I really shouldn't be giving Ron another 15 minutes of annual fame for asserting contrarian positions, but since this has already had a rather lengthy discussion over at Mr. Ben Poole's site today, I want to sum up a few key points.  From Ron's editorial:

In 1995, I declared LAN-based email to be a dead technology, for which I was vilified by countless Lotus cc:Mail employees, customers, and colleagues. Of course I was exactly right. People simply refused to face reality and, rather than be inconvenienced by having to learn a new skill or technology, they preferred to believe in the tooth fairy, at least until reality caught up with them.

Now, I am saying that distributed client/server systems will be radically consolidated into ISP and ISP-like systems and that new economies of scale will define, and are already defining, the future of messaging and collaboration systems.
What a brilliant prediction, especially since both Lotus and Microsoft had, by 1995, already announced that LAN-based e-mail wasn't the future.  I fail to see the parallel in today's market, though.

Now Ron's firm has been mentioned recently here because they announced a Notes to Sun e-mail migration tool.  Thus it is no surprise to see this in his editorial, though the lack of disclosure is disappointing:
The unexpected 800 pound gorilla of the SaaS new world order may be Sun Microsystems. Sun has more active mailboxes on their platform today than IBM Lotus, Microsoft, and Novell combined. Their products are two orders of magnitude more scalable than Exchange and Domino with active systems of over 10 million users.
Now let me see... hmmm, yep, Super 8 Motels have more rooms in the US than Hyatt.  I know where I'd rather stay, though, and I would venture to guess that Hyatt doesn't see themselves as being in the same market.  Sun may have a lot of ISP or text messaging mailboxes -- I don't have any facts from Sun that prove this fact -- but I don't see how that matters to me in the corporate e-mail market.  It's simply not the same technology.

At any rate, here's Ron's money shot:
In the future, if nothing else changes, I personally believe IBM Lotus Notes and Domino will be irrelevant at best, assuming that the products continue to exist. In my view, the most likely scenario is that IBM Lotus will merely try to hang on to its shrinking customer base through a never ending stream of minor point releases that change virtually nothing but that may obscure for a time the fact that the solution is no longer economically viable.
In the last six years, IBM has released four major releases of Notes/Domino, and another one is coming soon.  IBM has already announced a major release 12-18 months after this one.  I don't see the 850 developers working in our engineering team working on a "stream of minor point releases that change virtually nothing".  I'm not sure what world Ron's in, but it doesn't map to mine.

By the way, I think the fact that Ron's firm issued a press release to draw attention to this editorial speaks volumes more than anything else I could say.

Updated 15 Aug @ 10:22 PM -- I posted a comment on the LNotes-L Yahoo group after being drawn there through the comments on BenPoole's site.  I think Ron Herardian's true nature as a business person comes out in the comments he has posted in reply to me and others there.  Instead of acknowledging his lack of citation in his editorial, explaining the non-disclosure of his business relationship with Sun, or joining the discussions here or on Ben's site, he instead writes things like:
"Maybe next time you'll think before you 'talk' but I doubt it. Some people never learn. You sure didn't last time we had this conversation."

"Stay in your shell, turtle. The world outside is big and bad. "

"your comments transport the discussion into a bizarre parallel universe where the economic model underlying the Notes and Domino technology remains valid: but its' NOT, Game Over Man."


Link: DominoPower: Why Ron Herardian thinks Notes and Domino are obsolete >

Post a Comment