Bonum Certa Men Certa

Enabling Exchange through detailed anaysis of Notes/Domino and DECS, IBM threat to Knowledge Workers

Date: 1996


>From the MICROS'1 dictionary of technical terms

'add additional semantics', verb ..

Clone something and copy it into your own apps.


From: Eric Lockard (Exchange) Friday, December 18, 1996 10:42 PM To: Bill Gates Cc: Kurt DelBene (Exchange); Jeff Teper Exchange); Gordon Mangoine Exchange); Mike Tuchen Exchange); Nat Bellou (Exchange); Darren Shakib (Exchange); Chris Larson (Exchange); Alex Hopmann (Exchange); Malcolm Paerson; Eric Rudder; Jim Allchin (Exchange); Bob Muglia (Exchange); David Vaskevitch (Exchange); Paul Flessner; Brian MacDonald; Paul Maritz; Jon DeVann; Russell Stockdale (Exchange); Dave Malcolm (Exchange) Subject Storage for Office


With the Platinum store, we are on the verge of achieving an integrated storage and application development environment, clients and server, in 1999, which would allow us to compete efectivly with Notes and Domino as well as bring tremendous advantages to Office and Windows users and developers. I also believe we could totally screw this up, lose momentum and lose years if we make the wrong decision at this crossroads.

Outlook, PKM, NetDocs, VSS and other groups have done the analysis - Platinum is fastest, safest, best way to get the right storage for Office and beat Notes which insures the value proposition of Office/ Windows over thin clients. We can make this happen in 1999. The Storage + alternative has merits but it has the same risks our previous strategic storage efforts faced. Lets bet on the thing that we know has been optimized for the scenarios we must address and do a great job of deve

Focusing on the right requirements

As a company, we need to make sure we focus on competing with Notes/ Domino. Too often in the storage debate, we get off track on what are the most important and immediate goals for storage unification. Running SAP on the same storage system as that used by Office or provided natively in Windows, while certainly important long-term, is not helping and potentially hindering competing with Lotus and providing server-transparent, caching local storage system which seamlessly uni

I would argue that reducing operlapping efforts within the company is not the prime motivator for storage unification. Competing with Notes, making Office and Windows the premier application platform, providing a unified storage paradigm for the Windows user for all their data, these are what we should stay focused on.

Notes/Domino R5 is very scary. We all saw the demo. Exchange has worked with teams around the company to put together a very detailed analysis of the R5 betas and the hints they've exposed on their future direction. We now have a fairly good understanding of what they are doing and where they're going. Lotus's goal is nothing less than to become the new OS - to provide the environment applications are built upon and users live in without ever needing to leave. They threaten n


From: Bob Muglia (Exchange) Friday, December 17, 1996 4:57 PM To: Bob Muglia's Direct Reports (Exchange DL); Kurt DelBene (Exchange); Steven Sinofsky; Brian Arbogast (Exchange); Richard McAniff; Craig Flabig; (Exchange); Russell Stockdale (Exchange); Betsy Johnson (Exchange); Andrew Kwatinetz; Gordon Manglone (Exchange) Cc: Bill Gates; Steve Ballmer; Paul Maritz; Jim Allchin (Exchange); David Vaskevitch Subject IBM threat to Knowledge Workers

After yesterday's IBM competitive review, I thought it would be usefull to send some mail which summarizes a set of concerns I have been considering. I believe that if you look at everything IBM is doing, it is fair to consider that they are executing on a comprehsive strategy to take knowledge workers away from MS. Their strategy:

1. Capture the knowledge worker data in Domino. 2. Replace the Office desktop with Notes. 3. Create the oppurtunity for an IBM OS on the business desktop which replaces Windows.

You can argue that for Lotus's 30M customers, we've already lost their data to Domino. As Bill pointed out yesterday, this is gone and we need to do something to get it back.

For the desktop apps, the situation is better but tenuous. Most customers who use Notes today also use Office. But if you look at the R5 Notes Ui, they are clearly focused on minimizing the reasons for a user to run Office. We saw a glimpse of that with the Java HTML editor in R5. Lotus has 540 people building desktop apps and we know that msot of these guys aren't working on Smartsuite. I think it reasonab;e to believe that these

This is very scary because if the knowledge worker only needs Notes and Domino then we have truly lost that user. This impacts more than Office because the knowledge worker desktop is the foundation upon which we want to build for business aps and commerce. Put another way, how hard would it be to sign an EA with a customer who isn't using Office?

Lastly, although from where we sit today it might seem distant, I think we must assume that IBM's ultimate goal is to use Notes to enable the replacement of Windows on the business desktop. If a users data is in Domino and their UI/app is Notes, then Windows is basically irrelevant for that user. We know IBM is building an NC OS but I think we could be confised about this being just a terminal replacement. With Domino as your files

So how can we win?

1. Keep the data we have. Get back the data we've lost to Domino 2. Make Notes unnecessary 3. Provide unique value to Windows desktops.

In the medium term, we need to enrich the filesystem to once again make this an attractive place to store documents. But for now, to keep the data we have, we need to use Platinum/PKM as a rich store with moderm features people have come to expect from solutions like Domino. We need to get Platinum/PKM deployed on servers with support for symmetric client-side caching and offline capabilities ASAP. This is required just to

Yesterday at the IBM review, Bill and I had a "discussion" about what it would take to get back Domino customers. To start, we need parity with Notes/Domino feature set. We also obviously need additional features beyond Notes that causes customers to choose our solution.

To help them with migration, we need to continue the work currently underway to move all the data and run Notes apps on our solution. While I don't think the way to do this is to independently develop full Domino compatibility, there is a lot we can do which we aren't yet doing. For example we will probably need to add additional semantics to the Outlook/CDO object model to enable easy conversion of Notes apps onto our solution

In the desktop space, while most Lotus customers today also run Office, we must assume that this can't last. The question comes down to: Which will they choose in the future? Office or Notes?

For Office to win, the combination of Office+BackOffice needs to easily enable a full set of solutions customers solve today with Notes. A lot of very positive things are happening around this as a part of the ATG planning process. It is critical that these conversations turn into product plans which we can efectivly bring to market.

Jon and I have talked about doing a short cycle on the next release of Office to quickly get the KM benefits of Office+BackOffice in the Platinum timeframe. This also came up during today's customer feedback review. We need to decide what to do here. Another related issue which yesterdays Notes client demo highlighted is the need for us to pull together a cohesive set of developer/design tools which simplify the creation of comm

On the Windows client front, we have spent a lot of time discussing this. It is clear that providing a compelling developer message, a great mobile experience, and simplifying the installation and management of our software can solve many of our problems. This is tough but I think we all agree we need to do this.

Anyway, I didn't think all of this was summarized yesterday so I thought it usefull to pull it together.

Comments are welcome.


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