Although I have yet to watch the keynote but am pleased to hear it will be on YouTube. IBM have started their annual Lotusphere event with a slew of announcements:
So what does all this mean to me? In summary Web 2.0 is now key to IBM’s strategy. During the same event IBM restated the previous announcement that Workplace Messaging is no more making Notes and Domino 8 their email platform (no real shock there). I’ll focus on Connections and Quickr:
This didn’t take me by surprise, though I am pleased they have packaged (or are packaging) their research work into a product. I had the luxury of spending more than an hour with Marty Moore during the collaborative technologies conference talking about blogging and the activity server and Dogear (blogged here). I’m excited by the fact that a large vendor like IBM is packaging the following functionality into a supported product:
This announcement will give IBM a clear differentiator in the web 2.0 space. Although Microsoft have wrapped a lot of web 2.0 technologies into Microsoft Office Sharepoint Services 2007 the real differentiator from what I have read to date is the fact that this has been designed from the ground up as a web 2.0 platform. It isn’t based on Notes or Domino its new, its a development effort from IBM Watson Research lab and as you’ll see their research articles go back years.
The other key differentiator is that IBM have actually been eating their own dog food with Dogear with some claims of 20,000 internal blogs. If I were a small web 2.0 player I’d possibly be a little worried right now.
Well this did take me by surprise. Its a “a new Web 2.0-based collaborative content offering“. Now apart from that I don’t know very much. I do have some questions though.
- Is it Quickplace scaled up or down?
- Does it integrate with the OS file system?
- Does that integration include support for new metadata in Vista?
The screen shots would lead you to believe that the client is a form of information aggregator allowing you to share content with others (presumably via some Quickr infrastructure). Now I wish I was at Lotusphere!. The Quickr Teamspace also looks interesting hinting at a combined blogging, wiki and document sharing platform each supported with RSS subscription.
If Quickr is a single product then this for me would fill the gap between simple Quickplace deployments and enterprise websphere portal solutions. In fact it would position itself against Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 – however to compete there the price point needs to be very attractive, i.e. free. Quickr will obviously, as confirmed in the press release have the in-built integration with Lotus products which will differentiate it from WSS 3.0 for IBM shops.
Well not just IBM but all the major vendors haven’t revealed their hand in two areas:
- How are we going to manage all this new data?
- The RSS appliance – which would sit perfectly onto an email server architecture.
I’ll wait and see what happens in this area!