That’s what IBM should have done with Lotus Foundations …

Starting tomorrow, Collax offers it’s SMB solution Collax Business Server and Collax Security Gateway free of charge for up to 5 users. Yep, not just testing. You can actually use it for your company.
OK, support is extra, but the server AND the documentation (!) got high marks in a test from Computerwoche and TecChannel.

It’s not rocket sience after all.

… and BTW. There are several Domino installations on Collax. That works, too.
I think it is about time to throw out LF and get something with a future. LF is making more and more problems here. Collax Business Server runs happily on a LF appliance. I couldn’t make the DOM work, though. Anybody an idea, how to access a DOM?

How to handle Facebook, Website and other social tools effectively – any idea?

I need help (professional help for my brain … yeah, I know). I had a bit of a shock this weekend. About a year ago, Swiss companies where not looking at social media, now it completely turned around. Already half of them are using it. It looks like we have to jump on the band wagon. (An please forgive my ignorance, but I just can’t get the hang of Facebook I even deleted my personal account a few years ago – or better deactivated, since Facebook seems to keep your account for a while).

Now, I would like to know from you, how to handle all those social tools today. For years it was just the website – which was hard enough to keep up to date – now we have Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and whatever else comes up in the future. It is becoming almost a full position for a social media specialist, but if you are a small company that’s out of the question. Where do you put your energy, in your companies Facebook page or your website? Or is it rather Twitter? Are there tools, to write stuff once and have them at two different places? Would you mix a Facebook page and your website?
A lot of questions, but I try to find a way to work effectively with those tools, but I don’t even know where to start.

Going Collax – The next step and a surprise

OK. The press releases are out and we are the new distributor for Collax in Switzerland.
What does it mean for us? We have to concentrate mostly on marketing. No more server installations (Good, very good). We have to recruit new resellers. We will find customers and connect them with resellers. There are allready installations in Switzerland, therefore we don’t have to start at the bottom like we did with Lotus Foundations.
And you know what? Collax is doing many things, what we (I mean all of us in the LF community) told IBM over and over again what should be done with Lotus Foundations, but IBM in its universal wisdom was polite enough, not to tell us, that we are complete morons. Collax does it all different. We got flyer’s – printed ones – on glossy paper! Can you imagine? We get rollups. Cool ones even. They do press releases. They do roadshows (look here, that’s going to be fun … for Collax). You will not believe this, but they want, that people know about their products. From an IBM marketing perspective, Collax must do everything wrong, but Collax products sell.

Stay tuned, there is another annoucement soon. Something else, that would have pleased the LF reseller community (but is completely wrong from an IBM perspective).

Surprise, surprise. Collax is growing and LF is history. They must do something right.

Our next step is to build a hosting offering with a partner and we are in the works for bringing Domino as a standard package on the Collax CBS, preferably alongside Zarafa. Domino runs allready in different companies on the collax platform and as far as I can see, without any issues.
I have a Collax CBS running on a LF Box here. Unfortunately I couldn’t use the DOM, but hey, you can’t have everything. Funny enough, Collax has an interface for the USB display. It’s not activated, but that would not be hard to do. Next step is to move a domino server in there and get the grips with Postfix. Should work soon I hope.

It is amazing, what you can do in a short time, if you actually want to sell a product. BTW, more Collax products have been sold in Switzerland in January 11 then LF in the whole 2010.

Did it. I am certified in Structogram 1, 2 and 3

The last few month we looked for new products. Accidentely, our strategic Partner PAVONE joined forces with Structogram to create the frist CRM that allows you to manage „soft factors“ of your customers and individualize the marketing approach. Structogram is a scientific approach to the knowledge of the human nature. It is even certified in some countries as advanced training for medical personel. Structogram has been around for quite a long time and is available in many countries.
Informica, Ecoville and Inforga created the Structogram CRM competence center and now we are the only organisation in the world – apart from Pavone – that is certified to sell the PAVONE Structogram CRM. Yes, I am proud. The training was very interesting and sometimes very, very funny. I got to learn a lot about me and it does already help in my private and business live.
The last two days we attended the last training sessions required and they were held by the two Structogram master trainers, who had the idea of the CRM. For years they trained a method for optimizing the marketing process, but they always felt, they lacked the IT tool, to work with the method. Now they are using it already in their daily business. And this is important for the yellow bleeders. It’s based on Notes/Domino and they love it. As ever with a CRM, it took a while until everybody saw the power of it, but now they are hooked. PAVONE did a amazing job in implementing the Structogram method in its latest PAVONE Sales CRM and delivered an easy to use system – despite being a highly blue company speaking in Structogram terms 😉
And one of the most important features the thing as is – you guessed – offline capability. That’s something the competition will struggle with for a long time. For anybody out on the road, meeting customers, this is and has always been the big advantage. Now we just have to drop hints to PAVONE that the iPad is the perfect hardware for a customer meeting.


One week without internet, phone and tv …

Sounds hard, doesn’t it? Naa, I have just been on holiday. One week skiing in La Tzoumaz, which is part of Les Quatres Vallées. 2 days of snow fall in the beginning and then 6 days sun, snow and fun. Our two little monsters (5 & 7) went to ski school during the day and my ex girlfriend (my wife) and I took every black or black/yellow run we could find. Most of them several times. I really like Verbier for skiing. I have been skiing in most of the areas in Switzerland and in Italy, Canada, France and Austria, but I have yet to find a cooler place.
Every time I am in Verbier, I am amazed about the number of good skiers. If you like it steep and deep, that’s the place to go. If you like moguls, here you can still find them. Freeride? Yup, plenty.
One day my wife and I decided to use every lift only once. It’s easy. There are so many. We went from La Tzoumaz to Verbier to the Mont Gelé , to La Chaux, from there to Gentianes/Mont Fort, then to Siviez, Tortin, Gentianes, La Chaux, Les Ruinettes, Atlas and then via Carefour back to Savoleyres. Took us about 5 hours and we used only 15 lifts (and no, we are not just slow).
During that week, Viviane (monster no 1) went to 6th grade (red star) in skiing school and Camille to 3rd grade. They both loved it. First we were afraid, that 6 hours of skiing course a day would be too much, but no. They always came home grinning (but tired) and they want to go there next year again.
Anything I don’t like? We stayed in La Tzoumaz, because Verbier is just too d… expensive to live. But all we missed was the evening sun. With the kids we can’t go out in the evening anyway and the apartment we found was just perfect for a very, very reasonable price. Because it does not have tv, phone, internet or fireplace, they can not rent it very expensive today. But that suits me. With internet I would have checked my emails every evening and probably started to work. A killer for family live. A few DVDs is enough to pass time when the batteries of all family members are just too low for anything else and since I don’t use a smart phone, I was free to just using my head.

Interestingly, when I returned, the world was still spinning.