Whew, finally a break from the 2-hour morning General Session, featuring not only the VP and the General Manager of IBM’s Social Business division, but also a performance from 1980s pop group They Might Be Giants and a speech by actor-director-producer Joseph Gordon-Levitt (for those of you unfamiliar, he was in Lincoln and 50/50, among others).
Perhaps what’s most telling about this year’s event is the name change: Lotusphere is now Connect.
While IBM is normally never referenced in TechCrunch or AllThingsD articles featuring the hottest tech, mobile, or social startups, we all need IBM to keep up the good work and to continue spreading the good word about social to companies and businesses that do not read TechCrunch or AllThingsD.
Through its install base of tens of thousands of customers who over the past 25+ years have purchased (and still use) Lotus Notes office productivity software, IBM is in the enviable position of converting people who are actually already paying for collaboration software.
Indeed, IBM’s vast footprint as the incumbent provider of basic office software kicks the door down for people who still do not believe in the power of social.
(Today’s newbie social networks still rely on a freemium model to survive — if they can make it.)
Alistair Rennie, General Manager of IBM Social Business, put it aptly this morning:
We are at the start of this journey. And we can change the world.
Stay tuned for more blogposts from this conference.