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IMHO: What Will It Take to Turn the System i Around?

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  • #91
    IMHO: What Will It Take to Turn the System i Around?

    You're right! We as a group have been lazy, and increasingly irrelevant. As for RPG there is nobody below 40 and effectively below 50 learning it. -John

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    • #92
      IMHO: What Will It Take to Turn the System i Around?

      We have 4 RPG'ers here below 40 (2 in mid 20's, 2 in early 30's). Another left a while back for a new job (she just had a baby!). So, that's 5. I taught a class on service programs a week ago... Chris

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      • #93
        IMHO: What Will It Take to Turn the System i Around?

        I'd just like to comment on the question "What happened to Lotus Notes and Domino?" The simple answer is "A Lot!" But in the event that the anonymous author of this post -- who posited this query -- has missed our coverage of the Lotus product line, let me recap! 1. Lotus Domino/Notes is in its 8th major release cycle. 2. The Lotus Domino/Notes platform has, at last count (March) 40 million seats worldwide. 3. Lotus has released the latest version of Lotus Sametime and continues to integrate that product with every major public IM platform (Yahoo! IM, Microsoft, AOL, etc.) with the only completely secure, auditable messaging bridge in the industry. 4. Lotus has released "Connections" which is a social networking platform that integrates to Domino seamlessly that puts to shame the offerings of Microsoft and every other middleware vendor. 5. Lotus has released middleware platform that enables you to transform legacy Microsoft VBasic and other code into cross-platform components, completely independent of the Notes DB structure. The Lotus platform is completely cross-platform, and fully backward and forward compatible. (Release agnostic). Try that with any other messaging/application platform. This means that customer-written code initially created in any of the rapid-development modalities of Notes/Domino can run on any machine or operating system. This includes Wintel, Linux, Unix, Mainframe, Apple, etc. This makes it extremely EXTREMELY transportable and highly secure. The recent LotusSphere gathering, held annually at Walt Disney World, was sold out, with over 2500 attendees from countries all over the world. (Compare that to COMMON!) It was a true international gathering, and the momentum on the platform continues to build. The number of business partners with packaged applications at the event has never been larger. The platform is used by the Pentagon, the State Department, and by large government agencies in many many other countries. Now, the downside of the Lotus Note/Domino story: 1. Even with the Express licensing, Notes/Domino is not inexpensive for System i shops. 2. US support from the likes of small independent consulting groups is spotty because IBM Lotus has not done a great job competing in the US beyond the Eastern corridor of the country to develop a cohesive customer base. 3. The value-statement of the platform requires real strategic IT vision, which is often sorely missing from the Small and Medium Business (SMB) marketplace in the US. 4. The marketing for Lotus brand-awareness in the SMB marketplace by Lotus is not -- in my opinion -- granular enough to impact decision makers in the area where you and I commune. Instead, Lotus marketing competes for dollars with IBM's larger "middleware" message -- which is created by multi-million dollar marketing firms that report elsewhere to IBM honchos. As a result, we get confused about whether Notes/Domino is a part of WebSphere, or a legacy product, or "in competetions" with WebSphere. It is none of those things. The fact that these Lotus products run on the System i (as well as those other platforms) doesn't mean that these products are legacy engines. I can tell you of hundreds of stories in which System i IT managers obtained Lotus Domino/Notes for email, and never bothered to do anything else with the platform. Why? Because they bought it to fill a niche' (email) and never invested in it as a real workgroup application development environment. Sure, they send an RPG programmer off for a couple of weeks of training, but never assign them any real projects to develop. Later on, these same programmers come to me and say "Nobody is interested! They don't understand the power and potential!" Like the IT managers who say that the System i is "dead", these IT managers don't have a vision of what IT can achieve if they have the right tools. Instead, they watch as public "freeware" versions of IM and other tools seep into their organizations through the back door, and then wonder why their PC based systems crash. The impact is pretty horrendous, because instead of focusing on the technology that works, they are forced to go out and find new employees who know how to fix the stuff that just crashed their information systems. Finally, just as for System i personnel, the people who know how Lotus products can expand the effectiveness of the organization are outnumbered by the ones who only know how to fix the stuff that keeps breaking. It's a downward spiral. They are outnumbered, they have no voice, and the application-base begins to falter. I have talked substantially with Lotus' chief architect, who knows the marketing problems but is focused -- instead -- upon getting his team to the next release with new features and functions. The platform is stable, aggressive, vibrant, and resilient. It's not going away, and -- if anything -- will continue to lead technology. But IBM will not give it away, and will not push it in front of its strategic WebSphere strategy. As a result, IMHO, Lotus Notes/Domino will remain the secret that separates real visionary IT managers from the run-of-the-mill (get it off the racks) managers that drive us all nuts.

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        • #94
          IMHO: What Will It Take to Turn the System i Around?

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          • #95
            IMHO: What Will It Take to Turn the System i Around?

            In addition, they have just released or soon will be releasing a new Notes desktop client based on Eclipse which I've seen only good things said about it. I haven't looked for any details on it, though. rd

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