Â My collegue CharlieÂ attended this lecture in March by Irving Wladawsky-Berger.Â We are both BCS members and it was through them that an invitation arrived.Â I sadly couldn’t attend.Â The slides from the presentation, sadly no audio or transcript, are now available here.Â
There are some very interesting historical comparisons in the presentation showing the initial booms, then bust, then re-adjustment following all the major technology introductions since the industrial revolution.Â Linking the recent dotcom crash with the previous crashes is interesting.Â I don’t think that is the major crash though for the western economies.Â I think the major crash for us is the re-alignment of work to lower cost employment (India, China, the horn of Africa when that stabalises).
The one slide I think summarises the direction today for all our technologies is slide 42.Â Ivring says:
The nature of innovation is changing:
- Open and Collaborative
- Global and Diverse
Â I think this is the key challenge for us all.Â Fostering working relationships and breaking down the barriers between technologies so our IT engineers are no longer pigeon holed into their product.Â I’m certainly looking forward to a new role in my organisation where I can spread my wings into many more products and technologies and become less focussed on the Lotus Collaborative products (don’t read that as a view that I think Lotus is declining, quite the opposite in my opinion – but that is another post).
Will the panacea of the unified mail box containing voice messages, fax messages, emails have widespread take-up in the enterprise? This area appears to be moving up the agenda. Storage with voice compression doesn’t appear to be the major issue in my opinion. The real issue will come as the ability to record voice elements reaches the desktop. This is available now to the “disrupters” in the enterprise – those who self invest in technology and are location independent and generally independent of the corporate build. Once voice is recorded then stored in a generic format, usually within the email in-box there are more concerns. How simple is it then for users to forward voice from teleconferences to elements outside the organisation? How do you control the flow of data (now not just email) beyond the corporate boundaries. I attended a Ferris webinar on the subject a few weeks ago and many people were concerned about this. I’d bet that most of these people are breaking down their corporate boundaries to allow location independent working and most are not likely to restrict access to their corporate networks (except by policy – which will always be bent if not broken by disrupters). I think we’ll all see some interesting debates in the next few years. How well does your email team, telecoms team, security team (etc) work together now. Unified Messaging will be one of those challenges where technology will be 10% of the job, 30% will be making the technical teams work well together. More importantly 60% of the effort, in my opinion, will be ensuring the end user experience is good – in terms of not just look and feel but training, user documentation, best practice etc. Interesting times are probably coming to all of us as many analysts are predicting this is the future.
IBM have announced more news on the next version of Notes.Â This for me is a step change from the present versions.Â Bill Buchan hasÂ published many screenshots here from the recent DNUG conference (Paul Mooney was the photographer) >> thanks chaps!
So what are the big things in this client in my view:
- The UI is the biggest step change.Â It looks like IBM are fed-up of listening to people moan that the Outlook UI is better, so they’ve made key areas look very similar (contacts, calendar etc).
- The Eclipse framework for development is important – however the end user (and to an extent myself) don’t care too much about that and care more the end result and the experience.
- ACTIVITY EXPLORER!!!! (please IBM make sure this is in Notes!)
- Open Document Format editors built into the client.
- Composite applications
Â Activity Explorer
For me this will be the killer application.Â If there is one thing which will impact the way we share all the collaborative data for small tasks involving a few people then this will be it.Â This articleÂ describes activity explorer much better than I could.Â I just hope it does ship as until we see BETA code we won’t be 100%.
Open Document Format Editors
Well with this feature I’m on the fence at the moment.Â This functionality must bloat the client.Â Graham posted an interesting response asking whether or not this feature would suit the power user.Â I have to say it will be great functionality for those who aren’t power users and would force most IT departments to think long and hard about their licence costs for office products.Â For the power users this wont replace their office applications so the important question is how will the client integrate with the office products?Â Can the ODF editors be disabled and the incumbent office application used to open attachments?Â All these questions will be answered over time.
Well the biggest competitor to Notes in the corporate space is Outlook so how does what is planned for Notes compare with what is planned for Outlook?Â Well I’ve been on the Office 2007 beta programme and use the Outlook 2007 beta client.Â I’ll be honest and say it isn’t a step change from the Outlook 2003 client.Â More interesting will be when Micrsoft reveal the real changes to Outlook when it becomes a collaborative application linking with sharepoint etc.Â That will be the point to compare the 2 clients.Â It will be interesting to see whether composite applications in Notes, built using the Eclipse framework, can be matched in the “Outlook Collaborative client”.Â Both clients would appear from the marketing hype to be arriving in 2007.
There is a palpable buzz from the marketing machines of IBM at the moment.Â 2 key conferences (Admin 2006 and DNUG) and lots of key news from IBM. The biggest news being:
The one announcement I was expecting that didn’t come was the release of Sametime 7.5 Beta.Â I’ve managed to spend some time with IBM looking at the Alpha version so I’ll blog on that when I can.
Â That’ll be because I haven’t managed to get in front of a PC at home for a while now.Â The paint brushes have been the priority.Â Sorting the house out (we moved here in November) jumped way up the list as we are now expecting a new brother or sister for Ryan some time late in October.Â I’ll break my home/work blog rules occasionally and this is one of those posts.
And trust me to pick the time when there is so much to blog about, but most of those posts are now old and outdated (I reckon most of my posts I have a week to blog them or they become candidates for retirement!).