Qantas ditches Lotus Notes for Outlook

Qantas ditches Lotus Notes for Outlook

Summary: Qantas today confirmed that it would shortly migrate its corporate email platform from IBM's Lotus Notes/Domino platform to Microsoft Exchange/Outlook.


Qantas today confirmed that it would shortly migrate its corporate email platform from IBM's Lotus Notes/Domino platform to Microsoft Exchange/Outlook.


(Qantas 747-300 image
by planegeezer, CC2.0)

Confirming a report this morning in the AustralianIT, Qantas executive manager of corporate services and technology David Hall said the process of migrating to Exchange had already begun, with piloting underway across the airline's executive team.

"This is part of the Qantas technology group's focus on leveraging technology to improve efficiencies for the business and enhancing communication effectiveness across our workforce," said Hall.

"Subject to satisfactory piloting, we anticipate the migration to be substantially completed by the end of the year." It is expected that around 20,000 staff will be migrated to the Microsoft platform.

Hall said Qantas would also be consolidating "a large number" of Lotus Notes applications and databases as part of its drive to "standardise, reduce and simplify" the number of business applications and tools it used.

Since moving up to his current role in October 2008 from his previous position as chief financial officer at Qantas subsidiary Jetstar, Hall has made dramatic changes to Qantas' IT support operation.

In a landmark speech in August 2009, Hall said he believed Qantas could cut its IT costs by $100 million over the next financial year. Over the past couple of years the airline has pursued a number of IT outsourcing initiatives. For example, in mid-2009 some 200 Qantas staff were offered jobs at IBM as Big Blue took over responsibility for the airline's project delivery services.

Topics: IBM, Microsoft, Travel Tech

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  • BS

    ..."leveraging technology to improve efficiencies for the business and enhancing communication effectiveness" - sounds like the Dack BS generator has been getting a workout!
  • notes is dead - according to the media

    why is there is such a glut of pro MS stories? is it really because everyone is moving? or simply MS have a huge hospitality & marketing pot, of which journos get regular access? Some balance would be nice for a change. Still, easy to write what your told to I guess.
  • Migrating Mail Infrastructure is never easy or cheap!

    S/W is like religion, bit too much faith and not enough science in striving for utopia. If Qantas want to move to Exchange. I doubt they will cut costs. Here's 3 reasons why.

    1/ For each Domino Server you want to migrate, you will require 3 (three) Windows Servers each running their own part of the Exchange architecture. And this doesn't include any extra bits for Application related servers either. so 3 is not less than 1 last time I checked my maths.

    2/ You have a lot of applications built in Domino environments that will cost millions to sunset and convert (by hand) into an alternative technology. There is no magic conversion program, anyone who tells you that, also will sell you the harbour bridge. In the end all the business gets will be the same business function and a smaller bank balance. So, paying more for the same doesn't sound like a good investment does it ?

    3/ Alternatively, If Qantas decide to not migrate app's then they will be left with a massive array of servers as you run a hybrid environment for at least 3-5 years of Notes application (utility) servers and the Exchange environment. Again the h/w cost + Admin cost (ie TCO) will hurt someone. So, having more technology only complicates the environment and will cost more to keep it working.

    On another note, when CxO's decide to switch technologies. What's the motivation ? Reliability ? Cost ? longevity of the platform ? In Qantas' case it appears to be cost.

    Reliability and Cost tends to revolve around people. You are swapping practices and skill levels when you swap out technologies. In the process you throw the baby out with the bath water. Before ebaying your servers, perhaps looking at the skills and habits of the team running it.

    If it's about longetivity of the platform, Domino's been around for 20 years, and it looks like it will be around for 10 more, and all Domino upgrades are done "in place", not something Microsoft can testify to.

    This sort of project is not easy, but the solutions if assessed in detail may point to very cheap solutions that save you money.

    In conclusion, If Qantas decide to do the migration, (which I have seen time and time again), they'll most likely be a hybrid site forking out cash supporting duplicated servers for around least 3-5 years.
  • Why go MS ? Google would do it better ?

    Why fork out the cash for M$ gear. Google can federate your email for a fraction of the cost.
  • Google maybe cheaper if....

    ...they didn't already have the Domino infrastructure in place. If this is just about the mail client, use Outlook against the Domino servers - done and over. Little to no expense, just time. But the people out there saying that you can easily move a mature Notes/Domino environment to Exchange/Outlook/Sharepoint/IIS/.NET/etc. - are lying.
  • Purely an emotional decision

    The new CIO and CEO both wanted Outlook. It's as simple as that. David Hall came from Jetstar where they had Outlook and he just couldn't get his head around a real collaboration product like Lotus Notes & Domino. I mean, he's an accountant not an IT person. Basically, him and his exec team wanted an Outlook client and they are prepared to spend millions and millions of shareholders $ to get it. They will also attempt to "migrate" Notes apps to Sharepoint. What this really means is that they will spend millions more to completely rebuild all their apps from scratch. And the new desktop outsourcer (replacing Telstra) makes lots and lots of $ for doing the migration work.
  • Re: Migrating Mail Infrastructure is never easy or cheap!

    Let me guess, your are an IBM employee. Never let facts get the in the way of an emotional response.

    Maybe the reason they are moving to an Exchange platform is that they are sick of clients designed last century or maybe they are sick of inefficient databases that consume ridiculous amounts of HDD space.
  • talk about facts

    At least get YOURS straight before posting typical MS FUD like that.
  • Moving to LotusLive would make more sense

    Why have not they moved to instead? That would be more cheaper and faster. Panasonic has moved recently to lotuslive and they are quite happy with actual savings
  • No

    Giulio Campobassi gave very reasoned arguments, and any company facing a similar situation should have done the same level of due diligence to determine costings and benefits of such a move.
    No I'm not a Lotus notes fan before you make uninformed accusations and I've administered Exchange and GroupWise mail systems and dealt with lotus notes.
  • "Subject to satisfactory piloting"

    I wonder if they will come to their senses after their pilot is "unsatisfactory". Then what will the press release be? "Quantas bails on Outlook conversion, realizes the error of their ways, decides to upgrade to Notes R8". Of course not! Even if there is a complete failure in the pilot they will probably still go through with it... just so they don't look bad.
  • Let's follow up in a year...

    I'd like to see the media follow up in a year and see how successful this project is. Oh wait, a failed IT project won't make the news will it? Especially Domino apps->Sharepoint... good luck to you!
  • Would definitely love a follow-up on this story in 12 to 18 months.
    blue tongue
  • I have put it in my diary.

    Suzanne Tindal
    News Editor,
  • I wonder whether the Qantas CIO took into account the fact that everytime they want to upgrade Exchange to a new version, they'll have to rip out the old version and replace it. There's cost around that.

    I sell reporting and policy enforcement solutions to Domino and Exchange customers and 90% of the time I see that those who migrated to Exchange still have all their Domino applications, so the license cost is not really eliminated.

    Lastly, I'd like to comment terms of emotional responses....I'd say the one from "Domino Should Die" is the MOST emotional and like it might come from a Microsoft employee.

    Rafael Gomez
    Not an IBM Employee, but a satisfied Lotus Notes user.
  • Coming up to 12 months from when this story was posted (Feb 2nd 2010)

    Will we see a follow-up story Suzanne ?

    Would appreciate the background story rather than the official company line.

    I'm sure the email migration would have proceeded, but what about the applications ?
    Does it make sense to move your mail application to Microsoft if you still require the Domino servers in place to run the applications ?
    blue tongue
  • Hi Blue Tongue.

    Thanks for reminding me.


    • Any movement on a follow-up to this story ?
      blue tongue
      • We've been trying for months to get interviews with those involved in the roll-out. Qantas isn't interested in talking about it. We tried Microsoft, who were keen of course, but need Qantas's say so. We're trying alternate avenues now.

        • Not surprised that Qantas don't want to talk about it. Not that interested in the official Microsoft line. I'm sure all is roses and sunshine according to them. I'd like to get the inside gossip from Quantas staff who were there before the project started.
          Guess this is unlikely to happen. :)
          Thanks for your efforts Suzanne.
          blue tongue