The discussion about the IBM rebranding of different products, including removing "Lotus" from a number of products, have me got thinking. What is really in a name? Well, a product name is really not that different from a person name. We have a firstname/surname which is our identity, and a lastname/family which indicate what family or group we belong to. In some cultures the family name is listed first, but the idea is the same. Sometimes we also have a nickname that we are know as, or that our friends call us.
When a woman get married, she often takes the family name of her husband, or combine her family name with his. Jane Doe becomes Jane Smith or even Jane Doe-Smith. A product is often named the same way. Lotus Notes, Lotus Domino, Lotus Sametime. When IBM took over ("married") Lotus, eventually the name became "IBM Lotus Notes, IBM Lotus Domino, etc. We continued using the "nicknames" Notes, Domino and Sametime, as they are shorter and easier to say/write.
I am sure we all remember when Sametime was renamed "IBM Lotus Instant Messaging" and Quickr was renamed "IBM Lotus Team Workplace". The names were quickly changed back... Not that the names were bad, they actually explained much better the nature of the product. But they were much harder to remember and did not have the familiarity people needed. Compare that with if I would change my son's name from Erik to say Allen (which happens to be his middle name). That would cause a lot of confusion. And if you dropped the "family name" part ("IBM Lotus"), like we all do in normal conversations, the result did not provide any good branding. "Do you use Instant Messaging?"
Some products have already lost the Lotus part. We now have "IBM Sametime", and at Lotusphere, it was announced that "IBM Docs" is the new name for LotusLive Symphony. I think that is a great name, it explains the product and also have the family name in there. "IBM SmartCloud for Social Business" is a long name for LotusLive, and perhaps not the best name. But I never thought LotusLive was a good name. I know that a few years everything cloud was "Live" (Windows Live, etc), but it felt like just another buzzword.
I understand the need of IBM to group products into different families. That makes sense. But everything does not have to include "Smart". What about simply giving any cloud offering/product a "Cloud" designation? IBM Cloud Docs, IBM Cloud Mail (LotusLive Mail), etc. To me that is a no-brainer.
For the traditional client side products in the Lotus family it is a bit more complicated. We all love the Lotus brand, but it has a somewhat tainted or dated sound these days. It is simply old, and people still think "Lotus 1-2-3" when they hear it. I would have no problem with IBM Notes and IBM Domino. We already have "IBM Xwork Server". What about "IBM Smart Client" (for Notes) and "IBM Smart Server" (for Domino). There, IBM got their Smart-designation, and we got a good descriptive name on the products.
#ThrowbackThursday – Worst Practives at Connect 2013
Thu, Sep 18th 2014 6:05a Karl-Henry Martinsson Paul Mooney and Bill Buchan returns with a brand new Worst Practices at IBM Connect 2013. This session alone is almost worth the cost to attend Lotusphere/Connect/ConnectED. There is a slight skip towards the end, when I had to switch batteries. Otherwise you have the whole session, including the warm-up performance. [read] Keywords: ibm
More on IBM ConnectED 2015
Wed, Sep 17th 2014 12:05p Karl-Henry Martinsson This morning Kristin Keene from IBM talked more about the upcoming IBM ConnectED 2015 in January at the ICS Community webcast. IBM realized that the last few years they been swinging over too much to the business side, and is now going back to a much more technical conference. As I mentioned the other day, […] [read] Keywords: ibm
Two more days to thank someone
Mon, Sep 15th 2014 5:45p Karl-Henry Martinsson It is now just two days left to nominate IBM Champions. So if you know someone who have been helping the community, perhaps through video tutorials, blogs, presenting at (or organizing) conferences or answering questions on different forums, submit a nomination. This is how IBM explains what a Champion is: An IBM Champion is someone who […] [read] Keywords: ibm
IBM ConnectED agenda published
Fri, Sep 12th 2014 9:00a Karl-Henry Martinsson The agenda for IBM ConnectED (the conference formerly known as Lotusphere and IBM Connect) has now been posted. As previously announced, the conference is one day shorter than before, ending already on Wednesday. There are no jumpstart sessions listed for Sunday, but the Master Class sessions are returning that day. The individual sessions have not been […] [read] Keywords: ibm
#ThrowbackThursday – My old HP calculators
Thu, Sep 11th 2014 6:57a Karl-Henry Martinsson I have previously here on my blog mentioned my preference for HP calculators. Our first calculator at home was the HP-21, with a red LED display, which we got in late 1975 (if I remember correctly), soon after it was released. My parents used it for all different kinds of calculations, especially taxes (back then the Swedish tax system […] [read] Keywords:
#ThrowbackThursday – World War 1
Thu, Sep 4th 2014 1:05p Karl-Henry Martinsson OK, this is a pretty extreme #ThrowbackThursday, but I wanted to promote a blog I have been reading since the beginning of the year. Arthur Linfoot, who took part in World War 1, wrote a diary every day from January 1 1914 to December 31 1918. It was written in Pitman’s shorthand, and his son […] [read] Keywords: