OK, there have been three articles like this in the US trade press in the last few days.  I was trying to hold my tongue, but it's hard to do in this case:

Anther[sic]  Lotus notable who has recently been approached by Microsoft is Ed Brill, business unit executive, Worldwide Lotus Messaging Sales, IBM Software Group, according to Brill's blog.
Correct.  But I don't appreciate the fact that my outright, and now public, rejection of those approaches was left out of the article.  Not everyone is wowed by the opportunity to move to Redmond.  Nor, though flattered, do I assume that good things are in store for me now that this is public ;)

Let's take a look at this further.  People move in and out of organizations all the time.  Many of the ex-Loti who have ended up at Microsoft were not recruited there from IBM/Lotus.  Julio Estrada left IBM to start his own company.  Many of the others cited in these articles, such as Gary Devendorf, Barry Briggs, even Cliff Reeves were not IBM employees when they were recruited to -- or chose to seek employment at -- Microsoft.  

Is it really a great surprise and big news that people who have left IBM software would seek another well-funded and wide-ranging software organization to work at?  And that they would choose Microsoft rather than someone like Oracle or SAP or Novell or whatever?

Now, the real amazing story is the one that isn't being told.  In the last few weeks, two high profile collaboration industry consultants, Bob Balaban and Rocky Oliver, have chosen to return to IBM software to work with Lotus and Workplace.  They believe strongly enough in where IBM is going to have completely changed their lifestyle and return to "corporate" America.  They both have tremendous respect in our industry.  Where are the headline stories about these two?

You know what else is good news?  Mike Rhodin is taking over as General Manager for the Lotus/Workplace Portal and Collaboration software team at IBM.  Why is that good news?  Because it's a strong endorsement that the Workplace strategy is the right one for IBM.  IBM did not see a need to bring someone from outside of the team in to lead the team's next steps forward.  In fact, IBM recognized that Ambuj Goyal did such a great job with Lotus, that he is ready to apply those same incredible talents and insights to another area of the business.  

Hey, there's more good news.  Thomas Gumz is still at IBM Lotus, having done some amazing work on Domino 7 web administration.  Thomas is just one of hundreds of dedicated, talented engineers who are weeks away from shipping the best version of Notes/Domino ever.  Even better, there are hundreds and thousands of other IBMers who are just as critical, and just as employed by IBM, to the Notes/Domino 7 launch.  There is incredble talent everywhere in the organization.  I pick on Thomas not just because he has a URL I can point to, but because he exemplifies the On Demand Workplace stuff I've been talking about -- Thomas doesn't work in Westford anymore, either.  Yet his contribution to the project is as strong as ever.

I just don't see why it's news that some people who used to work at Lotus at some point in the past now work at Microsoft.  Especially since in most of these supposed high-profile cases, Microsoft hasn't actually "raided" Lotus -- they've taken in people who left Lotus for one reason or another.  In some cases, years ago.  

I've tried very deliberately not to make this at all personal about anyone who works at IBM or MIcrosoft or has in the past.  People make decisions in their own best interests, and those decisions go both ways.  Can we all move on now?  Thanks.

Link: eWeek: Microsoft continues to raid Lotus >

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