Lotus goes after Microsoft's 'ridiculous and fabricated' figures

Lotus' Picciano calls out Microsoft execs Ballmer, Turner over Notes conversions

Lotus Software GM Bob Picciano has grown tired of the "hot wind" blowing out of Redmond carrying claims that Exchange is displacing Notes and is singling out CEO Steve Ballmer and COO Kevin Turner as the main culprits spreading "ridiculous and fabricated" information.

"Microsoft is making claims in the marketplace around 4.7 million people have exchanged e-mail from Notes to Exchange and that is just a ridiculous fabricated figure," said Picciano, who took the reins at Lotus in 2008. "Every time they sell a [client access license] they count that as a competitive migration."

"People need to recognize that Kevin Turner and Steve Ballmer have blown a lot of hot wind from Washington and there is not much substance or truth to what they are espousing in the marketplace," Picciano said. "They were so bold as to say there are entire countries that have migrated off of Notes and that is utterly ridiculous."

Picciano says all the talk has "got me pretty worked up that they would be so bold to make such erroneous statements and not be challenged."

The Lotus Software GM says many of the reference companies cited by Microsoft when it made its "4.7 million people" comment in July "are still licensing Lotus Notes technology and still utilizing e-mail and applications from Lotus. They are still utilizing capabilities from other aspects of the Lotus portfolio," said Picciano.

At Microsoft's annual meeting this summer for financial analysts, Turner heaped on more numbers during his presentation at the event. "We've taken out almost 13 million Lotus Notes [seats] the past three years. … Now, the thing that I would tell you is there's still 15 — we count — there's still 15 million out there." He cited SharePoint Server as the "fastest-growing, hottest product in the history of Microsoft," and pegged it as a catalyst in the fight against IBM.

Picciano said the counter was last week's news that U.S. Bank was replacing Microsoft's SharePoint platform by standardizing on the Notes 8.5 client and would roll out Lotus Connections social networking tools, the Sametime real-time platform and Lotus Quickr, which is IBM's alternative to SharePoint.

On Tuesday, Picciano threw out his own numbers saying a total to 15,421 companies have picked IBM over Microsoft since 2008 in the worldwide integrated collaborative environment market as defined by IDC. In addition, Picciano says customers are expanding their investment in Lotus software and he cited as examples Accenture, BASF, Chrysler, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Continental AG, Finishline, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Gruppo Amadori, KBC Bank, Nationwide, Novartis, Phillips Electronics and PNC Bank.

He said PNC Bank and Continental Tire are joining U.S. Bank in getting rid of Microsoft's Exchange, Office and SharePoint.In January, Picciano said more than 12,000 new companies in 2008 bought their first Notes/Domino licenses. And he said half of the Fortune global 100 are Notes/Domino users.

"It's important to put [Microsoft's claims] into perspective and call it what it is, a bunch of fabrication," Picciano said. "Kevin is feeling that he is under a bit of pressure. People understand what Kevin's motivation is and the prancing around in front of partners and talking about this. It's duplicitous and overshadows the real truth."

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