a partner are doing a seminar in two weeks that is (now) called "The future direction of Lotus Notes: Migrate to the Microsoft platform and reap the rewards of collaboration".  I gather that this has not been organized by Gary Devendorf and the Domino+.NET contingent.  According to the SNUG attendees, the seminar invitation on the Microsoft website has changed...a previous version apparently claimed that Lotus Notes will cease to exist.  The good news is that some very loyal Lotus supporters are planning to attend the seminar -- I'm sure it will be interesting for them to hear Microsoft's perspective.  Even more interesting would be if Microsoft has a roadmap to share -- since there is no announced future version of Exchange, the Edge Services product planned for 2005 appears to be slipping, and SharePoint appears to have limited traction in the Dutch market.
I enjoyed meeting the Dutch customers and partners, in another meeting which proved the value of our user group community and the Lotus community as a whole.  I met some people whose names I've seen on forums and blog sites for a long time, and some new faces as well.  Thanks for your hospitality to Manix, Frank, Marco, and the rest of the SNUG team, as well as my colleague Ruud for working with me on the presentation and logistics.  I hope the afternoon was just as useful.
I'm on my layover between flights -- AMS-JFK and in a few hours, JFK-ATL.  Inbox 2004 East awaits.  What a shame there won't be any messaging futures debate on the agenda.

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