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'Resonance' is the Theme for IBM at Lotusphere 2009
"Resonance" is the theme for IBM at Lotusphere 2009 in Florida this week; their 16th annual conference. Remarkably, in this down economy IBM's theme refers to the new releases of products resonating with the themes of the day; green and social.Partnerships are strengths with IBM. At Lotusphere they have over 65 partners in attendance and announced some key new partnerships this week including Tungle, TripIt, LinkedIn and Salesforce.com. IBM has big plans with the latter two, providing additional Web 2.0 capabilities by integrating both into Notes client and SaaS environments.
IBM also stated that the latest release of Notes/Domino had the fastest momentum of any previous release, with more than 12K customers signing up since announcement, with half of all Notes/Domino customers now using Release 8. At Lotusphere it was all about Release 8.5. For Notes this included the Mac OS X Release announced at Macworld last week, connection with social tools such as iCalendar, and linked value (Quickr, Sametime) and an expansion of hosted messaging offers. For Domino this included rapid Web 2.0 development, improved quality of service and identity management, and a 40% reduction in operating costs.
Lotus Symphony is highlighted as IBM turned Lotusphere into an "office free zone," with all presentations in Symphony and the press room using Symphony as well. Lotusphere includes a Lotus Symphony Cafe, product showcase, developer's workshop and eight conference sessions on Symphony.
As promised, IBM is announcing general availability of their joint product with SAP formally introduced as Alloy by IBM and SAP. GA is in March. IBM claims that this product is a breakthrough in configurability and ease of use for developers as it will allow them to extend workflow integration with Notes by using JAVA and HTML, and eliminate the need to build and maintain custom programming or interfaces between the two. The development of this product focuses on intuitive design for developers, providing them with, as IBM said, "elegance and tailorability."
IBM will also talk about project "Ontario" which is driven by the goal of extending RIM Blackberry integration across Lotus products. At Lotusphere, Lotus and RIM have demonstrations of the joint capabilities they have been working on. IBM also joined open NTF.org to get some momentum around open source Notes/Domino applications.
In the unified communications/collaboration space IBM is introducing Sametime 8.5 with updated unified online meeting capabilities, improved video quality and partner interoperability, new mobile support for the iPhone and plug-in model extended to mobile clients, a new web browser client, and centralized administration and management of the Sametime product portfolio.
Going with the social part of the Lotusphere theme, they are also introducing Virtual Collaboration for Sametime, which integrates Sametime with virtual worlds to support what they say is enhanced collaboration, promoting things such as brainstorming, virtual formal meetings and events, and new ways to do training. As you might expect, the virtual collaboration venues include the potential to have a theatre, board room, meeting rooms, etc. Additional announcements include Lotus Social Software including Lotus Quickr and ECM integration, and a preview of Quickr 8.2 (for Domino Services), a preview of Lotus Connections 2.5 with new features such as Wiki and personal content sharing, and new capabilities for portals and mashups, such as professional authoring tools. Finally, they're announcing that WebSphere Portal is teaming up with partners to provide best-of-breed web site analytic integration.