If you weren't able to make it to Lotusphere in Orlando, FL (where the weather, unlike the past few years, was perfect!), I thought I'd share the highlights from the WebSphere Portal keynote session delivered by Larry Bowden, as part of the new Exceptional Web Experience track . Different from previous years, each Lotus product segment held its own keynote session after the opening general session (which featured the original Capt. Kirk - William Shatner - who was both amusing and interesting)...and it worked well. Here were the key messages delivered during the Portal keynote:
- Happy Birthday! WebSphere Portal turns 10 this year, and while it was a great opportunity to look back at all the innovations Portal has delivered over the years, we really consider it more of a warm-up for the next 10 years...which will undoubtedly bring even more innovation and opportunity for organizations to deliver "Exceptional Web Experiences".
- Award-winning Customers! Over the past decade, IBM and Portal have seen many awards and recognition, but here in the Portal team we consider our customers' successes to be our best measure of success. Several customers, across various industries, have recently been recognized for their outstanding Web applications delivered with WebSphere Portal, and we took the opportunity to share those names with the audience.
- Wave of New Possibilities! In the last 100 days, there have been a dozen new product releases and initiatives too numerous to mention here, but include the new 6.1.5 versions of Portal and LWCM as well as the new Government-to-Business portal template...these new capabilities provide for new possibilities.
- New Offers! New offers and Portal portfolio capabilities were announced, including: a 3-month free trail from analytics partner Coremetrics; the planned availability in Q1 2010 of two new industry toolkits - Industrial and Travel & Transportation - as part of the WebSphere Portal Industry Toolbox; and lastly, the availability of beta release of Hypervisor editions of Portal and LWCM for virtualized environments.
- Lotus Knows...A Better Web Experience is a Better Business Experience!: Larry provided several perspectives of how Internet use is growing and how the use of Web-enabled mobile devices has exploded (and will continue to) and how user activities via the Web have shifted dramatically over the past decade...and how we are preparing the entire Portal pillar to allow organizations to exploit that growth and opportunity with Exceptional Web Experiences...regardless of a user's location or device.
- Don't Foresee the Future, Enable It! Larry shared some glimpses of internal IBM research projects, and touched upon some other interesting technology approaches, like immersive Web experiences and the Web via smarter TVs, as examples of how the future is now...and IBM, having already invested over $1B in Portal technology, is prepared to keep innovating into the next decade.
- Portal As Platform For Healthcare Reform!: Finally, the keynote ended with a terrific customer presentation by Bill Fandrich, CIO at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. It was interesting to see how BCBS MA is delivering an external-facing Web experience to its members, both as a customer service and a health management tool. By educating more members on good health and treatment, BCBS MA views the Portal as a potential agent of change in the US healhcare debate...good stuff!
So, those are the highlights from the Portal keynote...if you want more insight on any this, or any of the other session from the Exceptional Web Experience track at Lotusphere, let me know or ask your favorite IBMer for more details. Also, keep an eye out for the upcoming "Lotusphere Comes To You" events that will be traveling to select locations soon!
-- Brian Chaput