Lotusphere 2011, or #ls11 is you are following in Twitter, got off to its official start today with the Opening General Session, which I live blogged with Mitch Cohen. Mitch and I shared various photos throughout the event so I invite you to check that out.
The guest speaker was the Executive Producer of The Social Network, Kevin Spacey, who I thought was a great choice given the theme of the conference is Social Business. I thought Kevin Spacey did a great job on stage (and no, I'm not sucking up so I'm cast in the next movie he makes about MIT students). I also enjoyed Sandy Carter, the new VP of Sales and Evangelism at Lotus. Sandy is super energetic and talked about all the great things that IBM has done to become social. Sandy had a great takeaway as she exited the stage: "Get started on your social journey now -- it is moving so fast you can't develop a 5 year plan".
Moreover, I enjoyed that tons of customers got on stage like RIM, AT&T, CSC, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and 6 others. CSC even announced a new cloud collaboration business built on IBM technology. RIM, of course, got to show off the Playbook and it looked amazing!
The keynote was also streamed to over 1300 viewers and it's replay is here:
After the keynote, it was time to introduce what's coming in the next incarnations of Connections. Suzanne Livingston and Jim Battle took us through that. Here's what you can expect:
- A new media gallery for photo and video sharing
- Idea blogs to capture ideas and drive them through the process until implemented
- Integration with an ECM repository
- File previews
- Enhanced microblogging capabilities such as Like and Recommendations
- New share box to make it easier to share status updates, photos, videos, files, etc from a pervasive place
- More moderation capabilities
- Team calendar
- Outlook Social Connector
- and more...
After lunch, I headed over to Jeff Shick's session: Powering a Market Leading Business with Social Collaboration. Jeff got Rex Lee from RIM and Blair Klein AT&T to tell us how they are using Connections internally. Both had amazing stories and shared some very impressive statistics on adoption. Here are some highlights to that session:
A huge day as the official start of Lotusphere 2011. Will share more tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday!