Live @ Lotusphere, Day 3: Goin’ Mobile
It’s Day 3 at Lotusphere, and my brain is slowly evolving into collaborative mush.
I had a great chat with some business partners from New Jersey over breakfast, who explained that they were Lotus faithful and had been coming to the event for over 10 years now.
They told me how they thought this was the FIRST year they’d been here where the event didn’t seem to revolve completely around the next release of Lotus Notes, and that there was a much broader view into the Lotus collaboration portfolio.
And, they seemed to be digging it.
Well, gents, I definitely don’t think that was a happy accident, but we very much appreciate the feedback and are glad you think we seem to be heading in the right direction.
As to this AM, let’s get to some breaking news coming out of the second floor of the Dolphin hotel press conference.
First, more news on the emerging IBM Lotus mobile strategy, which includes a major expansion of IBM Lotus Collaboration software and delivery of enterprise secure email for Android, the iPhone, and Nokia Symbian-based smartphones.
IBM customer General Motors related during the event this week how it’s building for an increasingly mobile workforce, connected and equipped for anything, anytime, anywhere.
Specifically, GM chief strategy and technology officer Kirk Guttman explained he has thousands of people on iPhones and BlackBerry devices using their Lotus collaboration tools while in motion, increasing their productivity while in motion…just not behind me while driving down the Interstate, please!
As mentioned the other day, the Lotus Notes Traveler Companion, a plug-in that allows you to view encrypted email on the iPhone. Available in the Apple App store now.
Traveler will also be supported on Nokia Symbian smartphones and Windows Mobile devices, because we want to be sure Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie can securely read one another’s Lotus Notes email on their iPhones.
That was a joke! Get it, Ray and Bill, Lotus Notes, iPhone!? (Well, let’s give Bill credit…he did apparently just get his own Twitter account after three years of critical Twittering mass).
Next up, we had some great news on the online meeting front, which is where, as you know, I spend most of my life.
In fact, I think I’m supposed to be in an emeeting right at this very moment! Doh!
These new features in IBM Lotus Sametime offer a new online meeting experience that provides a consolidated calndar view and enables users to start or join a meeting with a single click…because taking a few clicks to open an emeeting was apparently a major labor on the part of IBMers and customers around the globe!
Just kidding…I love one click access, particularly to the delete button in my Notes mail inbox.
With this new feature, users are going to be able to easily invite participants to a meeting by dragging names from their IM contact list and dropping them into the meeting.
Participants will also be able to accept meeting invites with a single click as well as upload materials to the meeting with a drag and drop capability.
I presume this also means I can drop you OUT of the meeting if you’re misbehaving.
IBM Lotus has had a number of world class companies participating in a beta to test out these new capabilities.
Thomas Eidenmueller with Merck KGaAsaid that “With our planned deployment of Lotus Sametime 8.5 in the second quarter of 2010, we will be able to further lower travel expenses with our plans to run education sessions both internally and externally with our partners.”
Other new features of Sametime 8.5 worth highlighting: Always-ready, reservation-less meetings with password-protected meeting rooms…a zero-download Web client that makes it easier for companies to embed Sametime capabilities into their apps and Web sites…a new browser-based Apple iPhone chat client, for all you Macheads out there…and enhancements to the Sametime Unified Telephony capability, which helps users better manage their phone calls based on presence and location.
That one’s a no brainer for companies that have an exceptionally mobile workforce, and I’ve used that function when I was working remotely and didn’t want to run up a big phone bill from overseas.
Have wifi and Sametime Unified Telelphony, will travel.
Finally, for those of you on the small and medium sized business front, IBM announced today that it’s working with business partners to create solutions integrated with IBM Lotus Foundations to help small and medium business address the challenge of complexity.
Lotus Foundations is IBM’s hardware and software solution that helps SMBs collaborate with tools that include email, office apps, file sharing, and backup/data recovery and protection.
Lotus Foundations basically provides a one-stop shop for smaller businesses that want to focus on running their business (and not their IT infrastructure), and because the Foundations solution is autonomic, you can install, setup, monitor, and do problem resolution without human intervention.
Speaking of human intervention, I need to intervene with myself and cut off this post. That’s it, that’s a wrap, and I think that’s the fastest I’ve ever typed in my life…and I’m a fast typist (they don’t call me Turbo for nothin’).
More to come later today, including our podcast interview with IBMer Rawn Shah, author of “Social Networking for Business.”
In the meantime, I encourage you to read this thoughtful post from ReadWriteWeb’s Alex Williams about IBM vs. Microsoft’s approach to the open Web.