Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

More on the Sametime launch

I'm through airport security and found a power outlet (almost offsetting the fact that my flight's delayed an hour)... so more on the Sametime NYC launch event:

The keynote concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Matthew Brown, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research.  On the panel were:

  • Rick M. McConnell - Vice President & General Manager, Unified Communications Business Unit, Cisco Systems, Inc.        
  • Jim Balsillie - Chairman and Co-CEO Research In Motion
  • Boaz Raviv - Chief Executive Officer, Radvision        
  • Dominique Florack - Executive Vice-President, R&D, Dassault Systemes
  • Mike Rhodin - General Manager, Lotus Software, IBM Software Group

I heard several people comment that just having these people assembled on a panel and showing their support for Sametime spoke volumes for the release and our strategy, but I found their comments particularly insightful, as well.  As I mentioned in my last post, I'm not coming close to doing it justice - check out the webcast to really get a sense for the discussion:

Matthew Brown
gave a brief opening talk about "Aha moments" - innovations that, once you start using them, you can't imagine living without.  Some other examples he gave are cell phones, wireless access, and BlackBerry technology.  He also talked about a key aspect of these "Aha" innovations is that they don't require you to learn new technology, but rather represent technology that has evolved to how we like to work.

Rick McConnell
from Cisco talked about how 8 years ago, the focus of technology IP telephony was all about reducing toll costs, but now Unified Communications is all about providing the killer end user experience.

Jim Balsillie
from RIM talked about how e-mail wasn't meant to be a chat medium, and how having IM provides contextualization for the work you're doing.  He also hinted at where things are going from their standpoint, such as starting to bring in voice along with e-mail and IM, and the fixed/mobile convergence as you move in between wireless and wifi networks.

Dominique Florack
from Dassault Systemes boiled things down to one word - virtualization.  He talked about how companies such as Boeing and Toyota wouldn't be able to be successful or come out with new planes and cars that they have been without being able to virtualize every aspect of their design before a single part is ever manufactured.  And this virtualization wouldn't be possible without collaboration.

Boaz Raviv
from Radvision talked about how integrating video into Sametime 7.5 will change the current silos that the different modes of collaboration often operate in - how if you want video you more often than not still need to go to a boardroom or other specific location, while IM is on the desktop, for example.

Mike Rhodin
came back to an analogy he had made earlier in the keynote, comparing the current situation to the one 10+ years ago when companies started combining their intranets with the internet.  What really made things take off was not that simple interconnection, but rather the applications build on that framework.  He described what's happening now in a similar light - that Sametime 7.5 is providing that base platform for development, and that applications like the one shown with the Dassault plugin will be the building blocks of which the next generation of solutions - real-time solutions - will be built.