HCL Factory Tour Day 1 Highlights

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Tuesday was Day 1 of the HCL Factory Tour in Chelmsford, MA.  This is the first real opportunity for HCL to communicate to customers and partners their full intentions for the collaboration products acquired from IBM on July 1.  See the acquisition announcement.

Key Items from Day One:

Withdrawal of Connections Cloud and Smart Cloud for Notes

Hate leading with negative news on what has been a positive set of announcements, but it’s probably the most important item for customers who are using Connections Cloud and Smart Cloud for Notes. New subscriptions for Connections Cloud and Smart Cloud for Notes have immediately been withdrawn from the market and the service will end on July 16, 2020.  This means customers have a year to move to alternative offerings. For existing customers, this doesn’t lock out adding additional users to their current subscription. It restricts new customer subscriptions. Here is the HCL announcement.

New subscriptions for Connections Cloud and Smart Cloud for Notes have immediately been withdrawn from the market and the service will end on July 16, 2020. 


The announcement discusses a set of options for customers to pursue, including HCL Cloud, partner-led cloud, private cloud.  Details are not fleshed out at this time. Workflow is exploring this in one-on-one conversations with HCL leadership over the next couple of days and will share something more concrete shortly. For our customers using these services, look for direct contact from us over the coming days to discuss.

Customer registration at HCL

Now that the acquisition is complete, customers need to register themselves on the HCL site. When completing the form, you will be asked for an HCL Id. If you don’t know it, disregard. The system will look up your company based on the information you provide. 

Completing this process gives customer access to support functions and Flexnet access to software subscriptions.  If you have questions or difficulties during this process, feel free to reach out to Workflow, and we’ll assist.

Dual Entitlement Licenses

Dual Entitlement licensing is going away. HCL is converting these licenses to new offerings. At renewal, the DE licenses will be converted. HCL has a slide that shows how the DE licenses will map to new offerings. We’ll post it as soon as we can get our hands on it.

Renewal Pricing

Despite a lot of FUD thrown around about the armageddon that would descend on customers once the transaction was completed, renewal pricing will see an annual 5% increase in prices, well in-line with past 3-10% annual increases prior to the acquisition. So check that fear off the list.

LEAP and Domino

From a technology point of view, the LEAP demo for building new Domino applications was very cool. Expected in V11, this is a browser-based app builder which can start from importing a spreadsheet. The tool is intended to allow business users to become app builders with minimal requirements for a full-on developer…and I think it largely succeeds.  Where “code” is needed, they are enabling Open Formula which is essentially based on Excel formula language which should provide accessibility to a very broad audience. The tools also allow for some basic workflow capabilities like manager approval.

The tool produces a browser application that is regular Domino NSF (forms and views) behind the scenes. Applications can be enhanced through traditional Domino Designer so there isn’t any incompatibility from starting with one approach, LEAP, and then changing to Designer. Whether end-users get into the development arena, the tool will make all developers more productive.

Import/Export Excel and PDF

This is a small one, but it feels so good 🙂 Yes, you’ll finally be able to take a document or a set of mail entries and export to PDF. Yea!  Yes, you’ll finally be able to import and export to Excel, Yea!

Day One Summary:

It’s extremely refreshing to see a group that is passionate, energetic and transparent in their desire to do great things and make things better for customers. There will be struggles ahead for HCL as they continue to hire up, prioritize their objectives, and simply run a huge software business starting from ground zero, but they are enthusiastically shouldering the load and get on with it.  Very cool.

Get back to you tomorrow with day two insights.

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