Sleeping with the enemy

This new client - he-should-not-be-named (Sorry, going a bit Hairy Putter there) - doesnt use Notes for mail, or for small tactical applications. As a result, I've been using outlook (2003) for the last few months, and using sharepoint-based web sites for sharing information. And a very odd, possibly obscure IM tool (not a Microsoft one).

Coming from the little-yellow-bubble ('Its Cheaper than Marketing!') world, I thought I'd hate it. And given the stuff coming out of little yellow bubble land, I thought I'd break out in pustules, my leg would drop off, etc. Dont get me wrong - I peddled some of this crap misinformation too.

And you know what? Its not evil. Its not bad. Its not Notes, but hey - it doesnt completely suck. It doesnt completely hobble the organisation. In fact, I'd say that since I dont have to wait several minutes for Outlook to load, and creating a new message doesnt take years (I use 8.5 on the macbook pro, which is slower than running full-fat notes on my archos 10 netbook), its actually nice to use. A huge cultural thing is that you really need to know everyone in your teams' surname all the time for the addressing to work, but hey - its not the end of the earth.

Finding stuff in outlook - no 'All documents' view -is hard. But its hard in Notes for a normal user, especially if (as in my case) you have multiple mail files and archives. But its not life threatening.

The sharepoint web site stuff - file sharing 2.0 - is clean, quick, easy to use. Perhaps I'm biased because I've seen under QuickrR's skirts - but the sharepoint sites I use quite a lot are clean, quick, reliable. God knows what hardware they have backing this up, but user service isnt the issue.

The IM system is strange. No links to anything. No presence awareness, no click to call, no video. Just straight chat out of the nineties. But hey, it still works. And it doesnt need a huge pile of Java code running on your system all the time.

I guess what I'm getting at is that if you're going to try and convert customers to Notes customers by claiming that Outlook sucks or sharepoint is a pile of poo (And I certainly fell in this trap), then its just not going to wash. Folks in this enterprise level customer dont care what email they have as long as it works, and this environment works well.

Folks outside the little yellow bubble often wonder what on earth we're foaming at the mouth about. Perhaps we should consider this a very negative behaviour and actually start thinking about what our customers want before we get all cult-like about platforms.