The power of the blog.

The Radicati group recently published a report titled

“IBM Lotus & Microsoft–Corporate Messaging Market Analysis” (June 2004), available at www.radicati.com/reports/single.shtml.

Its a truly awful report, as many people have commented.  It breaks all normal reporting rules:

  1. It does not compare like with like
  2. It commends Microsoft for the same things it criticises Lotus for
  3. It does not provide its sources
  4. It uses emotive language to commend Microsoft and Criticise lotus

I actually looked forward to reading it when I first heard it had come out because I had some concerns over Lotus Workplace and how Lotus Notes/Domino would transition to the new architecture.  However the report was so biased I ended up feeling much more positive about Lotus than I had before.  The basis for my change of view “IBM must be on to something with Workplace if such bad analysis is the only tool available to make Microsoft look good”.  I was also left even more uncertain over what Microsoft is up to with Exchange, as I have already blogged on here and here.

The last straw for me in this report was the criticism of IBM/Lotus over migration to Workplace and the commendation of Microsoft on the same issue, lets look at a few examples:

  1. How seamless was the migration from Exchange 5.* to Exchange 200*, having just done a major project to do this the answer is NOT VERY, admittedly it was a pretty complex environment that we migrated, (with lots of consolidation and some Lotus Notes migration as well).
  2. How easy is it to migrate from SharePoint Portal Server 1, using the Web Store to SharePoint Portal server 2003 using SQL Server.  Impossible without significant loss of functionality.
  3. How easy will it be for developers who used the Microsoft’s Web Storage System, touted by MS as a “Notes Killer – ha ha ha”, to a future version of Exchange based on SQL Server, (pretty near impossible probably, if Microsoft failed to do it themselves with SPS what hope does anyone else have!)
  4. Who believes that the Migration from Exchange Public folders to some future SQL server based environment like Windows SharePoint Services is going to be seamless!

The bottom line is that Microsoft’s record in document management and collaboration type technologies is appalling, with very little strategic continuity and even less product compatibility.  Lotus’s record is second to none.

I am guessing that the Radicati group wished they had never gone near this subject, it has damaged their credibility no end.  What is interesting is the power of blogging in bringing this issue to the fore and brutally analysing this flawed work in public.  If you want to read the gory details follow this trail:

http://sharedspaces.typepad.com/blog/2004/07/response_to_the.html

http://www.edbrill.com/ebrill/edbrill.nsf/dx/07232004073204AMEBRFJL.htm

http://www.radicati.com/response.html

Eric Mack as always does a superb job of pulling the whole topic together in his blog

http://www.ericmackonline.com/emo/emonline.nsf/dx/dr-radicati-responds-sort-of

And IBM finally gets around to a formal response, which is the final nail in the coffin:

http://www.lotus.com/lotus/offering1.nsf/wdocs/c3b85eec9126b30885256ee4006c9003

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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