Lotusphere 2009 Wrap-up Review

For those of you who could not attend Lotusphere 2009 in Orlando, here’s what you missed.

Business Development Day
Lotusphere’s opening general session may be on Monday, but for IBM business partners the conference really starts on Sunday with Business Development Day. Usually a combined breakfast and keynote exclusively for business partners starts off the day. But, this year the program was a little different: aside from the fact that there were morning sessions following the breakfast with a pre-lunch-time keynote presentation for partners, the sessions and lunch were held in a more easily accessed location this year. As opposed to being all the way over in the yacht and beach hotel, they were more centrally located in the Swan where many other activities were happening.

The excitement was increased this year by an anticipated inclusion of Beedyellow.com’s new Squak capability, much like a wall on Facebook, and by a very cool opening presentation. The session included several sneak-peek revelations of  announcements that would come later in the week, Lotus Award winner announcements, and a lot of live demos.

The keynote kicked off with an introduction by Tim Kounadis, Director World-Wide Channel and SMB Marketing at IBM, with a very elegant allegorical comparison of the renaissance of old and today’s changes in the way business communicates. His introduction gave way to an audience-pleasing presentation by an artist who painted on a rotating canvas to very fast-paced music and transformed a large black canvass into a modern rendition of da Vinci’s Monalisa.

After the applause stopped, Bob Piciano, General Manager of Lotus Software & Websphere Portal took the stage to give the big picture (after mentioning that he received his first #1 badge from the Penumbra Group in their annual dinner the previous evening). Picciano recapped 16 consecutive quarters of Notes Domino growth, an astounding growth for the Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions at 2.5 times that of the rest of the market, seven years of number 1 positioning for Webshere Portal, and huge anticipation for the new features in 8.5 that will drive down the cost of messaging for businesses all over the world.
Picciano shared IBM research findings that leading IT decision makers are excited about collaboration, but need to see how it will save the organization money. He went on indicate that Lotus is positioned for a strong performance in this tightening market by addressing cost savings through collaborative solutions. For more on the BDD general session and what Mr. Picciano outlined for expectations of upcoming performance check out the full story at:

Welcome Reception
Each year Lotusphere kicks off for those arriving on Sunday with the Welcome Reception. This year, Sponsored by Sherpa Software, the reception was a networking paradise. The temperature was better than it’s been for the last few years and people were able to mingle well. While the tent was missing this year, there seemed to be more seating, making it easier to network throughout the night. There was a great blues band, a one-man performer playing tunes in the genre of Jimmy Buffet songs, and a country western band complete with dancing cowgirls. No cowboys on the TVs this year though (sorry Dallas), but you could watch the Ravens and the Steelers fight it out for a position in the Superbowl (Sorry Ravens). Plus, poolside, Sherpa Software entered people into their cash prize drawing. Great food (carving stations, wings, nachos, and more), great fun, and great networking.

Opening General Session
The Opening General Session of Lotusphere 2009 was started with Blue and removed some blue (good-bye BlueHouse), but we all came away bleeding yellow a little bit more.
Great additions were obvious even before the show started, as the Lotus communities favorite bloggers were given special yellow bean bag chairs at the front of the
conference hall. You can read some of their reports all over the web. Also, the stage was set with the unique instruments of the Blue Man Group who was the featured
performer of the session. Last year, we had the great intro including a full orchestra, but this year the 3 blue men worked the crowd with multiple activities of a rock
“movement”. New Lotus GM, Bob Picciano took the stage and praised the works of the product teams, reminded the audience that Lotus has had sixteen consecutive quarters of
substantial growth, gave an overview of the status of the division and recent sales, and then proceeded to introduced a slew of announcements and live demos of new and
updated tools (and some sneak peeks too). To read all the details go to David Stephen’s article on LotusUSerGroup.org here:

Certification exams opened on Monday. As announced in  Clippings, the newsletter for Certified Professionals ( http://www.lotususergroup.org/glug.nsf/LkupView/Clippings ), and a previous edition of this newsletter,  Certification Exam fees are going up for 2009, but exams were available at Lotusphere for only $75 each. The Certification test and prep labs were moved to a new, more easily accessed location this year. As opposed to being all the way over in the yacht and beach hotel, they were more centrally located in the Dolphin, where most of the activities were happening. Look to the February issue of Clippings for information on the number of exams taken at Lotusphere and other details.

Product Showcase
Exhibitors Galore! The show floor was as filled up with booths as ever this year. You can see a complete list of exhibitors at http://www.Lotus.com. Sponsors included BlackBerry, Group Business Software, SAP, HP, Motorola, Nokia, Salesplace, IBM Power Systems, Lotus911, Avaya, Cisco, EMC, Sun, Sogeti, Symantec, Sybase, Axceler, AXS-One, BinaryTree, Corefusion, Genius Inside, Spamsentinal, Nortel, Plycom, Redhat, Teamstudio, Trend Micro, Trilog Group, Ytria, NEC, Sherpa Software, Amiura, and X1 Enterprise Search.

Show and Tell Sessions
This year, the format for hands on Labs changed a bit. The popular Hands-on track was reworked this year to expand the audience capacity. Show ‘n Tell sessions included classroom-style technical presentations with a hands-on sandbox to run through the exercises after the session.
Topics in the labs covered:

Notes and Domino on Linux
JSON in Lotus Domino Applications
Mashup Center and WebSphere Portal
Developing for Lotus Quickr Domino Services
ID Vault, Roaming and DAOS
Developing Mobile Applications
Controlling and Extending the Notes Sidebar with Policies, Widgets, Plug-ins and a New API
Integrating IBM Lotus Sametime and IBM Lotus Quickr Using LDAP
Getting Your Feet Wet with IBM Lotus Connections
Building A Cool Web 2.0 Application With XPages

You can hear more about them in podcast interviews here: http://lotususergroup.org/glug.nsf/Lkupview/2minlotus09#BobP and here http://lotususergroup.org/glug.nsf/Lkupview/2minguru09#elsmore

Birds of a Feather Sessions
Birds-of-a-Feather sessions have been a popular feature of Lotusphere for years now. These sessions bring together communities and individuals with similar interests to engage in informal, interactive discussion groups of like-minded attendees.

Sessions included:
Domino-o-pedia: One Year Later
Future of Redbooks: Delivering In-depth Redbook Content in a Dynamic and Collaborative Way
Design Best Practices
IBM Lotus Domino Web Development 101: A Beginner’s Discussion
Don’t Spam My Users!
IBM’s Lotus Sametime Server Monitoring
Meet the Performance Team
Virtualization in the Real World: What it Means for Lotus Products
Lotus Connections and Beyond
IBM Lotus Quickr Templates – Past, Present and Future
Discuss Your IBM WebSphere Portal Priority Requirements
IBM Smart Business Roundtable
IBM Lotus Notes And IBM Lotus Domino Application Development — Meet The Developers
Flexing IBM Lotus Domino: Building Rich Internet Applications Using IBM Lotus Domino and Macromedia Flash
EMC: Getting It Right – Proactive Governance for Compliance and eDiscovery
Deploying the IBM Lotus Notes ID Vault: Come Share Your Experiences and Questions!
IBM Lotus Domino Backup and Recovery Best Practices: What to Do Before a Disaster Strikes
Upgrading to IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8 and 8.5
IBM Lotus Quickr Feedback Session
Getting Things Done with IBM Lotus Notes
IBM Lotus Sametime Best Practices
Meet the “Bluehouse” Early Adopters
Salesplace CRM for Notes & Blackberry: Building Advanced IBM Lotus Notes User Interface Components and Storage Methodologies – Tips, Tricks, Traps and Workarounds
Sybase iAnywhere: Developing and Deploying a Mobility Strategy in your Enterprise
Avaya: Evolve Your Lotus Applications into a Seamless Communications Experience
Axceler: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly about IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8 Administration
Nokia: Cost Efficient Mobility With Nokia + IBM Lotus Traveler, IBM Lotus Sametime and LMC
Symantec: Managing Content Lifecycle While Minimizing Storage Impact
Installing IBM Lotus Domino 8.5 on Microsoft Windows Server 2008
Cisco and Lotus: Unified Communications and Collaboration
Hewlett Packard: Email Archiving – Today and Tomorrow
Sogeti: TeamPark – Build Social Networking
Lotus + Apple = True Love Always
Motorola Good Technology Group: Collaboration on the Move – Mobilizing IBM Lotus Domino
How to Classify Your IBM Lotus Notes Content When It’s Not Humanly Possible
IBM Lotus Domino Web Development – XPages and Web 2.0
Building IBM Lotus Notes Web Apps Using JavaScript
Integrating Microsoft SharePoint with IBM Lotus Notes 8.5: Strategic Coexistence
Object-oriented Programming in Lotus Notes and Domino – Present State and Future Directions
IBM Lotus Domino Designer – A New Perspective
Meet the Lotus Domino Administration Team
Lotus911: BleedYellow.com Future Directions
Getting Social in the Lotus Community
iPhone Development and Notes Ultralite
DAOS and Design Partner Deployment
Designers Unite: Developing A Dynamic User Experience in IBM Lotus Notes
Developing Lotus Notes Applications in an Microsoft Outlook Email Environment
The IBM Lotus Notes Client, IBM Lotus Expeditor Client and Eclipse
The Odd Couple (Admin/Dev) Define Best Practices for Agents
Citrix and the IBM Lotus Notes Client
Securing Your IBM Lotus Domino Infrastructure and Guarding Against Information Loss
IBM Lotus Domino and Blackberry – Meeting the New Mobile Demand
DXL in the Wild
Integrating SAP and IBM Lotus Notes
Getting Started with IBM Lotus Forms Turbo
Tools, Tools, Tools
Building Effective Email Policies – Best Practices and Procedures
IBM Lotus Notes 8.5: Learn How to Roam with Us
Upgrading to IBM Lotus Sametime Server 8
Talent Management in Turbulent Economic Times
“It’s “Not Easy Being Green” — But We Can Help!
The Lotus Symphony Yoga

Introduced in 2006, Jamfest has been a popular Lotusphere event since its inception. It’s an informal gathering of attendees, presenters, and gurus with musical talent (or, some would say, an instrument, anyway). It’s always been in the tent from the reception but, in a year of changing locations, they moved it to the Dolphin Ballroom this year (kinda cool actually).

Check out a video from this year’s Jamfest here:

And here are a few from last year: http://lotusphereblog.com/blog/lotusphere.nsf/dx/lotusphere-jamfest-bigger-and-better-in-2009

Lotus Positions For Geeks
On Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday mornings, Libby Ingrassia gave a yoga session to start the day. It was supposed to happen by the pool each day, but the weather in Orlando didn’t cooperate (it was as cold as the low 30s for the first few moringins). Libby was not detered however, and held the sessions inside. A good crowd was there too. check out her pre-lotusphere article for more details at http://www.lotususergroup.org/submissions.nsf/0/F35BA8A711DF91408625753C005FEE1E?opendocument#lotus

Mini-Keynote on SaaS
Lotus Online Collaboration: Experience the Possibiliies.  Sean Poulley, vice president of online collaboration software, opened this session, reiterating the announcement from the Opening General Session that Bluehouse is now LotusLive, a saas offering from Lotus.

Built with open Web-based standards and an open business model, LotusLive can be easily integrated with third party applications and boasts features like “Click to Cloud” — the ability to seamlessly link on-premise solutions with LotusLive services. through several live demos, the session went on to cover other features of Lotuslive, like the partnerships with LinkedIn and Skype. Check out the detailed review of the sesion from editor Erin Durkin of LotusUsergroup.org  at http://lotususergroup.org/submissions.nsf/ContentSpotlight/22A654019511FFBD8625754A00794F28/?OpenDocument

Mini Keynote on Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC)
This year’s 2nd mini-keynote was focused on Unified Communications and was tied together with an entertaining “Get Smart” theme, featuring music and jokes based around the popular television show (and recent movie). At one point, Bruce Morse, vice president of Unified Communications Software, even pretended to answer a call with his shoe phone, reminiscent of the character Maxwell Smart. This theme created a nice flow throughout the presentation and helped listeners stay engaged with the content.

The session went on to highlight IBM Lotus Sametime’s progress in 2008, including 60% of sales being for new licenses and Sametime Advanced playing a major role in this growth. htey cited case studies of companies like Bank of Delaware, who accelerated its risk management project by three weeks when it used Sametime’s voice chat and IM capabilities, as well as Sametime’s operability on its users BlackBerry devices.

Ron Sebastian and Konrad Lagarde demonstrated features of Sametime 8.5 which should be released in the middle of this year and focuses on meetings, as IBM performed a major overhaul of the server side of Sametime, making meetings more reliable and easier to use.  Ron and Konrad showed the audience how to perform an instant screen grab, which enables you to quickly share an entire screen with other people with which you’re chatting. Additional demonstrations included the Click-to-Call feature, the ability to be on two calls at once, the capability to launch Collaboration services from the user’s applications and business processes or from the Sametime client, and more. For a more detailed description of the session see Erin Durkin’s review at http://lotususergroup.org/submissions.nsf/ContentSpotlight/90ED6F3642721D7F8625754B0006FFD6/?OpenDocument

for more information on UCC solutions from Lotus go to http://www-01.ibm.com/software/lotus/unified-communications

Based on the concept of speed dating, in this session attendees move as a group from one presenter to another in 5 minute intervals. During the 5 minutes the presenter gives a presentation on a particular topic. Changed for 2009, this year the session was divided up into a group for developers and one for administrators. It’s a fun, exciting way to learn valuable tips and information from the experts. There were about 20 different tables. Some of the experts and topics included:
Declan Lynch –  developing Global Multilingual Applications.
Andy Pedisich, Rob Axelrod – Security
Franzie Whitlock, Security
Warren Elsmore – the client interface of Traveler being setup
Keith Brooks – for errors and jvm problems
Chris Blatnick – Cool UI Tricks Everyone Can Do
Devin Olson – Cool things you never thought you could do with Notes

Mini Keynote on Social Networking
Social Software – Creating Value today, Establishing Opportunity Tomorrow. This Wednesday morning session offered a lot of great information, theatrical fun, and illustration of the practical application of social software. Jess Schick, Vice President of social software at IBM, kicked off the session, talking about the need in business today to avoid distractions in work. He then went on to introduce real customers who have deployed Lotus Social Networking solutions to solve challenges in their businesses.

First he introduced Ian Haynes, Senior IT Manager for HSBC, a company with 9500 offices in 85 countries and more than 300,000 staff operating 5 key financial businesses. They needed to find a way to get their employees to work together more effectively, escaping from a pattern of individualism due, in large part, to a culture of confidentiality. They implemented an integrated social networking solution with Lotus including email, instant messaging, telephony, streaming media, and Connections.

The next customer to the stage was Guy Alvarez, Director of research and Development for PLI, the Practicing Law Institute. PLI is a non profit organization focused on providing Continuing Legal Education (C.L.E.) to legal professionals. They needed to utilize new technology to improve training. Narrowing down from 4 vendors to Lotus, the solution they selected included Connections and Quickr, Domino (for messaging and directory), Lotus Sametime, Tivoli Directory Integrator and DB2.

The final customer to take the stage was Randy Reynolds, Vice President of Product Management at Success Factors, a company that provide employers with performance & talent management solutions ranging from recruiting to performance, compensation and succession, and everything in between.
Serving more than 2400 customers with more than 4 million users in 185 countries, they used Connections to integrate into their existing systems and database to provide employers with better capabilities to match-up positions with an extensive database of employee attributes and detailed profiles, ensuring that the right person fits the right career position. Reynolds demonstrated the system to the audience.

In an encore to last year’s presentation, Jeff Schick returned to the stage to entertain the audience with an episode of “Business Survivor.” Based on the TV show Survivor, 3 pretend vendors tried to demonstrate and sell their solutions to the panel of 3 judges (the customers previously mentioned).

First, the “Gibe Tribe” presented a solution with lots of animal graphics, tons of personal postings, and not much else. Next the Flare tribe handed out a bunch of flyers and then blew his demo. And, finally, the Lotus tribe showed the cool solution by demoing Connections and Quickr with file sharing, the ability to tag and rate entries and indicate who else the file has been shared with. Another Lotus demonstration showed a new feature of community wikis with the ability to co-author pages and compare versions, add new pages, and more. She showed a discussion forum, blog entries, and the other Connections features, and finished up with a demo of how one can even customize the application by moving around the portlet or changing the “skin” or theme.

She then went on to demo the Lotus Connections Mobile browser showing the richer mobile profiles, and showing it on an iPhone.   She demoed access status updates, profiles, blogs, activities, and the ability to call people simply by clicking on a link in their profile. She even showed the integration with SuccessFactors database. And finally she gave a preview of upcoming features including semantic search and navigation maps.

I’ll let you guess who won. It may not have had the suspense of TV’s Survivor, but at least we got to see John Dunderdale blow out the lights again!

Check out the full story here:

Lotusphere IDOL
Lotusphere IDOL is a 3 part competition where the winner gets to give a session at Lotusphere (read more about it here: http://www.lotususergroup.org/Submissions.nsf/ContentSpotlight/1BCA460FFA9CDFCD86257514005D136F/?OpenDocument ). Session abstracts are submitted prior to Lotusphere, competitor sessions are selected, and competitors perform a mini, 5 minute session in front of judges (and an audience). The winning presentation gets to present their session at that yer’s Lotusphere on Thursday morning.

It was introduced last year and was extremely popular. But this year there was a twist. Conpetitors included:

Andy Donaldson — “We can rebuild it, we have the technology: Uncovering the mystery of InstallShield Tuner for Lotus Notes”
Nate Lowry & Matt Rosno — “Agile development and Lotus Symphony”
Andrew Brew — “Replaceable Parts”
Mark Ambler & Angel Figueroa — ” Flexing IBM Lotus Domino: Building Rich Internet Applications Using IBM Lotus Domino and Macromedia Flash”
Michelle Snow — “Nicks and Scrapes From the Cutting Edge: Making the Move to Rich Internet Applications (RIA) with Domino”

Here’s the twist. Matt Rosno and Nate Lowry are students at the Univirsity of Nebraska Raikers School of Computer Science and Management. And guess who won. That’s right. Two students won the Lotusphere IDOL contest with a presentation on what Chris Miller said was, “… some of the best plug-in work for Symphony I have seen/heard,” (and you thought the young kids weren’t into Lotus software). The winners went on to give a session in a packed room on Thursday morning. Maybe they’ll be back next year.

“What’s Gurupalooza?” you ask. It’s that one last chance to pick the brains of the experts giving the sessions at Lotusphere. It’s kind of a collaborative “geek fest” where dozens of the presenters get up on stage and take questions from the audience.

It’s a packed session, the size of a mini-keynote. Hundreds of people show up and the gurus make sure they’re entertained as well as informed. The session’s  opening question was a jab at Nathan Freeman of Lotus911 from one of his colleagues, asking why his session went so badly (technical difficulties seemed to be the gist of the answer, but people enjoyed the jesting). Many of the questions were focused on Lotus technologes, announcements, and IBM policy focused (although, no on one the panel was from IBM). And some where just plain jabs.

Some of the more technical focused questions included “what should we look out for in XPages?” (The gist of the answer was watch for some things that don’t work), “What should we be weary of with DOAS?” (The general answer was get used to not having all your data in an .nsf, and a tip to remember to back up your .NLO files, but back up your .NSF files first), and “is the Roaming Feature in 8.5 production ready?” (Basically yes, but for the standard Client only, not applicable in the basic client). Some of the most fun moments included a little jabbing at Microsoft (when asked if any of the gurus would hire some of the recently laid off Microsofters, one jokingly answered, “yes, my company needs a janitor.”). In another interesting moment, one of the Gurus asked a question. Gabriella Davis, asked Matt Rosno and Nate Lowry (the university students who won Lotusphere IDOL) “When hunting people of your generation to come into the flock, are the products interesting for you and useful to your friends? What would you find interesting about the products?” In a serious answer, Nate and matt described that they like how the solutions are open and easy to work with and they enjoy trying out new products and solutions to develop with. They went on to say, however, that while the staff and administration at the university use Lotus Notes, as students, it doesn’t really happen. They don’t really have a need to create calendar events to get together, the bars are always open. And they added that there could be a lot more student involvement, especially if more were invited to come to Lotusphere. They also added that they learned a lot from being at Lotusphere and enjoyed being involved in the community.

The session offered a lot of fun, but even more information and insight.

Closing Session
A wonderful, fun, and inspiring session featuring conductor Ben Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. The session started out with an introduction by Vice President marketing and Channels Lotus Software and Webshere Portal, Kristen Lauria. The session included some of the footage, captured at Lotusphere for he Working Smarter campaign, showing customers from all over the world video-casting their experiences with Lotus software. Then conductor Ben Zander gave an entertaining presentation on resonance and leadership, emphasizing how leadership styles have changed over the years. From his description of leadership and conducting an orchestra, to his demonstrating his point by conducting the audience in a round of Happy Birthday to an audience member named Eric, he demonstrated a pint that fit in well with the overall conference message of leadership through collaboration and resonance.

You can check out a cool video clip of Ben Zander’s appearance here: http://www.lotususergroup.org/submissions.nsf/ContentSpotlight/1a9f5d6def6e055c862573a4003eec61?OpenDocument&TableRow=

Once again, the Lotusphere team put together another great event. As is evident by listening to our podcasts, reading our updates, checking out all the blog posts through Planet Lotus, or talking to any of the Lotus professionals who attended, the event was a great opportunity for learning, networking, and fun.  If you didn’t make it this year, be sure to get there in 2010!

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