Socialsphere 2011

The theme of this year’s Lotusphere was based around social networking and the integration of social networks in existing or future business processes. Basically making it a conference centered around communication. One to all and all to one.

IBM calls this social networking vision “social business” and offers a portfolio of proven as well as new products (e. g. the Lotus Notes/Domino “Next” versions, Quickr, Connections, Sametime, as well as LotusLive) that will allow us all to communicate with our colleagues in a big cloud.
LotusLive Symphony is at the heart of IBM’s social business vision. Basically a SaaS solution similar to Google-Apps. Unlike the competition, IBM offers a social business toolkit with LotusLive Symphony. A set of APIs that allow developers to provide individual extensions.

The idea behind everything makes sense: The networks lead to a faster distribution of fresh or existing knowledge to those that need to know, in order to solve their problem at hand.

This may be a nightmare for any research company with patented know-how, but it offers the potential to enormously speed up business processes. As long as you can keep “knowledge distribution” under control. Yup, I’m German. How could you tell :-D?

Practice meets theory or… skeptics and enthusiasts unite!
The vision has a clear business potential.

But yes, I did also play tourist. There was a day to spare before our return trip, so we took the chance to visit the home and pride of American high-tech.

The Kennedy Space Center. History in the making, monumental, gigantic, just a few of the superlatives our tour guide kept repeating. Anyway… those that did fly up and back down in those things have my respect… since I already have my doubts about boarding a simple airliner.

And what did I take back?
A cold. Thanks to an air-conditioning system that was easily capable of keeping soft drinks cool. Impressions of helpful and friendly people. Both qualities that sometimes asked a little too much of me as an average “Middle-European”. ;-).

What else?
* digs out the Lotusphere guide the boss wrote *
Enjoy the madness of Lotusphere – Check
Soak up tons of knowledge – Check
Meet lots and lots of interesting people – Check
THE party – Check
THE special guest during the opening session – NOPE. Word of mouth said it was Kevin Spacey. But you know how it is… business, not vacation…