One of the great things about moving from Notes/Domino sales to Notes/Symphony product management is that there was no real "break in" period.  In my new job, I work with most of the same people I worked with in my old job, albeit from the different perspective of product management and being a people manager.  On the other hand, there's no real "honeymoon" period, either -- not that I am someone who wants to use "still coming up to speed" as a crutch.  So, it's been an eventful 30 days, with some pretty exciting output from this organization:

  • We launched Lotus Notes Hosted Messaging, the first published, standardized software+service offering from IBM Lotus.  While I don't have direct responsibility for this offering, I've been assisting with customer conversations, internal documentation, and a lot of other decision support around its market introduction.  There are not enough hours in the day to handle all of the interest this announcement has generated, and as a bonus, it appears to have put our competition on defense.
  • We made major announcements around Lotus Symphony -- a new 1.2 release, the first Mac version, and a roadmap to incorporate OpenOffice 3, Office 2007 document support, and Visual Basic macro support.  Eric Otchet, the Symphony product manager, reports that the Symphony sessions at the OpenOffice conference have been jam-packed, and reaction to our announcement has been well-received.
  • The team is prepping for the release of Notes/Domino 8.5 in the weeks ahead, and everything that that launch entails. We just made code drop 12 available to our design partners and internal IBMers, as we approach the end-game for this release.  We also have one eye on the releases post-8.5, including new offerings like the SAP+IBM project "Atlantic".
  • We're also looking ahead to some early 2009 activities, including IBM participation in the product expo at MacWorld, and of course, Lotusphere.

In the background, I'm personally working on a number of ideas that I've discussed here, and have been slowly turning the corner from react mode to steady keel.  I'm looking at a bunch of project tracking/management tools to help me with that -- thank you again to all that responded to my earlier blog on the topic.  Rest assured -- I will be using something Notes-based.

The biggest challenge I've faced in these 30 days has been the mindset transition from being first responder and constant customer presence.  I've always worked hard to respond to all e-mails within 24 hours, get out to customers when needed, and jump in wherever needed.  In this role, I'm finding limitless opportunity to jump in -- but that success depends entirely on being selective about it.  I still have a full calendar of customer travel commitments, too -- in just about a week's time, for example, I will be headed off to Australia and New Zealand for what has become my annual tour down under.  

I'm immensely encouraged by what I see from the new vantage point.  It helps to see the great press coverage, analyst reports, and blog entries talking about the health of the Notes/Domino marketplace.  It's going to be so exciting to share so much of this with you all at Lotusphere 2009.  Lotusphere speaker notifications will be going out within the next few days, and the session titles will go live on the Lotusphere website for session preference voting.  The excitement is already building, too -- registration is ahead year to year vs. LS2008.  From what I've seen of the agenda so far, it's going to be a great conference -- I hope you all have the opportunity to attend. Oh, and one little teaser -- we have a GREAT industry speaker lined up for one of our breakout sessions, more on that soon....

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