Several industry analysts have posted thoughts on Lotusphere in the last few days....let's take a look....

Ovum: Lotusphere 2009 - an alchemy of integration?

The feeling of Lotusphere 2009 is one of an alchemy of integration - of disparate elements being steadily morphed into precious metals by the application of the new and strange science of social computing, combining the sweat of the Lotus developers with that of its partners and customers, as well as with the unpredictable magic of network effects. This contrasts with Lotusphere 2008, where the focus was on an anarchy of innovation; more on building many pieces rather than on getting them to sing together.
Hurwitz's Laurie McCabe: My Top Takeaways from Lotusphere 2009 (click through for all...this is just one):
Expect Lotus to take a bolder marketing stance. In the past, Lotus has been reluctant to go head to head with obvious rivals, particularly Microsoft. But in the opening keynote, Lotus executives came out swinging, declaring intentions to "drive the decline of the Office Suite", "shatter Windows" and "change desktop economics" with Symphony, the free Lotus desktop suite. Likewise, Lotus is positioning Foundations, which bundles e-mail, file sharing, document management and backup in a turnkey server appliance, aggressively against Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS). While I don't expect Lotus to get as edgy as Apple has done with its Mac versus PC ads, I think we will see a feistier IBM Lotus persona going forward.
Radicati: Lotusphere 2009 Trip Report:
Domino 8.5 -- this new release went out almost "under the radar" during the recent Holiday Season, so it deserved to be re-introduced and presented more fully at this event. There a many improvements in Domino 8.5 but the one we think is most significant are the improvements in performance and scalability of the system. IBM Lotus believes that large scale customers that migrate to Domino 8.5 can achieve significant cost savings due to server consolidation and improved overall performance. We know from our research that many IBM Lotus customers have not yet upgraded from Domino 6.5 and we believe that many of these customers should now take a look at moving directly to Domino 8.5. If IBM Lotus's cost savings analysis is correct these customers will likely find that the cost improvements in Domino 8 alone help offset the cost of migration.
Ferris: Notes/Domino Is Alive and Well:
For the last five years or so, Microsoft periodically tells everyone that Notes is dead, or dying. See this current example at Microsoft's press Web site. Ferris Research is quoted as saying that Exchange has a 65% share of the messaging market, while Notes/Domino has a 10% share.  While it's true, in our view, that Notes/Domino has 10% of all business seats in the business market for on-premises email software, the figure is rather misleading.
This last one deserves some comment.  Ferris's plentiful analysis of Lotusphere via their blog has been provocative and, at times, quite at odds with how I feel we represented products and directions at Lotusphere.  They've even had to address bias complaints directed their way.  This market share report is definitely an example of an area where there is some foundation of agreement, but a wide gap.  The Ferris survey that Microsoft quoted was conducted over a year ago.  I chose not to comment on it at the time because David and I quietly agreed to disagree on his methodology.  Now that Microsoft is using it as a blunt weapon, it's time to cast the skeptical eye in public.  The survey results were based on Ferris surveying their own mailing list of organizations -- hardly a random sample, and not entirely validated.  Second, they represented each company in the survey as being equal -- meaning a one-employee company counted as a "share" in the same proportion as a 10,000-employee company.  We identified many other issues with this survey, such that my E270 Statistics instructor at University certainly wouldn't stand behind it.  

Let's face it -- this market share tug-of-war is getting pretty exhausting.  What I said to David last week was, if we really were only 10% of the market, how would we be drawing thousands of paid customers to Lotusphere and other events?  If Microsoft were really 55% larger than us in the e-mail market, wouldn't their sever and tools division be reporting huge multi-billion US$ revenue for Exchange?  I also shared data as specific as I could with David to show him where we really are at with our customer base and the growth we have reported specifically for Notes/Domino in the last four years, along with new aspects of our go-to-market such as Foundations and the existing Express offerings.  I know that real, valid data is very hard to come by, and I haven't yet met a survey that I think would really stand up to represent the worldwide messaging market (where, for example in Japan, we clearly dominate a major market...but maybe don't have as much share in other countries).  I think the IDC and Gartner Dataquest people have this right, since they measure revenue share for all software industry segments.  In their eyes, we are a solid #2 player and haven't changed much in position in the last several years.  For you the customer or partner, what matters most is that the Notes business is growing for IBM, that we're gaining thousands of new customers and winbacks, and that the technology continues to lead.  If Microsoft's desperation has gotten to the point where they don't read the materials they quote from, and they think that using flawed surveys puts their best foot forward, well, I hope they trip on it.

Post a Comment