A colleague and I had lunch today with Jane Wilson (Worldwide Product Manager for Lotus Foundations) and Nicholas Day (Australian Product Manager). Their titles are similar but Jane's brief is more on the Partner technical enablement side and feeding into long term feature development for the Foundations product range. I forgot to get Jane's clearance to blog about the specific items we discussed so I'll just list a couple of general topics for today.
First, Foundations is a product that is only going to get bigger. The uncoupling of the Foundations Server from the Foundations bundle opens up a whole bunch of opportunities for IBM across a range of products and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where IBM and Lotus are going with this. I'd love to blog in more detail on this topic but it will probably be more appropriate and more effective to leave those announcements until November 11th.
Second, the meat is starting to appear on the specification of the rumored Foundations Communication Server that is coming later this year or in early 2009, and any SMB customer who commits to the Microsoft solution stack in the meantime is going to find themselves rather embarrassed further down the track... You paid HOW MUCH for that functionality? Well I got mine from Lotus and I only paid ..." .
Third, people at IBM has been reading my blog and are addressing the points I have raised about where Foundations has room for improvement. Obviously others have raised the same points - I'm not suggesting one blog alone would have the power to sway IBM - but it's nice to get the message that IBM is listening to our feedback.
Finally, if you are an IBM dealer in Australia then contact Nick Day (02-9463-5702 or 0409-249-409) and talk to him about how to get onto the Foundations bandwagon. Normally I wouldn't encourage other IBM dealers to jump into my product specialty in my home city, but this baby is bigger than any one of us.
Once I get clearance from Jane to talk about the other topics I'll feed them into the blog.
On a separate non-Foundations note I want to thank Asheet, Kevin (and Fiona in absentia) for the seminar at IBM this morning. I don't consider myself a sadistic person but I really enjoyed hearing about the pain you are causing Microsoft and the financial benefits you are bringing to customers in the process. I'm going to practice your techniques on a few clients I know just for fun.