LotusLive Notes - Why this is just the tip of the iceberg

August 16 2010

Last week, IBM announced LotusLive Notes, the cloud (hosted) version of IBM Notes & Domino. I didn't have time to blog about it last week, so here is a reply of what took place.

First, Ed announced LotusLive Notes. You can also read the IBM press release for IBM LotusLive Notes and IBM Lotus Notes & Domino 8.5.2. Both are coming August 24th, 2010. Then, reporting from a blogger conference call, Tom, Peter, John Roling, and Nathan wrote their thoughts and impressions - and some questions - about the announcements. Nathan wrote about how this really is just the Lotus Domino we all know and love - and why tha tis a good thing.

So I can share now, I have been participating in the LotusLive Notes beta. But to highlight how 'real Domino' this really is - I just added a new location to 8.5.2 CD5 and created a connection document to the LotusLive Notes servers. Everything else worked just like Notes. I added the LotusLive community to Sametime - and that was up and running immediately. Not the ideal beta test for the IBMers running the beta for LotusLive Notes - they want people who are starting fresh to test the on boarding process as much as possible - but it worked well for me.

But what LotusLive Notes is to me is the idea of what can come far more than what we are getting on August 24th - and in the one or two releases we get before Lotusphere 2011. There are a lot of things that we can not do with LotusLive Notes today. My immediate want list includes:

1. Lotus Connectors support that allows me to use LotusLive Engage Files just like I use Quickr today.
2. Company and Cross Company (clients, partners, IBM) groups on LotusLive Sametime that auto-populate
3. Lotus Symphony with IBM Project Concorde and LotusLive Engage Files integration
4. More robust integration with LotusLive Engage and the Notes client in terms of contact and calendar sync - I have about 3400 contacts in my address book. The LotusLive Engage Contact plug-in breaks for me routinely
5. Custom mail templates
6. Support for Lotus Connection functionality in LotusLive Engage - communities, blogs, bookmarks, etc

And the final item on my wish list is support for applications. I want to take my custom applications, create replicas on the LotusLive Domino server, and point the user to them. But that is what everyone wants. The entire industry is trying to get custom business applications into the cloud. Microsoft has BPOS for email and things like Azure and Sharepoint and Live for apps. Google has great cloud email and the Google App Engine for cloud based apps. In all cases, email is far more successful than anything else. Google adds calendar, maps, and the rest of their web app empire to the offering. But no one has gotten cloud apps right at this point. While I think the offerings that hosting companies like Connectria and Prominic offer, and excited about the idea of what Group Live + Nathan's Genesis project could bring us. But no one has a complete cloud based application model that can replace the on premises version. The promise of business applications in the cloud is just not here yet. I know there is a bunch of start-ups doing horizontal and vertical solutions. Google, Microsoft, and IBM (and even Oracle) are building platforms to make this happen. Salesforce.com is the most successful but I still don't hear of folks completely replacing big business process applications. Sure, stuff like NetSuite allows you to do timeslips and expense reports - but not operations department level stuff. New Business Processes and large system project management. No one is doing that in the cloud successfully that I know of.

So as excited about LotusLive Notes as I am, the future of the cloud is where my attention is focused. A good first step by IBM. Now we just need the next step. Hopefully we will learn more at Lotusphere 2011.