August 25 2009
This came across one of my Google alerts today...I can't find anything about the site's ownership or background, so I am somewhat hesitant to post, but it is a dramatic story as told and seems relevant to this blog's readers:
In the name of the Office Modernization Investment Project, UNICEF is spending USD5.8M, which would have gone otherwise to the world poorest children, to switch from the current well-functioning IBM Lotus Notes to Microsoft Outlook/Exchange. Not only this project was opposed by some of UNICEF's own IT experts because there was no compelling technical reasons for such migration but also confirmed by the world's IT consulting leader, Gartner Group (please refer to the research paper dated 22 December 2008) that the migration from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Outlook/Exchange environment would yield no return on investment (ROI). Furthermore many parts of the IBM Lotus Connections packages are far better than what Microsoft has to offer. This research paper goes on to say that end-user demand, for example, senior executives who came to appreciate Outlook on their previous assignments, is the No.1 e-mail migration driver, based on emotions and not focusing on business issues. ...Link: Inner City Press: UNICEF Veneman's $5.8 Million E-Mail Switch Denounced by Whistleblowers, Defended >
This is quite ironic when the UN has recently upgraded its IBM Notes to version 8 (from 6.5) for about 30,000 employees. The latest version apparently is quite powerful and users love it. Even non-IT people in UNICEF are saying it's hard to cost-justify migrating e-mail from IBM to Microsoft. Some staff who used to work with other agencies using Microsoft emphasize that IBM Lotus Notes products are superior to Microsoft. ... In the current economic environment, moving e-mail users from Notes/Domino release to Outlook/Exchange is difficult to justify when you think about unnecessary user training for over 12,000 staff, 80 percent of them are spread over 150 field offices all over the world. To make the matter more complicated, other mission critical data are stored in Lotus Notes applications.