Best & Worst of Lotus 2010 day #3 of 5

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Day #3. A daily posting for a work week of the best and worst of 2010 in the Lotus world from my eyes.

Best - Lotus Traveler

A downright amazing offering from Lotus.  They got the message from enterprises.  They went after it.  They owned it.  While this does eliminate some business partners making mobile products for mail, in my opinion, Lotus had to offer this to expand mail, calendar and contacts usage to mobile devices, for free.

While I do carry a Blackberry for numerous other application integration reasons.  (including the native Sametime application missing on Android), if I only wanted mail this would be my choice.  Not just because Lotus made it, but the feature and integration set is there for Apple, Windows and now Android.

Reviews from bloggers, the Android Community and industry have been nothing but positive.  Companies are deploying more mobile devices.  Management is done from the native Domino administration tools.   What are you waiting for? Deploy a Lotus Traveler server.

Worst  - Symphony PRESENTATIONS

Let me start by saying it seems I have good success with Documents (never have a reason to do Spreadsheets).  But my personal feelings on Presentations are disheartening.  I struggled with it more than once, over different versions.  Help files point to menu items that do not exist.  Text wobbles as you make changes.  Features were just not easy to find as I would expect.  I was not able to sit down and start working like in some other packages.

This is an area that would need improvement before I see enterprises making the switch.  Documents and spreadsheets are a core, but you rely on the entire package.  I recall the days of Freelance, from SmartSuite, which I think still actually is in use.  Lotus could have taken much of the technology, trials and lessons learned when growing that product to bring out in Symphony.  I know development resources stopped long ago, but the intellectual capital is still there. had a good comment on Lotus Symphony:

The most important difference between Lotus Symphony and OpenOffice that really matters, would be the fact that Symphony is, while based on OpenOffice code, still closed-source, whereas OO is entirely open source.

Engine-wise, it should not differ too much from OO since Symphony is a derivative fork from the OO project under IBM's heading. For now, underpinnings should still be the same, however it is not too impossible to expect that Symphony will start having major internal differences as time goes by, and IBM starts deviating Symphony from OO more in order to suit their own objectives better

Companies need and want a trusted alternative, yet feel compelled to use Office.  Google has the same problem making inroads in this area of corporate productivity.  I do like how Lotus revived the name from long ago, to continue again in competing.

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