Monthly Archive for January, 2009

Sittin´on the dock of the bay

Pelican Two years ago our "After-Lotusphere-Trip" ended up in Anna Maria island, where we found a beautifull place at the Cedar Cove and watched the Pelicans for a few days. This year we stranded in Boca Grande. And this is an unbelievable place. A small village with about 2500 citizens, no MacDonalds, no shopping malls. One hotel, one bakery, a few small shops. Nothing more. Today we rented bicycles and drove down to the south end where the old lighthouse stands since more than 100 years. We were sitting on the dock of the bay watching the pelicans and the dolphins. And tonight we had the first really delicious dinner since we stayed in the US. What a wonderfull and extraordinary experience. We could stay a few days more before we return to cold and dark Germany.

Froy-Der, Sher-Ner Getter-Foon-Ken

Benjamin Zander @ Lotusphere Lotusphere ended with a remarkable Closing Session. I have seen just one other guest speaker on my 11 Lotuspheres that fascinated the crowd like Benjamin Zander this afternoon. Like Patrick Stewart a few years ago people were really touched when Benjamin Zander spoke and sang with us - and made 3.000 Lotusphere attendees sing "Freude, schöner Götterfunken", most of them not speaking one word of german. He is a fantastic speaker and motivator. Lots of things he said will be on my mind traveling now to the gulf coast. Ode to Joy for Non-Germany Lotusphere was great. Still have to think about what the things coming up will mean to me. But now to something completly different...

DRM

Just watched this brilliant Lotusphere video again. Then I stopped it at this point: lotusphere_bottle Hey, this is a picture I took years ago at Lotusphere 2004! And they used it to build this video. Without asking! Hey guys, I want my royalties... Lotusphere 04

Day 3 @ Lotusphere

Wow, thats cold. Can´t remember temperatures below 0 Celsius at Lotusphere. But thats not the only thing that is different this year. No customer meetings, no partner meetings. I am out of business. Not that bad at all. Can see all whats happening here from a different and much more relaxed perspective. No need to turn the stuff I learned into money immediatly. Twitter. The use of Twitter has become essentially for me. Can´t believe it, because I was so sceptical about microblogging. But Twitter is THE source of whats going on at Lotusphere. I am not sure if really someone outside the Lotus community here reads Live Blogging streams from one of the sessions, but to stay up to date its perfect. When I look around on Laptops nearly everybody checks Twitter streams all the time. Content: No big bang at the Opening Session. But a continuous information flow all over the week. I think much better than the years before. I liked the smaller keynotes. The Unified Communication & Collaboration keynote was the best I have attended. The only disappointment was the Social Software keynote. I don´t like that style. But some people find it funny. For me it was naiv. Products. Lotus portfolio has grown too much. To many separate products. They should consolidate the product set. Just remember Allan´s great thoughts on that topic. But: I am happy to see many products becoming more and more mature. Most of the things that were promised at Lotusphere 2008 are now there and usable. Huge improvements for the social software product portfolio Lotus Connections and Lotus Quickr. Hiuge improvements in the UCC product portfolio: All the things coming up in Sametime 8.5 will help IBM gaining new market share and deliver what they promised. Zero footprint web clients, no plugins, streamlined UI, many usefull new functions - Sametime Meeting Center is now a real competitor to WebEx & Co. Foundations: Hmm, still no idea when people in Germany will hop on that train. My thoughts on LotusLive remain unchanged. Necessary step, looks great, lets see how it evolves. Will test it in a real world situation this year. Finally living in my Mac world without Lotus Notes as an one man company is still possible, even at Lotusphere. But learning from David Allen using Lotus Notes as his GTD tool makes me feel I will use Lotus Notes in the future again. Until then it would be great if Marco will release ebf.caldav server plugin to get what IBM should deliver: a calendar feed from Domino sources to use iCal even with an Domino backend. See you at Universal Studios tonight.

iPhone support for Lotus Notes

So now it is official after the news leaked yesterday even before "Blogger´s Nachos & News Event": IBM will implement ActiveSync protocol into Lotus Traveler. Timeframe is "this year", which means end of 2009. So this is late, very late, but I do not want to complain too much. Finally IBM listened after last years IBM bashing. With the implementation of ActiveSync they did it the right way. Now they could probably support Windows Mobile devices through active sync. And the question comes up why there are now two seperate ways of supporting Windows Mobile devices - SyncML and ActiveSync? Well, this all seems to be early stage, and we will see what we get end of the year. The new Traveler with ActiveSync will be integrated into the Domino 8.5 code stream. If customers want to enable iPhone sync they have to upgrade or at least setup one Domino 8.5 sync server as far as I understood. For the Lotus Notes end user setting up his iPhone will be a strange experience: photo He probably will have to choose Microsoft Exchange to enable sync with his Domino server. Can not imagine Apple adding other vendors to that list. All in all a late but very good decision by IBM. I know many customers and especially executives who will love that announcment - if they be patient till end of the year.

On the Cloud with IBM

There seem to be two main things people talk about in the hallways about this years news: XPages and "Click to Cloud". While last years effort to meet the new requirements of a new IT world have been halfhearted this years announcments showed that IBM is serious about the cloud and the challenge to meet Google in the messaging and collaboration business. With the announcement of the first partnerships (LinkedIn, Skype, Salesforce.com) and the acquisition of Outblaze there suddenly is momentum in the business. I think, this is an important and necessary move looking at the market where lots of companies currently testing and implementing services in the cloud. IBM thinks of these services as an extension of the existing corporate infrastructure to the cloud - so Business Partners and IT staff should not be scared. But I think they should. The business model is changing fast. And extending an existing infrastructure seemless to cloud services does means its easy to move these services to the cloud too. The next step is only a small step if the first step works. So customers will move completly services like Mail, Instant Messaging, etc. to the cloud - and to the IBM datacenter. What does that mean for Business Partners? Google has build a whole ecosystem around its cloud services. IBM has not. The Lotus partner ecosystem is mainly a Notes developer / admin ecosystem. They have to change and ask themselves how they can add value to LotusLive. With open standards, customers will not need anymore a "classic" Notes app to add an CRM service or a DMS service. Suddenly, the closed Lotus shop is an open shop. For many companies that provide today tools for managing Domino servers to its customers there will be no market if the servers are in IBMs cloud. Again: From an IBM perspective this is a necessary step. IBM is focusing on solutions for its customers and not discussing the underlying technology. It does not matter for IBM if the Meeting Center technology behind LotusLive is Lotus Sametime or the scalable architecture the acquired to build the Unyte server. It even does not matter if Mail services are Notes based or Outblaze based - as long as it has one look and feel and is robust, open, scaleable. I am very curious where this community will stand in two or three years and which will be the services business partners will provide.

LotusLive just partly live

Yesterday I registered for LotusLive and played around with it. I liked the interface, I registered my company and myself as a user. Worked well. Today I wanted to try the other stuff that was shown in this mornings keynote. And it failed. Tried to open the file library. It took more than 20 minutes to open it. Then I tried to upload a file. Failed. So I tried to test the Instant Messaging capabilities: lotuslive_st Hmmm. OK, I have no Lotus Sametime client on my Macbook, so the only other way to use LotusLive Instant Messaging is the download option. This is what you get: lotuslive_st_160mb Imagine 160 MB download in this conferences WLAN. Looking at the URL, I know I will receive a Win32 only installer in the zip-file. There seems to be some work to do.

Inauguration @ Lotusphere

It´s been 30 quiet and very emotional minutes in front of a TV at the Dolphin hall watching President Obama´s inauguration. It was an impressive and touching speech. People near me fighting with tears - and I was touched even I am not a citizen of this country. I wish all the best for this President. Everybody I talked to here in the last days has big hopes and believes in this man. And from what I saw today I understand completly. Good luck, Mr. Obama.

iPhone support for Lotus Notes to be announced

So this is what we waited for at the Opening General Session yesterday. So probably IBM did not announce it in respect to strategic partner RIM.
Orlando, Fla. - IBM/Lotus for the first time ever will provide users of the iPhone and other mobile devices that support ActiveSync with real-time access to their email, calendars and contacts. The company plans to announce on Wednesday that it will add support for Microsoft's ActiveSync protocol, which will enable instant over-the-air email delivery to Apple's iPhone 2.0 mail client and other handsets that support the protocol. The ActiveSync technology will be added later this year to Lotus Notes Traveler, which provides real-time replication between mobile devices and Notes.
more Meanwhile Sybase anounced full iPhone support too. So welcome iPhone to the other half of the corporate messaging world.

Blue Man Group @ Lotusphere

OGS Blueman Group

Opening Session Lotusphere 2009

Time to wrap up the announcements from this mornings Lotusphere opening session. First we had a great start. Seated in beanbags right in front of the stage with access to a fixed LAN and power for our laptops was really great. IBM and especially Erica did a great job to make us feel comfortable. Beeing treated as a important person feels not that bad. And it was so much fun watching Twitter stream while having all the bloggers around me and commenting things that happened on stage. This years OGS was different. This year IBM did not split the OGS like last year in two separat sessions. There was only one OGS, even if IBM claims to have 2% more visitors this year. Looking at the economic situation these are very good figures. Although there was no big announcement this year nobody seemed to be bored. It was a well timed show, Blueman Group was really great – and Dan Aykroyd was, ok, at least a little bit funny. I enjoyed the OGS very much on my beanbag. So what was in it this year:
  • It was Bob Picciano´s first Lotusphere as a Lotus General Manager – but probably not the first time he hears about the communities pains. His wife Deidra works – yes – as a Lotus Notes developer! I think he did a good job this morning introducing himself to the crowd.
  • I find it quiet unusual to put customers on stage to sing the Lotus song, but they did it short. One song for Notes (Coca Cola), one song for WebSphere Portal (Warren Buffet´s NetJets). That´s democracy.
  • Mobility. Yes. Last year I complained about IBM focusing to much on RIM when IBM announced the strategic partnership for the mobility market. This year it was a RIM only Show. Co-CEO Jim Balsillie on stage at the OGS and on stage at the Press & Analyst meeting. Blackberry client for Connections, ODF rendering on Blackberry aka Lotus Symphony support, new Sametime client for Blackberry, xPages support on Blackberry. Well, Symbian anyone? Did I hear iPhone sync support? Unfortunatly not. Nobody asked about Traveler, nobody talked about iPhone support in Domino. Talking about 10 billion mobil web users in 2010 I would doubt if they all will use RIM devices.
  • Kevin Cavanaugh did a great job announcing this years 20st birthday of Lotus Notes. 20 years is not an easy age. 20 year old boys hang around with their disruptive friends. They don´t know where they belong to. They are in search for orientation on life. A little bit like Lotus Notes. But unlike those 20 year old students Lotus Notes will save your companies money. Nice put. Lotus Notes 8.5 shipped this month. Many new very cool features that I missed since a long time: iCal support in calendar, calendar federation, vCard handling in address book, (adress book federation coming in future releases!), and much more. XPages really revolutionizes the way of web development with Domino Designer. Mobile Device support in Domino Designer by helping developers easily manage different device resolutions and fit content for each device type. Lots of good news.
  • Lotus now has an App Store, too. Apple has an app store. RIM has an app store. Now Lotus opens an app store for partners and announces a partnership with OpenNTF.org. A good idea to push applications to existing and new customers to show them the power of the platform. Very good idea.
  • Unified Communication with lots of good news. Sametime 8.5 with a really good telephony integration, call forwarding with rules, instant audio conference rooms, permanent meeting rooms, record meetings and save the recorded meeting in Quicktime format, instant client side conversion of documents which you drag and drop into the meeting room and much more. Very good demo. Just select contacts from your Sametime buddy list, instantly open a conference room, and if you need your boss to make the final decision: simply drag and drop him into the conference room. Well done. Breaking news for me: No Plugin download anymore when using the Meeting Center! This was in some customer situations the show stopper. Now it´s gone. Good move! And they did some improvements to cope with the firewall issues. I don´t know what exactly, but firewall issues have always been the second show stopper when offering Sametime as a webconferencing platform. Good news for those who compete with WebEx & Co.
  • Social Software for the enterprise: Yes, it looks like Lotus Connections grew up. Microblogging features with Twitter integration, a good looking Wiki feature, a much better UI. Many updates on Quickr. Lotus Mashups targeting the LOB users. Build your own Mashup, even build mashups with your private data without talking to IT. Remembers me of the good old Lotus Notes times when exactly this user group drove the success of Lotus Notes.
  • The Cloud. Lotus Bluehouse is not blue anymore and bleeds yellow now. And with the acquisition of Outblaze it was rebranded to - no, not Outhouse - it was renamed to LotusLive. LotusLive comes in different flavours, and LotusLive Engage contains all the service Lotus delivers as a product now as a service in the cloud. "Click to cloud" is the buzzword, and the offering is targeting enterprises who want to extend the reach of their Lotus products from the intranet to the extranet. And new customers, who talk today with Google and other SaaS companies. The killer argument is here: Lotus partners with LinkedIn for integrated contact management, SalesForce.com for CRM and Sykpe for telephony integration. Managing mail will be Outblazes part of the game. LotusLive is available, I logged in and was really impressed. Have to check out later. But still I have my doubts how the channel should earn money with this. Will write a separate post about my thoughts.
  • Alloy. Branding is the hardest part. Atlantic is now Alloy. Only god knows why. I would like to invite the marketing guys to Germany explaining customers this new name. Alloy is the result of two years hard work. SAP and IBM worked together on the tight integration of Notes and SAP. They will offer a joined support for customers so it does not matter if they talk to SAP or IBM. IBM has the chance to push the Notes 8 client with its composite app features to SAP customers, and SAP will probably benefit from the Web 2.0 feature set of the Lotus portfolio. Sounds good, makes sense. Except the brand name.
  • So thats it for today. Will now join the Media Party and afterwards the JAMFest. Unfortunatly missed the Executive Q&A, but will read everything on Twitter, read it on blogs or hear the podcast lateron 🙂

    Special Blogger Seating

    Lotusphere OGS Special Seating
    Did not know that front row seating for Bloggers would be THAT special when I read the invitation letter. Photo by Volker.

    R.I.P. NSFDB2

    Just attended the Press & Analyst briefing. Mick Moignard about Bob Picciano´s answer to the big question: what happened to DB2 support in Lotus Domino?
    NSFDB2 is dead, or at least, isn't going to be resuscitated, according to Bob Picciano himself. In the Press briefing, he was asked where it was going, and he confirmed that it's going nowhere. The difficulties of managing Notes unstructured data in a structured storage backend are too great. Instead, and this is the good news, the effort is being refocussed on making NSF truly great as the best, and only way, to store and manage Notes data using the best that IBM have to maintain and improve NSF. The way that came over was very, very clear and the implications are very clear. NSF is the backbone of Notes and Domino, and Notes and Domino are the backbone, the centre, the flagship of the Lotus collaboration portfolio.

    Top 10 reasons to upgrade to Notes 8.5 & Domino 8.5

    Just saw this list for the first time on Ed Brill´s INV102 slides: Lotus Notes 8.5: 1. Drag/Drop of Text within rich text editor 2. Offline support for Activities 3. Choose from multiple addresses for a person in typeahead 4. Ability to make your own views look like the PIM views 5. Forward contact as vCard (along with better import/export) 6. iNotes improvements (e.g. calendar support in Lite mode) 7. Roaming user available with new file-based option 8. Support of ID Vault and Single Logon 9. Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) and Ubuntu Linux support 10. Calendar federation Lotus Domino 8.5 1. Expanded platform choices 2. Increased reliability 3. Dynamic group policies 4. Improved router scalability 5. I/O use reduction 6. Domino Configuration Tuner (DCT) 7. Domino Designer for Eclipse (DDE) 8. XPages 9. ID Vault 10. Domino Attachment and Object Service (DAOS) Ed provided some interesting additional numbers. Will add them later.

    Lotus NoConnections

    profilesnoconnection1 Still not able to connect to other Lotusphere attendees via Lotus Connections. At least it sends an invitation to connect - but with a huge list of Java errors.

    Opening General Session Live

      I will not try to compete with all the Live Blogger & Twitters this morning. So here is simply my Twitter stream. I will blog about all my impressions this afternoon. For now just follow #LS09 or @Lotusphere to see all the updates this morning. Got to go now to find my "bloggers´s den" sign for special seating in the front rows ;-).

      10+

      10+ Figure out the differences.

      Scary

      Don't feed the Alligators

      Lotus iNotes Testdrive

      Lotus iNotes on iPhone Since I do not use a Domino server for my mail anymore I was very curious to see how the iPhone optimized iNotes Ultralite looks like. Lotusphere Online Mail comes now in in three flavours: tall (Ultralite), grande (Lite) and venti (Full). And I like the Ultralite client: very fast, iPhone look & feel, easy to use. But: Why do I have the choice? Wouldn´t it be much easier if the application detects my device and fits the UI automatically? Unfortunatly I will not use iNotes Ultralite. Most of the time I am offline over here only using WLAN where it is available because of the roaming charges. Downloaded my schedule now as iCal file. Sorry, iNotes Ulralite. If you have an offline sync, I will give you another try.

      Arrived

      Last years trip to Orlando was worse. I had to spent the night in New York due to late arrival. This year I was on time - but I almost lost my sense of hearing. Eight hours of continuos chatting, crying and ranting on my right side. I thought I had a reservation for a window seat, but when I arrived it was middle seat. Two russians on my right side, and the girl I had noticed before in the check in area in Frankfurt. Well, I love children, but I can not deny having thought about radical methods to stop that child from making me crazy. Her mother did not care. And her father was sitting very far away, different row, window seat of course. Probably my window seat. So after 21 hours of travelling I arrived finally 2:00 a.m. Today I am not allowed to visit Business Development Day. I am press this year. So I will go shopping with Volker now and meet everybody tonight at the Welcome reception.