I am attending IBM Lotusphere 2011 in Orlando and, as it is expected in this conference, Social Business is a big theme this year. You can feel “Social vibes” not just from IBM executives but from their partners and customers as well. Clearly, social has taken up big time and I would say that it will be part of the DNA of any business in the coming year or two. Studies from different groups are clearly showing the competitive advantage offered by social to any business and it is only natural that every business organization integrates social as a part of their workflow.
This is particularly crucial for IBM as they try to recalibrate their Lotus offerings to play even deeper with social tools while trying to fend off similar offerings from competitors, big and small. With TIBCO coming out with an enterprise ready Social and Collaboration tool, Tibbr, and Salesforce unveiling Chatter.com, IBM is clearly feeling the pressure to come out swinging on the social front. They did just that with the next iteration of their Lotus offerings with clear emphasis on cloud computing and mobile.
The biggest emphasis during the inaugural general session was on LotusLive and how mobile delivery is key part of all their offerings. They certainly haven’t given up on their On-Premise strategy but it is evident that they have realized the importance of public clouds for the delivery of these applications and they are putting their emphasis on LotusLive. In this era where we go around with powerful mobile devices, from smartphones to tablets, in our pockets, any social application should have a proper mobile strategy. IBM is doing this right by having a clear mobile strategy for their applications.
I am also hearing right noises when it comes to how they execute on social. They are putting the emphasis on web and talking about open standards like OpenSocial, HTML 5, etc.. I only got to see a brief demo and I haven’t dug deep into their offerings yet. This post is still based on soundbites than any reality check. However, if their soundbites turn out to be true, I think they are on the right track to do the social and clearly we don’t need a lock-in factor as we go about breaking the existing silos.
In short, sooner than later, social tools are going to be a requirement for the very existence of any business. As the space gets crowded with startups and web age companies (eg: Salesforce) attempting to crack the market, established players from traditional computing age are gearing up for the competition. Efforts by TIBCO and IBM are clearly targeted to maintain their marketshare in the social age. It will be interesting to see how the market shapes up in the coming years with more and more businesses growing social.
- Developers are the Future – IBM and its Social Business Tool Kit (readwriteweb.com)
- IBM Takes Social Business Mobile (informationweek.com)
- IBM bigs up mobile and social at Lotusphere (v3.co.uk)
- Live Blog: IBM Lotusphere is all About Social Business (readwriteweb.com)
- IBM to launch Lotus Symphony suite into the cloud (infoworld.com)