Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Opening Session and Bluehouse vs. Foundations

Caution: This is my perception of the announcements and if I am wrong, please let me know.
I am writing this as a Business Partner(BP) thinking and customer 2nd.
Good stuff smushed up at the end which should have been reversed and more time spent on them, and um, less on portal server(IMHO).
Not that the other parts were not great either, 801 has some great pieces added, widgets, conference number in meeting, the ability to create an on the fly sametime meeting(no idea if you need advanced server for it), 8.5 domino premiers and has cool designer usage, the DWA advances which make it look like the Standard R8 client, including widgets/quickr/sametime and then the 'lightweight" on bandwidth and processing which is a HUGE bonus. Can't wait for it or 801!

Now the Foundation is another story. I went in search of IBMers in the know, well they were at the stand, and the discussion ensued about using this mini server running Linux and Domino which is supposed ot replace an SMB MS small business server. Now maybe it will and maybe it won't. I fail to see, aside from the obvious move from MS, why eithwer a client would want this or why I as a BP would want to install it.
It is NOT a hosted solution, so I was told, but is meant to be onsite, naturally because of the file/print functions of the Linux server. It can do much more so it is an interesting idea as i said in theory.
If the ONLY reason is to get people off windows, well, perhaps this is an answer. Will let you know after I demo it since they promised to add me and one of my clients to play with it.

Bluehouse was also confusing to me, as a BP that is. IBM wants to host "something"(the ibmers at the stand words) and not just any infrastrcuture app like Domino, Quickr, Sametime or Connections.
OK, so what will it host? Some suggested a salesforce.com similarity, maybe, not sure.
As a BP, my question is..where is the money? IBM hosts it, and the app and manages the solution and probably the client, so what do we as BPs get from it?
I am looking into more on this as Ed pointed out in his blog:

"The notion of software-as-a-service has become more dominant in the industry, and today IBM is announcing Lotus "Bluehouse" (codename), to provide extranet collaboration tools. "Bluehouse" expands on IBM's introduction of Sametime Unyte, a hosted e-meetings service, which is now incorporated into the "Bluehouse" environment. "

So now it is semi-Sametime like and some yet to be determined other code.
OK, it's in beta, cut it some slack, but I was left pondering what to do with it and why we would use it over the existing SaaS moddel for products(aside from cost) or who will do the application development and get comped or who will keep the intelectual capital created as an application.

Or as Alan says it in his blog which sounds like Quickr, which depending on how you view hosted(Quickr is a web based solution so in my mind it is/can be a hosted solution, licensing notwithstanding) applications is more confusing to me.

But I look forward to more details to come out on both of these as they are in line with my business plans for the year so maybe IBM IS on to something, but the fog needs to get lifted a little.