Boy, does that sound familiar! To be frank, I kinda fudged on the Lotus Notes story. What really happened was were talking about how to distribute the data and one person said Lotus Notes and I suggested we at least consider alternatives. I was told to research them and after much discussion, we concluded that either Lotus Notes or a Web-based system was the way to go. I got together some Web developers and Notes developers and we looked at the time it would take, the cost, the security, and ongoing maintenance costs to develop each solution. It was unanimously decided (yes, even by the Notes developers) that Web-based data distribution was the most viable alternative.
I brought up my findings at the next meeting and was told "we've already decided to go with Lotus Notes". As I found out later, we were sinking a lot of money into that license and some PHB who couldn't grasp the concept of "sunk cost"1 decided we needed to get our money's worth out of Lotus Notes.
1. Sunk costs, for the curious, is money already spent on something. Since the money has already been spent, it is completely irrelevant to future decisions. In other words, if I have spent X amount of dollars on Foo, but I now have to decide between Foo and Bar, X doesn't matter. All that matters is the financial comparison between Foo and Bar from this point forward. If Foo costs another $10,000 to implement and an identical solution with Bar costs $50, it doesn't matter that I've already spent $20,000 on Foo, ceteris paribus (another economics term, but I'm tired of explaining them ;)