IBM vs. Microsoft – Mark Bennett

In the various meetings I attend as Lotus Sales in Israel it always comes down to the same question: what’s the difference between Notes and Outlook? where are the benefits? I’m used to Outlook, why migrate? Most of the remarks are coming from a Microsoft-based companies, that are aware of the limitations Outlook has, in terms of team collaboration and messaging, but they haven’t heard enough about Lotus Notes. As a prefix I’ll explain that Outlook has a very strong hold in Israel, mainly because it was faster to adopt Hebrew in its user interface, which appealed to many businesses.

I read recently an interesting post, from Michael Sampson, a blogger writing about collaboration and effective team management. He interviewed Mark Bennett, the IT manager of a New Zealand based company. Mark has a strong technical background in Microsoft/Citrix technologies and he came right into a Lotus Notes R5 company. His natural instinct was – I’m going to migrate them away from Notes and back to MS Exchange.

  • He was horrified, and immediately started talking about an Exchange/Outlook migration. In other words, a classic default position for an IT Manager with a Microsoft background.

    Fast forward a few years and he is (a) increasingly convinced of the tremendous value of Notes, (b) increasingly drawn to IBM and repelled by Microsoft, and (c) looking for ways to extend the depth and reach of Notes in the Firm.

    How did this transition take place? Mark says, “A little while after I joined, I attended a wider Firm meeting where some of my new colleagues talked about the power of Notes. I kept saying to myself, ‘I didn’t know Notes could do that’. That meeting was a turning point in my appreciation of what Notes could do … and the possibilities for using Notes to Firm advantage.

Lotus Notes is a leading messaging and collaboration software, that enables strong teaming and increases efficiency. You just have to be open for other products, that can bring great value to your business. You can read the full interview here.

2 Responses to “IBM vs. Microsoft – Mark Bennett”

  1. 1 Anon July 16, 2007 at 23:04

    Shalom from Florida. A number of years ago I was responsible for Lotus for ISSL in Israel(then called IBM Global Services). So I know what you mean, it’s a hard sell now. Tzahal used to be a Lotus organization, as were the government, etc. but that has changed during the R5 Hebrew issues and delays.
    Because so many now come out of the army and experience Exchange it is hard to change them.
    However, executives at higher levels are more interested in expanding their business and working with multinational organizations which you could leverage to use Domino.
    Teva was a great example of leveraging the US base and Israel sites. I built their redundant smtp and fax routing into their system so no matter which side goes down they were always going to be up and running.
    Examples like that, and ECI telecom did the same I think, can help you further.

  2. 2 Dvir Reznik July 17, 2007 at 16:27

    Thanks for the info..

    The Army and Government are obvious reason as you mentioned, and mainly large businesses, or enterprises as we call them.

    The main issue is getting our foot at SMB market, and in Israel that’s a great portion of the companies..


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Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at]



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