back to article IBM's 18-month company-wide email system migration has been a disaster, sources say

IBM's planned company-wide email migration has gone off the rails, leaving many employees unable to use email or schedule calendar events. And this has been going on for several days. Current and former IBMers have confirmed to The Register that the migration, 18 months in the making, has been a disaster. "I feel bad for …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. jason_derp Bronze badge
    Joke

    "Why are you still at IBM? They can't even get email straight."

    These guys were important once, right? I don't think I'm old enough to remember such a time. I thought they were a law firm for a while because they only seemed to be mentioned in court cases.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They used to make great keyboards.

      1. Secondrule

        It was the best keyboard ever!!

        1. artfuldodger

          Unicomp did reinvent the product, from old molds. New product is better now, I have heard. Made in USA, https://www.pckeyboard.com/

          1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
            Linux

            The Dell copy is pretty good, too

            "Model AT101W" is what mine says on the bottom. I have a real Model M, too, which I bought before the prices went through the roof. No "Windows" key, so it's compatible with my Linux system.

            1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

              Re: The Dell copy is pretty good, too

              It's the 84 key or nothing. Function keys where you can get at them. No duplication of cursor keys.

          2. 9Rune5 Silver badge
            Coffee/keyboard

            Oh that looks neat!

            Any idea if it handles full n-key rollover?

          3. NickHolland

            unicomp keyboards

            The Unicomp is probably the best feeling keyboard available now, but ... I'm going to admit I'm disappointed in what I got vs. what it could be if they did a little more development, rather than just continuing to make what was.

            I have a lot of old Model M keyboards, and love 'em. I got a new Unicomp. It is "better" than the original ONLY in that it is native USB. The old tooling and molds, I suspect, have aged. Tapping on the case under the space bar produces a definite "poor fit and finish" rattle, my 30 year old Model M sounds solid.

            I got the trackball keyboard -- love the keyboard, the trackball was a total waste of money. There are four buttons on the top, four buttons on the back of the keyboard, handy for however you hold it. EXCEPT -- of those four buttons, only two are usable, the other two are literally not connected to anything, produce no scan code, and are not usable in any way. The four on the back are just duplicates of the four on the top -- again, right and left, and two just going along for the ride. I even shot them an e-mail asking how to use the other four buttons -- "you can't" was the answer. :-/ I really don't find a two button mouse useful in the 21st century. Cost is modest, but benefit is near zero.

            The Unicomp is a good basic keyboard, not quite as good as the Model M, but better (by far) than anything else that I've seen currently made. As a feature keyboard, totally disappointing. If you have and can use a real Model M, you will be happier. Would love it if they would provide some kind of macro feature in the Unicomp. Price is very reasonable for a good keyboard (which may well last many computers), I'd rather pay $100 for a Unicomp than the $50 "gamer" keyboard I'm typing this on.

            Possible observation: cats may not like to walk on the Model M (/ Unicomp) keyboards. Or maybe it's just "my" cat vs. my GF's cat.

            As for the IBM clicky-clicky keyboards being the best made? Not in my opinion. Before the PC came out, there were a lot of very good keyboards out there...and the IBM PC keyboard was in the better half, but I remember one reviewer of the original PC saying, "How could the company that invented the IBM Selectric typewriter produce this horrible keyboard?" And that's the truth. It wasn't the worst keyboard ever, but it was far from the best. Try an IBM 3270 terminal if you ever get a chance, or my favorite, the Zenith Z-100 (not the PC compatible Zenith). The only reason it's so good now is our standards are much lower. And I'm dubious about the clicky keyboards being office appropriate.

    2. drankinatty

      All good [law] firms

      There was Burroughs and Sperry, RCA, GE, DEC, NCR, Control Data and Honeywell to name a few. They were all the great mainframe makers of the time (late 60's through 80's). Green phosphorous displays for graphics, the works. The ironic thing, except for the addition of the windows key, all of the old keyboards continue to work just fine -- if you can find an old spark-plug sized keyboard connector gender-blender to USB...

      1. ITMA

        Re: All good [law] firms

        " if you can find an old spark-plug sized keyboard connector gender-blender to USB..."

        By "spark-plug sized" I assume you mean the 180 degree, 5 pin DIN connector?

        1. MadocOwain

          Re: All good [law] firms

          Finding an adapter to go from the large 5-pin DIN to the smaller connector is easy enough, many were made in the 90s. From there you can get a Y adapter to allow you to plug in two devices (generally 1 keyboard, 1 mouse) into one USB port.

          1. NickHolland

            Re: All good [law] firms

            I've had very mixed success with PS/2 to USB adapters. Some work sufficiently well, some really lag horribly. Not convinced paying more gets better results.

            1. ITMA

              Re: All good [law] firms

              And many - eBay/Amazon - don't seem to know any keyboard layouts other than US.

              Making them totally US (I leave it to your personal preference as to whether you interpret "US" as "uselss" or "utter shite").

    3. MVOCL37

      IBM and Technology

      For sure there has been issues brought up by employees related to this move but it is far from being a disaster. For those who think about IBM being a Company that belongs to the past, please go ahead and check what has been delivered by IBM to Society around the world recently. It is indeed worth reading.

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        Re: IBM and Technology

        Hi Arvind, I'm surprised you have time to post here, but I guess that with email down there's nothing else to do.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As an IBMer, I'd like to say that the article implies that every user at IBM is having issues. I'm not, and I suspect that I'm not alone. Yeah, they didn't handle this as well as they could have, but it isn't a total disaster.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Coat

      No, it's just a major disaster.

      1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
        Coat

        No, it's just a major f**king disaster.

        FTFY & TYVM.

        1. Wolfclaw

          No, it's a straight off the shelf, standard IBM clusterfk !

          1. Dyson Lu

            Intermittent Business Mayhem.

        2. ramvaidya

          Go ahead and quit..

          1. Ken G
            Paris Hilton

            just curious

            Do you choose all your employers based on their email systems?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: just curious

              No, but Oracle's internal system wasn't much motivation for staying.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: just curious

              "Do you choose all your employers based on their email systems?"

              Some of us do email admin, so the answer is Yes for a select group of us,

            3. jason_derp Bronze badge

              Re: just curious

              "Do you choose all your employers based on their email systems?"

              Not necessarily. Imagine this: you walk into work and none if the work vehicles are ready for use. They all require work. No big deal. Oh no, wait, i work for a lawn & garden care +landscaping company. Confidence soon drops hard.

              What is it that IBM works with?

              1. bombastic bob Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: just curious

                Maybe there are just too many PHBs and not enough PFYs and BOFHs

            4. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: just curious

              I wouldn't mind being hired to FIX a b0rked e-mail system

    2. macjules Silver badge

      ... but it isn't a total disaster

      No, the person who made sure you have to still use Lotus Notes ("Notes") in 2021 caused the total disaster.

    3. TheBigDog225

      Well 90% of our group has been out since last weekend. So the article is under selling the issure.

    4. iGNgnorr

      "As an IBMer, I'd like to say that the article implies that every user at IBM is having issues. I'm not, and I suspect that I'm not alone."

      So you'll be the janitor then

      1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
        Coat

        and I suspect that I'm not alone.

        .. but I cant verify that because all of our systems are down..

  4. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Dark, chaotic pit of not being able to access email or calendars

    Sounds idyllic. I would sign up, but I hear IBM's record with the elderlyexperienced is similarly flawed.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Dark, chaotic pit of not being able to access email or calendars

      The "no email or calendar" bit does sounds like workplace bliss.

      And it is a great pity that a company once famed for employing the right people at a time when every other 1930's company was men-only now has a reputation for ageism.

      No Email, Permanently

      The BBC had a piece some years ago about a few companies that had a no-internal-email rule. If the person you were emailing was on the same site, you had to walk there or pick up the phone. The report indicated that these companies were thriving.

      And it's easy to see why; actually dealing with email is a huge f*****g waste of time, mostly. Get rid of it across the board (internally), and the firm has got itself a ton of productivity back at a stroke.

      1. nichomach

        Re: Dark, chaotic pit of not being able to access email or calendars

        I know what you're getting at, and have experienced being in those interminable "I'd better cc EVERYONE" email chains, but there is little more annoying than being in the middle of a complex task that requires concentration and having someone rock up or phone with something completely unrelated that they expect you to deal with there and then. Make an appointment and I'll clear the decks for you and you'll have my complete attention. Rock up out of the blue, and I'll be less forthcoming.

        1. yoganmahew

          Re: Dark, chaotic pit of not being able to access email or calendars

          Exactly @nichomach. Email is the worst method of communication, apart from all the others.

          I live my life by Outlook rules, automate the boring out of view.

          1. ITMA
            Devil

            Re: Dark, chaotic pit of not being able to access email or calendars

            "Email is the worst method of communication"

            I find that the orange plastic "dead-blow" mallets that come with industrial grade, self-assembly steel racking/shelving makes a very effective communication tool.

            Especially at short range.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dark, chaotic pit of not being able to access email or calendars

          @nichomat, if you can post a sign on your office door or raise a red flag that says "danger, do not interrupt" you will do everyone a service. Sliding a post-it note into you inbox requesting an appointment does not count as interruption. Deal?

      2. Hogbert

        Re: Dark, chaotic pit of not being able to access email or calendars

        Sounds idyllic, except that it's easy to pass blame onto someone else by simply saying "I never said that".

        In some company environments people will do nothing without having a trail of instructions or authorisations in writing.

  5. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Bean counters?

    The implication of the article is that IBM is yet another company which has allowed operational decisions to be made by bean counters. From flogging off a product they needed to use themselves* to trying to replace it on the cheap.

    Nail, meet coffin.

    *I kind of wonder if those migration costs were included in the calculations that lead to the sell-off. Or indeed the saved costs/subsidy of having an in-house system that was also a product.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Bean counters?

      More to the point if IBM can't use Notes because it would be insecure having their data on another companies servers - why would anyone else run Notes ?

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Bean counters?

        That was my first thought.Either IBM sold their product to a company they, themselves, do not consider trustworthy enough to use. Or IBM wanted out from their own product. It all amounts to the same thing.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bean counters?

        All of the IBM emails have been on HTC servers since they sold Notes to them, I can also confirm that people are still having big issues, my online email (Verse) has been fine all week, today its down.

    2. Nunyabiznes

      Migration costs

      Of course they weren't - that would have affected the bonus paid on savings.

    3. deevee

      Re: Bean counters?

      IBM, the "Boeing" of Computers.

      1. Secondrule

        Re: Bean counters?

        More like the Betamax of video delivery systems

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bean counters?

          Thing is Betamax was/is way better than VHS

          1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

            Re: Bean counters?

            And Philips V2000 was better than either. But Pr0n came on VHS...

          2. James Anderson

            Re: Bean counters?

            No it was not!

            Slightly better video but 60 minutes play time was not enough for a typical movie. So a fail for the primary use case.

            1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

              Re: Bean counters?

              Curiously, a variant of the Betamax system became standard in broadcasting - with the addition of track-following heads driven by piezo-electric actuators to improve the tracking.

              But the (no doubt patented) Philips track following on the V2000 was simpler and I think better. Turning the cassette over half way through, though, that was just silly.

              (I was a broadcast engineer for over thirty years).

              1. MacroRodent Silver badge

                Re: Bean counters?

                > But the (no doubt patented) Philips track following

                Didn't that later become a feature in VHS, too? Only older decks needed manual track adjustment, newer ones did the trick automatically, unless the tape was really bad.

              2. neilo

                Re: Bean counters?

                BetaCam and BetaMAX have practically nothing in common, except that the name starts with “Beta” and both come from Sony. BetsMAX looked better because of the ringing added to areas of high contrast which gave the impression of higher detail on the screen.

          3. MacroRodent Silver badge

            Video wars (Re: Bean counters?)

            > Thing is Betamax was/is way better than VHS

            A beloved tech myth. Actually there was very little difference. Both improved with time, but VHS obviously had more time to improve. "Late" VHS was certainly better than early Betamax was.

            I used to have also a S-VHS deck, a backward-compatible extension that required slightly different tape (it could also play back and record regular VHS). THAT was a clearly visible improvement, almost DVD-quality. The fact it did not take off shows VHS was good enough for most people.

          4. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: Bean counters?

            > Thing is Betamax was/is way better than VHS

            Perhaps in your personal opinion (warning, youtube video) Why Sony's Beta Videotape System Failed--and failed hard (Part 1)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bean counters?

      So often when I see a so called innovative new decision from management I think.."Hmm that looks familiar".

      So I walk over to my old management text books from when I was foolish enough to try and do an MBA.. and what do you know.. there is that "Innovative new idea " in a 20+ year old text book ...

  6. Tomislav

    Maybe they should outsource?

    Have they thought about outsourcing their e-mail system upgrade to someone? Capita for example? :)

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: Maybe they should outsource?

      Notes is horrible, I've been scarred.

      Having said that, the ability to mail out structured forms and get data back direct into a database seems like such a core feature.

      Both Notes and Outlook forms are horrible, are there any alternatives?

      Youd want anything that follows standards or, like IBM, you will be locked in forever.

      Perhaps the world needs a standard for html form validation that is safe/sane in a email client.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Or maybe just not use HTML in email at all?

        "Perhaps the world needs a standard for html form validation that is safe/sane in a email client."

        Needs, yes, but will they use it? Never.

        The perceived need to maintain compatibility with hot garbage is more important to the big four of enterprise email (Gmail, Outlook, Notes). All of which now suffer from crippling platform fragmentation, a screw the customer business plan, and terminal bitrot in their code bases.

        No one will risk fully breaking compatibility with one of them. They will never agree on substantive change between themselves, and seldom clean up their own messes.

        Might as well re-invent the wheel for all the good it will do. So sadly, I recommend you go back to text and stick to the parts email that work. Links and small attachments. It gets the job done.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Or maybe just not use HTML in email at all?

          The perceived need to maintain compatibility with hot garbage is more important to the big four of enterprise email (Gmail, Outlook, Notes).

          How should I interpret this mismatch? An off by one error or did you forget to note the fourth?

        2. Anon

          Re: the big four

          > the big four of enterprise email (Gmail, Outlook, Notes)

          I don't think I want any of those three to account for two...

        3. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Colin Wilson 2 - Apple have got this right!

          of the big four, I see that there is one "unmentionalble"...

      2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Maybe they should outsource?

        [i]... the ability to mail out structured forms and get data back direct into a database seems like such a core feature.[/i]

        Be careful what you wish for...increase the complexity and dependencies, and you increase the chance of really big problems.

        I prefer the Unix philosophy -- email should take messages and files from one user to another. Don't ask it to do too much and you won't be disappointed*

        *[e.g.: MS Word]

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Maybe they should outsource?

        I used Notes in the 90s, it was so horrible then that it was easier to use via its API (through Perl, at that) than use the UI.

        (SAP is horrible too; one team I was in hired a non-technical "group assistant" to operate it for us because it was so counter-intuitive to anyone technical, but relatively easy to use for someone who knew less about software.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe they should outsource?

      They have if you read the article, Notes was sold to HCL In India who also got the cloud email servers, this project is to move ALL the cloud HCL mail servers to IBM ones and after 18 months planning its failed miserably.

  7. spold

    Incredibly Borked Mail system

    >>>

    we are leveraging a variety of alternative communications tools to ensure minimal disruption to our clients and to our business while we work to restore full email capabilities

    <<<

    Carrier pigeon?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Incredibly Borked Mail system

      Whenever they say that it means each department/project has given up and opened gmail accounts and set up groups in WhatsApp.

  8. fidodogbreath Silver badge
    Happy

    Yum

    It's hilarious to see a consulting company get sick from eating its own dog food.

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "laid the blame on IBM CFO James Kavanaugh"

    Okay, I am well aware that large companies do have the despicable habit of being run by the beancounters, but in this case shouldn't it be the CTO getting the flack ?

    IBM does have a CTO, right ? If he can't stand up for what is needed, isn't it his fault in the first place ?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: "laid the blame on IBM CFO James Kavanaugh"

      >IBM does have a CTO, right

      No, it turns out he was over 50 so they made him redundant and outsourced the job

    2. Nunyabiznes

      Re: "laid the blame on IBM CFO James Kavanaugh"

      I think many CTOs have learned the adage of "the nail sticking out". If they try to use logic and reason to stop a "cost-savings" they tend to get hammered flush with the floor - much like a nail sticking up.

      That makes it hard to stay on the merry-go-round that is corporate executive hiring. It is much better to say nothing, be a pleasant personality and parachute out of the ball of fail only to land in another cushy post.

      1. hopkinse

        Re: "laid the blame on IBM CFO James Kavanaugh"

        "That makes it hard to stay on the merry-go-round that is corporate executive hiring. It is much better to say nothing, be a pleasant personality and parachute out of the ball of fail only to land in another cushy post."

        This is what is wrong with the Public Sector ( local govt./civil service) - constant merry-go-round of decision makers who bail out to their next gig before the sh*t hits the fan

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: "laid the blame on IBM CFO James Kavanaugh"

          There's an irony there though. The worst failures are private sector outsourcers. Who seem to never be short of new public sector contracts to fail at.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "laid the blame on IBM CFO James Kavanaugh"

      Of course IBM has a CTO. But guess who the CTO reports to? Yup, Kavanaugh

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "laid the blame on IBM CFO James Kavanaugh"

      "IBM does have a CTO, right ?"

      He's the one trying to send an email saying "told you so."

    5. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: "laid the blame on IBM CFO James Kavanaugh"

      There's a lot in that to unpack. For starters where the CTO is in the pecking order, compared to the CFO. (Any guesses?). How much they get paid to be there to make remaining the preferred option or which hill they would choose to die on. And ultimately what the CEO and the board/major shareholders are after. Bearing in mind most of those will themselves probably be run by beancounters.

  10. Inventor of the Marmite Laser

    "are leveraging a variety"

    FFS what's wrong with "using" or "trying"?

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      >> what's wrong with "using" or "trying"?

      No spaces on the Bingo card for those.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. CrackedNoggin Bronze badge

      Ordinary words like "using" or "trying" are a waste of time.

      Leveraging power/money/prestige/inside-information/... will make you successful, and if you are not leveraging yourself upward, then you are being leveraged out.

  11. Binraider Bronze badge

    I have some new, old stock IBM keyboards from the early 90s. Those are good.

    Wake me up the day IBM sells anything relevant again?

    Oh, their mainframe stuff is good too in specific use cases. But that's about it.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Oh, their mainframe stuff is good too in specific use cases. But that's about it.

      The iSeries (formerly AS/400) or however IBM wishes to call it this month is simply excellent.

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "everything should go fine provided everyone follows the instructions emailed to them."

    Can anyone spot the flaw in this logic?

    1. Nunyabiznes
      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        :-). For the bean counters and their slaves, it is always the pesky "users".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I was about to say the same thing. :-).

  13. deevee

    Asking for a friend.

    Did IBM outsource their mail system to Kyndryl?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Outsource Email to Kyndryl

      This is where it gets funny. Kyndryl is going to use Office 365 and Outlook, IBMers who are moving to Kyndryl have already been given their Kyndryl.com email addresses, but they are forbidden to use them until September 1st. So not only does IBM have a borked email system, but they are moving their spin off company to another email system which also has a great history of borking! (and all the future Kyndryl employees are sitting on working email, which they can't use because Kyndryl doesn't exist yet!).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Outsource Email to Kyndryl

        It took me a moment to remember who Kyndryl are. Best wishes to the people going there and I hope their management haven't drilled their kin for so many generations that they've become imbeciles.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Outsource Email to Kyndryl

          Free advice to global businesses intending to mostly do business with other serious global businesses and governments.

          Don't rename yourself like a god from the Cthullu mythos that nobody can spell - it isn't big and it isn't clever.

  14. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Joke

    *Ring*, *Ring*

    Hello?

    Hi, my name is Rajit and I am calling from Microsoft because our system detected you're having e-mail problems ...

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Coat

      don't forget he needs your IP address and you need to visit this web site and download the utility...

  15. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Joke

    An IBM spokesperson contacted by phone

    Of course nothing is amiss. The phone is, still, working.

    1. eldakka Silver badge

      > Of course nothing is amiss. The phone is, still, working.

      Until the email issues cause a network packet-storm, taking the desktop VoIP-phones offline ...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        This is IBM, they are probably rotary phones with a switchboard operator plugging jack plugs

  16. chivo243 Silver badge
    Go

    More Bullsh*t Bingo!

    "...and we are leveraging a variety of alternative communications tools to ensure minimal disruption to our clients and to our business while we work to restore full email capabilities.”

    I love the PR infomessages...

    1. MrNigel

      Re: More Bullsh*t Bingo!

      Was a top BB player back in the day!! Best single use was "chocolate wardrobe" in a Uniplex presentation to the MoD. It was chosen by the MoD PM 1 minute before the presentation started. Best multiple use case was "Reference as many Flintstones characters as possible" which we used on the Microsoft OCS release roadshow.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: More Bullsh*t Bingo!

        The only Flintstone's character who mattered... The Great Gazoo!

  17. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    From Notes to Outlook

    So they have 3 concurrent email systems - Notes, Outlook, and something else I've never heard of.

    I've been subjected to torture by both Notes (at IBM) and Outlook (elsewhere). I found myself longing for the other one in both cases. A mix can't possibly be workable, IMHO.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: From Notes to Outlook

      As a former IBMer, I can confirm. They've been trying to get Notes/Smartcloud to play nice with Outlook/Exchange for at least the last 3 or so years. When it didn't work as expected (or should that be "didn't work, as expected"?) the team running the trial went silent. Those of us in the Outlook/Exchange trial went years with unreliable calendar, and the only "support" offered was a poorly-staffed slack channel.

  18. James Anderson

    Slight improvement then...

    "blame on IBM CFO James Kavanaugh for cutting costs and not hiring the right people."

    is slightly better than the usual

    "cutting costs and firing the right people."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slight improvement then...

      Cut costs by firing the wrong people, and further cutting costs in not hiring the right people to replace the people wrongly let go in the first place.

      IBM make my head hurt. I really hope Kyndryl doesn't follow the same dumb-arse decision making.

  19. SecretSonOfHG

    Karma bites back

    Or dogfooding, call it they way you want. Now IBM employees can enjoy the level of support and care they give to their own customers and watch with their own eyes the fine art: of deflecting blame away to the customer (IBM), the level of ignorance about their legacy systems (cost cutting took away the veterans because they could be replaced by young and inexperienced people from cheap labor countries) and the jarring level of ignorance on basic computing concepts from the aforementioned young people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Karma bites back

      Created an account to upvote this.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    presumably because email is a bit spotty

    Ah, that one hurts, like, a lot.

    As an excuse, mail migrations between products are quite tough, so is probably why this hurts.

    1. Sam not the Viking
      Meh

      Re: presumably because email is a bit spotty

      That's why you call in the experts.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: presumably because email is a bit spotty

        That's why you call in the experts.

        True for just about any other company, but IBM just fired them.

  21. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Flame

    We can't blame them, email is such a new and disruptive technology!

  22. Jezzper

    Domino Servers are actually VERY stable

    From over 25 years of years of experience I can say Domino servers are actually VERY stable and reliable (even older versions) so IBM must have done something very wrong.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Domino Servers are actually VERY stable

      The servers might be stable. I give you that. It's the configuration nightmare oft stabilizing them, and the convoluted way implied to access the databases living in them what makes us mere mortals hate them so much.

      They're ugly kids only a mother (or a Domino admin) would love.

  23. Peter 26

    An impossible task

    I worked for IBM supporting Notes about 15 years ago.

    Everyone hated it, 99.9% of the staff wanted to use Outlook because that's what they knew from their previous jobs, but technically Notes was better and had better features. There was so many features in Notes not in Outlook that I remember thinking, god help whoever has to migrate this in the future.

    I would have just thrown my hands up in the air and said, we are not migrating this. Here's your new system, we will keep the old system as an archive read only for the next few years.

    1. jfollows

      Re: An impossible task

      I used Notes when I worked at IBM from its introduction to my departure in 2008. In my new job I had to use Outlook and I found it significantly worse. I suffered a little from the reverse of what you describe - I liked what I was used to - but I did find that Outlook wasted my time more even when I became accustomed to it.

      And Notes was probably a big step up in many ways over the previous mainframe-based email, although I didn't hate that either, it was just a tool of its time.

      1. Peter 26

        Re: An impossible task

        I agree with you, I loved Notes. Outlook annoys me to this day that it can't do the basics.

        But the problem was familiarity, everyone knows Outlook, Notes was different, very different. If you had a technical inquisitive mind you'd learn to love it, but that was the very small minority of staff. Notes was a nuisance that got in the way from doing their job, another thing to learn...

  24. flayman

    Once great company

    IBM is a once great company and former industry trailblazer who failed to anticipate and adapt to changing markets, lost its edge, lost its way, and whose continued existence is hard to justify. The 1990 book Barbarians to Bureaucrats by Lawrence M. Miller features this now ironic quote from IBM founder Thomas Watson, Sr: “Whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been attained, progress stops.”

    1. RancidRodent

      Re: Once great company

      IBM failed to adapt – now we have this thing called “cloud” where two big companies have enormous computers running your stuff remotely on virtual machines – hmmm – what did we used to call those? Oh yes – mainframes. The IBM mainframe has simply been replaced with infinitely less efficient and less reliable MS and Google mainframes.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. RancidRodent

          Re: Once great company

          Get I did forget about AWS - another mainframe with a fancy new name.

  25. ramvaidya

    18 months plan ? Just NOT True

    This is too much exaggeration .. The mail migration did not happen properly due to the short timeframe, and trust me its not easy to have mails migrated for lakhs of users globally. There are other alternate communication channels as well, and we are using it. Let others learn on how to implement such projects. Till then, Peace..

  26. batfink Silver badge

    I wish

    Can I have my email stopped for three days as well please?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slack in place; no Outlook email?

    Where do I send my CV?

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Slack in place; no Outlook email?

      Where do I send my CV?

      Unfortunately, I can't answer that question as I don't have the snailmail address, but I strongly recommend you don't send it by email.

  28. Eclectic Man Silver badge
    Happy

    Who, Me?

    There is a superb "Who me?" episode in there somewhere. Can't wait.

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still issues

    Just got an error message:

    Your message

    Subject:....

    was not delivered to:

    user@in.ibm.com

    because:

    Delivery time expired

    So still issues.

  31. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

    PROFS

    Bring back PROFS! Worked a treat... sort of.

    1. Steve Channell
      Coat

      Re: PROFS

      As if by chance, this year would be the 40th birthday of PROFS.

  32. herbgold

    Bring back PROFS!

    Yes, I know PROFS (aka "NOSS" in its IBM manifestation) was horrible, but it was working when I left IBM at the end of 1994...

    1. RancidRodent

      Re: Bring back PROFS!

      PROFS? That new kid on the block? Far too modern - good old DISOSS is what you want.

      1. jfollows

        Re: Bring back PROFS!

        I joined IBM in 1984 and one of the radical things it did then was that everyone had email, very simple and only between people who worked in IBM but, hey, that was radical to me. And I interacted daily with colleagues in the USA and mainland Europe to do my job. This was before NOSS/PROFS but they built on the infrastructure over time. So for me, email was one of the first "wow" things about working for IBM when I started.

  33. Ken G
    Windows

    You know that there's some isolated department ticking along nicely on Notes 4

    running on an AS-400 and they're trying to keep their heads down before someone makes them upgrade

  34. Imhotep Silver badge

    You Have 2,486 Unread Messages

    "everything should go fine provided everyone follows the instructions emailed to them"

    Oh, dear. That in itself sounds like a recipe for disaster, even if they emailed it before they trashed their system.

  35. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  36. ToldYaSo

    Saw this coming for Years

    Being the guy who built the original Notes servers for EYE BEE EM, I can tell you I warned them and saw this coming for years. The goal was to eliminate all the North American talent that was running all the IT for the company. It was outsourced to the cheapest geography du jour. They dug this grave through extreme cost cutting for many years. There was nothing left in North America but Salesmen and Executives. We used to work gladly 24/7 for the greater good of that company but they weeded everyone out systematically. Lawyers and Accountants systematically eliminated the cost intensive (read elder) 'resources'. The only survivors were the ones who were willing to back stab with a smile on their face.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. -v(o.o)v-

      Re: Saw this coming for Years

      Do tell more...

      IBM does deserve this and so much more for their cost cutting.

  37. lukianp

    Cant say I am disappointed, came to the comments section and everybodys getting romantic about IBM and honeywell keyboards

  38. Lorribot Silver badge

    IBM have sold everything they have ever done to someone else.

    Anyone know what they actually do these days?

    1. GuildenNL

      Pretty sure they are solely focused on manufacturing Soylent Green.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hiring the wrong people ?!? Hack, they are letting go of the right ones :-)

    I can't stop but wonder what the future will bring for IBM. One of the main strengths for that company was it's high quality of technical people, but for some years now IBM has been laying off - and now the Kyndryl so called "spinoff". They are throwing away talent and sub-contracting low budget employees - what did they expect ?!? And this is just a relatively simple mail migration. Cloud ? Who knows what the future brings ... I guess they'll fool stockholders for some years but at some point the "spinoff" of the talented professionals will start to show. I don't know, maybe it turns out ok for them, i mean, theoretically IBM bough Red Hat .... but we all know who's really in charge now. Arvind is just a puppet for the Red Hat puppet master. It will be interesting to see ...

  40. AndrewD375

    It's Better Manually

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chaotic decisions? (fingers crossed for approval of comment)

    Heard English is not an international language anymore used in IBM, if it is a Chinese project you will have to learn Chinese. French, German? Could this be another main issue, along with the loss of technical people? You never know what documentation the migration guys have/don't have of the old outdated Lotus Notes. And being paid with "buy yourself a bagel" money, might be another issue?

  42. Tron

    Bad management.

    Here's how to do it.

    Everyone. We are migrating our mail system. It is likely to go wrong, because most big tech projects do.

    Can everyone please switch to Gmail until we iron out the bugs.

    Thank you.

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