Alistair's key message: "Get social, make more Money!". Getting there requires collective intelligence, rethink, reinvent and transform businesses. The product announcements confirmed that IBM is deprecating the Lotus brand in favour of a stronger emphasis on the core IBM brand. While that might upset members of the "Yellow bubble" it is IMHO the right move, given the strength of the IBM brand recognition. In no particular order:
- IBM Connections "next"
The big new item is the integration of Activity Streams and embedded experiences (leveraging OpenSocial) into the IBM Connections homepage. This is the Vulcan vision come to fruit. eMail and Calendar also has been integrated into the user experience. Tthe demo made clear, that IBM wants you to use IBM Connections as the main interface of your daily work. This includes the ability to edit office documents directly in the browser using IBM Docs. Using Sametime and Polycom Connections includes Google Hangout capabilities inside the control of your network. Connections next adds the capability to share content between internal and external communities.
Key takeaway (for developers/ISV): Make yourself familiar with the Social Business Toolkit and transform your applications. Try OpenSocial integration today in the OpenSocial Sandbox to get started
- IBM Connections Mail
Being part of Connections it allows to surface calendar and eMail from Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange. As mentioned earlier that is IBM's assault on Microsoft's perceived eMail dominance. I wonder how this will work offline or sloppy (read: high latency, patchy) networks. Folding eMail into the broader context of collaboration will allow boosting productivity and user satisfaction
- IBM Docs
Using any browser (no IE6) spreadsheets, text documents and presentations can be collaborative edited concurrently online. Individual parts of a document (paragraphs, cell ranges, slides) can be assigned to individual editors and tracked using ToDo items in a Connections Activity. Since HTML(5) != RichText format and feature capability are a challenge. IBM docs, using ODF as its native storage format, uses a preservation engine to ensure features that don't map to HTML are preserved and won't get lost in a web editing
Traveller, Sametime, Symphony and Connections will now work on iOS, Android, Blackberry and Microsoft Phone 7 (Nokia will be happy). Sametime video chats are now supported on mobile devices. Traveler and the Connections client are deeper integrated. More details will emerge during the week
- IBM Customer Experience Suite "next"
The beta for the new version starts today. Mobile interaction is fully supported now. Swipe interactions and mobile content editing make mobile devices first class citizens in ECM. The ECM system can not only publish data to the corporate intranet but also to social sites. An integrated doodle function lets you comment visually on a page. Social analytics is deeply integrated in the suite, to see customer sentiment. With dashboards like this endless reports can finally be retired. A new highlight in content management is an integrated survey editor, looks quite promising
- IBM SmartCloud for Social Business
LotusLive has been the odd child in the IBM cloud strategy with its own branding and availability. In a short while it will be folded into the IBM SmartCloud family of offerings and will be known as "IBM SmartCloud for Social Business". Finally it will feature a "click here to buy" button
- Notes browser plug-in
Later this year IBM will deliver a lightweight Notes client that has been wrapped into a browser plug-in. From the demo it looks like it will be compatible to the Notes basic client, not the full client. Details about supported browsers or operating systems will emerge later on
- Lotus Notes NEXT
The next version of Lotus Notes will be called "Lotus Notes Social Edition" and come with the capability to surface Activity Streams and embedded experiences in the Notes client and the Domino server. It will be based on Domino 8.5.4, so no mayor upgrade cycle is required which will make adoption much easier