James Governor's Monkchips

Another Lotus loss to a blogging platform: Traction Software

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Some interesting insights are emerging from Corante, the blog media and research company. Suw Charman has audited a recent win by tractionsoftware in the European pharmaceutical sector.

The project was for an internal blog, behind the firewall, integrated with existing enterprise directories. Very little if any end user training was required, which is key.

One other thing that struck me is the fact that this is another case of a blogging platform beating Lotus in a competitive situation.  I recently pointed to a Moveable Type win at Acatel, also against Lotus.

I should stress again that this is an outlier rather than a full-blown trend. On the other hand, it should become increasingly clear to IBM, Microsoft and other content management, portal and collaboration players, that something is afoot. As RedMonk has argued before, blogs and wikis can in many cases functionally replace large scale content management and messaging platforms.

Does Lotus have some native advantages? Of course it does, not least its end to end auditability for compliance and corporate governance. But in unmanaged spaces, rather than heavily managed ones, blogs and wikis are an obvious solution to ad-hoc collaboration.

So while blogs are competing with messaging and collaboration platforms, so blog media companies are competing with industry analyst firms. As I said the other day, the tundra is breaking up.

If you are an enterprise considering lightweight approaches to ad-hoc collaboration who are you going to/should you call? I would contend Corante is going to be there in the mix. Its certainly a more obvious place to look for information about blogs in business than Gartner, say. So, anyone for Corante Consulting; it can only be a matter of time… Of course RedMonk would be more than happy to help with issues in this space; we have a public track record in the social software and community development spaces.

RedMonk has not been briefed by Traction Software though, so if you’re reading why not get in touch.

In Tractions’ favor is the fact its not pitching technology, so much as process optimisation. Thus, here is a primer on Traction for Competitive Intelligence. That’s a function which I know for a fact is not generally well automated.

Finally I should say its a real shame the customer refused to go public about its use of Traction. The case study would have been far more powerful if we knew the European firm in question.



  1. if you want to know more about Lotus and compliance I suggest you contact Christoper Byrne:

    i forgot to include this in the blog.

  2. I wasn’t involved with the customer, but it’s a real shame to see Notes positioned as a not-blog/not-wiki platform. There are templates, open-source ones at that, for both blogging and wikis on top of Notes/Domino. Why wouldn’t the existing Notes shop have just considered those, at no additional cost? Probably because someone knocked on the door selling a blog solution. There’s not much money to be made in selling a blog solution atop Notes, since they are essentially canned solutions and anyone could implement them easily.

    We just need to turn up the volume.

  3. I would say that is a extremely good point Ed. more than fair. chances are this was an old Notes shop, with an old app, sold by a reseller that has now gone off to retire in Benidorm. but how you educate these customers is the $20k question. Its a marketing issue in some cases, and in other a problem where IBM lost its relationship with either the VAR or the customer itself. there are still tons of people out there that still think of Lotus as Notes circa 1997. which is one reason i posted the positive comments about the hosted offering yesterday

  4. James – As requested, I’ll contact you about a briefing.

    Ed – Yes, there are templates for blogging upon the Notes platform. For some, that will be all they need. However, there is a great deal more to Traction that made it work exceptionally well in the Pharma case than could be achieved with a lotus template for reverse chron lists of posts.

  5. It may well be that your product was the right solution, but please don’t belittle Notes as simply a “reverse chron list of posts”. Some of the blog/content management templates for Notes are quite sophisticated.

  6. Posted at The Business Controls Caddy:

    “…As I read the case study posted on Corante, I see signs where strong information systems governance may have failed at the customer in question. But I also see another example where IBM/Lotus has let an opportunity slip by because the customer did not know about the existing IBM Lotus Notes/Domino blogging templates already in the open-source universe. So what happened here, and what are the lessons all-around for everybody?…”

    Jordan, would you mind dropping me an e-mail? I would like to learn more than what was included in the case study.

  7. Ed – By all means, didnt mean to belittle Notes or any other platform. Every platform has its advantages and disadvantages. I guess the my intention was to indicate, in a simple way, that all blogs are not the same and one might make redundant technology choices for any number of reasons.

    One of our customers, a senior IT manager at a pro services firm, actually has Lotus Notes, Sharepoint, Traction, and Das Blog. They could have used blog templates for Notes and Sharepoint, but chose to go with Traction for Group blogs and Das Blog for personal blogs. I understand some but not all of the reasons they chose to have all 4 packages.

    Chris – Acknowledged. Emailing you now.

  8. You would not believe how long ive been searching for something like this. Browsed through 5 pages of Yahoo results couldnt find diddly squat. Quick search on bing. There you are!…. Really have to start using it more often!

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