GoogleIt Mail IT Print IT PermaLinkLotusphere Blogger Q&A With Mike Rhodin
06:18:42 PM

I can't capture everything here. The back-and-forth is too fast. So, just highlights.

Chris Miller asked what Mike's view of Lotus' future in Web 3.0 is. Mike's initial reaction was "Go to the IBM Research lab". He then followed up with a discussion of virtual worlds and related things, finishing with "We've still got a long way to go".

Ross Mayfield asked what was the most disruptive technlogy Mike has seen in the last two or three years, and what about it most worries him with respect to the Lotus community not picking up on it. Mike's answer was "Social software", and he expanded on it primarily focusing on the management challenges.

I got to ask my pet question. I've beaten this horse in front of IBM executives many a time. This time, I got to go to the top. So, the question: what is IBM going to do to make sure that their SMB initiative is backed by education and certification. The problem is that when every SMB technology decision-maker in the world, and every hiring manager in the world sees multiple advertisements in his snail mail every month for local Microsoft certification programs, and they don't see anything about IBM, they are far more likely to pick Microsoft because they know that they can get their people trained -- or better yet, they have an available pool of local talent that has paid their own way through training. Mike answered that he can't pre-announce anything, that he himself believes this is a critical issue, and that some certification programs centering around the new SMB offerings are in the works -- but nothing is ready to be announced. Coming from Mike in a public forum -- it's private now, but he knows we're all blogging it! -- I have to believe that there's a good chance that this horse that I've been beating for 10 years is not dead. I certainly hope so, because it is the critical problem.

About Bluehouse, Alexander Kluge asked "what's in it for business partners". Mike answered that the business models behind Bluehouse are going to fluctuate, because the whole Software-as-a-Service market is still fluctuating a lot. He asked, "how many profitable SaaS companies are there?" IBM is going to experiment in the market with various business models.

Update: There was much more, but my laptop battery was low; and after the Showcase reception followed by JamFest, my own batter is low.

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