So it´s all about collaboration. It´s about connecting people and knowledge. Bringing together teams to work efficiently on projects. Help people becoming more productive, fighting the email flood and finding their ways throught the information djungel. Nothing realy new to the Lotus community. That is what this community has done for years. But now collaboration seems to be recognized by CEOs as the big challenge. And collaboration finds its way up from all these succesfull web 2.0 projects to the IBM product portfolio.
So what have we seen today?
- Sametime 7.5 seems to be very successfull. IBM sold over 1 Million seats of Lotus Sametime. Many partners contribute plugins to the new Eclipse based clients. Furture Direction: With video chat support, tabbed chat, voice and telephony integration Lotus Sametime will become THE Unified Messaging tool for corporate usage.
- Hannover is Lotus Notes 8 now. Public Beta will be available next month. Some partners like our company is part of the Managed Beta program. And what I can say: This Beta version is extremly robust and easy to work with. We saw some features I did not know about like ghosted calendar entries or the integrated PDF converter for documents.
- Lotus Quickr is a Web 2.0 like collaborative content server. It looked like a mesh-up of Workplace Documents, QuickPlace and some Blog and Wiki solutions.
- Lotus Quickr Personal Edition supports Document Management functionality within the Windows Explorer, Lotus Sametime Client and Lotus Notes 8 Client with MS Office integration. They said nothing about Open Office integration, but this should not be a big deal. Cool feature: Drag´n´Drop of documents between Quickr and Notes Mail plugin in the new Lotus Notes 8 client. And the best thing: It comes for free to all Lotus Notes users. Lotus Quickr will make the daily work with documents much more easier within the collaborative environment of Lotus Notes and Lotus Sametime. And it shares information with the standards like RSS and Atom support.
- Lotus Quickr Standard Edition adds Teamspaces, Blogs and Wikis. And it comes with lots of templates. So you can start with a project management teamroom right away. The Standard Edition will be for free for owners of a Quickplace license. Interesting: Quickr apps will be available offline by NSF support. So it replicates. There is a Java based local store too and connectors to Filenet.
- With Lotus Connections IBM finally makes the Activity server available. The call it the „First Ready-for-Business Social Software“. And this is something I waited for since a long time. The activity centric appoach to collaboration was integrated in several products like the old Workplace Managed Client, and last years Lotusphere visitors could see very cool code in the labs running on top of a simple Tomcat server. IBM now delivers the Activity toolset including a bookmark server á la del.icio.us, a powerfull profiling engine and social community support. Of course it integrates into Eclipse based Sametime client as well as in the new Lotus Notes 8 client. Last year they showed a Lotus Notes 6.x and higher integration for the Activity server, but today I have not heard anything about the support of older versions.
Lotus Connections will be be available to Lotusphere Online users this afternoon. I am very curious how it works.
IBM promises to build cool tools. Why cool? Because cool tools will be pulled into organizations, you don´t have to push it. Just like Instant Messaging made its way to the corporate world, because it was cool and people wanted to use it. IBM speaks about „viral adoption“. And from what I have seen, there is a good chance for things like Lotus Quickr and Lotus Connections to be adopted exactly this way. These solutions realy look cool.