On December 6th, a thoroughly surprising, but not entirely unexpected, message reached the IBM Collaboration Community and the rest of the IT world.

HCL Technologies to Acquire Select IBM Software Products for $1.8B
https://www.hcltech.com/press-releases/products-and-platforms/hcl-technologies-acquire-select-ibm-software-products-18b

This news has surprised many customers, business partners and even IBMers. But the secrecy was necessary and is intended and a normal procedure for listed companies.

What does this mean for us as business partner and customers?

Let’s take a few steps back.

IBM announced its strategic partnership with HCL Technologies in October 2017, see also https://belsoft-collaboration.ch/en/ibm-invests-in-notes/, where HCL has taken over the complete development of Domino, Notes, Sametime and Verse. A strategic roadmap was jointly defined. Both on-site and online Jams were held to develop the products towards version 10 and a lot of time and energy was invested from all sides. The result after one year of this new cooperation is Notes, Domino and Traveler 10, the beta of the IBM Domino Mobile Apps and further developments as well as first work on version 11, in which we were also involved but which are still under NDA and therefore we can not go into detail.

In this partnership, IBM Connections was unfortunately left out. During this time the differences in the way these two partners worked and the resources they allocated became increasingly clear. Where Notes and Domino clearly showed the direction of development, IBM Connections remained rather quiet and it took longer than expected until the new version and functionalities were available.

With the announcement of December 6th, the Collaboration Package will be reunited. We hope that the integration and further development of Connections will pick up speed again and bring modernization and continuation in the same way as it has for Notes and Domino.

Back to the question: What does this mean for us?

For the time being, nothing will change. The sale is expected to take place in summer 2019. Until then, the existing contracts, support and sales channels will apply. The planned Jams will be carried out and the further development of Notes and Domino for version 11 is in full swing. IBM will also continue the work on IBM Connections 6 CR4 and publish it according to the roadmap.

In the coming months, IBM and HCL will bring more clarity to the process and handover. However, it must be considered that communication is also subject to the strict rules of the SEC and therefore not everything may be announced «immediately».

We are looking forward to the next steps and to continuing and of course strengthen the cooperation with HCL.

The following products are part of the acquisition:

  • AppScan – Application Security
  • BigFix – Endpoint Management
  • Unica (on-premises) – Marketing automation
  • Commerce (on-premises) – eCommerce Platform
  • Portal (on-premises) – Digital Experience
  • Notes & Domino – Email, Low-code Rapid Application Development
  • Connections – Workstream Collaboration

Included in «Notes & Domino» are also Sametime and Verse. The regulation also applies to Notes, Domino, Verse and Connections Cloud.

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