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

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IBM Lotusphere and IBM Connect 2011 – The Agendas #ls12 #ibmconnect


You can surely feel the vibe and the excitement building up nicely over the last few hours. I’m already in Orlando, Florida, having had a really good night sleep and plenty of rest, probably the last one of the week!, once the Lotusphere mayhem breaks loose and chaos unleashes with no remedy and I can already see lots of buzz and people getting excited about what’s to come over the next few days. So I thought that perhaps for the potential last blog post from yours truly for a short while over here, while I get to enjoy plenty of offline social networking, it would be a good thing to share some insights around the agendas of both Lotusphere and IBM Connect that will be kicking off officially tomorrow morning and that, by the looks of it, this year they are much more social than ever before!

Yes, that’s right! If there would be a single keyword that could describe quite nicely both agendas from both events running in parallel that keyword would be social. This year, more than ever, we will be seeing how Lotusphere has become more socialised than ever before and the IBM Connect parallel event that got kicked-off last year surely has improved, and tremendously!, the overall quality of the lineup of speakers and the overall topics themselves as well. It’s going to be tough to choose between one or the other, or perhaps try to attend both!

That’s essentially what I will be doing this week myself. IBM Connect runs shorter, just a couple of days, versus the four days of Lotusphere so, initially, I have decided that this year I will be putting more focus on the IBM Connect event itself for Monday and Tuesday, and then for the rest of the week Lotusphere all the way! And here is why…

Lotusphere itself is probably one of the most complete, varied and comprehensive conference events out there around Collaboration, Knowledge Sharing and Social Business at the moment that I can think of. It combines both a rather strong technical focus, with an incredibly energising business focus that makes up for all audiences to get exposed to everything in a single event. This year, Lotusphere itself is divided in a whole bunch of different tracks, each of them capable of satisfying even the most demanding of tastes. To name:

  • JumpStart & Master Class Sessions: The warm-up of the conference event for sure and the one that sets the stage of what’s about to happen in the next couple of days. Already started on Sunday morning and throughout the whole day, it will bring folks an opportunity to get exposed to the main themes of the conference through the week.
  • Insights and Innovation: Tracks that “focus on the business value, implications and opportunities of new technology” and perhaps the perfect opportunity to see what IBM Research has been working all along in the last year, specially, in the area of Social Research for social computing. 
  • Technology for Collaboration Solutions – Infrastructure & Deployment: This is the perfect track for techies out there to get exposed to a good number of IBM Collaboration Solutions covering multiple areas from traditional offline collaboration, real-time, or social collaboration. There will be a track out there for everything to meet their taste(s). 
  • Technology for Collaboration Solutions – Application Development: Another techie track specially meant for developers out there who would want to get exposed to what’s happening with IBM’s products and their development and where folks can have a direct opportunity to interact with the developers of the products they may be using already or perhaps just interested in…
  • Best practices: Not liking much the term, as you folks already know, if you have been reading this blog for a while, but this track focuses on sharing good practices on applying technology to complex problems, scenarios, business issues, etc. etc. to get the most out of what technology can do to help out business become more effective at what it does already.
  • Customer Case Studies: This is probably my favourite track from Lotusphere and the one where I feel I am going to be spending most of my time attending the various different sessions from IBM customers who will be sharing their experiences, as case studies, on how they have become a fully integrated social business. This is the one that has always become my main source of inspiration for learning about what’s happening out there, outside IBM’s firewall, on what other folks are doing to push forward for innovation, open collaboration, and open knowledge sharing to become more effective businesses at what they are already excelling at! Always very inspiring to see what other people are up to and how we can learn plenty more how to leverage some of those good practices, techniques, solutions to our very own issues. After all, it’s just too scary to think how close our corporate environments are to one another!
  • Show and Tell: The practical track. The one that is most oriented towards those folks who would want to see technology at its best, applied with plenty of good, hands-on live demos of what (social) tools can do for you. Very helpful for those folks who would want to play with the tools and learn plenty more about them while at the conference!

Now, to mention and share all of the different sessions for each of those tracks would probably make it a bit cumbersome to go through all of them. So, instead, what I would like to do is to point you folks to the absolutely delightful piece of work from The Turtle Partnership, that, once again, has pretty much nailed it with the must-have, essential LS Mobile App that contains all of the tracks with all of the sessions and its full details, and a great opportunity to add them into your own calendars, which is basically what I did yesterday while on the plane and my calendar for this week looks massive, to say the least! W00t!! Can’t wait!!

But that’s all for Lotusphere. Like I said above already, this year I’ll be attending the IBM Connect event as well, where the agenda itself is probably one of the most impressive ones I have seen in a long time with regards to Social Business related topics. As you would be able to see, it includes top notch, high quality external speakers like Guy Kawasaki, my good friends Sameer Patel and Rachel Happe, plus a whole bunch of IBM customers ready to share their story on what it is like becoming a Social Enterprise and its real value and business benefits altogether!

It’s going to be tough to try to select amongst the various different tracks for this parallel event, but will be trying my best to select the ones that I would think would be the most beneficial for everyone to enjoy from my live tweeting that will be starting up soon, within the next few hours.

Like I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, there will be plenty of options and opportunities to follow up the various different keynote sessions, including the OGS (Opening General Session), as well as various other breakout sessions, but one resource that I thought was worth while remembering and bringing it up again would be the great and unique opportunity to livestream a good number of those sessions. You can find a pretty good and comprehensive blog post with the scheduling over at this link, put together by Constance Daglis. Worth while looking into it, specially, knowing that there will be recordings afterwards, in case you may have missed them during the live sessions.

I guess that would be pretty much all of it. Like I said, I will be doing lots of live tweeting on the sides mentioning which sessions I will be attending and all to, hopefully, give you guys a glimpse of what we are about to get exposed to ourselves. But I wouldn’t want to finish off this blog entry without highlighting one of the main activities that those folks attending live should not let go by just like that. It’s probably one of the most impressive and immersive experiences you can enjoy while at Lotusphere and that is to visit AND participate in the various IBM Labs available, specially, the User Experience and Innovation Labs, along with the Developer ones where you will have a unique opportunity not only to interact with developers and designers of various IBM technical solutions, but you would also have an exclusive opportunity to check what even us, fellow IBMers, have not seen just yet: IBM Research with their social innovations getting ready to show the world what they have been working on over the course of the last few months.

This experience of the Labs is, by far, one of my all time favourites, because it just gives us all an opportunity to not just witness and experience the world of social today, but also the world of social of tomorrow! Which is, no doubt, when it really gets exciting! And I am hoping to be sharing plenty of insights in this regard as well as I get to spend plenty of time with those folks learning, interacting and participating with them throughout the entire week!

Get ready! Both Lotusphere and IBM Connect are already here! The buzz is already building up quite nicely, so you better prepare yourself to be WOWed and overwhelmed once again! Because you will … no doubt!

And I just can’t wait for it to get started!

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