E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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IBM Lotusphere Comes To You Highlights – Zürich March 2008

As you may well remember, not long ago I created a blog post where I was mentioning how I was going to be this week in Zürich, Switzerland, presenting as one of the keynote speakers at the Lotusphere Comes To You event. With the rest of the week on customer meetings & workshops talking about Social Computing @ IBM. Just this morning I have been told that all of those meetings I had planned for the rest of the week have been postponed for a later time. So here I am putting together this blog post where I will be sharing some of the highlights from Monday’s event, and then I will be sharing another one from yesterday’s highlights.

I know I will be back to Zürich as soon as by the end of April, so perhaps I will expand further on those different events I had planned and which then got postponed. We shall see.

For now a couple of highlights from Lotusphere Comes To You – Zürich March 2008:

It was the first time that I ever made it to any Lotusphere Comes To You event and must confess that I was a bit nervous just before getting the show started. Being the kickoff keynote speaker session talking about Social Computing @ IBM to about 100 customers and business partners, surely puts plenty of expectations straight up front to you to do the right job! And not sure why, must have been how incredibly well organised the whole set up was, but there I was with my Mac, the other presenters with their ThinkPads and no other computer in the whole room! Ready to rock!!

What a great event it was! I spent about 40 minutes talking about the kind of impact social computing is having within the enterprise and how it is tremendously disrupting the way we share our knowledge and collaborate with others and how communities are the primary social computing drivers within the corporate world of social software. I mentioned as well how they are the ones who are defining together which tools to stick with and which ones to bypass. How for the first time they are responsible for the tools suite they would be using with their own community members. And how organisations are starting to pay more and more attention to how communities are operating and increasing their overall productivity and knowledge shared by making use of these social tools.

From there onwards I shared a number of different screen shots with some of IBM’s most popular social software tools, both inside and outside of the corporate firewall. To name a few of them: Lotus Greenhouse, alphaWorks and alphaWorks Services, Blogs (Including some BlogCentral stats where we recently reached over 200,000 blog posts and comments since late 2003), Lotus Connections, developerWorks Spaces, IBM Jams, ThinkPlace, Fringe, Dogear (Part of the Connections bundle), Beehive, WikiCentral (And wikis in general).

Then from there onwards we had a bunch of different questions on how it may potentially work within the corporate world and what may be potential issues, like taxonomy vs. folksonomy, security, privacy, letting command-and-control go, etc. etc. Yes, along the same lines of what you usually can expect for the kind of presentation I gave.

Reason why I am mentioning all of this in here is because originally I thought I would be able to share the slide deck with you folks over here, but unfortunately while I was revising it to sanitise it a bit I am not going to be able to. Most of the slides are screen shots from those various tools where it is showing the names and telephone numbers, amongst many other details, from various of my social networks along with their pictures and I don’t think it would be fair to them to expose them, just like that, because of a presentation. I rather prefer to respect their privacy, just as much as they would be respecting my own, and that’s why I am going to leave things as is.

Sharing the slide deck without the tools / screen shots section would not be having the same effect, so perhaps what I will do is come up with some kind of mockups and share them accordingly as time goes by. We shall see. Or perhaps I’ll ask my social networks whether they would like to come up on the show or not. We shall see. Will keep you posted.

From there onwards, and while Ron Sebastian and Jutta Kreyss, were providing their own presentations on demonstrating the latest Lotus offerings from Lotusphere 2008 and Best Practices on the Open Client, respectively, I actually had to go to the IBM Research Lab in Rüschlikon to present that exact same presentation to an IBM client within the banking industry. 12 people sitting in a small room and with plenty more time to dive into the various topics and get a bit of a much more interactive section, which is what happened in the end.

Some folks out there say how both the banking and government industries, perhaps banking even a bit more, are a bit reluctant from Web 2.0 and social computing behind the corporate firewall. Well, what I experienced with that particular customer and their understanding of social computing was rather quite the opposite. Ready to rock and get some action going to help empower their knowledge workers to be in control of the knowledge flow again and get back into the conversations! Fascinating stuff!! Really.

I thoroughly enjoyed that very first occasion of presenting at Lotusphere Comes To You and no more, no less than in Zürich, one of my favourite European cities, specially when after a hard working day of having some really good and exciting conversations about the stuff you are passionate about, you go out with some friends and enjoy a super lovely evening with a chocolate fondue to end up the event and then off to dinner for a meat one! And, of course, some lovely Swiss beer, too! … It just cannot get better than that!!


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