I am back from Lotusphere 2012 and I must say it was all that it was hyped up to be
The OGS was very good this year, IBM actually listened to the audience from last year. Opened with a band (OK-GO), then Michael J Fox who gave a very inspirational speach on the use of community around PD, then product demos – and they were good demos, the awards – Champions den whopped when anyone we knew won an award – especially the Applicable one – some great talks from the execs, the IBM champions got a shout out (which is always nice) and to finish the fantastic Doctor – with his stories of how being social is helping to save childrens lives.
I spent a very rewarding 3 hours in the User Experience lab
There was a lot going on in the UX Lab this year – I spent a good bit of time giving somefeedback on the new IBM docs feature (formally known as lotuslive symphony) – like google docs IBM docs enables mutliple collaborators to work on a document, assign a block for an author to work on – infact it is a great tool. As well as being available in the cloud, IBM docs will be embeded into Connections to allow online file collaboration and viewing. This will enable users to view files without downloading and to edit on line with multiple authors – exactly some of the feed back we have been recieving in the connections user community
I also spent a good bit of time discussing some of the look and feel and metrics around Connections. Ethan Perry the lead on the connections 4 design was in the lab gathering feedback on metrics, the homepage and communities sections – I know Ethan well and sat with him and two other guys from the community to discuss some of the ideas the UX lab have. I hope to continue wotking with the UX design team to help provide quality feed back.
As well as all the great connections sessions which i will blog about later – there was some fantastic sessions on sametime, lotus notes, lotuslive (smart cloud for social business as its now called) and some great BOFs (Birds of a feather sessions) – I tried to fit in as many sessions as i could as well as attending the Champion events, being a social host in the social cafe and generally wandering around the conference with my Applicable polo shirts with the huge @Appl1cable on the back (thanks Elaine they were awesome )
I was lucky enough to be part of a great BOF with Simon Vaughan from Cardiff University and our friend Stuart McIntyre of CollaborationMatters around Connections Enhancements – we have the community in the lotus greenhouse (mentioned above) – Connections Users – we were lucky enough to be joined by product manager Luis Benitez, Mike Roache who is chief architect and Fred Raguillat solutions architect both from the dublin lab – to answer any questions relating to the direction of the product. It was a packed room, standing room only and a great discussion was had by all – the feedback will be going back to the product team. It was well worth getting up at 6am to start at 7am for.
I am shocked at the amount of people who leave Wednesday night at Lotusphere – Thursday has so many good things, sessions, we recorded a This Week in Lotus podcast live, then went on to gurupalooza where everyone that presented was on stage for an hour to answer questions – which is brave of them after a late Wednesday night party. Then Ask the Product managers and Ask the Developer sessions are fantastic.
After the Closing General Session which was an experience – a seperate blog enty is required – the annual blogger photo was taken for all the bloggers who are on planet lotus (planetlotus.org) – fantastic to be included this year and to stand beside so many experts many of which I am now friends with. On that note it was also good to catch up with all my community friends – experts in different parts the ICS world from TDI, to Lotus Notes, Sametime, Connections, iSeries and Power systems through to running IBM/Lotus software on Linux platforms.
Thanks Mark for sending me and I hope I can get a session and speak next year – that would be as good seeing my picture on the main screen in the OGS with my fellow IBM champions