Portal Excellence Conference–Keynote Speeches & Project Northstar

A conference’s success depends on how effectively the keynote speakers can wow the audience. Three speakers stood before an audience of 800.

IBM Portal Excellence Conference – Keynote Speeches & Project Northstar

A conference’s success depends on how effectively the keynote speakers can wow the audience.  Three speakers stood before an audience of 800.  Following the standard introductions, and upcoming product features, Project Northstar was announced.  Northstar promises to deliver an Exceptional Web Experience and will act as IBM’s unifying product vision.  By the end of the live demo, the audience sat silent, forgetting even to applaud.  They’d been successfully Wow’d.

What’s the latest on WebSphere Portal 7?

Larry Bowden, [I’ll call him the grand-daddy of WebSphere Portal], began with some very important news.  The release date for WebSphere Portal 7 is September 1, 2010

He followed up with additional news about the updates and features to the product, including:

•        More complete integration between WebSphere Portal 7 and WCM 7

•        Socially infused web experience

•        Tagging and Rating, Blogs and Wikis

•        Universal Integration Hub

•        Single theme to unify Server Side Aggregation, Client Side Aggregation, and Lotus Mashups

•        Portlets and iWidgets can now live together on the same page!

Where is the industry moving?

Larry discussed that as the world moves toward nearly 2 billion users of the worldwide web, the demand for exceptional web experiences is driving the trend toward truly customizable web experiences.  It’s no longer feasible or even acceptable to build static websites.  If a user can’t customize their experience with your product, they’ll move on to a service provider who can.  If companies want to keep up with consumer demand, they have to change their strategy.

Users demand access to a website when they want, how they want, and through whichever device they choose.   He presented IBM’s multi-year strategy to provide Exceptional Web Experiences, Project Northstar.

[Author’s note:  The term ‘Exception Web Experience’ was used in nearly every presentation I attended so far.  I hope that they recognize that the acronym for this is EWE!]

What is Project Northstar?

To begin with, Project Northstar is not a product.  Instead is a vision driven by customer demand.  IBM will leverage their proven stack of projects to provide the best possible web experience for a user.  Portal likely play a pivotal role at the heart of the vision to aggregate and integrate content and context.

To reiterate an earlier posting, the following principles are key:

•         Context sensitive user experience

•         Social conscious websites

•         Visually appealing and user friendly sites

•         Interactive ease-of-user integration

•         Analytics to determine

Isn’t Project Northstar just a new Sales and Marketing term?

 “We’re not starting from scratch”, Larry Bowden said.  “We are the business leaders.”  Larry is certainly an accomplished speaker, and might very well have been able to sell the vision to the hall full of IBM supporters.  But they still had more in store.

Brian Cheng’s took the stage, introduced as ‘The little man, with the big vision’.  He’s a high-energy man, with a wide smile, and an obvious passion for his work.  Brian’s goal was to demonstrate the principles of Project Northstar with a live demo.  He proved a little loud, but he certainly silenced and stunned the room.

I wanted to share the presentation with everyone because words offer a poor substitute for the demonstration of seamless web consciousness.  It was an amazing illustration of the key principles of Project Northstar and truly web excellence.  So I spoke with Brian following the first day of the conference and he promised to email me when he’s posted his presentation.

What’s Next?

I’ll be following up with the latest and greatest from the conference not to mention holding Brian to his promise! 

Sal Pece is a Senior Systems Analyst and Instructor who refuses to specialize. Instead focuses his efforts as architect, administrator and developer on WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Portal, and Lotus Connections 2.5 platforms. When he's not delivering custom solutions, or studying new technologies, he's serving up sumptuous feasts for his family and friends. His signature dish is a three cheese and mushroom stuffed chicken breast, wrapped in bacon, and smothered with a Raspberry Mustard cream sauce which he's named 'The Shona'.



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