A couple of conflicting thoughts on IBM ConnectED

by Volker Weber

I am slow. It always takes time until I wrap up my thoughts well enough, that I can go and publish a story that’s fully cooked and does not need corrections later on. In no particular order, a couple of thoughts about ConnectED. Some of them disagree with each other.

Am I wrong? Do you have anything to add? Sound off below in the comments. Keep it civilized.


In the window that I had to decide on ConnectOLotusphereEd, IBM had *no* significant information available on which to decide or make the case that I should go.
I agree a mistake was made, but we're way past the point where I'd decide to spend a chunk of money on something based on faith that IBM woud do the right thing.

Craig Wiseman, 2015-01-26 23:04

At the moment I'm not sure if it was a mistake or not, not attending ConnectED. To be clear that I wasn't going was mostly a scheduling problem. On the other hand I missed the less technical session (which was ofcourse intended by IBM).
I hope to see another event in Orlando next year, which will learn from this ConnectED. I see a lot of tweets about sessions which hadn't enough capacity for every attendee. On the other hand, a smaller crowd means more chances to get connected to the community. As always there are pros and cons.

Torben Volkmann, 2015-01-26 23:33

The whole thing looked kind of cheap."

That is such an understatement. There was so little food at the Welcome Reception that several of us left to go find dinner on the Boardwalk.

Timothy Briley, 2015-01-26 23:46

I would really love to be there - even just to meet up with friends and do some networking. It's not about a theme park party location. It is about content, news, roadmaps.
But unfortunately the pre conference information wasn't enough to get a travel permit based on proper justification. So not there - looking from Germany...
Have fun over there in Orlando :)

Wolfgang Fey, 2015-01-26 23:59

Same impressions are on my side. It's my 10th "Lotusphere" this year - not so much as for many others from the community. But what I observed during the years: There is one product that was continuously improved with the same product name - NOTES/DOMINO. Many others were stars just for a year or it was decided to rename it several times. The platform NOTES/DOMINO and its strong community is the reason so many travel each January to Orlando even the event changed over years. This year the change is quit clearly. And in addition to this trend the yesterday's news about IBMs layoffs are not very helpful rather than customers become more unsure to stay on the platform in turn IBM Verse can become a great product/platform. But will this help to regain marketshares or to increase the revenue? I'm interested to see how the freemium model will help. Enjoy the time in Orlando however the conference is called ;-)

Marcel Kujat, 2015-01-27 00:29

If it was a mistake, I'm glad of that. If there's another ConnectED next year, then I hope to be there.

For me, though, there was really no choice this year. I could have come down just to hang out for a few days, as I know some others did, but in some ways I thought it might be harder to actually be there but not really participate.

Richard Schwartz, 2015-01-27 05:40

I love Notes/Domino also. And you 'hit the nail on the head'. No Info about that means there is no future! Sorry IBM, so you open the discussion about the 'tool' (on premise or in the cloud) and the roadmap for the companies. And not everybody will move from Notes to Verse because its 'Äpfel mit Birnen vergleichen'. Notes is more than mail. Much much much much much more than mail ... mail is only an app 'on heavy rotation' (like vowe would say).

Andreas Weinreich, 2015-01-27 09:46

My 2 cents:
Actually there are some sessions in Dolphin, so still some walking necessary.

There were more news than I expected in the OGS and the rest of the sessions held by IBM so far: Besides the Verse announcements (I start "getting" it due to the demos) there are lots of improvements in the works in the Connections area and on the appdev side.

E. g. the availability of a "Domino Data Service" and an XPages runtime in Bluemix (yes, they splitted that so that you can use the noSQL data service and/or the XPages stuff separatedly!), which you can combine with Connections Services on Bluemix and/or with other Stuff including Watson is a thing we waited for.

They will license parts of Connections, e. g. a DropBox style FileSync service with hierarchical folder structure. (And Luis Benitez actually forgot to mention the upcominng hierarchical folders for Connections files until asked in the Q&A part of the presentation - this is the single most requested feature in this area from my experience!).

Yes, they are not showing new stuff in the Notes Client (besides a new model in the Browser plugin, which I still have to check out to understand what this might bring for us). But I did not expect this to be otherwise: IBM is no longer seeing the rich Client as the future. They will support it, but they see a trend in using browser and mobile Clients. And IBM is not alone in that: from my understanding Microsoft is on the same path with Outlook.

All in all ConnectED is worth the time and money. As long as there is technical and strategic content I can live without the theme park party (been there, done that) and the (minor) annoyances like getting vouchers for drinks :-)

Hans-Peter Kuessner, 2015-01-27 12:39

Lotus was a leader once. IBM no longer is, not in this segment. Even if they had a roadmap, I would not want to hear.

Too many mistakes have been made and if you were driving on their road, you'd be at risk to hit a tree.

Imagine, instead of DB2, Workplace and all this rubbish, they would have invested in performance, stability and supportability. And in Marketing... Yes, there is a >secure< collaboration platform and BTW, it's already installed at your Enterprise.

Sigh... fear it's too late!

Dieter Baum, 2015-01-27 17:12

The Importance of IBMConnected can be measured quite easy in Germany: news Coverage in heise/newtsticker and computerwoche: 0 Articles.
Compare this with other Events....

Christian Henseler, 2015-01-27 18:20

That's coming up tomorrow. I need to check my facts first. You would not believe it, but IBM has not prepared a single press release, a fact sheet, or any other collateral for this conference.

And heise is the only new outlet that has boots on the ground here.

Volker Weber, 2015-01-27 18:23

Wait, they didn't prepare any press releases? How can that make any sense at all? Whether you want to tout Verse or Watson or Connections or Notes, you don't hold a conference without press releases. That seems unthinkable.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2015-01-27 18:58

There is always a first time. Now I hunting down a simple fact sheet. Not coming up so far.

Volker Weber, 2015-01-27 22:16

Let me speculate... Why do you want to make a press release about an event you're about to kill off ?

Giulio Campobassi, 2015-01-28 00:23

If what we are hearing is correct, one in four IBM folks are getting axed shortly in what I would call the greatest layoff of all times in our industry.

I would speculate that this event is dead and won't happen in this form anymore. Not only staff but overall spending is going to be cut.

A sad day for collaboration, communication and coordination.

Sascha Siekmann, 2015-01-28 17:23

And if what you are hearing is not correct?

Volker Weber, 2015-01-28 17:28

It is really sad, that IBM wants to kill the Notes Client. It was such a good platform to develop applications for the SMB Market. We have made huge investments in the Notes client and now IBM think that we will start our whole application from scratch on an IBM platform again? No i think when we really replace our App Dev platform we will choose an open source platform, to be no longer dependent on a software company which changes their mind so often.

Ralf M Petter, 2015-01-28 17:46

IBM layoffs... every 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th employee. Does it matter? It's gonna be a big number, right?

It will be interesting to see the details. Machine learning and autonomic computing are invading enterprises big time. The business model of using cheap labour in low to medium skilled positions, outsourced and offshore, has no future. Companies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro, which have grown from 0 to xxxk employees in a decade, will have to adapt. IBM employs 150k+ in India.

IBM is not all about Services and BPO. But it will hit them and could explain the high number of employees. It is hard to imagine how IBM could lay off every 4th employee and all of them outside of their delivery centers.

Dieter Baum, 2015-01-28 19:54

Sorry, but (not only) for me: IBM is dead. "International Business Machines" without machines will never work.

Roland Dressler, 2015-01-28 20:33

If IBM Collaboration software is all Connections and Verse then (for me) ConnectED is not such a bad name.
ConnectED seemed to be better than expected which is good for those who attended.

IBM still is a huge company and their latest quarterly reports announced revenue of $24.1 billion and net income of $6.2 billion. This might not be enough for stock owners but business wise the numbers still look quite impressive, even if much of IBM's performance seem to solely rely on cost reduction and acquisitions.

I am glad that I started to be sceptical about IBM in software some years ago.

Henning Heinz, 2015-01-29 14:35

@Volker: Nice article on heise newsticker, but in regards to Scott Souder, it is not 100 % certain that an on premise version of IBM Verse will be offered (at least in 2015). cite "we’re going to something from an on-premises perspective, but frankly we’re going to see what the uptake is in the cloud because we’ve got a ton of momentum behind cloud right now as everybody knows and appreciates. We’re going to see how that plays out in a good chunk of 2015; we’ll make some decisions along the path in 2015 to where and when we actually do the on premises piece, but in all candor we may – and this was her response – we may actually wait until 2016 before we do the on-premises version."
(source: https://www.socialbizug.org/blogs/074c311f-1478-4a20-8774-bb7cf9d1abf4/entry/transcript_from_scott_souder_interview_ibm_mail_next_becomes_ibm_verse?lang=de_de)

Or do you have an update for this statement dated back to November 2014?

Christian Henseler, 2015-01-29 18:23

Volker/Ben, it's sad that http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressreleases/recent.wss does not list a thing from the event.

Alan Lepofsky, 2015-01-29 20:29

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