IBM LCTY-Boston Feature Tsunami
- Wednesday, 18 April 2007 11:47
IBM Lotus Notes 8, now in beta release promises several outstanding innovations in email clients:
- integrated user experience in mail, contacts and calendar
- Support (planned) for Windows, Mac and Linux clients
- Support for search paradigm, conversational methods
- Preview as a 'side panel' instead of only the horizontal split
- "Only You" flag that defines those emails sent only to you (I call it the CYA filter )
- Local cache of recent contacts speeds up addressing a lot
- Multi-level undo (which generated applause when announced at LCTY)
- Colored event types in the calendar
- Collaboration history of interactions with contact
- Message recall that apparently actually works
- RSS reader in the email window
- Mashups supported
- Smart upgrade – where only provisioned new capabilities are selectively managed
- Domino Web Access – (webmail) is reworked within AJAX for speed improvements and even a narrowband option
This impressive feature list was well received by the audience, yet the cornucopia of choices for users gave me a little concern. I wondered if this was going to be another case of the 'feature tsunami.' Feature tsunamis occur when a software company delivers more features than users can actually exploit. It happened in PBXs, word processors and spreadsheets to name three product categories. In every case, the ability to create a feature seemed easier than it was for 10,000 customers to actually use them.
Does the IBM Lotus portfolio suffer from this challenge?
Not according to Ken Bisconti, IBM VP Lotus software. Ken says that unlike the word processor and the spreadsheet, users don't have to be presented with all of these features. Administrators can control the release of many of these capabilities, as can the average user by turning the advanced menus off.
Where Will Unified Communications Take Us?
- Tuesday, 17 April 2007 08:44
The Future of Business Communications
The communications industry is making a big deal about unified communications. Is it real? What does it mean to users? Where will this take us?
With the preponderance of coverage around voice over IP, SIP, applications and the apparently new entry of both Microsoft and IBM into the enterprise communications mix, a cauldron of confusion and or opportunity has been heated up.
What’s the future to hold? What are the effects of these new participants? Will they be successful? Will my current mix of applications be useful? How will I be affected by these ‘opportunities?’
In this report, Brockmann & Company reviews the major dynamics that got the industry to this point. Extrapolating that trajectory to the future presents unique insights into how what’s going on now makes sense, and sets up a predictive view of what to expect.
A few Minutes with Ken Bisconti, VP IBM Lotus Software
- Monday, 16 April 2007 11:07
This is the first in a series of posts about my meeting with Ken Bisconti, the VP of IBM Lotus Software. Ken spoke with me at the Lotusphere Comes to You – Boston event last week.
In research that I had conducted at another firm in the fall of 2006, it was surprising to me how strong the demand for hosted enterprise applications and services really is. My experiences with phone company-based centrex services colored to a large extent my laggard view of the technology and its prospects. Yet, in the face of the data, I am forced to revisit the space and am compelled to understand the dynamics of this rapidly changing space.
My question to Ken was around IBM's hosting strategy? Is there a plan to respond to the hosting opportunity?
IBM is the leader in outsourcing services operations, has an impressive managed services capability, but no hosting (Ken called it a multi-tenant service) offer. With Microsoft positioning its' consumer and business hosted services and offerings, with Cisco acquiring Webex, IBM must be planning to play a role in this rapidly emerging market?
Ken explained that IBM will fill this gaps in their strategy soon, probably in 2007. We discussed the hypothesis that hosting is to address small business. I didn't disagree, except to point out that there are large enterprise benefits to implementing a uniform architecture where some sites or classes of employees are hosted, and some are more traditionally supported directly by IT. In these circumstances, the role of the IBM hosted offering would be to simplify that decision in favor of IBM products and services, instead of a split technology decision (which could tilt the playing field to the other guys who have a complete hosted and purchased offer).
We didn't go into details on whether this might be an acquisition or strategic alliance, but it is clear that a hosted offering can be a complement to filling the need for a uniform architecture across an enterprise. This would involve a lower price and cost than the managed service offering, because it is a standardized shared but private service.