Connect 2013 – General Observations

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I’ve attend every Lotusphere since 1995.  I’ve been a vendor for 15 of those years.  The last few years we’ve questioned the return on our investment as we saw Domino losing Market share   With this years change in direction we, like most of the community, were very skeptical about the show.    Last minute planning and some aggressive pushing from IBM got us to attend as attendee’s.  We didn’t go as a vendor.

For the first time in a long time I was able to actually attend seminars, walk the show floor, and meet and greet with out have to stand on the show floor.  Very different perspective.

I wasn’t surprised that the majority of the show was focused on Connect and other IBM technologies.  Domino is now addressed by the industry as a legacy platform.  Unfortunately, that’s a label and direction that isn’t going to change.  We can argue the merits of Domino, show its advantages against other competitors but it will not change the mindset of the industry and the changing IT landscape.

Rivit itself has spent the last two years retooling itself.  We still carry a huge Domino Portfolio of skill sets but its balanced with a huge Microsoft and force.com skill set.  We use it to help people make decisions on what to do with their Domino Platform.  We help customers make fact based decisions on tough questions – “Should I stay?”, “Should I go?”, “Where should I go to?”, “How do I get there?”.  Kinda sounds like that clash song.

But back to connect2013.  I’m not going to talk about the show content other then to say it was focused on Social Business.  Same message that we are seeing from other vendor such as force.com and Microsoft.  Its the Trend.  If you had replaced the logo of this show with a cloudforce logo it really would have been hard to distinguish between the two events.

What I did note was a change in IBM itself as it directly relates to my business.  The last 5 years I’ve found myself in constant competition with IBM.  They made it very difficult to do business with them.  Every account you uncovered ended up being an account that someone at IBM was already working.  This normally meant it was an account that was going to go direct.  Didn’t matter the product line.  We were early adopters of IBM technologies putting in a great effort into selling IBM FORMS.  In fact we were the only company to ever sell IBM Workplace.  Sorry to say but we were always pushed out by IBM.

This show IBM changed.  We’ve seen the partner community in Toronto Shrinking.  IBM says its now finally going after this community.  This was the first year that I actually felt that IBM was ready to start doing business with the community again.  We had meeting after meeting with different exec’s at the show that sought our input and promised to correct past wrongs.

But… Actions are stronger than words.  Let’s see how well they do with their actions in 2013.

I’ll let you know.

 

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