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HCL picks up Notes, spanks total of $1.8bn at Honest John's IBM software sale

Jove Bronze badge

Sales Person of the Year

Bye heck, a true Cloggie.

Finding someone to buy all that cr*p is the outstanding achievement of the year - the selling curried muck to India.

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Sales Person of the Year

BigFix is an InfoSec and sysadmins wet dream, and should have been a huge seller. Let's hope HCL don't screw it up.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Sales Person of the Year

BigFix is just 30 years old Tivoli renamed. And it was always not any wet dream but pure nightmare to support.It looks good only in marketing presentations.

Slabfondler

Re: Sales Person of the Year

Um, no it isn't - IBM bought the company and the product and re-branded it as Tivoli, then reversed the branding a few years later. It is *not* Tivoli software at all, trust me.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Sales Person of the Year

Had a little experience with BigFix (pretty good patch management software prior to being parked in software limbo by IBM) and Unica (again parked by IBM but was told it had pretty unique features that were valued before Salesforce came along).

The inclusion of Notes/Domino must have meant the original asking price was upwards of $5b...

At least there’s a vague chance of HCL improving the products rather than leaving them in limbo.

Jove Bronze badge

Re: Sales Person of the Year

Whatever their former merits, these products are in or moving to their EoL phase.

The change of ownership will likely see emphasis placed on maximising license revenues rather than any significant re-working of the products.

tip pc

Looks like Mays Brexit deal

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

@Tip PC Nope... nothing like Brexit

A friend who works for the Borg told me how much profit they make off of these old products.

You collect the license/maintenance fee while you spend little on break fix maintenance and no R&D on new features. Big money maker...

The only reason IBM will sell off these products is that they don't believe that they have much more life in them and need to switch their portfolio to newer tech aka Cloud, Kubernetes, and analytics where they can attempt to sell at a premium and stay relevant.

HCL (Hmmm a lot like HAL) see this as a way to continue to capture revenue and entry into customers to sell other products and services. Sort of like buying that used car so you can drive for Uber.

The truth is that it makes sense, but the numbers do not. Well maybe.

IBM is counting on being able to switch customer from old products to new products while HCL is betting that customers will hang on to legacy apps longer and that the move will be slower.

Also that they can then morph the platforms in to something new.

Platinum Software did this back in the 90's and made a fortune.

Time will tell.

Posted anon, for the Obvious reasons.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: @Tip PC Nope... nothing like Brexit

Your summary of IBMs software acquisition management is 90% accurate - the only thing missing is the increases in maintenance to drive away all but the most dependent customers.

The challenge with this approach is that the rapid change in client OSes and drive to improve security that has a habit of breaking these apps push customers to alternative solutions.

I’d be surprised if IBM are counting on anything other than the money in the bank for this...

Jove Bronze badge

Re: @Tip PC Nope... nothing like Brexit

I don't think there is anything controversial in what you say.

One aside I would make is that SUSE Linux previously went through one of these spring-cleaning sales and look how much it went for in the recent sale.

Codysydney

Pretty sure I can infer that no one in HCL ever had to use Notes

Ken 16 Silver badge

Pretty sure they all will have to soon

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

@Ken 16 - That would be cruelty

You don't do this to your fellow men/women. They are living beings after all.

ROC

Re: @Ken 16 - That would be cruelty

Well, a few years back, I found switching from older, but in-house LN, to remote Outlook to be even uglier.

Ken 16 Silver badge
Holmes

Re: @Ken 16 - That would be cruelty

When I were a lad, we went from cc mail to Notes 4 and we were glad of it!

Jove Bronze badge

Re: @Ken 16 - That would be cruelty

Quick! Someone call a Doctor.

spold Bronze badge

Seasonal cheer

Stuffing the slightly smelly turkey among the christmas goodies - sorry! you have to take the lot - all or nothing. Phew! (removes big blue clothes-peg).

Alistair Silver badge
Windows

farewell lotus notes

I forsee an obituary in the next 18 months

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: farewell lotus notes

In 18 months?

It died years ago, it’s just IBM refused to pay for the funeral... Two major releases in ~10 years (I’m being generous including v10 as it’s only been out a few months) for a product that had features its major competitors included 15+ years ago and shedding customers at the rate of around 5 million a year and are now down to around 30m worldwide with about 50% paying maintenance although I suspect a big chunk of those users are on an alternative mail platform...

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Never Got To Grips with Notes....

Long ago and far away, in a Big Six firm, I quite liked the Notes training. When I got back to my office, I started looking for useful Notes "databases". My employer had built hundreds of them, many of them potentially useful. That was...until I found that each useful database had a different administrator, and needed a separate sign on and login for each and every one. I gave up after a couple of months...so I can't say today whether Notes was useful or not. Clearly not useful to me!

2+2=5 Silver badge
Joke

Re: Never Got To Grips with Notes....

> That was...until I found that each useful database had a different administrator, and needed a separate sign on and login for each and every one.

Your lack of initiative is quite disappointing. You should have used your newly acquired skills to create a password manager database, in Notes.

Col Smithies

Re: Never Got To Grips with Notes....

"until I found that each useful database had a different administrator, and needed a separate sign on and login for each and every one."

Having worked with Notes for 20 years I can honestly say it's not necessary to have a "separate sign on" for each database. I've never heard it recommended and I've never come across any organisation that has imposed such a crazy idea on their users.

DrFierce

Re: Never Got To Grips with Notes....

The authentication is handled via the Notes ID and you authenticate when you load the Notes client. That's it. No login required after that (unless you have a needlessly complicated environment, but that's a different story).

The databases have an access control list and different levels of access. There is a Manager access level, but Manager != Administrator. Most of well-maintained ACLs use user groups, so no need most of the time to go an deal with the ACL itself.

Thought this had to be said because what you describe and the reality of Notes' security seem to be two different things. Also, is it too late for a refund for that Notes training? I don't think they provide a good service.

PaDuOne

Re: Never Got To Grips with Notes....

You were either using something else then Notes or whoever setup the environment for you had maybe just one more Notes training then you had :). One of the biggest strengths of Notes was easy control of access based on roles and groups. Trained monkey could have set it up with few clicks. There are no 'logins'. You only 'login' to Notes client once and you can then access any Domino server that is able to recognize you. Actually that login is nothing more then password for so called notes id file which is actually certificate that holds all necessary information about you (same as the certs some ppl are using to access eg bank accounts or sign/encrypt the mail). That was all built-in more then 20 years ago in Notes and only thing that was making ppl mad was poor UI that did not improved much over those 20 years. They tried to suit up Notes by using Java/html/css etc but at the core the poor UI was still there. Even Domino designer ment for developers did not get much options for customization however even non-programmer could easily start programming workflows and apps (and on user level you are able to do lot of stuff and automation using lotus script).

Btw. Notes DBs are actually first NoSQL databases...

petef

My company had a recent meeting of all employees as we are in the midst of a merger. A spontaneous cheer went up when it was announced that we were dumping Notes.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Is that for email? The company I work for announced they were dumping Notes in 2007. Eleven years later, we are still using many Notes applications.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Probably going to happen here too. Us techies deliberately ask "what about all the Notes databases/apps?" with a smile on our face when management-types try and convince us that moving to Office 365 is a good idea.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Maybe they're planning to make it work.

Erik4872

I doubt any tears will be shed for Notes

My medium-sized multinational company just got rid of Notes 2 years ago...for email. There are still some business-critical functions carried out via workflows embedded in Notes databases. But I'm sure the owners have spent this time rebuilding them...I hope...

I can't believe it's managed to hang on this long. I never really liked it, but in the dial-up days it was very handy to be able to take your entire mailbox with you and work offline as if you were connected. Outlook didn't get that for ages. The positive thing is that now that's in the hands of some Indian outsourcing firm, we're never going to see any NEW deployments. Maybe that will finally be the thing to kill it...just keeping it on life support for the one or two holdouts.

LDS Silver badge
Joke

"Now that's in the hands of some Indian outsourcing firm"...

... will they change the hieroglyphics to some Kamasutra images?

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Do IBM,...

... still use Notes as their internal mail platform?

I used to use 'BigFix' when I was Blue, it was a buy in, originally called BigFix, then renamed to Tivoli Endpoint Manager, then IBM Endpoint Managed, then IBM BigFix, and i guess now, HCL BigFix.

Odd for IBM to sell tools it uses internally, sure they'll rake in some dough, but end up paying via licenses, Wikipedia reckons Big Blue still has ~366,000 employees, That's a lot of revenue for HCL.

Stephen McLaughlin

Re: Do IBM,...

They do use Notes internally. I know several IBM salespeople that complain about it regularly.

DrFierce

Re: Do IBM,...

The folks at IBM use the Cloud version for Mail (SmartCloud Notes, which is Verse on Mobile devices) and there is a mix of on-premises use as well as cloud-based use (the latter through DAC/SoftLayer). Not sure I heard anyone complain about all this.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Do IBM,...

Odd for IBM to sell tools it uses internally, sure they'll rake in some dough, but end up paying via licenses, Wikipedia reckons Big Blue still has ~366,000 employees, That's a lot of revenue for HCL.

One joke had it that IBM bought Lotus because their Notes servers were down...

SVV Silver badge

That's a lot of notes for Notes

Reading this reminder that this thing is still alive, a horrible thought occurred to me and I had to see if it might be true. And yes, there are Android and iOS apps available for Notes. Did not want to investigate any further in case it brought back too many memories of when I last had to use it, 20 years ago this year in fact.

Col Smithies

Re: That's a lot of notes for Notes

"Did not want to investigate any further in case it brought back too many memories of when I last had to use it, 20 years ago this year in fact."

that's like saying you don't like Windows because Windows 98 was awful

Danny 14 Silver badge

Re: That's a lot of notes for Notes

but windows 10 IS awful

James Anderson

Re Re: That's a lot of notes for Notes

Except the awful notes UI has not changed much in the last 20 years.

Windows got better 98 -> NT -> XP

The flatlined -> Windows 7

The downhill -> Windows 8

Followed by a crash dive that would impress a herd of lemmings --> Windows 10

Mage Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Re That's a lot of notes for Notes

Win98 was parallel to NT 4, not really a forerunner of XP. Different kinds of things.

Win 95 parallel to NT3.5

Win 3.11 was parallel to NT 3.1 which was the first NT in 1993 (There was an MS version of OS/2 in 1989 with LAN manager for DOS/ Windows)

ME (Arrrgh) was sort of parallel to NT 5.0 known as Win 2000

ME was the last development of the Windows GUI loaded after booting DOS. (Win 1, 2, 286, 386 all poor, Win 3.0 nearly there, Win 3.1 first reasonable version of the GUI)

XP was NT 5.1

Server 2003 or maybe Itanium XP 64 Pro* or maybe x86-64 XP Pro was NT 5.2

Vista was NT 6.0. The Itanium 64 bit XP was killed off early!

Win 7 was really a SP, or something of Vista. It was NT 6.1

Win8 should never have existed and inexplicably was NT 6.2, so must have mostly been a crazy change to the Desktop.

Win 9 didn't exist because of stupid programmers checking for a stupid string like 9* instead of functionality.

Win10 should be NT 7.0, but they had Windows 7 already. Besides Apple stayed at Version 10 after OS 9, since March 2001 and MS wants to copy Apple, Adobe and Google. Hence every new version of NT will be now Windows 10 and NT 10.

(*There was a 64 bit version of NT4.0 for Alpha. NT at one stage supported x86, Pentium Pro (win9x ran bad on Pentium Pro because it ran 16bit natively, NT used WOW and NTVDM), MIPS, Power PC, 32 bit Alpha. Unlike Win3.1/Win9x/WinME, NT never ran DOS or 16 bit Windows code natively but on a NTVDM with all Win16 APIs mapped to 32 bit Windows (WOW).)

DrFierce

Re: That's a lot of notes for Notes

Wow. Hopefully you're not an IT person. I've been in the business for 20+ years and I've never had a product scar me psychologically that I didn't want to see what improvements occurred with different versions, even when looking at Internet Exploder...

Chris King Silver badge

Re: That's a lot of notes for Notes

Notes and Windows have both evolved, but sadly not in the "awesome superpowers" sort of way.

ROC

Re: That's a lot of notes for Notes

"mutated" might be more apt...

PaDuOne

Re: That's a lot of notes for Notes

There are ANY 'real' Notes apps for Android nor iOS. The Notes client doesn't exist for these platforms as far as I know...

SVV Silver badge
Holmes

Re: That's a lot of notes for Notes

Colonel Smithies : joined today, 2 posts bigging up Notes and criticising naysayers.

DrFierce : joined today, 7 posts bigging up Notes and criticising naysayers.

20 years experience and you thought we might not catch such amateurishness?

Ken 16 Silver badge
Trollface

Re: That's a lot of notes for Notes

I wouldn't say anything hugely positive about Notes under my own name either

Jove Bronze badge

Re: Re That's a lot of notes for Notes

... and I assume you wrote that while waiting for your Windows 10 slab to boot.

IGnatius T Foobar !

Is anyone still running Bloated Goats?

Overly complex, not well-suited to the task people are using it for, badly supported by the vendor ... pick any three.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

I will take note that Notes has been offloaded ..... again.

Notes always promised a lot but was too laborious to setup/use quickly.

Perfect example of a piece of software predicated on 'User lock-in'.

By time you had it setup to do something useful, it was too costly to consider ever moving off it.

I expect the few remaining users will be finally looking to move elsewhere.

Lots of paying work for anyone who knows Notes and is tasked with migrating systems elsewhere :)

Probably another thing Crapita could do at a bargain price ;)

DrFierce

Re: I will take note that Notes has been offloaded ..... again.

Time to setup a Domino server, including creating server, admin and user IDs: 5 minutes. Another five for a decent web server configuration. Add another five minute to setup the client. There you go: 15 minutes and I've got a decent client/server setup and can do pretty much what I want. But ok, 15 minutes can be long for some folks... Remind me how quickly you can set up an Exchange and Sharepoint server to (not nearly) do the same thing?

It's costly to move off of it because despite what Microsoft says, it's not a simple process to go from the Notes format to the Exchange/Outlook format (Microsoft has been at it for 20 years now? You'd think they would have sorted that out by now). Also, you are still far, far away from parity with regards to applications, development, etc... Microsoft has also been working on this for a long time, you'd also think they'd have that sorted out by now...

Cavehomme_
Unhappy

Why all the hate?

I've been using Outlook for nearly 19 years and prior to that Notes. When I moved job and transferred from Notes to Outlook, I could not believe how poor Outlook was, not much better than Outlook Express yet with those awful .pst files and profiles that always became quickly corrupted. Not much better these days in terms of functionality nor stability..

Hope HCL can bring Notes up to date and finally give us a real alternative to the Outlook monopoly. While they are at it, would be great if they could brack Lotus Office too!

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