More Information from IBM on Lotus Foundations … yeah right.

This morning I found an announcement from Bob Jewell, Director of Business Development for Smart Business, about LF:

More Information from IBM on Lotus Foundations

I would like to make this community aware of announcements regarding Lotus Foundations made late last year. They were posted elsewhere but we apparently neglected to highlight them in this forum. Enzo Frati did add some information in this forum in November, so I refer you to his comments. I will try and clarify what we announced on October 26, 2010 and November 9, 2010.

The Lotus Foundations hardware appliance is no longer available for new orders. The Lotus Foundations software products will be removed from Passport Advantage and will not be available for new orders after February 8, 2011. We will continue to make Foundations software available for partners in North America with the Lotus Foundations VAR agreement in place. Of course we will continue to provide support for existing customers through the end-of-service date for their support contracts.

IBM received substantial feedback pointing out that the Foundations specialized hardware was attractive, but limiting and often not worth the premium price. Likewise, although the Foundations Linux operating system was attractive, the focus of small and mid-size organizations is on solutions, not core technologies. IBM has shifted focus to complete solutions that include the operating system and middleware capabilities of Foundations and run on a wide range of Intel based servers.

Our solutions will be branded Solutions for Smart Business. You can find out more about them at

More details on what I described above are available on the Foundations Portal ( or in the two IBM US Announcement Letters below:

– For Lotus Foundations Appliance (

– For Lotus Foundations software products (

Several members of the Smart Business team will be at Lotusphere. We will be happy to discuss this topic further with you there.

Now isn’t that funny. The hardware was too expensive. That’s the reason.

What happened? Nitix was less expensive, why? One reason was probably there was no specialised hardware. Go figure, the latest release of LF runs on a variety of Intel servers. They fixed that problem really quick. Wouldn’t be a factor anymore today … hmmmm.
Another factor was certainly that most companies would like to keep Outlook as their mail client. Killing DAMO was blow for LF but IBM could at least have kept ExchangIt. I thought it was a Nitix product anyway. But there are other possibilities like Zaraffa and OpenExchange out there. With a little bit of work, they could have run Domino and -Enter your preferred Non-MS-Mailserver here – on the same machine and make everybody happy … oh yes, sure, IBM strategy (Oh, did I tell you that we are working with Collax to do exactly that, sure I did. No? Now you know!)
If IBM would want to make it less expensive for the markets outside the US, they could have respected the real exchange rates. IBM still uses 1.6 Swiss Francs for 1 US Dollar. Right now the real exchange rate is about 0.95 Swiss Francs for 1 US Dollar. Would have made quite a difference in my market. But you know what, the people we talked to always thought it was a very good deal with all the bells and whistles it had.

LF will only be available for VARs in the US/CA after February 8th. For all those LF Partners who thought they could continue to buy LF licenses through the LF desk, this will come as a shock.

When I remember the time I spent to figure out how to integrate something on LF to become a VAR. The time I spent writing mails and talking to people to get the technical information I needed … and never got. The money I spent for a completely useless telephone marketing campaign organized by IBM and for catering at an IBM facility for presenting LF to IBM partners (we got the bill AFTER the event, quite a surprise). Sure we made mistakes, too. We thought, Notes/Domino isn’t that big of an obstacle, as long as you get a good value with other applications, but SMB don’t want a very sophisticated DMS or CRM system (and PAVONE has excellent products but they need a bit of training).

Something that really annoys me is that they just changed their mind so fast. At LotuSphere 2010 Ed Brill announced Traveller for LF. Will not happen. IBM could have at least given us and our customers the latest 8.5.x Domino/Notes releases and Traveller. Would have been a nice „We are sorry but we have to say goodbye“ gift. Would have been easier for me and others, but hey, I am just a lower life form for IBM (within IBM there is certainly a discussion going on, if partners are actually an intelligent form of life).
BTW, I tried to upgrade the Domino Server on my test box. No complete success yet. I was able to install Traveller on top of it, though, but it has been a while, since I had time to play with it.
Anyone else working on it?