One of the strongest new themes at Lotusphere was how to make the best use of social media and collaboration tools in business. The focus on social media was hardly surprising given that a recent IBM study predicted that the market for worldwide social platforms will increase by 33 per cent in 2011 and triple in size by 2014.
IBM said it will bring its social software portfolio to the most successful mobile devices on the market, including RIM’s BlackBerry, the iPad, iPhone and Android devices. Lotus Traveler and other native apps on mobile devices are a key strategy to drive the adoption of IBM technologies.
There was also considerable talk at Lotusphere about the ‘cloud’. IBM launched a new version of LotusLive Symphony to give companies a social platform to simultaneously collaborate on documents in the cloud. This suite enables access to documents whether you are inside or outside the company’s firewall, and allows authors to either privately work on documents, or co-edit them with other people in real time.
Lotusphere remains a gathering of the Lotus Notes / Domino faithful and the good news is that IBM continues to invest heavily in Notes and Domino. Look for future IBM announcements regarding “Notes Next”, which was previewed in the Opening Session, but without an official launch date.
A common assessment of the technical sessions indicated there was more content and greater interest in the content than in recent years. One session in particular for administrators well received centered on moving from Domino Administration to WebSphere Administration, which was presented in a one hour session from Chris Miller.
IBM continues to push hard on WebSphere, Lotus Connections, cloud (with Lotus Live) and WebSphere Portal technologies. The big difference this year was we also heard that same message from a lot of client organizations. Especially interesting was hearing various organization’s vision to extend collaboration using Connections and Websphere Portal.
Another sure sign of the growth of these emerging technologies were the numerous requests for tools to monitor WebSphere, Lotus Connections, Sametime Meetings and Lotus Traveler usage. (Look for future versions of ! VitalSigns and our other tools to accommodate these administrative / monitoring request.)
All in all, this years Lotusphere was a tick above the shows of recent years with IBM still managing to make Notes Domino a bedrock collaborative technology while providing extensive offerings in both the emerging cloud and Social Business technology waves.