Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Technical training for Lotus Foundations?

There are two faces to Lotus Foundations Server.

For the SMB owners and their system administrators I stand by my tag line, 'Lotus Foundations: It's easier than you think". For the consultants and integrators who are looking to present, advise on, and sell LFS the road is a bit steeper. Most Lotus Business Partners can talk till the cows come home about the technical issues involved in configuring and running a Notes/Domino installation since we know it backwards, forwards and six ways from Sunday (as we should).

Lotus Foundations is a different story.

I don't mind the challenge. To be completely candid, none of the recent developments in Domino had really pushed my buzz button the way that Notes Release 1.0 did in the late 1980s or that Lotusscript did in the mid 1990s. I can certainly see a place for Composite Applications, X-Pages and Unified Communications etc. in the IT market and good luck to everyone in those arenas. For me, the buzz is with Lotus Foundations Server.

So I'm looking forward to the upcoming battle between Lotus Foundations Server and Microsoft SBS 2008/EBS 2008. What would *really* help is some deep-dive technical training from Lotus. For the past few months I've been beavering away at learning the nuts and bolts of LFS with the friendly and supremely competent assistance of the LFS support Team in Canada. What can't change overnight is that the focus of my consulting work has been on software development and server administration with Lotus Domino rather than issues of Firewalls, IP addressing, scheduling Backups etc. Sure, I know how it all works, but in the past configuring those tools has always been a task for my OS-obsessed colleagues. Now I need to know it all.

I read Daniele Vistalli's recent blog entry with more than a twinge of envy. It's great to see Lotus getting the worldwide training machine underway. My questions are:
  • When is the rest of the world going to get this briefing/training?
  • If it's not going to be available in Australia anytime soon, can we at least get the slideware?
  • How is IBM going to match the... "Microsoft plans to train more than 25,000 partners through events and online tools" campaign reported by ITWorld?
Now I take Microsoft's press releases with a large lick of salt - even if they did have 25,000 current Business Partners actively promoting their SMB products (and I doubt all of those assumptions), they are still working with technology designed for larger enterprises and shoehorned into the SMB market. Their products can be outsold by a properly equipped Lotus Business Partner community.

To quote Winston Churchill...
"Give us the tools and we will finish the job."


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