Main Lotusphere Themes

Lotusphere, the main conference for Notes/Domino users, is being held in Orlando, Fla., this week, Jan 21-25, 2007.

The opening session had the following main messages:

  • The conference catchphrase is "IT revolves around you." This is plastered on lots of conference material. Ferris Comments: Bit hard to understand exactly what this means, but it sounds vaguely warm and fuzzy, the sort of thing that editors of fashion magazines like to dream up.
  • Virtual teams for collaboration are really important for business. Ferris Comments: The valid implication is: Lotus can really help in this department.
  • Lotus is investing heavily in Lotus SameTime. Ferris Comments: It's added a lot of good features over the last year, and is continuing to do so. It's the centerpiece of what is likely to be a rich unified communications offering. Many major players such as Avaya, Cisco, Nortel, Polycom, Siemens, and Tandberg were demoing their integrated facilities -- it was impressive. SameTime is the leading IM/presence system for business, streets ahead of Microsoft LCS.
  • Notes/Domino 8 will be launched in mid-2007. It's already in limited beta; public beta starts soon. Ferris Comments: Lots of good new features that ultimately felt like an upgrade release. Our sense is that Notes/Domino 8 is actually very important, and we're currently working on an in-depth study of Notes/Domino and its future.
  • "Quickr" was announced. This had previously been known internally as "Geneva." Quickr will come in a free personal version, and a for-fee standard version. Ferris Comments: This is a rich teamspace, with shared document libraries, calendars, tasks, blogs/wikis, version control, and so on. Seems this is building on IBM Lotus QuickPlace, which is a powerful and mature teamspace offering.
  • We were told about IBM WebSphere Portal v7 and its new features. Ferris Comments: This doesn't quite align with the audience's focus, which is mainly Notes/Domino.
  • IBM Lotus will offer new social software. Code named "Ventura," this will mainly consist of profile and community information, blogs, bookmarks, and activities. Lotus pitches this as the first social software for business, and cites popular consumer systems such as FaceBook and MySpace. Ferris Comments: The concept is interesting if currently a little fuzzy; ultimately it feels like another version of a teamspace.
  • Over the last couple of years, most of IBM Lotus products have been rewritten in an extended Eclipse environment called "Expeditor." This will allow far greater integration than has previously been possible. Ferris Comments: This is important; we'll explore the issue in greater depth in our upcoming Notes/Domino strategy report.

Miscellaneous Other Comments:

  • The session was opened and closed by a small rock band with many singers. The sound was invigorating. The singers are good material for entry students at the London College of Fashion. The best clothing they could muster was no doubt cutting edge in Orlando: top hat, black leather trousers, a corset, and a woman in Transmuter boots. They built up to a crescendo with a piece from "Pinball Wizard" by The Who, "From You, I get the story..." This segued to the catchphrase "IT revolves around you."
  • Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, gave the famous-person speech. He told amusing tales of early space flight, and was self-deprecating in a charming way. It was lovely. We were honored amongst men to be with him.
  • At the beginning, we were told how fantastic the business is. This was supported by ambiguous statistics. Lotus has a solid business, but the implications of wonderful growth weren't convincing.
  • Nothing was said about IBM Lotus Workplace. Seems this major project has been put aside. Very very few sales were made. IBM Lotus has a habit of forcing its customers to think hard about new offerings, which after a couple of years get quietly put to death. Other examples that come to mind start with Jazz, and go through knowledge bases and productivity applications written in Java. Of course, this is true of all of us, including Ferris Research. We all have big projects which, embarrassingly and expensively, go nowhere.

... David Ferris

One Comment

  1. Posted February 2, 2007 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    Re Quicker: “This is a rich teamspace, with shared document libraries, calendars, tasks, blogs/wikis, version control, and so on.”

    Actually, I think part of this message got confused. I don’t think Quickr has tasks or blogs or wikis, and I think the Calendaring piece is very simple. It IS Quickplace 8, but part of the name change is that the more “social software” end of things are being moved to the Connections technology, and left out of Quickr. The primary function of Quickr is document management, which is why the integration with the productivity editors is so important.

    I could be wrong about this, but I’m fairly confident that Lotus has worked hard to eliminate the redundancy between the product lines.

    I think the only way in which blogs were associated with Quickr is that they could be a target library for your productivity documents. Presumably you have to be running some sort of Domino or Connections blog for this to work.

    The Connections piece is a bit more elaborate than just blogs & wikis. Activities, social bookmarking (like de.li.cious), profiles (like MySpace) are all incorporated, so it’s back to the old “knowledge management” objectives, but with a new grassroots model instead of the top-down model that everybody tried in the 90s.

    FWIW, I thought the band was awful. But you can’t go wrong with Neil Armstrong. 🙂

  2. Posted January 7, 2008 at 12:38 AM | Permalink

    …and yet judging from Polycoms own datasheet for this product, yet another device that doesn’t support Mac…

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