Maybe you saw the IBM announcement or the NY Times article on it. iPhone now can run iNotes, a lightweight application for access to Lotus Notes email, calendaring, and contacts.
But why the complex equation? Let me break it down for you:
IBM has no axe to grind with any mobile device (unlike Microsoft, who is required to promote Windows Mobile devices -- though we've seen a lot of iPhones on the Redmond campus lately). Therefore, it can afford to be device agnostic. The Armonk software giant has long supported BlackBerry, Nokia, and Windows Mobile devices. It now supports iPhone.
In other words, these iPhone owners are change agents. They see a benefit and want to go for it. We call this behavior of employee-led adoption "Technology Populism," and it's a force majeure. Here's one cool situation we heard from a client: demand for iPhone is so high that IT put up a wiki to encourage iPhone opportunists to comment on problems and solutions for iPhone in the enterprise. It's a "very active" wiki with 70 active participants. And this after only a month.
My colleague, Jeremiah Owyang is coming to Japan so we're going to have an informal, no-host bloggers' dinner on Wednesday, October 22nd in Tokyo.
Jeremiah is a senior analyst at Forrester Research. He helps interactive marketers get to grips with Social computing, Social media measurement, Web marketing, and Interactive marketing. He also writes an excellent blog of his own - Web Strategy by Jeremiah.
Our plan for the evening is that Jeremiah will talk for about 20 minutes to share some insights on trends in social computing. And then we hope to have a stimulating discussion on any topics that interest us -- in other words, all things social. No sales pitches allowed!
If you want to attend, please contact Ritsuko Tague at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, company name, email address and the URL of your blog by October 3rd.
<Bloggers' Dinner in Tokyo>
Date & Time : Wednesday, October 22nd, 19:00-21:00
Location: FUJIMAMAS, 6-3-2 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo MAP
Cost: 4,000JPY - includes an Asian Tapas buffet and free bar (nomihodai).
Why are sales and marketing professionals working harder and longer than ever before? Why are they seemingly in a constant firefighting mode, moving from one fire drill to the next, one meeting to another?
Following on to Rob's great analyses of Cisco's Jabber and PostPath acquisitions, here are some additional things that Information & Knowledge Management Professionals should tune into regarding Cisco as the new collaboration kid on the block:
First, Cisco is building a meeting-centric workspace product with WebEx Connect. Think about the key documents, chats, connections, calendar, contact lists, business and collaboration widgets, and video links hosted in a workspace with persistence, invitation- and approval-based access, and all the piece parts of a real workspace. That means you should be putting Cisco on your vendor list when looking at new team collaboration scenarios.
Second, Jabber will be bundled into WebEx Connect as the core presence engine. In other words, this acquisition is, as Rob pointed out, a great way for Cisco to get a global-scale presence engine. But it's also presence designed around a B2B or distributed team environment. And that signals where you should look at Cisco: It's in B2B teams. Or teams that sit on the edge of the enterprise -- sales, product development, supply chain, partner management -- should look at this new option.
I'm just back from the Fourth Annual Cross Media Forum put on by BIMA, the Boston Interactive Media Association, a MITX organization. I thought the depth of content from the event was exceptional. It included:
"Embrace chaos; deliver results." Really? Unleash social networks, employee-generated video, and wikis loose in my company? That sounds hard for any normal company. Yet that's the theme of our event here in Orlando.
At the end of day one, after listening to a varied and experienced line-up of presenters, I came away with the feeling that not only is it possible to embrace chaos and deliver results, it's also an imperative.
Here are some loosely worded and paraphrased quotes from speakers that anchor my feeling:
When Ken Washington, chief privacy officer of Lockheed Martin, was asked how he convinced the CEO to allow blogs and social networks at Lockheed Martin, he said that in the war for talent these tools will help us "attract and retain talent."
It makes a ton of sense if you think about it. We know from our Technographics studies that the Internet-native Gen Y generation behaves completely differently than their Gen X siblings. They use IM, social networks, and blogs to communicate and get their work done. And the Millenials that follow them are even more estranged from old-school tools like email. These new employees expect the power that a Facebook brings.
If customers don't trust your company, it's bound to be bad for business. The FEER blog points to a noodle shop in Hong Kong, which is seeking to reassure customers by printing expiry dates on the noodles themselves.
But how does one deal with a collapse of trust in an entire country? Whenever a new scare threatens Chinese exports, we hear about new legislation, increased inspections, and draconian punishments. But it seems that the underlying problems are endemic and can't be easily rooted out.
I hosted a dinner last night at Forrester's Business and Technology Leadership Forum here in Orlando. Great discussion with 12 CIOs, several CMOs, and a vendor CEO. When we weren't passionately debating politics, we spent time compiling recession strategies -- the best ways of riding out a potential economic slowdown.
Today, Cisco announced their intention to acquire Jabber, a major player in enterprise instant messaging. On the heals of Cisco's acquisition of PostPath for email, it's becoming clear that Cisco is really serious about collaboration. Not only are they serious, but they are begining to execute on a very compelling strategy. Some of the more interesting aspects of this move:
Jabber continues to fill out Cisco's collaboration portfolio by adding secure instant messaging and persistent chat. Now, they have their established position in unified communications, voice conferencing, telepresence and WebEx web conferencing and email, instant messaging and persistent chat coming on line. If Cisco can drive deep integration across all of these components and do it at a reasonable price point, there will be real value in the bundle.
Jabber is well positioned for cloud deployment. Their core differentiator has long been massive scalability with a design goal of serving millions, rather than thousands of users. If you want to take on market leaders Microsoft and IBM, you need to identify and exploit a market disruption. Cloud-based collaboration could be just the disruption Cisco needs. Massive scalability helps a lot.