In our rush for the new – lets not forget the good stuff we already have

I have just come across a post by Eric Mack describing a customer who was considering scrapping Lotus Notes,  it didn’t take long for Eric to help them realise just how much value Notes was and could deliver to them. 

I told  them that I thought they should switch away from Notes. I offered to help them make a shopping list of what they would need to purchase to match their current capabilities.
Half way through helping them with the shopping list, someone said, “But our [Lotus Notes system] already does all of that.”

We often forget in our rush to adopt new tools just how good the ones we have already are, if only we put some effort into learning how to use and then exploit them. 

It’s coincidental that I have a few recent posts on the same topic where I look back on the value of email and networked file systems when used correctly, compared to collaborative workspaces when used inappropriately and also the fact that Excel 2003 could already do many of the things I like most about Excel 2007 but just didn’t know how to do.

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

2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    One problem with this approach is that users are easthetically and ergonomically aware. If they think the application looks clunky, or their friends down the road use something that looks much nicer then it doesn’t take long for a groundswell of, potentially misinformed opinion, to reach the point that the CEO begins to take notice. I discussed this with legac Domino applications here.

    The same is true for consumer devices, transportation (especially cars) and the everyday brands and products we purchase. Take washing powder … same look and feel as it was 20 years ago and may work a little better now but you package the box with the same print and logos from the 1980’s and I would expect you’d sell less. So although I agree with what you say in that get the most out of the products you have before moving on the I still feel the skin of the application and the way it is presented to the user is more important to them than the functions they don’t use.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I guess it depends a little on the update cycle and your target market, in the enterprise infrastructure world where we can go years between updates, we need to keep surfacing incremental value to them, often the capability to do this is already in the products they have, if only they new that they could ask for it.

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