Yeah, you heard that right. Happens from time to time for any Notes advocate.
I heard it again recently when I met a guy...we'll call him Phil McGillicuddy. Phil is in his mid-forties and works for an energy company. He's in middle management and an end user. Nice guy.
The focus of our conversation turned to technology. Since he had no idea that I'm a Notes advocate, only a "computer guy," I got to have a conversation from the other side of the coin. Here's how part of it went:
Phil: "You use Lotus Notes? Our geniuses in IT are making us move off of Microsoft Outlook soon."
Steve: "Oh yeah? I've been using it for a few years."
Phil: "You poor bastard. It sucks! It really sucks. We had it back when I worked with XYZ company back in 1999. You had to press F9 to get your mail. I hope I'm the last guy they convert. But I'm not going to go happy. They may as well bring us back to Outlook Express...everyone has that at home anyway. AND you can have blue letters instead of black. Lotus only lets you use black letters."
Steve: "Really? Have you seen what Notes is like now? Did they give you any presentations or demos or training or anything?"
Phil: "No. All we got was an email saying we're moving to Notes. They've been moving people off Outlook since July."
That. Right. There...is a problem.
You're always going to have some people unhappy with whatever choices you make, be it in technology or otherwise, but you can minimize negative impact of those changes by simply communicating effectively.
More often than not, a poor attitude towards Lotus Notes is caused by an inadequate implementation and little to no communication/training. Period.
Buy-in from corporate decision makers (i.e., executive and management) and influencers are wildly important, but you need the people in the trenches having your back. Everyone, but at the very least key representatives from across the company-wide email user base, from sales to accounting to the shipping dock, should be given pre-rollout demos and a very high level ROI justification. Everyone needs to be shown why you made the decision to change the one piece of software they use all day and every day, and exactly how Lotus Notes will offer them much more than just email. They have to, because forced change breeds resentment.
The more selling you do to the troops up front the less likely you'll have a mutiny later.
In Phil's case, I spent 10 minutes explaining Notes 8.5 highlights, the embedded Sametime client, the workflow and app development opportunities, the calendaring and scheduling. Even the fact that the F5 key works. But it's probably too late for this one. Altering his opinion of Notes, no matter how willfully ignorant it is, faces an uphill battle because his company forced a change with little to no discussion, let alone a proper sell job to the user population.
They had a chance to get his buy-in for an enterprise class collaboration solution and blew it. Failing to get the buy-in isn't bad. Not even trying is inexcusable.