Blogger: Craig Roth
While I'm freezing here in Chicago and looking at the pictures of arriving conference goers in shorts squinting in the sun, my significantly warmer CCS teammates Guy Creese and Bill Pray are in Orlando at Lotusphere 2009. They will be writing blog posts from Orlando as events occur, but here's an opening set of thoughts from me about what I am looking for out of the Lotusphere 2009 announcements and what comes out of the sessions (and Guy and Bill's meetings with IBM execs).
- The overall question every year for me is whether Lotus can gain upward momentum in our target market - large organizations in developed countries
- Is there a 3+ yr strategy or vision apparent in the messages? Or is it, like previous years, a big, long, unprioritized list of features, branding, and acquisitions. To simplify a message you have to know your audience, so this is a proxy for asking whether Lotus has identified its target market for new client acquisition and a clear strategy to attack it
- In talking with the rest of the CCS team about the upcoming Lotusphere, we bounced around the idea that maybe Lotusphere isn't the right place to make strategic IBM Lotus announcements. Kinda ironic given the title of the conference, but it really is meant for the Lotus faithful, and particularly the techies (admins, developers) among them. It's all just preaching to the converted. Maybe that's why the MacWorld announcement got so much attention - to gain marketshare they have to convey a message to those not among the faithful, and those people won't be at Lotusphere.
- Will Bluehouse finally include email, the first priority for SMBs wanting SaaS communication and collaboration?
- What are the new growth figures for Notes/Domino and its new cousins Quickr/Connections?
- What's new with the SaaS strategy?
- What is the SharePoint compete strategy? What is the SharePoint coexistence strategy? SharePoint has been growing like a weed on their home turf and to this point we've heard no marketplace messaging on how to compete with it or live with it. To date the answers out of IBM have been conversationally pointing out where IBM is better (e.g., social software, UC) or why Microsoft sucks. But a verbal script plus labeling your competitor's customers as morons doesn't equal a strategy.
- How has the messaging for portal evolved as portals are subsumed into the superplatform and mashups are sprouting up everywhere?
This promises to be a make-or-break Lotusphere and I'm interested to hear what comes out of Orlando.