September 27 2011
About a year ago, I declared that IBM had turned the corner from follower to leader in the mobile space. I was mocked for the statement, but not only do I stand by it, I feel like we are even further out front now. How so?
I had the opportunity today to present a slide showing our current and planned future device support for IBM collaboration and Lotus solutions on the relevant enterprise mobile platforms -- Apple, Android, Blackberry, and Nokia. It's pretty impressive:
Now, of course, any IBM roadmap is subject to change, this is only a roadmap, etc.etc. Having said that though, it really shows what a busy year we have had already, with more still to come -- native apps for iOS and Android galore, Connections on multiple platforms, and further innovation in Sametime's full suite of capabilities. Also, this is only a front-end chart; in 2012, we plan enhancements on the back-end including a high-availability approach for Notes Traveler servers. I don't want to be a tease, but there is still more beyond that as well.
I can hear the grumbling now, that one thing we could still do is build out the rest of our ActiveSync support so that Notes Traveler can be a generic email provider to a broader range of mobile devices. It's not out of the question, but it is more complicated than it appears. One of the things we worry about incessantly at IBM is supportability, and right now, we can assure a Traveler customer that their combination of device and OS have been tested against Traveler. It would be harder to make that commitment to the full spectrum of handsets available worldwide. Inevitably, some of you will say "just do it anyway, unsupported". I've heard that. I understand what's behind that.
My point in sharing this chart is how much the need for mobile collaboration is growing, and moving away from just basic email service as being sufficient. Our investment in this area is demonstrable, and will continue to be into 2012 and beyond.