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.


  1. I were just talking with an IBMer who was in LS11. When I told her bloggers are discussing where the Lotus brand is, she told me that she didn't notice anything different :)

    I think only bloggers are aware :)

  2. Yes I heard that from IBMers as well. You have to keep in mind, to them its a day at work, not a conference about their world.
    They don't care about the OGS(well, some do)or sessions usually beyond some training efforts.
    Sales/Marketing never gets it, they do what they are told.
    Bloggers are aware of everything because its our job to scan a room, seek out what is different and then dig deeper to make a sale.
    One doesn't do any of that when already in IBM and attending Lotusphere.

  3. Good point!

    Being a social company needs some organizational practices and cultural orientation. Most of the companies have not still shifted themselves about it.