Thoughts on LoLA and #LotusKnows

September 27 2009

I haven't been able to write much about the events of LoLA and "Lotus Knows" last week as I had wanted too. The Lotus Leadership Alliance (LoLA) event was an great change for Lotus to interact with it's top customers and partners. What is different between Lotusphere and LoLA is that the gloves come off. Customers present to IBM on what they can do better. IBM takes time to meet with it's partners in one on one meetings. Exchange of ideas and suggestions is encouraged. No media to impress. No flash. Just hard core discussions and sharing of what everyone can do between now and Lotusphere.

For me, I spent most of my time outside of the presentations given on the products and their futures. I spent my time talking with fellow partners, customers, and IBMers in the hallways. Some great discussions - and lots of time bantering back and forth with Nathan. We even came up with a killer idea for a Lotusphere submission.

LoLA also was the official kick-off of the "Lotus Knows" campaign. Seeing the bus in person was pretty cool - as was seeing the a Lotus ad in The Wall Street Journal. I know, people want more. I think there will be more, but it takes time. What I did see was a VP of Marketing at Lotus with class and guts and strength like we have not seen in years. Kristen Lauria is someone who listened to the customers, partners, and the bubble - and is doing everything she can to deliver. Even other IBMers I talk to are shocked that she was able to get IBM support for this campaign. It was great to see this come alive directly. I look forward to the next steps of the marketing efforts.

Thanks to IBM for 2 great days in Cambridge.