Gartner has published its fourth report this year addressing their perspective on the Notes/Domino market.  The first, in January, was "IBM's Workplace Strategy Gains Credibility at Lotusphere".The second, in March, was "Is IBM's Lotus Notes/Domino a Safe Investment Platform?"  The third, in September, was "IBM at the Pivot Point with Domino 7", which recommends upgrades to Notes/Domino 7 for existing customers and consideration by non-Domino customers.

Now, the newest report is "Focus on Business Issues, Not Emotions, When Considering IBM Lotus Domino".  Per this discussion from the weekend, there doesn't seem to be a consensus on how to blog about an analyst report.  I can quote the first line of the report, which is displayed on Gartner's summary page [emphasis mine]:

Many Domino-related inquiries that Gartner receives come from longtime Domino customers actively considering a migration to Microsoft products, although few have actually made the move.
This is a very interesting report. It covers one of the key points I've emphasized over the years, which is that IBM Lotus customers who consider migrating from Notes/Domino typically do so without a solid business case.  They are responding in many cases to hype and FUD from Microsoft, which admittedly in the past (12+ months ago) was aided by confusion over the IBM product strategy.  

The new Gartner report dissects the hype and reality.  Gartner cautions that the full costs of a migration be considered, especially concerning Notes/Domino applications.  Microsoft tries very hard to convince customers/partners to separate the e-mail discussion from the applications discussion.  This frankenstein approach makes no sense for customers who have hundreds (or thousands) of Notes apps.  I've seen reports of customers spending US$500 or more per user to attempt to migrate Notes apps to the Microsoft platform, with limited success.  It's good that more and more data is getting out in the market about the realities of the technical advantages of Notes/Domino and why those apps are best-suited to staying on Notes/Domino.

Gartner also recommends that customers consider all the aspects of the two vendor strategies and platforms, including the lack of maturity in a number of the Microsoft collaboration offerings, and also in some of the IBM Workplace offerings.

I don't agree with everything in this Gartner report -- it has a market share guesstimate based on seats, which I thought we had all agreed wasn't a realistic market measurement, and they don't give IBM enough credit for the double-digit revenue growth for Notes in the last four fiscal quarters.  But overall, this report is an excellent discussion, and Gartner concludes it with useful recommendations to IBM for maintaining and growing market share.

Last night, I e-mailed the IBM Lotus messaging sales force about this report.  I told them that the message I would use with customers from this report is -- "You're considering a migration from Notes?  Are you really the kind of organization that makes decisions based on emotion and politics?"  I think what will be most interesting is that, in some geographies, we'll actually hear "yes" as an answer to that.

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