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Lotus Notes Is Still Thriving -- or Is It?

I recall covering the launch of Lotus Notes two decades ago, when many companies were using it to improve their productivity. IBM's $3.5 billion investment in Lotus Development Corp. has served it well, even as it is now seen by many as a legacy platform.

Nevertheless I was surprised to read a report in The Wall Street Journal Monday that it was a $1.2 billion business, according to IDC, as of 2011. IBM, which yesterday exceeded analyst forecasts with revenues of $29.3 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31 and earnings of $6.1 billion, said its Lotus business grew 9 percent for the period.

However, company officials didn't refer to Notes in its discussion with analysts yesterday, according to a transcript of its earnings call. Rather it referred obliquely to its social business offerings such as Connections as well as Kenexa, a cloud-based talent management and recruiting platform the company acquired last month. IBM is placing a big bet on social communications, perhaps hoping it will marginalize e-mail.

That leads me to wonder, how many enterprises are still using the Lotus Domino and Notes portfolio as their core messaging platform? Moreover do you intend to stick with it or are you looking to move to a hosted offering? If so which one? Or perhaps you're considering a move to the forthcoming Exchange Server 2013 and SharePoint 2013 tandem? Feel free to comment or drop me a line at


Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 01/23/2013 at 1:14 PM

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Reader Comments:

Sun, Feb 2, 2014

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Mon, Jan 20, 2014

That's not even 10 http://s DOT well spent!

Sun, Jan 19, 2014

Hello Mary Ellen:Your wonderful atrlcie on change came at a most appropriate time in my life. I have just recently completed a 24 hour stay in a hospital for a medical procedure/exam that has left me confused and ungrounded – primarily from the anesthesia’s that were given (their explanation). Yet with the sensitive body that God gave me I had to become focused on my grounding like never before. I get bounced, and I refocus. I’ve been more aware of my grounding/not grounding in the past 72 hours than at any time in my life.I woke up this morning after an unintentional 10 hour period of sleep (it’s usually 8 and often restless) where I woke up briefly a couple of times, but got right back to sleep. I know I had absolutely beautiful astral experiences yet I couldn’t bring them into body but the energy was with me when I did finally wake up for good. It has been years – if ever, that I’ve had sleep on that level and before my medical procedure I was having difficulties getting to sleep and staying asleep. I began my refocus on grounding a few days ago (right after the procedure) and the night before last was another great night of sleep.Am still learning that when I fall or stumble (as in often) I have simple healing tools that I can use to get myself up again and most all of them are Meditation I techniques.Thank you and the rest of CDM for the wonderful gifts that you have provided for me over the years. I love it all, including the cliffs I fell off of from time to time. Thanks again.Jim Brewster

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 BobB

We have been on a Domino/Notes platform for about 12 years. What I like most about the platform is that it just runs and runs and runs. We don't have problems with it. Perhaps because we run Domino on an IBM iSeries server. Those never fail. What I don't like is the client. It looks dated. What scares me most .. converting to Exchange and then having to deal with the typical MS problems and crashes. I have about 500 mail users. I have a 10% mail system administrator. Exchange requires a dedicated administrator from what I have read. I wonder if the grass is really any greener on the other side?

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 Terry

My organization still uses Notes/Domino as our core messaging platform. That being said we have been looking to migrate to exchange now for over 3 years. From a DR standpoint I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't like working with Domino. I've heard horror stories about losing an Exchange environment and taking longer than 48 hours to get it back to functioning state, let alone all user mail restored. I can tell you with Domino I have had a complete SAN failure, rebuild, restore from tape and were actively serving mail to users in under 8 hours, with their archives and all. Granted this was under 1 TB of mail, but as I understand the difficulty with Exchange is more configuration. I'm not a mail admin and I was able to get domino back by reinstalling the same version and restoring the domino data directory. It is that simple. What everyone hates is Notes client. It's bulky, clugey and generally feels like you are stuck in the 90s. If there were a solid connector between outlook and Domino I think you would see more organizations using domino as mail subsystem, serving through outlook clients. it's been 7 years since I have used Outlook and I really can't do much of a comparison, but I will have mixed emotions if/when we do finally migrate to Exchange. Farewell Domino, GTFO Notes!!!

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