Ben Langhinrichs

Photograph of Ben Langhinrichs

IBM Champion logo

E-mail address - Ben Langhinrichs






March, 2009
SMTWTFS
01 02 03 04 05 06 07
08 09 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31

Search the weblog





























Genii Weblog


Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Wed 11 Mar 2009, 03:29 PM
It may feel like my posts today were a bit harsh about IBM's process for ordering software, but I wanted to highlight three ways in which the process reflected well on IBM.  

1) Contact information for chat or e-mail  readily available

Almost every page which has anything to do with software includes a frame on the right side that looks like this:




While I may have wanted to do all my ordering on-line, which is useful for buying an individual consumer item, it was reassuring to to note that I could always start a chat with a real live person, or initiate a contact through e-mail.  Microsoft, by comparison, does not provide any obvious way to talk or chat with a "real person".  If I were a SMB with fifty people looking to buy a server or two and a bundle of Notes/Domino, I'd be far more interested in this contact information and a live assistant than with a completely on-line focused ordering system.


2) A pop up asks if you need assistance if you wander about too much

I don't know the exact trigger, but each time I would start to wander from page to page trying to find the right information, a box would pop up asking if I'd like help.  You could tell it to go away, but like a store that actually tries to serve you, the feeling was left that you wouldn't have to just wander lost forever.





3) IBM gives you the option of dealing with a business partner instead of directly with IBM

If you are General Motors, you may want to deal directly with IBM, but I appreciate that IBM even suggests an IBM partner before suggesting their own sale's rep.  It is a small thing, but important.  Microsoft certainly doesn't mention how you can buy through a partner.





So, while I think IBM has some work to do with both ordering and searching, it has already taken some very important steps in making the process of ordering more useful and accessible.

Copyright © 2009 Genii Software Ltd.

Tags:

Wed 11 Mar 2009, 01:54 PM
Following up on my live blogging posts for Outlook 2007, I followed a couple of suggestions I got and used search instead.  The results are interesting.  Let's continue with Google searches.

Let's try the same searches as before on Google.  Do you get the idea that Microsoft takes this exercise a bit more seriously.
Search TermFirst sponsored search result and first non-sponsored search result
"Microsoft Outlook 2007"Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)
Microsoft Outlook 2007Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)
"Microsoft Outlook"Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)
Microsoft OutlookMicrosoft Outlook 2007 and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)
"Outlook 2007"Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)
Outlook 2007Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)
"Outlook"Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)
OutlookMicrosoft Outlook 2007 and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)
"Buy Microsoft Outlook 2007"Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)
Buy Microsoft Outlook 2007Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)
"Buy Microsoft Outlook"Buy Microsoft Outlook and Buy Microsoft Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager - Outlook ... (both order pages, with or without Office)
Buy Microsoft OutlookBuy Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)
"Buy Outlook 2007"Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)
Buy Outlook 2007Amazon.com: Microsoft Outlook 2007: Software and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)
"Buy Outlook"Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)
Buy OutlookMicrosoft Outlook 2007 and Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (both order pages, with or without Office)



Search TermFirst sponsored search result and first non-sponsored search result
"IBM Lotus Notes 8.5"No sponsored links and What's new in IBM Lotus Notes 8.5
IBM Lotus Notes 8.5No sponsored links and IBM collaboration solution - Lotus Notes and Domino
"IBM Lotus Notes"No sponsored links and IBM collaboration software - Lotus software
IBM Lotus NotesNo sponsored links and IBM collaboration software - Lotus software
"Lotus Notes 8.5"No sponsored links and IBM collaboration solution - Lotus Notes and Domino
Lotus Notes 8.5No sponsored links and Trial: Lotus Notes, Domino Designer, and Domino Administrator clients V7.0.2 overview 
"Lotus Notes"No sponsored links and IBM collaboration software - Lotus software
Lotus NotesNo sponsored links and IBM collaboration software - Lotus software
"Notes 8.5"No sponsored links and UPDATED - Welcome to the IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5 PUBLIC ...
Notes 8.5No sponsored links and UPDATED - Welcome to the IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5 PUBLIC ...
"Notes"No sponsored links and SparkNotes: Today's Most Popular Study Guides
NotesNo sponsored links and SparkNotes: Today's Most Popular Study Guides
"Buy IBM Lotus Notes 8.5"No sponsored links and Information No results found for "Buy IBM Lotus Notes 8.5" 
Buy IBM Lotus Notes 8.5No sponsored links and IBM collaboration solution - Lotus Notes and Domino
"Buy IBM Lotus Notes"No sponsored links and Download IBM Lotus Notes Client 8.0 (1 cd) OEM - $25 buy cheap ... (not IBM site)
Buy IBM Lotus NotesNo sponsored links and IBM business email solution - Lotus Notes
"Buy Lotus Notes 8.5"No sponsored links and Lotus Notes 8.5 - Buy full version - Softpedia (not IBM site)
Buy Lotus Notes 8.5No sponsored links and IBM collaboration solution - Lotus Notes and Domino
"Buy Lotus Notes"No sponsored links and IBM - Lotus Notes - How to buy
Buy Lotus NotesNo sponsored links and IBM - Lotus Notes - How to buy
"Buy Notes 8.5"Your search - "Buy Notes 8.5" - did not match any documents. 
Buy Notes 8.5No sponsored links and IBM business email solution - Lotus Notes
"Buy Notes"Nationwide Note Buyer (not IBM site) and How to Buy Notes for Investment Income by Eddie Speed - Mortgage ... (not IBM site)
Buy NotesNationwide Note Buyer (not IBM site) and We Buy Mortgage Notes. Nationwide Note Buyers (not IBM site)

Copyright © 2009 Genii Software Ltd.

Wed 11 Mar 2009, 01:53 PM
Following up on my live blogging posts for Outlook 2007, I followed a couple of suggestions I got and used search instead.  The results are interesting.  Let's start with the Microsoft and IBM site searches.


Let's go to the Microsoft.com home page and try the search bar with various search terms, and then show the first result for each, the the IBM.com home page and try the same.  Pretty remarkable how consistent one vendor manages to be and how inconsistent the other manages to be.
Search TermFirst search result on Microsoft.com
"Microsoft Outlook 2007"Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)
Microsoft Outlook 2007Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)
"Microsoft Outlook"Microsoft Outlook (good page, with a direct link to order page)
Microsoft OutlookOutlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)
"Outlook 2007"Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)
Outlook 2007Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)
"Outlook"Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)
OutlookOutlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)
"Buy Microsoft Outlook 2007"Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)
Buy Microsoft Outlook 2007Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)
"Buy Microsoft Outlook"Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)
Buy Microsoft OutlookOutlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)
"Buy Outlook 2007"Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)
Buy Outlook 2007Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)
"Buy Outlook"Outlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)
Buy OutlookOutlook Home Page - Microsoft Office Online (order page, with or without Office)


Search TermFirst search result on IBM.com
"IBM Lotus Notes 8.5"What's new in IBM Lotus Notes 8.5
IBM Lotus Notes 8.5Trial: Lotus Notes, Domino Designer, and Domino Administrator clients V7.0.2 overview 
"IBM Lotus Notes"IBM Lotus Notes for Collaboration (not a bad page, although no direct link to order page)
IBM Lotus NotesdeveloperWorks Lotus : Lotus Notes and Domino 8 technical content 
"Lotus Notes 8.5"What's new in IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 
Lotus Notes 8.5Trial: Lotus Notes, Domino Designer, and Domino Administrator clients V7.0.2 overview 
"Lotus Notes"IBM business email solution - Lotus Notes (good page, with a direct link to order page)
Lotus NotesIBM business email solution - Lotus Notes (good page, with a direct link to order page)
"Notes 8.5"Lockout in Notes 8.5 
Notes 8.5Lockout in Notes 8.5 
"Notes"IBM Lotus e-mail, calendaring, collaborative applications offerings (not a bad page, although no direct link to order page)
NotesIBM Lotus e-mail, calendaring, collaborative applications offerings (not a bad page, although no direct link to order page)
"Buy IBM Lotus Notes 8.5"No results were found for your search!
Buy IBM Lotus Notes 8.5Trial: Lotus Notes, Domino Designer, and Domino Administrator clients V7.0.2 overview 
"Buy IBM Lotus Notes"No results were found for your search!
Buy IBM Lotus NotesIBM developerWorks : Lotus Notes and Domino (not a bad page, although no direct link to order page)
"Buy Lotus Notes 8.5"No results were found for your search!
Buy Lotus Notes 8.5Trial: Lotus Notes, Domino Designer, and Domino Administrator clients V7.0.2 overview 
"Buy Lotus Notes"Trial: Lotus Notes, Domino Designer, and Domino Administrator clients V7.0.2 prices... 
Buy Lotus NotesIBM developerWorks : Lotus Notes and Domino (not a bad page, although no direct link to order page)
"Buy Notes 8.5"No results were found for your search!
Buy Notes 8.5Lockout in Notes 8.5 
"Buy Notes"Jeff Eisen: Making Java practical 
Buy NotesTrial: Lotus Notes, Domino Designer, and Domino Administrator clients V7.0.2 prices... 

Copyright © 2009 Genii Software Ltd.

Tags:

Wed 11 Mar 2009, 10:52 AM
In my earlier post, I live blogged the process of buying Outlook 2007 from Microsoft.  In this process, I'll try the same from IBM with the Notes 8.5 client.


Buying Notes 8.5 - Step 1, go to http://www.IBM.com


IBM Home Page



Buying Notes 8.5 - Step 2, I guess my best bet to to click on Shop for - Software






Buying Notes 8.5 - Step 3, While there are various ways to go, the most obvious seems to be "View software for small and medium businesses"


Software for small and medium businesses



Buying Notes 8.5 - Step 4, Again, various options, but I'll go for "Software for SMB by brand - Lotus"






Buying Notes 8.5 - Step 4, A little surprising that it doesn't mention Lotus, but I'll click on Products






Buying Notes 8.5 - Step 4a, I got somewhat confused here until I realized you had to scroll down and find the right part.  Once I realized, I found it quickly on this same page.






Buying Notes 8.5 - Step 6, Clicking on "How to buy" brought me to this slightly frustrating page, as I wanted to buy, not get directed to a partner or IBM, so I clicked on "IBM Software online catalog"






Buying Notes 8.5 - Step 7, This is getting a bit tiresome, since I am logged in, so it should know whether I have passport or not, but I select a region as a new customer and press Go.






Buying Notes 8.5 - Step 8, OK, I am getting annoyed.  What was the point of selecting Lotus earlier if I am now presented with the full software catalog.  I am not feeling empowered, I am feeling ignored.  Nonetheless, I will select "Find products by brand - Lotus, even though I already chose that earlier, and hope that I have more specific luck this time.






Buying Notes 8.5 - Step 9, Well, that didn't get me very far.  I can't tell how any of the choices relate to either Lotus or Notes.  I guess I'll use the search bar, since there finally is one.






Buying Notes 8.5 - Step 10, I have moved from annoyed to angry.  It is a product catalog, I have typed in the name of the product, and there are zero hits.  When I try the Category dropdown, I can't figure out what category makes sense.  Gritting my teeth, I back up a page and try by letter instead.  I choose 'N' for Notes.






Buying Notes 8.5 - Step 11, Finally, I am getting somewhere.  I am mystified (and did I mention annoyed?) at why this wasn't the page directly after Step 6.  Still, I seem to be on the right track, so I click on "Lotus Notes"






Buying Notes 8.5 - Step 12, I think I am finally there, although I still don't understand which of the three choices applies to me.  Frankly, I don't give a damn anymore.  After all this time and head scratching, I could call to get a quote, but I think I'll just buy one and hope.  Up to about Step 6, this was similar to the process of buying Outlook 2007, but after that it degenerated rapidly.  There is not even a mention of 8.5, so I don't even know for sure I am buying the version I expect.  I'd better click on "Learn about license types" to be sure I get the right thing.







Buying Notes 8.5 - Step 13, You have got to be out of your frigging mind!  I have waded through thirteen different screens, told you multiple times what sort of user I am and what sort of license I want, and know I get a page with every licensing type under the sun.  Just explain the three options I have.  Screw it, I'll go back to Outlook, as I can't even begin to figure out what this all means.






Buying Notes 8.5 - Epic fail!

Copyright © 2009 Genii Software Ltd.

Tags:

Wed 11 Mar 2009, 09:35 AM
As it happens, I need to buy a copy of Office 2007, or more specifically, Outlook 2007.  Having read Ed Brill's comments about the process of buying Lotus Notes from the IBM website not being as bad, I decided to compare the processes - live.  I don't know how hard either will be, but I will give it a try and show the screens presented.  This post covers the process of buying Outlook 2007 from Microsoft.  Part 2 will cover the same process for Notes 8.5 from IBM.

Buying Outlook 2007 - Step 1, go to http://www.Microsoft.com

Microsoft Home page



Buying Outlook 2007 - Step 2, I know Outlook is part of Office, so I use Office drop down and pick All Products


Office drop down menu



Buying Outlook 2007 - Step 3, Full Office 2007 is advertised, I haven't the foggiest what package is right for me, so I click on Products


Office 2007 promo page



Buying Outlook 2007 - Step 4, On products page, there is a prominent "Which Suite is right for you?" link which I click on


All Office Products page with link to suite decision



Buying Outlook 2007 - Step 5, A chart appears which makes it clear I want Standard, so I click Buy Now button


Handy chart descibing the suites



Buying Outlook 2007 - Step 6, I have Office 2003 on this machine, so I click Upgrade and proceed to purchasing.






Buying Outlook 2007 - Six clicks, but far more importantly, I never had much of a question about what I needed to do.


So, what about buying a Lotus Notes 8.5 client?  That post comes later.

Copyright © 2009 Genii Software Ltd.

Tags: