Socialsphere. Cloudsphere. Lotusphere? This Lotusphere was about “Social Business”. I do not like that term very much. I used to talk about Enterprise 2.0. But as IBM spreads the word now, we will use it in the future anyway.
It was my 12th Lotusphere, and for sure this was an historic Lotusphere. Not only for seeing “Lotus” disapearing slowly, but for the fact, that we talked about so many interesting things over the last few days – but less about Lotus Notes than ever. Lotus Notes is still there, it is mature, it is a big pile of software code which still grows from time to time. So while we were talking about Activity Streams, Followers, Share Buttons, Embedded Experiences I asked myself. What does that mean for Lotus Notes?
Perhaps it is now the time to de-assemble the whole client? Break it up into browser based components? Componentize, like I wrote back in 2005? I have my doubts. The last years we saw the client grow and grow, thanks to Eclipse. Was it really a good idea to wire things in the frontend to multiply problems by thousands which would be there only one time if you integrate at the backend?
Of course future versions of Lotus Notes will integrate seamless into hybrid- and on-premise-components in the backend. People will not care anymore if this is a Websphere, Lotus Domino or another backend. IBM will tell customers to migrate the services / applications to LotusLive. And if the pricing and service quality good, customers will follow IBM. So what stays? A really fat Notes Client which renders basically HTML-Code from XPage enabled Notes Databases? Will Lotus Notes get social by replacing the good old inbox to an “social inbox” aka Activity Stream?
I am not sure. It will be long way for german customers to understand the message. I talked to several companies from Germany. Most of them run test environmens with Lotus Connections. Some are in stealth mode by making the service public to employees – but they better don´t talk about this with the CFO.
As I read the postings from the analysts (Gartner, Forrester) I see they liked the message. Maybe because IBM followed the analysts message.
So we all are on our way to the top right of Gartner´s Magic Quadrant.