Ask the Expert: Kris De Bisschop
What are the key challenges in a typical Notes modernization or migration project?
KDB: The key challenges that we encounter in these kinds of projects are discovering the number of applications the customer has and identifying the ones that are still relevant to the business. Luckily, there are tools on the market that can provide insights into the application usage and can help determine which applications to focus on first.
When we start a modernization project, we are usually met with a large number of fields present in a form, many of which are redundant. Therefore one of the first things we look at with the customer is whether there is a way to consolidate the fields and forms. In this way, we can develop a lighter user interface, which can lead to more clarity and keep the form clutter to a minimum.
I believe that #Domino2025 will be the moment of truth for the platform. The time has come to convince the rest of the world to use this platform and to utilize its capabilities to start building new and powerful applications.
Another challenge we come across frequently is introducing IBM Connections to customers. Not all companies are ready to start with an Enterprise Social Network, but once they discover that their Domino applications can be integrated with IBM Connections, and that they can respond to workflow messages within a status update, then they start to see the added value. The other IBM Connections features, such as Files, Meetings, Communities, Blogs, Wikis, and others, also provide extended possibilities to the customer.
Due to the methodology we employ while transforming a Domino application, we don’t really like to refer to the process as Domino modernization, but rather as Domino enriching.
Have you recently been involved in the development or deployment of any new apps based on Notes and Domino?
KDB: Yes, recently I was involved with the development of a new application called “Visitor Registration.” The application is based on IBM Domino and replaces the traditional notebook found on the reception desks in most companies that is used to track visitors. Our application is web based and consists of two portals: a portal for the visitor that can be shown on a tablet, and a portal for the company employees to manage their visitors. Visitors can register themselves at the desk on their own, and can easily find the names of the persons they are visiting. The internal contacts can also pre-register their visitors upfront, and add additional instructions for the receptionist, or even for the visitor.
This is just one example of a Domino-based application that we build for our clients, and we have many more new applications in the pipeline.
IBM/HCL team’s intention is to “go back to the genesis of the product.” How do you interpret this intention? What are your expectations?
KDB: The way that I read this statement is that IBM/HCL plan to promote IBM Domino as a rapid development platform that facilitates the building of secure applications that can interact with all sorts of interfaces and other platforms.
IBM Domino is ideal for this as it is a platform with state-of-the-art security, and it allows rapid development using internet protocols. There is no other platform that can offer those possibilities today.
I believe that #Domino2025 will be the moment of truth for the platform. IBM, HCL, the IBM Champions, and indeed the whole community believe in its potential. But now the time has come to convince the rest of the world to use this platform and to utilize its capabilities to start building new and powerful applications.
The Expert Profile
Kris De Bisschop is the Managing Director of GroupWave, a Belgian company delivering consulting services specialized in the IBM Collaboration Solutions portfolio. Kris is an expert in IBM Notes/Domino administration, Sametime, Traveler, and TDI and is busy with IBM Connections. He spreads the story about Social Business to customers and loves networking. He sees high-level issues as an opportunity to accept new challenges. When he is not on his computer or tablet, you can find him in the sports hall playing badminton. [Twitter, LinkedIn]