IBM Connect, the conference we used to call Lotusphere, always provides a lot of insights. This has been my 18th conference in a row, not counting the three in Berlin. I can't help but compare it to past events and put it in that perspective. While most of the attention is on the Opening General Session, the subtle signals from friends and acquaintances mean a lot more. I am not done putting them all into one picture, but here are a few thoughts:
- Notes used to be the center of attention for IBM and customers. While IBM continues to talk about Connections and cloud, there is a large constituency of attendees that remain with the Notes/Domino product. Their real opening keynote session was Scott Souder's session.
- Delivery of the keynote sessions was slicker than ever, but session scheduling created lots of conflicts. You often had to pick one of several session you wanted to attend.
- IBM Mail Next was mostly smoke and mirrors. It is designed to collect feedback from real users. IBM wants to talk to users and not the village idiot tasked with liasion. This will improve software design tremendously. Expect a first beta in May and second one in August, with big changes inbetween.
- The cloud is now the default software delivery mechanism, with on premises installation as the secondary path. Bugs will be found way earlier, since the software goes into production immediately, where on premises installation only happens after lengthy and limited internal tests.
- The biggest change you don't really see is SoftLayer. It speeds up development since it allows the teams to quickly set up new environments. It also allowed IBM to offer PaaS for Domino applications in the cloud.
I am a bit worried about the showcase for next year's Connect conference. Many large exhibitors cater to Notes customers but IBM does little to attract them to the conference.
Your last point has me worried too. IBM spends too much time concentrating on the people it wants to be there, and not enough on the people that actually are there. It's a difficult balance to strike, for sure, but they've not got it right yet.
This is truly the best picture of the strangest cookie on earth.
Lotusphere is not dead until they stop serving this cookie in the Thursday lunch box.
I bet there is a cook (not a chef) who works his ass off who came up with this cookie, and has no idea what life the #pretzelcookie has taken on with the Lotusphere crowd. I hope they find it online.
IBM's obsession with mail continues. In the real world, an excess of email is always evidence of an immature app ecosystem. The introduction of Mail Next merely demonstrates that IBM knows this without realizing that they do: the only way to make email truly useful is to make it the way that users find, and interact with, apps. Sadly, I've seen no indication that IBM understands what app developers need to facilitate rapid development and ongoing maintenance of apps that meet the needs that, when unmet, cause users to resort to sending email instead. A lengthy rant on this topic will likely surface on my own blog in the near future.
Great comment, Tim. Will look forward to your post.
Vowe, as ever, you sum things up extremely well. No arguments.
Good summary. I wish IBM would stop making it seem like this is the first offering ever of apps, mail or anything of theirs in the cloud. Mainly since SmartCloud is a hacked version for the public version (not the new dedicated one on SoftLayer they have no one to run)
Thank you, Stuart.
Chris, I am not sure I understand what you mean. Can you elaborate?
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