We live in interesting times.

Yesterday it was announced that HCL Technologies will purchase the IP (intellectual property) of seven IBM-owned products, including Notes/Domino, Sametime and Connections, for a total of 1.8 billion dollar.

HCL and IBM already had a partnership on the product development side, with HCL doing the development and support with IBM still owning the products and handling sales and marketing. Now HCL is fully in charge of the product, and is not tied down by what IBM decides.

As soon as the HCL-IBM agreement was announced last year, HCL aggressively went on the offensive. They announced not one but two additional versions of Notes and Domino. Domino 10 was delivered just two months ago, and version 11 is promised in 2019.

HCL reached out to business partners and IBM Champions, as well as to the rest of the user community, to get feedback about what features were the most critical. Despite the quick release of Domino 10, a number of suggested features were included, as were several other impressive improvements.

Notable among these features is the new (and extremely fast) Domino Query Language as we as support for node.js through the domino-db module. On the administration side there were several improvements that will lower the TCO (total cost of ownership).

HCL has already announced several so called Jams in the near future to collect feedback on what the users want to see in the upcoming Domino 11.

So what does yesterday’s announcement mean for the future of Notes, Domino and Connections? I belive it will be extremely beneficial. HCL can take the products where they want them, adding functions requested by small and medium sized businesses instead of focusing on what a few very large customers wants, which is what IBM seemed to do.

By adding back low-code/no-code development into the core product, the citizen developers can again be engaged to create simple applications for their own or their department’s use. If they then need more advanced functions they can hand the application over to a traditional developer for further enhancements. This is what Notes looked like in the beginning, back in the early to mid 90’s. This is the strength of the platform, and what brought it its success.

The weakness of Notes and Domino has always been IBM:s (seemingly) lack of understanding of the product, and how it fits smaller and medium sized businesses. By going back to the original use of Domino, combined with HCL:s focus on on-premises (as opposed to IBM:s attempt to move everything to the cloud, despite what the customers want), I think HCL can bring a new life to Notes and Domino, and combine Collaborations into the mix. I can see an upcoming release of Collaboration where the data lives in a Domino database.

So for any Domino and Connections customers and business partners, I think the future looks bright. My belief is that HCL will bring new life and new functionality into the products.

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IBM Champions for 2017 announced

A few hours ago IBM announced the 2017 IBM Champions for ICS during the Dominopoint conference in Italy. This year 123 were picked, including 44 new Champions. An IBM Champion is a non-IBMer who evangelize IBM solutions and share their knowledge at conferences, on blogs, in forums, and in other ways. Congratulations to everyone picked, and a special welcome to the new Champions!

I was fortunate enough to be picked for a fourth year. It is a huge honor. Thank you Amanda, Libby and of course IBM.

On a related note, Amanda Bauman last week described how she and the IBM team used IBM Connections as a tool to reduce the time needed by the selection committee from 6 weeks to just 3. This is interesting reading, as it shows how Connections can be used for collaboration all over the world and save a lot of time.

This time, I pulled all of the unique nominees into an Ideation Blog in a dedicated IBM Champion selection community on Connections Cloud.
Each nominee had their own entry in the Ideation blog, complete with all of the nomination data received for that nominee. Including twitter handles, blog links, YouTube, and a listing from various people about their contributions. Over 70 IBMers were invited to review, validate contributions, and post their comments to the Ideation Blog. Where an IBMer was listed as a reference, that IBMer was invited to vote, comment, and support your nomination.

Connections is a really powerful tool, and I wish I could have convinced my old workplace to start using it. I pushed for it for years, but it was never adopted, for different reasons.t is a


October Community Webcast – Wednesday October 15

This Wednesday it is again time for the monthly ICS community webcast. This month’s guest speaker will be Luis Guirigay, IBM SME for Social, Mobile and Cloud.

Below is the description of the webcast agenda.

Never before has there been more opportunity for IBM Notes Domino Enterprises! Join Luis Guirigay to learn about the latest tools that will help your company get the most of the Domino platform and increase your ROI. Step through all of the latest user experience options in IBM Notes, Domino, and iNotes, and Traveler that will take your company to the next level of social email. Step through the benefits and options to access mail and apps in the cloud and get the lowdown on the IBM Connections Cloud (formerly IBM SmartCloud) offering. Get the latest information on IBM Mail Next and how the Design Advisory Program is going.

Read more here and register here.


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