Lotus Quickr Connectors - IBM it’s time to take these seriously

October 4 2010

Now that IBM Lotus Quickr 8.5 has shipped, it is time for a bit of commentary on the Lotus Quickr Connectors. I covered the Quickr 8.5 release in these posts last month.

For many users, their main interaction with IBM Lotus Quickr is thru the Lotus Quickr Connectors. The Connectors install on your (windows) machine and allow you to interact directly with places. The connectors allow the Lotus Notes client to save files from emails directly to Quickr. They allow users to have a plug-in for direct access to the files without using the web interface.


Image:Lotus Quickr Connectors - IBM it’s time to take these seriously

Lotus Quickr Connector Toolbar in the Notes client

Image:Lotus Quickr Connectors - IBM it’s time to take these seriously

Lotus Quickr Connector Sidebar Plug-in in the Notes client


The Lotus Quickr Connectors also integrate with Lotus Symphony (both the embedded version with the Notes client and the stand alone install).

Image:Lotus Quickr Connectors - IBM it’s time to take these seriously

Lotus Quickr Connector Plug-in for the embedded version of Lotus Symphony


Image:Lotus Quickr Connectors - IBM it’s time to take these seriously

The Lotus Quickr Connectors plug-in for Lotus Sametime Stand-alone client

Image:Lotus Quickr Connectors - IBM it’s time to take these seriously

Image:Lotus Quickr Connectors - IBM it’s time to take these seriously

Image:Lotus Quickr Connectors - IBM it’s time to take these seriously

The Lotus Quickr Connectors add-in for Microsoft Office

Image:Lotus Quickr Connectors - IBM it’s time to take these seriously

Image:Lotus Quickr Connectors - IBM it’s time to take these seriously
The Lotus Quickr Connectors add-in for Microsoft Outlook

Image:Lotus Quickr Connectors - IBM it’s time to take these seriously

The Lotus Quickr Connectors Task Panel inside a new e-mail message in Microsoft Outlook

Now, a couple of details from my usage:

1. I use Microsoft Office 2010, but the Lotus Quickr Connectors Add-in for Microsoft Office only supports 2007. Good thing is everything seems to work in 2010 without issue.
2. Notice I did not show you the Windows Explorer integration. My laptop is Windows 7 64 bit and the Lotus Quickr Connector Plug-in for Windows Explorer does not support 64 bit Windows.

So now that 8.5 is out, there are a bunch of issues that Lotus needs to address:

1. The Lotus Quickr Connector needs to support 64 bit Windows
2. The Lotus Quickr Connector needs to support Office 2010
3. Where are the plug-ins for supporting files within Lotus Connections or LotusLive (both LotusLive Engage and LotusLive Connections)
4. The Lotus Quickr Connector needs to support the Mac and Linux operating systems

The main issue I have with the Lotus Quickr Connectors is that they always feel to be a year behind everything else. From operating system and software support to comparison to their competitors. My customers compare the Lotus Quickr Connectors to the integration built between Windows, Office, and SharePoint. Yes, those all come from the same company. But it is the what customers measure against. DomDoc customers measure against the old Domino.Doc Desktop Enabler. And others use Dropbox for their file interaction with their operating system and editor applications. In comparison tests, the Lotus Quickr Connectors routinely end up 3rd or 4th on the list.

IBM needs to make some changes to how they handle the Connectors. Here are some thoughts:

1. Break the Connectors away from the Quickr product team and release schedule
2. Update the Connectors on a much faster pace to get support for Windows, Office, Symphony, Notes, etc within a quarter of those products updating
3. Use the Connectors to be the sole plug-in for all Lotus server products and cloud offerings. I should get access to all of my files, no matter which IBM product I am using, in one window. Better yet, if I am using QuickrD, QuickrJ, Connections, and LotusLive, I should get all of them as 'places' in the Connector
4. Work harder on other OS support - customers have been waiting for 3 years for any sign of a release for the Mac or Linux
5. Spend more time on user interface guidelines for other applications. Look at the Microsoft Outlook Add-in. We have large icon, small icons, strange labels, and poor use of space. Whomever laid this out has never spent any serious time working with the Microsoft Office ribbon.
6. Go back to the DomDoc Desktop Enabler and look at how that worked 10 YEARS AGO. Many features are missing that should never have been left out.
7. Add some advanced Microsoft Office Backstage functionality

IBM Lotus Quickr 8.5 is a major release for the product. I think for the first time, IBM has a low impact (read: no WebSphere required) competitor to Microsoft SharePoint. It is unfortunate that the IBM Lotus Quickr Connectors do not measure up to the same level of quality and functionality.

10 Responses to “Lotus Quickr Connectors - IBM it’s time to take these seriously”

  1. 1) Miguel Angel Calvo says:

    John,

    I would also add Citrix support for the Quickr Connectors. There are workarounds for making them work, but it needs to be officially supported by IBM for customers to take them into account.

    Regards,

  2. 2) Darren Duke says:

    A wholehearted +1 for both John's comments and @1 too.

  3. 3) Matthias says:

    John,

    completely agree. I couldnt believe that the connectors do not work on win7 64bit explorer. Installed and saw that pity and even the ugly error message when you right click in the tray icon and then in the menu on explorer.

    Well, Win7 64Bit is first since one year on the market, so they still have some time. *irony mode off*

  4. 4) Jan Elvegård says:

    I totally agree with your comments. I would also like to be able to access Lotus Connections Activities through a connector in Windows and Outlook/Office (as you can do in Lotus Notes).

  5. 5) David Schaffer says:

    Thank you; completely agree. DomDoc ran on Domino. Quickr runs on Domino. Why are the connectors so feeble compared to the the old DomDoc desktop integration all these years later? Any why is this the only piece of Lotus technology still not available on Mac and Linux?

  6. 6) Dan Sickles says:

    I agree. For many users, Connectors IS Quickr...or from their perspective, Connectors IS Places. The Web UI is for searching.

  7. 7) Dave Much says:

    I couldn't agree with you more on all your comments. The windows 7 64 bit explorer is becoming a bigger issue.

  8. 8) Mac Guidera says:

    John, I don't think you will find anyone that will disagree with your points here, including myself. Thanks for posting on our new capabilities and your continued feedback. We'll be working to continue to improve this offering and are certainly taking this seriously.

    Anyone looking for documentation on what's in this release, please head to our wiki.

    { Link }

    If you'd like to weigh-in on feature functions, please keep IdeaJam in mind. We're listening.

    { Link }

    -Mac

  9. 9) Eric Lohry says:

    John, We installed Quickr connectors 8.5 and were surprised to find that the "new" way of accessing certain files involves multiple clicks and web-only management. A file that includes text is considered a "post" and is accessed through Quickr ONLY through the web, cutting off any simple editing. Although this "feature" can be selected by the default method in which a file is added to a place, we found that files that have versioning enabled are automatically considered posts and so are only accessible through the web! You can't even send a link to the document from Connectors, only a link to the web page! read the discussion thread here: { Link }

    I also agree that DomDoc had many features that we really miss. For example: if you saved a draft, it is saved as a X.1 version (versioning was more sophisticated and user friendly). We also liked the "Breifcase": { Link }

  10. 10) Pettrie de Bondt says:

    Already a year later and not much improvement.

    For me the:

    win7 64bit explorer integration

    has the highest priority

    please please IBM!

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