I’ve just returned from three days at IBM Lotusphere, including the IBM Connect sub-event devoted to social business IT. Among my goals for the trip were to test the extent of IBM’s emergent SmartCloud positioning, and to probe IBM’s increasing emphasis on social business, including insights and evidence of how customers are adopting and using it, and what benefits those customers are realizing.

As regards SmartCloud, IBM has developed and is delivering solid and consistent articulation of a still-improving cross-offering, cross-technology, cross-application platform approach to enable and deliver Cloud-based software and business services. While technology and service holes exist in the overall portfolio, and wrinkles remain to be worked out regarding interoperabilities and integration, IBM is one of the few vendors, especially Master Brands, with a coherent and viable strategy in this manner.

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