IBM Workplace Launch in Chicago

May 11 2004

Hi everyone, sorry for the lack of blogging the past month (reason for that will be coming in a State of the Aquarium blog later today), but I wanted to share my thoughts on the IBM Workplace Launch event here in Chicago this morning. Ken Bisconti, Vice President of Lotus Workplace technologies for IBM, did the keynote. Ken talked about all of the pieces of the IBM Workplace brand, per say: Lotus Workplace, Lotus Notes/Domino, IBM Websphere Portal, and IBM Websphere Everyplace. I won't go into the details of all the announcements (you can read those here), but here is what impressed me most:

  • The progress made since Lotusphere 2004 in January is pretty amazing. The rich client looked great
  • The local data store for Workplace and the apps built on it is Cloudscape, technology IBM got from the Informix acquisition
  • Workplace Messaging has full Meeting support in the Calendar
  • All of the Workplace core applications have been updated
  • Workplace Documents brings document management to the Workplace foundation
  • Wokrplace Builder starts the process of building a easy-to-use Domino Designer-ish development environment to Workplace
  • The message that Notes is not Dead was very prevalent, but not in those terms. N/D was talked about as the beginning of this journey, and still a technology that major investments are being made in
  • IBM is not trying to do a rip and replace
  • Native Viewers and Editors in Workplace and the Rich Client - these are not just applets, or eSuite.next, but full features products

But the big shocker was that Ken stated that the editors were based on OpenOffice.org technology. With the huge increase in MS Office licensing fees, there is a buzz around OpenOffice. As someone who made their mark in this industry doing SmartSuite and now Office integration, I have been looking at OpenOffice for a while, and its got legs. Only thing I wished I had heard was that Notes/Domino 7 would include the editors natively as well ...

I also got a chance to chat with Ed before his fun travel schedule kicks in. I am not sure what his blogging schedule is, but I will try to get back to a more normal schedule to pick up some slack :)