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Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Not available in stores...

With the recent discussions about Apps and how consumers want the freedom to find, evaluate, and purchase Apps for their Smartphones, I wonder how many users are able download and use a productivity application and how many have policies that prevent them from doing so.

If you found a productivity application for your mobile device that was proven to increase your performance, would you: a) be allowed to install it? b) encounter resistance (or refusal) from IT to allow you to install it? c) make a business case to management for why this App should be allowed?

Please take a moment to vote in one of the two quick polls below, then visit the Notes on Productivity blog to share your comments.

Update: The survey is now closed. View the results below

20100807-NOP_Survey_Mobile_Apps.png

I'm not asking whether you think Smartphones connected to enterprise systems should be locked down or not - there are many valid arguments for both sides of that discussion. What I most want to know is what the current climate is like when it comes to productivity applications on mobile devices and what organizations are doing to encourage/permit or discourage/restrict users from downloading and using productivity applications on their mobile devices.

Update: I split the question into two separate polls because otherwise the results could be skewed in favor of the iPhone/Android as these devices are often unmanaged/uncontrolled in the enterprise.

Please continue this discussion on the Notes on Productivity blog.


How I embed polls in my blog with WidgetBox

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

A few days ago, Patrick Kwinten, asked for help on his blog. He wanted to find a polling/survey application that he could use with Notes & Domino to embed a real-time poll into his blog. One person responded with a mention of a free voting xPage custom control available on OpenNTF.

Today, I had a similar need for a quick poll that I wanted to post on my Notes on Productivity blog. I took a look at the OpenNTF Voting custom control and liked what I saw. Unfortunately, I did not have the expertise to integrate it into my blog so I turned to Google for help. What I found was WidgetBox. Using WigetBox, I was able to quickly define my polls and embed them into my DominoBlog site using HTML. Once I had everything working I paid the $3.99 to sign up for the monthly service, which allowed me to disable the annoying ads and download links. It works.

20100807-CustomPollswithWidgetBox.jpg

I would really prefer to find a Notes/Domino solution to manage my web polls and surveys - I don't like having data floating on (and dependent upon) third party sites. Also, I really like being able to manage everything in Notes. But, WidgetBox did the job.

I'll keep looking for a Notes/Domino solution that I can use to create polls/surveys and embed them into my blog. Meanwhile, here's a link to my first on-line poll created with WidgetBox.


IBM's Kevin Cavanaugh and Ed Brill work tirelessly, year after year, decade after decade, to develop and promote a key pillar of the IBM suite of offerings - the LOTUS brand. They do this under the leadership of Allistair Rennie and supported by the the fine Lotus development team that consistently innovate and pioneer new extensions to the Lotus suite of offerings.

I know many of these people personally and I think they do a great job and I am proud to be be associated with IBM/Lotus for these past 18+ years. That's why, after reading Dan Lynch's post today, I couldn't help but wonder how these people must feel knowing that one of their chief competitors isn't Redmond, but their own company?!!

From the: IBM Migration Services for Microsoft Exchange home page:

As a Microsoft Certified Partner, we [IBM, a Lotus parent company] have the training and experience to help you migrate to the latest version of Exchange Server from previous versions of Exchange [our chief competitor], [the industry leading] Lotus Notes, and Novell GroupWise...

Dan summed it up this way:

We've always known the IBM software, hardware and services groups are far, far apart and wildly disjointed, but this is incredible. More fodder for the C-level types to use to rationalize a move off of Notes/Domino. Thanks for making our jobs more difficult.
Should we now expect to see see a new category of "IBM Lotus Success Stories" that showcase their "successful migrations" to Exchange?

No doubt, someone at IBM considers this part of their business strategy, but I do not comprehend the wisdom of this move.

In trying to think objectively about this, I considered that perhaps IBM's thinking is that this will open the door to convincing C-Level execs NOT to migrate from Domino to Exchange by giving them an audience. Perhaps. But, promoting this on the IBM web site is a slap in the face of the tens of thousands of fine hard working people at Lotus and the thousands of dedicated Lotus Business partners and ISV's that created the Lotus ecosystem. Besides, as an exec, would YOU trust IBM to help you migrate to a Microsoft solution?

I wonder if Microsoft's strategy includes a "Let Microsoft help you migrate to IBM Lotus Domino" as part of their strategy?


Weakness Matters

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
We're going through a sermon series entitled, "Weakness Matters" based on the 12th chapter of 2nd Corinthians. We are looking at where our strength comes from. I found this quote from John MacArthur particularly relevant:
It is when believers are out of answers, confidence and strength, with nowhere else to turn but to God, that they are in a position to be most effective. No one in the Kingdom of God is too weak to experience God's power, but many are too confident in their own strength. Physical suffering, mental anguish, disappointment, unfulfillment and failure squeeze the impurities out of believers' lives, making them pure channels through which God's power can flow. - John MacArthur