James Governor's Monkchips

On Software Currency and “Respected industry analysts like IDC, Gartner, Burton, Redmonk”

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It is always nice to be acknowledged in august company. So thanks are owing to Ed Brill from Lotus.

RedMonk is certainly not big, but its far more important to be respected than big.

Ed called us out as context in a post about Lotus momentum. Here are his bullet points:

  • At Lotusphere 2005, IBM announced 1468 new customers for Notes/Domino during 2004.
  • In the last three fiscal quarters, IBM has announced double-digit revenue growth for Notes/Domino.
  • Over 80% of all Notes/Domino customers are running Notes/Domino 6.x, the most successful upgrade cycle of the modern (post-R3) Notes product lifecycle.  By comparison, Steve Ballmer was quoted coming out of MS’s partner conference as saying that only 15% of Office customers have upgraded to Office 2003, which shipped about the same timeframe.
  • Respected industry analysts like IDC, Gartner, Burton, Redmonk, and Forrester have all published positive reports about Notes/Domino 7, and the next release of Notes (“Hannover”), during 2005.
  • In the next few days, IBM will launch Notes/Domino 7, the best release of the product ever.  The release is coming on-time (some say that IBM is even early vs. expectations), and a multi-million US dollar worldwide launch will ensue.

Currency is a very interesting test of customer commitment, which Ed is canny to highlight.

The more current an infrastructure is, the more strategic it is to the customer, while the less current, the more tactical it is. Currency is a very clear indicator of ongoing commitment from an installed base. In many respects currency is far more valuable as a market barometer than installed base because it allows us to consider potential market inflexion points. Do any of the analyst market share counting companies parse currency in their methodology? Not that I know of. RedMonk certainly pays close attention to the factor.

Currency is one reason the folks at IBM are happy about about CICS futures at the moment. zSeries customers are swiftly upgrading to the latest versions of the transaction management software, because they want to move forward with service oriented architectures. The flipside – those mainframe customers that are not getting current, that aren’t modernising their infrastructures, are the ones most likely to fall to competitive migration programs by other vendors.

This post is not intended as a critique of Microsoft, thought the vendor is having issues with currency at the moment. Many customers feel their infrastructures are “good enough”. Microsoft is therefore using its services arm to help make the case for upgrades to large customers.

An infrastructure that is not current is less strategic and therefore more open to commoditization. In order to “run the stack“, software companies need to keep customers current.

At RedMonk we do our best to stay current with the latest trends (and get ahead of that curve if possible), and more importantly try and ensure that our clients are up to date as well. Our knowledge only has significant value when it is networked, distributed and leads to action, which is why we believe in high touch not ivory towers.

We’re usually better at currency than our bigger competitors, which hopefully wins us respect.

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