What that means for IBM in 2011 is that this year they’ve decided to fully embrace social business - and to not only eat their own dogfood but to breed their own dogs. That’s the level of their commitment. ... Their level of commitment is astounding and potentially game changing. Why? Because a $100 billion company is driving all their resources into transforming their company into a social business. They aren’t just selling it, they’re doing it and evangelizing it and marshalling whatever they have to so that it will be globally hugged.Good thoughts on Lotusphere 2011 on -> zdnet
Socialsphere. Cloudsphere. Lotusphere? This Lotusphere was about "Social Business". I do not like that term very much. I used to talk about Enterprise 2.0. But as IBM spreads the word now, we will use it in the future anyway. It was my 12th Lotusphere, and for sure this was an historic Lotusphere. Not only for seeing "Lotus" disapearing slowly, but for the fact, that we talked about so many interesting things over the last few days - but less about Lotus Notes than ever. Lotus Notes is still there, it is mature, it is a big pile of software code which still grows from time to time. So while we were talking about Activity Streams, Followers, Share Buttons, Embedded Experiences I asked myself. What does that mean for Lotus Notes? Perhaps it is now the time to de-assemble the whole client? Break it up into browser based components? Componentize, like I wrote back in 2005? I have my doubts. The last years we saw the client grow and grow, thanks to Eclipse. Was it really a good idea to wire things in the frontend to multiply problems by thousands which would be there only one time if you integrate at the backend? Of course future versions of Lotus Notes will integrate seamless into hybrid- and on-premise-components in the backend. People will not care anymore if this is a Websphere, Lotus Domino or another backend. IBM will tell customers to migrate the services / applications to LotusLive. And if the pricing and service quality good, customers will follow IBM. So what stays? A really fat Notes Client which renders basically HTML-Code from XPage enabled Notes Databases? Will Lotus Notes get social by replacing the good old inbox to an "social inbox" aka Activity Stream? I am not sure. It will be long way for german customers to understand the message. I talked to several companies from Germany. Most of them run test environmens with Lotus Connections. Some are in stealth mode by making the service public to employees - but they better don´t talk about this with the CFO. As I read the postings from the analysts (Gartner, Forrester) I see they liked the message. Maybe because IBM followed the analysts message. So we all are on our way to the top right of Gartner´s Magic Quadrant.
book about it. So if you have not seen the keynotes at Lotusphere - you should see the first 16 minutes of this video from the Technical Keynote. There are other videos available -> here.
More than a year later after I tried to bring a customer to the LotusLive cloud cuckoo land without success I was surprised what happened in the meantime. Unfortunatly I had not the chance to put my hands on the new LotusLive offering till this years Lotusphere. Guess what: My account expired. But today I had the chance to have a closer look at the offering. What I see here at Lotusphere looks really good now. Messaging, Collaboration, Documents in one place - and from what I was told much more integrated than in the Google offering. Take a presentation, give access to everybody who should work with it inside or outside your oranization (that´s what others can do too), edit the document collaborativly and simultaneously (thats what you could do with Google as well, but now you can do it with LotusLive too) and push you slides right away to an instant web conference with your collaborators (this part is missing at Google Apps - yet). All in all a very nice user interface. But is it fast like the Google Apps UI? I don´t know. Again: If I could test it with my ID, I would be happy. (Hint: Microsoft and Google have a free offering, you can test their offerings at any time). Most interesting for Lotus shops is the "non-disruptive shift to the cloud" for existing Notes infrastructures. Notes shops can now deploy Domino images to LotusLive. User who still live in the Notes client will not notice if the components they work with are provided by an online service or reside on an on-premise infrastructure. IBM did its homework to start competing with the other vendors in that market space. Will this help selling LotusLive in Europe, in Germany? As I visited a BOF session with a handfull IT managers discussing issues with cloud computing it became very clear: While companies in Europe still hesitate moving IT infrastructure to the cloud, for many US companies the cloud hype has passed the peak of inflated expectations and is now on its way to the trough of desillusionment. Most of them face only other problems than before they moved to the cloud - not less problems. There is no doubt about the growth of the cloud market. It would be easier for IBM if LotusLive would be as popular as the Live offering of Microsoft or Google´s Apps - because young people use this every day.
Lotusphere 2011 is about a thing that is called social business. It is about adopting technologies from social software tools we use in private life every day for business. It is about redesigning our traditional software tools for commmunication and collaboration into a new set of tools that meet the needs of todays employees. Working together the Facebook way. After several session about social software, Enterprise 2.0 and our fast changing world of communication I try to put together the pieces I learned. First there are many important buzzwords: Activity Streams. No, these is not Activity Explorer Next, it the Facebook way of presenting the "river of news". The news may come from everywhere. Your mail file, your Notes application, your Siebel system, SAP or the feeds of external sources you are subscribed too. Embedded Experience. You will live in your activity stream of information, to dos, e-mails, videos, documents - and you will stay there. A click on a report will show you the embbed view of the - of course - Cognos charts. Think of the way Twitter presents links or pictures when clicking in the river of news. Its everything right there in your browser window. To sort this all out, you need Analytics. On facebook you have to deal with all that content that put your friends in your stream. Funny links, new youtube videos - it really doesn´t matter if you miss something. But you should not miss important things that are related to your work. So this is why IBM says "analytics, analytics, analytics". The system will decide whats important - based on your settings, but also based on some kind central intelligence service in your company. The analytics engine will constantly make recommendations for a better decision making process. This means: You will only see whats important for your work and for the quality of your decisions. And management will analyze all the streams outside (think of brand awareness on twitter, etc) and - if corporate and legal policies let them do - the streams inside the organization. Sharing. Share everything. With a Facebook like sharebutton. Right within the information flow, from your activity stream. Ad content, no matter what it is. Videos, documents, or just a short twitterific note - in this case with more than 140 chars. And finally Content Management. The things you share have to be stored somewhere. So this is why Content Management from IBM is now social. Mobile? Well. In my opinion there will be no separation anymore. Mobile or not? It simply does not matter. IBM will deliver the Activity Stream to every device. Notebook with all kinds of browsers, iPhone, Android, Blackberry or iPad and Playbook. It - does -not - matter. This is the vision as far as I understand it. And I think this vision of working together the very good approach to our brave new workplace. It is not about building a robust, scalable, secure, IBM version of Facebook. It is about learning from social networks how people want to communicate, collaborate - and to coordinate the business processes. So the pieces fit together. I can see clearer now, what they tried to explain monday morning. Where does that leave Lotus products? Thoughts about this a little bit later.
Want to earn money at Lotusphere? Stop by at Point Alliance, Booth 534. Listen to the nice guy for a few minutes. He has something to say and will pay for it. No boring giveaways. Just pure money and pure information.
First of all: I love learning about IBM´s approach to adopt social media for business. It is great to talk about this here at Lotusphere. This is one of the main reasons why I am here. The mission for IBM: Deliver robust, scalable and secure technologies that enables companies to adopt social media technologies to drive business, respond fast to market needs, etc. Most of the examples of the CIOs at the keynotes yesterday and today are about connecting people and knowledge. Finding the right people with the right expertise, connecting in real time, working together on projects at any time and any place. You heard that before? Right. This is still the same discussion. Roll back 10 years and see the slides about Knowledge Management. And 20 years history of Lotus Notes show us: It is always about enabling people to communicate, to collaborate and to coordinate the business processes. About handling unstructured data. And much more. Still hot, today probably much more important than 20 years ago. So far I really enjoy what I hear at Lotusphere 2011. But where does that leave Lotus? There are a few thousand attendees at Lotusphere. Most of them have been here for more than one time. Some of us visited Lotusphere ten or more times. Most of attendees still fight with their Domino Infrastructure, they roll out Notes 8.5.2 because the end of Notes 7 is near, they have to maintain Notes applications that were build with Notes 5 or 6 technologies. When I talk to these guys I realize: What IBM talks about in the keynotes at this conference is far far away from most attendees reality. Even more far away when you work for a non US-company - let´s say in Germany. If these guys return home and spread the social media word, the boss will cut their budget. Facebook-like applications? Twitterize our messaging infrastructure? Share-Buttons? Rollout a complete new social software infrastructure? The CIO will ask: Are you nuts? If not - the CFO will ask that question. I know all the pros to engage NOW in social media technologies. But I fear IBM is up in the cloud, too far away from the customers needs. The analyst say: Companies who adopt social media technologies are more succesfull. I would say: There is no causality. There might be a coincidence, meaning succesfull companies often are engaged in social media, they live the Enterprise 2.0 way. But I don´t see companies becoming successfull by adopting these technologies. This is much more a culture issue. But besides a few CIOs, analysts and press people there are a few thousand people here that would have loved to see some more Notes and Domino related stuff - not only in the very good sessions, but in the keynotes. Update: Excellent statement from Bob Balaban on vowe.net.
Short Version: - Kevin Spacey: Great! - Talk - Customer Panel (yawn) - Innovation: First Commercial Break ever during OGS - Talk (yawn yawn) - Customer Panel (yawn!) - Next Next Next (will probably mean next Lotusphere) - Wake up call: Project Vulcan influencing Lotus products. - Great demo showing twitterification and facebooking of Lotus Apps. Will sort the things out and write some stuff later. Meanwhile you can watch the show -> here. Or have a look at this slide that says it all.
Had a great day. Breakfast in Celebration, enjoying the sun - and of course shopping at the mall. The next days there will be no time for that.
So here we are again. I missed last years event. 2009 I was honored with the "10+ Medal". I guess it´s my 12th Lotusphere. Made it in time to Orlando. Flight was ok. Immigration was unusual easy and fast. Flight from Washington to Orlando was not packed as I expected. At this time usually all the flights to Orlando are fully booked. A bad sign for the number of attendees? Anyway. Met some nice folks at the airport and shared a Taxi to the Dolphin. Had a beer with Ortwin. Everything is fine. So I am curious, if Notes is still alive, if Connections is the new star, why Foundations had to die, etc. The answer is probably 42.
Will pack my things now. See you in sunny Florida tomorrow evening.