Our Sametime team was very busy this week, what with our extensive presence and sponsorship at this year's event. While they're flying home and catching up, I wanted to highlight a few items of note.
- Alistair Rennie's Keynote: you can see a video replay of our General Manager's keynote address here at tv.voiceCon.com (free registration required). IBM clearly differentiated around business value and process expertise, while many of the other keynotes were focused on technology nuts-and-bolts. The reaction was very positive, with the Twitterverse abuzz. My favorite one so far -- Cberndtson #voicecon IBM's Rennie: Integration is the better way. "The assets you have are valuable. They work. Why don't we just integrate them." Eric Krapf over at nojitter blog had a nice liveblog review of the keynote as well.
- Sweettweets were once again a popular draw for the IBM booth. Nothing like a sugar rush to keep the conversations flowing.
- The big IBM new news at the event was the IBM and ShoreTel announcement of General Availability of ShoreTel for IBM Lotus Foundations, a unified-communications-and-collaboration-in-a-box solution specifically designed for small and medium businesses.
- IBM participated in a lot of sessions, including a few particularly contentious ones where Bruce Morse, our fearless VP of Unified Communications, and Pat Galvin, our equally fearless CTO of Unified Communications, made strong cases for open standards and interoperability (and the lack thereof, or resistance to, from some of our competition). Good write up of that in both the nojitter blog and in InformationWeek.
As our team gets back on track, I'm sure we'll have additional updates for you next week. Until then, here's the next installment of our Friday Funnies.
As our team gets all geared up for our General Manager Alistair Rennie's IBM Keynote at VoiceCon (Wednesday 9:15am - if you're in Orlando it's a Don't Miss Moment), a couple of news items we wanted to bring to your attention.
The first comes from an article on Forbes.com written by Alistair, "Managing Communcations Overload
". The article discusses how information overload is partially a result of communications overload: too many information sources vying for our attention via too many tools and applications and devices. The answer isn't technology per se, but how to better integrate the multiplicity of tools and sources and devices into a more people-centric vision of collaboration:
Unified communication and collaboration (UC2) is not a technology
itself. It is an approach that lets us use technology to help us work
smarter. UC2 centers on delivering a unified experience for users,
allowing them to communicate and collaborate seamlessly within the
context of their daily work. People don't have to bounce around between
applications to find, reach and collaborate with the people they need
to get the job done.
Please comment on the Forbes article (or here) - we'de love to get your feedback.
The second comes from CDW, "UC Delivers on Payback Expectations
", a survey of 915 IT professionals on the state of Unified Communications in the enterprise. Not sure how I missed this one, since it was released back on March 1 (I guess it was all those VoiceCon preparations that distracted us). A lot of very encouraging data showing the continued growth and penetration of unified communications in the Enterprise. My favorite quote:
"...71 percent of organizations that have fully implemented UC and track
return on investment (ROI) say that ROI has met or exceeded their
expectations." (emphasis mine)I tweeted earlier in the week
about a possible perceived "value gap" for Unified Communications. This survey shows that given the right business case, UC provides real, tangible value for enterprises. Something you should include in your next upgrade cycle or proposal to your CFO or CIO.
Final reminder: Join IBM at VoiceCon Orlando 2010, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and
Convention Center in Orlando FL, March 22-25. Visit the IBM Booth at
the Expo Floor to see demonstrations of our unified communications
offerings, including IBM Lotus(r) Sametime(r), IBM Converged
Communications Services, LotusLive cloud services, Lotus Foundations
small office appliances, integration with mobile, audio and video and
IBM will also be participating in several sessions and panels as well:
- Monday 9:00am: "Implementation Options: Unified Communications"
- Monday 11:00am: "Summit: Next Generation Communications Architectures"
- Monday 1:00pm: "Summit: Unified Communications Executive Forum"
with Bruce Morse, Vice President, Unified Communications &
- Monday 2:00pm: "Comparing Unified Communication Options: Who's offering what?"
- Tuesday 1:00pm: "Summit: Role of Cloud in Enterprise Communications"
- Tuesday 2:00pm: "Integrating Mobility and Unified Communications: Comparing the Vendors' Solutions
- Wednesday 8:00am: "Managed/Hosted Services for Unified Communications"
- Wednesday 9:15am: "Keynote Presentation: IBM - Alistair Rennie, General Manager, Lotus and WebSphere Portal
- Wednesday 1:00pm: "Marrying Social Networking and Enterprise Communications"
- Wednesday 1:00pm: "Unified Communications Leadership Roundtable: How far have we come? What's next?"
- Wednesday 3:00pm: "Presence: Preferences and Rules Drive Communications Effectiveness"
Oh, and I almost forgot our Friday Funnies for this week, courtesy of Mitch Cohen:
I know I promised some photos from VoiceCon San Francisco 2009
, but I've been traveling to Singapore and am just getting around to catching up on a few things before the US Thanksgiving holidays.
First of all a big thank you to the VoiceCon team, especially Fred Knight, who as always rolls out the red carpet for us. I have to say, from my vantage point in the IBM Booth staffing the Sametime demoes, the traffic was good and the quality of attendees even better than I would have hoped with the continuing slowness in the US and California economy.
And as you know, this was also the first time VoiceCon was co-located with Enterprise 2.0 San Francisco
. It was a recognition that collaboration is spanning both real-time and social collaboration, and that Enterprises need to consider both within a broader collaboration agenda. IBM was a key sponsor for both events.
In addition to our usual booth, keynote and other speakers, one of the neat things we did this time was set up a "Sweet Tweets" bar at the IBM Booth. Visitors were encouraged to stop by, pick up some sweets, and then tweet (#sweettweets
or #IBM and #voicecon
) about the IBM booth. Behind the bar was a large display showing a real-time feed of the twitter stream. My favorites were the gummy bananas - almost like banana-flavored Peeps
. Here's a picture from my iPhone:
Here's a few more photos:
It was pretty much impossible to maintain a healthy eating habit with all this delicious stuff around:
There was a lot of traffic not just for the sweets, though...
I almost forgot to report on my panel at VoiceCon but better late than never.
So, the two positions were more or less as follows:
- Voxeo's environment allows you to create voice applications really quickly using scripting languages. The application mashes up data from one or more sources and it presents a voice interface to the user. Dan York showed a telephone-call interface for an application that gives you the weather for a given ZIP code and nothing else.
- The Sametime platform provides a general-purpose environment that acts as the context for whatever data and voice you may want to mash up at a given time. I showed the Sametime Meetings client and Sametime Unified Telephony working in tandem to build an ad-hoc aggregation of data and voice from various sources. We provide APIs for you to extend the general-purpose environment to fit your needs. You may even include one of Voxeo's applications in it if you want to.
The reaction to the two approaches was positive. There was one person, however, who said to me he didn't "see it" as clearly as he did when Dan built the weather application on the fly. I explained the difference and even Dan agreed that the Sametime approach to building voice mashups is based on providing context first and that functionality is implemented as attributes while the Voxeo approach is based on building functionality first while leaving the context to the user.
There were analysts in the audience and, strangely, they left as soon as we were both done with our presentations. I found it strange that they didn't stay for the questions-and-answers bit of the session. Overall it was a good session, good interaction and a good audience. I would do it again any time.
The main reason I'm going to VoiceCon San Francisco is to be part of a panel titled Developing Voice Applications Using Mashups and SOA.
I'll be sharing the panel with the folks from Voxeo. We had this very discussion last March at VoiceCon Orlando. My argument for this is very simple: A mashup is an aggregation of data from different sources presented in a common context. A voice mashup is a mashup that aggregates voice as well as well as other type of data from various sources in a single context (we call this "a unified experience" in Sametimeland). I'm planning to show our implementation of this pattern on Sametime 8.5 Meetings and Sametime Unified Telephony. I'm also planning on discussing our new APIs and how they can be used for this purpose.
If you're attending VoiceCon and are interested in discussing this topic make sure to stop by on Wednesday, November 4 at 3:15 PM.
In the event that you just can't wait the weekend to see what IBM will be unveiling at VoiceCon / E2.0, UC Strategies
has posted a podcast
featuring Bruce Morse.
"Bruce Morse, Vice President of IBM’s Unified Communications Software Group, has a conversation with Jim Burton about what's new with IBM in the unified communications market and research that showed many are CEOs thinking about UC. They also discuss the key challenges customers face and the key capabilities an enterprise should be considering. Bruce talks about IBM’s role in the UC market as the industry goes through consolidation and a lot of M&A activity. He also shares what he will present during his keynote at VoiceCon on November 3rd in San Francisco."
Next week, IBM will have a significant presence at the VoiceCon / E2.0 event in San Francisco. To learn more about what we offer for unified communications and social networking, stop by both 609 in the exhibit hall.
We also invite you to attend any of many sessions where IBM'ers will be presenting:
- Nov 2, 11-12, Pat Galvin, CTO IBM UC2 Software, CTO Roundtable on Next Generation Architectures
- Nov 2, 3:15-4:15, Marisa Viveros, IBM VP Converged Communication Services, Managed & Hosted Offerings for UC
- Nov 2, 3:14-4:15, David Marshak, Senior Product Manager, UC2 Software, Presence, Progress of Federation
- Nov 3, 11:15-12:00. Bruce Morse, VP UC2 Software, Keynote
- Nov 3, 11:15-12:00, Wim Hofland, Manager, Inspiration & Innovation, Sogeti, Case Studies in Enterprise Micro-Blogging
- Nov 3, 2:00-3:00, Akiba Saeedi, Director UC2 Software, UC Leadership Roundtable
- Nov 3, 2:00-5:00, David Marshak, Comparing UC Options and Vendors
- Nov 3, 4:15-5:00, Akiba Saeedi, Future of Social Messaging in the Enterprise
- Nov 3, 4:15-5:00, Jeff Schick and Wim Hofland, Customer Perspective on IBM Enterprise Social Software
- Nov 4, 8:00-10:00, Robert Ingram, Senior Product Manager, UC2 Software, Integrating Mobility with UC
- Nov 4, 10:15-11:00, Jeff Schick, VP IBM Social Software, Social Software, Creating Value Today and Opportunities Tomorrow
- Nov 4, 1:00-1:45, Marisa Viveros, VoiceCon Summit: The Evolution of UC
- Nov 4, 3:15-4:15, Marlon Machado, Product Manager Sametime Platform, Developing Voice Apps using Mashups ans SOA