Is Lotus Notes Still Here to Stay?

Lotus Notes support
Picture credit: IBM

What triggered my few nostalgic thoughts about Lotus Notes this evening was a blog post published in  “Lotus Notes and Domino have been able to survive for 20 years, how?”.

Once well known as Lotus Notes, a widely popular collaboration and email platform has been experiencing tough times during the past few years. It seems that IBM has given up on Notes as an email platform while the entire world is going totally Microsoft. Perhaps Microsoft Outlook is not as bad as it has been portrayed by anti-Microsoft followers (I have got to admit once I was in that camp).  I really hoped that LotusLive, a new alternative to Microsoft Cloud will gain a momentum as greatly advanced social collaboration email cloud platform . But again, the lack of marketing to the small and medium size businesses makes this great product invisible to the most of the world.

Most of the small business companies have never even tried to discover Lotus Notes as an email platform even when Notes was extremely hot in 1995-1999. However many corporate clients have adapted Lotus Notes as a collaboration and an email system at that time. That was the best time for Lotus Notes and Lotus Notes specialists.  Nothing lasts forever and Notes was not an exception. In fact, in the beginning of 2000 the process of migration off Notes email system to Exchange/Outlook has slowly started.

I have been personally working with Notes and Domino since 1991 which is about 20 years. I just realized that’s 2 decades I have been developing and managing application development on the Notes and Domino platform. Based on my experience 4 out of 5 companies I have worked with had already migrated off Notes email system. What’s next for Notes?

2 Replies to “Is Lotus Notes Still Here to Stay?”

  1. We’re firmly a Notes/Domino shop, with about 3000 users who leverage the platform for not only messaging, but over 200 in-house developed applications.  We just spent six figures in re-writing a Notes-based application and expanding it significantly.  Having worked with Notes/Domino full time since 1996, I can relate exactly to what you’re saying, but I wanted to add some perspective.  The platform’s heydey is behind it, but it’s still got a long life ahead of it, and I’m trying to stay positive & work to promote it’s ever-increasing strengths (xPages) and ever-decreasing TCO.  Every time the issue of migration to X, Y, or Z comes up, I guide the discussion to include the costs of not only migration, but ongoing costs of the replacement technology.  The discussion always ends up the same (so far):  we’re not leaving Notes. 

    We just hired a full-time Domino developer.

    There is a self-fulfilling, lemming-like approach to migrations, and it’s a careful balance to speak up without going too far and being marginalized as a zealout.

    I wish you the best – keep your chin up, and your eyes open!

    1. Hi and thank you for your insights. I am glad somebody is still hiring Notes specialists these days!
      Obviously the management of your company very well understands that migrating off Notes platform will be very costly and not sure if it will ever fix all targeted issues which might be driving the migration. I am aware of companies that moved to Exchange/Outlook email but still can not decommission their Domino servers due to the complexity of applications and the cost associated with porting it off Domino. 
      Wondering if there is a few companies that have successfully migrated all Domino environment to alternative platforms including the email environment and applications.

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