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IBM Challenges Gartner Group’s Credibility

Posted in Bill Gates, FUD, IBM, Microsoft at 2:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wine bottle by the fire

Summary: Microsoft is “probably popping champagne bottles this morning with [Gartner's] FUD they can stir up,” says IBM’s Ed Brill

FOR REASONS we gave here many times before, the Gartner Group has a serious conflict of interests. It serves clients rather than provide objective market analysis. Microsoft happens to be a major funding source to Gartner and Bill Gates is a Gartner investor (it’s easy to let a foundation deceive).

According to this report from IDG (Gartner competitor), IBM and Gartner are publicly arguing because Gartner keeps promoting Microsoft, which ripped off Lotus.

On Thursday, Gartner published a report called “Migrating off Notes/Domino e-mail may make sense in some circumstances,” saying that more Lotus customers come to Gartner for advice about moving to other e-mail systems.

The report is much ado about nothing, according to Brill, director of product marketing at IBM Lotus. A headline that better describes the content of the report would be: “Migrating off Notes/Domino doesn’t make sense in most circumstances,” according to Brill’s blog post. However, that name probably wouldn’t sell as much consulting time, Brill said.

Yes, Gartner produces reports for clients because it’s the only thing which pays the bill. It’s not as though it’s done objectively and we gave many examples before. To quote Brill, “My friends in Redmond are probably popping champagne bottles this morning with the FUD they can stir up.”

“Whether or not it actually represents ‘pay for play’ is, I suppose, in the eye of the individual but it is certainly true that many vendors refer to engagements with Gartner as ‘paying the analyst tax.’”

Mike Karp, Infrastructure Analytics analyst

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  1. JohnD said,

    August 16, 2010 at 9:56 am


    Google has done the same thing.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Do you happen to have a link?

  2. JohnD said,

    August 16, 2010 at 3:55 pm


    You should be able to do a search on edbrill.com
    He hit the highlights of what is wrong with their paper.

  3. JohnD said,

    August 17, 2010 at 7:09 am



    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Google, Microsoft, Novell and IBM are all proprietary in E-mail; let’s hope people/businesses embrace Free software (listing of options here).

  4. JohnD said,

    August 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm


    The post was about FUD which is why I sent the link. While Google is more friendly to FOSS than the others, they are still engaging in the same kind of FUD that M$ uses. Once companies find a good revenue stream they protect it at all costs.

  5. mcinsand said,

    August 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm


    My beef with Lotus Notes is not with its proprietary nature, although I will take free, as in freedom, over proprietary/lock-in if at all possible. My issue with Notes is simply that it sucks as a mail client. Where I have had any control, I have used only FOSS, whether, but, if told that I would have to use Notes for e-mail in order to use Linux or BSD, then I might actually go to Outlook/Vista. Notes really is that bad. The search functions don’t work reliably; there will be messages that I know are in my folders with certain keywords, and the search works 85-90% of the time in finding those messages, at best. If Notes crashes, the only way to restart without a reboot is to download a special utiilty for removing Notes crud out of memory. Incoming message filters are pretty much useless, if you want to set up Notes in the manner of Thunderbird for keyword sorting. At one company, we went to Notes after the PHB’s were sold on the idea of the (cool-sounding) utilities for sharing stored information. In the years that I was there, we didn’t set up one document for this sharing.

    JohnD Reply:

    Well the fact that someone didn’t use the system capabilities isn’t the fault of Notes or IBM. Notes has lagged the other mail clients in terms of functionality I’ll grant you that. The latest releases 8 and 8.5 have made great strides in catching up, but there’s still work to be done on that front. The client is now based upon Eclipse which allows it to run on any of the major OS platforms – I use it on SLED. Over the years most of the issues were more a result of people not understanding how Notes works than issues with the application itself. I’m not saying there weren’t bugs there always have been and always will be. Notes isn’t a mail client, it’s an application that does email. It really is a big distinction. It also didn’t help that IBM played catch up on a release then let it go for a release or two. Many requests have been made for them to come up with a Mail only client that matches the functionality of Outlook etc. Time will tell if the deliver on it. I have had issues where the indexes didn’t update correctly so things weren’t being found during a search a ctrl shift f9 usually fixed it and if that didn’t do it, just delete the index and rebuild it only takes a few seconds – small price to pay for a full text index over every document in the database – something other clients are only getting now. I have a client website that uses a full text index for product searches – works like a champ. Zap Notes is a little faster, but you can always kill threads via task manager – something I’ve had to do with other programs like Firefox and Thunderbird even on Linux.
    A month or two ago there was a bit going around about someone giving Howard Stern a hard time for using Notes and the guy just panned it like you did. Turns out he hadn’t actually seen Notes since release 6 and after Howard’s IBM rep showed him the latest – he revised his opinion. It’s not perfect, but it is getting better and where it really shines is in security (good enough for the White House, NSA, and the Federal Reserve) and workflow applications. When the Bush administration “lost” 30,000 emails – that was because of their switch from Notes to Exchange – Exchange just doesn’t have the same functionality that Notes does.

    mcinsand Reply:

    I think we’re in agreement; Notes isn’t a mail client ;>) Granted, none of our existing clients are perfect, but, when a client has to work to reach the level of Outlook, you really have to ask why they are bothering with it. You are right in that it’s not Notes’ fault that companies aren’t using it’s features, but Notes has sucked for more than a decade now at the main reason companies do use it: e-mail. Until someone fixes it, we have a duty to speak up.

    To be clear, I don’t want to demean what IBM has done for open source, but they would be better off promoting an e-mail client for e-mail and then liking Notes’ collaborative features with whatever client they settle on.

    JohnD Reply:

    That’s why I suggested checking out the 8.5 release stream – it’s a lot closer to Outlook functionality these days. Still a little short, but it’s also easier for M$ to update a mail only client and server than it is for IBM to update Notes and Domino given that Domino is a mail/application/web server all rolled into one. Another item most people overlook – you can run a Notes version 1 application on a Notes 8.5 client with no changes. Maintaining backward compatibility has always been at the top of the list.
    I’m all for speaking up when you think something is subpar or is just plain broken, but talking about releases several years gone is misleading – which gets back to this article on FUD. The Google statements are based upon older versions of Notes, not the current ones nor do they acknowledge things like LotusLive.
    Via EdBrill.com, IdeaJam, and openNTF IBM is finally starting to get feedback from the community and integrate those things into the client which is a big step in the right direction. One reason they tend to lag is that they switch focus between releases – one release is client focused with minor changes to the server and the next it’s reversed. One nice feature it seems they’ve finally gotten right is DAOS (Domino Attachment Object Store) – when multiple emails are sent or received with the same attachment the Domino server automatically removes the attachment and puts a single copy in the store and replaces it in the email with a link to the common object. The Outlook client is great, but the server side sucks big time – of course most people don’t care what happens behind the scenes…
    The collaborative features are what set it apart from the others $150/user gets you email, applications, and now integrated “office” features via Lotus Symphony – rebranding/retooling of OpenOffice so that it works within the Eclipse based client. These days I can access email, docs, spreadsheets within one window and I can do a drag and drop to put them in a Quickr space (i.e. the product that spawned Sharepoint). In lot’s of ways Lotus has lead in new technologies, but they are known more for what they didn’t maintain.

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