Sunday, 13 February 2011

My thoughts on Lotusphere 2011 #ls11

My fourth Lotusphere
This Lotusphere is my fourth. I had the opportunity to go in 1996, 1998, 2008 and now in 2011. This time I was together with my collegue Dennis van Remortel.
The overall experience and excitement of watching great content in the sessions and sharing ideas and thoughts with peers and speakers was just super again and made up for the disappointing number of announcements from IBM this year.
I will definitely try to be back for the 2012 edition.

So finally, after a couple of days back home now, after visiting our collegues of InterfaceFLOR in the US, I think it is time to start writing down my thoughts.

Opening session
Many comments have already been made about this session which can be summarised as too much over rehearsed customer content and to little technical content and demoes. IBM clearly had very little to announce this year. The "next" releases were mentioned without a clear end date. Hopefully we will see some great announcements next year. I hope IBM realise they need to keep the pace to keep/regain the lead.
The guest speaker, Kevin Spacey, possibly made the best impression and touching on the core of the Lotus community, "send the elevator down" to help others learn/expand their skills and knowledge
Remarkable: Later it was announced that almost 1 in 5 attendees at the opening session had been using an iPad!!!

Yes students, in the opening session 500 students were welcomed to the Lotusphere Opening day (lets hope the OGS didnot turn them off) on invitation of Group Business Software and IBM to get a glimpse of the wonderfull world of yellow. Way to go, students are the link to the future.

Not sure if it was only me, but I noticed a lot of attendees from IBM this year (blue badges). Coincidence or was it to fill up unsold seats.

This years breakout sessions and sundays jumpstart sessions had to make up for lack of news in the opening session. I chose for a mix of strategic and technical sessions. The technical sessions to see how things can be done and the strategic to see the capabilities of products like Sametime Unified Telephony and Connections and to start thinking about how my company could benefit from using these. Very nice to see the transfer of a single phone call being moved to the computer and to the mobile phone. And furthermore the integration of it all into the notes client as well IBM effort to move it all to the cloud with lotuslive, soon even existing Notes applications.
Highlights from the technical sessions:
- Xpages blast - 30 very usefull tips in 60 minutes. Outstanding.
- Symphony - the robust IBM, open source alternative, to MS office
- the increasing extension of the power of mobile devices
- xpages, xpages, xpages - build powerfull webapplications in lotus notes RAD style
- dojo - quickly enhance the user experience

The closing session was awesome. IBM presented a brief demo of the sametime setup that was put in place to ensure a smooth safety organisation at the coming Superbowl match in Fort Worth. It showes the technology is ready to support mission critical communications. The next thing was the line up of the Watson computer to play a game of Jeopardy against some very skilled Lotusphere attendees. No mean feat to get a computer to understand the finesses of human language, interpret the meaning and coming up with the right solution. Later in february Watson will compete with the best Jeopardy players in the US to show its capabilities. Fingers crossed for Watson!

In the four times I have been so far, even though spread over several years, each time I found I come back with lots of energy that will last for months on end and at least until the next registration period for Lotusphere comes around. I got home with lots of ideas and things to explore from the technical session I watched.

Thank you
I would like to end this entry with a thank you to all the staff at IBM that work very hard at making this great event happen every year.
And of course thank you to all the people I met at this years Lotusphere.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice meeting you Tom =)