Live Blogging the Lotusphere Opening General Session

Opening entertainment… some band who’s name didn’t make it through to the broadcast on in the overflow room. They sang Pinball Wizard from The Who’s “Tommy”.

Mike Rhodin announces +30% revenue growth for 2006 coming, in part, from updates of Notes/Domino and the release of Sametime 7.5, the Sametime Gateway and Sametime mobile.

Mike announces Lotusphere in Second Life. The OGS will be available for replay in the 2L IBM auditorium starting tomorrow.

Guest speaker: Neil Armstrong. The famous astronaut tells the story of going up to the moon and setting up mirrors that would allow scientists to measure it’s distance from earth “so the astronauts could know how much mileage to put on their expense accounts.” The mirrors have been used since many times for various experiments.

Mike highlights Lotus’ commitment to improving the end user experience – “We’re going to allow people to work the way they want to work.”

Mike recounts a story of his daughter coming home from college and spending most of the time on Facebook. He talks about how the next generation will work this way and we must build the tools that they will use at work. He said that he heard of a recent interviewee saying “email? thats for my grandfather”.

Challenges that Lotus is taking on: Taming the inbox, sharing information, integration services, assembling applications, creating connections. “We’re ready to help you do things like you’ve never done them before”

Bruce Morse and Akiba Saeedi take the stage to talk about “unified communications and collaboration” – the new direction for Lotus’ real time collaboration strategy. To be released this year – updates to Sametime 7.5 point to point video chat, tabbed chat windows, Linux server and Mac client.

“Unified Communications and Collaboration” – the flexibility to connect IP telephony, video, voicemail, multipoint device presence.

DEMO – Sametime 7.5 New features:

  • Video – point to point natively and multipoint with vendor support (Radvision in this case)
  • Tabbed Chat
  • Cisco integration – use softphone to make a call to a POTS phone; voicemail integration – display incoming voice mail and listen to them through the client.
  • RIM integration – multiuser chat with option to ‘convert to call’. Back end system calls all of the chat participants.

Ken Bisconti on how Lotus is going to “help you tame your inbox.” Dropping the ‘Hannover’ code name and getting ready to ship Notes 8. Notes 8 is built on top of Eclipse for extensibility in a way that was not available before.

DEMO – Notes 8 Client

  • Ghosted calendar views that allow you see what meetings have not yet been acted on.
  • Calendar import – ics import example.
  • Threaded mail views
  • Integrated feed reading experience – sitting in the ‘sidebar panel’
  • “Composite Application” – a ‘mashup’ of existing Notes assets created using the Composite application editor. The CAE allows you to ‘wire’ components together graphically.
  • Integrated ‘productivity editors’ (presentation, spreadsheet word processing) based on Open Document Format, able to open most current formats and save as PDF.
  • Thumbnail viewer for all open tabs.

Ken segues to the topic of sharing information. Alistair Rennie comes on to introduce Lotus Quickr – “a shared replicable file system with rss and atom feeds.” Every Notes DWA licensee “on maintainence” will be entitled to the personal edition of Lotus Quickr for free. Quickr compontents (a partial list) – Team blogs, team wikis, team calendars, document storage… Quickr has connection points for vendors to add in function.

DEMO – Lotus Quickr

  • Browser based display of content respository
  • Windows desktop integration – shell extensions for Windows explorer to allow of check-in / check-out etc. There is also an office toolbar.
  • Sametime 7.5 Mini-app for accessing content repository, with an integrated side window pane that displays documents that are being shared.
  • Notes 8 integration, with options to point to the document repository instead of sending a file as an attachment to reduce on mail file size.

Larry Bowden – How customers “put it all in context”. In the last week there is a good chance we’ve interacted with WebSphere portal technology. Larry announced WebSphere portal express 6 – for small/medium business with a prebuilt intranet and extranet “out of the box”. Installation in “less time than it takes to watch your favorite sitcom”.

… Now I have to run to the ISV enablement Lab to get set up … check out LotusphereLive.com for more real time updates.

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