Binary Tree no longer does migrations to Lotus Notes (almost)


I just happened to notice a job ad for Binary Tree posted on LinkedIn.com.  Here is an excerpt:

“Company Description
Binary Tree is a leading provider of software for migrating enterprise messaging users and applications to on-premises and cloud-based versions of the Microsoft platform. Since 1993, Binary Tree and its business partners have helped over 5,000 customers around the world to migrate more than 20,000,000 email users. Binary Tree’s suite of software provides solutions for migrating from Exchange 2003/2007 and Lotus Notes to on-premises and online versions of Exchange and SharePoint. Binary Tree is the preferred vendor for migrating to the Microsoft cloud. Binary Tree is represented by business partners worldwide who provide specialized services and a proven methodology for guiding customers through complex transitions. Binary Tree is a Microsoft Gold ISV Partner, an IBM Premier Business Partner, and was a finalist for Microsoft’s 2010 Notes Migration Partner of the Year award. Binary Tree is headquartered in the New York metropolitan area with international offices in London, Paris, Stockholm, Singapore, and Sydney. For more information, please visit us online at http://www.binarytree.com.”

In this ad as well as their website, you will notice there is no longer any mention of using their products and services to migrate toward Lotus Notes or LotusLive.  A few years back at Lotusphere I suggested that IBM acquire Binary Tree and make it a part of the IBM offering to de-emphasize migrations away from Notes while promoting migrations toward it.  Even if IBM had little to gain in the acquisition, it would have stymied their aiding migrations toward Exchange.  Companies often do this just to keep patents out of the hands of their competition.  This technique was also heavily used by the great college football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant in his achievement as the winningest head coach ever.  He would give a scholarships to every good player he could find because he would rather have them sitting on his bench doing nothing than being on the field playing for the other team.

Based on this info  I expect there is no shortage of work for Binary Tree.
Ironically, much of Binary Tree’s early success came from Lotus Notes tools and from migrating companies TO Lotus Notes.  Mind you I’m not complaining.  In a strange twist of fate, it is those very migrations that are now keeping me quite busy.

The following image shows their solutions offerings.  Notice that for Lotus customers it lists migrating to Microsoft solutions.  But under Microsoft customers it also only lists migrating to various Microsoft solutions.

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Posted on August 28, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Dave;

    The death of CMT for notes is not true, I about sh*t when I saw this as we use it all the time and need it, out Binary Tree rep confirmed this is still an active product, and I quote:

    “Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention. I can assure you, we still sell CMT for Notes. In fact, here is a link to the product directly off of our website:

    http://www.binarytree.com/Products/Migrate/CMT-for-Notes.aspx

  2. Sorry Dan, hope I didn’t make you spill your Monday morning coffee. Yes, I suppose, technically speaking, we can still find the product on the shelf if you know what you’re looking for. But based on the home page as well as the job posting I referenced, it is no longer a part of the core business or part of the company direction. Of the 8 scrolling banners on the home page, 4 of them explicitly market Notes to Exchange. The only Notes reference is for server consolidation. I’m sure Binary Tree will take my money if I asked for help with a migration to Notes, but you gotta know to ask for it.

    The perception from these online sources is you’re all about migrations to Microsoft 365 (thank you). And Perception is Reality.

  3. Hello David.

    You are right perception is reality. Perception is that more users are being moved to Exchange from Notes than are being moved to Domino. Truth is, they are, at a rate of approximately 20 – 1.

    With that being said you can in fact download CMT for Notes directly from the Binary Tree web site without have to ask for it. In fact when there are issues the developement team immediately works to resolve them. Binary Tree’s business is 100% focused on Migration and Coexistence of Domino and Exchange; in both directions.

    As for Domino Consolidations, yes that is active, as well as splits. It is there, however when an organization is in the business of being profitable, you must build what the market demands and you must go where the business demands take the lead.

    As a result with organizations making the move to one platform over the other, the business model must adapt to meet those needs. Binary Tree has solutions to migrate the on premise Domino to Lotus Live. I should know I did a lot of the development of it. Binary Tree also has had many conversations with customers to do so, but this requires the involvement with IBM. IBM is reluctant to open access to third party tools to do these migrations.

    As a result, again the market trends forgoe the profitability of dedicating to one platform and a business must go where the money is. How do propose a solution to the ever increasing migration of Domino users to the Exchange environments?

  4. Great question and surely a complete answer goes beyond just a comment or even just a blog post. But a few starting points:

    1. Recognize that, while IBM’s products are “business software”, the people who buy it are still consumers.
    The fact that they use the product at the office instead of at home does not change the fact they need to be courted. Drug companies recognize this. That’s why they have ads directed toward consumers that say “Ask your doctor if _____ drug may be right for you.” Toy companies get it too. That’s why their commercials target the kids, not the parents. They get the kids to advocate their product for them. The kids are an easier sell and a better salesperson to the parents than anyone. It moves the parent’s decision from a logical decision to an emotional decision and that makes all the difference. Employees are the same way. You’ve heard it before. Migrations generally don’t happen just because the IT director wants the change (though sometimes they do). They often happen because the users ask for it the same way kids and patients ask for toys and drugs.

    2. Create a tangible identity to the brand.
    If you look at the top 10 most valuable brands, it is easy to associate each brand with a specific product; that is, all except one: IBM. If you ask 10 people if they can name a product IBM sells, you’ll be lucky to get 3 who can give you a definitive answer. Ask the same question about Apple or Microsoft and compare the results. IBM seems more concerned with brand recognition for branding sake than making the connection with a product. Without that connection, there is no sale. How does “IBM for a smarter planet” motivate you to buy anything?

    3. Identify the 1-3 things that differentiate IBM’s product from the competition and drive that point home.
    First, IBM generally doesn’t ever come out and say “Notes and Domino are better than Outlook, sharepoint, OCS, and Exchange and here is the greatest reason why…” When a reason is given it will be a long list of feature differences. All of which is valid, but that isn’t what sells. What sells is something like “IBM Notes and Domino is the most secure messaging software in the world!” These days that one sentence will get more sales than all the other features combined. Point out the employee at Google who broke into someone’s email and acted on it. Point out the major security flaw found in Outlook Web Access that was discovered the same week. Notes has encryption for stored data as well as transport, addressing both of these issues. That is a much better sell than pages of features or an intangible concept.

    3. Tell people why they can’t live without their product.
    IBM should put its mouth where its money is. Go beyond bullet lists of features. Give superlatives. “What advantage do you have over your competition if you use the same old tools they use? Lotus software will give you a huge competitive advantage over those using ‘the same old tools’.”
    “If you aren’t using Lotus Connections to do business you’re living in the dark ages.” “Don’t be the last company to switch to Social Media for doing business.”

    Perry, there is so much I can think of it would be a full time job to write it all down. IBM has a gold mine of opportunity with their software in this world, but without an innovative approach to selling it, the gold is left in the tailings of the mine.

  5. John Doe (perfer to stay anonymous)

    Dave, you are right and wrong. BT still does a fair share of migrations to Notes, it’s not dead by any means and I know this from doing a ton of work with BT. However you are right they do a ton of migrations to Exchange 2010 and office365.

    The “how IBM should market differently” is a dead horse, they are not going to change and to appear to concede in this area, it’s okay because as you say, if you know Notes and Exchange, the opportunities are endless in the migration arena.

  6. I just wanted to note that BinaryTree is very well migrating customers to Lotus, and they still are offering support and service for this type of migration. However, they seem not to market this any longer… guess why. I can imagine they were given an extra payment by Microsoft when they remove any advertisements for MS to Lotus migration.
    Furthermore I want to point out that I am currently migrating a customer with ~8.000 users from Exchange to Domino 8.5.x. We are using BinaryTree for CoExistence but do the actual data migration with other tools.
    The key difference is that IBM is not creating a big buzz around this way of migrations, but if Microsoft wins a 500 user client, they advertise this win everywhere. So people believe this M$ marketing nonsense… until the point when they have to pay the bill….

  7. Are there any companies/people that have used this tool recently in Australia. I am looking for people or companies with experience migrating from Exchange to Lotus Notes.

    • If you are doing any migration between 365, Domino or Active directory and require coexistence and directory sync you should really check out a small US company called Pembrian amazing tools for coexistence and migration. resolved a lot of issues with these tools from Pembrian

      Cheers

  1. Pingback: Migrations to Lotus Notes – What Happened to them? | Domino Diversions

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