Blogging Lotusphere

Even when the press room at the Dolphin is getting emptier now there’s been a lot of blogging action going on during Lotusphere. I feel the need to collect some of the best parts in here. Partly this is for me so that I can find the interesting posts easily later on (yes, one could use the blogsearch thing), but I assume that others will find this useful as well. Worthwhile blogging takes time and is also quite an effort, but then blog posts they stay longer than the gazillion tweets that we’ve had in the past days. So let’s get some limelight and drum-banging.

There’s of course the german Lotus team, ie. Stefan Pfeiffer with german language notes (see eg. OGS: Activity Streams, Mobility und Social everywhere) and the not-so-affiliated folks (Volker WeberAlexander Kluge, die Noteshexe und mehr …).

Some of the prolific bloggers I had the pleasure to (re-)meet are Bill Ives from Portals and KM, Falk Hedemann from german magazine t3n (german blogging hence, interesting report on the RIM PlayBook), Luis Benitez and my irregular friends from the enterprise 2.0 sphere (Luis Suarez, Susan Scrupski, Bertrand Duperrin, Rawn Shah, Larry Hawes, Vinnie Mirchandani …) and other spheres (James aka Monkchips to start, I am curious to see what he’s writing, always insightful commenter on Twitter he is, plus the always knowledgeable Alex Williams from ReadWriteWeb Enterprise too – how can one person do such good live-blogging?).

I haven’t met Turbotodd so far (and it’s getting late, yes) but one can’t have everything, no?  But I have shook hands with Scott Treggiari, who’s the last press/analyst/blogger with me in the press room on Wednesday evening. More to meet at tonight’s party – an appointment with Harry Potter it is.

ps. I will update this blog post with links to the posts as they come in (and I come around reading them, tomorrows a time of travel.

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Another intermission at #ls11

Something I wanted to write forever – now’s the time – there’s nothing more annoying than reading ranty blogposts (you know the kind, “there’s nothing new here, this is the wrong direction, I don’t see how my customers will need this, last time was much better, them Enterprise 2.0 boys are just kids – this is not ready for our serious business, yadda yadda yadda ….”).

Rant over, anybody who finds recursion in here is free to keep it. And no, I won’t give you any links.

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Lotusphere 2011 – press conference notes

Finally, I am coming around to blog my notes from the Lotusphere 2011 press conference.

I won’t regurgitate any press releases, you can easily find them at the IBM Lotusphere press room, rather it’s notes about the questions (and consecutive) answers (with an occasional snappy remark by me, of course).

So what was in there? First, recapitulations of the things we’ve heard already at the opening session, ie. the importance of mobile social business (stressing that clients will be there for all major mobile platforms), the upcoming Project Vulcan-enhanced new Connections next, Sametime next and everything next, and the announcement of new programs to help partners embrace the “growing social business market opportunity”.

I think that “embrace to leverage” is good, needs some coaching and education and IBM is stepping up their efforts, see eg. the Become a Social Business site, aimed not only at customers but also at partners et al. Fitting that they’re taking great efforts at also educating and motivating IBM staff. As Paul Greenberg tweeted: “They are not only eating their own dogfood, they’re breeding their own dogs!” – yes, and it’s a great investment too: “IBM aims to train 50K of its employees on #socbiz this year, so they can be more effective and help others” as Larry Hawes says correctly.

In the question round it started off with an analyst asking how IBM prioritizes open standards – and which ones?

Alistair Rennie chose the safe road and answered that – whether inside or outside the firewall – with standards there’s always a spectrum (or as I would say, there’s legion to choose from and some of them don’t catch on even if they are very cleverly devised and all). So, for IBM HTML5 is a big one, OpenSocial, OAuth, Activity Streams and more. This parallels what eg. RIM is thinking (there should be no Apps needed for the web, native access is cool because it also allows you to employ your existing tools) and is mirrored as well in the provision of the Social Business Toolkit (more on this later, I have to sort out some things on this, like seeing through my notes from Charlie Hill’s sunday morning talk “Executive Insight: The IBM Social Business Platform”)

How long will it take for widespread adoption?

Again Alistair Rennie took to it – explaining that IBM sees it as a business-driven thing (and I say is obviously grounded in it’s approach, you better be when you’re that old …, no need for too much revolutionary /missionary zest), where you need to be able to act sensibly and contextually relevant. But the social business mindset can be applied to a wide variety of business processes and the advantages are tangible (sure, they are I say) so he’s optimistic about adoption.

What are the ideas to help people filter through the information avalanche? (this wasn’t the exact wording of the question, but close enough -I thought it a bit awkward, ie. remember the notion of Clay Shirky – filter failure, not information overload)

Two elements – one filtering (yes, analytics, applying semantic analytics to extract meaning and act upon it), the other (predicitive) analytics – especially important when you think of the synchronization of activity streams on mobile devices. You don’t want all info tidbits presented there, so you need to differentiate the super-important or urgent from the rest. So you filter stuff in the back, then push the best onto the device. The exact methods to do this are in the working, but it’s essential that this filtering and high-lighting is done in an open and transparent way.

Concerning organizational change management – what is IBM doing to help people understand the importance? Does it reshape fundamental (departmental) organizational processes? What are IBM’s experiences?

Hmm, here I didn’t get the whole answer, but I am pretty sure it revolved around demonstrating benefits, educating and coaching (see above on what IBM is doing, yes) and the need for an (internal) team of ambassadors (think what the BlueIQ team has done for IBM) who explain, show and tell, … Alistair also pointed out that while it always depends on the context, ie. industry and business segment, IBM has brought a row of clients to #ls11 that can give insight into what they’ve done, so go ahead and talk to them.

So what is part of Project Vulcan?

Short answer: last year it was a project not a product, this year there’s tweaked products, ie. Notes next is heavily Vulcan vision influenced. Equally the mobile solutions (there was talk about this at ls10 for sure, see eg. my write-up of last year’s analyst briefing), the provision of the Social Business Toolkit etc. So basically Project Vulcan is everywhere …

There were more questions on Symfony, the dangers risks of social software, ie. downsides of transparency, and also on how much IBM is investing and expecting to earn. Needless to say that this last one was asked by a guy from (I bet you knew that already, huh?). He got a short answer, ie. core focus, big play, big expectations (I bet you knew that already too, huh?). The longer answer involved some grounded reasoning around the benefits not alone being in saving money, but eg. also driving down cycle-time, time to market etc. And there was a nice remark on CSC seeing social business is working and consequently not putting the numbers on close scrutiny all the time. So much for this zombie-alike recurring theme of “We can’t do this as long as we don’t have numbers” (aka the RoI discussion et al.).
ps. very geeky picture above (“it goes to 11, we checked”) by The Original Turtle

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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
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Be different …

… that’s what they say one needs for succeeding in the new business environment:

Right, so for a change I was really quiet here (a bit more action on Twitter, buzz and bmid as usual). This will change in the coming days as I am now packing my bags for Lotusphere 11 (one always needs to leave some extra room in them bags for all the gadgets and books one buys in the U.S. – stuff like thisthis and yes, this one are on my list this year).

After my bags are done I will get down to some real Lotusphere information, thoughts and links.

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