Thursday I returned a call from a customer. The customer called because he had heard about Lotus iNotes and since they had iPhones at the company he thought it would be a perfect match for mail on the phone. Well yes - sort of... While iNotes does have three modes and one of them (iNotes UltraLight) works very well on a mobile web browser it's far from ideal. It actually took me a while to explain that what he was looking for for his "iDevices" wasn't Lotus iNotes but Lotus Traveler.
Now I know the product names so it was hard for me to understand why it would confuse anybody but after thinking about it some more it's actually starting to make sense to me. The product name Lotus iNotes is confusing as it suggests that it's a solution for iDevices which it really isn't.
I never thought that I would make a case for renaming iNotes but it actually makes sense now.
Now I know that iNotes has been around as an IBM Lotus name long before the rise of the iPod/iPad/iPhone devices but the mind share isn't on the IBM side. It's probably confusing more customers than it's benefitting. Should we return to calling the Lotus iNotes something else? We could probably come up with a shorter name than "IBM Lotus Domino Web Access" but maybe it's actually quite a good name as it explains what it is. Maybe "IBM Lotus Web Mail" would do. I think I for one will stop referring to Lotus iNotes but that name.
What do you think?