Home Live Blog: IBM Lotusphere is all About Social Business

Live Blog: IBM Lotusphere is all About Social Business

IBM Lotusphere is now just getting underway. It’s fiddling and super rock. That is all I can call it.

We’ll be live blogging through the two days here at Lotusphere. The whole theme is about social business, which says a lot about the evolution of the market and a testament to the innovation of the open Web.

Let’s get started.

8:12 A.M EST: Kevin Spacey is the special mystery guest. He just did his impression of President Bill Clinton, who apparently likes his impersonations. Spacey is now working director at the Old Vick in London, a world famous theater.

8:16 AM EST: Spacey is talking how social business has helped his career. He helped create a Web-based community for people in the the arts community. He is talking about how Facebook was created. He helped produce Social Network. He said when he was first told about the story of Eduardo Saverin and the way that the rise of Facebook ruined Eduardo’s friendship with Mark Zuckerberg.

8:23 A.M EST: Spacey said he and his colleagues reached out to Saverin. A book deal was done and the film was on its way, By the time it was released, Facebook had 500 million users. Spacey and his colleagues had tapped into the zeitgeist.

8:26 AM EST: Stay open and listen to other’s points of view, Spacey says. It may be a success and you may piss enough people off. Then you will know it is a success. Great opening. Spacey set a great tone for the event.

8:28 A.M EST: Lotus General Manager Alistair Rennie is back on stage. He is talking about the customers such as BASF that will be at the event to talk about social business. The Twitter stream is hopping. Follow #ls11.

8:33 A.M. EST: Looking at a slide that shows quotes from famous people who were way off about their predictions. Rennie’s favorite is Bill Gate’s quote that 640k of memory is all we will ever need. “I love this one,” Rennie said.

8:36 A.M. EST: Companies using social technologies simply outperform their competitors. The idea behind the social business transformation is what we have all known. We have always put people at the center of the process. Social business is not about shuffling documents. It’s about people.

8:37 EST: IBM will offer a social framework and it seeks to catalyze the community. If you are a developer, you need to develop a new generation of solutions. Open standards will be mor important than ever. Social business is open and transparent but needs to be augmented with enterprise grade security. IBM will dramatically bolster the depth of capabilities that offers innovation in such areas as unified communications.

8:40 A.M EST It is your time, Rennie says. It’s not about the blog post or the occasional tweet. It’s about making it a part of business.

8:44 AM EST: Jim Balsillie,Co-CEO of Research in Motion is showing off the Blackberry PlayBook. He says it delivers an unmatched Web experience. He points to the native Flash experience so you do not need an app for the Web. For mobility, you don’t need an app for the Web. All we can say is that it looks like a browser based smartphone.

8:48 AM EST: Blackberry PlayBook is CIO approved, Balsillie says. Ugh, CIO? Social business – do those two jive?

8:50 A.M EST: IBM Executive Jeff Schick is in stage. Very popular guy. He is doing a panel with executives from large, multi-national companies. Remember, this is IBM.

8:54 A.M. EST: From the Twitter stream, Paul Greenberg says “… systems more integrated, intelligent interconnected, but they don’t run on autopilot. Another key point.”

9:10 A.M. EST: Sandy Carter, rising IBM star, up on stage following panel. Two women in a row that have appeared on stage!

9:13 A.M EST: Every 1% in improvement saves over $50 million says Sandy Carter. One of the strongest marketing vehicle for IBM is the social media aggregator. Social media is leveraged in all of IBM’s marketing. All employees are active brand ambassadors.

9:16 A.M EST: Twitter stream is getting antsy. We want the demos! More panels. An executive from RBC, a Canadian bank, is talking about using the Web to improve customer experience. Australian Football League is developing a portal for the league. The portal term is testament to this community here. It’s a term we do not see often used in the world of social technology. Social business is different in big business.

9:30 A.M EST: People cheer! Time for the demos!

9:32 A.M. IBM executive is doing introduction for the demos. The new technology is called NEXT and its social business framework. We’re getting a demo for the new IBM customer experience suite. It integrates CoreMetrics for data visualization. New in Notes Next is a social calendar. Shared calendars has an updating experience. Now we are talking about Notes. Demo seems to be a bit all over the place.

9:43 A.M. EST: Notes Traveler has activity stream. This is where IBM has a huge advantage over Microsoft, which lacks any activity stream features, except what is now in the early stages of development.

9:44 A.M. EST: Showing unified communications in Traveler. Review of product details. APis in tool kits provide the basis for integration with multiple apps.

9:51 A.M EST: New mobile demo showing new IBM development on Nokia platform. Demo shows how devices are getting more powerful. It’s a collaboration device more than anything.

9:54 A.M EST: Hearing about LotusLive success. Naming customers is always a big deal at these events. We’re not seeing demos. Are demos over?

9:56 A.M. EST: Domino applications are now portable to the cloud. Applications will be deployed by IBM partners. IBM is offering a 30-day trial to use the IBM cloud for Domino.

10 A.M. EST: Seeing demo. LotusLive Next project manager is showing her access to activity stream, mail and calendar. Mobile voice mail is configured to show up in activity stream. Message can be played in browser and text appears, too. Seeing how image can be seen in context with page the person is visiting. She is showing Lotus Live Symphony – which is integrated, real-time co-editing. Document can be marked up for others to follow up about. It includes in-line commenting. Symphony includes e-signature technology from partners.

10:05 A.M. EST: Reap: enterprise analytics is now offered on Lotus Conenctons 3. Social is everywhere in these apps. You see it in activity streams. This is the combination of Cognos and Lotus. It’s collaborative analytics.

10:11 A.M. EST: LotusLive Symphony is ready this week. To me – Lotus Symphony is the highlight of the demos.

Using subcommittee system in Symphony 3 to plan work more effectively.New web-based video capabilities that is integrated into enterprise communications systems such as Polycom. Audio and Web video will be integrated into communications environments.

10:17 A.M EST: Showing customer experience suite. Changes to Web site updates are seen in real-time. It can be edited in real-time and annotated to see who has added notes. Why is this all a big deal? Paul Greenberg just asked that question. I have to agree that this does not seem that new. Facebook feature is the coolest yet. Facebook friends can be dragged and dropped into Web page.

10:22 A.M EST: Activity stream for Web page updates are available on mobile devices. You can see the updates as it would appear on a device such as the iPhone. Lead are tracked through Sugar CRM.

10:23 A.M EST: Demos went well. That’s the first session. Back soon!

10:47 A.M. EST: We are at the press conference. These are not always the most exciting of events. But let’s start with the discussion about open standards. Rennie says HTML5 is a big commitment. Open activity streams and OpenSocial are areas of commitment. SAML and OAuth are important, too.

Rennie is saying Salesforce.com approach is wrong. It’s not open. Points to IBM’s interest in SugarCRM.

10:52 A.M. EST: Forbes.com reporter asking question. He says everyone talks about the cultural change we need. What do we do to navigate? What we have not seen is entire development process is reshaped. Social media is used as a spice but is not part of the process. Answer is in the examples. Process changes organically. So clear that social technology is mainstream. How can you tell? The big companies take the spotlight.

11:02 A.M. EST: Clarifying what is Project Vulcan. It’s a project that serves as an underpinning for all of IBM’s new products.

Back in a bit!

1:07 PM: Doing a live blog interview with Kevin Cavanugh, vice president of business and technology strategy. He says the inflection point is as important as it was for mainframes to departmental or from departmental to PC. This is a step beyond the Internet where people are creating their own content. That is transformative of how businesses will operate. Project Vulcan is an articulation of the strategy Notes Next, Connection Next, Sametime Next are the outputs of Project Vulcan.

We asked Cavanaugh about Lotus becoming more like a platform.In its current form it seems more like a network of apps. He said IBM reacts negatively to the thought of a platform as thy believe they have evolved into a closed concept. He said you have to buy this stack and it has to run on this stack. “We talk of it generally as a social business framework with cross product APIs,” he sad. “We committed to adding the embedded aspects of OpenSocial for shared experiences with Sharebox, which integrates different widgets.

IBM executives have been talking quite a bit about open standards. They cite HTML 5 as of importance.

Cavanaugh said It used to be you could not do rapid development on the browser. But that is changing.

WebKit browser brought along HTML 5. We have a broad standards effort. We get our say at the table. We are pushing state of the art. The standards efforts become discussions that come down to the details of implementation. “I find it hard to come up with all encompassing set of themes,” Cavanaugh said. “I think there is a vision of offline. We have had the richest offline experience of anyone in the industry.”

Years ago Cavanaugh had a discussion with a group of Japanese experts in mobile technology. They said you have to think of the tunnel problems. They meant train tunnels. Others articulate it as the plane problem. So connectivity is getting more common but it is not 100%.

Social business is still in the adoption stage but Cavanaugh said IBM has passed the tipping point and others are doing so, too.

On the topic of activity streams, Cavanaugh agrees that they are becoming a standard for the archetypical modern application.

The community has benefitted from RSS and Atom. Consumer apps like Facebook have taught a whole generation of people to interact with a stream of content. In the business world that stream will be richer. You might comment on a colleague’s engineer design. You may mark an edit. You combine these streams with analytics and you both avoid information overflow and you recognize patterns in activity streams.

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