Wow!! What a morning. The news spread fast that HCL bought IBM collaboration software for 1.8 bn USD. This deal was announced by HCL and IBM this morning. The community is discussing the impact online and offline, in Watson Workspaces as well as in twitter.
These are the products in scope:
- Appscan for secure application development
- BigFix for secure device management
- Unica (on-premise) for marketing automation
- Commerce (on-premise) for omni-channel eCommerce
- Portal (on-premise) for digital experience
- Notes & Domino for email and low-code rapid application development
- Connections for workstream collaboration
IMHO, this is an excellent news for the products Notes & Domino / Connections as well as for the community. About one year ago, HCL took over development of Notes / Domino and Sametime while Sales and Strategy was still at IBM. In this 12 months HCL not only delivered what has been promised but also created an immense boost of energy in the community, supported user groups, started jams to get ideas and understand priorities of Business Partner and customers. Developers and managers who moved from IBM to HCL to take care of Notes / Domino showed what is possible when being unchained from restrictions they have seen before.
HCL has shown that they have a vision of collaboration (did you look into HCL Places already?) that goes far beyond small additional features that we have seen in the one or the other product mentioned above in the last 1-2 years. With Jason Gary as Vice President Engineering and Innovation, Collaborative Workflow Platforms and André Hagemeier as Director Of Engineering at HCL Technologies the band is back together that started the mission IBM Connections Pink. I am sure that we will see the same enthusiasm again at those moving from IBM to HCL to take care of Development, Support, Sales, Strategy and Marketing. I know many awesome people at IBM and hope that they safely land where they should be.
Suddenly it may all fit together, Notes / Domino, Connections and HCL Places. It may be the start of a new era how people collaborate with each other like it was in the mid-nineties when IBM took over Notes / Domino from Lotus. I am sure we will see some kind of Connections bloodline as we have seen the IRIS bloodline as described by J.D. Curtis.
Many things are not yet known and need to be clarified soon. Most important is that uncertainty will be addressed and removed soonest. It needs to be explained what it means that "The transaction is expected to close by mid-2019, subject to completion of applicable regulatory reviews." in case the transaction will not be closed. Additionally, the impact to customers and partners needs to be explained and HCL as well as IBM should listen to the community of customers, user groups, partners and champions.
I am looking forward to this move and hey, wouldn't it be great having Notes / Domino and Connections conferences again in Walt Disney resort in Orlando?