Remember the first time you used IBM Lotus Notes, or an application built on top of Notes? It’s kind of a quaint memory, isn’t it? Like the first time you used the World Wide Web or installed an app on your phone.
Maybe you could see the potential in the platform and started thinking about how Notes apps could replace the hodgepodge of spreadsheets and documents floating around your work group. Notes has indeed shown promise over the years, but businesses now discover that same potential and promise in SharePoint rather than in Notes. If they are just embarking on collaboration and enterprise app development, they are starting with SharePoint, not with Notes. And if they have Notes, they are migrating away from it toward SharePoint.
In our last post, we outlined the first three business benefits of transitioning from Notes to SharePoint. In this post we’ll pick up where we left off and outline the last two arguments in favor of migration: long-term business strategy, and mergers and acquisitions.
Long-term business strategy
The trend toward moving business applications into a web portal means easier access for users (tighter integration, common look and feel) and easier management for administrators (security, compliance). Notes does not fit well in this picture, and more organizations are struggling to keep their legacy Notes deployment on par with a forward-looking technology strategy that needs to support several business goals:
- Innovation – As the dominant provider of enterprise software, Microsoft continues to upgrade functionality in products like SharePoint, Office and Dynamics. Contrast this with IBM’s attempts to keep Notes relevant in the changing landscape of information management software.
- Agility – Enterprise-wide adoption often starts out small, with an application catching on in one department and steadily gaining popularity in others. While Notes was designed for success at the work group level only, Microsoft technologies fully support this kind of evolution, from Access through SharePoint to a .NET app, for example.
- Recruiting and retaining talent – The technology on a company’s desktop represents an important differentiator. Which would you rather tell a prospective employee during an interview: “We run on SharePoint,” or “We’re a Notes shop?” You and they both know that their career and résumé will benefit more from riding a technology wave than from treading water. SharePoint also supports mobile better than Notes does, appealing more to job candidates looking for flexibility in how, when and where they do their job.
Mergers and acquisitions
With Microsoft’s dominance in the enterprise, companies expect to see its software running on the desktops and servers of other companies. When the goal of a merger or acquisition is to reduce costs, the ease of consolidating on Microsoft products is a no-brainer. What company would be pleased to tell its IT group that it was absorbing a Lotus Notes implementation as part of a merger?
Is a migration from IBM Lotus Notes to SharePoint in your future? You’ll probably find that legacy users and legacy applications are the two biggest hurdles to overcome. Despite some inertia around learning a new interface, most users embrace the productivity gains in short order. And even a large application portfolio can be migrated from Notes to SharePoint with the right tools.
Have a look at our recent blog post, “Learn what @DellSoftware customers have to say about Dell Lotus Notes migration solutions” and read our entire paper, “Business Benefits of Transitioning from Lotus Notes to SharePoint” for ways to get the conversation started in your organization.
But really, what do you think about SharePoint, Notes and migration? Let me know in the comments below.