IBM unveiled Bluehouse at Lotusphere 2008. Though fairly amorphous at the time, it became clear that Bluehouse would be a big foray into the cloud for IBM. Bluehouse is an open beta and it's quite possible IBM will take the beta tag off the suite, though Cavanaugh declined to say what IBM would discuss at Lotusphere regarding the software.
Schadler told eWEEK that besides Bluehouse, IBM's cloud approach at Lotusphere will be consistent with its approach throughout 2008. "IBM is saying, 'We'll give it to you any way you want it, including in the cloud.'"
Expect to hear an update on Atlantic, the joint software product that integrates IBM Lotus Notes software with SAP's Business Suite, giving users better collaboration tools for their enterprise applications.
IBM also plans to unveil key customer wins for its Lotus Notes, including The Coca-Cola Company (Microsoft Exchange serves Coca-Cola Enterprises, the bottling company), Nationwide, Global Hyatt and others that helped the Lotus software division average 16 percent growth for the last three quarters, Cavanaugh said.
In addition, Cavanaugh said IBM will surprise attendees with new partnerships, particularly some that IBM watchers wouldn't normally expect. For example, he pointed to the recent launch of Lotus 8.5, which was available on the Mac right out of the chute in addition to the normal Linux and Windows operating system support.
Expect Lotus to get more Mac-friendly. Cavanaugh also hinted that Lotus Notes is getting more Web 2.0-friendly, leveraging widgets and mashups.
What else will get play? Schadler said IBM's three-year, $1 billion commitment to UCC (unified communications and collaboration), in which IBM's Lotus Notes e-mail and Lotus Sametime instant messaging, voice and video communications are combined with other real-time collaboration tools, is beginning to bear fruit.
"Sametime is richer than it ever used to be," Schadler said. "Presence has extended beyond just online to help find where you are in the building and through your mobile device."
Given the current recession, one can expect IBM to also talk up cost advantages of using Lotus software over alternatives to Microsoft. Expect the cloud computing theme to play large there.