Day 1 Lotusphere 2011, part 1

Some notes from the Lotusphere 2011 OGS – the opening, which as always is designed to be inspirational, theme-setting and energizing. Like last year it started off with loud music to awake everyone (well, smart idea when you know that yesterday evening’s welcome reception party was prolonged by many at other places …).

And like last year there was a surprise guest for the opening, actor Kevin Spacey. Some grounded remarks on collaboration, social networks, helping people achieve their potential and the social responsibility of mentoring. Plus – again – some rationale for collaborative social business, ie. based upon his personal insight into filmmaking as an effort of many and the need to lower the walls for innovative ideas to come inside one’s organization and social sphere. Yes, the movie industry can be understood as an archetypical model of networked collaboration and Kevin tells us the story of how he and partners founded a web based platform for scriptwriters years ago – helping them not only to turn in their scripts but also to help them learn from each other. And yes. that was long before the social network.

Then regular Lotus time with Alistair Rennie expanding upon this year’s theme Get social. Do business. Some takeaways from his talk:

  • social business is all about a new business context emerging, both in terms of open tasks and opportunities. We need to help business people to solve hard problems, problems that are keeping them awake at night. Read business volatility, the changing nature of customer relationships, et al.
  • creative leadership needs to tap and redesign relationships, in order to leverage collective intelligence
  • social business is a real game changer, and we know that game changers are rare. Here we have one for sure, even when the model and its understanding is still in the early stages. Why? Because we (and that’s not only IBM but us) have been thinking and researching on this since years literally. IBM wants to lead this movement.
  • evolution from mainframes to departmental computing, then PCs on every desk, then the Internet – now it’s stage five, ie. Social Business.
  • Companies that employ social technologies Social businesses outperform their competitors according to a recent McKinsey study. It’s because they’re more engaged, more transparent and more nimble and agile (able to change and adapt quickly and able to act with speed). Being engaged in networked social business, ie. working the networks pays as well – when they’re transparent it’s easier to tap distributed competencies and capabilities
  • What social business needs is open standards – best served with enterprise grade security. IBM is commited to standards, be they HTML5, activity streams, open social, or else.
  • Activity Streams are the cornerstone of the smarter knowledge workers environment, aggregating information from all kinds of sources (be they internal or external social media). And these streams can be accessed and worked on when on the go as well (unified communications as well). So, mobility is another key thing. Clients on all kinds of devices and platforms.

Now some notes from the following panels and demos, starting with RIM CTO Jim Basillie who came onstage with a RIM Playbook (multi-tasking and flash support included unlike other market playbooks ;) . He’s holding it’s a viable platform (well, he’s got a point, at least it’s “CIO approved”).

Jeff Schick moderated a customer panel (with BASF, KBC, CSC and AT&T) on how they employ social Lotus software (plus some remarks on how it played out economically, I noted one thing that the guy from BASF said that it’s no longer a mere question of RoI at their place by now, they have demonstrated that it’s worthwhile and have crossed the Rubicon it seems).

Another customer panel with the AFL (he**, australian english is so hard to understand, mymy), the Massachussetts Blue Cross Blue Shield and RBC, big canadian bank. All perfectly satisfied with what they’ve done with Lotus so far.

Then introduction to the demo rounds, reaching back to last year’s Project Vulcan blueprint roadmap vision, the Vulcan ideas get integrated into Notes next, Connections next, Sametime next, xyz next. The idea is to provide exceptional work experience (shall I say with the goal of improving day to day corporate work?). Find some notes on the demos at Alex Williams who was live-blogging the event, Alan Lepofsky was also live-blogging the opening session and has more details of the demos.

After that I was off to the official press conference and a round of executive meetings and briefings during the most time of the afternoon (there will be more posts, stand by … I was writing this post during the whole of the afternoon, ie. during the breaks in my schedule)

PS. Luis Benitez embedded the Lotus live-blogging Cover it Live collaboration of him and Mitch (cool pictures and loads of short remarks made during the session)

PPS. You can see the whole 2:30 video footage of the OGS here:

Watch live streaming video from ibmsoftware at livestream.com
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IOD 2010 – collecting some todos and ideas

I am happily back from the Rome IBM Information on Demand EMEA conference and now collecting the things I want and need to investigate more, now that the fun is over:

- Hadoop and IBM big sheets technology
- IBM’s open source contact points and interests like Apache Lucene (is OYE out?)
- The Internet of Things (that think)
- business intelligence metrics and methods apart from Big Data
- CMIS
- ilog, business rules, Business Rule Management Systems (BRMS), Websphere and ECM BPM
- databases aren’t probably as ungeeky as I thought (ok, haven’t checked there since long)
- the book I was kindly given by its authors (got me autographed copy) – “The Art of Enterprise Information Architecture – a systems-based approach for unlocking business insight”

Some of things I need to put some time thinking about include:
- why, where and what for to integrate Cognos and SPSS into Lotus (where does it fit in best? Quickr? Connections?)
- social media analytics vs. social media monitoring (business roles and processes? can we identify best practices? how to integrate and complement human insight with number crunching beasts? …)
- business ecosystem dynamics (partnering & competing & complementing) – covers areas from Sharepoint to Lotus to XYZ, but also overall the consulting landscape. Are there things to learn from these big, hairy projects that can be applied to the sole, geek consultant business as well? More of a business model innovation thing I guess.
- what does it mean if we want to go from “sense and respond” to “anticipate, shape and transform”? What to integrate into enterprise collaboration consulting from the “information on demand” learnings?
- and finally – why I am not seeing more GNU/Linux desktops here – everybody and their dog are using XP et al. – not to speaking of the Office users everywhere. Yuck.

And there’s also a lot to check out that’s coming in via the Google I/O in San Francisco. More cool stuff to geek around with when having not yet a z/OS machine to play around with …

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IOD 2010 – day 2 learnings so far

Well, sort of a disclaimer – the wifi down here is spotty (pretty much binary, ie. switches from 0 to 1 to 0 ad infinitum), thus I am hastily posting some notes on the learnings of day 2 morning. I will add more notes on day 1 and its executive meetings and interviews tomorrow when I’m back on a high speed internet access. Then I can also check out the video footage of both days’ keynotes, so I might embed and highlight the interesting stuff.

These minor hassles aside the conference prooves to be interesting and inspiring – and while this event focuses on big data, big customers, big machines, big accounts et al. (you get the idea …), cute research and ideas aren’t absent, the social web and the Lotus ballpark are present too, so there’s enough in it for me. And it’s interesting to meet and talk to people from the EMEA region during the socializing parts (informally talked to customers, partners and IBMers from as exotic places as the Netherlands and Jordania ;) . Officially, ie. organized and scheduled I had the opportunity to talk with people like Jeff Schick (yes, collaboration issues, Lotus, Project Vulcan et al.) and a round of other executives. Caught some notes in a mindmap which may get turned into a blogpost.

For now I share some of my combined notes from this mornings main event and a subsequent blogger’s meeting with IBMers (SPSS and Consulting). Aspirations, plans and business muscles were shown, my takes on things:

- I think that it’s showing that IBM is trying very hard to leverage it’s power and widespread expertise and labs

- Mike Rhodin focussed on the frameworks IBM has and is developing for catering for a range of industries (I think these are ranging from stories and “rationales” to blueprints to implementation patterns to out-of-the-box cookie-cutter standard approach and solutions)

- sounds more like strategy consulting – the seek patterns, understand patterns and adapt to those patterns cycle that Gartners Casonato talked is yet an image to simple (adaptiveness and agility are hard to sustain in light of information overload). But yes, making sense of the avalanche and being able to move still is the art that IBM is pushing to be better at (and aims to help customers with)

- I perfectly understand why Cognos and SPSS got acquired – good fit with both Global Business Services and the industry specific teams, a lot of overlapping space with ilog (business rules), Lotus (yesyesyes) – yep, even with Websphere et al.

- Cognos and Business Intelligence are not only for finding a needle in a haystack but also for fundamentals like “How are we doing? Why? and What should we be doing?”

- SPSS and its predictive analysis stuff is aimed at all industry lines, 80/20 rules apply here as does the rationale that innovative ideas can be imported from “foreign” and separated industries. Generic stuff and expertise gets integrated into the Software Group

- Software Group is “vice-presidenting” not only products but also solutions
- Partners got a place in building a solution portfolio, may even be a big slice of the cake. But it depends on what IBM can do inhouse first. Not sure if the priorities are right. Partners I’ve talked to outside and off-protocol were telling stories.

- Talking to “line of business persons” about “technology enabled business model innovation” is much easier when numbers are available, there seems to be a hunger for predictive analysis and derived insight. People seem to be aware that gut-based decision making is coming to an end in times of profound change

That’s it for now, see disclaimer above …

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Upcoming: IOD Information on Demand 2010, Rome

I am about to hop into the car, to quickly catch a plane to get to Rome for the IBM Information on Demand EMEA conference – an event focusing on information management and analytics (including a heavy leaning towards Enterprise Content Management and Enterprise 2.0, yes, too).

The agenda is clear: Detailing information strategies that bring or sustain competitive advantage.

Yes, providing just the right information timely and accurately (well, I expect to hear about business intelligence, reporting, decision support systems, management information systems et al.) to provide business insight and wisdom (how do we get from data to information to knowledge to “I know and know how to act and decide”). Collaboration is essential here – it’s got a place in adding meaning, insight, experience and eventually connected, shared understanding to information. While this “socially intermediated knowledge” may be more tacit and fuzzy (mustn’t be a bad thing) it’s also potentially quite trustable (a whole bunch of interesting questions are popping up here, ie. how do we tell which source of infomation is trustworthy? how do we evaluate, tag and classify our social sources? does social proximity mean more than perceived level of expertise? on and on …)

I am really happy to be able to participate in this event*, and the opportunity to hear keynote speaker Magnus Lindkvist:

[who] will address the challenge of having too much information, suggest new filters to extract useful information, and explore new lenses with which to see the world that, in turn, can be used to go above and beyond market expectations.

Hmm, new lenses sounds interesting – I assume this will mean a combination of principles, methods and tools, of which the tools are probably the most easy to grasp (not to say that the Cognos Business Intelligence cloud doesn’t sound impressive)? Applications and processes are another perspective to check out, and I think that’s where the conference is kicking in, ie. exploring “independent foundational information tools”, “enterprise information plans and roadmaps”, how to leverage “industry specific expertise and assets for rapid time to value” (sic!), “centralizing best practices by establishing competency centers” and all in all “getting [us all] started on [our] information-led transformation journey”. All “quotes” were snipped from the information agenda obviously:

What is the information agenda?
IBM’s Information Agenda approach has a proven track record of helping companies in your size and industry respond and adapt quickly to unpredictable, up-to-the-minute changes in information, whether it’s on a global level, or the next cube over.
Utilizing IBM’s best-in-class software and consulting services, this approach is designed to help your business develop a customized implementation roadmap in a matter of weeks. What’s more, our solutions can also help you reduce IT spending by leveraging existing investments.

And there’s also a part on social media, I guess here we’ll explore the relations between internal social media, konowledge and innovation management and the tweaking of business models (by leveraging cute technologies). And that’s exactly my cup of tea, so I am looking forward to joining the discussions:

Social media are platforms for interaction and relationships, and have the potential and power to affect everyone in your business – sales, marketing and technical employees – as well as your customers, investors, analysts and the press. Meet some of the social media experts from IBM at IOD EMEA 2010 who can help you better understand social media, decide whether or not it’s appropriate to use in your business model, and if so, how to get started using key tools to grow your business.

So follow the official blogger blog, search for the hashtag #iod2010,  watch the livestream of general sessions and keynote speakers and if you’re there don’t hesitate to stop and say hello. I am not sure what and when I can share stuff, obviously the wifi needs some kind words.

* Disclaimer and disclosure – 1. IBM invited me to the event and covers T&E 2. I know and like both geeks and suits at IBM – trust me, I will disclose if it’s important for you to know …

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Upcoming: DNUG Herbstkonferenz, FOSWiki Community Camp, Webmontag Stuttgart

Diese Termine stehen genau in dieser Reihenfolge an – leider sind die Orte aber verschieden weit, so dass gerade das FOSWiki Camp in Hannover am Wochenende noch auf der Kippe steht. Ich versuche es einzurichten kann aber nichts versprechen …

Zugesagt und gebucht ist dagegen die Teilnahme an der DNUG Herbstkonferenz 2009 in Fulda. Auch wenn ich nur am letzten Tag da sein kann zieht mich die Community immer wieder an. Und die Diskussionsrunde (der sicher mehr ein Workshop sein wird) mit Thorsten Zörner, Lars Basche, Henry Walther, Stefan Pfeiffer und mir zum Thema “Zwitschern, bloggen, “YouTuben”, Poken – Q&A Session” gibt uns die Gelegenheit die Eignung von Social Web Instrumenten für kleine und große Unternehmen auf den Prüfstand zu stellen …

Am 23.11.2009 erlebt dann der Stuttgarter Webmontag eine Neuauflage – gefunden via Harald, der dann auch der aktuellen Stand der Stuttgarter Coworking-Initiative vorstellen wird. Lange ist es her dass sich die Stuttgarter Social Web-”Gemeinde” getroffen hat (das letzte Treffen war doch eher informell). Wie immer eine Gelegenheit zum sozialen Netzwerken und zum fachlichen Austausch. Anmeldung hier im Wiki.

Webmontag Stuttgart, am 23.11.2009 um 19.00 Uhr
in der Hochschule der Medien, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Nobelstraße 10

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