2008 Lotus Strategy

I expect that many of you will have already seen this slide at Lotusphere, but last week’s Avnet “Lotus & Beyond” event was the first time that I had seen the revised Lotus Strategy slide for 2008:
Image:2008 Lotus Strategy
Full size image available here (sorry for the black block around the “Task Specific Applications”, I will try to find a better version of the graphic).

Last year’s strategy slide (see below) was notable in that it was the first time in years that the Lotus strategy fitted on just one page and was simple enough to use as a backdrop for discussing the Lotus product line in it’s entirety.  Given the announcements that were made in Orlando last month, it is inevitable that the collaboration strategy will be more complex, but I think that this year’s message is more persuasive than in previous years:

  • The grouping of the products into categories means that it is much easier to describe the connections between the products than last year’s “5 big building blocks” approach, e.g. a customer might use Notes, Quickr and Symphony to build an integrated document collaboration solution
  • The range of products listed shows what a deep and well-rounded portfolio Lotus now has – the days of Lotus being purely the vendor of Notes/Domino have well and truly gone now.
  • The addition of “task specific applications” as a client is important – emphasising how “collaboration-in-context” can be put to work through existing or new business applications, rather than mandating a separate interface.
  • It is hard to over-estimate how crucial the new SaaS platform will become over the next few years – there is no doubt in my mind that if we look 10-15 years in the future, the vast majority of IT solutions will be delivered to organisation end-users via Software as a Service type hosted solutions.  IBM/Lotus has been slightly tardy in moving into this space, but they are there now, and I am sure that this “arrow” will become a bigger part of the strategy slide in the future.

So that is all positive – I really look forward to putting this in front of my customers over the coming months and talking through why the Lotus propositions are so compelling.  One minor negative – sort out that Websphere Portal logo IBM!!!  Worst case, make a purple version of the yellow/orange Lotus logos.  Best case, dual brand the Portal as both a Websphere and a Lotus product (think motor-industry brand engineering), and give it a proper Lotus title and logo!

{For reference, 2007’s strategy looked as follows:
Image:2008 Lotus Strategy}

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!