The web has provided some great benefits to the world, but the greatest is the idea that together we can accomplish more than being alone.
In a blog at Computer World which Ed Brill opined about, I posted a comment.
Many of my clients enjoy sharing data because 1+1=3 and provides better information, faster details and endless possibilities in the future.
Some clients have a mixed environment and the comparison between the Lotus side and the non-Lotus side(usually Microsoft) is at times in sharp contrast and almost typical of what you imagine.
The Lotus side lives and works together in one happy office building is mobile and travel happy and help desk calls are more about "how to do something" instead of "this is broken". This office also uses Sametime extensively and prefers all customer projects be "in the system" and secured on various levels. Allows all employees, provided security levels, access to all servers regardless of location. Many have MAC users and tend to be looking a little ahead of the curve, not much, but a little.
The non-Lotus side likes to work in their office, away from others, likes to keep their servers local and for their office only. They also tend to not be MAC fans and not always ahead of the adoption curve. They understand they would gain from the switch to Lotus but can't give in to this urge....yet.
When we hear a CXO is new and immediately starts saying he wants Lotus out, we suggest to our contacts there that if you can fight it properly, do so, otherwise be prepared for a rather paranoid and close door policy coming.
When we hear a CXO wants to extend the Lotus infrastructure, I try to buy stock in the company as they will be better off later (any students want to entertain a thesis idea, let me know).
Google is a different discussion. They want to encourage sharing but it seems also encourage silo's, since not all their pieces come together yet(although Wave looks to be a "glue"). Don't get me wrong, IBM doesn't have everything talking perfectly either, but there is a strong push to ensure this is the case moving forward and I have seen or read about more of it coming and I am impressed.
It's not about needing more pieces to make the network work, it's about making all the pieces you have, whatever they may be, to work together and with external parties. IBM is pursuing this by leveraging Sametime, Quickr and Connections to integrate with what is inside your organization aside from your IBM items. Domino has always done it since it's inception.
It is this sharing which is most important. If you can share the infrastructure, across the world or a city, you have beat half the companies who can only share in one location at a time or act like this is the only way to work.
With IBM and Lotus you have the tools, in fact you had the tools for the last two decades but sometimes it takes a while for great ideas to catch on.
Don't believe me? Try it yourself.
Give me 30 days of one of your staffers time.
Like GM, if you don't like it, drop it, but at least try it.