Tuesday, February 26, 2008

You only have one chance to make a first impression...

This is going to be a little more of a rant that I would like, but I'm just back from the lunch and learn and was not all that pleased with the presentation. I should probably cool down some before posting this, but won't as it is still fresh in my mind.

First of all, I need to state that I do not hold DMC Consulting accountable for what happened today. They were only the hosts for the Lunch and Learn. They did not lead the session. It was lead by two IBM/Lotus people whom will remain nameless at the present time.

I was joined by my network administrator, the VP of Sales, and the Director of Operations at today's lunch and learn on Lotus Notes 8.0.1, Quickr, and Sametime (at least that's how it was presented.) The first Lotus person went through the normal sales stuff (how collaboration and the "next gen" and "x gen" people are using the tools available to share information. Same basic stuff I saw and heard all week at Lotusphere. What kind of upset me was that the presenter just kind of skipped over the whole Quickr piece of the presentation and jumped to Connections and Sametime (and Sametime Unyte.)

The second person was going to do the live demonstrations of the products. Unfortunately, this person hadn't rebooted their laptop since they left the hotel this morning, and had a lot of problems getting the Notes client to work properly. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait for a reboot of the laptop (although it probably would have made for a better demo.) They had problems getting the Sametime Unyte demo going (the meeting session timed out, for some reason, and they had to set up another meeting to join.) Actually, Sametime Unyte may be worthwhile for us to check out, as we (upper management people) do a lot of traveling to the parent company offices.

Anyway, there was a little bit of a demo of Sametime and Samtime Unyte. Quickr was demoed using Greenhouse, and very little was done using the Notes client and Windows explorer (probably the way we would use it mostly.) A lot of time was spent on Connections (which wasn't mentioned in the invitation I had received), which wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I brought everyone to see.

We saw very little of the Notes 8.0.1 client and the new features. I realize that time was limited (11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with a short lunch break), but I was expecting a lot more.

Again, maybe my expectations were higher than what the intent of the Lunch and Learn was suppossed to be about, and that would be my problem. However, with the technical issues that the presenters had, it didn't show the Lotus products in a very good light. I was a little embarrassed for the presenter doing the demo, when they manually minimized all the open windows (instead of pushing the Show Desktop icon in the quick launch bar) and we saw that they were playing solitaire this morning before leaving the hotel.

I just received an email from the VP of Sales, in a reply to my email to him, apologizing for the presentation, who said that, while the technical difficulties were annoying, he did come away with some thoughts, and would like to discuss them more in the near future. Maybe it wasn't as bad as I though it was, but still... it should have been a lot better than it was.

I came away a little disappointed, but hopeful that I will have another opportunity to right the Lotus ship, and do what it takes to get things rolling here.

I know that I can count on DMC Consulting to help me in my future demos and sales pitches to the powers that be. I did speak with my account person prior to leaving about doing something to get Quickr in for testing purposes (or just purchasing a few licenses to get started) and did send him an email concerning my thoughts about the presentation.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day...

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