Ben Langhinrichs

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Is Notes booming or bombing?

Mon 12 May 2003, 10:59 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
I have seldom been so confused since I started in this business. Evidence from my business says that the Notes/Domino market has finally really started to recover, with a great deal of interest and excitement about Notes/Domino 6 and new projects being started. I know that the economy is still slow globally, and that is evident, but the clients I talk to are much more upbeat and are starting to spend money, and spend it more readily and rapidly. This is a strong contrast from two years ago, when everybody delayed and delayed and tried to avoid committing to anything. Yet, everywhere on the forums, I read about people suffering from lack of work, lack of interest and lack of confidence. "There are no jobs", "Notes is dead" (again!), etc. is what I read.

Should I believe my personal experience or theirs? Am I just lucky to be on the upswing? Maybe the downturn has even made my products more appealing, but I am not sure why that wouldn't have come out before.

I hesitate to say anything ("the knock on wood" syndrome), but I think there is a boom starting, both in the Notes world and in IT in general. It may take a bit to pick up, and I don't think it will be the .COM bubble, but I think brighter times are coming, and have even started. Anybody else agree or disagree?

Copyright © 2003 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

5.1. Ben Poole
(05/13/2003 02:07 AM)

re the "boom" -- gosh, I hope so! I can only offer anecdotal evidence, but it is encouraging. Around a year ago, searches for Notes-related jobs on the main UK recuitment websites returned diddly-squat for anyone other than the most junior Notes developers.

I've noticed that this seems to be changing a little, to the point that I actually updated my CV (sorry, resume ;-) for the first time in years!

So here's hoping for a real upturn.

5.2. Tom Duff
(05/13/2003 03:42 PM)

I would agree with you, Ben. While I don't know that there are an abundance of "regular" full-time jobs out there, the groups who are consulting and/or selling products seem to be on an up-swing. I've been pretty busy with Boom Vang Consulting, so I would think that the market is starting to open up ever so slightly...

5.3. Julian Robichaux
(05/13/2003 03:44 PM)

Well, I think we [the Notes community] are only helped by the fact that Microsoft is requiring so much "rip and replace" with their new products (Exchange, Windows 2003). If you're going to have to gut your existing infrastructure anyway, why not consider Notes -- especially with the easy upgrade paths between versions? If you stick with Exchange, the chances are good that you'll have to rip and replace again in two years anyway.

Certainly that's just the messaging perspective, but right now Exchange and Notes are really the two big games in town. And if more people migrate to Notes mail, then we'll start seeing more Notes development, so the cycle could definitely pick up.

Here's hoping that's true, anyway.

- Julian

5.4. Ben Langhinrichs
(05/13/2003 08:28 PM)

I agree that Microsoft seems to be doing everything possible to alienate its customers. It seems ironic that IBM sometimes seems to be Notes/Domino's worst enemy, while Microsoft sometimes seems to be its best friend. Weird!

5.5. Richard Schwartz
(05/13/2003 09:09 PM)

While there may be some recovery, and I'd be very happy to see that, I've come to believe that the market for services in Domino and collaborative computing in general will never again be what they once were. See my recent posts about [a[href]">] Products and Services and [a[href]">] J2EE for more of my thoughts on this subject.

5.6. Richard Schwartz
(05/13/2003 09:10 PM)

Hmmm... looks like the processing of link syntax in your responses is broken...

5.7. Ben Poole
(05/14/2003 07:58 AM)

The spaces are the crucial bit Richard, but you could be forgiven for missing that; DomBlog hardly uses the most intuitive of systems!

5.8. Robert Basic
(05/15/2003 01:37 PM)

i dont think its booming and i dont believe its bombing.

What i can say is that with the heavy influence of IBM Lotus Notes is loosing his unique face. Especially many visitors from the two (or three?) last Lotusspheres told me that its "everything so blue and somehow it does feel no more like Notes"...

Since IBM is running into services/services&services the products are no more the main parts in their strategy as it was 5 years ago. Due to strategical changes Lotus Notes is no more an asset as a product its defined as an asset of valuable functions (->Websphere). This very modular definition is very unsettling to many customers. Before i would take a lot of money and migrate my yet Notes network from Rx -> R6 i would overthink it twice, spare my budget and wait how the "groupware" market will change. And i understand this fully because it was never the technique, economical benefits have been always the critical buy criteria...if i can find a solution which serves me better, more and faster, do i need Notes any more?