Connect 2013 (Lotusphere) Opens; Streaming Video Available
January 28, 2013 Dan Burger
The IBM Connect 2013 conference broke from the gate on January 27 with a heavy emphasis on social business transformation and knowledge sharing. For 20 years, this annual Orlando, Florida, event was called Lotusphere, and although that name hasn’t quite yet been wiped from the slate, it no longer fits with IBM’s dissolution of its Lotus division and the ensuing rebranding that the company is doing.
Unless you are a Lotus insider, a user, and a big fan, the Lotus brand is widely perceived to be out of touch with modern times. IBM is working feverishly to change that perception–which is tied to the old Lotus Notes and its basic email and calendaring capabilities–and this event is its most high profile showcase. Its portfolio of new technology tied to the ideas of social business, collaboration, and productivity will get the red carpet treatment.
New technologies on display will be highlighted by analytics, cloud delivery of collaboration services, mobile devices, and unified communications. The launch of Notes/Domino 9.0 Social Edition will, no doubt, get a lot of attention. (Ed Brill, the omnipresent evangelist for Notes/Domino social collaboration, wrote in his blog “the November webcast for IBM Notes/Domino 9.0 Social Edition beta attracted 2,000-plus live viewers and the resulting public beta downloads number in the tens of thousands.)
The lineup of educational tracks includes: social business, smarter workforce (see the IBM acquisition of Kenexa), smarter commerce, the Lotusphere technical program, strategies and innovation, application development, infrastructure, best practices, customer case studies, a spotlight on business partners, jump starts, and shown ‘n’ tell. Approximately 400 sessions are on the agenda.
The technical program, which is designed for application developers, architects, engineers, system admins, and system integrators, has traditionally been the core of Lotusphere. It digs into the nuts and bolts on topics such as application modernization; embedding social technologies into business processes; deployments in mobile, cloud, and hybrid environments; and the developments in open standards.
Keynote speakers include Bob Picciano, general manager of IBM information management software; Michael Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM Software Solutions Group; Alistair Rennie, general manager of IBM social business; and Craig Hayman, general manager of Industry Solutions. Overall, this conference is expected to reveal what IBM believes social business is all about, which is beyond the typical marketing tools and focused on business value within enterprises and among business partners. We are expecting the spotlight to shine on ideas such as crowdsourcing, timely feedback, and the power of relational links across an organization’s resources, content, and networks.
Those who are unable to attend the conference can catch some of the action via Livestream. The keynote speakers, opening sessions, and a ton of other viewing options–Sunday through Thursday–are available. The full schedule can be seen here.