Good morning from Orlando. It's always disorienting to be in these hotels when it's not Lotusphere. Today at the Dolphin, some sales meeting is wrapping up. The attendees do not seem demographically to match Lotusphere...

...but that will all start changing today. And in 24-36 hours, I know I'll be in the zone, with thousands of my closest friends and colleagues.

There is a lot of exciting news and innovation coming in the next week at Lotusphere and IBM Connect 2012. Obviously I'm not here to write the spoilers blog. What I do want to do is address a word I have heard frequently in the last few days, and that's "Vulcan". Specifically, IBM Project Vulcan, which we announced as a blueprint previously at Lotusphere. It seems, from the topics I've been given for some of my 1:1 meetings next week, that many are looking for us to answer the question of "what have you done with Vulcan?" or "when can I buy Vulcan?" or "is Leonard Nimoy the guest speaker?" (I have no idea about the last one, I never find out in advance).

I have often said in these pages that "branding is the hardest part of marketing." What has always struck me as funny is how our codenames, often never intended to be externally visible, become so successful--disproportionately so. When I say Domino, or Hannover, or Bluejay, or Shimmer...many of you recognize these codenames, one of which even eventually became the product name. This was always the risk with "IBM Project Vulcan", is that within a short period of time, we started getting questions of "when is Vulcan shipping?" "What product does Vulcan replace?" In the end, a codename can create confusion, as much as it creates a unifying concept or theme.

So, at Lotusphere 2012, where is IBM Project Vulcan? The answer: It's everywhere. It's in Notes/Domino "Next". It's in Connections "Next". It's in LotusLive "Next". It's in LotusLive Symphony. It's in the Social Business Toolkit. The concepts we laid out for Project Vulcan -- convergence, integration, innovation, opportunity -- have been applied and baked into the new versions of these products, all of which will be prominently featured (and heavily demonstrated!) in the Lotusphere Opening General Session. The blueprint has become its real thing, something you can and will deploy in 2012, almost regardless of your entry point into IBM Collaboration Solutions.

You probably won't hear the word "Vulcan" much anymore, though. It's time to stop talking about a conceptual blueprint and start talking about the implementation. The impressive aspect of that blueprint is that it established a long-term view of how to evolve our solutions to be the best-in-class social business tools. This year's releases, and even those beyond, will show the strength of that vision. We have taken to heart that "IBM Project Vulcan" will live long within IBM's social business solutions, and prosper.

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