Author Archives: Mitch Cohen

Some thoughts and Thank Yous on the way home and Lotusphere

I am sitting at Gate 4 in MCO at 5 AM waiting for my flight home close to being awake for 24 hours and reflecting on the week that just ended.  It will certainly take a few days to decompress and be able to coherently write a comprehensive wrap up post, but needless to say it was an incredible week, from Saturday night at ESPN, Jumpstart sessions on Sunday, The Turtles memorable session before the welcome reception, the OGS (and our unique seating arrangement), attending and presenting various sessions, meetings, walking around the various labs.  Yesterdays closing session really put a cap on the week with an incredible performance from Ben Zander.

Following the CGS about 60 of us headed over to the Fantasia Mini-Golf course for the Blogger Open (blogger open wrap up and pictures coming soon as well).

Most importantly I enjoyed the opportunity to spend time in person with all the people in the incredible Lotus Community, catching up with old friends, connecting with people previously only known as Twitter avatars, and meeting new people allt together.

Some Lotusphere Thank Yous

First off my wife who keeps things going at home, which this year included being home herself with three kids, and understanding that some days a five minute call home was all the time I had.

My parents who left the relatively warmer South Florida and  travelled up north and were able to help my wife for part of the week.

My employer who even in tough economic times recognizes the value in sending me to Lotusphere

My Co-Presenters Chris Whisonant and John Lance (OK they did start a support group for Mitch’s co-presenters, but I don’t really know what that was all about)

The presenters of the other sessions I attended or downloaded the slides from, having presented sessions for the first time this year, I now have a much deeperappreciation for the time and effort it takes to prepare.

The track managers who gave me a chance to present The IBMers who are there to listen, at times take abuse, and accept criticism, mostly with a smile, and in my experience are really interested in the feedback, and take it back to work on.

IBM (especially Erica Topolski and Ed Brill) for running the Bloggers Program and giving me the opportunity to be a part of it I am sure I am forgetting someone, I assure you it is unintentional.

Now it is time to head home and back to reality which means doing things like figuring out what day of the week it is, what the date is, what is going on in the world that doesn’t have to do with Lotus Collaboration tools, and getting back to work. While it was an incredible week in every which way I am glad to be headed home to see my family.  For those I don’t happen to see before then, will see you on January 16, 2010 at ESPN.

The final hours of Lotusphere 2009

I am sitting here at Ask the Developers as the last few hours of Lotusphere 2009 are quickly passing.  I have absolutely no voice left, but otherwise I think I made it through the week in decent shape with about 4 hours of sleep a night..  It’s been a terrific week, and certainly one of the highlights has been putting faces with what have only been Twitter names until now, as well as catching up with old friends. Lots more to still write about Lotusphere, but the laptop battery has really just not cooperated (one of a number of technical challenges I faced in the course of the week) In no specific order  and mainly as a reminder to myself here are some posts in the works over the next couple of days Lotusphere 2009 wrap up Social Networking at Lotusphere 2009 My technically challenging Lotusphere 2009 Thoughts on Live Blogging, Twitter, Cover It Live. The 2009 Lotusphere Blogger Program Looking forward to the CGS, and mini-golfing as well as what ever else the evening brings.  Disney Magical Express is picking me up at 3:30 AM tomorrow morning for my 6:45 flight home.  Will be nice to get home and see my family after a week away.

Lotusphere Day 4 Wrap Up

Winding down a very busy day 4 at Lotusphere and looking forward to a few hours of sleep and the big finish tomorrow. I started the day at a BOF facilitated by Gregg Eldred and Duffbert “Getting Social in the Lotus Community”.  Gregg and Duffbert came prepared with a good topic list which led to a lively discussion about Bleedyellow, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, PlanetLotus and other tools people use to connect. Very interesting to talk to other people and learn new ways they use the same tools that I am using, and interesting discussion on the importance of building and maintaining networks. Next up was the Social Computing Keynote After a brief meeting it was time to go in to session prep mode for SHOW302 Getting your feet wet with Lotus Connections, despite a few technical glitches, Chris and I were able to get through our 400 slides and complete a full Lotus Connections installation in one hour forty five minutes.  Here is our servers being moved from the Dolphin to the Swan for the session. CIMG0854 Following SHOW302 I had 20 minutes to get back to the Dolphin and present ID105 with John Lance.  Even though Mary Beth called me a cheater, I though the session went well.  From there it was off to film a quick video with Suzanne Minnasian (and do check her blog for lots of great Lotus Connections 2.5 information), and then a meeting on Quickr Next with the GCPC and the Quickr Product management team. After a quick round trip between the Dolphin and the Yacht to drop my bag and pick up a jacket it was off to Universal Studios, on the t Lotus 911 bus.  Went on the Terminator 2, Simpsons, and Shrek rides, the Simpsons ride was really amazing (and slightly nauseating), but I did get to meet Marge. CIMG0869 It was COLD out there tonight somewhere in the low 30’s, but cold is much better then when it has rained on Lotusphere Wednesday. So much more to write about that is just going to have to wait until I have had some sleep. Looking forward to tomorrow and GURUPalooza, Ask the Developers, and the Closing General Session, followed of course by the blogger open.

Quick Wednedsday Update

Been off line most of the day in meetings and presenting SHOW302 and ID105, I am now done presenting at Lotusphere for 2009! Dropping my stuff back at my room now, and getting ready to head to Universal soon. Lots more photos to post and stories to tell from today, will hopefully get to it before going to sleep tonight.

Live Blogging from the Social Computing Keynote

Live from the Social Software Keynote (will be adding photos later) Jeff Schick on stage kicking off the session, Jeff is talking about Social Software leading to increased productivity.  Working smarter by focusing on tasks not on tools, Giving examples of Lotus Connections at IBM and embedding of components of connections in various applications.   Ian Haynes of HSBC  is now taking the stage to talk about collaboration at HSBC, his job is to change the way they work. HSBC has 9,500 offices in 85 countires with 300,000+ employees worldwide.  In their industry peoples first instinct is to keep data confidential, so it is a real change in culture to get people to share information openly..  HSBC determined that Lotus Connections best met their needs to connect people.  Liked the modular approach to the features, and the ability to implement widgets.  Adoption is spreading virally.  While difficult to calculate formal ROI many examples of value coming out of Social Software.  Social Software is driving culture change by connection people in common interests.  Example HSBC has been interested in being “Green” before it was fashionable.  Now they have a way of connecting people leading “green” efforts around the world.  Concentrate on what you are trying to achieve not the technology.  People will adapr at different speeds.  Have people start blogging today, get in the habit, don’t worry who is reading initially.  Populate your profiles data as much as possible from corporate systems to provide value early on. Guy Alvarez of the Practising Law Institue.  Lawyers are required to participate in continuing education, PLI offers 260+ Seminars a year Live, Streamed, On-demand.  Guy is focused on innovative new ways to deliver training. Goals were to connect people, enable blogs, and chatting and went out to look for the right solution.  First discovery most vendors did not list very well. Narrowed the field from four to two contenders with Lotus being selected.. While the interaction is social, PLIs membership is distinct and limited and uses the system for very specific interactions.  Profiles allows customers to connect with faculty and peers before sessions and maintain the connection after sessions. Randy Reynolds. of Success Factors 2400 customers, 4 million users, 60 industries 185 countries, 31 languages 14 product modules. Partnering with IBM to integrate Lotus Connections to connect employees, share knowledge.  Embedding Connections in Success Factors and Success Factors in Connections driving efficiency by allowing people to work contextually Jeff is back on stage now,  For those of you who remember last years American Idol spoof… well this year we are watching Business Survivor (Jeff..”if this fails my next job is in smartsuite technical support” The Survivor Tribes are the Gibe Tirbe, The Flare Point Tribe and here comes Suzanne from the Lotus Tribe to demo Connections 2.5, OK so Business Survivor clearly lacks the suspense of Survivor,   Suzanne is now demoing Lotus Connections in the browser on the iPhone, much like iNotes ultralite captures the native look and feel of an iPhone application in the browser.  Next demo is Connections/Success Factors integration. Jeff Shick as Jeff Probst… Classic goes to extinguish torches of the Gibe and Flarepoint tribes. End of keynote more later.

Lotusphere Day 3 Wrap Up

Winding down from another Lotusphere Day, a day in which I might get to sleep before 1 AM which would be a very good thing given the day I have tomorrow. I started the day at a 7 AM BOF  Quickr with the Quickr product management team, a very well attended session given the hour.  Lots of good interaction between customers and product management, with a interesting mix of customers running Quickr Domino, Quickr J2EE, as well as customers integrating with both Notes and Outlook. The Software as a Service keynote as I said earlier was an excellent session, I really felt like a very clear message was delivered on strategy for on premise services compared to hosted services, as well as integration points for the two. Next up for me was a trip down to the vendor showcase mainly catching up with some vendor (and friends) on the floor, and taking a look at a few products, as well as a nice visit with Luis Suarez.  After lunch I spent some time in the UX and Innovation labs, will try to capture some of the innovation lab in another post at a later time. Finally it was time for Lotusphere Idol.  Last year I was not able to make it to this session, and this year I was really torn between Lotusphere Idol and another session at the same time, but I am really glad I chose Lotusphere Idol.  I wonder if any other conference runs a session quite like this. The next session was The Lotus Evangelists – Customer Panel, where in my role as a customer I presented some of our experiences with Quickr and Connections (in less then five minutes).  This is the second year I have presented at  this session, the format is simple six customers present for five minutes each on a particular piece of the Lotus Portfolio, the session then resumes in the back of the room with an open bar and a chance to socialize, and continue the conversation with other customers. Finally the Nachos and News Session for the participants of the Lotus Blogger program.  The big news, which had actually broken earlier was the news of ActiveSync support coming in Traveler sometime in 2009, yes this means the ability to sync your iPhone with notes and use the native iPhone e-mail, contacts, and calendar clients!  No firm dates for beta or release, but this was demoed at a session earlier in the day. The day wrapped up with dinner, and the “Evening with Engineering” event for Design Partners. Tomorrow is my marathon day, with both of my sessions taking place between 12:30 and 4:00 tomorrow. SHOW302 Getting your feet wet with Lotus Connections will be from 12:30-2:15 in SW Osprey ID105 What Were They Thinking? When UX Design Collides with Reality will be from 3:00-4:00 in DL S. Hemisphere II More tomorrow….. sleep now

Lotusphere Idol Recap

As promised here is my recap of Lotusphere Idol, would have loved to blog live, but the laptop battery just was not cooperating. First off congratulations to all the contestants on a job well done. Ed Brill did an excellent job as the host. IMG_2130 Alan Lepofskys cameo appearance as Dr. Paul BuchanElgort was shall we say memorable, and well educational if you are interested in Locust IMG_2157 IMG_2155 The only downside for Alan was I suspect he had trouble finding someone to dine with tonight after spending a considerable amount of time discussing the finer points of eating Locust. The contestants all turned in excellent performances leaving the judges with a tough decision to make, so tough in fact that they decided to award two winners who will each get 30 minutes to present on Thursday morning. Congratulation to Nate Lowry & Matt Rosno from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln for their winning presentation on creating a Symphony plug in for Sharepoint, and to Andrew Brew for his presentation titled “Replaceable Parts” One final thought from the session over the years I have hear many times how is Lotus going to reach out to the younger generation and get them involved in Lotus Technology, I think having a pair of 21 year old college students at Lotusphere on stage presenting work they developed for Symphony is a pretty good sign.

Live Blogging Nachos and News…. breaking news from Lotusphere

Nachos and News is an event being held for the Blogger Program this evening for some news announcements that will be formally announced tomorrow.   Ed Brill is starting off earlier today there was a demo of ActiveSync support for Traveler running on an iPhone.  ActiveSync adds more openness to the Domino mobile platform because of the platforms it is supported on.  Hoping to ship support officially in 2009.  Still need to prioritize which devices to support first with iPhone being an obvious first choice.  Ed is being probed for any indication of how involved Apple or Microsoft was in this decision, and implementation.  Ed says ask Microsoft or Apple. Will you continue to support iNotes ultralite, yes it will continue to be supported and enhanced. Any testing with Android….  no not yet considering what needs to be done on that platform.  Not large interest in business market for Android yet. David Marshak now up to share some highlights from todays UC Keynote.  Sametime 8.5 announced for the second half of the year.   Major overhaul of the server side of Sametime, making meeting reliable and easy.   Introduction of Rich Client for meettings, with comparable feature set for web browser.  Pure http allows joining meetings with no download.  Will still require plugin for sharing.  On the client side full web based Chat client available which will make it easier to integrate Sametime in applications. All current supported platforms will be supported in Sametime 8.5 What is the current migration path to Sametime 8.5 for existing customers, still being worked on. There will be a Sametime 8.5 for Domino (may not be imporved or enhanced), but it will be existing functionality only, new meeting functionality will be on WAS. Caleb Barlow, is coming up for some Foundation news to be followed by a demo.  Starting with a brief overview of the hardware sitting on the table in front of the room.  Foundations is the opportunity to get back in to the SMB market.  Foundations really needs a method of supporting legacy apps when implementing foundations support for VMWare Hypervisor within Lotus Foundations 1.1 alllowing any other application (and OS) to run under Foundations. Announcing Lotus Foundations 1.1 Branch Office  will support integration with existing enterprise deployments, creating an appliance that can run Domino.  From the Domino perspective it is managed the same way as Domino, but from the OS perspective is an appliance making it easily deployable in remote locations. Back live in the demo room. to see a demo of Xerox MFP and Foundations. Xerox device manager running in Foundations, now moving on to using Xerox for Scan to e-mail with Foundation integration. Now showing integration of Paperport OCR running on Foundations scanning a document from the MFP to Symphony on a client machine.  This is very cool….. OK Nathan might have expressed this in a slightly more colorful manner. Off to dinner in a few more later.

Lotusphere Idol

Sorry no live blog due to a basically dead laptop battery but pictures and full report to be posted later

KEY101: Lotus Online Collaboration: Experience the Possibilities (Live)

Live Blogging the Software as a Service Keynote session beginning shortly CIMG0836 Sean Poulley on stage starting with a recap of yesterdays OGS announcements.  Making it clear that LotusLive is an extension/enhancement to the portfolio not a replacement. Today’s Agenda is explaining the portfolio, Demos, early adopter stories, and integration with Lotus products and partners. Why did we create LotusLive?Belief that most organizations have rich collaboration environments that work internally, but they don’t work externally wth partners and vendors. LotusLive is there to extend collaboration outside the firewall Services in LotusLive Engage include Profiles, File Sharing, Activities, Forms, Charts, Instant Messaging & Web Conferencing.  LotusLive pricing for all services will be competitive with Web Confrencing only solutions from other vendors Bredan Crotty on stage to demo how Lotusphere attendees can use LotusLive to connect at Lotusphere and continue the relationship after Lotusphere. Demoing the dashboard with a news feed very similar to what is being implemented in Connections 2.5 Companies in LotusLive  can create public company pages which are searchable for all LotusLive users.   Brendan is now demoing File Sharing in LotusLive, includes “Collections” which he compared to a playlist, it is a collection of files and files can belong to more then one collection. File sharing also integrates directly with online meetings to add files stored in LotusLive directly to a meeti Kevin Cavanaugh coming up on stage now to talk about e-mail in LotusLive.  LotusLive is about market expansion. Industry average cost of a mailbox is about .00 per user per month.  With Domino 8.5 improvements many shops running well below that.  On premise costs for Domino are coming in lower then competition and cloud services, but there are cases for cloud services (but not for everyone) LotusLive allows you to have IBM host your Domino environment to integrate with LotusLive.  Expects that between 1000 and 10,000 users hosted services can provide savings over on premise. LotusLive iNotes is also targeted at employees who need limited access to e-mail (boundary workers) available at a reduced price point. I don’t know if I captured it properly, but Kevin just did an excellent job clarifying where IBM expects LotusLive to provide savings and benefits, while showing clear cases that on premise solutions make more sense for others. Brendan Crotty is now demoing sharing files between on premise solutions. Lotus Notes 8.5 Client with LotusLive files sidebar plugin, and “click to cloud” functionality very similar to Lotus Connectors you can drag and drop files from OS or Notes directly to file sharing on LotusLive.  Activities side shelf can connect to LotusLive with off line access. Meeting plug in, with a single click a meeting can be launched and use the buddy list to send  a link integrating LotusLive meetings with the Sametime client. Sean Poulley introducing a video with clips from, Prolifiq and Skype the LotusLive partners being highlighted this morning Brendan coming back on stage to demo partner integration Skype integration, Skype integrated on the business card for click to call.  “Click with Collaborators” button to start conference calls with document collaborators, and the ability to add others from contacts n the fly.  One click launch of skype client dialing the parties selected in LotusLive. LinkedIn – Search of LinkedIn from LotusLive, and ability to share files with LinkedIn users with in LotusLive Prolifiq – Integration of LotusLive contacts with Prolifiqs internal messaging system integrated in to LotusLive, and embedded widgets for further action and tracking of the messages – LotusLive meeting integrated in to, ability to send meeting summaries from the a meeting back to  Meeting Summary captures meeting title, host, any activities or To Do associated with the meeting, files presented,  and attendee lists. Customer stories: Tom Kivell from Nortel talking about how LotusLive has helped them overcome many collaboration issues, specifically run more efficient meetings, and eliminate firewall issues to be more effective and help them bring their products to market faster. Maureen Shaffer from Inset Technologies startup operation with the majority of employees are remote, and manufacturing is done by an external organization.  Issues with VPN Connections, e-mailing of large files, connectivity issues with web conferecing.  With an IT department of zero employees hosting services on LotusLive was an efficient way to implement with zero install or configuration, and eliminated connectivity and firewall issues.  Impressed with response and commitment of the LotusLive team during Beta.  Using LotusLive to deliver training materials on moblile devices with LotusLive and Prolifiqs Darian Hendricks froom Robert R Taylor Network at MIT, network of over 250 individuals and organizations.  Organization memebers were looking for an online home for the organization that provided a way to connect and exchange information when they could not meet in person.  Integration with Skype and LinkedIn enhance their ability to use LotusLive. Sean is back on stage wrapping up what has been a very impressive session.