Lotusphere 2011 Opening Session

Alistair Rennie opened Lotusphere (#ls11) – after saying "I love the smell of Lotusphere in the morning" – by introducing the 500 college students invited by GBS.

He talked about the Notes customer General Motors and the Chevy Volt electrical car they brought to Lotusphere, and how it contains more code than an F-35 fighter.

Then he introduced this years guest speaker, Kevin Spacey.

Kevin Spacey is not just a film actor, but also the producer behind last year’s movie "The Social Network". He was speaking about how he, after he decided to change career, started a social network for independent film makers called Triggerstreet back in 2001. Then he talked about Facebook and how the movie came to be.

Now Alistair is back in stage and talk about how the important thing to IBM and Lotus is the success of the customers. "Everything is just hot air" he said.

IBM just completed their yearly Chief Human Resource Officer study, which shows that social networking and business is very important to grow and evaluate businesses. Alistair Rennie think that social networking is the fifth step in evolution of computing, after mainframes, departmental computing, PCs and the Internet. It makes the business nimble and fast. The companies embracing social networking are also more successful, according to Alistair Rennie. Those companies are also more connected through mobile devices and the cloud. "It’s about the people, stupid"

Social business have to be built on open standards (OpenSocial, HTML5, etc) as well as work like the internet, use resources and services not only inside the company but also public resources.

Alistair Rennie promise that we later this morning will see the next versions of Lotus Notes, Sametime, Connections, LotusLive and Portal.

"Rethinking the outcome in the face of social business. Get Social. Do Business"


Now Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO of RIM on the stage, showing the RIM PlayBook. As @vowe said on twitter, "first OGS with a commercial break".

Going mobile is just one of the ways social businesses will succeeded Rennie says.

Now Jeff Schick from IBM is on stage, introducing representatives/executives from BASF, KBC Bank, CSC and AT&T for a on-stage panel.

Message: "going social is a way to get good employees and keep them, as well as building value."

Now Sandy Carter, VP of Sales (Worldwide) is on stage. Talking about how she is an "evangelist" at IBM, and how important she (and IBM) sees social business and how they "walk the walk". The internal network, w3.ibm, is very important to IBM employees. For every 1% increase in retention, the IBM software division saves 50 million dollar. Sandy talks about how companies that outperform their competitors are 57% more likely to use social networking.

Finally the demos started. Ron Sebastian, who traditionally was doing the demos, had passed the torch to Brian Cheng, a young IBMer who won the hearts of the audience with his enthusiastic presentation. Brian showed the next versions of Notes, Sametime and Quickr, all featuring the activity stream that originated with Project Vulcan that was introduced at Lotusphere 2010.

The generic impression was "too little products", it took over an hour and a half until it was demo time. All the customer panels bored the audience, at least everyone I talked to. I found the demos good. They showed the result of Project Vulcan, and I think IBM is on the right way. The activity stream is the way to go. I hope to get to llok closer at it in the next few days. Stay tuned for more info from Lotusphere 2011.


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