matnewman.com

I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

Mat Newman  February 8 2012 09:00:00
A very, VERY sad but true story.

The Good:

Servers are all running 8.5.3

The Bad:

Active users are running anything from 6.5.4 to 8.5.2.

No User Training, No ID recovery, No ID Vault, No DAOS, No Roaming, No Policies, No Managed Replicas, No iNotes access, No SameTime, No Traveler, No Databases, Laptop Users are on VPN with No Local Replicas, and Internet Messages are being converted to Plain Text.

How:

The free Panagenda Analyze tells no lies, and is a great addition to our 'Health Check' arsenal.

What's Next:

Please put your Business Cards in the Bin. No wonder your users hate Lotus Notes.
Comments

1Nathan T. Freeman  02/08/2012 9:21:39  
I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

How would any user or IT manager know that their administrator was so lazy and incompetent? What would they have to measure against to discover that life with Notes could be better?

2Mat Newman

02/08/2012 9:29:57  I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

@1, Nathan: You are correct mate. Getting the word out is one of the hardest things. Connecting with the right people, putting the right information into the hands of those who are able to make decisions and ask the hard questions should be a priority. It needs to be done sooner, rather than later. Maybe this is the role of the vendor? Only they have complete access to the list of people who own the software.

Mat Newman IBM Champion

3Stuart Hickson  02/08/2012 10:10:43  
I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

Hi Mat - Is that analzer really free to use at customer sites? I thought you had to purchase licenses? I've filled in the form at their site requesting free licenses but if you have any details, could you email me? thanks mate.

4Mat Newman

02/08/2012 11:59:55  I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

@3, Stuart: Details sent via old school ;-)

Mat Newman IBM Champion

5Ray Bilyk  02/08/2012 12:26:33  
I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

Great call! Unfortunately, the CTO already placed the 'Notes is out!' bug in everyone's ear before I got there...

That's why I'm 'on the hunt'...

I want to make an organization happy!!!

6Brendan Long  02/08/2012 13:56:30  
I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

Wow. I'll admit to being a crappy Notes Administrator, but I feel like Superman compared to your client.

Reminds me of the guy that I spoke to at AusLUG last year who told me he was keeping his clients on 6.5 because he didn't like the eclipse client.

Thanks for the Analyzer link too, I think I will join the horde of tyre-kickers asking for the free version!

7Mat Newman

02/08/2012 14:19:12  I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

@5, Ray: The world needs more guys like you Ray! :-)

Mat Newman IBM Champion

8Mat Newman

02/08/2012 14:58:36  I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

@6, Brendan: Anyone who's willing to learn AND IMPLEMENT is never a crappy Admin mate. Hope you asked 'that guy' why he hadn't rolled Notes 8.5 'Basic'. No problems on the Analyzer link, it's a great tool. Look forward to seeing you at AusLUG 2012!

Mat Newman IBM Champion

9Ed Lee  02/08/2012 19:52:13  
I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

Ha, its been a frequent finding at every site I go to that the one of the key reasons for Domino/Lotus Notes being perceived as bad are the administrators/developers.

Bad server setups, lack of awareness of the products capabilities, general apathy, poor work ethic, wanting to to re-skill in a different technology. These are just some of my observations as to why individuals I have contributed more to the demise of Domino/Lotus in their own orginisations than the promotion.

Ironically, they can never see that when the technology gets replaced, they do to, despite what they may get told about being retrained.

10Andreas Ponte  02/08/2012 20:49:08  
I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

I'm confronted with an opposite attitude where a junior admin wanted to adopt all the cool new stuff but lacked knowledge on what best practices are. Even worse was that the BP on his side at that time looked the other way and let them create a monster infrastructure with all possible wrongs. Result: slow clients on local and on Citrix, bad server performance, slow applications and the list goes on..

We've accepted the CEO's challenge and will prove him that you can have a great Lotus Notes/Domino infrastructure with good performance if you do it right.

11Mick Moignard  02/08/2012 21:36:24  
I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

The real issue for that company is this: they'll chuck out Notes "because it's crap" and install something else. But the chances are extremely good that because they did such a poor job with Notes they'll do an equally poor job - or, because it's all new to them, a worse job - with whatever they choose instead. Everyone will shortly afterwards be saying "XYZ is crap".

They'll have spent a whole pile of money replacing a crap Notes setup with a crap XYZ setup, and never in a million years realise where the real issues are.

Mick

12Denny  02/09/2012 0:59:36  
I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

Maybe he inherited the system from someone else and was also looking for a 'change'. No matter what software it is, if it is your responsibility, you MUST be the champion of it in your organization.

We always say how rock solid Domino is on the back end and I think sometimes that can be a curse. Because you aren't in there managing it all the time, it's easy to let it go. On the flip side of that, it should free up your time to realize all the potential it has and make it even better.

I think another factor depends on the size of the company and responsibilities of the 'Admin'. I see with a lot of customers, it's not always their top priority and they don't have the time to 'Champion' it.

13Mat Newman

02/09/2012 1:15:53  I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

@9, Ed & @11, Mick: It's NEVER the Admin's fault - we're all perfect ;-) Now did I set that quota at 50, or 75 meg for that new user ...

@10, Andreas: Saw your Tweet mate, you go get 'em Tiger!

@12, Denny: Yes, one of the biggest 'failings' of Domino is that it WILL run, even when mistreated. Can't count the number of sites where I've seen that. For me, it comes down to pride. I just couldn't call myself an IT professional if I didn't know or really care about the environment I managed. Agree that it may have come down to the additional roles being performed, but if your job description and primary role is 'Lotus Notes Administrator' ....

Mat Newman IBM Champion

14Vaughan Rivett  02/09/2012 5:08:40  
I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

You have summed the situation up so well. I talk to companies every day who have users complaining. When I ask them about some of the admin features, they have no idea.

When I was doing Domino Administration, I use to look to implement new features where possible. The issue, is that most of the features you mentioned have now been around for years.

15Gwen Jenkins  02/09/2012 6:25:20  
I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

It might not be the administrator's fault. Administrators can't develop and enforce policies on their own. My last company started "trying to get off Notes" in 1996 but are still using it now and for the foreseeable future, although they outsourced Administration several years ago and offshored Development in November. Almost from the beginning, we used Notes primarily for workflow; it was also our mail system, but for production workers that wasn't the most important function.

USERS did not hate Notes; departmental developers (when they had them) provided tools that helped them do their jobs, and which have not proved to have an MS counterpart. (I think I developed the first of these tools, resulting in a much wider rollout of Notes in the company.) [Note to IBM: While "social" is all very exciting, the best way to get people excited about a new tool is to introduce it with apps that make their OWN jobs easier, not management's. I realize it may be easier to sell management the reverse, but management will have to wrangle their users eventually.]

Unfortunately, EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT, especially technology leadership, want to see a "single platform" and refuse to hear anything about Domino. So they've spent millions trying unsuccessfully to develop tools that work better than Domino applications, but don't require Domino. (In some cases, admittedly, there are other tools that are probably more suitable, but Notes developers were considered to be too invested in Notes to be useful in developing anything else.)

The consequence for Notes Administration, however, was that from 1996 on there was no corporate or departmental leadership and little to no cooperation (after all, Notes was just a temporary evil). So we had demoralized administrators and no coordination between developers.

16Gaelyn Davidson  02/09/2012 14:08:26  
I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

Nothing's ever simple, Matt. You must know that implementing ID Vault (just to pick one out of your list) is not just a snap of the fingers. This stuff takes not only awareness, but management support and the time to research and test and implement. And back-end stuff isn't sexy, so no, the manager doesn't want you spending time on THAT, better spend time fixing the VP's recurring calendar problem that his delegated secretary caused but will never admit to. Sigh. But yeah, server-side IS sexy and anyone calling themselves an admin should at the very least be up to speed on what's possible. I can tell you a dozen "invisible" things I think we should do to our environment, in priority order, right now. Everyone should. Keep fighting the good fight!

17Nathan T. Freeman  02/10/2012 16:49:11  
I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

Man, it's bad enough when IBM does this stuff, but here we have all these partners and customers saying "this admin sucks!" "It's management's fault!" "People are incompetent!"

This is the constant refrain of blaming the customer. Everyone's implying the identical refrain: these people weren't smart enough to use Notes/Domino as their messaging system.

Digest that for a moment. If you built a car, and people didn't like to drive it, so you said "well, people aren't smart enough to drive my car." What would the world's response be?

18Mat Newman

02/14/2012 20:59:32  I hereby revoke the privilege of calling yourself ’Lotus Notes Administrator’

@17, Nathan: It's all about education mate. Sing it from the roof-tops. spread the word, demonstrate the features, tell the horror stories, make people start thinking and try to get them to at least RTFM or ask a question. Bill Buchan (http://www.billbuchan.com/) and Paul Mooney (http://www.pmooney.net/) did it so well at Lotusphere for a couple of years, where we ALL went along to see whether we were (hopefully not) the worst Admins and Devs in the business.

I understand and appreciate your point. My post certainly vilifies the incumbent. I pray that it also made some people think about their environment, and why the set of features at the top of the list identified within this post might be valuable for the reader to implement.

@All: I really don't CARE who's fault it is (Remember it's OURS!), if you don't understand something, just ASK. DO NOT tell your users "Notes can't do that". Seriously, if I can answer your question in just a couple of minutes the response WILL be free. Remember, in the judicial system in a majority of countries around the world Ignorance is NOT a defence. I implore you. For the sake of your users, if you don't know, there is someone HERE to help ... just ASK!

Mat Newman IBM Champion

Mat Newman

THE Lotus Notes Guy. Productivity Guru. Social Evangelist. IBM Champion for IBM Collaboration Solutions, 2011/2012/2013. IBMer. Views are my own.

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