Category Archives: LS09

Bob Picciano: Impressions of Lotusphere

Bob Picciano made quite an impression on the community presiding over his first Lotusphere, Bob was kind enough to take a few minutes and answer a couple of questions about his Lotusphere experience.  Before we get to that, Bob also shared a little of his post Lotusphere travels in his own words

After Lotusphere was over I flew off to Nigeria to help launch IBM’s business in Nigeria and sub-Saharan/western Africa.   It was quite an experience and I was amazed at how much knowledge there was about Lotus and our Collaborations offerings there was.   There was a great deal of enthusiasm about Symphony and Linux as well of course.

Sounds like an interesting trip, though not necessarily the most relaxing post Lotusphere activity.  Now on to Bob’s Q &A. How did you prepare for you first Lotusphere?   Traditionally Lotusphere represents the convergence of all the Lotus and WebSphere Portal businesses in one place  for a quick view of what’s new; what progress is being made; and, what is top of mind for the community.  So my preparations were fairly simple since I live this every day.  For me, the power of Lotusphere is the opportunity to learn first-hand from our clients and partners how our technology is making a difference in their businesses.  As I said in my opening remarks at Lotusphere, our most important yardstick is our clients’ success.  To facilitate these conversations, I learned as much as I could about the businesses of the attendees before heading to Orlando. You clearly made an effort to attend as many events as possible, and make yourself available to every one attending for a conversation.  What was the most common thing you heard in your conversations with attendees? Was there anything that really stood out or surprised you that you can share? Mitch, thank you for noticing.  Lotusphere is all about our clients and partners.  IBM has the pleasure of hosting the event and setting a meaningful agenda for enablement and knowledge exchange, but, ultimately, it is about our community.  With that in mind, I wanted to reflect the energy and enthusiasm our growing audience deserves, and as a result, it was a great learning experience for me.  Attendees repeatedly said they found the “testimonials” of the clients who participated in the OGS session valuable and that they were impressed by the key role Lotus and WebSphere Portal played in the client architectures.  Another frequent thread in attendee feedback was the elegance of our portfolio integration.  Attendees acknowledged that we are weaving many disciplines into a seamless experience.  They could see that the capabilities our portfolio offers can, in fact, empower people to drive better business outcomes across a spectrum of environments for organizations of all sizes. What were your personal highlights of the week? There were many, many personal highlights, but the one that I think about frequently is the openness of our clients and partners. I was struck by their genuine enthusiasm for Lotus software and excitement about our momentum in the market .  I am grateful   for their willingness to share their views, their passion for collaboration and their warm welcome to me into this the very special community. My personal thanks to Bob for taking the time to share a few thoughts.

Lotusphere 2009 Wrap Up: What do you notice in this picture?

There has been a tradition for a few years now that the blogging community takes the stage after the CGS for a photo, this is the first year I was able to participate in this photo taken by Volker.   Have you ever tried to take a large group photo?  Have you ever actually been able to get everyone to smile at the same time?  Quite a bit has been and is still being written about how great this years Lotusphere was, but just take a look at the faces in the photo, every one of them with a huge smile…. as they say a picture is worth a thousand words Bloggers on Stage after CGS

My Technically Challenging Lotusphere 2009

You plan and you plan and well….. the matter how much you plan things go wrong.  Once could say I had a technically challenging Lotusphere, so here is a list of things that went wrong for me. My Eye-Fi card which I only bought about two weeks before Lotusphere and worked perfectly before I left for Orlando, refused to see a wirless network, in fact when I tried to configure it, I was warned that the card was possibly damaged and should be replaced.  The replacement is now on the way, but it would have been nice to have during Lotusphere.  Had I been able to upload my pictures to Flickr automatically as planned it would have made Live Blogging with Photos that much easier. The spare battery for my laptop refused to charge.  I have a Lenovo T61, and the battery that ships with it gives me between 2 and 3 hours depending on how I use it, however when I remove the DVD Burner and replace it with the ThinkPad Advance Ultrabay Battery II, my battery life jumps in to the 6-7 hour range.  My battery was working fine last week, but after the first time it drained it refused to charge again.  The positive side of this was that I carried my laptop a whole lot less then I would have had the batteries been working properly. Finally my Blackberry a Verizon 8830 which has not held up as well compared to previous models I have owned, well at some point the battery cover which is prone to coming loose disappeared leaving me with this to carry around and try not to knock the battery out or lose it. CIMG1045  The one device that really kept me going all week was my iPhone, the only issue with the iPhone is battery power with heavy usage I could not get through a day without recharging it, fortunately this battery did not let me down, and allowed me to keep the iPhone charged on the go during the day.

Lotusphere 2009 Wrap Up: The Blogger Open

I think it is safe to say we can now call it the first annual Blogger Open.  Following the CGS about 65 people headed over to the Disney Fantasia Minature Golf Course for the Blogger Open.  Apparently sleep deprivation, alcohol and miniature golf is a combination that really works as everyone had a great time.  We even had a special guest appearance at the Blogger Open from Curious George CIMG0912 Here is my team at the Open CIMG0951 Special thanks to our sponsor Conxsys’s nsfRewind for Lotus Notes for helping make this a terrific event. Congratulations to our winners: Individual Lowest Score: Gregg Eldred who shot a 40 Individual Highest Score: Lisa Duke with a 67 Best team average score:John Head, Sarah Frey, Bill Machinsky, The Turtle, Carol Deovlet, Ted Hardenburgh (I think this was the team someone correct me if I am wrong) Thanks to Gregg Eldred for doing all the math, and to Declan who came to heckle and took lots of pictures with my camera for me. You can see all my photos from the Open in this Flickr Set (I hope to have more to add later this week)

Lotusphere 2009 Wrap Up: The Lotusphere Blogger Program

It really was an honor and privilege to be asked to participate in the Lotusphere Blogger program.  Thanks to Erica and Ed for putting this program together, and giving me yet another hat to wear at Lotusphere which enhanced my experience last week.  The blogger program really highlighted to me that Lotus recognizes the contributions of the blogger community throughout the year, and that blogs are a primary source people use for announcements and information during the conference.   One of my personal highlights of the program (well besides the OGS Seats) was the Monday evening Q&A session with the Lotus Exec team IMG_2120 One could think that this group took a chance holding an open Q&A for a group of bloggers (most of whom were live blogging or recording the session for a podcast), but really in what was a theme all week, they were very forthcoming with open honest answers to sometimes tough questions, while maintaining a sense of humor about it.  (one other note, don’t anyone even think about messing with Erica, anyone who can stand up in front of twenty five bloggers and get them quiet, should not be started with!) Another event for the bloggers was being on the show floor Sunday watching the judging for the CTO and Best in Showcase awards, I never really thought about the awards much before, beyond hearing them announced, and seeing them listed at the lunch tables.  Watching the judging and speaking to some of the finalists I learnt two things.  First the finalists put a tremendous number of hours and great effort to being there, and preparing to present to the judges.  Second the judges took the presentations very seriously asking lots of questions of each presenter.  The winners clearly earned it, both with their products, and their presentations to the judges. The group of bloggers participating was a diverse group including customers, business partners, and some bloggers from outside of the community which provided a unique outsiders perspective.  This is an addition to Lotusphere I hope to see back again next year.

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.