A couple of weeks after "Hannover", the initial buzz has passed and phase two has begun -- the questions.  I've fielded literally hundreds of questions about Lotus Notes "Hannover" in that time, both inside of IBM and directly from partners and customers.  While reaction to the announcement of the next version of Notes (beyond 7) has been warmly welcomed, there's a lot of "how do we get from point A to point B" curiosity in the market.

This is perfectly natural and logical.  However, and this is not a dodge, a lot of these questions don't yet have answers.  Many of you who have heard me present know that I like to compare software "vision" announcements to the decisions we all make about taking vacations/holidays.  The first and most important decision is the destination -- what's the "vision" about where we want to go?  So one might decide, "I'd like to go to the beach!"  The beach sounds like a great destination to me, but I'd then ask about a hundred other questions.  Which beach on which body of water?  Fly, drive, train, cruise?  What hotel?  Water view room or not?  What activities while I'm at the beach -- snorkeling, jet ski, fishing, etc.?  Any good restaurants nearby, especially ones that need reservations/bookings in advance?

So the announcement of Lotus Notes "Hannover" successfully conveyed to the market that IBM has a continued vision for Lotus Notes.  That the product isn't in "maintenance mode" or "dead" or whatever other FUD that has existed for years.  Coming off the momentum of two consecutive quarters of revenue growth for Lotus Notes, defining the next step of the journey makes perfect sense.

Having said all that, the software industry tends to be like Missouri -- "Show me".  It will take time to answer the questions, but the questions are welcome in and of themselves.  John Head has taken the time to collect a number of questions that he's heard (and asked) in the last two weeks...

I have a long list of questions, which I am going to include here. These questions need to be answered, but I am willing to wait. Ed mentioned that "Hannover" will be released in the same time frame as Notes clients have been since 6.0. 12 to 18 month release windows. If ND7 ships in August 2005, that means we would see "Hannover" sometime between August and December 2006. Just in time for Lotusphere 2007 perhaps?

IBM and Lotus Software need to focus on getting Notes and Domino 7 out. They need to deal with the release of Workplace Collaboration Services and Workplace Services Express 2.5. Get Workplace Designer out the door. You have until Lotusphere 2006. At Lotusphere, you will have nowhere to run :)
As I mentioned on Friday, an ever-increasing number of my colleagues are surfing the blog-o-sphere.  Even if I (or they) don't offer public answers to these types of questions today, simply reading them helps us shape our public messages and plans.  So while I/we aren't answering them yet, keep asking.
Link: John Head: Hannover announcement afterthoughts >

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