On May 20th IBM, InterTrust and the I.T. Group have organized round table discussion "What advantages make IBM Lotus software platform the most demanded for EDMS development" as part of DOCFLOW 2009 exhibition-conference. Attendants of the event that brought together about 100 participants discussed the reasons a company considers to select the documents management solution based on the Lotus Notes platform.
Attendant of the Round Table discussion, Mikhail Zyryanov, is the Chief Editor of the IT Director magazine, set the direction for the discussion offering the consider the issue from the perspective of the current EDMS consumer. According to various assessments the economic situation of the last year have significantly changed the approach to IS implementation projects: the main requirements became short implementation times, fast payback, visible results and growth in the efficiency.
The same point of view is shared by Tatiana Knyazeva, Analyst at DSS Consulting who has been involved in the EDMS market analysis. She confirmed 15% increase in demand for documents management systems in 2008. At the same time, 36% of all workstation are automated with EDMS built on the Lotus Notes platform — solutions developed by BOSS-Referent and InterTrust.
According to Mikhail Zeryanov, reasons IT Directors name for selection of solutions based on Lotus Notes are fast implementation and startup, quick results. Other round table participants have also confirmed this opinion. Konstantin Klinov, Executive Director of the Economic Safety and Information Protection Department at AFK Systema who has executed several BOSS-Referent EDMS implementation projects based on Lotus Notes has learned from his own experience that the system can be commissioned in 3 months. InterTrust General Director Andrey Linev gave an example of a customer who is convinced that EDMS implementation has paid back in 1 day — the system allowed to preserve and promptly find any critical for the business document allowing to win a court case. Often business requirements call for EDMS development in the shortest time, thinks Andrey Grib, BOSS-Referent General Director, referring to company OSMP that was able to re-execute 2500 agreements in 4 months in compliance with changes in the legislation, because it was able to promptly implement an EDMS. And I.T. Co. was able to comply with the government contract requirements and implement Lotus Notes and EDMS BOSS-Referent in 76 objects of Rossvyazohrankultury over the entire Russia in 3 months.
To the attendants question how true is the common opinion that Lotus Notes is a solution for big organizations, all discussion participants have single-handedly said that it’s a myth. Tatiana Knyazeva confirmed that the biggest EDMS in Russia — at the Federal Taxation Service, MTS, LUKOIL — are built on the IBM Lotus Notes/Domino platform, however that does not exclude projects in the MSE sector. Vladislav Borkus, Konnasi research Group Director, is also familiar with a number of Lotus Notes implementation projects for 20-40 users that facilitated work efficiency of these small organizations.
Strangely, the solution price issue has not caused much interest among the participants — the majority shared the opinion of Vasiliy Demin, Leading Specialist in Sales of Lotus IBM EE/A Software, that the assessment should be given for each specific client/project. However the mean total cost of ownership of Lotus Notes-based EDMS turns out lower than for a number of competitor solutions thanks to the vendors' licensing policy and wide possibilities for the functionality expansion.
Regarding the development of Lotus Notes platform itself Vasiliy Demin said that IBM views the line of Lotus products as one of the main areas of business and has a plan for the product development for several years ahead. And, says Vasiliy Demin, IBM regularly informs about the Lotus development plans and strictly adheres to the declared plans. However the other part of the question looks more important for the consumer — to what extent Lotus Notes facilitates support of the business development of the organization using it.
Gregory Broomberg, Head of the Lotus Planning and Development Department at Vympelcom, says that for their company is currently in the process of structural expansion and modification of business-processes and the fast IS adaptation issue became very acute. After a number of amalgamations there was a "zoo" of solutions and the organization needed to define the technologies that will become a standard for the entire Holding. When considering support for collective work, between Microsoft and Lotus solutions the company chose the later. Yana Alekseyeva, BI Manager at Vympelkom, clarified that analysis of perspectives in development, modification and automation of business-processes in a geographically distributed environment showed that Lotus Notes technologies facilitate achievement of this objective in the shortest time. Connection of a new branch to the Vympelkom corporate network was also given as an example. On average it takes about one week and, in Yana's opinion, it cannot be provided by any other technology currently in the market.
EDMS manufacturers — Andrey Linev and Andrey Grib — have shared the clients representative's opinion and confirmed that such unique capabilities of Lotus Notes, as easy of scalability, setup of new processes and efficient support for collective work in a distributed environment make the solution the most attractive for majority of the companies with a branched structure. However Lotus Notes technologies have another important advantage: they provide for high level of protection for the data being processed. Today only the "Lotus Notes + EDMS based on Notes platform" combination offers clients the Federal Service for Technical and Export Control certificate for the platform itself and documents management automation applications, which is very important for government organizations and organizations working with personal data.
Round table has turned into live discussion between experts and guests that further continued at the IBM, InterTrust and BOSS-Referent stands.