Lotusphere 2012 as a partner (part 1 of 5)
I ran a series of postings in 2011 taking on different aspects and opinions of how Lotusphere appeared to me. It seems that people enjoyed the series based on feedback and traffic. So I undertook this again for Lotusphere 2012 as it helped me break my thoughts up.
Lotusphere 2012 as a Partner
Business Development Day is where partners used to gather to get early information on product direction to help guide them in business. I feel that the new trend is telling partners exactly what they will do and what software they will sell to be part of the ecosystem, including lead passing. If you have not embraced the social push you are being left behind. I saw a large number of partners in Jumpstarts or just sitting around the hotel waiting for the one or two sessions they wanted to hit at BDD (Business Development Day).
Status and level of your organization is also key in interactions with IBM. I mentioned the following last year and it is even stronger now:
Each year we strain to maintain specific partner levels with IBM/Lotus for benefits, visibility and partnering capabilities.
We were told many times during the week that is you do not do social, you do not intend on getting business. Interesting twist is there is really tens of millions of Notes and Domino licenses out there. What happens to those companies? Ah yes. Social sales to them.
It was nice to see many familiar faces and a surprising bit of new partners. Last year there was noticeable attrition in the space and many faces were missing. They still were.
However, we struck out to make more new partnership and expand others as we expand our hosting capabilities and certifications at Connectria. The exhibitor floor stuck to the same new layout design as last year. There were some new sponsorship twists available and we watched BlackBerry drop and HTC show up. Time to make new strategic partnerships to show off our speed and flexibility in hosting.
As for Lotusphere presentation content viewed as a partner, it was there. Quite a bit of social #social and maybe #social overkill. While the number of Best Practices sessions were close to previous years in totals, the groupings in the schedule made them next to impossible to see as many as previous years and that is where we get our technical content. Sure we could easily get to a keynote, but we need more than just repetitive marketing sessions from materials we can get online.
So before anyone goes crazy at IBM saying we don't show you in some of these sessions, it is called selectively using the RFID when I chose.
Overall, we were happy to still be a strong partner and continually update certifications as needed to maintain status. We enjoy Lotusphere for both learning and business opportunity. We stopped utilizing the sponsor floor as I mentioned last year and in the sponsor view post coming this week.
There is no better place to meet a wide array of people involved in IBM Lotus software.
See my Lotusphere 2011 posting as a partner to compare.