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The World NEXT ends 

So we seem to be seeing a real effort to develop & push Notes/Domino and related products (like Quickr, etc). That's good for everyone (even users of competitors' products).

The key problem for IBMotus is that they've waited so long to do this that (at least in US market), they starting a serious uphill battle against an entrenched & dominant adversary. This combined with the historically less-than-beautiful Notes client experience makes it hard to succeed.

In a nutshell example:
One discussion I just had: User is using a scanner successfully with Notes 6. They upgrade to Notes 8, and the scanner doesn't work any more. User comment: This is why Notes sucks.
Another discussion: User is using a scanner successfully with Outlook 2003. They upgrade to Outlook 2007, and the scanner doesn't work any more. User comment: This is why the scanner vendor sucks.

Lotus Knows it needs to change the way they are marketing the software that Lotus delivers. The smarter planet meme is ok, but it's really easy to ignore, and I gar-un-tee you that a lot of people say to themselves, "that's cool.", but when they are shopping for specific solutions IBMotus doesn't even enter their world view - because they have no way to know about the products.

We need to have marketing that directly shows how & why Lotus solutiosn are better. Not pie-in-the-sky stuff.

[ Lotus Knows you don't want email - you want to communicate ] and SHOW the actual software being used to communicate. So people will say - hey I can't do that with my current email client. I want THAT!

[ Lotus Knows how to keep your stuff safe - even if you building burns down ] and SHOW the actual software and how clustering is easy and saves the day. Compare it to the much much harder clustering from competitors.

The Smarter Planet and content-less Lotus Knows ads would be fine if Lotus was the market leader and everyone knew about how cool the current offers are.

Lotus Knows
it's not not the market leader (yet).

Lotus Knows
people need to be taught/shown what they can actually do with the software (because they don't know!)

Lotus Knows
people need to be taught/shown why & how specifically Lotus software is better then what they have and is NOT their father's Notes!  (because they don't know!)

Comments (3)
Craig Wiseman October 6th, 2009 09:44:16 AM

1) Does Lotus Know: How do you fight an entrenched opponent?
John Rowland 10/6/2009 11:18:17 AM

I know, Craig. It befuddles me why MS gets a pass on situations like you describe. It befuddles me even more why tech savvy users can't see that. I was having a "Why Notes?" or a "Let's get real about Outlook/Exchange" discussion with a site admin yesterday whose technical all hate Notes and want Outlook (they used it before at other jobs). I can give him ammo, like:

Guide to making Outlook faster than molasses...

{ Link }


An Exchange Admin takes a second look at Domino...

{ Link }

but in his position, with who he is dealing with, it's probably better he keeps his mouth shut. Arrrggh.

2) Does Lotus Know: How do you fight an entrenched opponent?
Timothy Briley 10/6/2009 1:28:14 PM

"This is why the vendor scanner sucks". This would really be funny if it didn't constantly bite Lotus in the butt.

3) Does Lotus Know: How do you fight an entrenched opponent?
Charles Robinson 10/6/2009 2:00:32 PM

I asked Bilal Jaffery about having some substance behind the trite "Lotus Knows" blurbs, specifically in response to his blog post "Lotus Knows Facebook" { Link } . His response was a marketing-y non-response, which wasn't completely unexpected but still disappointing.

I'm hoping the Lotus Knows campaign switches from sound bites to substance sometime soon.

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