After 20 years of service, IBM has retired Lotusphere and rebranded it Connect, in honor of its flagship social business champion product connections.
This moves reflects a number of conflicting motives. The Lotus brand has been losing steam for a long time. Its core supporters did not take well towards IBM attempts to impose a workplace initiative 10 years ago. This allowed Microsoft to gain visibility and preeminence on the mail client, thereby losing a significant battle. Application development capabilities were also clouded because of the multiple choices supported by IBM.
The core strengths of Domino, the servers reliability, TCO and the very fast development platform were not highlighted enough but past is past. IBM's current challenges concerns their portfolio and emphasizes what their capabilities are on growth markets they want to compete in.
In this respect, they did well although the opening general session with Joseph Gordon-Lewitt as the mystery guest was lacking the type of inspiration that was provided in the past by the likes of Kevin Spacey or best by Michael J Fox and examples by guest speakers were a little flat. But whomever spent time on the meat of the offering could find significant reasons to be positive.
I guess all is a question of balance. There are two types of presentations: the conceptual ones favored by IBM and the demo-features ones favored by Microsoft. Both companies in my mind have always struggled with finding the right mix. Compounding this, I still felt that there should have been more time spend on Domino 9 than the quick 2 to 3 charts they presented and again as they definitely have content to showcase and should not be shy about them.
In the future, I am still hopeful for a more balanced set of presentations that would better reflect their mix of businesses and the technical richness of the old Lotusphere as a treasure that has to be preserved and accommodated with the growth initiatives.
A few final bullet points:
- 90 % of the people we spoke to asked about what we do for SharePoint. If you are not aware of our capabilities, here is more info. This is a growth market for us.
- We received a lot of interest on GSX Usage Metrics, so talk to your reps on our promos there.
- Axel Conrad showed us the BB10 and we were impressed by the unique aspects of its platforms. So check them out.
- And I cannot resist showing you a sample of the pictures I took with my new glasses. Check out pictures from our booth at IBM Connect 2013 on our Facebook Page. Please do not send them to my teen-agers kids ...
See you soon and before the next Connect in 2014.