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.)


    Chris Blatnick | Website: | 3/26/2008 11:37:52 AM GMT

    Congratulations, Adam! I'm sure you'll do awesome in the new gig. Thanks for all your work here!

    Charlie Hope | Website: | 3/26/2008 11:40:22 AM GMT

    Thanks for all your great work with Sametime brand; and best wishes for the next chapter.

    Ben Poole | Website: | 3/26/2008 11:42:26 AM GMT

    Really appreciate your attitude and openness... Sametime's loss is DB2's gain! Congrats on the move.

    Dave Hay | Website: | 3/26/2008 11:47:15 AM GMT

    Wow, a dark day for Lotus, but those Information Management boys n' girls won't know what hit 'em. Not sure how you're going to beat UC2 - DB22 ? DB4 ?

    Kim Artlip | Website: | 3/26/2008 1:13:02 PM GMT

    We will miss you Adam and you leave some big shoes to fill. Thank you for your enormous contribution and your constant willingness to assist others. I wish more people (myself included) were more like you ! Best of luck and can I keep your cell number handy ? ;-)

    Satwik Seshasai | Website: | 3/26/2008 1:36:29 PM GMT

    Congratulations, Adam! Will look forward to DB2 mania, across the blogosphere...

    Chris Pepin | Website: | 3/26/2008 1:47:46 PM GMT

    Congratulations on your new role. I've enjoyed working with you and I hope our paths will cross again the in future. Wishing you happiness and continued success

    Carl Tyler | Website: | 3/26/2008 1:55:05 PM GMT

    Congratulations Adam! It's been good to see IBM get Sametime again after the dark years and I know you assisted greatly with that and as a partner I greatly appreciate it.

    Please keep us up to date on your new role and the exciting things that are happening in that space.


    Lars Olufsen | Website: | 3/26/2008 2:11:15 PM GMT

    Wow, Adam. That was a shocker.

    Congratulations. The Information Management (Wait, that's "IM") Team really struck gold, there.

    Although I must say ... "Social and Viral Marketing" is to DB2 as "Cool" is to lawn bowls { Link }

    Of course, all that is about to change. Could it be, that the DB2 brand is about to get cool?

    Being an IBM Content Manager for DB2 customer, I hope things are about to get funky! :-)

    Onwards and Upwards, Adam. Best of luck!

    Mac Guidera | Website: | 3/26/2008 2:36:07 PM GMT

    Good for you! Sounds like a great opportunity, I can't wait to see what comes of it. Thanks for all your work here in the Sametime space!

    Darren | Website: | 3/26/2008 3:24:58 PM GMT

    Who's taking over from you? Quick, gimme a contact name ;o)

    Are you sure about this? No more Lotusphere man, do they have a DB2-World or Planet Info Management?

    Seriously though, all the best Adam, thanks for all the times you've been on the other end of Sametime, for all the assistance and info.

    Alex Kassabov | Website: | 3/26/2008 4:39:47 PM GMT

    Congrats, Adam. It sounds like you'll be starting quite an interesting job in a couple of weeks. Best of luck. Guess we'll miss you at our Lotusphere breakfast next year.

    Rob McDonagh | Website: | 3/26/2008 5:32:56 PM GMT

    Good for you. The viral/social aspect of it sounds very interesting!

    Vitor Pereira | Website: | 3/26/2008 6:54:33 PM GMT

    Congratulations, Adam! I hope you'll keep the blog up, DB2 is also my game and I'm sure you'll have lots to say.

    Dvir Reznik | Website: | 3/29/2008 7:40:25 AM GMT

    Hey Adam,

    Congratulations on your new job !! I'm sure you'll excel the same way you did working as Offering Mgr. for Lotus Sametime...

    Mazal Tov !!!

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