IBM Retires Lotus, Focuses on ‘Social Business’

  • Tweet  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Facebook  
  • Google plus  
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to  

After 17 years under IBM ownership, the iconic Lotus name is being retired, relegated to the long list of tech brands that have gone the way of the dodo, DeLorean and Twinkie. The move clears the way for IBM to make its brand dominant in the rapidly expanding social business segment.

Lotus, the brand, had a good run. After 17 years under IBM Corp. ownership, the iconic Lotus name is being retired, relegated to the long list of tech brands that have gone the way of the dodo bird and Twinkie.

IBM quietly announced last week it was discontinuing use of Lotus, a brand and company it bought in 1995, and reclassifying social enterprise and communications tools under the Big Blue umbrella. Lotus product brands, such as Notes and Domino, will survive.

Related articles

Additionally, the annual Lotusphere conference in Orlando this January, entering its 20th year, is being rebranded “Connect 2013.” IBM states in the conference catalog that the name change reflects the evolving dynamic of business collaboration needs and IBM’s growing portfolio of products and services.

Many will lament the passing of Lotus, as it carried the legacy of a pioneering technology company that took on the giants and, in many cases, won. Lotus is best known for introducing one of the first, and arguably commercially viable, spreadsheet with Lotus 1-2-3. Over the years, Lotus tangled with greater and lesser degrees of effectiveness with Microsoft Corp., Paperback Software and Borland.

Analysts and observers mark the Lotus retirement as a sign of IBM maturing its collaboration portfolio and focusing on expanding its foothold in this growing market segment. Point of fact, IBM has been pushing the “social business” agenda, releasing several software and service packages designed to provide enterprise and midmarket companies with greater content creation and sharing capabilities.

While many vendors are plying the social business segment, IBM is getting the most traction. Discontinuing Lotus as a leading brand means IBM will position itself as the owner of the segment, giving sustainability in future development. The impact on solution providers reselling and supporting Lotus products is likely negligible, as the underlying technology and overarching go-to-market strategy are unlikely to change.

Lotus joins a long list of iconic tech brands that have had their banners lifted to the rafters in retirement, including Linksys (Cisco Systems Inc.), Great Plains (Microsoft), NetScreen Technologies (Juniper Networks Inc.) and Network Associates (McAfee Inc.). Chances are Lotus will remain a ghost inside IBM and in the market for years to come, similar in the way that some Symantec Corp. employees and partners still identify themselves first as “Veritas” people nearly a decade after that company and brand were acquired and assimilated into Big Yellow.

  • Tweet  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Facebook  
  • Google plus  
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to  
More on Channel Business
contract-drafting

RackWare signs up to NetApp partner program

Firm integrating technology with NetApp and IBM

data-quality

Value over volume, RackWare says of expanded channel partner program

Aim is to have the right coverage with close relationships, VP says

divorce-pa

The velvet divorce? Options and disruptions to come from HP split

News that Hewlett-Packard is breaking into two companies continues to reverberate through the channel. While the ultimate impact on HP partners and customers remains unclear, the new entities will have plenty of options for plying their futures

treasure-chest-with-gold-coins

Channel strikes gold selling to non-techies

Tech sales staff busy selling to business units as much as tech staff, according to Gartner

Visitor comments
Add comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
In-depth
steps55

Time to step up: vendors missing the mark on IoT

A new study by AVG Technologies finds that SMBs and MSPs see tremendous potential in the Internet of Things as a driver of business growth – provided IT vendors and solution providers step up their game

wael-aggan-cloudmask

Vendor Q&A Series: Wael Aggan, CloudMask

The latest vendor executive to sit in the Channelnomics hotseat is Wael Aggan, CEO of CloudMask

healthy-heart

Microsoft getting healthy, thanks to consumers

Is it time to take the software giant off the watch list of tech companies in distress, at least on the consumer side, asks Larry Walsh

John Murdock - Kaspersky Lab

Vendor Q&A Series: John Murdock, Kaspersky Lab

The latest executive to sit in the channelnomics hotseat is John Murdock, Vice President, Channel Sales, Kaspersky Lab North America