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IBM continues writing Lotus out of history

Knowledge base pulled into Big Blue mothership

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IBM's desire to completely absorb Lotus has entered a new stage - it has pulled the search function out of the Lotus knowledge base and is directing sysadmins to the main IBM site instead.

The Lotus knowledge base is still used by hundreds of customers to search for solutions to problems with Lotus products such as Notes or Domino. However in a continuation of Big Blue's slow, low-key but determined attempt to completely envelop the software company, those who need to find in-depth information on Lotus products will have to go to the IBM main site and search its main database.

Posters to Lotus discussion forums are furious, with many complaining that the main IBM search function is hopeless at finding Lotus specific queries. IBM has retained a category search for Lotus products, but its contents are limited.

In response to an email sent by one of the posters, IBM's customer service responded: "Thank you for contacting Lotus Customer Service. We have provided below some technical support resources below to further assist you.

"We recommend that you visit the Developer Network Discussion forum, where you can chat with other developers depending on the Notes/Domino product you are using. You can also access downloads and toolkits, product betas, and technical documentation. To get to the developer's network, go to the following web address: www.lotus.com/home.nsf/welcome/developernetwork. Select "Discussions" in the left navigator.

"You may also troubleshoot or obtain additional information on your own by visiting the IBM.com support site and searching on a specific product name or phrase at http://www-4.ibm.com/software/support/.

"The Lotus/IBM Redbook site at http://www.lotus.com/redbooks also provides a lot of helpful resources for Notes and Domino products, such as books, downloadable files and posted updates.

"If you currently have a Notes and Domino support agreement, you may reach the Support console from the United States at 1-800-553-xxxx or from Canada at 1-888-263-xxxx.

"Regards,
Lotus Customer Service"

IBM first bought Lotus in 1995, assuring everyone that it would continue to run autonomously. Big Blue then spoke of restructuring at the start of this year. In July, we noticed that people's email address had changed from @lotus.com to @uk.ibm.com.

Again Big Blue downplayed any integration of Lotus into its bigger parent, only admitting the absorption officially in September - by which time it had pulled in a number of Lotus products. It then quietly removed 130 or more Lotus positions but did not, repeat not, get rid of any staff. It offered them other opportunities within the IBM corporation - not all of which were taken up.

We are awaiting on IBM's response to why it has removed the Lotus knowledge base search function. ®

Related Link

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