Lotusphere 2010

A peek at what's coming


developerWorks: This is a developerWorks podcast. I'm Scott Laningham here with IBM® blogger and technology evangelist "Turbo" Todd Watson. We're here to preview Lotusphere 2010, which is coming up Jan. 17-21 in just a little over a week from now at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Todd, how's your 2010 going so far?

Turbo: [SINGING] "It's a small world after all." [LAUGHTER] I'm sorry. Ahh, it going ... you know ... Monday was a harsh reality, dude. I had football brain. Speaking of football, "Hook 'em Horns!"

developerWorks: Yeah, we're going to keep this podcast relatively short because, of course, we do have our priorities. And we're going to have to get off here and watch the game in just a little bit.

But we do want to talk about Lotusphere, which is coming up, which we're both excited to be attending. Everyone may remember we were at the Information on Demand Global Conference a couple of months back, and we're going to do that again in even more exciting fashion at Lotusphere.

Let me quickly mention a few things that people should look out for, then I want to ask you, Todd, about kind of what you're excited about at the conference.

Of course, Lotusphere is a premier conference for collaboration software and solutions and so, if you're into Lotus® and WebSphere® Portal products and strategy it's THE place to be in the year. It's for Lotus customers, partners, IT leaders, business execs. You'll see developers, architects, system engineers there -- everybody.

Aligning IT with business strategy to improve results is the theme, both at IOD and now will be at Lotus because IBM is all over that. Executive keynotes, the typical certification test and prep labs, birds of a feather, big products showcase with a bookstore, tracks on product jumpstarting sessions, future technologies from IBM and Lotus Research, application development, SpeedGeeking (something we're going to have this year). And, of course, the obligatory rock band and "Guitar Hero" competitions at Monday's product showcase reception. So you can have more than a full plate there obviously, but what sticks out to you, Todd? What are you excited about?

Turbo: Well first of all, I'm just excited about going. I mean, this is my first time at Lotusphere, which I know probably strikes many of our audience as completely crazy because I've been using their products for 20 years now. So I guess I kind of figured I would wait until I had a few questions stored up before I actually attended. [LAUGHTER]

I'm really excited about undergoing a thorough security search at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. I haven't traveled since all this stuff happened, and you know, I live on an airplane, so I looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to seeing a number of my colleagues and yours, and meeting with them, meeting new customers and business partners, so just the networking I think alone is worth the price of admission.

I'm really excited about seeing who the mystery emcee is; they won't tell me. And they say it's somebody that, you know, we're all going to recognize but for some reason, the cat's not out of the bag.

developerWorks: Well, that's silly.

Turbo:I hope I don't show up to find out it's me. That's all I can say.

developerWorks: [LAUGHTER] You know, I know they don't want us to say this, but I really don't understand that. I thought part of knowing who it was is what would get you there. But maybe it's SO BIG ...

Turbo: Well it's suspense. It's getting you there because you don't know and you gotta go to find out.

developerWorks: So they're so huge that if they let the cat out of the bag, then there might be no seats left and it's probably that big.

Turbo: [LAUGHTER] Exactly!

I'm really excited about eating Disneyland hotel food for four days straight. I really excited about working with you again, though, Scott, because I think we had a really good time and good work at IOD, and I think that Lotus is more of a jazz improvisation -- an opportunity for us to really kind of roam the halls and, you know, talk to folks. Really get a bead on what's going on.

Of course, I'll also be blogging and tweeting a number of the key sessions, so I can kind of get some of those key announcements out, so if you follow me on Facebook, you better get ready to cut that sucker off for a few days if you're not interested in just a boatload of news from our friends at Lotus.

developerWorks: I'm excited about being there with you, too, and I like the jazz improvisational analogy. I'm thinking I might be carrying a snare drum and some brushes with me because it's going to be a swinging session and I, you know, I think there'll be a desire to just play along at times so [LAUGHTER] ....

Turbo: Well, I can play the kazoo.

developerWorks: There you go. Kazoo -- jazz kazoo. It doesn't get any better than that.

You know, I'm excited too because I think we're going to have a spot in the solutions pavillion or the products showcase or whatever it is they call it at this one -- I think products showcase is what they call it -- but where all the booths are, where you can go and learn about different things from different companies, technologies and I think by having a space there, we're going to be able to really interact more with people at the conference and hear more about what people are excited about. So I want to encourage everybody to come by and see us. Look for us in the product showcase area.

You know I'm also excited about the airport too, Todd; I mean, I share your enthusiasm for security searches and for me, it's always that grand challenge of "How can I get my gear into the bags that will fit into the overhead?" Because last time I had microphone cables in my pocket and microphones in my coat pocket, and that stuff does not look good in the scanners, so ....

Turbo: Well whatever you do, don't put it in a syringe, OK? Because I'm not going to travel with you if you do.

developerWorks: [LAUGHTER] What about strategy and just, in terms of the things you're excited about that are going to be the focus at the conference?

Turbo: Well, as you know, I sit in our software business Web marketing group, and I see a lot of customer input from the Web site, through our search trends, so I can tell you that I'm interested in what our customers are interested in, first of all. And I see a lot of interest in things like the mobile space and where Lotus plays there. I mean I think we've already seen the Notes ultralight product [Lotus iNotes™ V8.5] -- I think I may be misspeaking that name -- but it's a product that allows you to get access to your Lotus Notes email through the iPhone. So that's something I think, just in general, I mean look at the Google Nexus One announcement recently, look at some of the new devices coming into the market. A lot of the deals that are going down in the mobile marketing space. So I think that's going to be an area where I hope to learn a lot more about what we're doing.

I think also related to that is what's going on in cloud computing. And Lotus, as you know, we successfully launched last year the LotusLive initiative, where I actually today run many of my e-meetings with my far-flung team around the world. And it's a huge productivity enhancer that helps limit some of the travel. So I'm interested in learning more about what we're doing there because I think it's important to the future of our software business, but more importantly, it's going to be important to the future of our customers, the businesses that we serve.

So those are probably two of the key areas that I'm interested in hearing the most about. I hope we have an opportunity to do that.

developerWorks: I just have a feeling there's going to be some exciting things announced. There always are at these things. And they don't tell us much ahead of time, so they don't have to take us out, so we don't leak it, but I ...


developerWorks: ... just like with the grand keynoter, I think that there's going to be some thrilling things to hear about and things people'll be excited about. So everybody needs to ...

Turbo: Well, I think that's part of the fun to have build ups and suspense. Gets people like us to go, gets our customers to go because you get to hear it first hand, you get to hear it straight from our key executives, and you know, get an opportunity to ask questions. So, what could be better?

Oh, and by the way, if you're following us on Twitter, make sure you follow the hashtag /lotusknows (all one word: l-o-t-u-s-k-n-o-w-s) for the official news coming out of the event. And for all those who want to follow their fellow Lotuspherians, the hashtag for that is going to be /ls10. That's l-s 10.

developerWorks: That you. You just saved me having to publish this podcast, pull it down, re-edit it, fix that, and put it back up again.

Turbo: [LAUGHTER] I wasn't sure.

developerWorks: You just saved me two hours of work right there. Thank you very much.

Turbo: I'm adding value already!

developerWorks: Anyway, hope to see everybody there and follow us or if you are there, please come by and see us in the products showcase.

Scott Laningham with Todd Watson and we'll see you in Orlando. Thanks, Todd.

Turbo: Thank you. See you there.

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ArticleTitle=Lotusphere 2010: A peek at what's coming