Though it is not clear what size this organization is, Gregg Eldred describes a customer's decision to move away from Notes:

On Thursday, in a fit of passion, they moved to . . . neither Notes nor Exchange. They opted to use their free webmail accounts with their web hosting company and now they are using POP/IMAP for their mail. Yeah, now they have HTML mail and a slick webmail interface, but they aren't too sure of spam or anti-virus protection. Someone else is now responsible for their mail system, a company that has a lot of other customers to worry about. Will they get good support? Will their mail be scanned and protected? Will those definitions be up to date? I don't know and I don't know if they do, either.

Any way, it's hard to help when they don't/can't keep up with the maintenance. Everything that they complained about was fixed/updated/improved in subsequent releases. And yet, there they sat on R4.6.7. From a totally budgetary viewpoint, it is hard to compete against "free." And those POP/IMAP addresses are free, at least in terms of cold, hard cash and in relation to either Notes/Domino or Exchange.

So, while we didn't lose to Exchange, we did lose a Notes customer.
Ah yes, the pennywise-and-pound-foolish mentality.  Here we have a customer who was still running software from 1996 and wondering why it didn't do what they wanted in 2006.  It's like buying a perfectly good car and believing that one never has to do oil changes, tuneups, or even take it through a car wash occasionally.  Oh, and no insurance either -- they hadn't bought a maintenance agreement at any point in that time.

Now they've moved to an environment where their e-mail might not even have their own company name as their FQDN.  Gregg identifies some of the risks, but how about some others -- is their mail being backed up?  What's the SLA if there is a need to get to that backup?  What archiving solution is in place?  How is compliance being addressed?  What happens if their web hosting company is acquired?  What about directory services for their employees?

I'm disappointed that Gregg wasn't able to show this customer how an upgrade, even from 4.x, would protect their existing investments and be cost-effective.  Sometimes, though, the "wallet check" leads companies to make decisions based on raw cashflow, and they'll be able to say "at least we didn't spend $5000 on new software" or whatever.  Good luck to them.

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