Notes is too good for them.

The following story came up in a resent discussion about migration projects from Notes to Outlook. Somebody in the of the C-level was extremely pleased to have Outlook, because now he can do tasks … oh, how we laughed. We found it extremely funny that somebody with a higher education and high up in management, has not realised in 12 years of using Notes that it can do tasks, even for other users (if I saw that right, something you can’t do with Outlook). A few days later I was in another group of people and everybody was bitching about the number of emails they receive. Funny stories were told and I came up with my story about the tasks. Nobody laughed. Then somebody asked: „What are tasks“? Nobody ever saw them. Not even in Outlook.
The reason? Lack of training.
I find it extremely frustrating that companies do not invest in training anymore. Rather buy a new toy, than learning the old one properly. The stupidity of the situation is amazing.
We know that the marketing war against Notes is based on FUD (which was an invention of IBM and Microsoft excelled in it). But there is another element. If companies would train their staff properly – and here I am especially thinking about the C-level – Notes would not be thrown out so easily.

Why do companies not invest in training? Because it costs and you can not calculate the payback period (and because SAP doesn’t have a button for it). That’s not really true, but it is difficult, because you can not see easily how people become more productive in using features they did not know before. You never get the costs of a migration to Exchange back either, but that is beside the point. They get a shiny new toy and that is more important. User knowledge isn’t nice to look at and it is lost, when people leave … unless you did it right before and used Teamrooms, discussion applications and other basic knowledge management. But that would require training. Boring stuff like about how to use tasks. Not fancy stuff about the latest sales technique.

One of the main reasons to migrate seems to be going mainstream. That is the perfect recipe for being a mediocre company. Not because of the tool, but the whole attitude.
Notes is too good for them.

Vacation over and new insight

After I got my degree in economics, I thought now I can go out and learn from the best. Since then I lost a lot of respect for my profession. The worst example was the „analyst“ who predicted 18’000’000’000$ of possible revenue for Transformer.

And now comes this: Sigri Surf

I have been there twice and since I am an annoyingly curios person, I talked to Marcel the owner quite a lot and asked him how he made his dream of owning a wind surfing station happen. He is an ex professional ice hockey player and windsurfing instructor expert. Not somebody a bank would give much credit for building a successful business in a country in deep problems and with almost no local personnel connections. But he did it, even though this year tourists thought Greece would just disappear in the Mediterranean sea after the elections (don’t buy that stuff from the the news. There are still people living in Greece, babies are born, food is eaten and the streets are also still there).
What did he do to be where he is? Planning. A marketing plan for three years and he stuck to it. Getting the 3style area cup on his beach was part of the plan. It worked.
And we had quite a good time, but the wind could have been better, but I have been to a few windsurfing spots in the last 20 years and never had 2 weeks of constant wind.

Today many companies change plans faster than yours truly his underwear. It’s all about the next quarter. We all have seen products coming to the market with a lot of announcements but there wasn’t a marketing plan behind it … or the plan was just based on hoping that it was such a good product, that it would sell like hot cakes, which in certain aspects it probably was, but nobody knew it. Sigri Surf made it happen against all odds and Marcel must now think of the next plan.

Planning is essential, sticking to the plan even more.

What they told me at the university actually works … if you are using it right. Funny, isn’t it?