Lotusphere Day One

Yesterday officially kicked off another Lotusphere in Orlando.  For my readers that aren’t familiar with Lotusphere, it’s the annual gathering of IBM Lotus Notes and Domino professionals.  Administrators, Developers, Pointy Haired Bosses, Business Partners, Vendors, Social Media experts and more.  We all come together for a week each year to learn new tech, hear about new releases and pack our brains with as much info as we can in a short amount of time.

For those of us who come every year (this is my 13th Lotusphere) it’s truly like a gathering of family.  It’s also that mental boost to start off the year on a positive note.  After 13 years, you think it would get stale, but you would be wrong…

If you read my last post, it was a live blog of the Opening General Session, that’ll give you a blow by blow, but there are some things I want to point out.

  • First, for years, many of us have been saying WIlliam Shatner should be the opening speaker.  It’s been going on so long that it’s simply become a running joke.  Well Lotus decided to reward our dedication, and this year, the Shatner was the speaker.  He wasn’t spectacular, but just that he kicked things off was pretty cool.
  • Traveler for Android.  This was a great announcement.  True two-way sync for Android devices.  Now it appears that it wont use the native apps, but rather apps developed by IBM Lotus.  I know some people won’t like this approach, but if you know anything about how fragmented the Android versions are, it’s really the only way to give a consistent experience across devices.
  • Lotus announced over 18,000 new customers signed on to use Lotus software this year.  I know that people tend to question these numbers, but I think it’s a good sign no matter what.  
  • They reiterated the win at Panasonic for LotusLive where they sold 380,000 seats.  This is simply the largest cloud win in history, and something I wish they really would have emphasized more.  Seemed a little understated, but I guess the news did break last week, so maybe they didn’t want to harp too much.  But this proves that Lotus can really compete in the cloud.
  • Traveler Companion for the iPhone was released on the Apple App Store.  If you have 8.5.1 FP1 of Traveler installed on your server, this app allows you to read encrypted mail on your iPhone.  A very nice and welcome addition indeed.
  • IBM is really pushing it’s involvement with OpenNTF.  They gave away awards for best Biz partner open source app and best individual open source app.  They announced that since last year, 8500 more people signed up for OpenNTF.org and almost every session I’ve been in has made mention of OpenNTF.  In the Application Development keynote, Brent Peters even singled out my colleague Declan Lynch’s extraordinary work on things like XTalk.  OpenNTF really has some great momentum, and it’s nice to finally see the acceptance from within IBM.
  • Project Vulcan.  You can read more about this over at Ed’s blog at http://www.edbrill.com/ebrill/edbrill.nsf/dx/lotusphere-2010-ibm-project-vulcan . The gist of it is a more unified look amongst products and using a lot of analytics on the back end to surface information within the different pieces of software.  Also, some additional services get can be loosely coupled together to bring it all together.  It’s a future vision for the Lotus portfolio, so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes
  • GIST Partnership.  GIST is a really cool service that helps you manage your social network streams.  They are coming out with a Notes beta plugin here for the sidebar.  Trust me, you want this!  Check it out.
  • Tungle integration.  Tungle is a service that allows you to manage your calendar’s free time across the internet.  Basically you can take all of your calendars, (Google, iCal and Notes) and combine them all into one calendaring service on the internet.  People you connect with can then request multiple times for meetings, and once you schedule it, it appears on the appropriate calendar.  It’s really a great way to combine your personal and business calendars to manage your time more effectively.  Tungle is also in beta now for Lotus Notes.
  • That’s it for now, I have a separate post on an awesome meeting that the bloggers had with Alistair, Bob Picciano, Mike Rhodin and Sean Poulley.  It was cool on many levels, but I do feel that the Lotus brand is in excellent hands going forward…  More soon.