• Subject: Re: The Magic Box
  • From: "Dan Bale" <dbale@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1999 11:54:56 -0400

>What irks me the most about Notes advertising is that there is one common
question everyone asks about Notes:  "What does it do?"   If everyone is
asking that simple question then, damn it, you know what your ads have to

Oh yeah, BTW, I contracted in a shop using Notes.  It has its own AS/400 server.
Like many others, I had heard of Notes and how it was supposed to be a "killer
app".  But I never knew what the big deal was.  A week after I started here, I
asked, in a status meeting, "is Notes just a glorified mail server?"  I got a
few chuckles, but I don't think the supervisor was too amused.  (It was an
honest question.)

Then I saw the following letter that pretty much sums up my feelings on IBM's
efforts (or lack thereof) to explain just what exactly is Domino.  The letter
appeared in the May '99 issue of News400:

   I sure hope some IBMers read your "Is It Just Me" column ["Will Domino Be
   IBM's Next OS/2?" February 1999], and no, it's not just you!  Here in our
   shop we are all blown away by IBM's spectacular output in the AS/400 arena
   lately:  gigahertz chips, downright cheap 170s, the full-blown Internet
   capabilities now built into OS/400.  However, we're all stunned at IBM's lack
   of marketing savvy!

   Domino should be called Dominowho because no one knows what the heck it does!
   It's groupware.  And what is that?  Sharing printers, files, and e-mail?  I
   could do that in 1985!  People need to know, and IBM needs front page ads
   with specifics.  Domino is a document-centric database/application server/Web
   server with workflow that brings together e-mail (POP3, SMP, etc.), the Web,
   your corporate database, and documents with document history.

   IBM should start a serial ad campaign with an example implemenatation.  For
   example, DukeCo just installed Domino and here's how they're using it.  Mary
   writes a P.O., and using workflow, routes it to Jack who modifies it.  The
   P.O. goes back to Mary, who can still see her original date-stamped version
   with the click of a mouse button.  She makes changes and routes it back to
   Jack, who approves it and then routes it to Tyra.  She makes the order and
   sets the date the products should arrive.  Domino waits until the due date
   and sends Mary a reminder that she should have received the products she
   wanted by now.

   (letter written by) Christian Eidsmoe
   Santa Ana, CA

Is this what Notes does?  Why doesn't IBM tell me and everyone else in the

- Dan Bale

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