I just watched the OGS via livestream. And I’m somewhat puzzled what I was about.
We got some of the usual customer stories. I know they are interesting to a lot of people, but I’m not among them. Then there were some demos, but about what?
There is IBM’s E-Mail Next. The few screenshots I saw showed a fresh approach to mail. It’s neatly integrated into other stuff like project workspaces, a people directory and some social stuff. The look and feel is quite good, but that’s true for competitor’s offerings, too.
So far I didn’t get what kind of technology drives this. Most certainly some sort of Websphere. Since it’s an offer branded with “Connections”, it will be integrated in IBM Connections and that means it’s for the big enterprise, at least when you like to use it on premise and not in the cloud.
All the stuff we saw about E-Mail Next needs a lot of data already living in various places controlled by IBM software. Nevertheless, it looked nice to me.
So, we got a fresh approach to E-Mail. What else?
I saw some specialized solutions for Analytics, HR and Content Management. Everything looked good and up-to-date. I can only imagine how much IT personell will be needed to install and support all of that.
One brand to rule them all
It looks like a lot of brands will be removed and summarized under the “Connections” umbrella, like “Sametime” is becoming “IBM Connections Chat” or something like that. Since IBM always does re-branding after some time, that’s no surprise. Personally I don’t understand why changing an established brand is a good thing, but I’m no marketing expert and I hope there is some sense in that behaviour.
Domino and XPages
I was right to have zero expectations regarding Domino and XPages. Both are proven and well engineered solutions which are far too powerful while being easy at the same time for IBM’s taste. They said something about Domino applications in the cloud for one time, other than that, there was no announcement in this area.
We all know there are some areas that could get some developer love, for instance in the NSF space (ancient limits, speed et al). But who cares about that with when all this hot and new Connections stuff is coming?
The more I think about the OGS and the announcements, the more it’s clear to me that it’s quite unclear what product got which new capabilities. There was nothing like “look, with product X you can now do this and that and solve those kind of problems”. I feel the OGS was more about the message “we are IBM and if you want to do social stuff with your business we can do that for you”. A very soft and unclear message from my point of view.
I’m curious if the upcoming days will bring some more clarification about new offerings and capabilities regarding IBM collaboration software.