Jan 25, 2007

Collaborative Thinking: Microsoft Makes It Easier for Organizations to Transition to Its Unified Communications and Collaboration Platform

 My colleague Mike Gotta points out the misleading nature of Microsoft's Notes compete product press release. Not only is it misleading implying that there's something there when it's not, it is an odd decision to lump moving Notes users to Exchange and SharePoint with a UC message. You'd think they'd go after collaboration first.

Just to clarify this release from Microsoft, which I find misleading, nothing exists today that will help Lotus customers migrate from Sametime to an LCS or future OCS environment. To imply so in the title of the press release is unfortunate. From Notes/Domino to Exchange (e-mail), yes. From IBM's real-time collaboration tools to Communicator and LCS, no. The term "unified communications" should not have been used (it implies something that's not there).

Source: Collaborative Thinking: Microsoft Makes It Easier for Organizations to Transition to Its Unified Communications and Collaboration Platform

Magical Times

Amazingly we're already late into the first month of 2007. I feel like I'm on some magical time warp so far this year. This week I'm really feeling it. Presently, I'm in that magical place Orlando Florida, home of the Disney World, the place where phone operators wish you a magical day. I'm at the annual (14th) IBM Lotusphere conference. The congregation of the Lotus faithful and curious. Time is magical here. Hours, days, and minutes converge into the coral and turquoise decor.

The world of collaboration is getting more interesting by the minute (or was that an hour?). IBM made a number of announcements this week. Some gutsy, some expected, and some surprising. The atmosphere is upbeat and optimistic. IBM succeeded in rekindling the excitement behind their communication and collaboration offerings. There were bright and blurry spots in the conference keynotes.

Bright spots

  • Unified communications strategy - The open UC platform, built around the Sametime Client and plug-in technologies, allows customers to leverage their existing communication investments is a good strategy.
  • Lotus Connections - "social software for business" is a service oriented system for web-based social interfaces. My colleague Peter O' Kelly provides some interesting insight in Monday's Reuters article IBM renews Microsoft rivalry with new Web software.
  • Quickr - tossing another "e" in the recycle bin, Quickr is QuickPlace revamped into an application layer that can run on Domino or WebSphere Portal servers. The modernized UI and added content management features compete head-on with Microsoft SharePoint Services. Licensing includes a Personal Edition (free with Notes) and Standard Edition (QuickPlace entitlements) for enterprise deployment. I haven't done a side-by-side comparison yet so it would not be fair to judge things at this time.

Blurry pictures:

  • Domino Designer -the general focus at the conference was put on composite applications and the new programming model seems to have put modernization of Domino Designer on the back burner. Looks like designers will have to wait for Designer client to catch up with the new development model. 
  • Notes Client - The UI is modernized and built on the Eclipse Rich Client platform. Although this news has been around since last year, it was the dedication to the new client which proved to the world that Notes is an IBM priority. The old news is still good news, including the public beta release in February. Unfortunately we only saw an upgraded e-mail and calendar template and missed out on the benefits of the new rich client as the Notes application platform.

I expect enterprises to forge ahead with what they know they can count on from IBM: Lotus Notes/Domino, WebSphere Portal, and Sametime. This they can rely on for foundation communication and collaboration platforms. As far as all of the new stuff; Quickr will be a welcomed transition from QuickPlace, UC strategy will be a relief to customers who are at trying to solve a problem that crosses many operational boundaries, and Connections is likely to attract new customers to IBM solutions.

Jan 16, 2007

Too Casual To Sit on Press Row? - washingtonpost.com

 Blogging and journalism, can they mix? One point of view:

"Blogs are first and foremost a conversation, people talking," said Jeff Jarvis, a journalist-turned-blogger who created a forum called BuzzMachine.


Blogs, he said, have a "different biorhythm" where postings that are initially inaccurate or unfair are corrected online through readers comments and updated blog entries. "This is a world," he said, "where you publish first and edit later."

Source: Too Casual To Sit on Press Row? - washingtonpost.com

Jan 5, 2007

The Hanna-Barbera world of Bill Gates

According to The Guardian, Bill Gates envisions Rosie the companionbot...

An office worker checks her home-gadget webpage from her work computer. The tasks she set for her home robots in the morning have all been completed: washing and ironing, vacuuming the lounge and mowing the lawn.


She orders dinner from the kitchen chefbot - sushi today, using a recipe from a Japanese website - then checks her elderly mother's house. The companionbot has given mum her medicine and helped her out of bed and into a chair.

As the article points out, it's thinking like this that leads to innovation, however solutions are found in practicality:


Mr Gates thinks the plunging cost of computer memory and components will contribute to advances. But he believes that, like the early computer industry, robot developers need a common set of programming tools to solve problems such as dealing with numerous sources of information simultaneously. He has set up a team to solve these problems.

Source: Gates says day of the home-help robot is near | The Guardian | Guardian Unlimited

Read Bill's article "A Robot in Every Home" in the Scientific American, which is very practical.

Jan 4, 2007

RED HERRING | The Business of Technology

 Cisco buys IronPort...timely article

In the last seven months there have been at least six high-profile purchases of security startups. In August 2006, IBM acquired Internet Security Systems for $1.3 billion, along with two smaller security-related companies Vallent in November and Consul in December. EMC acquired RSA Security for $2.1 billion in July. BT acquired Counterpane in October for a reported $40 million. And now Cisco has gotten into the act with its $830 million acquisition of IronPort.


It’s a sellers’ market that reflects the growing toll on corporate customers from spam, viruses, identity theft, and other security breach issues.

Interestingly, the buyers range from application platform, to content, storage, network, and communication vendors. Obviously a reflection of the diverse business content channels that we are working with today.

Source: RED HERRING | The Business of Technology


My colleague Mike Gotta was tooling around with Google Co-Op and created a handy Analyst blog search engine...

Google Co-op continues to intrigue me. I had previously created a site where you could search a collection of Burton Group-related blogs and then I read that you could import an OPML file. So I went to Tektrati and downloaded their analyst directory in OPML format. I then defined a new search engine and uploaded that file.


Within seconds, the Serendipty search site was created. Imagine having the postings of analysts from multiple firms searchable within a single collection. Interesting possibilities... the power of OPML is also brought to light here. Another applications would have been to take my XML Feed subscriptions as well and create a customized search site whose collection mirrored my RSS or Atom feeds.

Source: Collaborative Thinking