Monday 22 December 2008

The Lotus Notes Client outside the Organisation - an Idea

I was having a bit of a chinwag with several of our Notesian colleagues around the letter published on the HMNL blog by Ian J Free addressed to Steve Mills of the IBM Software group. His open letter presents a case for IBM to transform the Notes.Domino product line into and Open Source, Community Developement Offering.

It is an interesting post that makes some challenging points, some of which I agree with other whilst interesting I cannot see either happening or being sucessful were they to be actioned by IBM but that may just be me being cynical ... but go have a read at the letter and make your own mind up.

However this did set me to thinking. I was asked on Thursday last week by a colleague at work "Is it possible to use Notes Client at home as his mail /PIM client?" when pushed for a reason why he wanted to do that his response was that he was used to using notes for email, tasks,calendar , journals and other out of the box templates at work and he would like to have continuity between work and home (where he used Outlook). Mostly he WAS that impressed with the Notes V8 client (V8.0.2). Needless to say the cost put him off.

Which made me wonder if this idea would fly?
When you get a proper license for Notes at work, why not have a "If-you-want-you-can-use-it-at-home" license as well, this would be a SMTP/POP client with no links into the company Notes domain(s).

With the advent of Symphony which I have installed on quite a few home PCs for friends and relatives as a much much more functional (and free) replacement for M$ Works (which seems to come bundled with every PC at the minute) why not have a SMTP/POP notes client in symphony with contacts,mail,tasks and calendar. It wont need all the bells and whistles of the full client as it is never going to talk to a server, but will allow the home user to build a relationship with Notes that moves beyond the @work sphere of their lives. It is the relationship that users have built with M$ products at home that is part of the interia that has and still slows acceptance of Lotus products in the work place.

I know I could "sell" this concept to lots of users at work and many more from home.

Anyway it was just a thought...

** Update ** I have popped an idea onto IdeaJam if you want to vote on this idea ..

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