Oh dear: How Lotus can win Qantas back


We’re prepared to bet that the Lotus Notes camp wasn’t happy to learn in February that Qantas had decided to switch sides and was now playing for the Exchange team.

But not everyone took the decision lying down … one Keith Brooks from Boca Raton, Florida (Twitter handle: @lotusevangelist) decided to set the record straight. In a post entitled “Qantas outsources their brains too?”, he exhorted revolution:

“Qantas employees, fight this. Not because of Outlook or Notes but because of your job and the precarious nature of where this expense may send your company and thus your job.”

Qantas executive manager of corporate services and technology, David Hall, he said, should pay for the Notes move out of his bonus. But don’t worry, he said. It’s not like Hall will be around for long anyway.

“The average tenure of an executive in your position is 5.3 years so you will be fine before the next huge bill comes back to the company. Especially if you start this process in year 2 of your tenure.”

The change of email suite, he said, would affect the airline’s share price.

“By the way, if you own Qantas shares get ready to sell them. If past histories tell us anything it’s that companies that leave Lotus Notes to Exchange (or some other system) go into free fall for at least a year.

The whole deal, he said, would result in:

“A mess that anyone with some intelligence would look at and question.”

Brooks’ company, Vanessa Brooks, claims to be one of the few Lotus Business Partners in the world dedicated to Lotus infrastructure projects, according to its website, which also states it “wants to earn your respect, one project at a time”. The Lotus enthusiast, also an executive at the SAS Group, according to his LinkedIn profile, finished his article with an attempt to earn that respect from Hall:

Fujitsu, or Mr. Hall, let us help you, contact me so we can show you the error of your ways.

What, we wonder, would Brooks think of the news that Qantas flight attendants are encouraged to use their own personal email — Gmail or Hotmail — for work-related matters?

Oh dear.


    • Hi Ed,

      I take your point, that is a big migration to Notes. Can you guys confirm whether that migration is affecting Panasonic’s Australian operations?

  1. The Qantas staff which is going to use an external client of their choosing is fine and they could achieve the same benefit, if not save more potentially, by using the LotusLive options. But it’s a tax consideration what you expense versus what you own and I am not Qantas’s accountants to truly argue if that is a good choice from a financial perspective.

    However, from a security perspective I am surprised that the FAA (or whatever the equivalent for Austrailia) would allow an employee of airline to use an unsecured and open email solution that is not encrypted at a minimum.

    I am not inside Qantas but many companies in similar positions have some applications which they retain running on Domino even after the move so what have they gained?

    They will now have 2 different infrastructures, 2 separate licensing costs, multiple hardware costs, multiple backups among other aspects including data center costs, real estate and what will they get for spending all this money?

    Just email.

    If that’s all they cared about, why not go to Gmail which is infinitely cheaper than Exchange? Honestly, it is not about the money or technology.

    Statements like some of the comments above that say no one goes to Lotus Notes or that it is going away are just ignorant views of the global IT space.

    Lotus never went away and continues to grow today. Clients just keep doing more and more with their infrastructures.

    If you look at where the world is now, it is following the lead of Lotus Notes, here are some items to think about which were inside Lotus Notes before Microsoft, Apple or Mozilla, Google, Yahoo caught on:

    tabbed browsers
    chiclets/icons of a display in a workspace
    Requiring an ID to validate a user
    Active Clustering for Email/application servers
    Customized UI and flexible options for the user

    Lotus was and is about sharing information and ideas.

    Like any product Lotus has gone through some good and bad patches, but when I ask my clients why they still use Lotus, its 3 words I keep hearing…it just works.

    Most stable and the open ability to work from a browser, phone, windows/mac/linux clients and run on any OS of your choice with full clustering and email is just 10% of what it could do for anyone.

    So what’s not to like?

  2. The whole of Cardiff University, UK, has been forced to transition to Lotus Notes from 2009 onwards.

    The University calls this transition a “modern working environment”, but it’s clear that the transition has been riddled with problems and that Lotus has removed some functionality that users previously had with Groupwise.

  3. @sniff Lotus didn’t remove any functionality for you, it was never inside to begin with.

    When doing these large transformations some times testing of functionality is not covered entirely, because of scope or the intent of the organizations individuals who weigh the trade offs of their choices.
    People are not perfect, neither is software, it’s designed by people.

    There are some unique, and odd choices of security, in Groupwise that Notes does not allow.
    That said I worked on some work around ideas that were quite favorable to meet or in some cases exceed the Groupwise functions.

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