New IBM Exec Takes The Wraps Off Vendor&S Domino, Notes 7 Upgrades

Rhodin replaced Ambuj Goyal, who has taken over IBM&s Information Management Group.

IBM claimed 500 “competitive wins” (75 percent of which were partner-led) over rival offerings and showcased a customer that had switched from Exchange Server 5.5 to Domino. To be fair, Microsoft touts Domino-to-Exchange conversions as well. Even so, many integrators say they don&t see much full-scale migration in either direction.

Jim Tieri, IT director at The Holland Co., Crete, Ill., said his company partnered with The PSC Group to move from Exchange 5.5 to Domino. He cited security issues, support for remote users and a smoother upgrade path for his decision.

“The key deciding point was the complexity of what it would take to go to new Microsoft technology and the myriad licensing [options] to do that. Just from the complexity standpoint, it was going to be huge. To go to Notes, I bought the server code, the client license, and that was it,” he said. Jim Vaselopoulos, vice president of PSC, Schaumburg, Ill., concurred. While PSC partners with both Microsoft and IBM, the company determines which messaging option to go with based on customer fit, he said.

Sponsored post

“As far as migration goes, ours is a natural release-to-release progression,” said Rhodin, who maintained that Microsoft has repeatedly mischaracterized IBM&s Workplace/Domino divergence as a dead-end for Domino Notes. But while his assertion might be true, IBM executives have also muddied the waters by saying key Domino subsystems would be replaced with Java-based counterparts.

IBM is still trying to clean up that mess. With this release, for example, integrators can post applications natively on a DB2 relational store while preserving Domino-based access controls and replication, said Ken Bisconti, vice president of Workplace, Portal and Collaboration products. This DB2 option makes relational constructs and ad hoc queries into the Domino world.

Now for the flip side: One VAR said Microsoft Exchange is sometimes unfairly tarnished by migration issues in the rest of Microsoft&s stack. “You cannot have [new] Exchange without Active Directory,” said Dave Via, vice president of The Wolcott Group, a Fairlawn, Ohio-based messaging integrator that works with both companies. To get to Active Directory, users on older versions of the Windows Server operating system have to upgrade. This is a gray area because a lot of Domino sites also use Active Directory. Microsoft has promised Service Pack 2 for Exchange Server 2003, with some major perks later this year. It will be followed by the Exchange 12 release to be synched up with Office 12 next year.