Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Kevin Spacey Rocks

When I heard Kevin Spacey was speaking at IBM Impact, I knew we would get a great session. 

It was 3 years ago when he spoke at Lotusphere 2011 and his "send the elevator back down" speech enthralled us all.

His speech at Impact pushed everyone to be disruptive or if you prefer listen attentively to what people want and give it to them.

"People do not care about the platform, they care about the content." and many similar lines were espoused.

Consumers may not care about the platform, but Enterprises do care. 

Maybe IBM or any business can change or come up with a new direction, but it is not easy and does require some thought and a little luck.

If you don't know what you want or need, someone will paint you a picture and they will be the ones to take over the world.

Do something new, do something different, bend the rules and you too may rule the world.

So said Keyser Söze

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Have we shared ourselves into Silos?

As I look out across my 30 column wide Tweetdeck app it dawned on me that it has started again.

I am pondering when did we get back to this point. Not sure it can be nailed down to one specific inflection point.

Once upon a time there was a monolithic world of business and it was a top down approach of management over employees. Information was on an as need basis or a "pay grade level" basis. However you view it, or heard about it, it existed. It sucked!

But not to everyone, and not so obviously. Many people were happy to go on with their work lives as drones in the corporate world. Some people wanted a better way and nothing really provided a way out.

Along came the PC revolution and networks, people could share information and the work world seemed a little less monolithic. Maybe we were on the cusp of something at that time, maybe we weren't. The hope and promise was there, even if the technology was not quite there. Although for the time it was pretty damn near incredible.

And then we found the commercialized Internet in 95 when it was opened up for us outsiders to become our babysitter, how-to manual, gripe board, chat board, equipment drivers locator and a far cheaper way to stay connected to our friends and the people we love. Unfortunately it also helped us stay connected to work.

Openness was everywhere, and still is, but it came with a price then and now. Join me, login here, register with us, become a member, and more yellow brick roads to what we thought was more sharing and socializing all popped up.

If you didn't mind the mini-silos, you were fine.

I minded then, I still do. Evidently while I am not unique, I represent a smaller percentage, and definitely of Americans, that want to share more with people.  OK, maybe not everything, but still...
On average, 24 percent of the world says they share “most or everything” that they do. But only 15 percent of Americans admitted to sharing nearly everything online. - Mary Meeker, 2013 Internet Trends Report
I am very against silos, in business, in religion, in schools, and in life in general. I may not like, or agree with everyone, but we are all here for each other to work our way through the maze of life.

There is an app for everything and nothing. Probably the most interconnected app for people is Facebook or Twitter. Both provide connections to people and their thoughts but still the people using either app is inconsistent. I have friends who use none of these, one of these or all of these forcing me to monitor many places, if I care enough. In time new shortcut apps popup that help, but in some ways we are breaking into more pieces than we ever did before.

There are niche of niche products, discussions, even zip codes or buildings have the exclusive of exclusive. And for what purpose? So we can be separated and divided further.

You say, "No, you got it all wrong! It's customization, personalization down to every whim you have or search you perform. We live in the ultimate open ended world, not a silo."

I see that side as well.


I do.

People always had outlets, work, sports, pubs, friends, family, but now everyone else knows about it and likes you more, or less, depending on the things you post and join. Want a new car or house but don't want neighbors to know, good luck keeping it form them if they follow you.

It's all good in the end, let's just be careful out there.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Showing Your Hand (IBM Impact OGS)

The show opened up with Tangerine Bank from Canada spending some time describing their Worklight roll out of a voice authentication system, among other benefits.

"Raising the bar on what customer experience should be in mobile banking." from their CTO

Nice not to hear from an IBMer first. And that seemed to be the sentiment from many around me.

Start with how people are extending the products, before you get to what's new with products or any other marketing fluff.

We talked about Building Block Approach. We used to say it was the Best of Breed. Time adjusts the verbiage, but the meaning never changes.

This year the show seems more open and forward thinking than last year's.

Robert LeBlanc than came out and demo'd the new IBM Marketplace.

And proceeded to open an account and provision a VM as his demo to show how easy it is. Granted basic server not a full SSL/VPN setup but for those who still do not believe it is as easy as we tell you, well, it is.

Cars2Go from Daimler outlined a direction where cars are more available for you when you need it and where you need it. If Google did autonomous driving cars this could be fun. Especially after a party night at a conference, I mean with friends.

Mobile Quality Assurance experience was shown to help figure out why people do not like your app. Comparison to competitors and other issues.

Everything is analytics, if you are not doing analytics you are can not move forward. having said that, getting the core logic and data with analytics takes time and effort. If you want to WOW your customers, think about yourself and what makes you excited.

IBM Impact, My 2nd Year

Wasn't sure I would make it to Impact this year, but thanks to Amanda's help, it all worked out.

As I sit here just prior to the OGS I am amazed at all the Lotus IBMers that are here. Sure some are speaking today and may not be staying but to see so many makes this conference feel less like an island to me.

Hopefully this year will get out more and meet more people.

In the mean time, follow along on twitter more or less for what is happening.

Eagerly looking forward to meeting and seeing more IBM WAS Champions.