There were workshops yesterday at the Enterprise 2.0 conference. The first one, Social Computing Platforms: IBM and Microsoft revealed an unlikely sturdy competitor in the sea of terrific startups that are competing in this new arena. IBM, yes, IBM demonstrated a competitive product. I had never seen such a thorough demo of Lotus Connections. It had a terrific UI, more 2.0 features than I could even keep up with, and the woman who was taking us through the demo, clearly “got it.” Who wouldda thunk?
By comparison, the SharePoint presentation was, well, uninspired. There was a healthy back channel chat conversation on the comparison between the two products. We were particularly damning of the SharePoint product demonstration in the back channel (which is found on the conference’s Clearspace community viaMeebo.) If you’re coming to the conference, be sure to check out the back channel chat, as I found that the back channel conversation from real customers was much more interesting than the material being presented.
Many of our clients are turning to SharePoint to deliver 2.0 functionality. From this day forward, I will be urging them to consider Lotus Connections, if they must choose an enterprise vendor for their global operation. The dark horse here is Oracle. Over the next few days, including a private dinner with Oracle with the Enterprise Irregulars, we’ll be seeing a lot of what Oracle is bringing to the table. It would be terrific if there were two good legacy enterprise choices for large enterprises.
Of course, the wide range of excellent startups offer a clear alternative to the enterprise players. I also attended Dion Hinchcliffe’s Implementing Enterprise 2.0 workshop. It was a solid roundup of data and commentary on where we are today with Enterprise 2.0. Dion had a new vendor on the scene, Aegeon, give a short demo of its offering, Spaceo.us. This product holds particular promise because of its emphasis on bringing existing enterprise IT assets, including SAP, Oracle, JD Edwards, into the social collaboration platform. Spaceo.us also placed first in Stowe Boyd’s Launch Pad finals. You can see demos of the producthere.
Finally, thanks to @stevemann, we had a great dinner with friends at the Enterprise 2.0 Mayhem dinner. Here is a short video clip from blogger-extraordinaire, Luis Suarez, whom I finally met in carbon for the first time.
Update: Luis is saying, “”Knowledge is Commoditised. Connections not!”