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Whirlpool Ditches IBM Collaboration Software, Moves To Google Apps

samzenpus posted 1 year,15 days | from the the-apps-you-know dept.

Google 101

cagraham writes "Appliance maker Whirlpool has decided to stop using IBM's "Notes" collaboration software, and instead move to Google Apps for Business. The Wall Street Journal reports that the decision was based on both worker's familiarity with Google Apps, and lessening the IT workload. Because most workers have used (or use) apps like Google Calendar and Google Docs, Whirlpool's IT staff won't have to devote as much time to initial software training. This move lines up with recent enterprise reports, which largely forecast an increasing move to cloud based software. Whirlpool's contract with Google will cover all of their 30,000 employees."

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My company changed software too (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,15 days | (#45059937)

Oh look, normal IT operations in a large corporation just happened. I don't see what's special here.

Re:My company changed software too (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060017)

Just a "yay! GOOGLE!" wankfest/slashvertisement. Nothing noteworthy at all.

Re:My company changed software too (4, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060093)

Whether you like Google or not, it's "noteworthy" because this sort of thing means that "system manager" and "IT staff" may more and more become a thing of the past; you know, the kind of job a significant percentage of Slashdot readers actually hold.

Re: My company changed software too (1)

techneeks (1374735) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060343)

All that sounds totally right, because after all terminals and networks don't need administrators or support staff.

IBM moved a lot of them out of the USA (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060463)

IBM moved a lot of them out of the USA

Re:IBM moved a lot of them out of the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060495)

Is there anything wrong with that or are you just trying to get support from the racist crowd who demand everything be done domestically and think that foreigners are inferior.

well alot of the low level IBM ones are inferior (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060555)

well alot of the low level IBM ones are inferior and they don't pay to get the good ones.

Re:IBM moved a lot of them out of the USA (4, Insightful)

interval1066 (668936) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060835)

...racist crowd who demand everything be done domestically and think that foreigners are inferior.

What are you, a child? Outsourcing labor to other countries is about MONEY, and no other reason. If you think it has ANYTHING to do with rascism you need to put down your comic book, put away the skatebaord, put on your big-boy pants, and figure out how the world really works.

Go back and read that again... (1)

jsrjsr (658966) | 1 year,15 days | (#45061407)

The comment you're quoting does NOT say it's not about money. It asks if the poster who said that "IBM moved a lot of them out of the USA" is a racist.

Re:IBM moved a lot of them out of the USA (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45062131)

You have no clue how IT works. Companies bid on the contracts. Now if IT is done by employees of the company (versus out-source) then when budgets are cut then the employees are forced to get creative. They grumble, but they get the work done. What happens when it's outsourced? Now it doesn't matter one whit (in the beginning) whether the outsourcer is domestic or not. They agree to provide a certain level of support for a certain cost. This works great at first.

After a year the vendor needs to make some more money. They can either raise prices or cut costs. Or both. Now contracts may lock them into a certain rate so they can't raise prices. So what do they do? Yup, they start using cheaper, overseas staff.

The overseas staffing doesn't really give a rat's ass about which company they're being paid to support. No really, they don't. This is usually excused because you don't need a lot of empathy to reset a password or help a user login to the VPN.

The thing is, with in-house staff, many of the desk support staff may dream of getting a non-helpdesk job in the company. So they try a little harder. They learn how to do things like clear a full filesystem on that Red Hat server. An outsourced company does not want their staff doing anything above and beyond resetting passwords. The more calls they handle, the better. Even if this means ignoring an underlying issue.

It's all about the money. And not long-term money. It's all about short-term ways to show that some middle-manager saved a few dollars over last year, even if it means the company fails in the next.

Re:IBM moved a lot of them out of the USA (1)

red crab (1044734) | 1 year,14 days | (#45069271)

Somebody mod this up as informative..

Re: My company changed software too (3, Interesting)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | 1 year,15 days | (#45061893)

All that sounds totally right, because after all terminals and networks don't need administrators or support staff.

Of course they do, but they need way fewer of them. No exchange server admins. No desktop admins. No server specialists.

Heck, the office manager could handle a lot of it:

"My Chromebook isn't working."
"Here you go." (Hands over replacement Chromebook from cupboard.)
"Thanks."

(Employee goes back to work.)

Re:My company changed software too (3, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060777)

To some extent. They're going to disappear in small mom and pop shops, but they're going to grow in the service providers.

What you're seeing is a shift in the type of tools being maintained in companies, the types of skills needed to maintain them, and the companies where specific skills are needed. It's not going to be IT staff anymore, it's going to be tool admins and maintainers. It's not going to be IT helpdesk anymore, it's going to be department help desk. It's not going to be Woolworth IT anymore, it's going to be Google IT.

As always, if you're in IT, keep your skills up-to-date, stay up-to-date on business trends, and be ready to adapt at the drop of a hat. Or look for a job in a different field.

Re:My company changed software too (4, Insightful)

div_2n (525075) | 1 year,15 days | (#45061453)

This is a bit of an overblown notion.

The need for system admins isn't going away anytime soon. The only thing that might go away are heavily specialized admins that don't diversify. Hint: if your resume title is "Notes Admin" then yeah, you are working on borrowed time.

There is still longevity in system admins for those that have diverse skill sets. Just browse job listings and you'll see it -- qualification listings are getting longer and longer. This DOES mean, however, that the number of admin positions that could be open at any one particular time is probably not growing as fast as other jobs.

What I personally have noticed is that the mid-range jobs have just about dried up. Companies either want someone fresh out of college that will work long hours for peanuts or they want seasoned experts that are worth the money. Maybe it was this way before the dot com era, but that's when I hit the workforce, so I only know how things were from then to now.

Re:My company changed software too (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | 1 year,15 days | (#45061567)

No, now companies want people fresh out of college who are seasoned experts who will work long hours for peanuts.

Re:My company changed software too (1)

Antonovich (1354565) | 1 year,14 days | (#45067205)

I'm about to start a company and I'll take a couple of those. Even here in France with "such a backward economy" (Ok, employment law and taxes are insane but there is some dynamism in spite of that), there are plenty of IT jobs. In fact, I know an online CV provider who gets a per user referral fee. It is a flat rate for all professions except IT... which nets them exactly twice what everything else goes for.

Re:My company changed software too (2)

stenvar (2789879) | 1 year,15 days | (#45062877)

The need for system admins isn't going away anytime soon

Take a mid-size business using Chromebooks with Google Apps (or an equivalent offering from Microsoft). What do they need a sys admin for?

Re:My company changed software too (1)

div_2n (525075) | 1 year,15 days | (#45064085)

I've _never_ seen a mid-sized business using that kind of a model. Not even close. Not saying there might not be some out there, but all the ones I've seen have requirements for most of their employees that just wouldn't work with all Chromebooks.

Re:My company changed software too (1)

stenvar (2789879) | 1 year,15 days | (#45065445)

It's starting to happen, that's the point of all these articles about companies moving to Google and other cloud apps.

Re:My company changed software too (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060109)

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Re:My company changed software too (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060121)

did your company change software for 30,000 people? That is where it matters.

Re:My company changed software too (1)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,15 days | (#45061059)

Yes, it's a large company that uses institutional software. It wasn't collaboration software, but from a deployment perspective, the exact nature makes no difference.

Re:My company changed software too (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060127)

Having had experienced Lotus Notes before I can tell you that this was not some minor infrastructure change.

I want to know how they did it without losing any functionality (or sanity!)

Re:My company changed software too (4, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060311)

I want to know how they did it without losing any functionality (or sanity!)

While our previous setup wasn't from IBM/Lotus, we switched to Google Apps a couple years ago. In our case the thinking wasn't "do we have 100% of our old functionality?", it was "is it good enough, especially given the cost savings (Apps is free since we're an educational institution)?" - and the answer to that question was yes.

It's sort of like all those places that switched to Hyper-V a few years ago. It was obvious Hyper-V was lacking in features when compared to VMware ESX; but in a lot of circumstances it ended up not costing anything up front, so the "good enough" argument combined with the cost savings won the day.

I'm not saying it was necessarily the right decision - it wasn't my decision to make, only to implement. But it sure seems like "good enough if it's cheap enough" rules the day much of the time, anymore.

Re:My company changed software too (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060911)

Switching from Lotus Notes to anything else (including Notepad) is likely going to be an improvement.

Sanity, functionality and Lotus Notes are not terms that belong in the same sentence.

Cost now, cost later.... (1)

swb (14022) | 1 year,15 days | (#45062551)

Your Hyper-V argument makes the perfect case for totally short-sighted cost savings.

Hyper-V may work "well enough" for a lot of single host implementations with very basic VMs, but once you get to shared storage and clustering environments (where virtualization really gets interesting), Hyper-V blows.

I work with a VAR who does both and we see lots of organizations implementing Hyper-V because its cheap and then we also help fix it when it blows up, like one client who had a fuckup with their Windows host SAN integration software that corrupted a volume and took out the whole cluster. At least 30 hours of after hours consulting time plus who knows how much lost productivity time for the network guy on site plus outage costs...

That's a ton of fucking money for upfront savings.

Re:Cost now, cost later.... (1)

cusco (717999) | 1 year,15 days | (#45064599)

That was Bill Gates' moment of insight back in the days of Windows 3.1; for most uses "good enough" actually is good enough. Too many companies were spending time and money to make a perfect operating system or office suite, delaying releases and raising costs until every bug was squashed and every possible combination of events tested and retested. That mindset was absolutely necessary in the mainframe environment (or its modern equivalent, your shared storage and clustering environment). For a desktop? Not so much. So Microsoft got a jump on Banyan Vines, AMI Pro, Novell, etc. that they never got lost. They certainly weren't the best OS, office suite, or network operating system, but they were the first to get to market with an affordable offering that was sufficient for most customers.

That high-availability environment wasn't really the target market for Hyper-V either. MS, as per their normal MO, was going after the portion of the market for which it was "good enough". The company that I work at has both Hyper-V installs and VMWare installs, each where appropriate. You've probably seen as many 'penny wise, pound foolish' executives as I have. The install you mentioned apparently didn't analyze their needs properly before install.

Re: My company changed software too (3, Funny)

jd2112 (1535857) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060387)

Notes and sanity are mutually exclusive.

Re:My company changed software too (1)

nucrash (549705) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060453)

I want to know this myself. My company built some notes applications back about 15 years ago. They still use them and don't show any sign of ditching them. Newer applications are showing up as web based apps but still use a lot of the Lotus Domino design parameters. I think corporate office even uses Notes for their purchase orders. They built in the approvals and tied them to the User IDs. Brilliant if you ask me, but the work that went into design would probably cause a lot of chaos if they should ever decide to move away from Domino.

Re:My company changed software too (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060145)

Sounds like news for nerds to me.

Re:My company changed software too (1)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060235)

Do you support any Enterprise Software? And does anybody you know stand to be affected if an organization goes from running this stuff in-house to a service provided by Google?

But, most importantly, it's nice to see businesses moving away from the great evil which is the Notes suite. :-P I've never known a single person who liked it, but I've known people who were stuck with it.

Re:My company changed software too (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45061409)

My question is that how Whirlpool can maintain Sarbanes-Oxley compliance by doing this.

Good luck with the regulators, guys. I've seen some pretty nasty stuff that auditors can have happen when the due process rules are not followed.

Re:My company changed software too (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060275)

This is fucking whirlpool man! THey make like washers and maybe whirlpools man! So this is stuff that matters man! Say it, this is fucking whirlpool man!

What's a whirlpool again? Is that like a cyclone?

Re:My company changed software too (1)

Jawnn (445279) | 1 year,15 days | (#45061079)

Riiiight. It won't be news until the next time Google Apps goes sideways and 30,000 users at IBM are idled for the duration.

Re:My company changed software too (1)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,15 days | (#45061341)

Oh my god, software has downtime! Unbearable!

Re:My company changed software too (1)

MrLint (519792) | 1 year,15 days | (#45062705)

Because the ramp you have to take to break away from Lotus Notes is very steep indeed. There is also a massive amount of inertia.

Re:My company changed software too (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45064207)

Because the ramp you have to take to break away from Lotus Notes is very steep indeed. There is also a massive amount of inertia.

That's that damn ball and chain attached to the manacle around your leg.

We tried telling them we didn't want that functionality, but alas, it was bundled with the core package...

Whirlpool (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060033)

Isn't that the crappy brand of home appliances IKEA sells at premium brand prices?

Re:Whirlpool (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060053)

It's one company that has sent most of its manufacturing to Mexico switching away from another company that has outsourced most of its IT to India.

Re:Whirlpool (1)

MightyYar (622222) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060371)

That's probably preferable to getting phone support from Mexico and washers from India...

Re:Whirlpool (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45061019)

There are no washers in India.

Privacy WRT Google Snooping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060137)

My understanding is that Google Apps (regular or biz) allows Google to analyze your data and monetize it. Is this true? If so, it means that company confidential info isn't confidential. If it was my company, I wouldn't want to be "the product" that Google is selling to others. Please enlighten me!

Things got reversed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060141)

Long ago in a galaxy far far away, software adoption at home was influenced by what was used at work.
Now what people use at home influences what is used at work.
Who would have thought about that.

Lotus suite sucks (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060197)

I've worked for IBM and had to use notes and other stuff. Everyone that was forced to switch from outlook to notes wanted desperately to switch back. Notes should die already, it's junk!

Re:Lotus suite sucks (4, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060267)

We switched from Notes to Exchange/Outlook a few years ago. I would take Notes back in a heartbeat.

And of course all the Notes databases and apps got ported over about 2 years late. And don't work very well. And go down regularly.

Notes was an elegant solution before anyone else got there, and it takes 2-3 major services to replace Notes. But, hey, it's progress, and getting IBM GS out of your app dev is worth it.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (2)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060465)

We switched from Notes to Exchange/Outlook a few years ago. I would take Notes back in a heartbeat.

I believe you, but really? I've never known a single person who didn't hate Notes -- I'm actually surprised to see someone say they liked it.

I've never seen it much myself, but I've heard a lot of people complaining about it over the years. I've just assumed it was universally reviled.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45061073)

I used to hate Notes working with it at IBM, then, after they laid me off (thinking that had something to do with participating in the overtime lawsuit/settlement around 2007...), and went back to former employer who was using Notes (older version). They then came up with bright idea to outsource that "sort" of stuff to MS for Outlook/Exchange/Sharepoint/etc.

I did not think I would miss Notes, but a few years now with Outlook has changed that thinking. Probably one of the biggest issues for me is that all the rules I used to have in Notes to block a lot of internal corporate spam (mindless distro lists) would run on the Domino server while I was offline - never saw a ton of that junk. Now, OL will not run any rules that "look inside" the emails except on my running PC, so I have to delete 100's every day (that my PC-only rules route to the deleted box), that cannot be filtered by the subject/sender/receiver externals.

Then there's all the stuff the other support groups have trouble with on Sharepoint - whole new can of worms and limitations vs Domino.

Oh, and opening multiple emails pops them up all over my screen with the same MS Office "themed" blobby/bland borders that make an interestnig "hunt" to re-view the one I thought I wanted. I liked Notes' ability to open them within its tabbed confines (or on the desktop space if I chose - choice is nice).

Yeah, I do kind of miss Notes now...

Re:Lotus suite sucks (1)

nevermindme (912672) | 1 year,15 days | (#45061113)

Is the parent comment from a NOTES Admin, Dev or AS OPERATOR? I ask because those are the only folks who ever liked Notes. The bean counters who originally put enterprises on "the notes" are long dead and their 123 spreadsheets no longer rule the world.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (4, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | 1 year,15 days | (#45061493)

No, tons of people like Notes. It is just trendy in IT to hate it. People actually doing work like it just fine. One of the current reasons that Notes gets a bad rap is that it takes so much less resources to run it. You might have 1 or 2 guys running your Notes platform where it takes 6 or 8 guys to run other platforms within the company. So, when you sit down for a meeting, and there is a platform clash, you have 6 guys pointing out the flaws of Notes, with one point out the flaws of the competing product. This makes it look like Notes is inferior.

I'm not saying that Notes/Domino are perfect, but if you look at most of the complaints, it will be about versions from over a decade ago. Then most of those complaints will fall into 4 categories:

1) It was slow. This was a somewhat legitimate complaint. Notes was a big application with a lot of functionality. Almost the entire server code base was included with the client. This had the downside of making the application bloated. The upside was that your server based applications ran just as well locally, and would replicate to the server as soon as you connected. This is less critical today, and the added weight is less of an issue.
2) It would crash. This was true, although it didn't crash any more than most applications of the day. Complaints about Notes crashes fall into the same category as complaints about Win95's blue screen of death. Historical trivia.
3) It didn't follow standards. This is only sort of true. What it didn't do was follow 'Windows' standards. This is because Notes/Domino both predated Windows, and thus it's standards, and it was cross platform. Lotus had to decide whether to standardize it's application to itself, or to each of the platforms it ran on. It also had to decide whether to make a major revamp of it's interface or not. That is not a minor decision. Personally, I think they waited too long. At one point, the only OS the client was produced for was Windows. (Today it is Windows, Linux, and OSX) The day they decided to have the client be Windows only, they should have revamped the UI and key bindings. They eventually gave in, but they took a big hit by waiting as long as they did.
4) It wasn't pretty. It look good now, but when it was first put on Windows, Lotus created a UI that matched the Windows 3.1 look of the day. By the time that Windows 95 came around, The graphics were horribly out of date. The functionality was top notch, but we know how much people like their shiny.

All of these are legitimate complaints, but not only are they outdated, they are the kinds of complaints that would apply to any of Notes/Domino's competitors. I use that in the present tense, because the back when the complaints were valid, Notes/Domino had no competitors.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45061999)

No, tons of people like Notes. It is just trendy in IT to hate it.

It might be trendy for Window/Exchange weenies to hate Domino because they are threatened by any software that runs on multiple platforms. Real sysadmins love Domino.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (1)

nucrash (549705) | 1 year,15 days | (#45062165)

THIS and then some. Notes can run on Windows/Linux/AIX/iSeries. Currently we are migrating to Windows from IBM iSeries, but only because we are beginning to build more on the iSeries and need the performance. Lotus Domino can take a back seat in that regard and runs just fine on the Windows platform.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (2)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | 1 year,15 days | (#45065971)

> Notes can run on Windows/Linux/AIX/iSeries

Notes runs on those platforms like Microsoft Office runs on MacOs. The release for non-Windows operating systems is always effectively 2 years behind the release on Windows. Being able to run on AIX or iSeries hardware is not relevant for laptop or desktop clients, where most email and docuemnt processing actually occurs today, so that's not a good salespoint.

I'm afraid there is no single powerful selling point for Lotus Notes, and hasn't been for years. LibreOffice and OpenOffice are cheaper for Linux, and have better MS Office compatibility, except for email. And we've seen many companies throwing out expensive internal mail server suites in favor of the consistent, world accessible, and robust Google services very effectively.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45062939)

No, tons of people like Notes. It is just trendy in IT to hate it. People actually doing work like it just fine. One of the current reasons that Notes gets a bad rap is that it takes so much less resources to run it. You might have 1 or 2 guys running your Notes platform where it takes 6 or 8 guys to run other platforms within the company. So, when you sit down for a meeting, and there is a platform clash, you have 6 guys pointing out the flaws of Notes, with one point out the flaws of the competing product. This makes it look like Notes is inferior.

That's one way to look at it. In my organization, the Notes guys were strictly Notes guys, with no other knowledge or understanding of anything else. The web, database, Unix, etc. guys all understood how they fit into the overall infrastructure, with some overlapping skills and an ability to collaborate and delegate tasks with one another. The Notes guys lived on an island, and an expensive one.

I'm not saying that Notes/Domino are perfect, but if you look at most of the complaints, it will be about versions from over a decade ago.

Guilty as charged, because we dropped that turd a decade ago, and no amount of "We've changed! Everything's fine now!" will get us back.

Then most of those complaints will fall into 4 categories:

1) It was slow. This was a somewhat legitimate complaint. Notes was a big application with a lot of functionality. Almost the entire server code base was included with the client. This had the downside of making the application bloated. The upside was that your server based applications ran just as well locally, and would replicate to the server as soon as you connected. This is less critical today, and the added weight is less of an issue.

Only now, I understand, they've moved to Eclipse, which adds a whole other layer of bloat.

Oh yeah, replication conflicts, forgot about that one. Notes replication was amazingly powerful...until it hit the end user, who would promptly muck it all up. So, so many support calls.

2) It would crash. This was true, although it didn't crash any more than most applications of the day. Complaints about Notes crashes fall into the same category as complaints about Win95's blue screen of death. Historical trivia.

Yup, because Notes is history around here. But back in the day, the problem was worse than the other programs of the day, because Notes' background task would keep running and prevent the client from re-starting.

3) It didn't follow standards. This is only sort of true. What it didn't do was follow 'Windows' standards. This is because Notes/Domino both predated Windows, and thus it's standards, and it was cross platform. Lotus had to decide whether to standardize it's application to itself, or to each of the platforms it ran on. It also had to decide whether to make a major revamp of it's interface or not. That is not a minor decision. Personally, I think they waited too long. At one point, the only OS the client was produced for was Windows. (Today it is Windows, Linux, and OSX) The day they decided to have the client be Windows only, they should have revamped the UI and key bindings. They eventually gave in, but they took a big hit by waiting as long as they did.

I've heard this excuse, but it just rings hollow. The wheel had been invented. Things like selecting a row in a list box were and are the same on every major platform. But Notes did it differently, with their little checkmark columns, just to make things difficult. It really didn't matter whether they aped Windows' wheel, or Apple's wheel, or the OS/2 wheel. They're all wheels, they're all round, Lotus could have used any of them.

4) It wasn't pretty. It look good now, but when it was first put on Windows, Lotus created a UI that matched the Windows 3.1 look of the day. By the time that Windows 95 came around, The graphics were horribly out of date. The functionality was top notch, but we know how much people like their shiny.

Making fun of "stupid drooling n00b sheeple distracted by the shiny" is a classic elitist geek tactic. Full arrogant geek points to you, sir.

Notes was ugly because the text was small and hard to read. It was ugly because the text and the "active" parts of the UI had poor contrast against the backgrounds and decorations. It was ugly because the toolbar buttons were small, abstract, usually unlabeled and hard to distinguish from one another.

In short, it wasn't that it was ugly. It was that it was actually hard to look at, and hard to get things done with.

But you're missing the best part: the error messages.

Because Notes was its own development environment, it would regularly show developer error messages to end users. End users didn't care if there was a missing LotusScript extension that wasn't installed on their machine. End users didn't care if the LotusScript developer put the wrong type into the wrong variable. End users didn't care if there was an unhandled LotusScript error. But Notes would tell them anyway! So, so many support calls....

All of these are legitimate complaints, but not only are they outdated, they are the kinds of complaints that would apply to any of Notes/Domino's competitors. I use that in the present tense, because the back when the complaints were valid, Notes/Domino had no competitors.

"If you come back, I promise I won't hurt you anymore!"

Re:Lotus suite sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45065923)

> Tons of people like Notes.

Name two.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45068893)

I don't understand the hatred for Notes. We're gradually moving away to other platforms (even considering Google Apps for collaboration needs) but most of our smaller custom apps run just fine on Notes. They are easy to develop and administer, and for the most part remain compatible with future Notes releases. We've spent a lot of money porting some of these to web apps built on SQL Server/.NET, and they are buggy, slow, require constant updates and maintenance for anything that integrates with Office or basic Windows services/functions. I've seen some of our more talented Notes devs create something on their own in days, compared to the weeks we have an entire team of developers building something similar outside of Notes. It's not perfect or ideally suited for every need, but nothing is. Our biggest concern with it is IBMs long-term committment to the platform.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | 1 year,15 days | (#45061679)

The Notes application was a bit clunky but the core architecture was nice in some ways. It's biggest "failing" is that it is really an open-ended collaborative database platform with e-mail and calendaring tacked on. That makes it less friendly to non-technical users who aren't completely isolated from the internal workings of Notes.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (1)

onyxruby (118189) | 1 year,15 days | (#45063365)

You have got to work as a Notes admin for a living, know someone that is or have a vapid hatred of every other like kind product. There is no other explanation that I can possibly think of for your calling Lotus Notes "elegant".

As someone that has had to use Lotus Notes off and on for close to two decades I have never heard anyone call it "elegant". For that matter the kindest comment I have ever heard spoken about it that is doesn't spread viruses and I'm including the time I spent working at IBM!

Re:Lotus suite sucks (1)

nucrash (549705) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060281)

Ran Notes for 13 years. I don't know why anyone wants to run anything else. The biggest problem with Domino is that it's under utilized.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060957)

A classic example of the Stockholm syndrome.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (1)

LostMyBeaver (1226054) | 1 year,15 days | (#45062907)

As in Stockholm Finland right? :)

Re:Lotus suite sucks (1)

Belial6 (794905) | 1 year,15 days | (#45061549)

Bingo. Look at a lot of the complaints about Domino, and it tends to center around people trying to compare it to Outlook. While I think Domino compares favorably with Outlook, Comparing Domino to Outlook is like comparing Apples to modern agriculture.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (1)

SpzToid (869795) | 1 year,15 days | (#45061617)

The Clinton administration used Lotus Notes, and none of this was newsworthy. Lotus Notes is a solid database system with excellent replication.

Then the Bush administration came in and ditched Notes for Exchange and made headlines for lost emails and failure to archive; almost as if the crappy Microsoft functionality was desirable for not being up to the task of keeping operable, accurate archives of staff messages.

The current administration uses a Drupal/OpenAtrium intranet with email notification.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2008/04/bush-lost-e-mails/ [arstechnica.com]
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2008/08/white-house-memo-no-white-house-email-recovery-this-year/ [arstechnica.com]
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/02/11/whitehousegov-releases-second-set-open-source-code [whitehouse.gov]

Re:Lotus suite sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45062375)

Ran Notes for 13 years. I don't know why anyone wants to run anything else.

Probably because you're an admin, not someone who actually has to use it.

The biggest problem with Domino is that it's under utilized.

There's a reason for that: the useful functionality (replication, common client-server environment, extensibility) is trapped behind an excruciatingly bad UI.

The most basic functions, like text entry and list selection--things that were pretty much solved back in the Windows 3.0 days-- are re-invented (badly!) in Notes, just to screw with you. And let's not forget that password dialog with its hieroglyphics. What? Why does each character result in three X's instead of a normal bullet or asterisk, like every other application, OS, and website in existence?

The error dialogs always seemed to be written by two people: one who wrote the error text, and another who chose the button names. These people presumably never communicated with one another, and never saw the others' work, because none of the options ever made sense. And presumably, neither spoke English fluently.

Fortunately, most of the time, it doesn't matter, because you can't actually do anything. The error messages are just there to frustrate the user.
"B-Tree structure is invalid." OK.
"The database could not be located." OK.
"A required lsx module could not be found." OK.
"A required lsx module could not be found." OK.
"A required lsx module could not be found." OK, OK, OK, I get it, stop fucking telling me.
"Type mismatch." OK.
"No error." Wait, what?

The Designer client is frustratingly modal, such that if you type something with a syntax error, you have to fix it immediately. Want to refer to the documentation while you code? Sorry! You can't switch tabs until you resolve the errors!

But hey, that's no big deal. The whole client will often lock up because of what the current tab is doing. Why do we even have tabs in the first place?

But that's just a temporary inconvenience, because sooner or later, the client crashes. Only it doesn't just crash like a normal program; there's a background process that prevents it from re-starting.

And then there's the email client. You know, the flagship feature. The thing Notes is most famous for. How badly can they screw up a simple thing like email? [bynkii.com] Pretty badly, apparently. (If that looks familiar: yes, they build an email client out of Eclipse. No, I don't know why.)

The ideas behind Notes were good, but the implementation was awful, and it has only gotten worse with time.

And before you say it, no, a good Notes admin can't fix it. As you can probably tell, I've worked with the Notes admins. They were so busy triaging errors and handling user complaints that they could barely keep things running.

Re: Lotus suite sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45068167)

The three x's were to prevent counting characters while shoulder surfing. God, what kind of geek are you?

Re:Lotus suite sucks (2)

beamin (23709) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060587)

The other repliers to parent need to fall into line. Everybody hates Notes! No exceptions allowed!

I worked with and supported Notes for 10 years at IBM, and really liked the product. There were some frustrations, but I was very positive about it on the whole.

Now that I work for a small municipal agency, I miss Notes' flexibility and app development capabilities a great deal. But there's no way we can afford it for so few seats.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (1)

Belial6 (794905) | 1 year,15 days | (#45061665)

Domino is incredibly cheap. Cheap enough that I license it to run in my home. Look up the pricing on "Domino Express". It is the same application the "Enterprise" version with the caveats that there is no clustering (yes there is still replication), and you have to have less than a 1000 users. There are a couple of other small items that I don't remember, but nothing serious. If you have a small shop, you likely wouldn't use the clustering anyway.

I do a lot of development in Domino, and there aren't many platforms that are as stable, flexible, and as quick to develop in as Domino. Because of this, combined with in inexpensive licensing, it is a great fit for small shops.

Re:Lotus suite sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45062085)

Domino is rock solid and secure and runs on Linux, Solaris, Aix, System i, and Windows.
MS Exchange is a steaming pile of crap in comparison.

Wrong headline... (5, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060209)

Shouldn't this be titled "Whirlpool ditches Notes, doesn't choose Exchange"?

Good for Whirlpool (1)

nucrash (549705) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060251)

Let's just keep pushing all of our data to Google for the rest of the world to sift through. Brilliant job. I hear the same thing about managers pushing crappier software packages because of familiarity rather than the Cadillac packages. Then they run into issues trying to push forward because of limitations in the software. The flexibility of Notes is one of the reasons why my company still uses it. I don't see the Google Apps applying to the business processes as well as many people might think it does. Then again, I see many companies that focus on using third party software instead of using house developers to tool products to their business processes. I don't understand the logic in this other than some sort of short term gain through cutting software costs at the sacrifice of having to manipulate business processes to fit a mold that may or may not work for them. In the end, Go Maytag!

Re:Good for Whirlpool (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060603)

Then again, I see many companies that focus on using third party software instead of using house developers to tool products to their business processes. I don't understand the logic in this other than some sort of short term gain through cutting software costs at the sacrifice of having to manipulate business processes to fit a mold that may or may not work for them. In the end, Go Maytag!

It all comes down to how fast the CEO can raise his pay by reducing costs and otherwise manipulating the price of the stock, which frequently is the biggest multiplier on a CEO's bonus.

Re:Good for Whirlpool (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060875)

Let's just keep pushing all of our data to Google for the rest of the world to sift through.

You're confusing a paid business service with a free ad-supported personal service.

Re:Good for Whirlpool (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45062535)

It's amazing how ignorant these people are. They actually think ads are being served up on paid Google Apps services. It's almost as if they've never used it and talking about of their ass.

Meh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060263)

Whirlpool still sucks.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060383)

They're the best ISP in Australia!

Except all the others, aside from Telestra.

Hooray!!! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060319)

Anything is better than Notes, I would rather chisel messages in stone than use Notes. Wish I was working for Whirlpool now.

Another Notes customer gone... (5, Interesting)

ErichTheRed (39327) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060357)

I saw the first post was "what's so special about a company changing their collaboration software?" Allow the old man here from simpler times to explain. :-)

The reason why it's a big shift is because, at this point, Notes is beyond legacy status when it comes to email/collaboration apps. I don't know how much success Whirlpool will have with Google Apps, but I imagine their users will be happier. For anyone in the IT business in the early/mid 90s and forward, especially if you worked for an IBM shop, you probably have had some exposure to Lotus (now IBM) Notes. My company is still a Notes customer, most probably because of a sweetheart licensing deal or just inertia (I work in our product engineering group, corporate IT is handled separately in my company.) Notes was one of the first "groupware" applications, and companies built huge, complex applications for it. (Oh yeah, I forgot, that's the other reason we're still Notes customers -- rewriting the few remaining mission critical apps with tons of mystical business logic embedded in them hasn't been done yet.) Anyway, email was just another application, and it was never Notes' strong suit. One thing it did have that was very important for 90s era road warriors dialing up from the middle of nowhere was the ability to truly work offline and replicate messages when you had the chance. Outlook only got good at this around 2003, so Notes also had a pretty big following in consulting shops and places that had a lot of disconnected or poorly connected locations. Remember, kiddies, when Notes got its start, the Internet was still an academic exercise and as early as 1998 or so, slow dial up was the norm. That's the environment Notes was built to run in.

Anyway, IBM has been keeping Notes on life support for ages ,along with Lotus Symphony which it inherited when it bought Lotus. The latest clients have almost completely been rewritten in Java with some native front end code, and it's very slow. One thing Microsoft has done a pretty good job with is the Outlook/Exchange combo in terms of user responsiveness. But Notes still has some of the 90s look and feel in it, and it really seems like they gave the recent client upgrade project to a bunch of new grads in India (which, given that it's IBM, isn't a shocker.)

Notes is a good lesson in what happens when a formerly decent software product gets ignored for a long time -- a sort of "software rot" slowly sets in and competitors just keep adding new stuff while you stand still. MS Office isn't exactly the same thing -- they're constantly bloating it with new stuff; not really standing still the way IBM has done with Notes.

It'll be interesting to see how quickly Office 365, Adobe Creative Cloud and Google Apps are taken up by businesses. It'll sure change the landscape for IT guys -- lots of my "professional" colleagues who rely on knowing strange obscure software features over systems engineering work are going to be very surprised one day when companies are just renting applications and need fewer in house people to feed them. I've seen this coming for a while and have been preparing -- even if the whole thing fizzles out, it's good to be multi-talented.

Re:Another Notes customer gone... (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060545)

Office 365, Adobe Creative Cloud Still have local apps and Trying to do photo shop over remote desktop will suck a lot of bandwidth and lag can make control hard.

Re:Another Notes customer gone... (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | 1 year,15 days | (#45061953)

Similar experience here; I've always previously been at MS/outlook/exchange shops, so it was a shock to arrive at a new job (at a ye olde established firm) and seeing everyone use Notes. Email, depending on the business unit, was either long since migrated to exchange, or in the process of migrating to exchange (so I've never had to deal with it for it's much-derided mail functionality, although I think outlook is a bag of crap in this regard as well), yet there are still a shitload of bespoke applications we still use in Notes and precious little in the way of a migration path precisely because Notes was the only game in town to begin with.

And to be honest, as clunky as it can be at times, the groupware stuff in Notes works pretty flawlessly for me and my colleagues. Reasonably good version control, snappy performance (don't think we're using any of that java gunk), lots of cool functionality in the native widgets (far ahead of anything you could achieve in every wiki I've used) and - most importantly for the firefighting part of my job - the ability for everyone in my team to easily keep a searchable, offline copy of the documentation database.

Like I said, there seems to be little in the way of groupware clients/servers that can do this nowadays, and there's a depressing amount of project managers who seem to think it's a piece of piss to replicate the same behaviour in despairpoint or mediawiki... and our backups and source repos are filled with the carcasses of those projects that tried and failed.

Re:Another Notes customer gone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45064213)

Horde/IMP was better than any of this shit in the 90s.

Why this stuff is so "hard" is beyond me.

IBM? (1)

DeltaQH (717204) | 1 year,15 days | (#45060519)

IBM? Who is IBM?

Re:IBM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45062155)

#20 in the Fortune 500?

Re:IBM? (1)

douggmc (571729) | 1 year,15 days | (#45062343)

Indian Business Machines ... ... who, in the tech world, hasn't heard of IBM and know what it stands for? Jeez ...

Re:IBM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45062901)

My point was, that currently people will associate Apple or Google with computing before IBM.

That was not so 20 or 30 years ago.

A couple of generations more and the name IBM will not mean much.

And yes, I know what IBM is... or was. I even worked with punched cards.

Re:IBM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45064533)

People said IBM would not be around in 20 years, 40 years ago in the 70s. Then they said it again, 20 years ago in the 90s. Yet they are still around, still huge, and still the worlds #4 brand. Think what you will about them, they know how to evolve and stay relevant.

Re:IBM? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | 1 year,15 days | (#45064669)

IBM? Who is IBM?

That would be an interesting question to pose to Watson . . .

Lotus Notes is so 1995 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060761)

Lotus Notes is a botched abortion... It's amazing anyone still uses it. It is by definition cheaper to use ANYTHING else, including carrier pigeons.

Re:Lotus Notes is so 1995 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45062597)

Outlook and Exchange are regurgitated pieces of shit. You have to be a dipshit taking money on the side to lock your organization into crappy and shitty Microsoft software.

Related to Blackberry's demise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060883)

One thing Lotus Notes has going for it is really nice, tight, secure email integration with Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES). Now that Blackberry is on the way out, I wonder if that will be the impetus for more Notes shops to jump ship to other infrastructure technology?

Notes == spawn of Satan (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45060899)

I was exposed to Lotus, then IBM Notes, in the mid and late 90's, and it was atrocious.

The users at Whirlpool will think of Google Apps as... the savior. And not because Google Apps is so good in absolute terms.

Our company just switched from Outlook to GApps (1)

euroq (1818100) | 1 year,15 days | (#45062619)

... and I HATE it. It's inferior in every way regarding usability as compared to Outlook.

E-mails are more difficult to compose. There's only very basic formatting options. No format paster. In the world of browser tabs, it's very annoying that I now have to find the e-mail tab as opposed to switching between active programs to get my e-mail and calendar.

The calendar is harder to use. It keeps moving the start of the 5 day week to the current day, making it hard to use. (On a more positive note, I like the temperature forecasts built in)

The notifications suck. Suck suck suck. I tried the standard Google Notifier and the messages were left too long in the upper-right hand, blocking important information up there which lasted too long. They aren't customizable. And I've already missed so many meetings because the calendar reminders don't stay on the screen! You have to be actively watching for those reminders to do anything.

I know it's fashionable to hate Microsoft and love Google, but come on. Outlook was a great product, and I was just forced to return to a technology that is 5 or 10 years behind.

Re:Our company just switched from Outlook to GApps (1)

Dynedain (141758) | 1 year,15 days | (#45063485)

You can use any email client you want with GMail using IMAP.

Re:Our company just switched from Outlook to GApps (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45067211)

You can use any email client you want with GMail using IMAP.

Not in these corporate deployments, that's the problem. You can't install an e-mail client, you use what you are given.

And supporting an e-mail client would require local IT staff.

Re:Our company just switched from Outlook to GApps (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | 1 year,15 days | (#45066011)

> Notes can run on Windows/Linux/AIX/iSeries

This is precisely correct. You are deliberately prevented from complex layouts and sophisticated formatting. This compels document writers to use formats that are likely to be legible in 10 years, and that favor actual written content over sophisticated layout. I've found the change to be enormously helpful in revealing who can actually write documentation, instead of merely format it cleverly.

Sucker!!! (1)

LostMyBeaver (1226054) | 1 year,15 days | (#45062975)

Ok... I know there aren't many alternatives, but seriously... moving to Google Docs doesn't sound good in the current climate. It means that all business mails and documents will be easily accessible by the U.S. government.

I don't know whether Whirlpool stores and information that is considered customer confidential, but I'd imagine that they have documents regularly stored on their systems that are marked "Corporate Confidential". Does voluntarily choosing to store files on a server owned by a U.S. corporation that regularly breeches confidentiality by providing their records to the U.S. government (NSA, FBI, etc...) no violate those terms of the agreements?

Of course, pretending like it's not happening might count as "not voluntarily doing so". The only reason I like Offie 365 is because of Office 365 Enterprise which can be hosted by non-Microsoft corporations in countries with privacy laws.

Moving apps to Google / cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45063651)

Probably part of the decision is due to data retention and e-discovery policies. Passing the cost for those requirements could be a real savings.

From my own experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45064155)

I wonder how long it takes for the CIO to get fed up with all the reported missing emails? It is hard to notice when you don't exactly know it's supposed to be there. We switched from our own MS Exchange environment to Google Apps about a year ago. The shear number of reported missing emails is really odd. Some have been proven. Others we eventually just tossed our hands up in the air (the one offs that just weren't worth any more cycles to chase down). In one case an end user wasn't getting their Go To Meeting information. Yet others were. Went back and forth with Google for weeks trying to track it down. Then it mysteriously started working with no additional input from Google Support. I've been here almost 6 years and every year I get MS renewal licensing alerts via email in June-August. This year none of them showed up. And I have at least another two dozen known cases. At least when we had our own mail system we could review the logs and see if we ever received it. Not much you can do except open a ticket and wait when you can't find it in the Google logs. Not always a zippy process.

Google support is ok. Better than some, but not all. You do at least get Canadians to speak with so the language barrier is easier to overcome (no offense to non-English as a first language speaking tech support reps). In one case I didn't hear back from a tech who took my case. A couple of pings and four days went by with no response. Tech came back and told me he was out on a medical issue for a few days. Ok. But how did my issue not get ported to a tech that was available? Very weird.

Then there are times when Google goes offline. Like a couple of weeks ago when their outage left us hanging almost the entire day. And that's happened a few times this year.

Ya, ya, I know. Saves $$$$ right? More versatile? And whatever other cloud marketing speak you want to tag it with. I'm not convinced we should be buying into all that just yet. Our CTO would of course certainly claim the opposite.

Just my own experience with gApps so far. So don't think I'm just off to bash Google here. I've been in IT for going on 20 years. I can use whatever you throw at me. Slightly more difficult for those in most other departments. Especially if there is any learning curve involved. The lost emails does have me worried though. We're small and gApps may only cost us $2500 per year, but what if one of those lost emails doesn't gets noticed and later it is revealed that a sales person lost a big deal in the process by not getting back in a timely manner? Anyway, I feel that's a big enough deal for not moving to gApps. C-level certainly disagrees.

Anyone else move to gApps and experienced the same missing emails issue?

Thank you.

Bip bip bip bip biiiiip! (2)

Greyfox (87712) | 1 year,15 days | (#45064831)

That's "FUCKING Lotus Notes" to you. And anyone else who's ever used Lotus Notes. Unless you use Notes to justify your six-digit developer salary you probably hate fucking Lotus Notes. I'm honestly surprised any company outside IBM was still using it. Last one I'd heard about was Generous Electric and I think they switched to Exchange over a decade ago.

After IBM tried to replace RETAIN (A data retrieval system written in mainframe assembler) with Notes several times, and failed each time, they decided to just use it as their internal mail system to try to recoup their $6 billion. They're probably $8 billion in the hole now due to lost productivity. Lotus Notes did replace their old mainframe mail system, Profs, but Profs was better. Much better. Stabbing yourself in the eye with a spork would be better than having to use Lotus Notes for any length of time.

Really it's a surprising move on IBM's part, sticking to that stinking pile of shit. For a company with over a century of business experience and an otherwise sane-ish track record, it's a strange thing for them to get stuck on. Continuing on with an extremely bad two-decade business decision really isn't like them at all. They'd be better off if they pulled Profs back off the ol' A-Disk and started using that again.

Notes == Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45065167)

Notes is the biggest POS ever invented. I work at IBM and my co-workers and I all say it makes you WANT to use Office. And that is pretty crappy!

So Whirlpool's Customer Data Will Not Be Secure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45067741)

Does this change mean that Whirlpool has decided to store their customer data in The Clown?

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