The buzz is certainly growing around Lotus Connections – the product is now fully released and available, customers and partners are running it live in their own environments, and the analysts and media are definitely taking notice. The future is bright!
One of the great benefits of working in the IBM software partner space is that there has always been a great sense of community, of having shared goals and aspirations, of hitting similar issues and stumbling blocks, of needing each other to accomplish larger and more complex projects. Over the past 10-15 years these business relationships have been founded on ad-hoc and typically social interactions – a quick hello at an event, a longer beer or two at Lotusphere or another conference, a quick call on the commute home from work. If any software tools were used to aid these communications, typically it was limited to plain old email or IM – there wasn’t much choice in the matter…
Well, as you’re all aware, Web2.0 has changed all that – we now have LinkedIn, Facebook, RSS feeds, blogs, wikis, discussion forums, and of course… Lotus Connections. The mesh of online interactions and reactions is tighter than it has ever been, the communities are evolving and multiplying, the connections are being made ever more rapidly and we’re nowhere near done yet!
I tend to view the central power of online communities and social networking tools as coming from the many voices being heard – the wide variety of backgrounds, interests and passions that individuals have, the roles and responsibilities that they hold in a business or social context, the goals and objectives they wish to achieve… For that reason, I have invited a couple of additional authors to join me writing for The Connections Blog, and I am delighted to introduce them here:
Between the three of us, we cover the entire IBM channel model – IBMer, distributor and partner – so we should be able to provide a good perspective on how Lotus Connections (and social software more generally) is being utilised. If any customers would like to make this an end-to-end chain, then I would love to hear from you! In the meantime, it’s great to have Neil and Ray onboard 😉
Neil Burston is a Solutions Technical Consultant in the United Kingdom for IBM Value Adding Distributor Avnet Partner Solutions, specializing in Pre-Sales and Business Partner enablement. He has 18 years experience of IBM Midrange systems, both Application Development and System Administration and over 11 years of Windows and Lotus technologies.
He holds a B.A. in Spanish and Portuguese and a Masters degree in Information Technology for Management as well as multiple IBM Sales and Technical Certifications as a Lotus PCLP Systems Administration and IBM Certified Professional for iSeries, Domino on iSeries, WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Portal Systems Administration.
He has been involved in helping shape IBM strategies to deliver solutions, especially to Mid-Market customers, with his participation in developing the Solution Builder Express portfolio, is a Redbook Author, contributing to Deploying IBM Workplace Collaboration Services on the IBM System i5 Platform, has written and delivered over three dozen in-depth Sales and Technical Enablement Workshops on a variety of IBM products and is a frequent speaker at Business Partner events.
His primary focus is on working closely with IBM to help UK Business Partners to build up their Business, Sales and Technical capabilities across IBM software pillars and Linux.
He can be reached at email@example.com.
Ray Davies: “I see myself as an advocate of all IBM Lotus technologies with a definite emphasis on Lotus Notes and Domino architecture. As a long established IBM and Lotus Business Partner and then staff member of a well established Lotus Business Partner I now walk the hallowed corridors of IBM as a permanent employee. Where I used to be in the audience listening to impressive and interesting speakers purveying IBM software I now find myself on other side of the coin. I used to have many difficult and antagonistic questions for these speakers as my bread and butter depended on IBM technology. Now I am the one that has to answer difficult questions and I enjoy every minute of the challenge as I so confident with what IBM is bringing to market.
Perhaps when I wanted an answer either IBM or the market was not ready to provide but that is no longer the case. From IBM Portal that can scale to millions of users to Portal Express for one man bands to Lotus Connections that seamlessly use J2EE infrastructure to Notes 8 that can run on any platform and run composite applications to anything anywhere and all that on demand using SOA. Wow, perhaps the competition has the marketing skills to sell vapourware but they sure do not have product portfolio IBM has.
My role is to enable you to take this exciting technology to market where it will most definitely add value to any project no matter how small or tall. If you need it we have it and if not we can build it! Lotus software rocks (again)! “