As mentioned, I spent the day yesterday at the Enterprise 2.0 conference.  My primary reason for being there was to work the Notes/Domino stand in the IBM booth  Admittedly, ped duty isn't something a worldwide sales exec volunteers for all that often, but I wanted to get to E2.0 and see what this year's buzz was all about.  

In the end, much of the day was spent talking with past and present friends and colleagues.  It was great to see some faces from the past (Erik Britt-Webb and Lance Shaw) but also to catch up with peeps who I've only known through blogs or Twitter.  I didn't get to meet everyone I wanted to -- even though I picked up a bunch of new Twitter followers (thanks!) and finally met some great people like Dennis Howlett, Lauren Cooney, Chris Brogan, and Michael Krigsman.

Two interesting observations:  

1) as far as "buzz" in the show, it seemed, without being too myopic, that Lotus Connections 2.0 was one of the hits.  Not just because of how Suzanne and Heidi trounced SharePoint in one of the opening panels of the week, but the booth traffic around IBM and the people I talked to in the halls all were excited about it.  Their demo ped was constantly busy.  Many of the people who stopped by to talk to me about Notes ultimately ended up going to look at Connections, or talking to me about how the two integrate.  Conversely, there weren't too many of the other vendors where I heard, " ugotta go check out _____".  There's a lot of great and wonderful stuff going on in the Enterprise 2.0 space, and it's great to see so many small companies executing on good ideas.  But there was little "wow" of the magnitude of a game-changer, and a lot of the conversations -- regardless of the vendor -- were about how to use this stuff rather than the technology itself.

2) Even taking away my usual biases, I was surprised at how unimpressive Microsoft was at this conference.  Though they were a diamond sponsor, their booth in the product expo had a canvas Microsoft rollup sign and 25% of the space dedicated to Zune.  Their participation in panels was underwhelming -- at least three people tweeted about the answer given to the question "why is SharePoint successful?"  Microsoft's answer: "because Microsoft is going to be around".  That might work with a business person, but at a technology conference, the audience was clearly hungry for more, and Lawrence Liu (who seems like a really nice guy, even came over and introduced himself) just didn't deliver.  Maybe it wasn't the right format for them.

Alan also has a conference wrap-up, and you can find hundreds of tweets on Twitter with the hashtag #E20

Post a Comment