Indeed, enterprise software has an unfortunate bad reputation of suffering from crappy design. This schism between its customers and users is mostly what’s to blame. Executives pay first and foremost for functionality and business value, not pretty UIs. This has begun to change, however, as SaaS is beginning to force a greater attention to user experience and ease of use. Adobe Marketing Cloud and Salesforce are great examples of this. (We’ve also paid keen attention at SAS.)
How could this be? Well, Lotus Notes is basically a very secure database product with an email client layer strapped on it. It is deeply embedded at lots of huge organizations whose conservative CIOs are reluctant to take on the risk, expense and bother of ripping out a business email solution that basically works, is super low-risk and has low renewal fees.