The Lotus Symphony team was in Business Week!

March 17 2008

This weekend I had a chance to catch up on my reading disconnected from the computer. I had a stack of Business Week magazines since Lotusphere and needed to get thru them. I like reading Business Week because it gives you a good overview of business, financial, and other stories without getting too political or into the details I will never understand.

So I got to the January 28th, 2008 edition. I came across an article called International Isn't Just IBM's First Name and realized it was something about IBM. The article goes on to talk about how IBM is dealing with global customers and research and development teams across the globe. It was a great article. And then I came upon this:

To understand how IBM choreographs this dance, consider Lotus Symphony, a package of PC software applications. Work on a new version of Symphony started last July. Teams in Beijing; Austin, Tex.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Boeblingen, Germany, are all contributing. Remarkably, it's the first time ever that the Beijing team is heading up a global project. Having an important role is vital for attracting and keeping top Chinese programmers.


It didn't sink in with the Chinese that they were actually in charge until five days after a test version of the product was released. The programmers were getting complaints about the software from testers and knew they needed to make improvements. They realized that they were responsible for the success or failure of the product. "The team had a Holy crap!' moment. They were just terrified," recalls Michael Karasick, a 48-year-old Canadian who runs the Beijing lab. He and the local Chinese managers calmed the programmers by setting priorities. The project is now on schedule.

Michael Karasick was at Lotusphere, and I had a great meeting with him and his team. He is leading the charge for Symphony, and is very passionate about his team and their work. I was super impressed by what he is doing. I then noticed the picture on the page

Image:The Lotus Symphony team was in Business Week!

and there is Michael! Next to him, is Yue Ma. Yue Ma is the lead developer on the team, and is also the person I have been corresponding and working with since before Notes 8 shipped! Yue Ma made our demoing of the Lotus Symphony COM to Notes LotusScript demo possible on stage at Lotusphere 2007.

Congrats to Michael, Yue Ma, and the rest of the folks on the team! This kind of press shows how important Lotus Symphony can be for IBM .. it is not just a technical story, but can be used to really generate press and awareness with customers.