Lotusphere 2012: Mobility

January 24 2012

One of last week's announcements that I didn't quite get to on the blog was the plan to support Windows Phone with the upcoming release of Lotus Notes Traveler. Specifically, IBM called out the intention to support Nokia and HTC devices on Notes Traveler. Yes, this is a reversal from my previously-stated position that Windows Phone wasn't interesting in the enterprise and thus, we wouldn't be investing. What persuaded me was our partnership with Nokia, and relative newcomer to the dance HTC, and their plans around the Windows Phone platform.

For Nokia, The Lumia devices are clearly aimed at recapturing some enterprise momentum. I visited the Lotusphere product showcase and had the opportunity for an incognito demo of the Nokia Lumia 900. I was skeptical last year when Nokia told us that look-and-feel would be the reason that buyers would choose this device, but the demo was pretty darn impressive. I didn't exactly sign up for one on the spot, but I understood why this device would be meaningful in our market.

For HTC, last week was their first time at Lotusphere. They didn't come quietly -- even Engadget noticed -- and they were more focused on their Android-based tablets than Windows Phone. Either way, though, HTC is making a run at the enterprise market, and Lotusphere customers reacted favorably.

There was other mobile news at Lotusphere, including a new, more-competitive version of the hosted Blackberry service in LotusLive SmartCloud Notes. Of the three major cloud email vendors, only IBM offers a full BES implementation (not BES Express) and some ability for user policy setting. We also back the offering with the experience of IBM Mobile Enterprise Services, experts at service delivery for smartphones.

We also announced plans for a high-availability implementation of Lotus Notes Traveler. Because of its storage architecture, Traveler can't work with Domino's clustering approach, so the mobility team had to design a solution specifically for the Traveler environment. This too is on the roadmap for 2012, though we are hoping to deliver the update earlier than the Notes/Domino Social Edition release.

It feels to me like the last remaining pieces for our mobile leadership strategy fall into place this year. We already moved up from niche to challenger last year by some analyst measurements, I expect to move all the way to the top as we continue to invest in this space in 2012.

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