We had a really successful event today at the IBM offices in Petach Tivka.  OK, so it took me 70 minutes by taxi to get there (vs. a 15 minute ride back), but no matter.  

Over 100 customers and partners attended, very good turnout.  The local team made a deliberate decision to bill the event with the IBM brand, as they are investing in revitalizing the Lotus brand in this market.   A recent hefty update to Notes 7.0.2's Hebrew support helps, along with the debut today of Sametime 7.5.1 in Hebrew.  Given this starting position, my strategy presentation specifically emphasized how IBM is investing in Lotus overall, with branding, marketing, new products, emphasis on "web 2.0" or similar technologies, and more.  I also covered Notes/Domino 8 and Lotus Quickr.  The next speaker was Lotus Israel sales executive Ayelet Biger and regional technical sales manager Stefano Pogliani, who described Lotus Connections.  Then, the local Haifa labs team, lead by Orit Yaron-Duzy, presented "Sametime 2007", including the live demonstration in Hebrew language.  Very cool stuff.  The day rounded out with two customer presentations (one on WebSphere Portal, looked pretty impressive to me) and a session on Lotus Expeditor.

Here you can see the IBM Forum in the local office, decked out in Lotus yellow and WebSphere purple:

IBM Collaboration Event Forum

I saw a few familiar faces, including customers who had attended Lotusphere in Orlando, or some of the various View events in Europe over the last couple of years.  I appreciate all the positive comments about the blog, and welcome new readers as well.

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