Monday, February 7, 2011

Go Forth and Conquer


My post the other day naturally had many readers. But after the shock, horror or just bewilderment (yes, some really were blindsided) the reality is time to move forward again.

The decision was from Alistair and team or possibly from higher inside IBM and no matter what those of us on the outside think, IBM will go forth and conquer.  The GM role does not last long, so some time this year or perhaps just after Lotusphere 2012 we may have a new GM but hopefully not before this mission is completed. Consistency is helpful at this time. History being rather telling. So I do not envy Alistair's position and appreciate our conversations, however brief they may have been, when he shares his insights and that he can accomplish this exterior change now that the internal ones are done.

Yes, I am not happy to see the Lotus name go away, silently or in time, but change is inevitable as most IBMers already know. If you have been following it over 2010 you would have noticed shifting in their titles and references. But does the outside world notice or care? Is it only the blogging and Business partner community that notices?

So where do we go from here? Where do you take your customers? Where will the competition start hitting your customers, if they haven't already. A post on this topic may be needed in time.

As the product line will move to an IBM moniker, we are not selling anything differently. As has been the case for some time now, selling a solution rarely matters about the product, it's about what the customer needs. While it's true one just needs a mode of transportation, bike/plane or car, the discussion around transformation of a business or what to expect from the future is the key.

Remember that your customers may not even know about this change. Some may care, some may not. Keep them informed, be upfront about it. Some analysts say IBM can sell anything once it is just IBM Software. That theory will be validated come Lotusphere 2012.

But for now concentrate on analytics, something IBM gets very much, that until recently was not part of the Lotus stack, but is more cooked into the product lines going forward as was shown in numerous demos, labs and pedestals at the show.

DO NOT let the competition imply this is a demise of your customers infrastructure, rather you should prepare the customer to explain how much more robust and advanced their tools have become compared to nearly everyone else out there.