We in Digital Solutions marketing are new to HCL. And we have a lot to do. The recent logo and branding re-imagining and the launch that we broadcast live from Tokyo is the beginning of a new era.
From a marketing perspective, we wanted to signal a change, put a flag in the ground to say, “Forget what you knew about these products; it’s time to look forward.” And after only a few weeks, we delivered an entirely new brand with new logos and creative under HCL Digital Solutions. We leaned heavily into a new color pallet, and completely redesigned all product logos. It was a chance, not one often given to marketers, to remake something that is already well-known and revered.
Our lead designer on the project was Liam McCormick, and I think he describes the design system best when he tells us, ”We went in search of something in HCL’s history that we could build upon, and what we found was what we considered the design DNA in the original HCL logo — it is shear angle of 24.24 degrees. We took that angle and built a grid system, and (take or leave a few hundred iterations) the new logo family was born from this original structure which can always be traced back to the mother brand of HCL.” And trust me, we could not have had better talent working on this redesign (Liam also helped design the Cisco WebEx and Vodafone logos).

But that wasn’t all we needed to do. We needed to capitalize on the momentum started with the launch of HCL Domino v10 to the rest of the portfolio. The first out of the gate on October 7, 2019, was HCL Digital Experience 9.5, a proven digital experience management platform and the very first product release for the newly acquired products. The new release provided many significant business and technical benefits, including unsurpassed standardization and flexibility, accelerated time-to-market, liberated experience delivery, and a lower total cost of ownership. And hundreds of clients and valuable business partners joined us in-person in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Milan to celebrate the launch.
Then, just a mere five months after the acquisition the major moment had arrived — on December 4th, 2019, HCL announced the general availability (GA) for HCL Domino v11, HCL Sametime v11, and HCL Connections v6.5. It was a milestone moment for the business, and I want to give a round of applause to the development teams that made it happen, many of which didn’t even have access to the code until post-acquisition in July. They worked tirelessly to reinvent the products and deliver on our commitments to our customers and business partners around the world. But it was the excitement that surrounded the launch that made me burst with joy, and our willingness to do something different that led to unforeseen impact.
    “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” —Coco Chanel
Too often teams throw around words like “different” or “amazing,” but not acknowledging what we were able to accomplish with this truly “different” type of launch would be a misstep on my part as a leader. We knew we couldn’t go to a market like IBM — we aren’t that type of company, and frankly, it was time for a change. So, I tasked my team with thinking outside of the box for this launch.
And think outside of the box they did. They came to me with the idea of running a “Netflix-style” launch in which we broadcast the keynotes “Live from Tokyo” and then deliver 35+ pieces of new content ranging from thought leadership pieces to technical deep dives all at once in a “binge-able” format. I was dubious of course, but if there ever was a time to try it — now was that time.
After months of planning, we all got onto planes and flew to Tokyo for our big day. On December 4, 2019, at 9 AM ET (11 PM locally) we went live to the globe for the announcement of HCL Domino v11 and HCL Connections 6.5. And the impact was immediate: Thousands upon thousands of customers and partners tuned in live all over the world, and over 50+ business partners held concurrent viewing parties to celebrate in 20+ countries. The world map looked like a lit-up Christmas tree!

And it wasn’t just the marketing team that delivered impact in such a short timeframe. The product management and development teams made significant technical advancements for these products. We announced:


HCL Domino v11 builds on our mission: Apps that run your business.

  • Domino apps go mobile: HCL Nomad makes your existing apps available on Apple iPhone and iPad, Android and Chrome OS tablets with minimal effort
  • Domino apps get low-code development: HCL Domino Volt provides a new low-code development paradigm to build new Domino apps 60-70% faster and makes it easy to develop powerful new secure applications without any specialized skills rapidly
  • Domino apps integrate and synchronize: HCL Domino v11 is the most open version of the platform yet, with active directory synching to simplify integration with Microsoft Office 365 and enable enterprises to more fully leverage Domino with other tools and applications across their business

HCL Connections 6.5 has powerful new features to drive adoption and builds a foundation for future releases:

  • Bring your community with you. Connections Sidebar, an always-on dashboard connects your users to Connections from anywhere in your IT environment
  • Grow your communities faster with Connections Touchpoint, an onboarding wizard that connects new employees to the communities and content they need
  • Do more with Kudos Activities Plus — rapid, agile project management built for every employee

HCL Sametime v11 delivers secure conversations across every device:

  • Sametime has a new, intuitive user experience that works the way your users do
  • Built with the latest tech — now supported on Docker with the Sametime proxy running on Tomcat
  • Lower TCO than ever, with a simplified architecture and easier administration

Suffice it to say, this launch was one for the record books, but it is only the springboard with which we will start a new decade. And if you were to ask me what I felt like this moment meant for us, I’d say it’s providing the foundation for real innovation on the platform. Which brings me to where are we going.
Where We’re Going
Our transition to HCL has meant moving not just a suite of products but also people and teams. If there’s one question that the leadership team gets asked the most by our customers and partners, it’s, “Are you going to invest in the products?”
It’s a straightforward question, and there’s a straightforward answer to it: Yes. I, for one, am incredibly excited and humbled by the amount being invested into the teams developing these products, the marketing and sales engine that drive them, and into the teams solely dedicated to pushing the bounds of what’s possible on our platforms. With that, here are a few of the essential ways we are investing — deeply — in our teams and technology:

  • We are hiring hundreds upon hundreds of new developers around the world dedicated to HCL Domino, Sametime, Connections, and Digital Experience
  • We are substantially increasing our global marketing investment for brand building, awareness, and lead generation for our portfolio
  • We are focusing on innovation and the “art of the possible” by naming Jason Gary, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for HCL Digital Solutions, to lead R&D and push the bounds of what these products can do
  • And finally, we are further investing in our people like the Domino & Sametime product management team 

At HCL, our motto is “Relationship Beyond the Contract.” And we mean it. My commitment to you is that we will listen to you more and be bolder in our plans. We don’t have the luxury or the crutch of working for a software behemoth anymore, but we also don’t have the red tape to stop us from trying new things. Our marketing will be different — I assure you.
But more than anything, know that this is only the beginning, and I am so excited about where we are headed. It’s time for all of us to usher in a new decade at a new company for these legendary products.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year,

Comment wrap
Further Reading
Digital Solutions | January 20, 2021
Start Your Engines! HCL Domino v12 Beta is Here! Are You Ready?
If you joined us at Digital Week 2020, you’ve probably heard about the preview of Domino v12. (It was the most popular session of the event!) Now that the release of v12 is around the corner, we would like to provide all current customers an exclusive preview. Today, we’re officially launching the first public beta of Domino v12!   We are inviting you to join this beta program and take part in shaping the future of our product, helping us deliver the best-ever product experience! All existing Domino customers are automatically entitled and will be able to download the required software packages from Flexnet today. (See below for Q&A.)  The goal of the Domino v12 Beta Program is for our community of beta participants to conduct an honest, constructive, and thoughtful review and testing of the Domino v12 beta software, which includes HCL Domino V12 , HCL Notes V12 , HCL Domino Designer & Admin V12 and HCL Traveler V12    In the first phase of the beta program, we are delivering the following components:    Domino on Docker (English)   Domino for Windows, Linux, AIX (English)   Traveler for Windows, Linux, AIX (Multilingual)   Notes Standard for Windows (English)   Notes Standard for Mac (English) Designer and Admin Client (English)     At a later stage of the beta program, we will be providing Domino and Traveler for IBMi, as well as additional language support.  Beta participants, please let us know how you think about the product by submitting your feedback in our beta forum. For general input and new ideas or feature enhancement requests, please use the Domino ideas forum here.   v12 Beta 1 Highlights  Domino  Reduce your total cost of ownership by using DAOS tier 2 objects across servers   A wide range of security improvements including: - Two Factor Authentication (TOTP) - Automated SSL/TLS certificate management with built-in support for Let’s Encrypt - Implementing IP based blocking of failed authentication attempts based on this idea - And many more Automate your Domino server installation and initial configuration Domino directory enhancements: A variety of improvements around the Domino directory design (pubnames.ntf) to improve usability for administrators   Domino Designer  XPages now Bootstrap 4.4.1 - Thanks to Howard for this idea.    Improvements to build responsive and...
Digital Solutions | January 12, 2021
HCL Domino Volt: Zero to Hero in 30 Days
You’ve all heard the HCL Domino Volt tagline, “Build enterprise apps lightning fast.” But what do we really mean when we say “fast”? We recently hosted a webinar to show you what you can build in 30 days or less. You can catch the replay here or read the recap below. You’ll also find responses to our live Q&A during the webinar below.   If you don’t already know, HCL Domino Volt is a low-code capability for business users and citizen developers to easily build powerful, secure, and enterprise-grade workflow-based applications. From business-process apps to customer-facing mobile apps, you can create solutions for any industry, across different use cases. What Can You Do in 30 Days?   So, let’s imagine that you have a solution or app in mind but have little to no knowledge of HCL Domino Volt. How do you go about using it to build an app? Assuming you have a day job and can only squeeze in 1-2 hours a day, this is what a timeline could look like for you: Day 1-3 (3 days): Learn how to use HCL Domino Volt. Sign up for a free sandbox account and get access to a list of training resources.   Day 4-9 (5 days): Pick a use case and define the requirements. What are you trying to solve and build? Does your app need workflows and approval processes? How will those be mapped out? Your requirements might also require refinements and iterations along the way.   Day 10-17 (7 days): Build the app! Refer to our documentation and wiki pages along the way use our forum to participate in our community and ask questions.   Day 18-25 (7 days): Share, test, and refine the app. Building your app is an iterative process. This is where you’ll build the app, share and gather feedback, and work towards a finalized version.     Day 26-29 (3 days): Style the app. You can either use the current themes provided or add custom themes that align with your organization’s branding. Or use CSS or HTML to...
Digital Solutions | December 8, 2020
HCL Domino Volt: The December Release is Here!
While the holiday season is upon us, we’re not slowing down! Including the launch earlier this April, we’ve had three releases of HCL Domino Volt — with many more to come in 2021. Starting today, customers can access v1.0.2 on the HCL License Portal and updated documentation here.   To learn more about building apps with HCL Domino Volt and what new features are in the latest release, please join our webinar next week, “Zero to Hero in 30 days,” where we’ll demonstrate apps built across different use cases, industries, and skill levels. You will learn what you can realistically deploy in 30 days.   Highlights of this new release include:  Improved user experience Standardize the look of your apps More ways to use HCL Domino to get things done   Improved usability: With a new properties panel and no modal dialogs, we’ve eliminated extra steps and hidden settings. These changes have made the tool more intuitive and requires fewer clicks to get things done.   Standardize the look of your apps: Drive brand consistency and standardize the look of your apps​. You can now add custom themes that align with your aesthetics and your organization’s branding. Users will be able select the themes you add when designing their apps.  Leverage Domino to get things done: The following features provide more ways for you to get things done by leveraging Domino’s capabilities:  ‘Contains’ search operator (uses full text indexing): Quickly find information you need by searching for data by text string. It works with data view and services.   Sort by app-specific fields ​(uses DQL): Easily analyze data you’ve collected by sorting your fields in the data view.  Name-picker item on the palette (uses Domino directory): Easily find and select people and groups in the Domino directory and assign them to roles or to receive notifications. Workflows and other improvements  Map internet email to role and notifications: You now have the flexibility to use any internal email address when assigning roles and notifications, not just Notes addresses.  Email attachments:  Now you can include files that have been attached during the form fill process in email notifications.  Application history: You...
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