Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for January 19th, 2010

Live @ Lotusphere 2010, Day Two: Making Lotus Connections

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Another session I attended earlier today (and a debrief promised from an earlier post) revolved around the Lotus Connections platform.

Sure, I’m biased, I work for Big Blue, but let me just say that before I get into the specifics, I’m a regular user of the Lotus Connections product by design.

IBM is definitely walking its own talk in this particular arena, and I can personally attest to the way it has changed the way I (and my extended global team) work.

For example, I run a weekly Web team call that has been continuous for going on six years now.  Every Friday, 10 AM CST, sharp (except when I’m on a jet plane to nowhere).

I used to manage the communications for the call entirely through Lotus Notes, and while I’m a Notes fan as well, Connections has helped ease the pain of managing that call.

For example, I’ve asked all 70+ regular participants to go and “Join” the community I set up for the call in Connections, so now instead of having to manage an access control list, I’m crowdsourcing the subscription list.

You want to have access to information about the call (including call-in #s and the weekly Symphony presentation), then you simply join and you’re automagically emailed the info as soon as I send it out.

Talk about a time saver and productivity enhancer.

I’ve also used the Connections community for this particular call to share important industry news, and embedded several helpful RSS feeds so the group can follow some other important info threads.

We also have a discussion group there to discuss issues of importance to our global Software Web community, and the email function lets me easily send out dispatches to the global team no matter where in the world I am.

The SWG Web Marketing Community also allows me to take advantage of the blogging feature, so that I can share info about coming calls and anecdotes worthy of the community’s attention.

Finally, I share all my presentations from each week in the “Files” service, so that anybody can go back in time and download an earlier presentation should they be interested in reading more about that week’s given topic/call.

All of this in a single community, and all powered by Lotus Connections.

Testify, Turbo, testify!

In terms of today’s informative update, Suzanne Livingston and team shared insights about IBM’s own wider adoption of Connections, which will ultimately replace the IBM Bluepages directory.

She explained that social collaboration’s mission is simple: Lotus Connections is social software for business that is focused on people based collaboration that empowers you with the collective knowledge of your organization, your partners and your customers, and helps people build better outcomes.

Got that?  Good, ’cause there will be a quiz later.

For organizations needing to cut costs and provide for workforce flexibility, all while helping leverage collective organizational expertise and communicating with employees as individuals, Lotus Connections 2.5 fits the bill.

Need more insight?  The right info at the right time in the right context, and all while magnifying the value of your content?

Lotus Connections 2.5 fits the bill.

Need an advantage by leveraging your innovation across your full value chain, all while improving the strength and speed of making connections and depth of relationships?

All together now.

Okay, enough Kum Ba Ya and instead some details about the new version of Lotus Connections:

Improvements to Communities

Communities can be enhanced with additional tools: communitiy activities, blogs, files, and wikis. Community discussion forums have a new look and now show the number of replies for each topic; community owners can customize the look of their community and move widgets around on the community’s home page.


Wikis let you create sites to collaboratively author and share documents. Built-in revision history makes it a snap to roll back to previous versions.

Files makes sharing files with other people a snap, and reduces inbox bloat.

Mobile access

Support for mobile browser to Lotus Connections Profiles from Apple iPhones or Nokia s60 devices.

Federated Updates

The Connections home page has a new Updates tab that lets you see news items relevant to you from across your social network. Use the “discover” tab to easily browse content from across all of connections.


Profiles now features status updates and a profile “board” that lets you easily post messages to other users’ profiles. Go to the profiles home page to see a list of status updates for all the people in your social network. Discover profiles by expertise with the organization-wide tag cloud.

Improved Search

Easily search all connections applications, and filter by tags, person, or time range.

Activities & Blogs feature Community Integration

Tired of adding the same people to an activity or blog in order to share it with them? Use a community to start group-centric activities or blogs.

Visit here to learn how you can better connect your organization with Lotus Connections 2.5.

Written by turbotodd

January 19, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Live @ Lotusphere 2010: Day 1 Wrap-up Podcast

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Scott Laningham and I met late yesterday afternoon to compare notes and record a recap what we learned at Day 1 of Lotusphere.

You can download the podcast here (MP3, 18:04).

In this podcast, we hit on what we thought were some of the highlights of the very informative first day and also recapped all the key Lotus announcements.

Written by turbotodd

January 19, 2010 at 9:54 pm

IBM 4Q09 Earnings Debrief

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IBM just announced its 4Q09 earnings, and came in at $3.59 ESP, which was up 10% year-over-year (YOY).

That brought the full year to $10.01 EPS, up 13% YOY.

The 4Q of 09 rise was led by a number of factors, including strong gains in both hardware and software — on the hardware side, by increases on POWER, System x, Blades, and Storage, and in software, by WebSphere, Tivoli and IBM’s branded middleware.

The quarter also saw services signings of $18.8B (actual), and a PTI margin that was up 1.9 points YOY with $7.2B free cash flow.

For the full year, hardware strength included that mentioned above along with strong demand in Total Servers.

There was full year strength with IBM Software in branded middleware, with particular growth in the WebSphere, Tivoli, and Rational lines.

Services signings for the full year were $57B and included a $137B backlog, with IBM outsourcing signings growing up 9% YOY, and 11% at constant currency.

IBM’s full year PTI was up 2.8 points YOY, with a $15.1B free cash flow.

This made for IBM’s 7th consecutive year of double-digit EPS growth, and the expectation is that IBM will reach at least $11.00 EPS in 2010.

Click over to IBM Investor Relations to see more about IBM’s 2009 4Q and full year earnings.

Written by turbotodd

January 19, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Posted in earnings

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LotusLive @ Lotusphere 2010

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Greetings from Orlando.

Never have so many Connections passed so many Notes so Quickr(ly) in so little time.

Okay, so I’m a little stupid and a little foggy after all the real-time social networking from last evening.

It was so wonderful to see some of my own extended team here in Orlando, and to meet some real faces after long, virtual relationships.

Putting a face to the name…we really have to do this more often.

For now, I want to catch you up on Sean Poulley’s “LotusLive” keynote from this morning.

Sean reminded us LotusLive was formally launched only a year ago, at Lotusphere 2009, and that we now have some 18M customers worldwide.

The cloud is getting bigger, but the storm didn’t build up overnight.  It’s been a steady series of “drops,” including LotusLive Connections (June 2009), LotusLive iNotes (Sept 2009), LotusLive Global (Oct 2009, multiple language support)…and, well, the LotusLive team didn’t get much vacation time last year.

Now, the news is the continued expansion of IBM’s cloud computing footprint, continued partnership expansion (including Skype, UPS, and Xerox, among others), the partnership with IBM Research through LotusLive Labs, among other highlights.

Poulley explained that many customers, as well as IBM, have had to do more with less during the downturn, and the efficiency of cloud computing provides ease in increasing or decreasing user profiles while not sacrificing speed of deployment — in fact, many customers are finding cloud expansions to be much faster than on-premises solutions even as the cloud lowers their overall total cost of ownership.

That’s one way to beat the recession.

There’s also new news around IBM’s Lotus Symphony productivity suite, with version 3 expected to be released in beta in March.

For that, there’s been an overhaul of the user experience/interface, improved Microsoft Office 2007 support, VB Macro Support, and embedded document support (allowing multimedia embeds directly in your presos).

There’s also going to be autotext support for you text macro-generating wizards, as well as support for printing labels, biz cards, envelopes, and the like.

As I Tweeted from a session yesterday, it’s time to leave the Office for the Symphony!

As for me, I’m off to do some more real-time social networking, but will be providing another post later today with an update from the AM Lotus Connections session.

Written by turbotodd

January 19, 2010 at 4:33 pm

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