The events of this week

by Volker Weber

When I am traveling, you won't see me writing much here. There is a simple reason: I need to get away from the action and think. Tonight, as I was flying back to Europe, I had this time. Time for a short wrap-up:

  1. BlackBerry 10
  2. IBM Connect 2013
BlackBerry 10 (BB10) is the easier one. 2013 is the year that makes or breaks BlackBerry, the artist formerly known as Research in Motion (RIM). Years of development have created a new platform and a new device: the Z10. It will be quickly followed by the Q10. People keep asking me whether I like BlackBerry 10 and the answer is yes. Not "yes, but". Simply "yes". It is exactly what we need in a connected world where we want one agent to keep it all together without mixing up our private things with our professional lives. We don't want IT admins to ruin our mobile experience, and at the same time we want to be responsible and reasonable. This is the heart of BB10. It lets you keep an enjoyable device and a secure platform, at the same time, without compromise. This is innovation, not yet another photo app.

IBM Connect is more difficult. My thoughts are very complicated, and I have not yet found a way to express them. Let me try a few touchpoints:

Connect 2013 was very emotional. Lots of folks are afraid of the future. "I wanted to see my friends one last time", that was the most touching statement I heard. Tearjerker.

Let me tell you something: life is about people, not about technology. Your friends will be your friends. And you will see them again. And again, and again. Technology changes, friendship lasts. In change, there lies opportunity.


Waiting for your first BB10 review :-)

Mathias Ziolo, 2013-02-01

Well said, Volker. Well said.

I couldn't be there. You are one of the wise friends that I missed.

Yet here you are, still being a wise friend.

Richard Schwartz, 2013-02-01

Thank you, Richard.

Volker Weber, 2013-02-01

Thank you for that last paragraph. I also missed the conference this year, despite my best intentions, and I have experienced significant opportunity (as you say, accurately) at work the past few years. I value my friendships from the Lotus universe very highly, though, and I don't want to lose them. I need to remember that the technology was never really the point.

Rob McDonagh, 2013-02-01

Volker, we don't always agree but I think this time you've perfectly hit the impression I got from talking to people and from watching the available streams.

I said to some friends this week that I've realized after watching the OGS livestream (which was very well done, by the way) that while I very much missed being at the event, I didn't miss the event itself.

The take away for Notes/Domino business partners is clearly that IBM isn't the least bit interested in your ecosystem anymore other than milking it for licenses and as a target rich environment for selling "big, complicated, stuff that only IBM can really do" into.

When they gave Ed the big job over the last couple of years, I had high hopes he'd be able to get some real attention paid on the Domino server. Clearly he had other things to do because that just never happened. We got a new color scheme and yet another embedded technology -- this time for Connections.

The truth is, Domino and Notes are declining in the industry very quickly. If you tell someone you use it, the question to you is almost immediately "when are you migrating". Those of us who still find it the best choice for many things are largely irrelevant.

What a shame for a company to have such a massive community of support and goodwill, and do so little to show they care for it -- let alone leverage it into great success.

Andrew Pollack, 2013-02-01

Last sentence=bang on!

Colin Williams , 2013-02-01

No more that I can say to that, Volker... I may have even *been* the person who said that to you, as it was my reason for being there. And while technology keeps you connected in many ways, saying good-bye "face to face" this year tore me up.

Thomas Duff, 2013-02-01

REF: Blackberry -- The question that comes after "Do you like it?" -- clearly you "Will it be enough?"

Do you think Blackberry has enough market goodwill left, and do you think the market is still willing to make decisions in part based on what the company would prefer you to use as a phone?

A few years ago, I think a smartphone decision was very much influenced by the company you worked for. I wonder if that's still the case today. If not, Blackberry has to not only have a good product, they have to compete in the fashion battle for storefront sales.

Andrew Pollack, 2013-02-01

Andrew, you are driving by the rear view mirror. This is new stuff. And it's good.

Volker Weber, 2013-02-01

Maybe I need to explain why. If you bring your iPhone to the enterprise, they will ruin it. Same goes for Android. But with the Z10, when done properly (read: with BES 10), it will be both sexy and secure.

Volker Weber, 2013-02-01

Strange no comment about Mr. Brills reassignment.

Also - who was the winner. All you needed to do was get 2013 coloured disks in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line before your opponents and you've won Connect 2013.

And Z10 / BB10 - lovely. I wish RIMBerry a lot of luck (and they will probably need it).

Andy Stewart, 2013-02-01

The 30th anniversary of Lotus 1-2-3 got more press coverage than IBM Connect. If a tree falls in the forest…

Jeff Gilfelt, 2013-02-01

Perfectly put, Volker. Sorry that I missed you. I saw you out of the corner of my eye at one moment, and then like the entire week, the moment was gone. I agree on both points, the Z10 looks pretty amazing and Connect 2013 was definitely emotional. Hope to see you soon at another event (and for more than just from the corner of my eye).

Kathy Brown, 2013-02-02

Well said!

Chris Toohey, 2013-02-02

I also missed out on saying hi and bye to all my extended family members. I am happy though that a lot of them will join me at a LUG or two in the next year so that I will be able to see them again that way.

Now, I also listened to the OGS and the first thing I realized was that there was zero mention of XPages. None, nada, nothing. It was all Social this and Social that and Connections this and Connections that. Was I surprised? Not really. Disappointed, but hardly surprised after attending 17 out of 20 LotusSpheres I have gotten used to it.

Every year we have gone to Orlando we expect (actually that should read: hope) to hear about the next big thing for the Lotus community and how they are going to finally start marketing it. Instead we get told about the next best thing for IBM instead. Hey, it is their show after all and they can talk about anything they want. But if they really looked at their audience they had to have realized that the majority of them are there for the Notes/Domino and XPages sessions not Connections.

Lotus was and now is officially the red headed step child (apologies to any red headed step children out there) of IBM. Never to be talked about, relegated to the basement and forgotten by all within the castle. They even changed it's name to further show how much shame it used to bring. Then they moved their champion to another realm to further silence the true believers.

Now, the only people who dare whisper it's name anymore are those outside the castle walls and then only when talking to each other in small groups around te country and across the world. We dare not mention it to a new client or a company that does not know about it for fear of being laughed at or thrown out the door.

While we do know that there will be another conference next year in Orlando, until the session tracks are announced, we will not know if we will be welcomed back or not. I hope we are but I have to wonder if the number of sessions reserved for us will be cut by half to make room for the next big thing IBM decides to promote.

Roy Rumaner, 2013-02-02

Perhaps someone will start an unofficial Lotusphere like conference, bigger than local LUGs but smaller than IBM Connect. It could focus on Notes/Domino, Sametime, Quickr and Xpages development.

Alan Lepofsky, 2013-02-02

Very well said, Volker. Sorry to have missed you at Connect...

Stuart McIntyre, 2013-02-02

Social is not about software, it is about people.

Devin Olson, 2013-02-02


My brain is already ticking....

Warren Elsmore, 2013-02-02

Had a blast. Never thought I'd be heading to LS again after my last trip in 2010, but I just couldn't stay away and I'm so glad I didn't. I've never known people like those in the big ole Yellowsphere...

Ben Poole, 2013-02-02

Well said. Although this year I was fortunate enough to attend and sit in sessions, in previous years, I've attended and worked a booth (thanks to OpenNTF) because of my other family... the community at large. Nothing in this world makes me happier than to get a hug or a handshake from someone. I even added new friends (family members) to my community.

Ray Bilyk, 2013-02-03

As usual you get to the point. Sorry we did not get to sit down for longer than a few hello minutes, but you always answer my queries.

Keith Brooks, 2013-02-03

Very well said Volker. Sorry I only got to speak with you for a few minutes this year. Now that I'm out of the reporting world I don't run into you at as many side events :-)

Anyway, I went into this year with a very low bar in my head as to what to expect, and I think the event exceeded it, except for the 20th Anniversary of Lotusphere party on the show floor that was simply cupcakes and silence.

This has always been about the relationships and the friends, and I'm so thrilled that I got to do it again, and hopefully it will not be the last...

John Roling, 2013-02-03

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