Then and now...

December 9 2007

Then, September, 2005:

CompUSA has become one of the best-known retailers of computers and electronics in the United States through rapid expansion of its "superstores" across the country. For years the company relied on Lotus Notes for communicating with store managers. However, the large volumes of e-mail and a lack of effective rules and procedures in Notes for managing communications made it hard for managers to keep up with important information. To help boost profits through streamlined communications with store managers and other employees, the company deployed a Microsoft®-based communications and collaboration solution that includes Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft Office SharePoint® Portal Server 2003.  Scheduled for completion late in 2005, the solution is expected to make it easier to manage targeted e-mail to store managers and provide employees with greater access to information.
(Bonus points to Avanade for publishing a PDF with markups visible)

Now, December, 2007:
Consumer electronics retailer CompUSA said Friday it will close its stores after the holidays following sale of the company to an affiliate of Gordon Brothers Group, a restructuring firm.
This was one of the organizations referenced in Microsoft's "Lotusphere spoiler" press release in 2006.  Looking at that list, many others have never migrated from Notes, and a few migrated only their e-mail environment and now run two costly infrastructures where one used to do the job.  It's also not the first time I've seen a company under market pressure choose to migrate as some kind of panacea, only to discover that, oops, the problems are a whole lot deeper than an e-mail interface that users didn't like.  And if the users didn't like that interface so much, why are some of these companies still running Notes applications five years later...surely they must have disliked the Notes application interface overall, right?  Or is it a case where business value (finally) trumps personal individual preference?

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