Following are two blog posts I had mentally (and optimistically) written before attending Lotusphere 2009. Unfortunately, IBM Lotus didn't make the corresponding announcements. Oh, well. But since it seems a shame to waste them, here's a glimpse of blog posts I would have loved to have made:
- IBM Lotus Combines Quickr and Connections to Create a SharePoint Killer: When a prospect asks IBM Lotus about collaboration these days, Lotus ticks off the triad of Notes, Quickr (collaboration workspace and document libraries), and Connections (social software). Lotus customers have heard the pitch for several years and get it; everyone else gets confused and goes with Microsoft's simpler (IBM would claim simplistic) pitch of SharePoint. Finally recognizing that its complex messaging was getting in the way, IBM Lotus announced today that it was combining Quickr and Connections to create QuickConnections, a software suite that gives SharePoint 2007 a run for its money.
- IBM Lotus Announces "Social for SharePoint": IBM Lotus has historically preached to the choir: making major announcements at Lotusphere to the Lotus faithful. While IBM Lotus has a huge installed base, this habit has the effect of making enterprises who aren't Lotus customers unsure of what the company offers. Furthermore, many enterprises now view collaboration through a SharePoint lens--and if a vendor doesn't play in or complement the SharePoint ecosystem, it's not worth taking the time to figure out what they do offer. Finally recognizing that ignoring the SharePoint elephant in the room is not getting them new customers, IBM Lotus has announced a compelling add-on to SharePoint: Social for SharePoint, which is basically a Connections add-on to SharePoint. Although customers like SharePoint's portal and content management capabilities, many feel that its social software capabilities are rudimentary--and they are. Social for SharePoint fixes that problem in spades, and leverages the enhancements to Connections that IBM continues to make. In short, IBM Lotus now offers a product that works with SharePoint to deliver the social software capabilities that Microsoft promises but doesn't deliver.