IBM is coming to Seattle to talk about Social Business!
See the event schedule. The event is March 5.
Did I have anything to do with this? Not that I’m aware of. But I am glad to see IBM finally recognize the Seattle area market is tired of having no options besides Microsoft to choose from. Like everywhere else, businesses here like innovation and they like competition.
So from the makers of Watson, the computer that beat the champions on Jeopardy! and the perennial leader in new patents awarded, comes the innovation of Social Business. This is a game changer in business communications technology much like email, Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing have been. IBM has the first and only legitimate offering in this new market. IBM recognizes their leadership in this market and is making it a point to let the world know:
– What is Social Business
– How businesses are using social technologies to drive business value: reduce costs, accelerate communications, increase collaboration inside and outside the organization
– A path for integrating Social Business into your existing systems, regardless of what brand it is and regardless of the size of your company.
Did I mention IBM is doing this in only 3 locations in the United States and one of those places is Seattle, Washington?
If you work with a team or company of more than about 5 people, it is worth your time to see what they are doing.
Read more about what will be presented.
This will also be an opportunity to network with peers and discuss with others how Social Business has transformed their companies. The ROI comes quickly and the metrics are compelling. If you can’t attend in person you will miss out on the networking with everyone else, but they also have a session available online. Be sure to register.
In my May 30, 2011 post I explained that I had started a project at Microsoft where I would be working with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) team in Office365 to improve the process for building the BES servers, streamlining the process, reducing the bugs, and clarifying the instructions for the build team. Well that project has come to completion and the results were fantastic. We accomplished everything we set out to do and I made some great new friends in the process.
It is rewarding to know my skills can easily port to a different platform and that I could be so successful regardless of the brand of software. (Let that be a lesson to all techies.) Technical writing, process improvement, troubleshooting, teamwork were all more important than a detailed knowledge of the software.
I was looking forward to the opportunity to see Microsoft software deployed and used the way its developers intended, using all the best practices and perhaps have my opinion changed by the experience. To that end, I was both impressed and disappointed. The infrastructure is very sophisticated and well managed. Everything you would expect. Yet I was surprised at how some technology was used. I often asked myself things like “Why are we having this big reply-to-all email conversation instead of just using a discussion forum or Teamroom?” or “Why are we creating online instructions in Word documents?” Well at least now I understand the reasoning behind why certain Microsoft software features work the way they do.
I may find myself back there working on another project, perhaps on another team and get a totally different experience. Actually, I hope so. It’s a big, diverse company and I expect, like most large companies, different teams work in different ways. Meanwhile, I am back in the world of IBM and social business and I will continue to share the knowledge of collaboration and social business here in a region where it is needed most, only now with a deeper understanding of both brands.
I have posted several times explaining how Seattle is not as Microsoft-centric as outsiders have convinced themselves. But I think this story really makes the point.
Yesterday I attended a free workshop about using WordPress for your blog presented by Bob Dunn who is quite savvy on the subject. The event was directed exclusively toward members of Biznik, a social media website where entrepreneurs and small business owners can network and share ideas.
Bob’s WordPress workshops are always filled to capacity with 35 people. In the past I didn’t give much notice to all of the people taking notes with Macs because I’ve grown used to seeing Macs so much in my classes at Bellevue College. But this time it finally dawned on me: where are all the PCs? Looking around the room I counted the following being used to take notes:
Also Bob was presenting on a Mac.
the rest were using paper.
That’s a 12:1 ratio in favor of Apple products. In Seattle. You know, Microsoft’s headquarters?
These are not just students or individuals doing this in their free time. All of the attendees here are entrepreneurs and small business owners who are heavily involved in social media. Just imagine the potential of this market for business software WITH NO COMPETITION FROM MICROSOFT.
Wait, it gets better. During the break, I chatted with the woman next to me. Her name is Viv and her company works with patients recovering from brain injuries. She had a Mac. I told her that I work with Lotus software. “Oh, I remember Lotus Notes” she said. “I used to use that at a company I worked for some years ago. I wish I had it for my email now.” She was using Mac mail. She was surprised to hear that Notes also works on the Mac. We talked about the widespread use of Macs at the workshop and she mentioned that at her last job the company used Macs exclusively. (Did I mention that the company is right here in Seattle?)
So where am I going with this? To Lotusphere, of course. In search of a plan of action to help provide this group of business and social media-savvy people in Seattle with the high quality software they demand.
Welcome to my new home. Please visit my original blog at BleedYellow to view earlier posts.
The purpose of this alternate blog from my blog at BleedYellow.com is in part a re-branding to be easier to find
(Notes Guy –> Lotus Guy).
The content will continue to be edgy, thought-provoking, and otherwise politically incorrect with technical tidbits thrown in for good measure. Wallflowers are welcome, but the value comes with dialog and collaboration, not monologue. So please join in.
And if you’re looking for an expert Domino system administrator, I am for hire.
David (The LOTUS NOTES Guy in Seattle)