|Lotusphere 2004 keynote -- "The direction is clear, the path smooth"|
|26 January 2004|
|A decidedly upbeat Ambuj Goyal took the stage at Lotusphere 2004 to give the keynote address to customers, Business Partners, the press, and analysts. Before several thousand attendees, the Lotus General Manager reeled off a long string of accomplishments during the past year. He also reviewed highlights of customer and expert testimonials, sang out the crucial role of Notes and Domino for the future, and announced a mission that extends the reach and power of Lotus technology to make people more productive in "more ways than one."|
Goyal began with a list of accomplishments in the past year:
- Launching the Lotus Workplace family of products
- Shipping the most innovative Notes release in years, 6.5 -- which was named "Best Enterprise Collaborative Platform" for 2003 by InfoWorld.
- Embedding instant communication
- Integrating device enablement
- Integrating Web Content Management through the acquisition of Aptrix
- Launching six business value offerings, including a comprehensive Sarbanes-Oxley offering
- Last, but not least, answering questions about the future of Notes and Workplace
Customer response -- overwhelming
|Goyal suggested that the customer responses to these achievements have been overwhelming. "We have gained an additional 50 companies in the Fortune 1000 -- on top of the 400 already using Lotus products. We've seen double-digit growth in the second half of the year in small and medium businesses, and in the fourth quarter alone, we added 170 new customers to the Workplace family of products." |
To the hearty applause of the audience, Goyal added, " In total, we converted over 1,500 customers from Microsoft to IBM Lotus."
|"...with 2.0 we will include enhancements to current Workplace products, a collaborative document builder, and an assembly tool, called Workplace Builder. But the big news is the release will include a Workplace rich client, with portals, mail, documents, team spaces,and instant messaging."|
Goyal quickly moved from accomplishments of the last year to announcements for this year. Announcing a continuing direction, Goyal said, "We are helping companies integrate people into the business process through the use of a common architecture and programming model. Lotus is the human interface of e-business on demand."
Extending Notes and Domino
"We’re on a track that can expand our reach from the one hundred million users of today to two hundred million to three hundred million and eventually even more."
|Promising to change the "game," Goyal said, "Our strategy is to increase our leadership by extending Notes-Domino’s ability to deliver dynamic, collaborative workplaces on demand."|
Addressing the rumor that IBM is walking away from Notes and Domino, Goyal said, "We may make mistakes from time to time, but really! Our goal is to expand our world leadership. Not to walk away from it." Then he assured the audience that the use of WebSphere Portal is a positive direction for Notes.
"Let me get technical for a minute," he said. "Until recently a factor limiting our growth has been the tight link between Notes and Domino. The solution is to federate that link." Indicating a direction with the product, he said, "We can accomplish this by embedding the WebSphere Portal framework in Domino and Eclipse technology and Web Services in Notes.
"Embedding Portal framework on the server side extends Domino’s reach to anyone with a browser or a microbrowser. It also enables integration of Domino and non-Domino applications in a consistent user interface on demand for any user role. Embedding open standards in Notes will make it possible for Notes to become the client side portal for Notes users. In the new model a Notes client can access non-Domino applications – Siebel call center information, for example."
"No rip and replace required"
Goyal stressed that customers want to carry forward both their applications and investments "with no rip and replace required" into an innovative and easily integrated world that has a common architecture and programming model. This way of integrating people with business processes plays a critical role in the larger IBM on demand vision.
What's coming up for Lotus Workplace
Goyal also announced Lotus Workplace Platform 2.0, which will ship in the second quarter. "So far we have launched individual capability Workplaces, but with 2.0 we will include enhancements to current Workplace products, a collaborative document builder, and an assembly tool, called Workplace Builder. But the big news is the release will include a Workplace rich client, with portals, mail, documents, team spaces,and instant messaging."
|Again Goyal did not stop there. By the end of the year, IBM will have Lotus Workplace Collaboration Platform 2.5, which will include a disconnected rich client and support for mobile devices. Goyal stresses the ship dates, which are possible because of the open standards and common infrastructure model. "Note that we're talking months, not years"|
Expanding our reach . . .
In a triumphant summary of strategic plans, Goyal said, "I hope I’m making it clear that we’re doing much more
|"Until recently a factor limiting our growth has been the tight link between Notes and Domino. The solution is to federate that link. We can accomplish this by embedding the WebSphere Portal framework in Domino and Eclipse technology and Web Services in Notes."|
than simply evolving Notes-Domino or creating Workplace equivalents. We’re enabling a far deeper level of integration between people and business processes. And we’re on a track that can expand our reach from the one hundred million users of today to two hundred million to three hundred million and eventually even more."
Goyal turned over the microphone to Jean-Marc Favennec, Vice President of Lotus software Marketing. Favennec continued the message about the importance of Notes and Domino. As a proof point, he said upgrades to 6.0 are running "six time faster than R5 at this point in the cycle with over half having completed the process or some stage of it. That is quite a contrast with Microsoft," he said, "where some industry observers estimate that only 30% of Exchange 5.5 customers made the costly and difficult upgrade to Exchange 2000."
|"Our strategy is not rip and replace. Our applications will carry forward,and your investments will carry forward, too."||Favennec called out the success of customers like OneSource and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, both of which experienced significant savings after moving to Notes and Domino 6. Favennec was particularly happy about the 150 customers who have adopted Lotus Workplace products in the two months since they were announced. |
Particularly, he mentioned Schering, which transformed its intranet site using Lotus Workplace Web Content Management and has already seen 400% increase in daily hits as employees use it for work.
Business Partners, particularly, have been excited about Lotus Workplace. Before Favennec turned the program back over to Goyal, he introduced a video of partners who are embracing the technology with great enthusiasm.
The direction is clear, the path smooth
Goyal ended his presentation with assurances to customers and with some important endorsement from experts. "We want your path to be smoother. Our strategy is not rip and replace. Our applications will carry forward,and your investments will carry forward, too. As we expand our reach, we will enable a deeper level of integration between people and business processes."
Lest the audience think Goyal guilty of exaggerating, he quoted several analysts and writers, including this one from the European advisor, Ovum: "Not only is this (the Lotus strategy) a conceivable goal, it's a potentially liberating one for Lotus and its customers." The article goes on to describe the flexibility and human integration inherent in the Lotus vision as being the epitome of on demand collaboration. He warns the reader not to be too cynical about the marketing hype. "Underneath the slogan is a real technical vision that may change the way you work."