I’m at Lotusphere 2009 today through Thursday.
Main announcements this morning: IBM highlighted partnerships with LinkedIn, TripIt, Skype, and Salesforce.com. On the internal side, the Notes crew demo’d very functional Blackberry integration, voice chat integrated within Notes, and a very nice browser-based UI.
Clearly, IBM recognizes the growth of social collaboration, and they’re trying to funnel that through the front door–yes, you can use Flickr, Skype, etc–but everything is designed to happen within the context of the Notes platform.
From an IT administrative perspective, this enviroment is far easier to manage. But from a user’s perspective, collaboration squishes through walls–trying to make Notes the knowledge management OS feels restrictive.
While these worldviews continue to collide, they’ll never merge. As testimonials this morning from Coca-Cola, HSBC, and NetJets demonstrate, large enterprise prefers a single piece of software for scalability. Despite users continuing complaints about the lack of flexibility.
Buzz Bruggeman of ActiveWords and I discussed this tension between partnerships and single piece of software–he wondered why IBM didn’t partner with Twitter: “If the next phase of the ‘net is about discovery rather than search, than anyone in the enterprise space should harness the power of twitter. Otherwise, they’ll be left behind.”