About a hundred days since the launch of IBM MobileFirst, we are still pretty busy creating market awareness of IBM's leadership in enterprise mobility. Thus, there are a huge number of events upcoming, including a number of them in Europe. I will be at the Utrecht and Madrid events.
June 4, Utrecht Netherlands: IBM SolutionsConnect.
June 5, Vienna Austria: IBM BusinessConnect.
June 6, Madrid Spain: Encuentro en IBM MobileFirst. Tengo muchas ganas de volver a Madrid. ¿Nos encontraremos otra vez?
June 11, La Hulpe Belgium: IBM SolutionsConnect 2013.
June 11, Lausanne: IBM Technology Day 2013.
June 13/14, Bad Nauheim Germany: IBM SolutionsConnect 2013.
June 18, London: Mobile Enterprise Summit. (The specific event link appears to be broken, sorry)
Right now we don't have a specific events page for IBM MobileFirst. I'll see about adding one somewhere....
These events should be exciting opportunities to raise awareness around the complete IBM MobileFirst portfolio. I'm looking forward to meeting new and existing customers and partners and talking Worklight, Tealeaf CX Mobile, Rational Test Workbench, and more.
Not going to an IBM MobileFirst event anytime soon? You can still catch up on the latest. The mobile keynote from IBM Impact is online on our livestream site. In it you can see Forrester's Ted Schadler, Avnet's Sean Wyrick, the CEO and CIO of ING Direct Canada, and several key IBM executives providing the latest news and insights regarding our mobile enterprise solutions. Good stuff.
Earlier this month, Forrester released a new Total Economic Impact study, "The Total Economic Impact Of IBM’s Worklight Platform: Cost Savings In The Development And Maintenance Of Multiplatform Mobile Apps." The study shows that the cost of creating and managing a single multi-platform app is significantly less expensive when using IBM Worklight than when using native tools alone.
From the study:
The cost of developing and maintaining apps increases with the number of platforms supported, the number of apps and the complexity of the apps; more often than not enterprises have little control over them because they are tied to third party developers. While creating and managing a single app on a single platform might be relatively straightforward in a native environment, doing so across multiple platforms and for multiple apps rapidly becomes cost ineffective.
For developers who are just starting to think about mobile app lifecycle management, the Forrester TEI study is an important tool to understand the full long-term investment required to build, deploy, and manage a mobile app across multiple platforms. Forrester examines both the obvious costs like software licenses and infrastructure as well as additional costs around upgrades, security, and other components.
The full report is available now through IBM.com.
In addition to the Forrester TEI report, here are some other new or recently updated content pieces around IBM MobileFirst:
- IBM MobileFirst solution brief - a short 5-pager that describes what MobileFirst means and while it is important to have or develop a mobile enterprise strategy today
- An additional Forrester TEI report, this one on the benefits of hosted managed mobile services (to support a BYOD mobile enterprise). The report shows better than 100% ROI over three years.
Link: ibm.com: The Total Economic Impact of IBM's Worklight Platform >
Part of my role in IBM MobileFirst is developing an ecosystem of partners around IBM's market-leading enterprise mobility solutions. This week at IBM Impact, I met dozens of partners who are entering or fully into the mobile market, on the second wave of mobile.
One common question is, what's different now? Mobile has been around for years.
The answer is that the market is maturing rapidly, and now is the time for organizations to adopt a mobile strategy, rather than just a series of tactics. I talk to companies or partners who say that organizations are moving beyond the disposable apps and mobile-enabled websites of "mobile 1.0" towards a full application lifecycle management approach. They are looking for ways to enhance the mobile customer experience. That is what IBM MobileFirst is all about.
This week at Impact, our mobile keynote highlighted five key trends in mobile. Industry analyst Maribel Lopez captured them in her Forbes column. I was also pleased to see the subject article by CRN's Rick Whiting, highlighting partner Perficient. Perficient has been an IBM partner for many years, and those of you who are Notes customers will likely know of them as well. This week they announced their new mobile practice:
Too many customers view mobility as an add-on to their IT systems, [General Manager Vishal] Rajpal said. "We've been trying to tell them to think of mobile as the first platform. They should step back and see the mobility play as a key part of their IT system. We've been preaching that message for awhile," he said.But the key quote from the article demonstrates the opportunity for all IBM business partners to come along to MobileFirst.
That's fueling demand for the up-front consulting and system design services Perficient offers, as well as the software development, integration and deployment services that come later. That also ties into the solution provider's vertical industry practices, Rajpal said.
Rajpal said the solution provider is building its mobile practice around IBM because of several key mobile technologies the vendor acquired in recent years including the Worklight mobile application platform, Green Hat cloud software testing tools, BigFix endpoint management system, and Cast Iron cloud/on-premise application integration software.Link: CRN: Solution Provider Perficient Launches Mobile Computing Practice >
"IBM has one of the most comprehensive product sets around mobile," Rajpal said. "I think they've put together a really strong story with their mobile platform."
April 29 2013
This morning at Impact 2013, IBM has announced several updates to our MobileFirst initiative.
The first is the announcement of IBM MessageSight, a high-volume transactional message delivery appliance, designed to enable/accelerate M2M (machine-to-machine) communications for the Internet of Things. Here at Impact, as discussed in a recent New York Times article, one of the key examples of how MessageSight manifests is in the connected car.
In the Focus Electric car, he said, Ford wants to get continual, detailed sensor data on the state and performance of the vehicle’s electric battery, then feed that information into product development.
And drivers, Mr. Sankaran said, seek to do more things while in their cars. A stock trader, for example, might want to continue trading from the road. If the trader sent in an order to sell 30,000 shares of Apple, he said, that transaction must be reliably and securely communicated.
“You need an advanced messaging engine for these kinds of services,” Mr. Sankaran said.
The second announcement area, which will be the focus more of tomorrow's Mobile keynote, is an update to the IBM MobileFirst platform, featuring Worklight 6.0. Worklight 6, to be released later this quarter, enhances the mobile enterprise application platform by adding low-impact geolocation services, integrated functional test capabilities, integrated mobile analytics, app templates, and, for business partners, a new IBM ASL-based licensing model that significantly lowers the entry point, especially for B2E/B2B apps.
The third announcement area is the unveiling of a mobile cloud services strategy. Clearly, cloud delivery is a critical approach to quickly deploying mobile apps. IBM's mobile cloud services approach is to provide an infrastructure for rapid, lightweight app deployment. The proof point being highlighted here at Impact is a new passes application, which allows the rapid development of Apple iOS Passbook cards. Other similar point solution approaches will be added. This all complements IBM's services offerings which offer hosting and delivery of mobile applications, mobile device management (as Chris Pepin discusses here), and security services.
Also: New IBM Op-Ad in the Wall Street Journal today: Mobile isn't a device. It's Data.
There are many more announcements and new products for IBM MobileFirst being highlighted here at Impact, with over 100 sessions total and workshops, a hackathon, and partner showcase. Are you at Impact? Tweet me up and let's talk mobile.
Next week will mark three months in for my new role as head of market management for IBM MobileFirst. As mentioned yesterday, I'll spend that 90th day among thousands of IBM clients, partners, and employees at Impact 2013. I realize I have not been blogging as much about the topics that are part of my every day conversations in this role. Thus, with the conference at hand, it seemed timely to start to share.
Here are some enterprise mobility topics that I expect to be talking a lot about during the conference....
1) Indoor location. Location as context for apps is becoming increasingly important. Terms like geofencing, which defines a different app experience based on a physical location, become even more relevant as a new generation of sensors get deployed to help with indoor location. Google's Don Dodge wrote a great blog entry recently on indoor location. This concept comes up a lot in discussions with retail, healthcare, and manufacturing companies. For example, a geofenced application in a hospital might make different data available to staff based on whether they are in the emergency room or the cafeteria. A retailer might use indoor location to provide department-specific offers or augmented reality views of merchandise on the shelves. Indoor location will also help in social networking, as you truly will be able to figure out if your friends are in the same place as you are.
2) Machine to machine. Watch for this topic to get a fair amount of attention at Impact and beyond. With sensors and embedded technology, non-human mobile devices will quickly surpass the number of smartphones and tablets. That kind of scale requires dedicated back-end infrastructure to manage the flow of data. Connected cars, fleet management, healthcare monitoring, and many other industries will use M2M across the "Internet of Things." One example we published when MobileFirst was launched in February was the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, where sensors in the cars are not just being used for traffic management, but also roadway safety overall. From our announcement: "Relevant sensor data -- that were indicators of potholes or icy roads -- was collected in-vehicle and transmitted to the cloud-enabled IBM Smarter Traffic Center." Very cool stuff.
3) Mobile analytics. Analytics is clearly in the buzzword category, and across IBM we have dozens of solutions in this space. Specifically as it pertains to mobile, though, we are leading the market. IBM Tealeaf CX Mobile examines the behavior of end-users on mobile devices and apps, and provides the data needed for developers to optimize the client experience. Having just installed an app where company names are on a scroll without the ability to jump from letter to letter in the alphabet, I wish someone was watching me to find out how difficult that UI paradigm is in the app. Tealeaf really fits in the conversation about why the second wave of mobile matters...why just building an app is not a sufficient commitment to delivering the right experience to customers.
If you are coming to Impact, be sure to share your thoughts. Best times to find me are Sunday or Monday afternoon/evening in the product showcase - IBM MobileFirst zone, or my book signing for Opting In on Wednesday at 3:15 in the conference book store.
April 23 2013
In three days, I will be on a plane to Las Vegas, for a bigger-than-Lotusphere-sized IBM conference, IBM Impact. IBM MobileFirst will be out in full force at Impact, with over 100 mobile-focused sessions on the agenda. The list below are just some of those sessions, which hopefully provides an idea of the level of focus on this category and market.
In addition to sessions, there are a lot of other IBM MobileFirst activities:
- A hackathon
- An unconference
- And we're even sponsoring the band, Matchbox 20!
See all the details here...
Link: IBM Impact 2013: IBM MobileFirst at IMPACT >
1:30pm - 2:30pm IBM MobileFirst – Future Directions in Mobile Development and Runtimes (SUN-3244) Lido 3103 (3rd floor)
8:30-10:00am Opening General Session Level 2, Hall D
10:30-11:45am Forbes Business Mini-Main Tent Level 2, Venetian H
1-2:15pm IBM Worklight 6.0 – An Overview TMD-2576A Palazzo L
2:30-3:30pm IBM Worklight: Location-Based Services TMS-1213A Palazzo L
4-5pm Implement a Mobile Network Cloud Using IBM WebSphere ASPN TMO-2025A Palazzo L
4-5pm Digital Life & Connected Cars (Daimler) TMS-1451A Palazzo K
4-5pm Mobile Sucess Panel (Capital One, AT&T, VMS and iSoftStone) TMU-3202A Delfino 4003
5:15-6:15pm Building a Hybrid Mobile App for Field Ops Users Using IBM Worklight TMU-1291A Palazzo K
8:30-9:45am General Session Level 2, Hall D
10:15-11:15am ING Direct Canada Drives Customer Care and Satisfaction Through Mobile (Forbes) BIS-3312A Lando 4203
10:15-11:15am Capital One Is Getting Ready for Mobile Business TMS-2172A Palazzo L
1:00-2:15pm Mobile Mini-Main Tent Level 2, Venetian H
2:30-3:30pm Latest IBM MobileFirst Advancements to Take Your Enterprise Mobile TMS-2313A Palazzo K
4-5pm Changing Trends of Cross-Platform Mobile Application Development TMD-1506A Palazzo L
4-5pm Panel Discussion: Mobile App Design and Development Challenges (R&S, DT, Liberty Mutual, TD Bank) TMD-3203A Delfino 4003
4-5pm Case Study for Raymond James Mobile Application TMU-2297A Marcello 4403
4-5pm Mobile App Prototype for Watson TMU-2853A Palazzo K
5:15-6:15pm Building Mobile Applications with the Dojo Toolkit and jQuery TMD-1079A Palazzo L
5:15-6:15pm World’s Largest B2C Mobile Usage in China Rail Industry (CARS) TMU-2002A Marcello 4403
5:15-6:15pm Panel Discussion: Driving Mobile Innovations with IBM Business Partners (TDI, BP3, VoiceRite, Prolifics) TMU-3299A Delfino 4003
8:30-9:45am General Session Level 2, Hall D
8:30-9:45am Mobile Analytics: Why Should You Care? TMA-1815A Palazzo L
10:15-11:15am Deliver Winning Mobile Services with Visibility into the Mobile Experience TMA-3005A Palazzo L
10:15-11:15am Next-Generation Mobile Banking – ING Vysya Bank TMU-2623A Marcello 4403
1-2pm Security for Mobile Devices, Applications and Information TMB-2948A Palazzo K
1-2pm Mobile Cloud: Integrating Your Mobile Workloads with the Enterprise TMO-2109A Palazzo L
1-2pm Rohde & Schwarz Cuts Mobile Development Costs by 60 Percent TMU-2182A Marcello 4403
2:15-3:15pm Mobile Web Experiences with IBM Web Experience Factory and IBM Worklight TMD-1439A Palazzo L
3:45-4:45pm Manage Your Mobile Data in IBM Worklight with DB2 and Informix TMD-3302A Palazzo M
3:45-4:45pm Panel Discussion: Mobile Management and Security (CTIA, Verizon and Ford) Venetian - Lido 3003
5-6pm Addressing the Challenges of Mobile Application Testing TMD-1283A Palazzo L
8:45-9:45am Roundtable: IBM Worklight, Mobile Application Platform, Discussion and Feedback TMD-1020D Zeno 4709
10:15-11:15am Combining Telecom Expense and Mobile Device Management to Lower Costs TMB-3062A Palazzo L
1-2pm Developing Better Mobile Applications with IBM Mobile Messaging Technology TMD-2042A Palazzo N
1-2pm Best Practices for Mobile Enterprise Security and the Importance of Endpoint Management TMB-1269B Palazzo G
April 17 2013
Nothing like meeting someone in person as a catalyst to finish reading their book :-)
I'm in Austin today, where I will be working with longtime industry figure Paul Gillin on a webcast tomorrow morning. The topic is BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and it is hosted by Spiceworks.com. Please join us if you'd like to talk about IBM MobileFirst management and IBM's solutions in this space such as Endpoint Manager for mobile devices.
Recently, Paul graciously took the time to read and review my book Opting In, with an insightful evaluation of the content. His is the first pure "outsider" view on the book that has been published, yet he recognized some of the core themes and stories of the book easily.
Now that I've read his book, Attack of the Customers, I understand why. Gillin, and his co-author Greg Gianforte, come at the same set of core organizational challenges through only a slightly different lens. Down to recommendations, and even one or two stories, our books cover some similar ground. Should you read both? Yes, absolutely. Opting In is focused on the role of a product or brand manager in the social business world, while Attack of the Customers uses a viewpoint of how empowerment of the market plays out and how companies should anticipate or defend public attack that gets amplified through social media. Chapters 4-5-6 of Opting In have a similar lens, and the two fit together like hand-and-glove.
Attack of the Customers is approachable reading, with stories that will either be familiar or relevant throughout. Gillin and Gianforte view what were high-profile PR crises through the lens of history, and focus instead on how social media was relevant to those events. For example, the beef industry's lack of preparedness for the "pink slime" incident, where consumer outrage over the industry's practice of using "lean finely-textured beef" to make processed foods boiled over, is surprising in hindsight.
Brand managers especially will find Attack of the Customers useful in identifying strategies for dealing with the four phases of an attack, the eight steps that the authors recommend for preparing a policy and strategy for attacks, and how brand loyalty (or disloyalty) play a major role in both reach and amplification of customer attacks.
I had to smile several times as I could relate to examples or points made in this book: Astroturfing, a mention of TD Bank's use of "internal social tools" (likely IBM Connections), setting up community councils (like IBM's Champions program) and policies (like IBM's social media guidelines). Still as a marketing exec, I found many of the book's stories and suggestions to provide good reminders of things we can do to engage in the market even more around IBM MobileFirst.
Just after I finished the book, I sent out an invite for the very first IBM MobileFirst community call, inviting IBM Champions, IBM Select program members, speakers at the upcoming IBM Impact conference, and other influencers. This is a proactive outreach format that worked well in the Lotus community. I am clearly hoping to reproduce that success now in looking after IBM MobileFirst in the market. Assuming we do well next week, in the future we'll expand -- and, hopefully, grow a community around enterprise mobile - in the future.
April 3 2013
Last week, IBM published the latest in its series of security threat assessment reports, the IBM X-Force® 2012 Trend and Risk Report. Mobile is clearly a place where emerging threats need attention; products like IBM AppScan are designed to meet this challenge head-on.
The report is notable for some of the predictions around the mobile space, including:
Prediction: Mobile computing devices should be more secure than traditional user computing devices by 2014. This is a bold prediction that IBM recently made as part of its look ahead in technology trends.
In the last two years, IBM Security has spoken to hundreds of global 2000 customers and out of those interviewed, only three said they had no plans to implement any kind of BYOD program.
Separation of personas or roles: While a small percentage of enterprises have dealt with BYOD by using virtualized desktop solutions to separate and control enterprise applications and data from the rest of the personally owned device, a greater number of enterprises have wanted or required some form of separation or dual persona on mobile devices.
Tools exist to support secure development as part of the process instead of being conducted in qualification or production. As a result, it should be more common for enterprises to have more securely developed mobile applications than their existing legacy applications.
The full report is more than 90 pages, intense detailed analysis and findings, but definitely worth reading.
Link: ibm.com: IBM X-Force 2012 Trend and Risk Report >
April 1 2013
A little over a week ago, I had the good fortune to be in Europe during the 2013 edition of BLUG. I caught the morning train from Paris to Brussels, a quick connection from there to Leuven, and after a short taxi ride arrived just in time for lunch in a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Faculty Club.
Why was I there? Scott Souder is doing a perfectly awesome job as the new public face of IBM Notes/Domino, so that wasn't it. IBM Notes/Domino 9 Social Edition had shipped the day before, so the party was already over on that. I'm not much of a beer drinker, so the wonderful speaker dinner and tour at Domus was nice, but not critical.
The answer, actually, was IBM MobileFirst. Seven weeks into the new job, I wanted to see if all the cool stuff I was learning about was just as cool to my family, the community I've worked with for so many years.
In other words, the chance to deliver an IBM MobileFirst strategy presentation and demo to friends, colleagues, people I've known for a long time was enticing. I was a bit hesitant, not sure emotionally if I wanted to show up at a "Lotus" event so soon after moving on. So many friends were there, though, both IBMers and among the excellent speaker/exhibitor roster that Theo put together. I didn't feel any sense of loss or missing out, just a great chance to catch up with people -- especially since I was sick the last few nights at Connect-o-sphere and hadn't had that opportunity in Orlando.
As for the presentation itself, I used a variation of the presentation from Slideshare that is embedded above, along with a couple of demos that we've built for showing off IBM Worklight. The presentation - standing room only - validated for me a lot of what we've been talking about inside of IBM. The discussion about mobile application lifecycle management is indeed early in so many organizations, and the opportunity to adopt a platform like Worklight, instead of treating mobile development as a point solution exercise, is thus very high.
I found myself spending a lot of time on slides 2-3-4. Much like the IBM Business Connect event the day prior in Paris, I'm asking questions to genuinely learn other points of view. It's a huge difference of understanding versus a market I spent 19 years in and leading. Here I don't know what the opportunities and challenges are, other than by asking. Likewise, I found the BLUG audience really ready to dig in on these early slides, to understand why IBM has put such a significant investment into mobile.
It was such a great day overall. I had the opportunity to talk about additional events such as MOBUG (London, September) and a potential speaking engagement in Spain through my colleague Luis Suarez. I gave away several copies of Opting In, to people who seemed genuinely excited to read it. And there was much happiness reconnecting in the speakers' room and at dinner with the aforementioned friends and colleagues.
I'd like to do more of these, but I also know that I have to personally put some space between myself and Notes/Domino. For now I've signed up for MWLUG in August, but am open to doing others. You all have been with me for such a long part of my personal journey, I'd like to keep that going even with a new subject matter and domain. Thank you to those at BLUG for being so welcoming of the old guy, just as much as it was an opportunity to celebrate new beginnings as well.
March 27 2013
First of two event recap blog entries...the other will be shortly about last week's BLUG event.
Last night, I had the opportunity to be part of a panel discussion at the Social Media Club of Chicago. The topic happened to be "What Happened at South by Southwest", and it happened to be that IBM exhibited/sponsored/participated at SXSWi in a big way. But it also happened to be my first opportunity to participate with the Chicago edition of Social Media Club, and I was honored to be part of the panel - even though I personally had not been part of the IBM contingent at SXSW. My point was, I didn't really need to be there in person to capture some of what happened, we used social channels to share our message and the feedback. The good news is, those attending last night got the point. They also seemed to really appreciate the IBM point of view, our story of transformation into a social business, and our thought leadership in areas like social, cloud, and mobile.
Presenting at Social Media Club was very different for me, even though being on a panel in front of 100 people is a relatively normal activity in my external communication. First, I felt a bit of an age gap, especially when someone called me "sir" when they asked to sneak by and grab a chair in the auditorium. I also sensed a bit of deference to the fact that I was representing IBM; perhaps I should have come in jeans and a sweater like BLUG. Further, this event was my first chance - though I have several more in coming days - to discuss Opting In with an audience outside my usual IBM bubble.
It was therefore very encouraging to see people almost fighting over the ten copies I brought with me, and several questions about the book and IBM's social business transformation directed to me during the panel Q&A. This audience was exactly what I needed to validate the decision to write the book -- that there is an audience in the social media arena that will benefit from reading it. I hope to see some feedback from the tweeters and readers I met tonight!
Thanks so much to #SMCChicago for including me in the event, and to all the new Twitter followers and friendly faces that were part of the crowd. I gave out a lot of business cards, which should lead to some good follow-on conversations. I'll certainly be back for more events in the future.
Two new IBM MobileFirst videos: Marie Wieck at IBM Pulse, and freedomone’s adoption of IBM Worklight
March 18 2013
The above two videos show the momentum that is building for IBM MobileFirst.
The first is an interview with IBM General Manager Marie Wieck, conducted with Todd "Turbo" Watson at IBM Pulse two weeks ago. I'm now part of Marie's organization; in the video, you can hear her enthusiasm for the new initiative and the mobile enterprise opportunity. She discusses market reaction to IBM MobileFirst, the combination of mobile and cloud, the new mobile messaging (transactional messaging) appliance, and examples of client successes in our mobile space.
The second is a Canadian IBM business partner, freedomone. freedomone has been using IBM Worklight to implement multiple projects with clients, including a large multi-national financial institution, and a major international airline. The video features Pierre Paul Samson, the CTO and co-founder of freedomone, discussing their work with these customers, including the consideration of multi-channel requirements.
More news about customer adoption of IBM MobileFirst coming later this week!
Upcoming speaking engagements: BLUG, Social Media Club of Chicago, AIPMM webinar, Social Media Strategies Summit
March 15 2013
Very excited about three upcoming opportunities where I will be talking social business and Opting In with three very different audiences:
- On March 26, here in Chicago I'll be part of a panel discussion at the Social Media Club of Chicago. We're going to be talking social in the context of this week's SXSW conference. Honestly, one of the challenges of having a worldwide responsibility at IBM is that I don't do enough local area networking, so a Chicago event gets me out of my home office and meeting like-minded people here in town. My presence on the panel also happened because of a Foursquare mayorship fight over my dentist's office, so there's a story right there. (NB: I'm not really using Foursquare much anymore. Not sure why.)
- On March 29, I'm participating in a webinar with the Association of International Product Marketing and Management, "Becoming the 'Social Product Manager'." This discussion is 100% based on my book Opting In, and the AIPMM audience is exactly who I had hoped to reach in writing a book about social business for the business leader. It's at 12 noon ET and is free to join. Registration link is on the AIPMM site. The host for the event, Cindy Solomon, has been very engaging and supportive; I'm really looking forward to this webinar.
- In April, I am participating in the Social Media Strategies Summit, also here in Chicago, on April 23 and 24. Here, my pre-conference workshop takes on the format of a case study of IBM using social business.
I'll also be covering IBM's MobileFirst strategy at some events very soon, starting next week with BLUG in Leuven, Belgium! Space is still available to attend BLUG, with a couple dozen amazing speakers all at no charge. On Thursday the 21st next week, I will also be at the IBM Business Connect event in Paris for some of the day, though not in a speaking capacity.
Last, I should start mentioning IBM's Impact conference at the end of April more regularly, April 28 to May 2. This is a Lotusphere/Connect-equivalent conference (actually significantly bigger) where we will have 35+ sessions on IBM MobileFirst. The website features a session preview tool and details of many of the event components, including the unconference, hackathon, and oh, Matchbox 20.
Hope to see you (or "see" you) soon!
Huffington Post contributor Phil Simon and I met at IBM's Partnerworld conference, and had a chance to discuss the premise behind Opting In. An example Q&A:
What is the perception of IBM and social media today?Very much appreciate the airtime on HuffPo, Phil.
IBM has transformed over the last six or seven years into a culture of participation. We have one of the largest presences on LinkedIn and Twitter, and IBMers continue to explore the leading edge of both inbound and outbound usage of social media. More importantly, we have recognized the importance of social business as a tool to reach clients and potential buyers. Our research has found that people who visit ibm.com as a result of a referral from a blog or tweet or other curated content are more likely to convert into participating in an offer from our website than if they just came to ibm.com directly. That is a direct reflection of the authentic voice used established by IBMers and our communities.
March 7 2013
OK dipping a toe in the water of writing about a product :-)
Two weeks ago we launched IBM MobileFirst -- a set of six solution portfolios unifying IBM's market-leading mobile enterprise story. One of the portfolios is an application platform, and the centerpiece of that is IBM Worklight. In my first month with the team, what I've learned is that Worklight addresses the need for reusability in mobile apps better than any other approach. While we offer many ways to deliver mobile web applications, Worklight is designed for web, hybrid, and native apps, across the entire spectrum of mobile devices.
I'm already carrying two sample Worklight apps around on my iPhone -- one is a banking app, the other a consumer insurance solution. Interestingly, I didn't install them from the Apple app store; instead, they came from an IBM application center. In a business-to-enterprise scenario, Worklight's built-in secure direct distribution vehicle becomes a critically important component of app delivery. App distribution is controlled within the organization.
In the 3-minute YouTube video posted above, the concept of the Worklight Application Center is explained.
The Application Center, and the model of being able to directly distribute apps, is important in the enterprise where app prototyping and deployment may take place in rapid cycles. There's no need to worry about submission to public app stores, nor worry about your internal apps being available externally. The Application Center provides all the mechanics, and operates as simply as the official app stores do.
One of the key value propositions of Worklight is code reuse. We expect companies that adopt Worklight to do so as a platform, building out a set of apps. Using the Application Center, deploying them is straightforward, and a worthwhile infrastructure component.
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend IBM's Partnerworld Leadership Conference for the first time. Individually, the event was very cool for the "reunion" aspect of it -- I had the chance to reconnect dozens of IBMers that I've worked with and for over the last nineteen years, along with several "didn't I just see you in Orlando" connections with longtime business partners. It was also a good chance to get to know some of my new team and colleagues in the enterprise mobile arena. Though the Caesar's Palace cashectomy methods always take a little something away from a Vegas trip, the conference itself was very well run, with excellent food and entertainment. We even collectively did some volunteer work, packing lunches for the Three Square Food Bank.
The timing of the conference could not have been better. Only a few days after announcing IBM MobileFirst, we had a few hundred partners attend the mobile breakout session (which yes, I had the opportunity to present once, three weeks into the job), visit us in the exhibition, or participate in breakout meetings. The most common question, understandably and encouragingly, was "how do I get started with IBM mobile?"
The answer: Visit IBM MobileFirst on the IBM PartnerWorld website. While we will quickly be adding and expanding this web content, this one page highlights everything available to a partner today to start to check out the components of the IBM MobileFirst portfolio.
About 30-40% of the partners that we talked to last week already have mobile projects up and running. Those that don't wanted to know how to get started with IBM Worklight. The easy answer - it's free. That's right; much like in my old job, I made Domino Designer a no-charge item, the Worklight team offers a developer edition for free as well. Tons of other resources on and linked from that page as well. We also had many discussions at the conference last week about potential improvements to the selling model for Worklight applications from business partners. More on that to come.
There was also a lot of interest in two other tools that are part of the family:
- AppScan - which does application security testing
- Tealeaf CX Mobile - "Tealeaf CX Mobile unveils obstacles in real-time. It shows you why mobile users behave as they do by providing enhanced visual replay, including device orientation, screen size and touch-screen interactions."
Obviously, the end audience for all of this is customers and prospects. But much like the channel has been the key to IBM Notes and Domino success, almost since the products' inception, the same is now playing out in the mobile space. The opportunity to deploy 2nd generation ("Mobile 2.0") apps for organizations is happening right now. Companies are looking to transition away from hiring agencies and doing one-time build-outs for mobile applications. IT practices of reuse and platform management are coming into play. These are all places where IBM Worklight, and our other tools in the mobile enterprise portfolio, are strong and getting stronger.
Combined with a really incredible presence at Mobile World Congress- replay of our 30 minute announcement webcast is here - last week was a good accelerant for our efforts in IBM MobileFirst. This week at IBM Pulse, those efforts continue, and will build towards the April IBM Impact conference. (Impact is to the division I am in now what Connect/Lotusphere was to my old job).
If you are a partner and couldn't make it to MWC or Partnerworld last week, what questions do you have about IBM MobileFirst?