Sunday, July 26, 2009

Why isn't Lotus Traveller available for Lotus Foundations Server?

IIRC correctly the average Lotus Foundations Server sale included 20 client licenses which makes me think that IBM/Lotus should be focusing on software enhancements that appeal to that size of business.

Lotus Foundations Branch Office gave us the ability to replicate from a Foundations server to a Head Office Domino server and that's a valid enhancement. IMHO the inclusion of VMWare enhancement was also a good move. It neatly meets any customer objection that they still need to run some specialized archaic software on their primary production server.

So I've been impressed with the early moves for LFS but now I'm thinking Lotus is heading down a strange path. The upcoming Foundations Reach will give us instant messaging and presence awareness, point to point VoIP and video chat capabilities. Now all of those are good things but are they really make or break points for purchases in the SMB market?

On the other hand almost every customer (and potential customer) for Lotus Foundations has been bugging me about Lotus Traveller for months and from what I can tell we won't be seeing that product on Foundations this side of Christmas and maybe a few months after. I know Traveller needs to be ported to Linux - my question is, why did SameTime get ported first?

Is Lotus trying to catch a larger share of the 20 user market or are they more interested in repositioning Foundations for a larger company? Whatever the reason, the lack of Traveller will probably scuttle at least one Foundations sale for me (hopefully I'll be able to sell the customer a Domino server on the rebound).

I'm not understanding the Lotus strategy here. If we're trying to capture the SMB market then I'd have thought that including Traveller (and maybe a bundled copy of Eric Mack's e-Productivity template) would be the sort of chrome that would appeal to the SMB CEO. Instead of that we get Sametime and Video Chat.

I'm sure Lotus know more about marketing to SMB than I do, but I sure wish they'd explain what they're thinking.
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7 comments:

robwi11s said...

I agree 100% and posted an Idea right after Lotusphere about that here. I guess it is because Traveler is "free" and they therefore don't see the revenue. I say that including Traveler as a free add-on to Foundations will drive sales exponentially. It will also help larger domino shops that standardise on Linux servers to throw out another Windows server.

PalmiLord said...

I know that with Traveler it would be a better package to sell - I hope someone at IBM is reading this

John said...

isn't the foundation server just a Domino server running on Linux? Traveler doesn't run on Linux yet. So they have to port Traveler first and then my guess is it will get added. Just like Quickr - which does not have a linux server offering.

Graham Dodge said...

@John: Foundations is a heck of a lot more than a Domino server running on Linux but that answer will do for the moment. As I said in the post - "I know Traveller needs to be ported to Linux - my question is, why did SameTime get ported first?"

Henning Heinz said...

Maybe this is the/one reason
http://www.infoworld.com/t/communication-and-collaboration/ibm-pledges-1-billion-unified-communications-077
At least 1 billion is an argument. Traveller is just a Domino task, parts of Sametime are used in other IBM applications too.

Steven Vaughan said...

I have done numerous customer demo's for Foundations Start and in 90% of cases the client wants mobile email push technology. I HUGE gap in the Foundations Start offering as far as I'm concerned.

Seriously, if IBM do bundle Traveler with Foundations Start it will really really take off.

leon said...

Thats a good point. There are lots of alternative for Instant Messaging for the customers. Even they use MSN to cover it. But Mobility is the one they need for free. This could be a good shot.