Many companies find that using Lotus-based products - like Notes and Domino - can be a mixed blessing.
On one hand, users become fiercely loyal. They appreciate the overall ease of use inherent in Lotus products and have grown to depend on advanced collaboration features – the long suite of Lotus. In fact, many companies have used its features to create customized data and applications that streamline work and promote productivity.
On the other hand, firms often find that they have become a victim of market share. Despite the company’s acquisition by IBM and the fact that there are well over 2 million businesses using Lotus solutions, some vendors are slow to support the Lotus community.
Market Share Miseries
It’s a case of economics. Vendors rush to support the larger market for Microsoft technologies – such as Microsoft Exchange – and treat the Lotus community as an afterthought.
As a result, Lotus users find that they have to wait – sometimes a very long time – to find vendors releasing solutions that integrate with Lotus technologies. Take the Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) world as an example – where prominent vendors, including Cisco, have been slower to respond to the Lotus world with important technical features that are already present in the Microsoft market.
While Microsoft users take for granted that they can use capabilities like Unified Messaging Services seamlessly between Cisco and Microsoft Exchange, Lotus users find that they have had to accept lesser levels of function or develop convoluted workarounds.
This tendency to overlook the Lotus community cascades to IT services providers and consulting firms as well. Companies rich in resources familiar with Microsoft knowledge often have limited – even nonexistent – Lotus competencies.
The Lotus Link
Lack of Lotus talent has never been a problem at Netmedic. The company’s primary mission when the company was originally formed was to support network environments for mid-sized companies. “In those days”, explains Ted Lemmy, Netmedic’s president and co-founder, “Lotus was a dominant force in many mid-sized companies. As a result, we went to work building an extensive base of skills – skills that we’ve never lost.”
In fact, Netmedic continues to support many Lotus-based clients and, through that experience, gained a real sense for the technical concerns for Lotus clients. Lemmy explains, “We’ve become specialists in integration between VOIP and Lotus. This means that our clients can continue to depend on existing capabilities without feeling stranded.”
Giving Netmedic the Nod
Netmedic’s reputation for its Lotus integration skills gained an even brighter shine through its relationship with Cisco. With only a handful of Lotus-skilled firms in Cisco’s business partner network, Netmedic has become the “go to” partner for projects that integrate Lotus and Cisco technologies.
For Lemmy, Cisco’s vote of confidence is more than affirming. “It just makes sense for everyone. Companies with installed Lotus technologies no longer need to feel stranded. Cisco knows that it has a partner it can rely on – and Netmedic can add value to clients who need our brand of technical support.”
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