TUG 2010 Peter O’Kelly - transcript
2:05PM Jul 11, 2020
Hi, my name is Peter O'Kelly. Jordan's giving me a little bit of IQ test here with this Mac to make sure I can load up my presentation and make sure I got the right one here. Okay, going. So the bad news is if anybody's got the eyesight to catch this in the lower left hand corner, I have 51 slides, and I'm the only thing between you and lunch. The good news is, I'm not going to go through them all. So I wanted to share my perspective with you today. Kind of a 25 year view on communication, collaboration and content.
To save time, I'm going to say 3C, for those things from now on. I'll talk a bit about competition coopetition, like how are vendors working together or not culture and the overall goal is to talk about in the bigger picture about all of the dynamics you see these days with Microsoft SharePoint, other things out there like IBM, Lotus, Cisco, Oracle, Google, where does Traction fit into this whole picture? So I used to have almost my C words on the top line here, but I'm gonna add a couple others.
So the context for this is my background is kind of a mix between industry analyst and working for the vendor side. So million years ago, I used to run Notes Product Management at Lotus, I left to go bootstrap product management at Groove Networks stuck around there for a while, spent some time at Macromedia. Was there actually Lotus to the IBM acquisition, which was an interesting experience. And then, most recently, Microsoft I've also had extensive experiences and Industry analysts working for like the Patricia Seybold Group, and Burton Group as well. So my contact information is down here if you have any other questions and the slides are going to be available, including the 30 or so that I'm not going to go through. So what I'd like to do in the next 20, or next 17 minutes before Greg pulls me off is I'm going to go through a very brief history of the three C's stuff.
I'm going to talk about the Battle of the Titans that's going on right now because there's a very intense platform versus focused or best of breed, player kind of battle going on right now. Then I'll talk about where I see Traction fitting in and talk about a few cultural considerations. It's interesting for me, especially having been involved with Notes going back to the late 1980s. It's interesting to hear, these are perennial challenges, the sorts of things we've been discussing this morning.
So I'll try and share some good news. And again, bad news on that. And then discussion, my guess is we're going to run a little bit short on time because we're going to be hungry. So for discussion, I'm going to be around through lunch through the clambake tonight and also be around tomorrow afternoon because things they want to go into more detail on.
So: a very brief history of 3C. See the crux of this slide is this stuff's not new. People have been doing this for a long time. It's sort of good once in a while to stand back and say, really, why are we doing this, what we're doing this in order to get things done, we can get very creative about definitions of words like communication, collaboration and content, but ultimately the measure of this has to be 'Is it useful for getting work done?' Does it help people work together more effectively, as we've discussed this morning. From my view content, it's interesting if you do look up things in the dictionary once in a while I consider it procrasti-research to go out and check them.
So content usefully is basically anything that is contained. And I'll distinguish a little bit further and say, for me, it was interesting to hear Rick from on the search side this morning talking about the distinction between, there's basically stuff that's in your database systems, and then there's everything else. And for me, content in this context is everything else. And information equals content, plus data. This will be become important as we get a little bit further into this. But these things are fundamentally important today, you know, it was very difficult back in the old days with Notes to say you should do this because it's good for you.
You'll be more productive, you'll be more responsive, people will have better employee satisfaction and things like that. It was always ROI, ROI. TCL TCL. Where do we go with that?
It's a lot easier these days because people understand as you mentioned, you should do this you may be on your way to Guantanamo or you might just be unemployed. You know, you don't want to be the one who has problems with information, governments regulatory compliance. And again, everybody is just incredibly burdened for effective time and attention management, both at work and in things we do outside of work as well. So with that, one of the things are just again on a brief history on this tip of the hat to Vannevar Bush - some people say Vannevar Bush - as well. I'm sure many of you have been in the Traction community for a long time understand 65 years ago, in July 1945 there was this seminal article in The Atlantic Monthly ‘As We May Think’ there's a link behind this you can go look at as well if you want to check it out. I'm pretty sure he was from another planet because he was so prescient on what he was able to deliver he in turn influenced Doug Engelbart and it just kind of went from there with Andy van Dam, Alan Kay a bunch of others.
So it's we've been doing this for a while. Another one that's kind of interesting is with Plato, which doesn't get a lot of air play in this. The Plato group had it 50th anniversary as well, and Ray Ozzie's down there. So Plato begat Plato Notes, VAX Notes, Lotus Notes other things, again, you see a very long term history of this. And it was interesting, then a couple of points this morning, the idea of conceptual models or using models of working with these things have has come up. And I think the products that have lasted the longest, the ones that have been most influential are ones that had a really clear sense of what they were trying to accomplish. And I'll come back to that later on in a comment about Traction.
So one of the things that's kind of challenging about this space is marketing people tend to get very creative. So for some vendors, everything is about communication. Collaboration is a subset of communication, Eg Cisco thinks everything's about communication. For others, communication is a subset of collaboration, very squishy, and you're using common names and synonyms and not being clear on it. So one of the things I found is useful is to start with just a vendor and product independent framework that says, what are we talking about and how these pieces fit together.
So very briefly communication is just about the transmission of information from point A to point B. That's it usually comes in different communication channels, items and channels. Collaboration is joint purposeful work. It usually happens in workspaces with shared artifacts. Everybody gets it that communication is that is asynchronous communication. emails, the biggest one there I'd argue are blogs, and some NNTP or Usenet style discussion forums are also communication channels. Most people understand real time or synchronous communication is dominated by telephony and instant messaging, web conferencing for synchronous collaboration, most people understand that probably at least participated in web conferences and things like Live Meeting, and WebEx.
But this last one, which is central to what we're talking about today, is the asynchronous collaboration. That's sort of the wild frontier for a lot of people still so you've got document libraries, lists, wikis, workspace based discussion forums, I think that's the one that's least mature in the market right now.
It also turns out to be one that has an incredible return on investment if you play it well. So I'm just putting this framework up here, because I'm going to come back in a couple minutes and talk about IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, Google, and we are going to eat lunch at about 12:30
But the other thing that's really critical to understand is that it's important to have a common core set of services. Because if you're telling the user copy, paste, you know, do this do that switch among these different applications, they're not going to do it, and then they're going to revert to the least common denominator, which is almost always going to be email with file attachments, which is bad for you.
Another consideration here is that work cycles among these quadrants, so you'll get notified of a competitive action or some kind of new regulatory issue. We bring people together in a real or virtual space. We talk about it, we figure out what we're going to do about it, we publish the results, people have their preferred notification alerting mechanisms, the cycle continues. If you're telling people are using different tools for each of these things, or that they have to play one way or another. They will resist. So another high level thing that's important to understand on this. And some of the larger vendors have not yet completely wrap their minds around is the internet won.
Jon wrote a great book about it many, many years ago - internet groupware - but the internet architecture, the internet information model, that is the platform at this point. So when you're talking about Microsoft versus IBM versus everybody else, you should be putting it in the context of to what extent have they done a good job of building on the internet platform. And then if they add value on top of that in ways that don't take it in counterproductive direction, that's great. But again, you see these things that are previously disparate areas like enterprise messaging, information management, web applications, cloud applications, all coming together in a coherent way, for things that ideally people won’t need documentation for.
So this I'm not going to subject you to but just some of the core concepts on this, again, striving to come up with a product and vendor independent model. I do have a bunch of these slides turn the back end, but again, I'd be happy to talk more about it. We also get asked a lot why now, why is this stuff going mainstream now? This is just a short list that I'm going to ignore. But there are five things that we find most often people are saying, that's what pulled me into it. It wasn't so much. I'm going to go to Guantanamo, but rather, I found this to be useful with my kids soccer club, why can't I use it at work, things like that, again, happy to stick around and talk more about these. But I wanted to jump next into the Battle of the Titans and talk about where are these bigger players are fitting in.
And by the way, I'm gonna bash everybody. So equal opportunity, sort of constructive criticism guy. So IBM has today, three platforms. We'll walk you through them here in a moment. Interestingly, they all have different information models and application models underneath it, I would argue and I've seen a lot of experience with it and then argue I don't know if anybody here works for IBM at this point. But IBM does have kind of an inherent conflict of interest in the sense that their business model has really shifted to professional services and intellectual property licensing. So doing things the easy way is sometimes counterintuitive for professional services people, and then sometimes a little bit, sometimes politically motivated standards policy; ask me when you have a few moments to talk about ODF versus Open XML, or the fact that Microsoft supports ODF.
And IBM still says that Open XML is something that would be difficult for me to describe without offending at least some people here. This is often resulted in more C words like confusion, cumbersome constantly. If we go way back, so this is a screenshot from 1989 that I got from Ray Ozzie Notes 1.0 There's also a great resource in history of Notes Domino companies early into it on an IBM website that includes this as well. But the reason I want to put this up is anybody Is anybody here still using Notes? Just curiosity. Okay, so it's still we figure about 17% of the North American market is still on Notes right now. The conceptual model that you see here is the same as most people use it today. And that's not to say that it got totally stale, which is a whole nother discussion sometime. But rather the coherence of the of the original model that stuff Ray Ozzie and his team at IRIS had in mind, when they built it was one that stood the test of time and a lot of useful ways back to conceptual models, the challenge,
as I mentioned, is that IBM has not one but three of these things.
So if you're kind of a classic yellow, attend every Lotusphere person, then you know, it's about Notes Domino, and same time, maybe Quick Place, and the version of Quick Place that became Quicker on the Domino platform. And it all kind of hangs together, we could argue that it's not the most internet centric thing. The challenge or one challenge that they have is they actually have a whole other one of these things on the WebSphere Application Server platform, and it brings a whole bunch of things. So there's a version of Quicker for instance, up in the upper right hand quadrant here that runs on top of Websphere instead of Domino. It's actually two products with a similar interface completely different Infrastructure behind them. And Same Time has moved over to WebSphere as well.
A big challenge that they have here is they had this product that they kind of buried with all those old copies of OS/2 somewhere called Workplace. Workplace was supposed to bring web messaging to WebSphere. And it's just it didn't work out. And now they've got a challenge where you have to use Notes for enterprise messaging, and then the WebSphere product architecture for everything else over time. If that weren't enough for IBM, then they went out and decided they needed to get to the cloud, and they needed to get them really fast. So the small breakdown here is they acquired a company called Out Blaze that replaced the failing Same Time the hosted version of Same Time the initial one and then that became Lotus Live Meetings and then they acquired some technology, or sorry, Out Blaze was Lotus Slide iNotes. And then Web Dialogues was actually the other one. The main point to this not to belabor it is they have three different platforms, they don't fit and work together.
So if you're an administrator, an end user, an architect working on applications, you have a lot of opportunity to learn different things, I guess. Okay, so I mentioned this in passing, the big challenge today for true blue companies is you got to use both. And probably you have to use all three because some people want to use Lotus live on a project basis. It's not completely irrational it's just it kind of shows the legacy of where it came from, and IBM trying to react to things in real time.
Then behind door number two, we have Microsoft, Microsoft, I'd argue it took a long time, but Microsoft does have pretty consistent and coherent I guess, not entirely comprehensive communication cloud architecture. It addresses most of the needs very much singular focus on common underlying services surprised they're all Windows. Nobody was gonna guess that SQL Server but not Oracle, the same architecture and tools for both software and services.
I think Microsoft can credibly assert as the only one today that's talking about on premises and cloud Cloud and hybrid with a consistent architecture. Another big thing for Microsoft has come up in some of the discussions today is people still use Office, a lot of people use Office. So to the extent that you can seamlessly integrate with that, that's a big thing. 2010 with SharePoint and Office and Visual Studio are looking pretty strong as well. This is just the Microsoft picture for this. There's only one, I won't read you all the products that fit in here, but you can probably identify a bunch of these things you're probably familiar with the Lync by the way, just to confuse everybody. Lync is the recursive MS Office communication server and Office communicator. The most recent release. So continuing our saga for this again, it was multiple, multiple releases about a decade to get this stuff together. And Exchange has been out there competing with Notes for enterprise messaging for a long time that SharePoint had SharePoint starting in 2003 on SQL Server and the DotNet framework, it's really in 2010 that this vision is starting to come to fruition.
Okay, door number three. I'm not going to read this slide to you either, but Google. So Google is kind of interesting run into Google almost every time somebody says I'm thinking about migrating from IBM's platform someplace else. It's usually the shortlist is on Microsoft, Google's in there, maybe just to foster price competition. Not sure all the time, maybe Cisco, maybe Oracle, which we'll touch on in a minute here as well. The main points that have you understand about Google are it's not what anybody would misconstrue as a traditional software vendor. Like support - what's that? Phone numbers? People? Really? Can't you just search for it?
All of the stuff that they would try to sell to enterprise customers, most people here would be collectively around here. So yes, it's true that the Gmail team, the Google Apps team is ferociously competitive. A lot of people who are taking their second or third run with it like former Netscape people, and they're very aggressive, but in the bigger picture you look at it and say, No. I mean, the reason that you have some issues with Google Apps is because the consumer oriented team will do stuff and throw it over a wall and say that's it, take it or leave it one size fits all. It's also a little bit confusing in the sense that because it is an internet advertising company with a huge number of talented people, there's no question about that. There's a lot of churn. So Google Wave a year ago, Google Wave was the big thing, the most, the highest praise that Lotus got for their next release, codenamed Vulcan was that people compared it to Google Wave just did about a year ago, not so much anymore. Now, Google Buzz, very painful learning experiences. You could argue that on a planetary scale, maybe that's a good thing and have learned together or you could argue I got burned because I tried to roll this out in my company and it didn't work out.
The other things, there are some interesting dependencies here, kind of the lawyer Full Employment Act as well in the sense that when Android's out there Android, it's free. It's great run with it except for your Motorola. Or HTC, or anybody else who's running with it, you're gonna find out that Google actually doesn't own all of that intellectual property. So there are other entities that need to be brought into consideration there. Another thing from sort of a long term, traditional software vendor point of view that's kind of fun about Google is Google is so obsessed with Facebook right now that they're kind of leaving the rest of this stuff aside for a moment, and they understand that they've got a potential existential crisis, if they don't get a good handle on what Facebook's trying to do, even though they want to.
They want you to believe that Facebook is good for Google, because people who use Facebook use Google more often, they're freaked out and for good reason about it because to them, Facebook is a dark island on the internet and they can't get in there. Their big picture view, the fun thing about this is, you know, Google Buzz, Google Me, there are a bunch things many of them acquired and rolled out made available. This is all service centric,only; offline, I guess. Nobody wanted it because they shot it and people didn't scream; get to html5, we'll fix all that real soon now, no problem. But you see, it's a little bit more of a sparse model on top of this.
Okay, continuing on Oracle Oracle's an interesting one, by my count, they've had at least three major failures with this, the most recent one, maybe the penultimate one I'll talk about in a moment, was Oracle Collaboration Suite, they have to do this and they have to do it well. The primary issue is everybody who goes to SharePoint is pulling in SQL Server. And when you pull in SQL Server, you're probably going to use it for a lot of different things, especially again, when you get into these mixed applications that aren't strictly contents are tricky. You've got some data oriented things in there as well, it starts to look like a DBMS problem. And they also understand they've got an opportunity. They've taken several runs. I mean, it's Oracle, the name of the company was this is the place where all of your information goes. They want to get beyond being stigmatized as sort of rows and columns, scalar data types, traditional relational database stuff. They also have acquired their way into a huge set of applications. So competing with SAP and others, they understand if they can augment that with communication, collaboration, 3C things, then that's good for them.
Another critical thing is that everybody understands that the IBM installed base is, is in play. And maybe some customers are going to go from one shade of blue to another. So you go from Notes Domino to WebSphere. When you're in consideration and looking at a migration, remember 47% of the commercial enterprise relational database market today is Oracle. So if they could figure out how to play on that, and be more effective with it, that would be good for them. Unfortunately, they've acquired a couple things, they acquired a hostile acquisition of BEA WebLogic that brought Plum Tree and a bunch of other stuff that was all kind of munged together and rebranded Web Center. And then they acquired Stellant and Stellant became Oracle universal content management and that has been pretty well received in the market as well.
The biggest problem that they have right now is well Oracle Collaboration Suite was failing in the market. There was a group of really smart people off in a closet somewhere developing this thing called Beehive. And Beehive is everything. I mean, Beehive does it by itself, they would argue does this whole thing, the only problem is that they haven't sold a lot of it and the way Oracle works and sort of management by the Klingon right of ascension. I think Beehive's already dead. And you can add it to the list of things. And if you take this slide, and subtract Beehive out of it, then it doesn't look like a very good picture for Oracle either. So they continue to struggle with it. You want one other way to look at this very briefly, as you can say, Oracle and IBM are kind of having this, this competition to see who's it for Java, if you want to do all of this stuff at a platform level for Java.
And then there's another one that I don't have a slide for, we can talk about later if you want is VMware is kind of an interesting player coming in acquiring Zimbra, for instance. So this slides not complex enough and we're shifting context here to Cisco.
And what I want to tell you with this slide is Cisco does really pretty pictures. I mean, this is really exhaustive. This is from a Cisco white paper, the previous slide has the URL on it, you look at that and say, Yep, pretty much everything you could think about is in that one slide. And I have a hunch that Mike Gotta, one of my former colleagues from Burton Group, did this slide, because it's the kind of thing he likes to do. The problem with that, of course, is that in a different part of the space time continuum, where Cisco actually offers all of these things, I'm sure life is very happy. In this part of the space time continuum, they're scrambling, they're scrambling to move beyond voice, they're really doing some pretty brazen positioning to say, collaboration is kind of a sidecar to real time communications and you should be starting there. Instead, it's you know, it's pragmatic of them. Sorry, that the type size here a little bit small, but they've made a huge bunch of very expensive, like, bizarrely expensive acquisitions in some cases, and then they roll that out. a thing called Cisco Quad that does pretty much they assert most of the stuff on the previous slide.
The problem is with a recent Burton Group report to sort of punctuate this. It's not there yet. I mean, WebEx was a smart acquisition, and then they can round things out from WebEx. But it's very difficult for them to sort of pivot that and address all of the different quadrants we're talking about. So I do not have the quadrant diagram for them, mostly because it would just be a blue slide for the most part.
So where does Traction fit in? I'm really determined to almost get done on time and surprise Greg here. From my point of view, I like Jordan, the fact that the slide yesterday said, collaborative hypertext journaling system, that is the essence of what Traction is, for me. There's one high level thing we can talk about just categorically you've got best of breed versus suite, the idea that best of breed specialized is very often more focused and fast moving.
So they're not trying to sell you a programming framework or tell you that you have to use this operating system or that operating system or the only things that begin with J or end with X are good for you; the history and the team expertise, definitely tip of the hat to the guy with the camera [Greg Lloyd] and the others in the room, unparalleled expertise in this and something that has been in market and learning for a long, long time.
So there's this coopetition dimension, you could say, arguably, you know, go to an Enterprise 2.0 event or other things like that, you'd say you're competing here for blogs and wikis. I think realistically, it's more complementary because if you want to do beyond the basics hypertext, you find that Traction has got a lot more to work with. And then again, I don't know of any company including most of the major vendors who are exclusively one major platform vendor or just just exclusively so when you have an environment where you've got some Microsoft, some IBM some other things, you know, content management systems or risk got a baker's dozen of those alone. Being able to show synergy with multi vendor enterprise deployments is a big deal as well.
So TeamPage again, going back to the part about surprise, the internet won; TeamPage has very good synergy with the internet platform, it can serve in multiple roles. I'm not going to read this whole slide here in the interest of time, but I did want to focus again, on this metamodel Harmonic Convergence. I actually think we compare notes before the presentations or something today, the metamodel that says, if you believe it's all about relationships among information items that must be versioned and must be permissioned all the time - not optionally, not 'This one's secure. That one's not'. If you don't start with that metamodel you're going to hit big problems sooner or later. And you see that again, in product after product in the mainstream market.
So just a couple of other cultural considerations. We're in this weird phase right now where this stuff used to be really expensive. It used to be really hard. Now we're kind of in the paradox of abundance. You know, before lunch is over, we can go spin up a whole bunch of free or very low cost workspaces to do things; incredible selections of cost effective alternatives out there. The culture is a perennial perennial challenge, though, and it's weird.
I mean, seriously a number of the same things that we saw with Notes 1.0 twenty something years ago, the realistic expectations are absolutely critical. And I think the people in this room understand this better than most who are just tire kicking with a major platform vendor, it's not Field of Dreams time, you really have to get in there and do the work around things like building the vocabularies, giving people good incentives to use it, making sure you exemplify best practices, minimizing the learning curve, maximizing the extent to which people can work in their preferred environment, even if somebody wants to live in Outlook and somebody else never wants to see an email client again.
And you also have to be mindful of effective communication and collaboration through hypertext all kinds of problems, again, with people inadvertently oversharing things which is bad, bad, bad, especially for large publicly traded companies right now. From my point of view too the explosive growth of social software is kind of a mixed blessing in the sense that when it's used appropriately, it's great. But when people look at that as the next panacea and say, we're going to go from using email for everything to using Twitter style communication inside our company for everything, again, think of the full quadrant set, all of these things are necessary on a sustained basis.
So that also introduces some new challenges and puts a subtle but very important spotlight on the absolute bare requirement of having things that are permission based and journaling, as well to make sure that you know exactly what went where. So, just one last slide, sorry I'm running a couple minutes late, one last slide is an example of the different considerations that you should have in mind when you work with this.
Again, it's not one size fits all back to conceptual models. There are good reasons why document libraries and discussion forums and collaborative hypertext journaling systems and other variants about like Wikis exist. If you think about the work product, the activities that you're doing are on top of the work product as a deliverable, and the user conceptual model, they're different. They're complementary.
But if somebody starts down a path thinking then I'll do a wiki and everything will just work out because wikis are universally useful, then they're going to be disappointed if what they're trying to do is actually a contract approval that that goes someplace else. So again, not not nothing really new here is just giving people the right kind of guidance to go with it. That was all I was gonna say.