Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Time for a change

"There's a famous old quip: 'A lot of people in business say they have twenty years experience, when in fact all the really have is one year's experience, repeated twenty times.'" (via Gaping Void )

One of the things IBM is really good at is making sure that we all have yearly discussions with our managers about career goals, both near term and long term.  And while every year I talked about long term goals of wanting to stay with and grow in the marketing discipline, in the near term it never really seemed like the right time to make a change.  We were in the midst of creating and releasing Lotus Sametime 7.5, or we were hard at work on the Unified Communications and Collaboration Strategy, or signing new Business Partner agreements, or planning for a really cool Lotusphere... and there was just far too much fun and exciting stuff going on to even consider looking at anything else.

But this past December, when I had my annual career goal talk with Akiba, it hit both of us that this time, the time really was right.  After being the offering manager for Sametime for 4 years, and with Lotus for almost my whole tenure at IBM, I realized it was time to broaden my experience from a marketing standpoint, and to broaden my network and experience inside of IBM.  

So, I am pleased to share that effective the end of April I will be joining IBM's Information Management team as the Social and Viral Marketing Team Lead for the data servers business line (DB2).   (In other words, I'm going to be focusing on the viral content strategy and looking at how we leverage social networks and media to grow awareness and consideration for DB2 among the next generation of developers, administrators and users.)

I can assure you this is a bittersweet move, and was not one I took lightly. Even as I write this, it's hard to think about moving on from the Lotus community that has been so welcoming and that has made my job so much fun.  But I need to keep reminding myself that while it might no longer be my day job, I'm not really "moving on," as my standing as a passionate user, supporter and advocate of Lotus solutions will not change.  

And to be honest, it is in large part because of my involvement in this community that I found this new position so attractive, and also why I think I have a lot that I can contribute to it.  There are plenty of "best practices" from this community that I plan to introduce in my new job, so some of you should be on the lookout for pings from me before too long.

One thing that I do feel confident in is that I leave you in extremely capable hands.  As I always say, I can really only take the smallest piece of credit for all the advances that Sametime has seen over the past few years; it truly is a team effort.  And that team only continues to get stronger.  (And I am going to be looking to set up a new blog focused on Sametime that I'm hoping my successor and others on the Sametime team will continue, so you can continue to hear from them first-hand.)

On a personal note, I do have to say, the past four years have been quite a ride.  Since it predates my blogging, I wanted to take a minute and provide a little perspective.  When I started four years ago, I was splitting my time as offering manager for both Sametime and QuickPlace (OK, technically I was splitting my time as offering manager for IBM Lotus Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing and Lotus Team Workplace).  I inherited the new naming, and a decision to entitle instant messaging capabilities to Lotus Notes users - a very smart move but one that didn't not present its own challenges as the offering manager for Sametime.  Then, for a brief time I was offering manager for Sametime, QuickPlace, and the real-time/team elements of Lotus Workplace Collaboration Services.  Shortly thereafter I transitioned the QuickPlace responsibilities to a colleague, and then things moved along the way you all know they did as I split time between Sametime and WCS.  But then things changed again.  David Marshak joined the team, we got renewed focus on Sametime both from an organizational and development standpoint, and before long we had gone from 4 Lotusphere sessions on Sametime one year to an entire "Sametime All The Time" mini-track and keynote the following year.  Like I said, it was quite a ride.

I suspect if I keep going I'm going to fill the page with even more nostalgia - and I'm sure there will be more time for that, too.  

Besides, I'm getting ahead of myself.  I'm not going anywhere just yet.  We've got Sametime Advanced coming out the door this week, and Sametime 8.0.1 is right around the corner.  (I haven't told you about Sametime 8.0.1 yet?  We've got a couple really cool things coming out even for a point release... but that's a story for another day.)