Events like Lotusphere are always exciting, busy, energizing affairs. I look forward to meeting with clients and business partners. Getting out of the office and into the marketplace is all goodness for a marketer. But no matter how good the conference, inevitably the presentations all start to look like this after a while (from WorkFailBlog).
With the social business launch and all, we've been pretty busy around here. So time to kick back at the end of a long couple of weeks with the latest installment of Friday Funnies. I saw this from a tweet stream, hope you like (from C-Section Comics).
This week's IBM UC news roundup brings us three articles of interest. On September 16, Dave Michels at No Jitter published a blog post, "The Big Squeeze", about leaders in the enterprise Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) market positioning IBM as an enterprise-savvy player in the unified communications battleground. The article notes that IBM's Sametime Unified Telephony provides middleware built specifically to integrate with multiple vendors' legacy PBX's, which differs from Microsoft's one-vendor approach.
IBM [is one of the] enterprise-savvy major players that are throwing their weight into the unified communications battleground. ... It is positioning its Lotus and Sametime systems as critical components to UC (messaging, collaboration, and presence), and is integrating with ShoreTel, NEC, and Broadsoft for the telephony component of the all-in-one Foundations server for SMEs.
IBM business partner and reseller Outreach Telecom & Energy recently announced its sales support for IBM Lotus Foundations product suite. Phone Plug Mag published an article on the news and noted that Foundations can be purchased from Outreach as a standalone product or as a fully integrated IT and UC system (with ShoreTel for IBM Foundations).
And the big announcement last week was IBM Customer Experience Suite. In a great article in Fast Company, Jeff Schick, IBM Vice President for Social Software, describes the importance. This is not just about "Facebook"-style social interaction, by the way. As we posted earlier, IBM Lotus Sametime is part of the IBM Customer Experience because customers are more and more demanding real-time interactions with their brands, and with fellow shoppers.
IBM itself has been using Sametime and Connections (and their many precursors) within our enterprise for 15+ years. But as these technologies continue to transform work, we see humor such as this recent Dilbert cartoon (how's that for a segue into our Friday Funnies section?). Expect to see similar concerns from the Telephony side of the house as more enterprises open up their employees to more direct conversations with customers, whether via social or IM or video or voice or what-have-you. So it's just as important to include unified communications when setting new social media policies (hopefully NOT like our Pointy-Haired friend below):
This week's humor comes from one of my favorite comics of all times, Bloom County.
(I had also wanted to share a clip from Episode 337 of Saturday Night Live, with Harvey Keitel, and a too-close-to-home New York City Subway public announcement system, but that hasn't entered digital archives yet, alas...)
"Before Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, Jim Henson
made short films for Big Blue. The tech may be archaic, but the
entertainment is timeless."
Although not directly related to unified communications, I'm far too much of an avid fan of the Muppets (since Sesame Street, 'natch) to not share this one. (hat tip: fellow IBM blogger Adam Gartenberg)
The IBM presentations, including our keynote and focus sessions, should be posted to the site shortly. In the meantime, there's also a podcast you can listen in on.
The entire event had a great, dare-I-say "intimate" feel, allowing vendors and channel partners to really connect 1-on-1 over a longer period than one normally has at the bigger trade shows, where everyone's also busy chasing deals. Here it was about creative business development and channel development discussions, which was a nice change of pace.
It was also very enlightening to hear first hand from the traditional (and not-so-traditional) consultants and resellers who are struggling mightily with an industry under metamorphosis. Whether it's traditional end-point or hardware consultants finding they need to beef up their software and collaboration skills, to traditional collaboration software SIs needing to better understand telephony and VoIP networks and end-points, clearly they are facing a challenge and need the Vendors help to navigate these new waters.
The Hospitality Suites was a great ending to Day 2. I was at the IBM one (of course, as I was also the host) and didn't get a chance to visit the other ones, which all looked as well-attended) and everyone was having great conversations. A little wine and beer certainly helped.
Although June Gloom came a little early to La Jolla, the weather didn't disappoint for the most part, adding to the very pleasant surroundings of the Hotel and Spa (alas, no time for a spa treatment).
Oh, two small "good news" housekeeping items that should hopefully help us collaborate with you, our readers, a little more:
I've linked The Sametime Blog to our @sametime twitter ID, meaning every time there's a new post, not only can you subscribe via RSS but you can also get updates via this new Twitterfeed link.
I've also linked The Sametime Blog to our Facebook page in the same way, thanks to the NetworkedBlog app.
And in honor of last week's Summit, a little Trade Show humor for you, courtesy of the Trade Show Guru, Trade Show Zombies. I find this amusing because at every trade show I see them, and particularly bad were the ones at Web 2.0 Expo this past week here in San Francisco. Luckily we kept them at bay at the UC Summit. Rule #1: Cardio!