Debunking the Lotus Awards = Websphere Portal talk

November 3 2008

So there has been some talk about how the 2009 version of the Lotus Awards are skewed to be more favorable towards Websphere Portal vs Lotus Software, specially Lotus Notes & Domino. So let's break each award down and look closely to see if this talk is correct. The award info is located here.

Award 1:

Breakout Technology Award

This Award will be presented to an IBM Business Partner who offers a solution that extends the software user experience by leveraging new technology innovations introduced into the IBM Lotus® and IBM WebSphere® Portal portfolio. These technologies must be new since Lotusphere® 2008, such as XPages, Live Text, Composite Application integration with the Sidebar, and the Portal Web 2.0 client. They provide IBM Business Partners and customers with the capability to integrate and blend heterogeneous applications and data in the context of the end user's role, transforming solutions into a single seamless work environment that boosts end user and organizational effectiveness. Submissions for this Award should be solutions that leverage these new technologies to extend business application functionality based on contexts defined by end consumer requirements. Entries will be judged based on the overall business value they demonstrate, the extent to which these solutions leverage the technologies, and the ability to demonstrate how these enhancements boost end user and organizational effectiveness.


So, this award covers 4 parts of the Notes 8 and 8.5 client (XPages, Live Text, Composite Apps, Sidebar) but it also covers the Portal and the new Web 2.0 stuff. So to be fair, we will call this even.

Notes: 1    Portal:    1

Award 2:
Best TOTAL Lotus Software Solution Award

This Award recognizes a solution that most effectively leverages multiple parts of the IBM Lotus portfolio, including IBM Lotus Notes® and Lotus Domino, Lotus Sametime, IBM Lotus Quickr™, IBM Lotus Forms, IBM Lotus Connections, IBM Lotus Foundations, WebSphere Portal, and IBM Mashup Center.

A major strength of the Lotus software portfolio is the flexibility businesses have in integrating a variety of rich collaborative capabilities into their environment, including:

- Exciting new Web 2.0 based social networking services
- The leading enterprise Portal platform
- Unified Communications and Collaboration for real-time awareness and communication
- Intuitive content sharing and team collaboration
- The leading messaging and collaboration platform for On Demand business
- The leading edge for integrating electronic forms into all your business processes.

Utilizing these products in an integrated solution maximizes the ability for people to share knowledge and skills across a variety of organizations and builds an unparalleled robust collaborative solution.

These solutions may incorporate a variety of capabilities: messaging, calendar and scheduling, instant messaging and presence awareness, Web conferences, team spaces, mash-ups, activities, blogs, social bookmarks, communities, electronic forms, and/or business process management.


So this covers every single piece of the Lotus software portfolio and requires multiple pieces to win. So again, we call this a draw.

Notes: 2    Portal:    2

Award 3:
Best Portal or IBM Mashup Center Solution Award

This Award recognizes an outstanding solution that leverages WebSphere Portal software, IBM Accelerators for WebSphere Portal, or IBM Mashup Center . Special consideration will be given to solutions that

- provide significant business value
- have resulted in a competitive win
- were built on the WebSphere Portal Express offering,
- were built with WebSphere Portlet Factory
- position the customer to leverage SOA and/or Web 2.0 today or in the future.

Solutions may address dynamic internet, intranet, and/or extranet web environments; higher consideration will be given for deployments in more than one environment. To be eligible, at least one of the WebSphere Portal family of products (IBM WebSphere Portal Server, Enable, Extend, Express, and Portal on System z) or IBM Accelerators (Dashboard, Business Process, Content, Collaboration, Self Service, Learning, Enterprise Suite) or IBM Mashup Center must be included.


A category geared to Portal without any doubt.

Notes: 2    Portal:    3

Award 4:
Best Industry Solution Award

This Award recognizes an outstanding industry-specific solution in the commercial or public sectors. To be considered for this Award, the nominated solution must be deployed and fully operational at a minimum of two distinct customer sites. Special consideration will be given to solutions that were developed for SMB (small to medium businesses with 100-1000 employees) and those that target horizontal or vertical segments (e.g. Sales Force Automation, Supply Chain Management, e-Learning, Customer Relationship Management, e-governance for government, practice management for health care, financial services, manufacturing, etc. ). Particular attention will be given to solutions that resulted in a competitive win and/or solutions that leverage Web 2.0 capabilities.


This award does not mention either Notes/Domino or Portal. You could submit a solution using any piece of Lotus Software, so we will score it for both.

Notes: 3    Portal:    4

Award 5:
Best Mid-Market Solution Award

This Award recognizes an outstanding IBM Lotus or WebSphere Portal software solution sold to mid-market customers. The Business Partner should demonstrate how the solution met customer requirements and delivered strong business value for a customer with 100 - 1,000 employees by leveraging IBM Lotus or WebSphere Portal collaborative and integration capabilities. Special consideration will be given to solutions that enable customers to increase productivity and profitability while reducing overall operational expense.


Another category where you can submit both Notes and Portal solutions. A point for each.

Notes: 4    Portal:    5

Award 6:
Best Tool and Utility Solution Award

This category recognizes a tool or utility used to enhance a business solution that brings measurable market benefits to a customer. These value-added products could include component-based, data integration, migration or team development tools that make developing, deploying and administering applications in a customer environment more productive. Now that IBM Lotus Domino® Designer is Eclipse-based, the opportunities for tools vendors to integrate have never been better. Special consideration will be granted to those tools/ utilities that bring together Lotus Domino applications with other open standard environments including the Web, Web 2.0, Java™ and Eclipse. Particular attention will also be given to solutions in the IBM Lotus and/or IBM WebSphere Portal Business Solutions Catalogs, and solutions that position the customer to leverage SOA today or in the future.


Another category where you can submit both Notes and Portal solutions. A point for each.

Notes: 5    Portal:    6

Award 7:
Best Unified Communications and Collaboration Solution Award

This Award recognizes a Business Partner that leverages IBM Lotus Sametime® software as a platform for delivering Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions that make it easier for people to find, reach and collaborate with one another. By integrating communications and collaboration in a rich, multimedia experience -- one that can include unified telephony, voice, video, instant messaging, Web conferencing, e-mail, voice mail, and business processes and applications -- Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions enable a whole new way for people, teams and communities to work together. Submissions in this category will be judged on the business value they deliver, the extent of integration with other applications or solutions, and the ability to provide new capabilities or enhancements to the end user experience that would not have previously been possible.


Since this is pure Sametime, no points for either

Notes: 5    Portal:    6

Award 8:
Best Lotus Energy and Environment (Green) Award

Issues and opportunities around energy, the environment, and sustainability impact every business, worldwide. Multiple factors are driving businesses to explore alternative ways to address challenges with supply costs, regulatory mandates, global teams requiring collaboration, and customer demands for "greener" vendor credentials, to name a few -- while sustaining new growth. IBM Lotus and WebSphere Portal software can play a critical role in driving a smarter, greener business. This Award recognizes an outstanding IBM Lotus and/or WebSphere Portal software solution designed to enable customers to increase operational efficiency, employee productivity, and business profitability while reducing the customers' carbon foot prints. Special consideration will be given to those solutions that demonstrate measurable results with before and after scenarios.


Another category where you can submit both Notes and Portal solutions. A point for each.

Notes: 6    Portal:    7

Award 9:
IBM Lotus Partner Award

IBM Business Partners who invest in our partnership, maintain and grow their skills in Lotus and/or WebSphere Portal offerings, help us reach new markets, and take full advantage of our key channel programs to drive incremental business are invaluable to us. Thus, we are announcing a new Award to recognize a single IBM Business Partner worldwide who exemplifies the word “partner” to us. We will not be requesting nominations for this award; rather we will gather input and data from across our sales and marketing teams, our financial systems, PartnerWorld databases and skills reports in order to identify the winner.


This covers anything from the Lotus software portfolio. A point for each.

Notes: 7    Portal:    8

Award 10:
Best Philanthropy Award

This category recognizes a Business Partner who has developed and deployed an effective solution for a not-for-profit, environmental or humanitarian effort or in support of broader civic participation.


Another category where you can submit both Notes and Portal solutions. A point for each.

Notes: 8    Portal:    9

Award 11:
Chief Technology Officer Innovation Award (CTO)

(NOMINATIONS WILL OPEN DEC.1, 2008 and winner will be announced at Lotusphere 2009) The CTO Award recognizes those visionary IBM Business Partners who are leading the technology charge by exploiting Lotus' and WebSphere Portals latest capabilities in innovative, leading-edge, and exciting new ways. These ground-breaking solutions are positioned to be drivers in tomorrow's new markets, fostering innovation and at an ingenuity level that stands out above their peers. Special consideration will be given to first-time nominees. Final evaluation takes place at the Lotusphere 2009 Conference Showcase in Orlando, Florida.


Another category where you can submit both Notes and Portal solutions. A point for each.

Notes: 9    Portal:    10

Award 12:
Best in Lotusphere Showcase Award

(NOMINATIONS WILL OPEN DEC.1, 2008 and winner will be announced at Lotusphere 2009) This category recognizes an IBM Business Partner that has adopted and leveraged the latest Lotus (inclusive of WebSphere Portal) technologies, has made a significant investment in IBM and Lotus , and has an exhibit on the Showcase floor that demonstrates a fresh, unique and powerful solution that provides significant customer value. Special consideration will be given to solutions that are referenceable. Final evaluation takes place at the Lotusphere 2009 Conference Showcase in Orlando, Florida.


Another category where you can submit both Notes and Portal solutions. A point for each.

Notes: 10    Portal:    11

Award 13:
IBM Lotus VAD of the Year Award

This category recognizes a single IBM distributor that has demonstrated leadership in several key areas. The distributor will have grown their total Lotus revenue year to year, and executed innovative and effective marketing campaigns to drive demand for Lotus products. Additionally, this distributor will have expanded their Lotus and WebSphere business via targeted partner recruitment, partner skill development and utilization of IBM channel marketing programs. Special consideration will be given to those distributors that have leveraged Lotus and WebSphere Portal software to run their business.

Note: This category will remain open until January 5, 2009, 11:55 PM EST (New York)


This is a pure revenue award and covers everything in the Lotus portfolio. A point for each

Notes: 11    Portal:    12

Award 14:
Distinguished Achievement Awards

(6 Regional Awards) North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Japan, Europe NorthEast, Europe Southwest.

This Award honors the top IBM Business Partners from each of six major regions of the world. Winners must demonstrate increased revenue attainment and loyalty to IBM, along with the ability to open new local markets, and to maintain a positive stature in the Business Partner community. Business Partners considered in this space significantly impact Lotus' (inclusive of WebSphere Portal) position in the marketplace and will be considered rising stars amongst their peers.


A pure partner award and decided by IBM. Covers the entire Lotus portfolio. A point for each

Notes: 12    Portal:    13

Award 15:
IBM Beacon Awards: Best Lotus Software Solution

As part of the broader partnerWorld program all advanced and premier partners will be considered for this award. Solutions based on software from Lotus make more people more productive in the context of what they do -- everyday. These solutions empower people to collaborate, learn, and take full advantage of their collective knowledge in the context of business processes. The winning solution in this category will illustrate how Lotus offerings (including WebSphere Portal and IBM Workplace products) integrate the human element into business processes by leveraging Lotus' messaging, collaboration, and document and content management capabilities. For consideration, the solution must be deployed at a customer site and demonstrate clear Return On Investment (ROI). Special consideration will be given to solutions that result in quantifiable improvements in business performance.


All IBM Lotus Award Nominees who are a PartnerWorld Advanced or PartnerWorld Premier member will also be considered for the IBM Beacon Awards, Best Lotus Software Solution. Additional nomination entry not needed.


Basically an IBM award where all nominees are put into a single pot and a single winner is awarded and recognized with all of the other IBM brands at the Partnerworld event. We will give a point for each here as well.

Notes: 13    Portal:    14

So look at the numbers. There is only one award out of the 15 that is specifically targeted at the Websphere Portal platform and rules out Lotus Notes and Domino. Every other award, minus the Sametime specific award, in inclusive of EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT IN THE LOTUS SOFTWARE PORTFOLIO. Now, if you want, you can read the text "Lotus' and WebSphere Portals" or "latest Lotus (inclusive of WebSphere Portal) technologies" or "Lotus offerings (including WebSphere Portal and IBM Workplace products)" and ask yourself where is the specific mention of Lotus Notes or Lotus Domino. The problem is Notes and Domino are not the only Lotus product any more .. and Websphere Portal is a recognized product brand and has not been renamed Lotus Portal or Lotus Websphere Portal or whatever.

So the moral of the story is that if you are predispositioned to dislike something, you can read whatever you want into anything. But Portal is a major part of the Lotus Software portfolio, just as Sametime, Connections, and Quickr are as well. Lotus is no longer a "one product makes all our money" company or brand. Some people will never accept this, but I think most of the people that purchase software do. They might not like every product, but they understand there is more than Notes and Domino.

To wrap this up, in the end the category descriptions just shape the nominations ... it is all about who the judges select as the winners. We could have 13 Notes/Domino solutions win awards and just one Portal award winner in "Best Portal or IBM Mashup Center Solution Award" category. I look forward to seeing who the winners are.