IBM is trying to be hip. It is an almost frightening prospect, but hip is a definite feature of the IBM agenda and it aspires to be not just ordinary hip, but suited and button-down hip. A difficult procedure, to say the least, At Lotusphere 2007 this week in Orlando, the company came up with a raft of new products all falling roughly into under the social networking, collaboration, groupware label. Three of the hottest, hippest buttons. Everybody is trying to get there with tools that free up the user to collaborate, talk, chat and work with people not just in their company, not just at home, but everywhere. The new users, the world of Web 2.0 and all. The land where the new game is all about enabling people to get free access, to use software in ways that are not just new and imaginative but genuinely enabling. It is a world full of buzz words and buzz concepts but also ways that organizations, large and small, are struggling to come to terms with. Ways in which they can genuinely make people fully enabled – ways in which they can get the most out of the potential of the greatest unopened store of resources in any organization, the people who work there, It is early days in IBM’s walks down this particular road, but the company is ready and willing, if the keynotes that peppered today’s session of Lotusphere are anything to go by. And certainly if the volume-level is any guide. Lotusphere today was a noisy, quite exciting place to be. The delegates were noisy and up for it. So noisy, it sounded at times like a Microsoft conference when Foghorn Ballmer is on-stage. (Well almost.) While delegates ponder the full details of the weighty store of information that was unloaded on them today, it will be interesting to see how they digest it. Will they think that Lotus is now the hip corner of IBM? Well, perhaps not. But for those who thought that Lotusphere 2007 was going to be like any previous Lotusphere, they at least have had some five good reasons for thinking it was a little different and when they head back to their companies will have a little more to tell folks back home about it.