They never announced an attendance number for this webcast, but from the pings, e-mails, and tweets, it seems like many of the attendees were Lotus customers, partners, or colleagues.  In short, I would have to say that a poor implementation of Lotus Notes got blamed for everything.  It was hard to get a sense from the call as to how it was possible that for a 500-user organization, the migration would actually be saving money.  My only guess is that the old Notes environment was so inefficient -- because of implementation decisions, not because of inherent Notes issues -- that their justification was that it was a clean break from the past.

This isn't just me being partisan.  Scott Hooks tweeted, while Mitch Cohen was on the webcast and captured some of the issues with "Notes" or advantages of Google that were highlighted:

  • Google allowed Hamilton Beach's employees in Mexico to work from home during the swine flu outbreak.
  • Google's recent #gfail downtime only affected some of their employees, while others were able to continue working, instead of a whole system downtime.
  • Google supports their employees that need local language support in Mexico and China.  Notes "doesn't fully support" these languages, with part of it coming from Notes and part of it coming from Windows.
  • Hamilton Beach's Notes environment was down for scheduled backup time monthly.

For the migration itself, it's been a basically five-month process for 500 users.  Hamilton Beach had to hire two business partners to handle the migration and coexistence.  They needed 12 PCs running in parallel to do the data conversion during a gradual migration process.  Oh, and the Domino directory is *still* used as the master directory, somehow syncs up with Google, and of course means that they are still running Domino servers for mail (and "we're still going to have Notes applications").

The presenter stuck to the punch line that they are saving 60% of their costs.  As we discussed last week, there's no way this reflects the reality of the situation.  Could they have upgraded to Notes/Domino 8.x in that nine month period?  Could they have implemented Domino clustering?  Remote access?  iNotes for browser usage?  Notes 8 user experience?  It seems like any one of those would have made an improvement to their Notes/Domino environment, at a fraction of the cost of migration.

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