Monday, November 1, 2010

Tom Duff and Marie Scott on the future of Sametime

THE DOMINOPOWER INTERVIEW

By David Gewirtz

We are very pleased to continue our with interview Tom Duff and Marie Scott about their new book IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User's Guide, as shown in Figure A.

FIGURE A

Here's Tom, Marie, and their new book.

In this installment, we ask Tom and Marie about the future of Sametime and Lotus collaboration solutions.

DG:

Where do you think Sametime fits in the emerging world of social networking?

Marie:

In the Lotus product line, Sametime works with Lotus Connections. I'd like to see more growth and integration with Connections.

DG:

Where does Connections fit into the Lotus solution environment and what sort of specific integration would you like to see?

Marie:

As for Lotus Connections and Sametime integration, I'd like to see Sametime capabilities everywhere in Lotus Connections. Why have social software if it isn't more conversational? Live chats, persistent chats, chat contacts, group chats, meeting integration, all should be fully functional in Lotus Connections. Who knows, maybe that's in the plan for Lotus Connections in the future or as part of Project Vulcan. Where's my crystal ball when I need it?!

DG:

What big trends do you see in unified communications and collaboration for 2011?

Tom:

I think that you'll continue to see more integration between voice communications and collaboration software over the next year. Being able to make and receive calls in your messaging system, as well as get voice mails there, is possible but it hasn't quite crossed the chasm yet to be overly common.

DG:

How about as far out as 2015?

Tom:

Who knows? In 2005, no one would have imagined Twitter in 2010... "Why do we need that? We have text messaging on our phones already."

I'm guessing that you'll see more collaboration reside "in the cloud," which could mean the dividing line between personal and professional email and instant messaging could become even more blurred. Collaboration tools will also likely continue to adapt to mobile devices so that you can access and participate from anywhere at any time.

DG:

Where do you think Lotus will fit (and what do you think the company needs to do) to compete strongly in a world of Microsofts and Facebooks? I know Facebook is consumer-oriented, but that may not always be the case.

Tom:

It's a difficult fight, as you're continually fighting this perception that Lotus is declining in the market. The Lotus collaboration offering is extremely powerful, but it's still seemingly positioned as primarily an email system. Notes/Domino has to be touted as an entire application development platform that allows for rapid development at low cost. In addition, Lotus has to make sure they clarify where different offerings fit in the market, where Connections fit vs. Quickr vs. Notes/Domino, etc.