Lotusphere 2010: Nine things (including William Shatner) seen and heard

ORLANDO—The IBM Lotusphere 2010 conference highlighted what IBM is doing to bring collaboration to the enterprise. During the event that drew about 5,000 attendees, the Armonk, New York-based company highlighted several initiatives including its Collaboration Agenda, Project Vulcan and LotusLive Labs. Here are a few things seen and heard this year:

 1.In light of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, IBM is working with the American Red Cross and World Vision to bring assistance to survivors.

2.Canadian actor William Shatner made a surprise appearance at the opening keynote. Currently a spokesperson for discount travel site, Shatner joked he could help attendees save some money: “For those who travelled here on your own or booked your own hotel, talk to me, I can help you get a better price.”

3.IBM’s Lotus Knows campaign is meant to address the fact that the company’s poor profile wasn’t on par with its good strategy, said Bob Picciano, former Lotus general manager and now recently director of worldwide sales for IBM software. “It reflects our new confidence, reflects our new attitude,” he said.

4.Picciano didn’t refrain from taking shots at rivals Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. “Our competition believes in disruption just for disruption’s sake,” he said to a slide illustrating a falling house of cards on which were the faces of Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs and others.

5.IBM execs said to expect more from the company regarding hybrid environments – on premise and cloud – as that is how new technologies are acquired and built today. “We are the undisputed leader in making use of the cloud but will always have our feet on solid ground,” said Picciano.

6.General Motors executive Kirk Gutmann made a roaring entrance, jumping on stage after being driven in the auditorium in a yellow corvette.

7.iEnterprise won for Best In Show Case Award, Genus Technologies LLC won for CTO Solution Award for the Americas, and Rene Winkelmeyer’s File Navigator won the first-ever Best Open Source Contribution By An Individual award.

8.Sylvia Steinmann, group IT chief operating officer with insurance company Zurich said: “Isn’t it curious that we just say out of the box? When was the last time software was shipped to you in a box?” Her point: legacy sticks.

9.Since the release in 2009 of LotusLive, momentum around the hosted platform has reached 18 million users in almost 100 countries. IBM’s business partners grew more than 20 per cent in 2009.

IBM Lotusphere 2010 continues through Thursday of this week. Read’s coverage of Lotusphere 2010.

Follow Kathleen on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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