IBM Lotus Knows How to Be Productive

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009
IBM has invited people around to world to share their ideas and stories around Lotus solutions and how to get the word out. This is a bold step for big blue and one I applaud. I think it's also great that they tapped Elguji Software to operate the ideajam. I guess Lotus Knows that Elguji Knows how to drive Innovation!

I've posted my contribution to the "Lotus Knows" jam:
Lotus Knows That Productive People Use Notes to Get Things Done

When the recognized world expert on productivity talks passionately about a product he’s used and recommended for the past 15 years – Lotus Notes – I think that’s significant. We’re not talking about an IBM-hired spokesperson that’s possibly never used (or perhaps never heard of) Lotus Notes or the Lotus brand. David’s a passionate end-user that has been accomplishing extraordinary things with Notes. And, he does not hesitate to share how he uses Lotus Notes in his books and seminars.

Since the purpose of the Lotus Knows IdeaJam is to explore ideas to help Lotus reach the unreached, I suggest that increasing awareness of how ordinary – and extraordinary – people are using Lotus Notes to get things done would be a very good thing to attract folks who might otherwise have not considered a Lotus product as a potential solution. I know this to be true: every time David mentions Lotus Notes or our product at a seminar, our phones ring and downloads increase.

When I proposed to speak about how Lotus Notes enables knowledge worker productivity at Lotusphere 2009, I invited David Allen to co-present with me. The session received very high votes of approval. Together, David and I shared how we and our clients are using Lotus Notes on a daily basis to get things done.

Background: I have worked with David for the past 16 years. David’s practice is focused on personal productivity and mine is focused on technology and high performance knowledge work. Our combined passions led us to Lotus Notes in the very early 1990’s. Over the past 8 years, we collaborated to create a solution that implements David’s ground-breaking GTD methodology inside of Notes. In fact, I’m proud to say that after several years of testing, I have the only implementation of GTD for Lotus Notes to receive his “GTD Enabled” certification.

We don’t hesitate to share our passion for Notes and what it’s done for our respective organizations. As Ed Brill has pointed out, we've even made some converts along the way...

To the surprise (and possibly shock) of the OFFICE 2.0 crowd, David even pitched Notes when he keynoted the Office 2.0 conference last year!

While David uses eProductivity for Lotus Notes as his trusted system, he does not hesitate to point out that vanilla Notes has the fundamental tools for productive work – right out of the box. And it always has. (Listen/read David’s opening comments about how he loves Lotus Notes)

I'm excited about this Lotus Knows campaign. The opportunity I see for Lotus is to be able to REACH and CONNECT with motivated and productive individuals who do not currently use (or who may not have heard of) Lotus Notes or Lotus solutions. These people, I believe, will be pleasantly surprised to hear that products like Lotus Notes might be just the ticket to their increased personal and organizational productivity. This could be a big source of new-new sales for Lotus. I know this to be true – I talk to these people every day.

If, after reading this post, you agree with what I have said, please go register and vote for my idea.


One more thing: Lotus Knows that Open systems increase innovation.
Notes is open. Unlike other vendor’s platforms, Notes is not a closed system. It can be extended and improved as people like us have been doing for 20 years. And, for those “Legacy” apps that Redmond likes to tease about – they still run just fine, thank you very much.

This implementation would not be possible in the way that we built it using any other platform. Why? Because Lotus Notes architecture lends itself to extension. We regularly receive calls asking us to port the internal functions of eProductivity to other well-known messaging and collaboration platforms -- both on the desktop and in the cloud. Many of these platforms do not provide the infrastructure to make the level of integration needed to truly make this work. (Hat tip to Lotus!)

I realize I’m on the border of submitting two IdeaJam ideas, one for Notes as a productivity tool and one for Notes as a platform. Other have already made both cases. What I hope to accomplish here is to add something to the discussion to help people consolidate the votes around central ideas.

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