The announcement that HCL has purchased certain IBM products for $1.8 billion has spurred a lot of speculation and questions this week. I have been asked “what is your take on this?” many times, so here goes.
My company has provided consulting services on the IBM Collaboration portfolio for the past 18.5 years, so IBM Domino/Notes/Sametime/Traveler/Verse have been near and dear to my heart for a number of years. When I heard the announcement, my reaction was, YES!!!!!!!
From my perspective that partnership has been a huge success on many fronts, with the biggest one being a new release of the Domino product, 10.0. This is the first new release of the product since 2013. This isn’t just a new release, it’s an amazing release! The amount of new functionality provided in Domino 10 has the magnitude to encompass the quantity of combined new function provided in releases 7, 8, 8.5, and 9.x. That is a staggering amount! The hand-cuffs came off in Domino 10, HCL allowed the developers to do things they have wanted to do the past 10 years. And it really shows.
In July I was one of the few privileged partners, ISVs, and customers who were invited to HCL headquarters for their first “Factory Tour.” This was an opportunity to meet and work directly with the product leads and developers of IBM Domino/Notes/Sametime/Traveler/Verse to get an “under the covers” glimpse of the new release while providing our input and feedback regarding what should be incorporated in follow-on releases. During the Factory Tour, we also heard directly from the management team. The message was crystal clear: they understand the value of the product, how integral it is for solving a number of business problems, and their commitment to ensuring the success and longevity of the product.
I have also seen this reflected in the HCL development team. These are the original Iris and Lotus developers. When you talk to them about their experience in working for HCL, their eyes light up; their passion for the software they work on shines through so brightly. They are like kids in a candy store, except rather than gorging themselves on sugary snacks, they are cranking out kick-ass functionality.
With all of this being the result of the HCL/IBM partnership, when I heard HCL was buying Domino and its associated collaboration products, I jumped for joy. Now HCL has not only development and support of the collaboration stack, with the purchase, it now owns marketing and sales. To me this is really huge as I do not believe it’s any secret that IBM can’t market its way out of wet paper bag.
With that being said, huge applause goes out to Andrew Manby and his team for the incredible work they have done with the Domino 10 launch events, they have been absolutely stellar. As with the developers and support personnel having transitioned from IBM to HCL with the partnership agreement, I am hopeful with this purchase agreement the same will hold true for the talented people that have gotten IBM Domino noticed again and started the much-needed public resuscitation of the product line to the world.
For those of you who are responsible for Domino in your companies and want to get a leg up on how you can ensure you are getting the most out of your environment while learning about features and functions that are most critical to implement along with tips and tricks from an “in the trenches” perspective, I have created a web education offering that is available at www.common.org/domino
This education offering has a bonus module on the key enhancements in Domino 10 including automatic cluster database symmetry and repair, replica synchronization tool and concurrency monitoring, along with hot view updating and note deletion logging. This education offering came about based on concerns I was hearing from attendees and colleagues while speaking at conferences: “conferences only offer sessions on the very latest and greatest, but what about all of the other things I should be doing on a regular basis that are never talked about anymore”. I took this input and put together a “boot camp” for Domino administrators to cover all of the crucial elements Domino administrators should be aware of while adding in expertise from years of boots on the ground experience that help to accelerate any administrator to the top of their ranks.
I would also like to bring your attention to another aspect of the HCL acquisition of IBM Domino and its affiliated products, the significance of HCL’s commitment to bringing back “the community.” HCL has started a Client Advocacy program that is part of it’s Collaboration Community (https://www.cwpcollaboration.com/). HCL is going out of their way to engage with their customers, partners, and ISVs to understand what their requirements are, using that input to shape future versions of the product. I hope you take this opportunity to Join The Community.
As I wrap up this article, I want to address IBM Domino and the IBM i. As many of you are aware, the past few years have a been a bit tenuous when it came to the commitment to IBM Domino on the IBM i. I am extremely happy to report this is no longer the case. HCL is fully committed to IBM Domino support on the IBM i and has been actively hiring additional IBM i developers as they have made it extremely clear the IBM i is one of their strategic platforms!
You may be wondering why Domino 10.0 is not available on the IBM i at the time of my writing this article. This is due to two main items: 1) not having enough IBM i developers on staff, therefore their active recruitment of additional developers and 2) the reality of all of the “legalese” involved in moving not only people but also the associated hardware the developers need in order to deploy and test the software to ensure customers have a rock-solid experience when they upgrade to Domino 10. So while we may not have Domino 10.0 on the IBM i today, we will have it soon!
To keep up with all of the amazing things happening with Domino and its fellow products, check out and subscribe to Destination Domino: https://www.ibm.com/collaboration/ibm-domino
The future is Yellow. Long live domino!! #dominoforever #WeAreDomino
Kim Greene is president of Kim Greene Consulting, Inc. specializing in providing consulting services for the IBM Collaboration Solutions portfolio for IBM i (formerly AS/400, iSeries, System i), Windows, and Linux. Kim has over 15 years of experience with IBM Domino and 20 years of experience with the AS/400, iSeries, and i5 platforms. Kim specializes in installing and configuring Domino, Sametime and Connections servers, providing performance analysis, system and application tuning, health checks and security reviews, upgrades and migrations, disaster recovery assessments, high availability solutions, and customized application development.
Kim is also expanding the business to include services related to the fastest growing NoSQL database, MongoDB. Areas of specialization include architecture, performance, and security in addition to skill transfer.
Want to learn more about utilizing Domino? Kim Greene has a COMMON Boot Camp – Domino Administration: The Essentials. Check it out today!