On Wednesday (22nd May), Uffe Sorenson (HCL Global Director) and Paul Withers (Lifetime IBM Champion) presented a fascinating webinar concerning the next steps for HCL, as they conclude their purchase of the IBM Collaboration Services software portfolio for $1.8billion.

A number of the details concerning the deal are still under wraps as the negotiations are still ongoing, however, there was some intriguing information they were able to disclose:

  • Domino application templates, which have been neglected for far too long, will receive some well-deserved attention. We’re talking revitalising existing templates and the development of new ones. These will have two aims – to provide organisations with common applications ready for use out of the box (holiday leave requests, document libraries, etc.), and secondly to act as a springboard for developers to customise further. These will be made available via a ‘digital solutions store’ – or in other words, an app store. It goes without saying they’ll be browser and mobile-ready.
  • There will be a new thin desktop client based on WebAssembly technology. It sounds like WebAssembly will be used to provide a common code base for many types of client, such as IDMA/Nomad (Notes apps on the iPad), the Notes browser plug-in, and the Verse mobile client.
  • Anyone currently with the ‘IBM Champion’ accolade will become an ‘HCL Master’. Further to this, HCL affirmed the great importance they attached to the community as a whole, and will continue to support user groups such as ICON UK.
  • In terms of licensing, all existing software and support contracts with IBM will continue as they are. The earliest potential changes to the licensing model would be with the release of Domino 11 in November/December 2019, which will have an emphasis on simplicity (‘no more sub-capacity licensing’!).
  • Moving forward, Verse will be the primary email client being developed – with a particular emphasis on Verse On-Premise. Other current methods will still be supported though, such as Outlook and mobile (via Traveler).
  • Notes/Domino as a whole is in quite a healthy place, with over 180 clients returning back to the platform in Q4 2018!
  • There will be a new Designer client, and low code application development will be via a new visual builder environment. It was suggested this could be a development of HCL Leap, however, that’s by no means confirmed.

HCL are showing every sign of refusing to let up on Domino’s momentum built up over the past year or so, which is very encouraging. Get in touch if you’d like to have a chat about what this means for you and your Domino investment.