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:
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:
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:
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?)
A trivia question related to pi and my teammate’s subsequent recitation of pi to ten digits reminded me of this memory which I may not yet have shared here.
It was an evening get-together with several friends in the roofdeck garden of our home in the Philippines. After dinner, the conversation turned to geek superpowers, the little specialties and quirks we’d developed over time. The friend on my left started reciting the digits of pi. To my surprise, the friend on my right joined in – the same pace, the same digits, and I in the middle entranced by this melody of tenor and baritone. They went to about 100 digits head to head, then one dropped out; the other continued to 200 digits or so. It was as sublime a concert as I have ever listened to.
If you’re curious, you might want to check out the Wikipedia page on piphilology – the creation and use of techniques for remembering pi.
Like the way beauty often brings pleasure to viewers, my reaction to intellectual displays is closer to “Oooh, that’s awesome” than to “You have way too much free time.” W- and I have tons of geek moments, and I’m lucky to meet so many people who relish being geeky. Life is good.