Tuesday, November 1, 2005

An interview with Sam Rifaey on Notes and Domino migration

THE DOMINOPOWER INTERVIEW

By David Gewirtz

We continue our series of interviews with Lotus Business Partners. This week, I had the opportunity to interview an old friend, Sam Rifaey, founder of SoftQuest, a company that specializes in migration software for Notes. Given the release of R7, Sam's perspective is particularly relevant.

Don't play poker against Sam. Our spies tell us he's also ranked in the Top Ten for No-Limit Texas Hold 'em in the World Series of Poker.

David:

Tell us about yourself and what your role is at SoftQuest.

Sam:

I am the founder and CEO of SoftQuest. I handle managing the development of our software products: InstallPump and RemoteAgent for Lotus Notes.

David:

How did SoftQuest get started?

Sam:

Back in 1996, I had developed a software package called SQLPump which was a offline data migration tool. This software was once of the first on the market that focused on migrating Notes data to and from any SQL/ODBC compliant database. I sold all my interest in this product to a Canadian-based company six months after the initial release. Then I focused on filling certain gaps in the Notes client installation and deployment process by creating InstallPump. Over two million licenses of InstallPump have been sold since 1998.

David:

You produce InstallPump and RemoteAgent. I'd think that with R7 out, you've got a lot of interest in InstallPump. Can you describe both products?

Sam:

Notes 7 has many improvements when it comes to installation and deployment. This will make the process for large-scale installation and deployment a little easier for large companies. However, many deployment projects are still way too complex for a point-and-click configuration process to handle.

Often, it necessary to automate complex business processes and rules and this can only be done using a feature-rich deployment system or by developing an in-house solution which usually requires hundreds or hours in research and development.

David:

Have you been working much with R7?

Sam:

We started working with the R7 of Notes back when it was in Beta. We are now putting the final touches of the latest release of InstallPump which will compatible with ND7. We plan on showcasing this release at Lotusphere 2006.

David:

What's your overall feeling about R7?

Sam:

It appears that Notes 7 is a solid release that has many new features which I think will be met with enthuthiasm from the Notes community.

David:

What sort of companies use InstallPump?

Sam:

We have over 2000 companies today using InstallPump to deployment and manage Notes. We recently helped Virgin Atlantic in their Notes deployment project.