Notes 8 client running with a Notes 7 mail template – it happens a lot, for various reasons (lots of them in the comments if you care). It strikes me that some of the positive things about being able to customise a mail template can also lead to some very negative things, such as being a software vendor and giving up a lot of control over how your mail environment appears to your users.
In some ways, you’re putting potential customer satisfaction in the hand of Administrators – and while there’s some great admins out there, simply looking at the nature of any distribution curve dictates that a lot of them will not be so great, and not care/know about templates, and hence affect the experience of their users.. which they will of course blame on the product.
People drinking the Yellow Koolade love the fact that the product lets them approach their migration in steps, and allows time for their mail integrated fax vendor to upgrade their product (Hint: Upgrading any fax product really should involve removing faxing entirely. It’s 2010 for crying out loud.) while not holding up their server and client upgrades – however all the user sees is that their mail experience looks the same as it has for years, and asks “What did this upgrade give me?”. Certainly not a double dose of d (come on, someone get the reference, please?).
About 8 years ago I ran into a journalist who was writing about how much he hated Lotus Notes – back then, he was running R6 (from memory), but had a R4 client. I send him a
flame mail and showed him a screenshot of my personal mail template, and of iNotes, and the reaction was a mix of “Hey, cool”, and “How come I don’t have that?”. He was a technical guy, but didn’t care about Notes – all he knew was “I’m on R6 and it’s awful”, even though the mail experience was R4. Not his fault, he called it like he saw it, and it looked like crap (and he did post a retraction of sorts after seeing my screenshots).
So, no conclusions, other than the fact that what Ed is blogging about isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, and that it reinforces the fact that sometimes giving the customer too many options and too much control can be a detrimental thing.
Tags: IBM, Lotus, Notes/Domino