Lots of comments on last week’s Lotusphere. Now that the jetlag is over, allow me to add mine, bullet point styles:
- Initial reaction was a surprise to see a smaller number of vendors on the exhibition floor. Is this the sign of an upcoming consolidation in the Domino space ?
- There was not enough technical content in the OGS but it was special to see Kevin Spacey. The message of social business is a good one and one wish that IBM PR (or legal) would have allowed to utter the names of two countries in Northern Africa where social networks are bringing a whole new meaning to life.
- Vendor attendance may have been low but for the first time since the crisis, we hear lots of attendees talking not on cost control but projects and deployment of new technologies. All of these made this a busy week for all of us and should make a busy year as well.
- It was special for us to attend Ed Brill’s messaging and collaboration strategy session (whose charts can be found here). Eileen Fitzgerald was among four Business Partners that joined Ed on stage. We had kicked-off a project with the Lotuslive team to extend GSX Monitoring capabilities in a hybrid deployment of Lotuslive. The idea came from several discussions we had had with customers who are contemplating extending to the cloud but want to have consistent information on quality of service delivered. “No blank check” as one of them described it to us. We kicked off this work after discussing it at Lola with Kevin Cavanaugh and Ed Brill to whom this resonated. Chris Baker from Ed’s team provided superb support. A few weeks ago, we both felt that we had done enough of the work to announce it and Ed asked us to join his presentation. This development will be part of V10 which will include the support of Quickr and Traveller, both of which were demoed last week. (Thanks to Volker Weber’s wonderful pictures. More are available on his excellent blog).
- Best give-away was by far Colgate Palmolive’s Wisp disposable toothbrushes provided to so many by our friend Mitch Cohen. Mitch could be seen everywhere with a big backpack distributing them. In the GURUpalozza, you could see many speakers on stage fidgeting with them. Best product placement ever at Lotusphere, beating flat out every vendor including us. Well done Mitch and by the way, I love them and do recommend them.
- Last, the Don Draper comment: in Mad Men season 3 Episode 11, Don works with a dog food company which has had a one-time production issue resulting in a PR nightmare. Don organizes a focus group which goes marvelously until the name of the company is released and suddenly everyone forgets the quality of the product. Now one cannot compare items per items the situation with the Lotus community (and SW is not pet food and the community are no dogs, so please no comments on this please). IBM is right to realize that if potential accounts discount the value of a product because of their beliefs –rightly or wrongly - on the Lotus technology, then the Lotus community is better served by putting Lotus in parenthesis and speaking of IBM Collaboration Software. My bet is that after an initial reaction, the Lotus community will see that this is the right move to maintain their activities (and jobs). We work with so many accounts to whom their collaboration mix is made of diverse components. They just want the best of technologies. This may be counter-intuitive but goes in the right direction.