This is the second in a series of my notes on Lotusphere 2011. To the left you can see the sun rise as I went to the first session. I am very pleased to be back after ten years. I first came to co-present a Lotus Notes based KM project with my client. Now I return as a blogger. IBM provided a press conference with a number of their senior execs including, Alistair Rennie, General Manager, Collaboration Solutions and Doug Cox. It followed a Q and A format. Here are the questions and IBM answers.
Q – How does IBM prioritize open standards?
A – Companies need to be able to develop mashups and allow for integration. Open Social matters. Mobile is important. REST Apps are involved here.
Q – Most social apps have been tactical rather than strategic. How will the IBM approach impact implementations?
A - You need to mix and match sources with open integration and change business process and capabilities to make for strategic applications.
Q - We are now submerged by email – soon we may be submerged by social activities. Have you looked at filters?
A - Yes and analytics is important for to make these filters work.
Q - One of the strong themes in social transformation is the need for change management. What are you doing on this issue? Secondly, many examples offered in the morning demos were about finding people quicker. What I have not seen is the reshaping of entire department processes. Have you seen this?
A - On the organization aspects we know from IBM’s own experience that you need to work across the organization using a set of ambassadors. The most successful efforts have used this ambassador approach. At Lotuspshere we will have many clients examples of how clients have transformed themselves. We have seen this happen. One area of opportunity is the advanced case exception process in customer service when you need to find experts and material to address the issue in a timely manner. Trilog, one of the winners this morning, has built a project management capability on top of IBM social capability that can provide for business process transformation.
Q – What solutions that we saw this morning were part of Project Vulcan?
A – Last year when we talked about Vulcan, we said that is a project and not a product. So this year we showed products that were influenced by the Vulcan vision such as SameTime Next. Almost everything we saw on the stage today was influenced by the Vulcan porject. Another important aspect that came from the Vulcan project was the importance of activity streams and this is in the social business tool kit.
Q – Will you work to embed social collaboration into apps rather than as a separate destination?
A – The answer appeared to be yes for such apps as Symphony but it is a “stay tuned” situation.
Q – In the real world social media can be used to organize the political opposition as well as give the oppressors new data on what their opposition is doing. What are the implications of this capability for the enterprise?
A – Setting social use policy is important. In addition, the people who are leading in the social space support transparency. It can be uncomfortable but it leads to positive results.
I would underscore the last point. Transparency can support democracy but it also can supports fairness in the enterprise and a reduction in hierarchy resulting in a more nimble and positive work environment. Both democracy and an open work place can have their uncomfortable moments but they are the most effective organizing principles.