Why the world is ready for Vulcan

Mat Newman  August 4 2010 00:09:35
When Notes 8 Standard arrived I was slightly bemused.  Lyrics from The Firm's "Star Trekkin'" (paraphrased) summaries my initial impressions:

"It's Notes Jim, but not as you know it, but not as you know it, not as you know it."

I just didn't get it.  Sure, it was more visually appealing, and the side-bar tools were shiny new additions.  But it was sooo much slower, and there were a few core (Notes) features  missing that bugged me, so I tended to load the basic version.

It took a while before I switched to using Notes 8 (Standard) rather than basic as my primary client, initially it was because of Mikkel Heisterberg's TwitNotes, and then our own WildFire that was the game-changer for me.

Then seeing and hearing about Vulcan at Lotusphere this year left me wondering ... where does this Vulcan concept fit?

The epiphany came last night when I was enjoying a farewell drink with my mate Jono.  Jono and I grew up together, as kids we were inseparable and we've always been great mates.  Jono and his wife now live in Switzerland and I haven't seen them for 4 years, so it was fantastic to catch up with him on his last night in Tasmania before he headed back.

As the evening progressed and more people arrived to say their hello/goodbye one interesting snippet of conversation explained why I believe the world is ready for Vulcan.

Someone asked Jono for his email address, to which he replied "Just get me on Facebook, I don't bother with Hotmail anymore."  He went on to explain that he had a work address, but he left that for "work stuff".

I realised at that point that keeping in touch with people within your circle no longer necessarily means email.  For many, it just means accessing the information that they need, when they need it.

The more I thought about it, the more things started falling into place.  I couldn't remember the last time I sent any of my friends an email just to say "G'Day".  Social Networking has truly transformed the way many people interact with others.  We 'tweet', we post on walls, and when we do meet face to face there's a lot to talk about to fill in the blanks between comments.

A recent article on Nielsen expressed how email was not dead, and I can certainly attest to that.  The type of email that I receive has certainly changed in the last couple of years, the biggest change is that personal email rarely arrives in my Inbox.  That flavour of message has mostly been replaced by interaction with Social Networking sites.

I have also unsubscribed from the many newsletters that I previously received, that flavour of message has been replaced by RSS feeds.  Instant communication through chat and online meetings is also a big part of my day-to-day.

What was the epiphany?

I already USE Vulcan!

It just doesn't look like the screen-shots we've seen.

My Notes 8 client is already my information gateway, I have my most used application (database) links on the left of my screen, corporate messsages, workflow notifications and client communications arriving in my Inbox, Social Networking and corporate Connections streams surfacing in WildFire, News and Information updates feeding into my RSS side-bar and presence indicators everywhere!

My work/life information is being collected for me by one application, at the moment it's just not collated into a single cohesive interface, and that's what the Vulcan concept is about.  Peter Presnell's excellent analysis beautifully articulates the promise that Vulcan holds.

Add to that the superlative database platform and RAD tool that is Lotus Notes/Domino, and the future looks promising indeed.

I can't wait for the beta announcement.

I believe that the world is ready for Vulcan.
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Mat Newman

THE Notes (formerly IBM/Lotus Notes) Guy. Productivity Guru. Evangelist. IBM Champion for IBM Collaboration Solutions, 2011/2012/2013. Former IBMer. HCLite. Views are my own.

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