Full Disclosure

With my article being released at Lotusphere, I wanted to let you all know how it came about. You know, transparency and all that.

Anyway, in early December, a friend of mine (who happens to work for Voltage Security) contacted me to see if I would be interested in writing a short article/whitepaper. I would be paid for my efforts and the work would be given away at Lotusphere.

At first I was reluctant, because I didn’t want to be thought of as a shill, and also, I had never really done anything like that before. My friend then asked me a question. “What do you think Lotus needs to do to remain competitive and keep their momentum going?” I thought about it a bit and a couple things came to mind. First was that I thought Lotus needs to revamp the HTTP server to do a lot better with CSS and Web 2.0 tech. The second thing was security.

Security? Hell, we all know that Lotus has the best security when compared to Microsoft, right? Well, my thoughts on Security were that the “perception” nowadays is that Microsoft has caught up somewhat. MS and their marketing machine drummed the “we’re serious about security” message to death. They also haven’t had any major virus outbreaks that specifically targeted Exchange/Outlook recently. Couple those things together and people think MS has caught up. With all of the momentum Lotus has with the new Notes 8 client, Sametime, Quickr and Connections, I think that to take advantage of that and really beat up Microsoft, they should re-focus on the Security message.

What I mean by that is simple. Right now, at my day job, we use a company to filter all of our virus/spam traffic coming into the company. It was a company that used to be called Frontbridge. I love the service. BUT, Microsoft bought that company. It’s now called Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services. Funny, I’m not RUNNING Exchange, but yet, every time someone in my company has to look at their blocked spam, there is the Microsoft logo staring them in the face. Got me to thinking that Lotus should have something similar.

Also, all of the data breaches in the last year have caused me to really think more about encryption. With files being everywhere (Quickr, Notes, Connections) and easily sent (email, Sametime etc.) they become too easy to lose. I’ve thought for a long time (and discussed over drunken nights at Lotusphere) that Lotus should find some way to EASILY encrypt documents that were going to travel so only the right people could access them. Something easier than messing with PGP keys and software etc.

My friend said “Great, write your thoughts on the Security angle.” I said okay, but I didn’t feel right pimping their products in the article if I haven’t used them. She told me I didn’t have to. Just write my thoughts on the Security stuff and that’s it. They agree with my premise, and have solutions to help. Well, okay, but I want to make sure people know I was paid to do this. “No problem” was the reply. At that point I accepted and wrote what you will see at Lotusphere.

It became apparent to me that this was a perfect writing gig.

  • I get to write the article
  • It gets to be a Lotusphere giveaway
  • I get paid
  • I’m not plugging anything
  • And I can fully disclose how it came about

So I hope you like it. You may or may not agree with my premise, but I think trumpeting the Security horn again would do Lotus some good. You’ll be able to get the full article from Voltage Security at booth 303 in the Vendor Showcase at Lotusphere.