Collaborating with the outside world

In September, the Lotus team in Sweden will be holding their Gold Club event – a meeting (with dinner thrown in) for their most valued customers. Our Swedish country manager Kristoffer invited me (in my new capacity) to come over and talk to the assembled audience about how Lotus solutions were helping customers to reduce costs and improve efficiency. “No problem” I said – Sweden is a nice place to visit and there’s nothing I like more than hearing my own voice talking about our wonderful portfolio of products. Well, actually there are a few things I like more, but let’s keep this work-related.

After a few minutes mulling this proposition, I had an idea… instead of just me talking about customer successes, why not actually get in a real breathing carbon-based life-form from our customer base to present to this group of Nordic captains of industry? It would have to be someone from an organisation who had a presence in Sweden and who was a willing advocate of Lotus solutions… I knew just the man. And so it was that I got in touch with Mark Calleran, CIO of The Salvation Army.

If you attended either the London or Manchester-based Lotusphere Comes To You events this year, you’ll have seen Mark present. His content was a mixture of what The Salvation Army do and then how they use Lotus technology – it actually gives me a good feeling when I hear about our solutions helping this wonderful organisation to provide relief around the world and generally do work to improve the life of millions of people. And comments afterwards are generally along the lines of “I never knew The Salvation Army did so many things”.

Fortunately Mark agreed, and now we come to the point of the blog post. Suddenly it wasn’t just Kristoffer and me collaborating on content and logistics, we had someone from outside of IBMland taking part in the process… someone without access to the IBM network and certainly no ability to login to our Connections infrastructure. This is where LotusLive Engage came to our rescue.

LotusLive Engage Activities

As IBMers, Kristoffer and I have LotusLive Engage accounts, and I was already connected to Mark. Kristoffer found Mark, connected with him and invited him to the newly-created activity. And since then it’s been as simple as that… we’ve used the activity to track the agenda, the synopses of our talks, biography information, and hotel and travel details. It was very easy to allow people from two (very different) organisations to collaborate.

Of course, I didn’t get away without a small task to take to Product Management – when can Mark have an activities plug-in for Notes 8.5 which allows a view of both his internal activities and those from LotusLive Engage? Hmmm… answer: in a forthcoming version, probably / maybe. In the meantime, I’m sure that we’ll be demonstrating our Pokens to an audience of esteemed Swedes.

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