"See me, feel me, touch me, heal me" - The opening song prepares for some more wizardry.
Mike Rhodin is addressing the crowd: 2006 was the best year for Lotus ever
. Two years of double digit consecutive growth helped Lotus to outgrow the market (so much about a dying software <g>). In Q4 Lotus grew 30% year-to-year. There supposed to be almost 7k attendees at Lotusphere (you might want to calculate yourself
). If you can't make it to Orlando you can attend Lotusphere in Cyberspace
The guest speaker is none other than America's first man on the moon Niel Armstrong
. He shared the story of manned space travel and IT from his very personal experience in a very humorous anecdotical way.
Back to Rhodin: He's preparing the crowd for the new announcements. He claims that the single benchmark for Lotus offerings will be how much more productive Lotus can make their users. He is stressing the importance of collaboration and the perils of failure to collaborate in a highly diverse workplace, where "Office" more and more refers to a mental state rather than a physical location. New ways to work require new ways to collaborate. "eMail, that is for my grandfather" seems to be the motto for younger generations. To foster change and speed adaption of new tools they need to be Cool intuitive and easy to use. If that happens new ways to work are adopted in a viral fashion. Accelerating change requires new ways to make applications available, so the new term of "Application assembly" will take centre stage.
On with the presentations of Lotus Products:
IBM had announced Sametime 7.5 on last year's Lotusphere and managed to deliver the client, the public gateway and the mobile clients. Building on that momentum new capabilities for Sametime are announced to be available in Q2: Video Chat, Linux Sametime server, Linux clients, Mac clients. Sametime's new motto is UC? (Unified Collaboration Square). All customer/partner messages played revolved around voice/video integration. The demonstration shows the new tabbed chat feature with the user's picture as tabs and the full video chat capabilities. Sametime allow to convert any chat directly to a call, access your voicemail and integrate your local and mobile phone systems.
The number of Notes users stands at 130 Million users. Already 100 companies use Lotus' build in SAP integration. More than 500 large organisations moved from other offers to Lotus Notes. IBM had announced the Notes client code named "Hanover" last year. Today the code name is officially dropped and Lotus Notes and Domino 8 are officially announced. The demonstration runs slick with a short flight though the enhanced mail experience, the mashup (composite) applications and the IBM productivity editors. The capabilities to convert everything into PDF got loud applause. The tab preview is way cool. Domino will get enhancements: Message recall, optional 64Bit support, integration into IBM's email archival. Domino will allow to authenticate against more external directories.
(the artist formerly known as Quickplace)
(someone drank the Flickr cool aid --- goodbye Quickplace). Quickr comes in various edition. The personal edition is available for any Notes users through a web interface. Quickr serves as a mountable, replicatable file system. The personal edition of Quickr is free for existing Notes customers!!!! For teams there is the Quickr standard edition that comes with a huge set of templates for different tasks. Quickr Standard edition replaces Lotus Quickplace. Existing Quickplace customers (under maintenance) will get Quickr Standard edition for free. Quickr will support various repositories including FileNet and even Microsoft Sharepoint. Quickr can be accessed from a browser UI, from your file system (Explorer) and within Sametime. You have the new capabilities to "Chat about a document". When dragging a file from Quickr into a Notes email it will allow you to send a document link instead of the document itself. The marketing pitch "Quickr is simply the easiest way to share".
Portal is the biggest integration tool available today. IBM has integrated over 1000 Domino applications with Websphere Portal. Portal6 allows to integrate Google gadgets. Portal6 has been around for a while, but today IBM announces IBM Websphere Portal6 Express. Portal6 Express will install very fast and provides a ready sample for an Intranet and Extranet to get started. I'm curious if the claim "It installs faster than it takes you to watch your favourite sit-com" will stand the test of real world scenarios. There will be a personal portal that allows you to access Portal off-line (DOLS anyone?). The demo showed the document integration and web2.0 capabilities.
Lotus Expeditor (and friends)
Touted "The industries fist Ready-for-Business social software" Lotus Connections (code name Ventura) features:
- Activities - fully integrated into Sametime and the Notes Client (but not off-line yet) -- a shared task and link list. Add to activities from Notes, Microsoft Office, your browser or Sametime. Sametime even sends you a little alert when new stuff is added to your activities. The difference to your regular 2do list is the integration into all the applications you use. The quality of the integration will be key for the success of activities. Activities features a read/write Atom REST interface, so the bets are that it will work well (after the teething phase of course).
- Profiles: a comprehensive people directory. This component has been developed inside IBM over many years and powers IBM's award winning w3 intranet blue pages. Think LinkedIn or Xing for enterprises.
- Blog Central: A comprehensive Blogging solution - Blogger.com for the enterprise.
- Dogear: Social Bookmarking, think del.icio.us for your company. Dogear plugs into your search and your browser, so you can see who has bookmarked a specific page.
All these components are fully integrated delivering more value that separate component. The big question: what size does an enterprise need to create enough gravity to take full advantage of these tools.
One final observation: Not a single IBM logo on screen. Only Lotus.