# Domino 2025 Jam – When hope rises and falls

My dear colleagues,
The Domino 2025 Jam is over and now what? We certainly get an interesting roadmap presentation soon and many of us will have hope, that this will change the tide, the game, turns the train around or whatever metaphor you like. I personally don’t know what to make of it. Many really good ideas popped up. Some of them multiple times. Some of them were pretty old and still hot. What raised my (right) eyebrow a bit were the many requests for basic functionalities in Verse. But these are details. I would like to look at the big picture.

I have had unanswered questions about the whole IBM/ND situation for years.

Why does IBM refuse to do even basic consistent end user marketing?
This discussion has been going on as long as I can think of N/D, but I want to know, why IBM does not want to do it. What is so bad about 101 of marketing? N/D wasn’t beaten by Outlook/Exchange because the later was any better, it was beaten through marketing. Aggressive marketing, I give you that, but IBM had all the time and resources to react to it, but never did. Why did IBM let this happen? Many things come to mind when thinking about it, but speculation does not get me the answer. So I ask you: Why?
PS: I don’t think advertising at airports is of any use. Painting the cabin of the airplane yellow and writing IBM Lotus on every available surface might help.

Why does IBM refuse to listen to the user?
The user-experience of N/D was never outstanding. It was OK, but many little bugs, limitations and peculiarities haunted N/D for years or are still there. The design is not modern anymore and some things are clumsy. Outlook has been used as a stand alone mail client forever, why wasn’t IBM capable to do the same? Technical reasons? Security comes to mind, but that could have been achieved differently.
What is it, that makes IBM think, the user is not the most important person in the N/D environment?
PS: No, I don’t think developers and administrators are the right persons to gather and filter the opinion of the end user.

What? No app store? In 2018?
That is also something I never understood. N/D is predestined for an app store. That should have been an app on the welcome page. What is it, that makes IBM not to want easy money? I would have tons of apps in there. Not everything needs 100 hours of consulting (Don’t get me started on the online buying experience of IBM. I’d rather have a teeth pulled. Why is nobody fixing this). Why is there no app store?
PS: Yes, I know that this may be a headache for administrators, but isn’t it all about making the life of users easier?

Looking at the big picture that forms in my mind about the last year, I don’t see a confident IBM. I had technical problems during the online jams. I had problems with the idea jam. Some videos I saw were not the quality one expects from IBM. Things feel sometimes clumsy, amateurish. What is going on inside the N/D group in IBM?

The HCL deal. Whatever I read, there is no convincing explanation, why HCL should be any better as IBM in writing code. Strategy and marketing (see above) will stay with IBM. How deep the strategy for the design goes is anybodies guess, but for me – sorry – that smells like cost cutting. But I should not jump to conclusions, therefore I ask you, what is the point of the HCL deal, if not cost cutting?
PS: The ex-IBM-now-HCL-developers might have more air to breathe, but what comes after the initial vibe?

The Idea Jam itself. Why is IBM doing this again and again, only to get the same answers every time. They vary only on particular problems, but not at the bigger picture. It has been like that for years. And every two years, when the general manager changes (and often the structure where we find N/D for the next two years), we get a hype and we all hope this time everything changes for the better. What is IBMs strategy for the next five years?
PS: Still, was a good idea, but why does IBM now hide the jam? Any secrets in there? Should we just forget it was there?

So, if you find these questions interesting, I would be very much interested in interesting answers to them.

And as a final note, I don’t know, if you all have the same impression as I do, but my gut feeling tells me, not everything will be great again.



5 Gedanken zu „# Domino 2025 Jam – When hope rises and falls“

  1. Why market something that is (your words)
    „user-experience of N/D was never outstanding. It was OK, but many little bugs, limitations and peculiarities haunted N/D for years or are still there. The design is not modern anymore and some things are clumsy.“
    You cannot hide this with Marketing. It won’t work.

    I don’t think an app store will work so I do not miss one. Even the Microsoft Store does not fly and this is bigger than everything IBM could build. But I accept that people demand it and have so for many years.

    The on-site jams were much better. I took the one in Ehingen / Germany and it was a great event.

    „The HCL deal. Whatever I read, there is no convincing explanation, why HCL should be any better as IBM in writing code. “
    HCL is paying IBM money to get into this business. Some very smart guys now work for HCL (I met at least one in Ehingen) and at least for the moment HCL seems to be willing to invest more into Notes and Domino than IBM would. We will see if this continues into the future but for the moment HCL is the better option and be it for that HCL is investing in this business while IBM is just cutting cost.
    But, if the Domino business continues to lose revenues this will probably have an impact on HCL too.

    For the IdeaJam. With a release in 2017 most of what is going to be in this release already has to be under development. You cannot develop something in a few months that IBM has not been able to provide for 10 plus years. So the Jams in my opinion are some way to get in contact with as many customers s possible. Maybe just to say hi and to get their message into the market that some things are changing for the better.

    It probably will not be enough for me but at the Jams I met some other IBM customers that would be quite happy with very little, e.g. better support for IBM iSeries (AS400).

    1. Marketing is not there to hide technical deficiencies. That will not work. But even if N/S would be technically perfect, IBM would ignore marketing 101. For years I ran into marketing or sales people from IBM and I was always amazed about their excuses not to spend any money on stupid run of the mill marketing and I still don’t know where this behaviour comes from.

  2. Ok, a lot of people in the former yellow bubble have been discussing the marketing issue for years. And not only in the our silo – IBM is not doing ANY marketing strategically right. A couple of years back everything had to be WebSphere to wrangle some pocket money from Ginni’s cold hands for silo marketing, today it has to be Watson. But look closely – this is all silo still. No three year master plan, just quarterly planned stuff. Domino is not alone in this, the whole software area lacks this and even „Cloud“, THE hype topic for IBM, gets a haircut in marketing efforts before it even flys. All for the sake of profitability. There’s a saying: „My farm got profitable in that year when I sold off my cows !“. That’s the deeper issue behind the no-marketing-pattern and the HCL deal. Inshi Shue will go down in IBMs history as the one who made ICS profitable like that. What a weird way to look at the world from my perspective.
    AnyWho – I think the HCL deal is good as HCL wants to make money of the portfolio. So they will deliver on code. Otherwise they won’t make any money on it.
    Why do they ask the same questions over and over again ? Because times change and priorities do as well. Given that (if you look into the Jam Forum) all of your points above have been addressed and highly ranked. So they should be heard. Whatever the outcome might be. But other formerly important points have dropped out due to changed priorities and new ones have risen. So checking your position in the game from time to time is helpful.
    Oh – and yes. Not everything will be great. At least not for everyone. We live in a world with different needs so there can’t be a thing like „everything is right“.

  3. Marketing is the problem. IBM leaves lots of money on the table because when faced with a potential customer, they either try to sell something the customer isn’t asking about because it’s the new push, or the returns to the salesperson aren’t enough for them to bother. IBM has a lot of products on offer, and those that are losing market share are doing so greatly because IBM isn’t trying to sell them.

    I think I’d be happier about the HCL deal if HCL were to get the marketing. IBM can code it, their big failure has been in sales.

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