Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lotusphere 2012: IBM on the outside, Lotus on the inside


By Mick Moignard

Last week, we showcased mobile and Notes, but the most surprising item on the show list was the shortest iBM product name we've ever seen. This week, we wrap up our Lotusphere observations.

LotusLive has changed. Here's another name change, and this one is longer than the IBM Docs product I discussed last week. LotusLive becomes IBM SmartCloud for SocialBusiness, which makes the Lotus name even more exclusive in terms of the number of things it's now applied to. But it again says that IBM is corporately comfortable with the services offered in LotusLive, so much so that it wants to pull it all into a larger presence.

IBM SmartCloud for Social Business will get a new look and a new URL, while still offering the same services and functions, with more to come. One benefit that the cloud brings to on-premises Domino users is that updates to Domino are now made, not just for the direct benefit of direct customers, but also are aimed at the serviceability, functionality and TCO of the cloud offerings.

IBM's Director, Social Business Cloud, Rebecca Buisan, told me that most Domino updates get to IBM SC for SB (I really can't type all that again!) before they get released into the wild, which means that for those of us who still run Domino servers, the reliability should be that much better because they'll have been run for real in the cloud first.

One product that we really didn't hear a lot about was Quickr. Indeed, Quickr J (the Websphere version) seems to be all but gone from a visiblity point of view. I can only guess that the sense of pulling it all into Connections is becoming a reality.

Quickr for Domino was a little more visible, with a session that discussed the current state of play and future enhancements, including a roadmap to 2014 and the next two versions. It now seems now to be regarded as a Domino-based document management solution as much as it's a team collaboration tool.

We saw a lot less of the Lotus brand itself. The only part of the conference branding with the word Lotus in it was the conference name. And as you registered, you could not help but notice that the bag wasn't yellow, either, until you opened it and found that the interior lining was yellow.

I wondered at the time if this would turn out to be a theme of the show itself: IBM on the outside, Lotus on the inside, too. I think IBM themselves were a bit twitchy, too. At the end of the OGS they announced that there would indeed be a Lotusphere 2013. So the Lotus name has contracted back to the core Lotus Notes and Domino products, and Symphony. IBM Domino, anyone?

Lotusphere show report

So, what else can we read from Lotusphere? Was it a good one?

Firstly, the attendance seemed to be OK. Many of the sessions I went to were pretty busy, and there was the usual crush in the coffee areas between sessions, continuously moving lines at lunch, and crowded and noisy bars in the evenings.