With another Lotusphere in the books, I wanted to say “Thank You” to everyone who helped make this year’s another great conference. To IBM, Arrow, my colleagues, and every other attendee… Thank You!
For those of you who missed the message… Get Social, Do Business. While I say this a bit tongue in cheek, I have to admit, I have believed this long before IBM made it the theme of LS11. Social is…
… a valid way to conduct business.
… a means of increasing transparency.
… a faster way to communicate and pull the talents of those you hired into your organizations faster, and more efficiently.
… NOT just about Facebook or Twitter.
… your ideals, business objectives, and culture just accelerated and expedited.
… a smarter way to engage your customers, partners, and everyone you do business with.
… a different way of thinking, and rewarding the people you interact with.
… ALL ABOUT PEOPLE!
The heart of the social revolution is people, and the fundamental idea that we are social creatures. Being social animals means we crave this revolution. In a session this week, it was relayed to us that Hallmark studied all the occurrences of people gifting the Valentine’s Day gift in the social game Farmville. The number of those gifts given in the game exceeded the total number of e-Cards given from Hallmark’s website for the whole year. The delta was quite large too.
Social is mainstream… it is here and now! Not just a buzzword, but a legitimate way to bring your company and customers, suppliers and distributors, friends and family closer together.
As we look at the trends emerging from this social revolution, it seems that social recognition and social analytics are the two up and coming technologies. The businesses who are able to analyze their customers patterns and use this information to their advantage will immediately connect to them closer and more pertinent than ever before. The sales cycles will be shorter, and the resonance of the message being delivered will be more impactful than ever. This is truly a powerful emerging market in the social era.
Social gifting or recognition is emerging as an extremely important aspect of the social revolution. It is the validation from peers, friends, competitors that people are beginning to strive for. It makes us want to get even “more social” with what we do to continue to gain the recognition and validation. This shift in culture means the era of people hording their knowledge and trying to be the only expert in a field is coming to an end. Now the focus is to be counted among the experts and contribute in a meaningful and validated way to the community of SMEs. The result will be faster product or solution development, growth in technologies and practices at a pace not yet seen, and a truly healthy competitive landscape.
As in years past, there was karaoke at Kimonos, drinks at ESPN, a party at a park (Universal Islands of Adventure… Harry Potter ROCKS!!), run-ins with everyone from The Turtle, to Ed Brill, and too many more to mention by name here… Lotusphere is, and has been a technical conference. It is not just a social event (pun intended) but it is full of technical know how, futures for the products we have grown to know, love, be frenimies with, and solve business problems with. We saw Notes Next, Sametime Next, Connections Next, and Quickr Next. LotusLive is still a strong focus for the brand, RIM/Blackberry is still a strong partnership, and the push to bring enterprise class solutions to the mobile and tablet device community is still going strong.
For me, personally, this was the quietest and least social Lotusphere in the last five years. It was a nice change of pace, but I am not sure I intend to keep it this low key every year. Until the next time we all converge on Orlando, take over the Swan and Dolphin, and get even more social… best wishes and many great successes. I look forward to the great things this coming year will have in store.