A Belated Posting from Lotusphere (part one)

April 26, 2007 at 11:08 am | Posted in IBM, social software | 2 Comments

I was disappointed to miss the “real” Lotusphere in Orlando this year, especially after my teammates chimed in on the blogosphere with a flurry of postings [see Mike Gotta (multiple postings), Peter O’Kelly (multiple postings), and Karen Hobert].

Luckily, IBM does a series of mini-Lotuspheres and I was able to catch up with one during a visit to Minneapolis. The event is smaller, my posting will be smaller, but the overall impression is the same: this is the first Lotusphere in quite a while that provides a clear path forward for IBM and Notes/Domino customers. There can always be diversions on the path, but I think the direction is good.

John Allesio started with a slide that said “How do we embrace change in the business climate?” He was talking about questions their customers would ask, but I think it fits just as well to hear IBM Lotus asking itself that question. IBM Lotus has always had difficulty with clinging to the Lotus faithful while trying to address all the changes that had taken place in collaboration, social software, SOA, standard development languages, and UI design. IBM has done a better job lately of embracing this change with Quickr, Connections, and rejuvenated user interfaces.

Gia Lyons, IBM’s social software evangelist, had some interesting quotes from an Institute for Business Value study of CEOs in 2006. She said 75% of CEOs say collaboration is important for innovation. Not surprising, but always nice to hear them say it! She added that 19% of administrators and managers will retire in 5 years. The implication is that not giving the new entrants Web 2.0 tools is like not giving a phone to an information worker today. The analogy of the phone as something that businesses obviously depend on, can’t live without, and can’t prove the exact value of is often used when talking about newer forms of communication and collaboration technology.

Well, I’ve got a lot of emails to sort through and notes to process, but I’ll post some more specific thoughts in part two.



  1. Glad to hear LCTY delivered a clear message. I’m thrilled that we can finally explain our strategy in one relatively simple slide now. 🙂

    Also, I like your phone analogy. I just might start using that! It sounds better than, “for the new generation of information workers, email is for their grandmas.”

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