How do you take a new technology that opens up the possibility of all new business practices, and introduce it to the world so that it is engaging and yet non-threatening? In 1989, Lotus Development Corporation, now part of IBM, was rolling out Lotus Notes combined with SmartSuite, the Lotus office suite of word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications.
To get the full competitive advantage from these time-saving applications, everyone in your enterprise had to use the same applications, as well as to embrace the same collaborative practices. Selling the applications required that you first sell the idea of collaboration. It was a tough sell.
I was retained to produced and direct this 40 minute comprehensive documentary for Lotus. This is a heavily edited version to illustrate the highlights of the story.
We decided to blend comments by productivity experts, authors, industry analysts and early adopters to illustrate the efficiency of collaboration and to demonstrate the competitive effectiveness of collaboration. The documentary was framed with a classroom-like setting to position the information as educational, rather than a sales & marketing pitch. The video was translated into five languages and distributed worldwide. Lotus Notes became the standard for major corporations to collaborate and opened the door for other enterprise software solutions from SAP, Oracle, IBM and Microsoft.