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Lotusphere, Monday -- opening session, and my first two

By Andrew Pollack on 01/25/2005 at 12:49 AM EST

Some random 1am thoughts from the day...

Lotusphere for me this year, is the best in a very long time -- maybe ever. Attendance is up, and people are here buying products and consulting time. I've picked up more business this so far than all previous years.

The message is perfect from IBM. Goyal came out swinging -- hard -- at Microsoft (not something IBM does usually) and announced massive growth in what was supposed to be a static industry. Maureen Lealand (not speed right) demo'd the new Workplace Designer -- and I can tell you that it's very, very, very good. I've been fortunately to be able to get into it in some depth and I'm very excited about.

Meanwhile, the opening session was all Lotus. It wasn't "IBM LOTUS" or "IBM" -- it as LOTUS. Having Ray Ozzie and Vin Izzy both speaking at the opening session was all about how solidly the ball has moved back into the Lotus court at IBM. It was a solid nod to the fact that the strategy is solid and Lotus is a core part of it. Once again, the real innovation is coming from Westford, and now the folks in Aramonk clearly see that.

There is no repeat of last year's over pushing a future that wasn't ready -- the conference is solidly Lotus, and the customers are happy with that. At the same time, the Workplace Client and Designer are being very well received. Its quite ironic really, this year they really have something worth pushing and its the first year they're not over pushing it.

Giving my own sessions was an amazing experience. I have a room with a nearly 800 person capacity, and I'm stunned an honored to say that it was pretty much (not quite, but close) full for both talks. You guys are really great.

As a speaker, I was initially concerned about the format -- the change to move the Q&A to a lounge nearby, allowing one more session per day in each room. It turns out to be very good. Following my first session, about 20 people followed me back, and an hour and half later several were still there. We were able to engage in really solid discussion and its likely we'll be doing business.

Ambuj Goyal has been fantastic for Lotus. I've never met anyone else who could possibly have turned what was a real mess into first a strategy, and now a product line.

The show floor is much more full than in a long time as well. Its wall to wall vendors and there is real business being done. One of the real winners is likely to be Big Sky Technology. They have a mature telephony product that integrates with Domino. I used it as far back as 1993, and its gotten better and better. They're about to benefit in a huge way from the convergence of SIP technologies, linux based freeware switching, low cost - high quality IP phones, and VoIP providers like Vonage. Voice and touch tone enabled Domino applications have moved from possible, to easy and cheap.

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maybe you had good sessions this year :-)By Ken Yee on 01/25/2005 at 06:38 PM EST
and the topics people are working on ;-)
We're back !!!By Lars Olufsen on 01/31/2005 at 03:06 AM EST
In short - that's how Lotusphere 2005 made me feel.

FINALLY - after 2 years of bobbing and weaving - the strategy now seems clear,
solid and clever.
The roadmaps of Domino and Workplace are converging. Domino Designer, Workplace
Designer, Notes client, Rich Client, Portal ... are all closing in on each
other, and are no longer looking like competitors, but extremely strong and
versatile supplements to each other.

I still haven't quite gotten my head around the server side of things, but I
still wouldn't be too shocked to find that a future domino generation would
turn out to be a Websphere deployment. It doesn't scare me anymore however,
since I have little doubt that no matter what, this will still be branded as
"Domino", upgrading will still be seamless and backwards compatible with
anything running on the Domino platform today.

By ND7, we get native XML and Web Services support, DB2 backend and
SQL-functionality. It also looks like we will be able to force the Domino
security model onto any SQL-based application calls to the Domino backend.
Talk about a strong API!

The amounts of possibilities this opens up to users and business partners alike
is FAR to long to list, but looking back over the last 10 years and listing the
'known weaknesses' of the Domino platform will make you realise that very few
of these weaknesses are left in Domino 7 and future releases.

For 3 years Lotus has been talking the talk. This summer they will deliver on
EVERY SINGLE POINT they have been pushing since Lotusphere 2002, AND quite a
few new ones like the absolutely mindblowing activity centric tools.

Domino v Exchange? Forget about it. It's not even an issue. Sure, we can talk
about mail-platforms for eternity, but this is about leveraging the Domino
application platform, and putting it perfectly in place on the Service Oriented
Architecture roadmap that is rapidly being deployed in organisations worldwide.

Come ND7, we have generic open interfacing at all levels - database (with the
DB2 backend), server (with XML and Web Service added to the LEI and LSX
options), application (again through Web Services as well as through as well as
through powerful portlet technology - even for 'non-Websphere' shops) AND
client (through the Rich Client Notes plug-in).

In one word ...

WOW !!!

Ranting aside, I had the opportunity to watch your session, Andrew, and I left
enlightened, with a notebook full of 'check-list like' to-do items to get to
work on upon returning to the daily treadmill. I also had a talk with quite a
few of the danish attendees who also caught your sessions, and they left with
much the same. There was a lot of 'Hmmm ... We have to look into that', which -
I feel - was just what you were looking for. So a BIG thumbs up!

I also had the pleasure of talking to you a couple of times and providing my
feedback in person, which was nice (and hopefully usefull to you as well).

Lotusphere 2005 was awesome on all parts. Beta 3 is installing in the
background right now, and the Workplace Service Express will be dropped in

"The future is so bright, I've gotta wear shades".

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