Rebranding of Notes Mail / Connections Mail and Consequences – #RebrandingFail


I received this marketing/sales email earlier today and reading it made me a bit confused and also concerned. Not because I think that IBM and email is going away, but because f the way that IBM has initialized it’s latest round of rebranding Notes (aka Connections Mail) there is confusion in the marketplace and this is a great example for what clients are going to be bombarded with:

Dear Victor,

IBM is ending the “Lotus” brand, and has been building more functionality into “IBM Connections”, suggesting that they may be trying to get rid of email as a single platform. Notes users have had no choice but to look for alternatives and make plans to switch over to another system.

Unfortunately, migration away from Notes is tricky and companies need 3rd party assistance to make the switch. For companies who plan to consolidate control over legacy data, the most important consideration in selecting a 3rd party is the subsequent accessibility of historical Notes data.

ZL Technologies has years of experience successfully migrating our customers off of Domino systems and specializes in providing them with a Unified system of information governance. To find out how ZL is able to accurately migrate all your legacy data while drastically reducing storage footprint and minimizing resulting operational costs, read our complimentary datasheet.

To learn more about us, please visit our website at http://www.zlti.com, or reach out to ZL experts directly at zl_info@zlti.com.

 

I have worked with ZL’s previously and they have a very kick-ass product. However, I can’t see the necessity for my clients to now suddenly “run for the hills” and look for another mail system. Again, I don’t really blame ZL that much as they are simply taking advantage of IBM’s efforts to sell their products. Rather, I lay the blame for this squarely at IBM. I don’t feel that the whole rebranding thing was well explained (a all!) at Connect2014 nor did I as a business partner get any follow-up and additional info. I am no sure if and how much effort IBM has extended to the follow-up of their (for me very confusing) announcement at Connect, but clearly it ain’t enough. In the absence of a clear and resounding message, messages by third parties like this is all that clients will be hearing.

I assume more companies will be using this as an opening to try and sell their services and products to make sure that those poor IBM customers that will be abandoned by IBM can safely migrate to another – hopefully much safer – platform with all their data intact and enjoy another 100 years of email longevity . . ..

Should I tweet it … #rebrandingfail ??

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Lotus Protector and the endless search


I have been helping a client with a new Lotus Protector setup and I ran into a new problem for the first time myself and as I can’t find anything on the web or in the documentation this is a prime candidate for a blog entry:

By default Lotus protector is accessible by two ports: https on port 443 for the admin interface and over https on port 4443 for the client access (e.g. the Notes client displaying your spam queue). I had never felt it necessary to change this before but my current client wanted it the other way around as they felt it would be easier on clients to not have to have them add a [:4443] port to the end of the url to look at their spam queue in a browser. Sensible – I totally agree. Not a difficult thing if you follow this Forum entry on how to do it.

Unfortunately there is not really good technote on how to do this and make sure you cross all your T’s and dot your I’s. What we found out is that you can change the ports (easy peasy) but now when we looked at the spam queues for users they never updated and we just got an endless search loop. Otherwise the system was functional and there were no errors in logs or anything.

One of my colleagues opened a PMR and this is what we got back:

Indeed the problem occurs because the customer changed the ports
between admin user interface (default = 443) and end user interface
(default = 4443). In order to make sure that browsing the message store
does properly work although the ports are changed the following needs
to be done:

Edit
/var/www-enduser/proventia_html/pvm_msgstore_backend/search_handler.inc
and set the proper ports:

Well, now we know how to do it for the future. Hopefully this helps somebody else out there as well. I really like the Protector device, especially the integration with the Notes client which is really great. I like giving end users the power to look and decide themselves WITHOUT having to open another interface outside of their mail client. Here is a link to a presentation I did a while back on the Consultantinyourpocket.com site. It is for an older version  of Protector but the basics are still the same.

 

IBM Moderators can not use SPNEGO to Automatically Login to Moderate Content in Connections – United States


http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21577480&myns=swglotus&mynp=OCSSYGQH&mync=E

This technote just came out but we actually had this issue early last month where we noticed it. My current client uses SPNEGO for single sign-on (works GREAT btw) and since moderation is a new feature to Cnnections we did not really notice it in the beginning. After all, if something is new, you are not – yet – aware of what the standard behavior is supposed to be. We have a single-server test environment that does not use SPNEGO on on that we were not forced to log in separately and that difference was what prompted us to ask questions.
Suffices to say, the iFix did rectify the problem and it now works. I urge you to take a look at your system and request the iFix from IBM.

Error loading wiring Properties: property name is not unique….


http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21578096&myns=swglotus&mynp=OCSSKTWP&mync=R

This just came in via a feed from IBM support. I hope you guys subscribe to the support feeds as well.

Personally I never came across this specific error but as I do work allot in large, multi nationals this is a good one to squirrel away and keep in my back pocket.

IBM Support – Change to AVP Telephone Support Processes


This fluttered across my desk today at a client site I am currently working at. It appears that if y are an AVP client (Accelerated Value Program) IBM will no longer get you right to a technician if you call in a ticket but rather wants you to enter it online and wait for a call back. At my current client this is the standard way of operating and the call backs are rather quick – however I have been at other sites where those cal backs have taken somewhat longer in the past. I don’t think there will be much change but I will keep my eyes open and the stopwatch at hand.

I am generally rather happy with IBM support, though some of my clients feel they to often try to solve their problems by asking them (the clients) to upgrade … let’s not get into that discussion as upgrades and point releases in large companies can be compared to the logistical equivalent of clearing a minefield.

 

Here from the email:

Dear IBM Software Accelerated Value Program Client:

We are pleased you chose IBM to provide high-quality solutions for your business and information systems needs. This email is to inform you that Lotus is making a change in their approach to provide support delivery. Below is an explanation of those changes that will directly affect how you receive ongoing support for your Lotus branded software.

In order to ensure consistency across the IBM Software Accelerated Value Program, effective Monday, January 2, 2012, Lotus will move to call-back mode for all PMRs. Customers will have the option to open PMRs via Electronic Service Request (SR), already a choice of the majority of our customers, or by calling 1-800-IBMSERV or your local country equivalent.

IBM Service Request (SR) is a worldwide, Web-based problem submission and tracking tool available in the IBM Support Portal and is a method of choice by many of our clients. Service Request is available 7×24 and allows you to open PMRs and to check the status of your PMR without having to call IBM and at a time that it is most convenient to you.

Our customers tell us that increased access to information and the ability to be self-sufficient in finding the solutions they need when they need them provides the optimum capability to manage their IT infrastructure. Lotus has an array of tools that make it easy or you. If you are unfamiliar with these tools, we invite you to learn more at Lotus Support — Just a click away! In addition, the IBM Support Portal also has many special features available only to IBM Accelerated Value clients. We are committed to meeting the evolving requirements of our customers and continue to focus on enhancing the tools and support we provide.

All of us in the Lotus Technical Support organization and the Accelerated Value Program team look forward to assisting with your software support needs. We are here to help you achieve maximum benefit from your investment in IBM software and support services.

If you have questions at any time about these changes, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thanks.