This week the Lotus faithful are meeting in Orlando for the annual Lotusphere 2011 conference. I've never been to the conference, but I was invited to attend as an analyst this year. Despite the "most-expenses-paid" offer (thanks IBM), and that I would have loved to attend, I declined due to other commitments. My colleague Eric Mack is attending, and speaking - and it seems like he's having a good time.
IBM published two primary Lotusphere 2011 press releases:
- Social That's Mobile-Enabled and Cloud Supported ... IBM announced a new initiative to help people work together productively wherever they are, and to simplify IT requirements. Specifically, this means new software to enable people to access people and business processes using the current crop of cool mobile devices - the RIM PlayBook, the Apple iPad, and more. Secondly, there's a set of cloud computing offerings, including an office productivity suite. See the press release for more.
- Partner Enablement and New Worker Training ... IBM said it would help its business partners sell IBM social software products, and also train students to get ready for social business approaches. On the training of students, IBM said, "To help ensure the future workforce is prepared for this new era of social business, IBM is delivering new enterprise social software courses free of charge to more than 30,000 professors at 6,000 universities participating in IBM's Academic Initiative around the world. The courses will introduce students to IBM social business technologies, help them gain a better understanding of the needs of a social business and the benefits of organizational change." Interesting times ...
IBM also announced other things during the conference:
- The cloud-based edition of Lotus Symphony, IBM's office productivity suite to compete with Microsoft Office, is expected to be available in 2H2011. Hopefully that means July-August, not November-December. There's some cool stuff in the offering too, especially around pillar 3 in the 7 Pillars model, e.g., "LotusLive Symphony authors will be able to co-edit documents in real time or work privately, store and share documents in LotusLive, comment, chat and manage revisions with other authors in real time, and assign and manage sections and tasks across multiple authors." For more on LotusLive Symphony, see Ed Brill.
- Organizations will be able to deploy Domino applications to a cloud-based service, for firms that don't want to create their own Domino infrastructure, or who need to support external people more easily. Given the replication model in Domino, it will support seamless internally-hosted and externally-hosted application access and integration. Cool.
- Ed Brill presented the "Messaging and Collaboration Strategy" on Monday. See Eric Mack's blog for his notes and comments throughout. Ed talked about some upcoming features in Notes 8.5.3 - such as calendaring improvements around meeting counterproposals - and about the vision for Notes.Next (which will be called "Notes 9" - although Ed didn't say that
due in 2012). Here's Ed's deck:
Did I miss anything else that's really important?