Question of the year: what to do with Lotus Quickr

QuickrLogoTinyIt’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.

4 thoughts on “Question of the year: what to do with Lotus Quickr

  1. Anton Lalkens

    Hello Rob,

    Regarding Quickr, as you, we do regret the announced end of the product. However, we have got quite a few customers using it and they happily do so. So we planned to keep on the production at least until the end of support (04/2016?) or even way beyond. However, IBM does not include the TLS hotfix for the 8.5.3fp1 platform supported by the latest Quickr release. (We also have some 8.1 Quickrs on 8.0.1 Domino) Moreover, SHA-2 should only be fixed for R9. In other words, me may loose our user base quite some time earlier than the foreseen date of 2016. What do you think about it? Did you have any information about the intention of IBM to support Quickr regarding the security protocols?

    Best regards,
    Anton

    Reply
    1. Rob Novak Post author

      Hi Anton,

      So IBM does currently support Domino 8.5.3 FP5 for Quickr 8.5.1, even if it is not listed. So we need to ask them to support Quickr on Domino 8.5.3 FP6 with the TLS fix. I am testing it anyway as soon as it is available. It affects some of my clients but the majority have SSL accelerators in front of Domino and don’t use Domino over https. I’ll post my findings.

      -Rob

      Reply
    2. Rob Novak Post author

      I am working with customers who are using SSL accelerators in front of Quickr for just this reason. It’s work in progress, I’ll be sure to blog about it if we get it working.

      Reply
  2. Dean Bradock

    Hi Rob,
    After trying for several years to adapt Quickr as a Document Management solution to replace DDM for my Australian Clients and then getting the news it was to be withdrawn, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
    My first reaction was “thank goodness its dead” but then I had to face the reality that my IBM business (about 75% of which is based around DM) was even further under threat.

    Last year I renewed my acquaintance with the folks at DOCOVA and to my relief, they still have a great product that provides me with a path to be able to continue servicing my old DDM clients AND my Quickr ones that are purely Document Centric.
    As result – my doors are still open, opportunities have kick started and our business looks like it will grow again.

    I’d definitely recommend that anyone looking at “where to from here” have a close look at DOCOVA – it might just make the difference you need to grow your business (or at least maintain it)

    Reply

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