So how does your market perceive Notes?

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Just wondering how your local markets perceive Notes these days.

So before everyone starts ranting I just want to clarify a few things:

  • I’ve worked with Notes since 1993.
  • I’ve been to every Lotusphere except the 1st one.
  • metaLogic was an IBM Premier Business Partner.
  • Rivit Continues to be an IBM Business Partner.
  • Rivit Continues to work with their client base on Domino related projects.
  • Notes/Domino is still a better environment for development applications then the alternative.

However, we’ve been seeing a significant drop in the Domino Market year after year.  New Product sales of Enforcer and Pursuit have slowed and maintenance renewals are down.

So I’m interested in hearing from you.  How does  your local market see Notes?  Where are you doing most of your work these days?  Are you going to the upcoming Connect 2014?





  1. Rob Salerno  September 4, 2013

    So I’ll start the ball rolling on this:

    The Local Toronto Market is not very good. We see most of our clients in the following camps:

    1. In a holding pattern. No applications can be developed until the corporation has made a decision on what they are doing with notes.

    2. Migrating Mail. Corporations that we have helped move their mail system or we are helping them with making application changes in preparation of the Mail migration.

    3. Mail is Migrated, Now lets move the applications. Corporations that have moved mail but are now trying to figure out what do do with Applications. Most often the decision to move is made from the Top down with no real sense of what it would take to move the applications.

    Like last year we are on the fence with the connect show. Still struggling with the value.

    Rivit now does most of their work with Microsoft. Helping clients assess their Domino Environment and preparing them for Application and Email Migration.

    Email Migrations are simple. We are doing a huge amount of work migrating companies from Domino to Office 365. We are Binary Tree Partners. We’ve got it down to a science now. We prefer Binary tree because their Co-existence is far better then Quests offering.

    Application Migrations aren’t so easy. But we still have it down to a science. Client expectations have to be set appropriately and the most important thing is to have an appropriate assessment of the environment.

  2. Sam Wilson  September 4, 2013

    This is from the perspective of a client. We’ve had notes from 1998 onwards, but currently sit in category 3 of Rob’s comment earlier.

    From a commercial perspective, moving the mail to Gmail made complete sense for us. We’re about to replace roughly half of the apps with Salesforce, leaving us with a series of apps that are little more than document repositories.

    We advertised a notes developer role 2 years ago and received just 6 CVs (this is in Manchester, UK), not one of which fitted the role we needed, most were far too senior for the role we were offering. They tended to be from people who had spent the last few years contracting and helping people move away from Notes.

    This lack of resource, paired with a perception that Notes was in terminal decline meant we committed to move away. We had a company survey (500 people) about the move to Gmail and we got a 100% positive feedback.

    • Rob Salerno  September 4, 2013

      Good points Sam.

      About the Job Market. We don’t see many consulting opportunities come up for Domino and more. The opportunities that we do see are small and client expectation is out of whack. We’ve actually fired a number of clients this year because the size of the engagement didn’t warrant the problems.

      We also advertised for resources and here is what we found

      – We got fewer resumes each time we recruited
      – Quality of the resources was terrible
      – None of the candidates that submitted had any Xpages skill set
      – Most of the candidates were more administrators then developers.

      Most of the skilled community was older with very high salary expectation. Which the market really didn’t offer anymore. If you don’t get young people in the community the community is dead.

      We find most of our clients in the 3rd category. In large organizations this turns into an analysis paralysis. Where the cost of potential migration becomes enormous and the company doesn’t do anything.

      So how did your company view IBM’s Connect Strategy?

  3. Tinus Riyanto  September 4, 2013

    We are a business partner that focused on application development. Yes, there is a lack of people with Domino expertise but we decided that this is an opportunity and determine to train our own people so they are up to par with existing ones.

    We are kind of hoping that there are more partner like us in Europe and America. The reasoning is that we found company is less likely to migrate if they are continuing to develop new domino application. The minute that stop then they will most likely migrate sometime in the future. Yes, very few company now have experienced Domino Developer, that is why we can help them fill in their needs.

    That does not mean that we do not have system administration resources. But we find that active development of Notes/Domino application would prevent even the first case to appear. Updating to the most current version also help a lot since a lot of complain usually comes from those that are 2 – 3 versions behind (R6 or less).

  4. Giulio Campobassi  September 5, 2013

    We do apps, and we’re busy.

    Our market is applications, and mostly existing installations that have an interest in business mobility. Few continue to develop their own internal applications. But we introduce the opportunity to mobilise systems at very low TCO in comparison to alot of other technologies and service providers. Applications never go away, and replacement technologies (still) don’t present a TCO or ROI that makes it worthwhile. Most of those companies are in a holding pattern.

    However, once we show a prospect that their existing Domino investments has saved them $150k+ on a couple of short mobile project by using Mobilite, CIO’s act on it and commission some dev work. Alot of it boils down to ROI of the solution. We make that ROI alot more affordable for a lot of problems that suit Domino.

    • Rob Salerno  September 5, 2013

      We also find that “webification” is also an opportunity to revitalize existing apps, remove the Notes client, and moves clients closer to their Migration goals.

      • Henning Heinz  September 5, 2013

        That is interesting because the only clients left here stay with Notes because they have so many “classic” client applications. “Webification” in most cases is done using other platforms.
        The problem often is that “foreign” web developers don’t want to work with XPages and Domino Designer and the “classic” Domino developer in most cases is not good enough in XPages to compete.

        Unfortunately I see no solution to this except IBM would internally convert all classic design elements to browser elements so that you could mix classic code with html (at least in the Eclipse client). The current approach (which works more like a migration than an upgrade) does not work well for me (but maybe for others).

        The consequence is that I am quite busy moving custom applications to other platforms. I do like the results although I sometimes miss the Swiss Army knife/RAD approach that Domino offered for so many years.

        But it is great to read that there is some success in the market for the new Notes and Domino.

        • Rob Salerno  September 5, 2013

          Don’t get me wrong. Its an option. Webification is a short term solution to help reduce the Domino Footprint in an environment. We don’t see any Xpages type work in this webification. Its old school type webificatino. Clients who take this type of option are looking at outsourcing hosting or have limited budget to move all the apps to a new platform. They normally want quick and dirty.

          We’ve been moving most of our clients to Microsoft technology. Specifically Sharepoint. Its a powerful platform but it isn’t the “Swiss Army Knife” that Domino is.


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