Posts Tagged 'customer'

IBM Growth Fuels Lotus Momentum Against Microsoft

Although I’m with Lotus Software only a year, reading the latest, very detailed, IBM press release on Lotus 2Q results, was a pure joy. Working for IBM Israel the past 8 years I often hear from customers that we ‘play it safe’, ‘too safe at times’, when it comes to publicizing our success, unlike Microsoft – that glorifies every win, focusing on migration stories even if they are not true.

From the first paragraph you can understand that this press release is different:

Led by strong sales of IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8 in the second quarter of 2008, IBM’s Lotus software business outgrew Microsoft by winning millions of customer seats worldwide in direct competition with Microsoft, aided by key wins over its Redmond-based rival in emerging markets.

And there is more:

Customers that chose Lotus Notes and Domino over Microsoft in key markets included Max New York Life, Reliance Industries, Vedanta, and Aviva in India; GD Development Bank, Johnson Electric, HKG Environ Protect, CED, DL Cosco Shipyard in China; Affin Bank and Trakando in Singapore; and Russian Railways in Russia.

and more:

Many clients of all sizes are questioning their investments in legacy Microsoft software products. Migrating to new versions of Microsoft Exchange has proven to be a daunting and expensive task. Ferris Research recently published a report (Exchange 2007 Implementation Issues, December 2007) that indicated 70% of Microsoft customers felt that migrating to Exchange 2007 was either “Difficult or Very Difficult.”

The latest report not only states sales numbers and number of sold licenses, but also mentions, by name, 25 recent customer wins:

Other clients who have recently invested in Lotus Notes and other Lotus software over the competition include consumer goods giant Colgate-Palmolive, chemical manufacturer Ineos of Belgium, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, NutraFlo, Dutch Railways, Rohm Haas, Imerys and the Salvation Army. Specifically moving to Lotus Notes 8 were CFE Compagnie d’Enterprises of France, Virginia Commonweath University, Winsol International, The U.S. General Services Administration, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Standard Insurance, New York Life, Kentucky Baptist Convention, Verizon, Publishers Printing, Hyatt Hotels, Union Pacific and Nationwide Insurance.

Impressive. Very different from what I, and others, are used to. Every customer and business partner needs to read this. My email/FB/ is already on its way.

IBM Growth Fuels Lotus Momentum Against Microsoft

Being an IBM salesman – a year in review

Well folks, it’s been 13 months now (next week) since I took the job of Workplace, Portal, Lotus and Collaboration Software Sales Specialist (that’s my actual title in the employee directory). From my (short) experience, there are three pillars to being a successful salesman, regardless of the industry or LOB you’re in. Guess I didn’t invent the wheel, but after being Lotus Sales dude in Israel for 12.5 months, here’s my view.

  1. Your (existing) customers. Many people told me this, in various scenarios, but the end game is the same: if you are not talking to your customer, the competition is talking to your customer. Plain and simple. Talk to your customers at least once a week, be their friend, not their vendor. When they’ll need something, they’ll let you know. And not the competition.
  2. Your market presence. One might argue that when you’re selling Mainframe, what’s the use of putting up a blog, or a viral video, but in today’s environment of something 2.0, everyone’s online. The market MUST know who you are and what you sell. Your customers (#1) will buy more solutions, if you work smart and treat them well, but you need to increase your market share, and the market needs to know what you’re up to. Meet with people, attend trade shows and conferences, speak, share, mingle, network, schoomze, blog, tweet, FB, Flickr, LinkedIn, FriendFeed. ‘It’s not what you know or who you know, it’s who knows you.’ Susan RoAne.
  3. Your support team. Sometimes we tend to dismiss post-sale support. Why should we bother, we already have that one in the bag… Well, guess again. Your post-sale support is crucial. Crucial. Because your customers will evangelize your solution if you’ll respond to their issues and put the weight of your company behind them. They might not always get the solution they wanted (you know gmail is still Beta, right?), but at least they’ll know you did your best, and they have someone to turn to.

As I said at the begining, it’s not new stuff, haven’t invented the wheel. The trick, as always, is managing your time.
You need to prioritize the three pillars, every single day – there are days you’ll put 90% to support a customer, and other days you’ll spend visiting customer locations, all day. Why am I saying all this? Because finally, after lots of testing and piloting, I think I got it right. The mix. I hope.

[photo by theamazingshrinkingman]

A good working environment

My home is not close to the beach. As a matter of fact I was never a sea person – prefer the pool, with the sweat water, no sand, much more.. But this morning I had the opportunity to look at the sea in one of the more welcoming offices I ever visited. The customer’s offices (very luxurious, 2 floors, with vast spaces – 10 people in all) are located on the very edge of the sea front, in Herzelia, 20min north of Tel Aviv. The meeting room has a very large, and clear, window, with one of the best views you can find. How can you get any work done with such a view?! Don’t let the low lighting fool you – it was a regular Israeli day, sunny, about 28C. Perfect for lying down at the beach (on a small chair, not literally on the sand), beer in one hand, good book in the other. Enjoy…

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



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.