Lotusphere 2010, Day 2.5: You too can be a speed geek

This time, it's not just about the new release of Notes

From Lotusphere 2010: At the end of day three, Scott and Todd gather to talk about quickly cramming geek knowledge into your head, Project Vulcan, the mobile Lotus®, and collaboration ... all collaboration, all the time (except when Todd's underwater).

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Scott Laningham (scottla@us.ibm.com), Podcast Editor, IBM developerWorks

Scott LaninghamScott Laningham, host of developerWorks podcasts, was previously editor of developerWorks newsletters. Prior to IBM, he was an award-winning reporter and director for news programming featured on Public Radio International, a freelance writer for the American Communications Foundation and CBS Radio, and a songwriter/musician.



20 January 2010

developerWorks: This is a developerWorks podcast. I'm Scott Laningham still at Lotusphere 2010 in Orlando with Todd Watson. Hey, Todd, how are you doing today?

Turbo: Good morning, Lotuspherians.

Listen to this podcast.

Ed Brill speaks ... from his blog.

Carol Jones videos on Web 2.0 research and collaboration. And even more in this 2006 interview (and in pod form).

Project Vulcan from the pen of Ed Brill.

developerWorks: Yes, it is Wednesday morning. We're kind of doing a Tuesday and Wednesday wrapup in one. Just wanted to mention, of course yesterday still a lot of great breakout sessions, birds-of-a-feather sessions. Something that stood out to me yesterday was this thing called speed geeking [ed: exposing your brain to the largest variety of informational presentations in the shortest amount of time].

I went to that in the evening and it was a solid hour, probably a couple hundred people at least in attendance. And there were about a dozen tall tables, the little ones you stand at, and guys with demos and five minutes each. And there was somebody in the middle with a clock and a microphone counting down and saying "okay, you've got 30 seconds, okay, next one."

So everybody moved through all those demos and in an hour you got exposed to about a dozen different IBM® products and technology, so it was pretty cool.

Turbo: Aren't you married already? [LAUGHTER]

developerWorks: Yes, that's true.

Turbo: Oh, speed geeking. I'm sorry. Not speed dating. [LAUGHTER]

developerWorks: Speed dating. I guess that's what it's based on, right? I don't even know what that is. That's how married I am.

Turbo: Don't ask me. So that's cool. [LAUGHTER]

developerWorks: And then you and I attended a blogger function last night, select bloggers and a chance to visit with some key IBM execs ... Carol Jones, Ed Brill, a few others. It was a really interesting session and some very frank conversation between some key bloggers and executives. I'm sure that was very valuable to them.

Turbo: Yes, I mean, it certainly was to me as well, because I had an opportunity to hear them elaborate on some of the key announcements and technology directions. But very frank and I thought that was great. I mean, bloggers are not shy, most of them. So in particular talked a lot about and asked a lot of questions about Project Vulcan which I think is really emerging as one of the key things to hone in on at this Lotusphere 2010.

If I could just share with you quickly an anecdote. I had breakfast this morning with, you know, 3,000 of my closest Lotus® friends. And I was sitting at this table and a couple of gentlemen from New Jersey who are Business Partners and I was asking them what do they think of the event. And they said "you know, it's interesting. We've been going for 10 years and this is the first time at the event it wasn't all about the next release of Lotus Notes®."

And I kind of smiled and I said, you know, somehow I don't think that was by happy accident. I think that was planned, the portfolio and the direction and the future of this platform is evolving dramatically. And I think you're seeing that reflected and it was great to hear a customer acknowledge that.

developerWorks: That's cool. And like you're saying, that's one of the things I love about this new generation of web-based citizen media. There's just a different atmosphere not only with those reporting frankness but with the way the executives and the leadership at IBM interact with this type of media, isn't there?

Turbo: I absolutely [agree], Scott ... and you and I had heard it. I think we were kind of commiserating with Rawn in the interview yesterday [Read | Listen] where he said "you know, it's more about talking to instead of talking at." And I'm hearing a lot of talking to at this event. And I'm liking it.

developerWorks: Yes. Amen. Now some key announcements yesterday and today, in particular today. Do you want to run us through those quickly?

Turbo: Yes. I headlined my post "Goin' mobile." The first big news really centered today on the IBM Lotus mobile strategy. And by the way, this literally just came out of a press conference that was about an hour-and-a-half ago. A major expansion of the IBM Lotus collaboration software portfolio and delivery of enterprise secure mail for Android, the iPhone, and Nokia Symbian smart phones.

During the event this week, GM had related how it's building an increasingly mobile workforce that's connected and equipped for "anything, anytime, anywhere" as they said in the press release today. And the GM Chief Strategy and Technology Officer Kirk Gutmann explained that he has thousands of people on iPhones and BlackBerry devices typing into their Lotus collaboration tools while in motion ... increasing their productivity.

And he said in particular that Lotus Notes Traveler brings IBM's enterprise-grade messaging to the iPhone as well as to Symbian and later we talked about Android-based phones to which I just say try not to text me while you're driving behind me on Mopac [Expressway/Loop 1, a controlled access highway named after the Missouri Pacific Railroad because it followed its right of way] in Austin, thank you very much.

developerWorks: Exactly. You'll go to jail for that.

Turbo: IBM also announced the Lotus Notes Traveler Companion which is a plug-in that allows you to view encrypted mail on the iPhone. Now, that's already available in the Apple app store. You can go there now and download it for free. What that does, it allows Lotus Notes users who synchronize their mail, their calendar, their contacts and their Domino mail via Lotus Notes Traveler to view encrypted email like confidential business information, personal data, on the iPhone.

Really met a market need. I've seen a lot of search queries about this on our website. So, you know, we listened and responded. You know, I'm going to be downloading that shortly, Scott because I know you've been trying to break in and read my fan mail. [LAUGHTER]

developerWorks: You got it.

Turbo: Traveler is also going to be supported on Nokia Symbian smart phones and Windows mobile devices because we do want to be sure that Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie can securely read one another's Notes email on their iPhones. That was a joke. Okay.

Next up we had some great news on the online meeting front which is where, as you know, I spend most of my life when I'm not at these conferences. In fact, I think I'm supposed to be in an emeeting right at this very moment. D'oh!

Okay. These new features in IBM Lotus Sametime offer a new online meeting experience that provides a consolidated calendar view. It enables users to start or join a meeting with a single click because taking a few clicks to open an emeeting was apparently a major labor on the part of IBMers and customers around the globe. I'm just kidding. I love one-click access particularly to the delete button in my Notes inbox.

With this new feature, users are going to be able to easily invite people to a meeting by just simply dragging names from their IM contact list and dropping them into a meeting. And participants will also be able to accept meeting invites with a single click, as well as upload materials to the meeting with the drag-and-drop capability. Now, I presume this also means I can drop you out of the meeting if you're misbehaving.

IBM had a number of world-class companies participating in a beta to help us test out these new capabilities, including Asia Paints, Colgate-Palmolive, Prudential, Merck KGaA, and many others. And several have indicated they are seeing cost savings immediately with Lotus Sametime 8.5.

Thomas Heidmuller with Merck said that "with our planned deployment of Lotus Sametime 8.5 in the second Q of 2010, we will be able to further lower our travel expenses with our plans to run education sessions both internally and externally with our partners." Love to hear that immediately adding value.

Some of the new features of Lotus Sametime 8.5 that are worth highlighting ... it's always ready, reservationless meetings with password-protected meeting rooms. Can I hear an amen on that one, Scott?

developerWorks: A-men.

Turbo: Thank you. That is a huge productivity booster right there because you can just quickly schedule that meeting on the fly.

Also Lotus Sametime now offers a zero-download Web client that makes it a lot easier for companies to embed Sametime capabilities into their other apps and websites so now it's useable from those other applications.

Also for all you Macheads out there, there is a new version ... in the new version rather ... new browser-based Apple iPhone chat client. Amen to that one as well.

And I also just saw a killer demo earlier today with the Sametime Unified Telephony capability which helps users better manage their phone calls based on their presence and their location. And that was really a no-brainer for companies that have an exceptionally mobile workforce.

And I've used that function personally when I was working remotely and didn't want to run up a big phone bill from overseas. So have WiFi and Sametime United Telephony, will travel.

developerWorks: And what about the SMB front? I know there's something there too.

Turbo: Yes. So on the SMB front which IBM and Lotus have really been honing in on as a key market opportunity and customer base, we announced that we're working with Business Partners to create solutions integrated with IBM Lotus Foundations to help those smaller and medium size businesses address the challenge of complexity.

For those of you who don't know what it is, Lotus Foundations is IBM's hardware and software solution that helps SMBs collaborate using tools like email, office apps, file sharing, backup and data recovery, and protection. So it's essentially a one-stop shop and it's for those companies that want to focus on running their business and not an IT infrastructure because the foundation solution is autonomic, meaning you can install it, set it up, monitor it, and do a lot of the problem resolution without human intervention.

Now one of our newest telephony partners on this front is Mytel and they deliver now a unified communication solution for SMBs. So that basically lets them, for example, quickly provision employee phone extensions that can get set up auto-magically, assigned, and linked to their email. Users can set up their own phone systems. And those incoming and outgoing calls can be intelligently routed based on an employee's IM status.

So basically with this system you can never get away from your office which for many SMBs is just what the doctor ordered. Me, I go scuba diving on vacation expressly for the reason that no one can reach me underwater, at least not yet.

developerWorks: Did you say auto-magically?

Turbo: I did. Auto-magically and autonomically. That's pretty good. It's alliteration, right.

developerWorks: Did you create that word auto-magically?

Turbo: I did create that word auto-magically.

developerWorks: You heard it first right here, developerWorks live at Lotusphere, Todd Turbo Watson creating new beautiful words. Thank you, Todd.

Turbo: Thank you, Scott. Adios.

developerWorks: Excellent update. And tonight we're off to big party at Disney Magic something or other. Disney Studios. Used to be MGM Studios. I don't know what that's all about, but I'm sure it will be fun. And back with more podcasts.

Please check out the one that we just posted with Rawn Shah, author of a new book on social networking for businesses. And more to come from Lotusphere 2010 in Orlando, Florida. I'm Scott Laningham with Todd Watson. See you soon.

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