IBM Customer Reference
The client needed to upgrade Lotus Notes and Domino from 7.0.2 to 8.5.2. In-house Notes administrators were too busy with non-Notes projects to oversee and carry out the project. Also, of all software the client’s employee’s run, a survey showed that Lotus Notes was the least liked; and the client wanted RockTeam to help change the employees’ perception of Lotus Notes. Finally, the client wanted RockTeam’s recommendations for improving every aspect of the client’s Notes/Domino implementation.
We upgraded all Domino servers and Notes clients and implemented numerous feature improvements in the process, with the aim of improving the users’ opinion of Lotus Notes.
This worldwide company holds the world’s largest installed base of unattended payment systems, handling over 2 billion transactions per week in more than 100 countries. The company developed the first electronic coin mechanism in the 1960s, followed by the first electronic non-contact bill validator, and more recently its credit card capability and vending management solutions software.
The client had to upgrade Domino and Notes because IBM was going to stop supporting ND7. The client’s IT staff was stretched too thin to carry this out themselves, so they asked RockTeam to assist them. Furthermore, a company survey had revealed that, of all the software products in use at the client, the client’s users had the lowest opinion of Lotus Notes. The client asked RockTeam to do what we could to change the users’ perception of Notes. Finally, the client’s CIO asked RockTeam to provide “consultative” help, that is, to become familiar with the client’s standards and practices with respect to its use of Lotus Notes and to recommend any and all ways that, in RockTeam’s opinion, their standards and practices could be improved.
Initially a RockTeam consultant went in and upgraded nine of the client’s ten Domino servers from version 7.0.2 to the latest supported version, 8.5.x. We then upgraded the client’s application and mail databases to ODS51 and enabled the databases to support Domino Attachment and Object Service (DAOS) as well at LZ1 compression, design compression, and data compression. RockTeam also upgraded the client’s Lotus Quickr for Domino server to version 8.2.
The initial engagement, upgrading the Domino servers, completed successfully, so the client invited RockTeam to carry out the upgrade of the user population from Lotus Notes 7.0.2 to the latest version of Notes, 8.5.2, to educate the client’s users about the features and best ways to user the product, to provide on-site and phone support directly to the users when they experienced problems using Lotus Notes, and to make general recommendations to the client regarding best practices in Notes/Domino implementation and usage.
RockTeam presented Notes 8.5.2 to the client and consulted with the client to determine which Notes features to implement. RockTeam then worked with the client’s Notes/Domino administrator to formulate and carry out a plan to upgrade the client’s 600+ Notes users. The client had implemented earlier versions of Notes such that user local databases were stored on users’ file servers rather than on their local workstations. Because this configuration was no longer supported in Notes 8.x, RockTeam automated an upgrade procedure that uninstalled Notes 7, moved users’ data files to their local workstation, and then installed Notes 8.5.2 and Fixpack 2 onto user workstations as a fresh install. RockTeam also converted all users to roaming users and implemented all user installations as multi-user installations.
RockTeam also worked with the client to formulate and carry out a plan to educate the users. Training included instructor-led training seminars, software- and paper-based reference cards, and video-based online tutorials. Plans for future training include dissemination of usage best practices and tips via a wiki or blog, education of the client’s IT staff in the architecture and administrative basics of the product, and training the help desk to perform routine administrative functions such as Notes user and group maintenance.
RockTeam has also partially upgraded the client’s Sametime server to version 8.5.2, with plans to complete the upgrade by adding WebSphere-based services in 2012.
Finally, RockTeam will in 2012 upgrade the Domino servers and Notes users to version 8.5.3 and possibly higher. RockTeam will also implement a series of improvements in the client’s Lotus Notes administrative procedures and Lotus Notes security implementation. And RockTeam will probably install and configure an IBM Connections server with at least Profiles, Files, and Wikis modules, in 2012.
Benefit of the solution
The upgrade of their IBM Domino software, staff support and training combined to improved the efficiency of its use and changed the attitude of the staff towards the solution.
“RockTeam has been phenomenally pro-active in their support of our Lotus Notes/Domino installation. Their on-site consultant provides on-demand desk-side and phone support during business hours and is available on weekends in an emergency. He cheerfully drops whatever he is doing to support our users and help them improve their Notes experience. He has recommended and implemented a seemingly endless stream of improvements in our Notes/Domino security, architecture, and usage practices. His enthusiasm for Lotus Notes is gradually rubbing off on our users as, one by one, former critics of Notes mail admit that they like and even love it now.”
Project End: 2012
Primary: Professional Services
Secondary: Messaging & Collaboration: Products