Posts Tagged 'alan lepofsky'

My BFF*, Alan Lepofsky

My close friend and colleague, Alan Lepofsky, announced on his blog that he is leaving IBM and taking the position of Director of Marketing at SocialText, alongside Ross Mayfield. Wow!

Alan has been in Lotus since it was, well, Lotus, back in 1993. Lotus (and later IBM) is the only company he knows. For the past several years Alan has been the senior evangelist dude for Lotus Collaboration strategy, and if you happen to get an email from him, IBM email, his title is ‘Lotus StrategizR’ – COOL.

I came to know Alan some 2 and a half years ago, in my previous role, when I started to get into social media and collaboration, within IBM. Alan was the top result on every internal search I did, and the relationship began. Upon moving to Lotus Software I often quoted his posts and opinions, and he really helped me understand faster what Lotus Collaboration is all about.

The highlight of our (ongoing) relationship had to be LCTY Israel, back in March 2008, where Alan was keynote speaker. His time in Israel was well spent, business and personal, and it was a blast hanging out with him, touring Jerusalem for a day, IBM Party, visiting Haifa Research Labs and hearing him speak. Even thou his keynote was way longer then scheduled, no one said anything – they were hypnotized by his passion, dedication and belief in Lotus, and its collaboration benefits.
Pictured here, outside IBM Haifa Research Labs, you can see some of his enthusiasm – Yellow long-sleeved short (in the Israeli climate), smiling as always, after hearing what IBM researchers are working on in the collaboration space.

Alan, it was an honor and a pleasure working with you in Big Blue, and I wish you all the best as the new marketing chief for Socialtext.

* definition of BFF

Pass it on

Come Sunday I’m gonna send it to our print house and see how I can make bumper/laptop/window stickers out of it…
After I’ll clear it with Legal/Marketing of course…

Courtesy of Alan

Twitter away…

After 2 ‘silent’ weeks of using Twitter, I decided it’s time to write something about it (much like Ed did). I started with Twitter couple of days before LCTY Israel, after hanging out with Alan for couple of days and seeing how easy it is to update your Facebook/Twitter status on mobile. Blackberrys aren’t that common in Israel, but cellphones are – did you know there are more cellphones devices in Israel than the number of people (population)? Yes, it’s true..

At first I updating my status using text messaging (SMS), until I searched IBM tagged pages (pages other IBMers tagged, using Dogear) and found a super cool extension for Lotus Notes 8.0TwitNotes. This super cool extension allows me to update my Twitter/Facebook status, directly from Lotus Notes sidebar. Nice… You can install TwitNotes on your own client here.

I met with some friends the other day and we started talking about this constant updating issue, people twittering all the time, making it easy for ‘big brother’ to follow… One of my friends holds the extreme opinion of blocking anything (even his iPhone BT is set to ‘Hidden’), while I’m more flexible – share more or less, depending on the situation and and body temparture. ‘Resistance is futile‘ I always tell him, but he comes from a strong background of IT Security and Networks, so it’s a dead-end discussion most of the times.

If you’re interested to see how much I do share, become a follower:

IBM/Lotus Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software Event – Summary

Took some time to relax from the busy week we had, and ponder about some of the meetings, and now I’m ready to tell you how was the event.

We had over 80 social software advocates attending the event last Thursday (March 20th) – a pretty good attendance. 35% of participants were not IBM/Lotus customers, which shows the growing interest in Israel around social networking solutions.

Alan Lepofsky is great!! Really. Excellent speaker. The feedback from the audience was superb, and even thou his presentation was 30min longer, no one cared. He even got ‘a compliment’ from a customer in a follow-up meeting, but I’ll leave it to him to tell the story. I heard this subject (Collaboration) presented many times before, but Alan provided a new take on the subject, giving customers examples from his numerous customer visits around the globe.

Arjan Radder took the stage after Alan and talked about social networking in the public life and its corporate implications. Most of his time he didn’t mention IBM solutions, which was very unique, but good at the same time – we’re not talking in logos or solutions but in context. The goal is to provide a platform for the business, whilst allowing the employee to keep using his known applications – but in the context of collaboration. For instance – on my Lotus Notes 8.0.1 client I have a Twitter extension, which allows me to update my Twitter status (along with other IBM internal communities) right from my messaging application.

Inbal Ronen from HRL showed us some cool stuff being developed at the labs. Most of the projects are being used internally at IBM, and some may find their way to future releases of Lotus Connections and/or Lotus Quickr and/or Lotus XXX… Stay tuned.

Alex and I then went on stage to show Lotus Collaboration demo. We had a script all planned out, but then Alex had to step outside and I was left to do the demo alone… np. I showed how to work with a messaging platform that provides email/calendar/address-book capabilities, add extensions, plugins and right-click actions , integrate with the corporate instant messaging application, paste a file into a chat/email from my shared online space, lookup contact in the employee directory, read my RSS feeds and open Office documents – all without having to leave my messaging application. Using the corporate social software solution I could search for help based on tags and keywords, learn about a colleague’s experience and expertise, read his/her blog, subscribe to the webpages she reads (bookmarks) and join the communities he/she are part of. There are some videos over at YouTube that will make this last paragraph much clearer.

Last but not least, Jason Risley came up, to wrap this event with WebSphere Portal overview.
I’ve seen couple of his slides before, but I never heard the full story behind Swift Transportation and their super-cool intranet site. I’m not sure if I can post screenshots here, so I won’t, but trust me – it’s like a live comics, really… amazing!! So simple, and so smart.

Facebook contribution:
As the event focused on social software for the enterprise, I thought it would be fitting to open up an event page on facebook and invite my friends, that would invite their friends, and their friends, and so on. What was facebook contribution to the audience tally? depends how you define ‘contribution’. 23 people RSVPed the event, 13 actually came. However, I did get many ‘messages’ from friends asking “what’s this laptop party all about?” So there was some contribution… I’ll definitely use facebook again, as its reach is far beyond the usual corporate distribution lists – facebook is the home of social software advocates, the people working at businesses who are looking for similar corporate tools, behind the firewall.
Facebook and other social networks are the medium to reach that audience.

Pictures from the event can be seen at my flick account. The presentations will be available at the event website, (will update when it’s ready), along with links to Lotus demos on YouTube. My slideshare space has more stuff you’ll probably be interested in.

To wrap this long summary, personal feedback, to improve and preserve (accordingly):

  • Time – we were late on the agenda by 20min, which is pretty normal in Israel, but still not an excuse. We started late, but made up for lost time during the presentations.
  • Focus on demo – presentations are very good to convey a message, but if you want to engage the audience, demo is the best method. We did 2 live demos, one from HRL and the other by Alex and myself, which got great reviews in the feedback form.

If you attended the event or have other comments, I’d appreciate your feedback.

IBM Purim Party

We have a triple reason for partying this week:
1. Purim is here.. on Friday the 21st
2. LCTY Israel is here… Thursday the 20th
3. St. Patrick’s Day is here.. TODAY

IBM Israel was kind enough to throw a hugh party last night, at Tel Aviv Old Harbor, for IBMers and their spouses.. My spouse had a trip from work, so I was ‘forced’ to take Alan Lepofsky. I also invited a friend from college, so we’ll have beauty in our community… 😉
The party started off with great food and beer, as the DJ was responsible for making the noise – and it was superb !! There was also a live orchestra, playing with the music, with made it much more cool… and I met two good friends, who used to work for IBM, so it really was a great party..
Since it was a Purim party, I decided to put my best custom on – as you can see in the picture..

Here’s a video from the party (mind the loud noise):

This party was a great opening to the week, and LCTY Israel on Thu will close it just right.
We’re already at +100 participants, and seating is (very) limited. Register today!

Bloggers/Laptop owners: ask for your free Wi-Fi access at the registration desk Thursday morning.

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Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at]



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.