Lotus Mobile Connect

June 29 2009

This week will mark nine months since my return to product management.  What I love about product management, as I think I've said before, is that every day brings an unlimited amount of opportunity to get involved in "stuff" -- the tactical and strategic decisions around what products we build and how they are brought to market.  The key to being successful in product management is to know which of those daily opportunities present the ability to be impactful, and which ones are too tactical or time-wasting.  For me, this is especially interesting triage because I own or contribute to a whole range of products -- not just the Notes/Domino core, but also Symphony, Alloy, Notes Traveler, and even lesser-known products like Lotus Mobile Connect.

I'm going to guess that most of you haven't heard of this product.  It is a VPN product that used to be WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager (WECM).  I use it every day to connect my MacBook to the IBM corporate network...but it's an app I almost never think about.  See, Lotus Mobile Connect has one advantage over other VPN clients I've used before -- it's persistent.  I started it at some point, logged in, and never have to re-connect.  When I take the laptop out of standby, it re-establishes the VPN connection.  It even has roaming support, so if I switch networks, the connection remains intact.  Lotus Mobile Connect also has support for a gazillion clients and devices, and even has a client-less access mode to support tools like Lotus iNotes.

Lately, my team and I have been talking about plans for Lotus Mobile Connect.  One aspect of that decision-making is understanding where we are at in the market.  I realize that VPN software is pretty commoditized at this point, but perhaps it will be useful to some of you to know that there is another option available with an IBM Lotus name.  And hopefully, some of those interesting tactical decisions over the last few weeks will lead to something more interesting for Lotus Mobile Connect in the future.

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