This is the first in a series of my notes on Lotusphere 2012. I am very pleased to be back again after last year thanks to IBM’s support. The opening general session included: Keynote Speaker: Alistair Rennie, IBM General Manager, Social Business; and other speakers, including Kurt De Ruwe, CIO, Bayer; and Premier Healthcare. These notes are real time so please forgive any typos.
The session began with a very loud and good rock band, Okay Go. Alistair Rennie then started things off. The celebrity guest was Michael J. Fox. He talked about Back to the Future. He talked about don’t play the result and just be in the moment and act and react. The movie was about possibilities and the unexpected.
He also mentioned he loved Bobby Orr growing up as a Canadian hockey fan. Good choice. He played on a celebrity team against Bobby Orr in a celebrity vs. old timers game at the Boston Garden. In the game he scored against Bobby Orr without realizing that Bobby had told him that he would let him do it before the game. He was so awed metting Bobby Orr he had not heard what he said before the game. Michael said that had he remembered it was a set up he felt he would have messed it up.
He talked about learning he had Parkinson’s disease. At first he tried to play against this and then decided he should just live his life and let people know about it. He realized that he could further the conversation about Parkinson’s. He started a foundation to support those affected by it. My father had a rare form of it that was untreatable so I have been through the process of this disease as a family member and appreciate his work. Michael said the 75% of people with Parkinson’s are on a social network now. He did a Chuck Berry move as he existed the stage.
Alistar came back and started about social business. He said that there is some hype about social media. He defines social business as an application of social tools to business processes. What is new is not social but the platforms to support it and establish a sense of trust and transparency, have the content persist so they can be reused and shared. Discovery, sharing of new ideas and improve forecasting effectiveness. McKinsey said there a positive correlation between use of social tools and business margins. I see social business, to quote Tom Lehr, as doing well by doing good.
He said that with transformations, the winners do not only come out ahead but change the game. He also said that the technology does matter (I agree and have written about this recently – see Maybe Enterprise 2.0 Is About the Technology) but there is more and I agree with that also - Looking Deeper into Getting Social Business Right.
He said the email needs a make over. He also said the content management tools are currently designed to store content at rest. But content needs to be put to work. Social we need social content management that fits in with work processes.
Going beyond technology there are people issues, leadership, and change management. Social business is not an IT project or a management edict. A new role is a community manager. Here is a shameless plug for my new business partnership centering, in part, on this role (see Joining the Merced Group to Offer Social Business Consulting Services). I promise no more of these.
He asked Ron Noval @lotusrockstar to come up as a representative of the Lotus Champions group. Jejf Shick then came up to introduce a demo of IBM Connections Next. Suzanne Livingston showed us the activity stream within it. There are embeded apps to integrate multiple apps into a single place. Suzanne showed multiple examples of integrated with third party apps like SAP and Trilog. This is exactly what needs to be done to make social business work. We need to integrate the old school systems of record with the new school systems of engagement. Many kudos to IBM for this approach. You can also see the most active members of your community and the most popular content. There is also real time group video. She showed a nine-part window of her team members. It is a very robust activity stream with extensive integration capabilities. This is how social business will get traction.
They have also integrated Connections with Outlook, as well as Notes. There is IBM Docs that allows for collaborative editing in the cloud or on premise. Content needs to be active to have value. Agreed.
Now Ron came out to show mobile capabilities. There is Notes Traveler. He showed it on an iPad and featured a lot of new SameTime capabilities. It has gone as long way from 2000.
Larry Bowden talked about the Web experience. A demo was offered on how Web site can be modified and resized the fit screen real estate. You can make significant changes from a mobile device and interact with your team on these changes. These was a wonderful integration between the market facing Web site and the internal comunities. This is why I prefer the term social business over enterprise 2.0, as it covers both work within the enterprrise and on the Web.
Sandy Carter came up and talked about the exceptional benefits IBM clients are getting such as Royal Bank of Canada and the city of Warsaw, Poland. Social is the new business model. IBM offers workshops for this transformation. She introduce Denise from Premier Healthcare Alliance. She talked about innovation within the healtcare industry and what they are doing. The biggest source of mistakes in healthcare is the handoff of data. There is a lot of room for improvement here that can both save lives and reduce costs.
Now a demo was shown on how social applies in Lotus and Domino through Notes Next. The activity stream from Connections is on the new Notes page. You do work on social tools without having to leave the email client. I think that this approach of bringing new social capabilities to email, where people still do most of their work, will greatly speed to adoption of social business. I know that I still sometimes use email with attachments as a collaboration platform but if the social tools are inside email then there will little need to resort to the old school attachments. There was a lot of applause to the integration of new capabilities with Notes. Later this year there will a new Social Notes edition more tighly integrating Connections and Notes. These are all the right moves.
Trilog Group won the award for open social innovation. They won an award last year. Mike Rhodin came out to talk more about social business and the cloud. I did an extensive interview with him this past summer. Here is part one - IBM's Mike Rhodin on the Convergence of Social Business, Analytics and Commerce: Part One. It covers some of the issues he talked about here. He also announced Smart Cloud for Social Business that offers even more integration of capabilities. After discussing social business at GAD, the German bank, the award for delivering better social results in the cloud was given to Applicable Ltd.
I think IBM has made significant progress in social business since their strong start last year. I look forward to getting more detail this wek and hsaring what I learn here. Here is a complete listing of my notes from last year’s Lotusphere 2011.