I decided that perhaps it would be interesting to record my thoughts as I go through the process of becoming a VSB (Very Small Business) customer of IBM and Elguji software, pretty much simultaneously. Now, I am in no way typical of IBM customers or even VSB customers, because I have a long history with both the products I am buying (IBM Lotus Domino and Elguji Ideas a.k.a. IdeaJam), but I have never really come in the front door before. I've always been a partner or ISV or beta tester or what have you, or my licenses have been arranged by others. It is even possible that there is some way I could avoid taking this step now using some arcane Run Your Business license as an advanced IBM Business Partner. If there is, I wouldn't know how to do it.
Anyway, just yesterday, I realized that putting Genii Jam up on my website meant that I had to authenticate people, and that this might be an opportunity to try the front door. I'm going to buy an IBM Lotus Domino Utility Express server license for use with Genii Jam, and I'll try to record some of the thoughts about what this is like.
But where to start? Not with this diary, that started two paragraphs back. Rather, where does one go to get a license, and what kind of license did I really need, and what would it cost? Since I didn't even know what to search for, I contacted an IBM friend (in this case, Alan Lepofsky, but don't you bug him or he'll get all grumpy I mentioned it) and asked what license I might need. He said that it sounded as if I needed an IBM Lotus Domino Utility Express server license. I searched for that, and sure enough, that seemed to fit the need.
Note: I didn't see Elguji cover the topic of Domino licensing that might be required, but it might be helpful to suggest generally what might be required.
Next, I called Gabriella Davis. In my life, I have found that if one needs a question answered about your car or your heating system or other such household things, it is good to know a guy named Stephen. I know a guy named Stephen, and he is a whiz with such things, but his knowledge of Domino is limited to the game or the pizza. So, when a question comes up about Domino, I need someone else. There aren't many really good at this, but I happen to know a few. In my case, I try Gabriella Davis or Andrew Pollack, but don't call them either, unless you plan to pay them, or else they might also get a bit titchy with me.
But I digress... I Sametimed Gab (OK, it can't really be a verb) and asked her opinion. She said it made sense and she could help me configure the server, especially since I am hosting it on her server. The licensing sounded fine, but she only had a quote in British Pounds, and my bank has trouble recognizing that "furrin currency". So, since I don't know whether Andrew sells licenses, I turned to Wayne Scarano, whose company, SGA
, certainly does. Sure enough, he provided a quote and pretty soon I should be set up with my own bright and shiny IBM Lotus Domino Utility Express server license, and my bank account will be down $2650 US. You can buy a lot of milk shakes for $2650, but I'm not going to dwell on that.
Now, all I have to do is wait and find out what I get for my $2650, and what I have to provide. Do they need to know the name of the server? Do they need to know the web domain it uses? Does IBM start sending me lots of e-mails trying to get me to also purchase Quickr and Sametime and Connections, or do they leave me alone? Do I now have access to IBM Passport, and what difference does that make? Lots of questions, but I guess they'll have to get answered another day.
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