Monthly Archives: May 2009

Clouds in my coffee…Clouds in my e-mail…

Yesterday’s Techrepublic Webcast regarding Hamilton Beach moving to Google, and Ed Brill’s subsequent post generated some lively discussion on Planet Lotus, Twitter, and in my office.  I had lots to think about during the drive home last night! 

As I sat sipping my early morning coffee today, I wondered if  IT organizations had the same amount of money available to them today as they did in 1999 when preparing for Y2K – all other factors remaining the same – would Google Apps be as attractive as an enterprise solution? I’m not so sure.  Many of the organizations that are moving to cloud computing are using cost savings as their primary reason for moving to cloud based collaboration systems.  So given economics as a constraint, many organizations are willing to sacrifice customer service, technical support, upgrade support, product stability because the cloud option is “cheaper.”  Or are they using that only as an excuse?   

Haven’t we all read about IT organizations that have implemented systems (any) only to turn around and literally rip them out a few years later because they were poorly implemented or poorly managed?  Isn’t it a management strategy to frequently blame it on the old system and prosthetize that the new system will most certainly be better? 

And collaboration systems are unique in that they REQUIRE collaboration. Collaboration between IT staffs, collaboration between user groups and technical groups, and collaboration between management and technical staff.  So that everyone is on board with a common set of goals and objectives for the system.  Otherwise, it is collaboration failure. 

So while Google Apps may be the cost/effort saver du jour, if the collaboration infrastructure is not fostered, if users are not trained and offered solutions for accessing tools from remote locations, and nuturing of the client base does not take place, then we may read in a few years about Google being replaced by some other product at organizations like Hamilton Beach.  Maybe back to Lotus Notes/Domino!

Wish List Item 1 DWA-Java Applet Hotfix Packaging

I’m preparing to deploy the re-signed Java Applets and two sets of iNotes/DWA hotfix sets across more than 50 servers this weekend.  And I’m reminded of an entry I wrote in March about “The List.”  This refers to the actual list of items I take with me to Lotusphere each year to discuss with the development teams. My staff tease and joke about “The List.”  “Is this one of those items on The List?”– as they know I take this very seriously.  And each year I usually walk away with some sense of satisfaction knowing that I had some “face time” with those that may be able to resolve a particular issue. 

So….this leads up to the first item that will be on The List for Lotusphere 2010.  That is the packaging of iNotes/DWA hotfixes and any type of Java applet fixes.  Currently this type of hotfix is a manual copy and paste fix across all platforms.  There is no executable provided by Lotus Support to replace the files as is the case with other types of hotfixes or incremental upgrades.  This is a serious service issue.  On a unix platform, each file must be copied with the correct ownership and file properties.  No matter what size Domino domain you are managing, this is a time waster.  Could I write an executable to do this for me? Sure.  But considering that file names and file locations might change each time, this might equally be as time consuming to manage. 

Lotus Support, please consider developing a packaging mechanism for these in the future.  See you in the Developers’ Lab next year!

New Computational Search Engine: Wolfram-Alpha

Take a few minutes to watch the online demo of the new computational search engine developed by the folks at Mathematica and Stephen Wolfram.  The search engine is scheduled to go online tonight at 7 PM CST.  The search site is different in that it will provide answers to factual questions.