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 😉