This was my first Lotusphere, and it was a blast. Lotus has such an active, passionate, experienced community around it. Heading to the conference, my goals were:
- [X] Learn more about Lotus Connections adoption and APIs
- [X] Learn about IBM’s strategy and innovations
- [X] Get a sense of the ecosystem around Lotus (partners, clients, etc.)
- [X] Meet people and make personal connections
- [X] Brainstorm and share insights
- [X] Show my appreciation for the cool work people do
- [X] Learn more about conferences and presentations
- [X] Fulfill my room monitor responsibilities
Here’s what I took away from the sessions and BoFs I attended:
Clients are interested in collaboration and have lots of adoption insights. We’re starting to see interesting case studies from clients. In addition to reporting excellent returns on their investments, clients shared qualitative feedback, such as stories of pilot groups who couldn’t imagine giving up the tools. Successful clients used executive support, communication plans, mentoring, metrics, incentives, role models, and other techniques to help people make new forms of collaboration part of the way people worked. sketchnotes from the birds-of-a-feather session on adoption
LotusLive is awesome. LotusLive currently includes web conferencing and parts of Lotus Connections. LotusLive Labs includes a technical preview of LotusLive Symphony (collaborative document/spreadsheet editing), Slide Library, and Event Maps. (I wish I’d seen Event Maps when I was planning my Lotusphere attendance!) Granted, Google Docs has been around for longer than LotusLive Symphony, but I’m curious about the ability to assign sections for editing or review.
Activity streams and embedded experiences are going to change the inbox. I don’t know when this is going to go into people’s everyday lives, but the idea of being able to act on items right from the notifications will be pretty cool – whether it’s in an enriched mail client like Lotus Notes or a web-based activity stream that might be filtered by different attention management algorithms. It’ll be interesting to figure out the security implications of this, though. It’s already a bad practice to click on links in e-mail right now, so full embedded transactions might encounter resistance or might open up new phishing holes. Project Vulcan is worth watching.
People are already doing interesting things with the Lotus Connections API. Embedding Lotus Connections content / interactions into other websites, adding more information to Lotus Connections, using different authentication mechanisms… people are rocking the API. The compliance API that’s coming soon will help people do even more with Lotus Connections interactions, too.
The next version of Lotus Connections will be even cooler. I’m particularly excited about the idea blogs and the forum improvements, which seem tailor-made for the kind of collective virtual brainstorming we’ve been doing in Idea Labs. Idea blogs are straightforward – a blog post or question with comments that can be voted up or down – but they’ll go a long way to enabling new use cases. Forums will also have question/answer/best answer support.
Sametime Unified Telephony rocks. I need to find out how to get into that. I like click-to-call ringing everyone’s preferred devices, easy teleconferences, and rules for determining phone forwarding.
Lotus Notes and Domino are getting even more powerful. XPages looks pretty cool. I’ll leave the rest of the commentary on this to other bloggers, as my work doesn’t focus enough on Lotus Notes and Domino for me to be able to give justice to the improvements.
The Lotus ecosystem is doing well. Lots of activity and investment from partners and clients.
Analytics + research = opportunity. Interesting research into attention management, activity streams, social network analysis.
Lotus geeks are a world of their own. It’s amazing to spend time with people who have immersed themselves deeply in a technology platform for almost two decades. There’s a depth and richness here that I don’t often find at technology conferences. There’s also a lot of tough love – people like IBM, and they’re not afraid to call us out if we’re not clear or if we seem to be making mistakes. =)
Notes from conversations
The hallway track (those informal encounters and chance connections) resulted in great conversations. For me, the highlights were:
- Being adopted by various groups – so helpful for this Lotusphere newbie! Special thanks to @alex_zzz>, @belgort, @billmachisky, @branderson3, @ericmack, and @notesgoddess for bringing me into fascinating conversations.
- Andy Schirmer walking me through his task spreadsheet with eight years of task data summarized in some very cool graphs. I want to have data like that.
- Talking to Hiro about crowdsourcing and sharing the cool things we’ve been doing with Idea Labs.
- Seeing all these people I met online. Finally getting to meet Tessa Lau, Bruce Elgort, Julian Robichaux, Mitch Cohen, and other folks, too! It’s great to be able to connect with people on a personal level, thanks to blog posts and Twitter. (How do people manage to keep up to date and remember all of this stuff? I felt all warm and fuzzy when people congratulated me on the recent wedding, and I wished I remembered more tidbits about them. Working on that!)
- Being reminded by David Brooks and other early adopters that I’ve been around from the beginning of Lotus Connections. (Okay, David did that in a BoF.) It seems Lotus Connections has always been around. <laugh>
- Joining the geek trivia challenge. The questions about television and comics went way over my head, but it was good to spend time with other folks, and I had so much fun. Well worth needing to figure out how to get back to the Port Orleans hotel after the conference shuttle service ended.
- Talking to Jeanne Murray and Rawn Shah about a personal maturity model for social business. Some ideas: control of recipients, trust, transparency, conflict resolution techniques, asymmetric knowledge of others, persona separation/integration, acceptance of change; overlap with leadership maturity models; context dependency of decisions…
- Talking to Bonnie John about the politics of writing about process improvement. Interesting thing to untangle. More thinking needed.
- Swapping tips on Gen Y life with Julie Brown, Alexander Noble (@alex_zzz>), Brandon Anderson (@branderson3), and others
If I get to attend Lotusphere again, I’d love to be able to stay at the conference hotel. It would be much more convenient and I’d be able to go to more of the evening get-togethers. The chances of my being able to attend again probably depend on how much of the Social Business adoption consulting we’ll get to do over the next year, and I hope we do a lot. I’d also make time to check out the showcase. I missed it this year, thanks to all that chatting.
Next actions for me
For work, I’ll probably focus on external Web 2.0 / social media site development while other groups figure out the structure for social business adoption consulting. I’m looking forward to learning from the case studies, insights, and questions that people have shared, though, and I’d love to do more work in this section.
Here’s what I need to do for post-conference wrap-up:
- [X] Go through my index cards and write additional notes
- [ ] Contact people I met and follow up on conversations
- [ ] Catch up with work mail
- [ ] Catch up with personal mail
] Write further reflections
- [ ] Time analysis
- [ ] Appearance and bias
- [ ] IBM and women in technology
- [ ] Reflections on careers, loyalty, story, and alternatives
- [ ] Presentation reflections (time for questions, presentation style, rapport, morning sessions?)
- [ ] Plan my next steps
Other Lotusphere 2011 wrap-ups you might like: Chris Connor, David Greenstein, Luis Benitez (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5), Andy Donaldson, Marc Champoux (… where are the female bloggers’ writeups?)