Thursday, December 1, 2005

The definitive, year-end, Girl Scout cookie, Lotus Notes interview


By David Gewirtz

In the interests of the holidays, where cookies and cakes stuff us all, we're excited to be able to interview Greg Samuels of Interbake foods and Mark Ramos of Granite Software. Interbake's interesting not only because the yummy products they produce, but because they've managed to interconnect Notes and Domino servers with Microsoft messaging systems. In this interview, we'll explore that connection.

You know what sucks about this? I mean, really sucks? I'm always hittin' folks up to send me cookies (I have no shame!) and now that I'm finally, legitimately, doing a story on a cookie company, I'm on a low-carb diet (and my wife would catch me in a heartbeat if I snuck some cookies into the house). Talk about crappy timing!

In this very special year-end interview, we somehow manage to combine ice cream sandwiches, Lotus Notes, Girl Scout cookies, Microsoft Exchange, pie crust, and a completely non-sequiter tuba reference. It just doesn't get any better than this!

"We manage to combine ice cream sandwiches, Microsoft Exchange, and a completely non-sequiter tuba reference. It just doesn't get any better than this!"

We're talking with both Mark at Granite and Greg at Interbake. Please tell us about yourselves and your companies, and what your roles are at each.

Greg of Interbake:

I am the Manager of Systems Infrastructure for Interbake Foods LLC. My group manages the Application Servers and WAN/LAN for our 8 operating locations. Interbake Foods is North America's third largest cookie and cracker manufacturer specializing in private label cookies, ice cream wafers and cones, Girl Scout cookies, and other specialty items. Chances are, if you have ever eaten an ice cream sandwich, you have eaten an Interbake product.

Mark of Granite Software:

I am CTO and founder of Granite Software. Granite has been providing software tools to its customers for over 12 years and has earned two Lotus Beacon awards in the process. We hope to add CoexLinks to that award list very soon. However, unlike Interbake, we recommend against eating any of our products.


Greg, you've been working with Domino for a long time. How does Exchange fit into the picture?

Greg of Interbake:

Around 1997, our parent company (George Weston Ltd.) adopted Microsoft Mail/Exchange as the standard email package for all of the operating companies. As Microsoft Mail evolved into Exchange 5.5/2000/2003, we have stayed with the product. Our critical Domino applications rely heavily on workflow, so a single workflow process can generate a lot of email messages. It really doesn't matter what mail client or server is out there, as long as our users can get in and keep the workflow processes going.