Lotusphere 2011: Subtlety and Spacey were onstage

The Lotusphere 2011 conference in Orlando, Armonk, New York-based IBM’s user conference for Lotus developers, took a very subtle approach to trumpeting the past year’s successes and updates and new tools to the Lotus platform. Certainly, general manager for Lotus software and WebSphere, Alistair Rennie, did minimal cheerleading at the opening keynote with no fun bashing of IBM rivals as his predecessor Bob Picciano did the year before.

Even the myriad updates to the Lotus Notes, Connections, SameTime and others, along with new tools such as the Social Business Toolkit for integrating collaborative capabilities into existing enterprise systems, was discussed onstage with little mention of the fact that it all was directly the fruits of a long-term vision for collaboration in businesses that IBM so proudly announced at Lotusphere 2010. 

That vision, Project Vulcan, sets the foundation for IBM’s social collaboration strategy and the technologies that will come out of it. Sure, one can read between the lines and understand that the announcements were among the first batch of deliverables that gives concrete value to a three-year vision that Big Blue has set in the collaboration space. But wasn’t the Lotus Knows campaign meant to raise IBM’s profile to be in line with its strategy? 

On a lighter note, Kevin Spacey didn’t quite get the explosive applause that William Shatner did last year, but the double Academy Award recipient and executive producer of the movie The Social Network was a nice tie in to the theme of social business.


Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau 

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