It’s been 16 months now since the end of marketing for IBM’s Lotus Quickr 8.5.1 (a less than desirable move, IMO, not that I’m biased). In that time, I have fielded questions from conference audiences and increasingly this year, clients and Quickr customers about what they should be planning to do. Sometimes, with Quickr applications or deployments in the thousands and tens of thousands of users.
As I’ve mentioned before, support will go on for a while – most likely guess is now until April 2016 – but not the kind of support you get with a current product. More of a “broken/fix if really necessary” kind of support, with fixpacks having slowed down to one every 3-4 months instead of monthly, support moving overseas (from me anyway), and barely any resources applied to anything but Severity 1 and 2 cases.
To answer those customers and inquiries, I’ve tried to help them classify themselves by their use cases with the following as a general guideline. Think of it as a 4-lane highway (apologies for the inside joke for old timers):
|You are a:||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|You use Quickr for:||Basic document storage||Simple forms, room and folder security||Placetypes with UI, custom forms||Business applications|
|Your best strategy is:||Evaluate CCM for complete migration||Consider simplification then CCM + Domino||Possibilities: CCM, Connections customization, Forms Experience Builder, WebSphere applications||Perform more detailed analysis and planning to determine path to replacement product(s) or SaaS offerings|
In any of these cases, it’s quite possible you would have to combine strategies. As well, it’s always a good time to evaluate whether running your own operation with Quickr (which was fairly easy for most clients) translates well into running your own operation with Connections Content Manager (CCM) and all the admin, WebSphere, hardware and skills that entails. It may in fact be time to consider outsourcing to a SaaS provider like IBM SmartCloud or, on the application end of the spectrum, Intuit QuickBase. It’s important to ask these kinds of questions:
- Do you use Quickr for an extranet?
- Do you require more granular security?
- Do you require greater use of forms?
- Do you use Quickr for business processes?
- Do you rely on more complex workflow?
Answers to these, and a degree of importance for each, will help you determine readiness of your Quickr environment – or part of it – for migration to “something else”.
Then there are those who just want to dump their files into SharePoint and start fresh with something new for the external collaboration efforts. I don’t blame you…it seems easy. It isn’t, but it seems that way. Quickr doesn’t have a native or even easily implemented programmatic way to export its contents (a conscious decision by IBM years ago) so third party solutions are part of the equation. There are very few, including a PDF-generating service I can offer, to get content from Quickr to the file system. What you do with it from there is up to you… 🙂
Looking back at the table above, I’ve found that in many cases, customers really have no idea what they have on their Quickr servers in terms of customizations. That’s because it was so easy to import an HTML form, create simple forms, or apply a custom theme (OK that last one wasn’t easy in the last version). And because o this, it’s important to review the server’s setup, purpose, and survey the place managers as part of a “discovery” of what they have…to come up with the best strategy.
When you next evaluate your Quickr strategy, feel free to use the above as a guide, and of course feel free to contact me for help doing it.