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September 6, 2010

British entrepreneur promises Lotus Notes to cloud migration

CIMtrek will migrate more apps to the cloud on demand

By Jason Stamper

A start-up company founded and funded by ex-Staffware CTO and board member Jon Pyke will officially launch tomorrow, promising to help companies migrate IBM Lotus Notes and other applications to the cloud, CBR has learned.

The firm’s technology promises to enable companies to automatically migrate their Lotus Notes databases and collaboration processes into more generic processes hosted in the cloud, in a common format that could be hosted on the likes of Amazon, Google or salesforce.com’s cloud platforms, Pyke told CBR ahead of the firm’s launch tomorrow.

The name CIMtrek was inspired by the tag-line ‘Collaborate in Motion’.

Pyke, who left Staffware after it was sold to Tibco and went on to start business process management (BPM) cloud firm The Process Factory and then worked at Cordys as chief strategy officer, believes the firm could tap into a huge market of installed Lotus users who are looking for a roadmap that takes them into the cloud – and potentially away from the IBM Lotus maintenance contract.

"The Process Factory idea was sound but is not quite what the world needs most urgently," Pyke told CBR. "Lotus Notes gave people an environment where they could share information, process workflows, build applications and collaborate, but there’s nowhere for those users to go to get to the 21st Century. If anybody is going to seize the desktop it will have to offer an alternative to Notes."

"There are 160 million IBM Lotus users worldwide, and at least 6,000 Lotus Notes customers in the UK," Pyke said. "This is a massive opportunity for CIMtrek and for companies looking to migrate from Notes."

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The CIMtrek application, developed by a team of developers working for Pyke in the UK, will identify business processes and data dependencies in existing Lotus Notes installations. Using a proprietary schema, based on the XML standard, it will then transpose those process flows and dependencies to a hosted platform, such as Amazon, Azure or Google.

The CIMtrek tool will start by discovering what Notes users are actually using the tool for in the enterprise, then go through an analysis and categorisation phase before enabling migration to another platform. It is able to take the key ingredients of an existing IBM Lotus Notes installation and ‘squirt’ that in an XML-like format to another platform that is hosted. "It will save 70- to 80% of the existing cost of maintenance just by doing that," Pyke claimed.

Jon Pyke, CIMtrek Lotus Notes migration

Finally, the technology enables up to all of those previous functions that were handled in a client-server Lotus Notes environment to be developed and executed in the cloud, in the CIMtrek execution environment.

Pyke suggested that the technology will be offered on a subscription basis according to the number of clients being migrated and the complexity of the discovery phase. While the company plans to start with the migration of IBM Lotus Notes users, Pyke said that there is no technical reason the same technology could not be used to help migrate the likes of Microsoft’s Groupwise or SharePoint, Siebel CRM applications and more.

CIMtrek’s nascent website is already live at www.cimtrek.com.

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