This article has been in draft mode for several months and I thought the timing was right to publish it. First let me state that my love affair and relationship with IBM Notes and Domino is now in it’s twenty-first year. So much of my identity as an adult has been tied to the people and technology involved with Notes/Domino. Whether it was my work at Underwriters Laboratories, OpenNTF, SHARP, Taking Notes, Elguji or my consulting customers; everything I did was intertwined together with Notes/Domino being the common thread. I am writing at this time to share the current “state of the union” as it pertains to IBM’s Notes and Domino.
Here is the first part of my address which, focusses on the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) and Business Partner ecosystems. Frankly, it’s the shortest section of my address. The next part will focus on IBM Notes and Domino customers and my thoughts on what they should be planning for.
The State of the ISV and Business Partners
First let me speak from an ISV and Business Partner perspective. Elguji and our IdeaJam software created an amazing opportunity to sell a packaged software application for IBM Domino. We set out in 2007 to prove a few points. The first point was to prove that Domino was an extremely capable environment for creating Web 2.0 apps. Secondly, we were fortunate to have sold a lot of licenses. To this day we continue to sell and improve both our IdeaJam and IQJam products.
It’s no secret that the overall ISV market has drastically shrunk. Sure there are some great ISV offerings out there to help manage Notes and Domino infrastructures, mobile app and other development tools, but its not like what we had say 10 years ago with hundreds of ISVs. One of the things that I hoped would happen and didn’t, was that a web app ecosystem would have developed. Especially with the introduction of XPages and the IBM XWork server. I am aware of a few ISV’s who have created vertical apps with XPages and the XWork server who are doing quite well. This is awesome.
A new PaaS offering was announced at IBM Connect 2014 based on SoftLayer however, I’m not really seeing this as a play for ISV’s to create cloud apps. Much like hosting market leader Prominic do today (and do it very well – Elguji is a happy customer).
The number of exhibitors at the annual IBM Connect (Lotusphere) Product Showcase has also gone down significantly. Frankly, I didn’t recognize many of the exhibitor names at this years conference. Sure, the big ones like Panagenda, Teamstudio, Ytria, BCC and others were there, but not the dozens that used to exhibit.
It was a rich app ecosystem that helped propel the adoption and allure of Notes and Domino in the enterprise. So the question becomes: How can this be turned around or changed? At this point, I’m not quite sure if it can or even needs to be changed. Is there even a need for 3rd party products and apps?
What are your thoughts?
Part 2 coming soon.