Lotus Alloy – is it possible to sell it?

Alloy by IBM and SAP I had a chance to be involved in a presale process of Lotus Alloy and with that I recall how many products IBM had for Domino & SAP integration and how they evolved during time. With that in mind as well as with the result of this specific case I have to wonder if it is possible to sell Lotus Alloy to a customer.

At the beginning there was (well, still is) DECS, LEI and SAP Connector as well as LSX libraries. DECS is for free and included in Lotus Domino installation, for LEI and SAP Connector you have to pay. Quite a lot of money, but it probably doesn’t matter as the main argument for this solution was, that you don’t have to pay for SAP licences. Which can be huge saving as for most people you don’t really want to use the SAP UI just allow them to see some data or approve invoices and so on.

I also remember programming with the LSX toolkit – while it was powerful you had to know what you want to do and how to do it, so from the developer’s point of view it was really flexible but hard to learn. And a lots of trying.

OK, in version 7.0.1 came the Notes access for SAP solutions, which had been developed by IBM with no support on SAP side. They made it in 6 month (regarding to Rocky Oliver) as a competition to MS Duet. That was really nice, preprepared package which integrates with you mail database and allow users to get the most from SAP – reports, vacation leaves, time reporting and some other process as well. It came with open source and you are able to change it on your own, kind of the LSX toolkit way. While it is for free you have to pay for SAP licences 🙁 Also the main part of configuration is done on local computer, where you need to setup the connection as well as login information.

So far so good – we have an expensive solution, where you have to pay just on IBM side, and a free solution (on IBM side) which is balanced by the payment on SAP side.

And then came Lotus Alloy. The best solution ever, developed in cooperation of IBM and SAP, which came with some preprepared agendas. However, I think that MS Duet offers more of them. This wonderful solution is server based, you have to pay for Lotus Alloy to IBM and you have to pay for SAP licences as well. After all the configuration is based on SAP side, so you have to pay all those expensive SAP specialists and when you paid them you have to pay for LN specialists which will do, at least some small, integration on Lotus Notes side. When you’ll count it all together you’ll get to some ridiculous price which enables you to solve 4 areas of „problems“ – reports management, leave management, travel management and workflow decision management. Well, you can customize it as well.

No, thank you, I’m not interest in and I’m really curious how many customers will buy it for this price.

Lotus Alloy report screen, source: ibm.com/developerworks/lotus/library/alloy-report/index.html?S_TACT=105AGX13&S_CMP=LP

Interesting is how Lotus Alloy and MS Duet are similar – both of them utilizing the action pane on right handside of their application, they both look there quite similar and they both have about the same architecture – dedicated server. Not sure about other similarities or differences, you can both of them check on SAP pages.

Duet screenshot, source: dataone.de/de/Loesungen/Duet/Seiten/default.aspx

1 komentář

  1. @1 Even if you already have Notes and SAP CALs and developers of both stripes, you still have to pay a significant amount for Alloy licenses. For that investment, customers appear to expect that their users might get out-of-the-box access to the SAP Universal Work List from the Notes 8.x sidebar. Sadly, that’s not one of the four canned capabilities. It does look like a challenge to position this product right now.

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