Hindsight is…one of many overused “2020” jokes!

As I reflect back on the past year and think about what’s ahead in 2021 for Prominic, it’s hard not to simply feel thankful.

Everybody stayed healthy. Our team grew by a small handful of people, even in the throes of the pandemic. And thanks to the shutdown of IBM SmartCloud / Connections Cloud and our close partnership with HCL, we added well over 100 new customers.

I can look past all the nights I worked past midnight when I think about how we’re literally providing for 30+ different families, including my own. Wow…what a cool thing!


Our team has worked hard over 22 years to build a stellar reputation, and that paid dividends as we were chosen by HCL as the official North American destinations for customers leaving IBM SmartCloud / Connections Cloud.

We onboarded over 100 new customers in record time ahead of the July 2020 shutdown deadline, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to meet so many interesting people and companies, some of whom we’ve seen at conferences and in the community for years!

For everyone who came over: I know the IBM service shutdown and transition was completely disruptive – thanks for giving us the opportunity to serve you. Welcome to the Prominic family!

The other really cool thing that came out of this was our partnership with Belsoft in Switzerland and ISW in Australia.

Our companies were 3 of the initial 4 chosen globally by HCL as official “Cloud Hosting Managed Service Providers”, and we have the honor of working together with them under the banner of “Three Thirds Collaboration”. This is a partnership between our 3 companies to support each other and better provide around-the-clock services given our perfect locations spread evenly across the globe. On top of that, they’re some of the smartest, kindest, and most hard-working people we know. I think we’re pretty lucky getting to work with people like this, and even luckier that I genuinely call them friends!

On top of that, because of this partnership we set up datacenter space in Equinix datacenter both in Amsterdam, Netherlands and Frankfurt, Germany. We’ve always had customers in dozens of countries, and now we can better serve our friends in Europe with local servers and services!


Giving back has long been in our DNA, which is why it continues to be a privilege to host at no charge:

We’ve been sponsors of Collabsphere (formerly MWLUG – Midwest Lotus User Group) since inception, as it grew out of our hometown Lotus User Group “Granite” in Chicago, courtesy of Richard Moy! We’ve recently started sponsoring Engage as well; the premium Notes/Domino/Connections conference in Europe courtesy of Theo Heselmans. Two rockstar conferences and gentlemen if there ever were.


What’s up for Prominic in 2021?

Well, you’ll see a renewed messaging focus on data ownership and privacy. With Prominic, you know where your data lives and exactly who’s watching over it. You’ll meet us at conferences and talk to us on the phone. In an age when all we hear about is “Big Tech”, spying, data mining, and privacy breaches, we think companies will continue to be discerning in choosing a strategic (and known) partner to host their data.

On the HCL software side, you’re going to see Domino v12, Sametime Meetings, and Connections v7. We’ll add some self-service user management on the Domino side so you can better manage your licensing and billing, and we’ll have a refreshed partner program for those of you who have customers you’d like to bring to Prominic. We want to make that a profitable, no-brainer decision for you, so watch for more during the first quarter.

I’ll close simply by thanking HCL. This is the phrase I’ve repeated to customers and prospects hundreds of times during the past year and a half:

“We’ve seen more out of HCL in 2 years than we saw from IBM in 8”

Perhaps that’s unfair and an exaggeration, but I’m not quite sure it is. All I know is for the first time in a long time, I have hope. Hope that there’s a bright future for this incredible software. Hope that more cool things are coming. Hope that we’ll continue to have the privilege of playing a role in our community.

And after a year like 2020, all we really need is a little bit of hope.