The other day at an internal STS training session the inside sales rep was asked to outline the major objections she encounters when trying to call into organizations to outline the outstanding benefits that the Notes platform has over any other collaboration platform.

Apparently one of the most popular retorts by the uneducated folk at the end of the phone is something along the lines of this:
Lotus Notes? Is that dinosaur still around?

That got me thinking, not about the poor education these so called IT professionals have, as hopefully the Lotus Knows campaign will go some way to alleviating that, but about the word dinosaur and it's use in context with Lotus Notes.

I guess the connotation is that Lotus Notes is old and extinct? Well it is 20 years old and I guess that is old in comparison to almost every other computer application in use today on an Intel desktop computer. Except for a few key ones that users, everyday, without fail fire up: I guess we could always call back those potential clients with something like this:
We're interested in taking out your "dinosaur" products, such as Windows and Office and replacing them with different products. You know they are old, right? Real old!

I guess IT professionals forget that longevity does not equal obsolescence. To look at Windows 1, or even 2000 and compare it to Windows 7 is, well, insane. As is comparing anything to Lotus Notes 8.x.

Anyway, I digress. Once the objections were noted I started to outline the potential positive connotations of being a dinosaur. If you can't change the words people use, at least change the associations they have with said word, right? That is consulting 101. So if Lotus Notes is a dinosaur what does that mean? What were the dinosaurs? Well, here is a starter list, feel free to leave your ideas as a comment.

1.        It took a cataclysmic event to displace the dinosaur as the prominent animal on the planet
2.        Dinosaurs adapted to many, varied environments
3.        They were the most powerful and wondrous creatures ever to walk the earth
4.        They were the top of the food chain
5.        It took a fair while for "mere humans" to understand what a dinosaur was (about 150 years or so from finding the first fossil to making the overall connection)

As you can see, if you look at what an actual Dinosaur is, as opposed to it's connotation in modern vernacular, you can see there are indeed some similarities. Just not what you'd intitially think.
Darren Duke   |   December 14 2009 05:30:00 AM   |    lotus notes    |  
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Comments (7)

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1 - Brent Henry    12/14/2009 11:12:27 AM

Its hard to stop a charging dinosaur

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2 - Andy Pedisich    12/14/2009 1:48:54 PM

It's not hard to stop a charging dinosaur.

Just take away its credit cards.


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3 - Darren Duke    12/14/2009 2:12:49 PM

@1, a good one.

@2, I admit it....I laughed.

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4 - Bilal Jaffery    12/14/2009 4:22:46 PM

The problem arises when they realize that they have been using the same client (because it worked!) for the past 15 years lol

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5 - Ian Randall       12/14/2009 6:20:09 PM

Didn't rodents and their descendants replace Dinosaurs at the top of the food chain?

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6 - Keith Brooks    12/14/2009 11:53:36 PM

Darren, The old dinosaur line is old, and you are right to go after then with the OS and Office. However, usually those they UPDATE. thyey don't usually update Notes, well until R8 came along suddenly R4 people call us.

Wish I was kidding.

Suggest you also try the subterfuge of not naming it, just discuss its benefits.

Similarly to how jk rowling got the potter books printed, she stopped using her first name.

So don't mention it until they ask and then name it whatever you want and say it's from IBM.

Just providing an alternative approach, I don't advocate lying to a client ever, but a pet name or a nickname works for me. inotes cough dwa cough webmail.

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7 - Lisa Duke    02/23/2010 12:07:48 PM

The other one I hear all the time is that "Notes is dead". Forget the fact that just saying something doesn't make it so - let's go with it. So Notes is dead? Well, like Jesus, Notes is back from the dead. With the Lotus Knows campaign and the new 8 user interface, Notes is back from the dead and looking better than ever.

If, like Jesus, Notes can be relevant 2000 years after it's death, my career is quiet safe. Count me unconcerned.