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Why I have such a hard line on the risk of Portal being over-pushed at Lotusphere

By Andrew Pollack on 10/30/2008 at 07:01 PM EDT

Earlier today I posted a list of things I think should be closely considered in the planning for Lotusphere 2009....Vision For Hire

In among that list, I was pretty strong in my caution against over-pushing WAS and Portal in the way it was done for 2004. Ed came in to the defense of the Portal team, reminding me of the current date and of how there are several hundred people who came to Portal conventions earlier in the year. A couple of others have decried the value of that platform, which I still contend is a niche with little or no hope of ever achieving the deployment scale of Domino or having the kind of industry impact that Domino and its add-on products have had.

Let me be clear in saying that if there is actual demand for those sessions, I have no problem with them being there. What I have a huge problem with is the potential for massive artificial over-statement of demand for those sessions based on nothing more than the wishful thinking of IBM Global Services and the Portal product management team. That's what happened in 2004 with Workplace.

Why should I care -- Isn't it "IBM's Conference"?

No. It isn't IBM's Conference. If they weren't charging nearly $2,000 Dollars admission it would be. If someone pays that kind of money, they are a CUSTOMER and should be getting what they paid for, not just what IBM wants to give them. This is why I get so angry about the crappy Partnerworld download process. Because if you're charging me for the thing, than I am a customer and I have purchased the right to expect a high level of quality and availability.

I have no insight into the current plan. I have no way to know if it is happening again. I do know that NOW is the time to make my statement of warning to those who are in a position to figure it out. The proof of how this has gone down will come not a moment before the conference starts. IBM will have their RFID tagged conference badges to track session attendance, and those of us who care will have our own way to take a similar pulse -- the digital camera. I'm bringing mine with me, and if it looks as bad as it did in 2004 its going to be really obvious and really public.

Will IBM allow the actual demand of attendees to dictate the schedule or will then repeat the mistake of 2004 by attempting to drive that demand based on wishful thinking? We'll know at the end of January. Its going to look really bad if they have a bunch of pictures of giant empty rooms doing Portal demos to deal with.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.


There are  - loading -  comments....

Five years later..By Ed Brill on 10/30/2008 at 08:42 PM EDT
Andrew, is there any single indication across any aspect of Lotusphere itself
or the Lotus brand leadership of today that would lead you to believe that
there is any risk that mistakes made at Lotusphere five years ago are
likely to be repeated for LS09?
Yes. There is.By Andrew Pollack on 10/30/2008 at 08:54 PM EDT
The Lotus Award categories clearly over emphasize the use of Portal. If I
recall, there's even a portal specific category. No Domino specific category
or Notes Client specific category -- just Portal.

The over-pushing of Portal as a back end requirement for Sametime Advanced and
other products also shows this direction. Personally, I hope with Rhodin gone
this can be undone -- but I have little hope for it.

If I waited until the schedule was out to say my piece, there would be no point
in it. At this hour, there is still hope that the message can get through.

Obviously there can be nothing more specific until we see the results in
detail. By that time, however, all will be nearly set in stone.
re: Why I have such a hard line on the risk of Portal being over-pushed at LotusphereBy Ed Maloney on 10/31/2008 at 08:35 AM EDT
When they make a version of portal that can be used by the "average"
Notes/Domino person, I will be first in line to buy it. We have been waiting a
long, long time for that product and it still doesn't exist. I agree that WAS
should be a very small presence at Lotusphere. In fairness to IBM, they do
seem to recognize this and have (since 2004) been more focused on core
Notes/Domino at Lotusphere.
re: Why I have such a hard line on the risk of Portal being over-pushed at LotusphereBy Craig Wiseman on 10/31/2008 at 08:49 AM EDT
Agree 100%. I'm not anti-portal... I'm
anti-portal-the-way-it's-done-at-this-point.

With 8.5 Domino gets a J2EE engine (to drive xPages). It'd be way cool if the
use of that is expanded to allow other cool technologies (portal?) to fit in to
Domino as well as xPages.
re: Why I have such a hard line on the risk of Portal being over-pushed at LotusphereBy David Jones on 10/31/2008 at 10:07 AM EDT
I really hope it's not like the 2004 Lotusphere. I know I won't be attending a
single session on something Portal related.

I'm really excited about this coming Lotusphere and hopefully it can stay that
way after the session lists come out.
re: Why I have such a hard line on the risk of Portal being over-pushed at LotusphereBy Erik Brooks on 11/01/2008 at 09:51 AM EDT
This will be my first Lotusphere in 10 years of Domino dev/admin, and I'm
probably bringing a couple of other dev employees. We're an *S*MB that's all
Domino web dev.

I hear your concern, Andrew. I expect Lotusphere to be about the Lotus
products, and the flagship Lotus product is Notes/Domino, so it better darn
well be the primary focus of the entire event.

Yes, Sametime should be there, and Connections, etc., and as a result there
should be a small Websphere prescence to answer questions, etc. But the
majority of focus should be Notes/Domino stuff, especially with IBM still
playing catch-up to revitalize the platform. They've done (and are doing) some
great things with N/D now, but they can't rest on their laurels just yet.

But look at this statement from Ed: "...is any risk that mistakes made at
Lotusphere...". They're not stupid (well, Ed's not, at least). The fact that
Ed sees the 2004 stuff you're citing as "mistakes" is a Good Thing (tm).

The proof's in the pudding, though. We'll see how things play out.
re: Why I have such a hard line on the risk of Portal being over-pushed at LotusphereBy Charles Robinson on 11/18/2008 at 10:19 AM EST
I wasn't at Lotusphere 2004, but I was at Lotusphere 2006 and was dismayed by
the amount of Portal coverage:
http://www.cubert.net/2006/11/lotusphere-session-breakdown-take-2.html . It
seemed to get toned down a bit for 2007 and 2008, but with Sametime, Quickr and
Connections being built on Portal, I can see it kicking back up.

I'm not attending Lotusphere so I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm just
really, really sad.


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