Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Sametime Gateway discussion

I bet Ed never expected that he would start such an extended discussion when he posted a news article on Lotus Sametime Gateway yesterday.  I wanted to at least begin to follow up on the items raised in the comments there.  I'm sure this won't be the last time we discuss it.  (And I'll cross-post this on Ed's blog later; I'm offline as I write this.)

1.  Why does the gateway require DB2 and not use Domino (or cloudscape).
 I'm actually going to not go into full detail on this right now, as I want to provide as complete an answer as possible, especially since I think the questions raised weren't as much "why DB2" as "why not Domino" (or Domino, too), I want to be sure I'm properly answering that question.  What I can say is that we did not make any decisions - architectural or otherwise - lightly, especially when it involved introducing new requirements (WAS, DB2) that weren't previously there for Sametime customers.

2.  Based on the requirements for the gateway, it looks like IBM doesn't care about SMB customers.  
As Ed noted in the comments on his post, a good deal of the Notes business comes from SMB (and SMBs with <1000 users, at that).  And we do see a similar pattern with Sametime, as well.  Some of my favorite examples of the innovative ways companies are using Sametime are SMBs, actually.  And if you look through the companies using Sametime profiled in press articles over the past 1-2 years, you'll see that most of them are SMBs, too.  

Truth be told, I've been spending a lot of my time lately (and I'm not the only one) looking at how to make Sameitme more attractive for smaller companies.  And your feedback (on the gateway and in general) would be greatly appreciated.  Feel free to post a comment below, post on your own blog, or e-mail me directly.

A comment was also posted on Ed's blog about having the gateway available as an appliance.  The appliance model is something that we have in fact looked at in general as we look at the offerings we have or will have in the future around Sametime, and is something that we will be exploring further (and I'd welcome comments on that approach, as well.)  And in general we will continue to look at what we can do to make the installation process as smooth and easy as possible.

3.  I can do this with Trillian without all this infrastructure.  
Yes, you can.  You've been able to do this for some time.  And yet our customers still came to us asking for a solution like the gateway.  There is a lot that you don't get with the Trillian model.  Your users still need to register personal IDs to connect out to external users rather than being able to use thier corpriate ID.  You don't have the same management policies over who can or can't access public IM users or other functionality in the client.  And you don't get the integration and extensibility possible with the Sametime 7.5 client.

As I said at the top - you'll continue to see more posts on this.  And I do want to thank Chris, Carl and others who posted comments and clarifications on their experiences to date with the gateway.  

And I also want to reiterate what I wrote above about seeking feedback on what we can do to better meet the needs of SMB customers.   We're listening.