Lotus Sametime loses its Lotus – so IBM, what’s the plan?

OK, now I’m really concerned…

IBM Lotus Forms
IBM Lotus Web Content Management
IBM Lotus Connections
now IBM Lotus Sametime

The Lotus crown jewels are starting to be blue-rinsed.  Given that Sametime has become IBM-badged, I have no doubt that Notes and Domino will eventually follow.  The Lotus brand is clearly being wiped off the product listings.

Not that this is a bad thing.  I’m not saying that – I’ve discussed it enough times on this blog and on This Week in Lotus for you to know that I see some benefits to removing the Lotus tag and its legacy connotations.

However, there is still no (published) plan.
There are still no IBM Executive statements as to what is being done.  
There is still no communication on Partnerworld to explain what will happen to the brand and its partners.  
There is still no IBM Software branding or logos.  
There is still no marketing to tell customers and prospects about the changes.
There is still no advertising.

What is going on, IBM?  You’re making one of the most significant changes ever to the collaboration business that you acquired back in 1995, and yet you are utterly failing to communicate the strategy to partners, customer, consumers and the world.

I want this renaming effort to be a success.  I want IBM collaboration software to continue to be a major player in the market over the next 5 years.  I want it to be a growth area for IBM and for partners like us.

But no, yet another disappointment.  Even Lotus being killed off isn’t being handled well.  I shouldn’t be surprised I guess…

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!