|Every year, Lotusphere is the event that truly reminds me of how far we've come on this journey of collaboration.... |
I came to Lotus from being the project manager responsible for what turned into an enterprise deployment of Notes at a large aerospace & electronics company. My previous employer already had email systems....too many email systems in fact. We had a jumbled mess of email systems, all with their own directories, that separate divisions had chosen with no consideration of ever wanting to communicate outside their division. We used Soft-Switch (remember them?) email gateways to interconnect the numerous systems and to provide directory synchronization. At that time, the SMTP protocol was not widely adopted (outside the Unix world at least). Even the networks the systems lived on were not all standardized. We had a variety of networks and transmission protocols. Before I began working in the world of IT and data systems, I used to manage a voice/ telephony network. The maturity of the voice systems had occurred due to telcos adopting agreed-upon standards. But since computer systems - especially personal computers - were still pretty new.... data network protocols weren't mature and/or widely adopted.
As I made the career transition to data networks - then email gateways / directories - and then Lotus Notes, I gained a true admiration for those individuals who had the vision and knowledge to 'make this all work together'. One of those people was Dr. Vincent Cerf. He, along with Robert Kahn, developed the 'language' that enables computer networks to talk to each other. TCP/IP set the standard for how computers communicate over the internet - like sending email or browsing. Dr. Cerf and Mr. Kahn just recently were awarded the A M Turing Award (considered to be the Nobel Prize equivalent in the computing industry) for their work. There are many others, of course, but where would we be without their efforts? Here's an interesting list of other influential individuals in our computing world from Sys Con Media Magazine
As internet protocols became more mature and more widely adopted, our competitors often predicted the death of Notes. We knew they were wrong! By embracing these internet standards (in fact, leading many of the standards initiatives and work groups), Lotus / IBM has strengthened the product and set the 'gold standard' for what a robust collaboration environment should be. At Lotusphere 2005, our customers, business partners & the press all agreed !
Setting the Gold Standard
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