O to Orlando

January 21 2006

What a busy 24 hours!  Friday evening, I checked off the very last Cirque du Soleil show -- "O" -- from my to-do list.  While I could use a trite line about saving the best for last, I'm not sure it applies.  "O" is, though, very, very good   It is clasically Cirque -- the acrobatics, the music, the costumes.  The set is incredibly visually rich.  The incorportion of water as the theme makes for some interesting performances.  So, great show, glad I went, and glad I sat in the ninth row -- gave enough perspective on the water acts as well as being able to see everything happening above water.  Would repeat -- in fact, one of the observations that Brian and Yvette shared with me is that like so many other Cirque sows, there are so many things going on at once that you need to see it two or three (or seven) times to take it all in.

Speaking of so many things going on at once, I'm on the final leg of my journey to Orlando for Lotusphere.  The one advantage of being on the road straight from Vegas to Orlando is that I missed the eight inches of snow in Chicago that led to cancelled flights and frayed nerves.  I'm not sure my luggage made the connection in Miami, but my carry-ons have all I need to make productive use of Saturday.

I just read a few of the pre-Lotusphere articles in the US trade press.  IBM is indeed making a number of important, wide-ranging announcements on Monday...but none of the articles so far capture the essence.  This is good -- there are still a few surprises in store for Monday.  A few of the comments so far...
Red Herring: IBM fans flock to Lotusphere:

The company will be making a number of announcements next week, including an upgrade to IBM Lotus Sametime, a corporate instant messaging application.
 
Armonk, New York-based IBM will address recent challenges by Microsoft, with which it shares leadership of the collaboration software market. The Redmond giant on Tuesday announced an array of tools that will help Notes customers switch to Microsoft's products. ..."The battle with Microsoft has gone beyond email features,"said Ken Bisconti, vice president of product management for workplace portals and collaboration products. "The announcement Microsoft made early in the week was part of the old battlefront. Today the market is much more about addressing applications. People want to access collaboration services in other applications."
Computerworld: Lotusphere 2006: What's in store for Notes/Domino:
The next version of IBM's Lotus Sametime real-time collaboration software will include capabilities that allow users to instantly connect with others around the world as part of online "social networking" communities.  ...
About 4,800 attendees are expected at this year's conference, an increase of about 15% over last year's event, according to IBM.
About that number: add in all the IBM staff, vendors, press, analysts, and interlopers, and that's another 5-600 people.  I also have heard of some planned walk-in registrants.  Whatever the final number, registration has trended 10-15% ahead of 2005 the entire cycle... coming off a 200-city launch tour for Notes/Domino 7 that reached over 20,000 attendees.  Great numbers to go along with the continued growth in the Notes/Domino business.

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