Our Collaboration Services team and our strategic partners extend the value of your social space. For the 30 days following ConnectED 2015, we will include at no extra charge our Touchpoint user adoption app when you acquire one app. Add private user-to-user messaging with Direct Messaging. Access Connections from any web page with Social Sidebar. Improve access to you experts with Social Q&A. Energize your projects with Collaboration Services for ProjExec. Add intranet like communications responsibilities to Connections with Collaboration Services for TIMETOACT. Reduce support costs and improve productivity with the User Adoption Toolkits.
Important news for Notes - Domino - Sametime customers running 8.0
If you still run release 8.0 of any of the above software, you will be interested to hear about thenew Upgrade Bridge offer available to remain supported until you are ready to move on. Whether you have on the horizon, moving to Cloud or upgrading on-premise, Upgrade Bridge ensures better focus through the assistance of a shared account manager from our AVP Service to help you. Just until the end of March, we added a bonus: we will include at no extra cost one User Adoption Kit (aka Multimedia library) in one language to teach your users the essential skills they need to quickly exploit the new productivity enhancing features. Visit the Expertise Zone to find out more.
Additional specials for ConnectED participants available at the Expertise Zone!
Free day of consultation:visit the Expertise Zone for a demonstration of any of our apps and you may receive one of three free days of consultation!
Complimentary ICS Certification vouchers: In order to allow participants to fully enjoy all of the action at ConnectED, this year, we decided to distribute complimentary ICS certification vouchers rather than running a Certification Lab. Certify when you return, within the next 6 months, and ON OUR TAB!
We are excited to announce the availability of migration services to accelerate Cloud onboarding.
Known as IBM SmartCloud Upgrade Factory (SCUF for short), this new offering provides a very streamlined set of migrations services to get customers and their mail data into the Cloud faster and cheaper than ever before!
Key features of SCUF are:
Available for existing Notes/Domino and MS Exchange Customers
Available for those who have or plan to purchase Connections Cloud S1, SmartCloud Notes or IBM Verse.
We configure the Hybrid Environment and setup all the tolling needed for staging and transitioning mail files to the cloud.
We move into the Cloud on a predefined schedule of 2500 mail files per week.
We provide unique benefits when evaluating in the content of other onboarding services to the Cloud.
We migrate calendars, contacts and email up to 500MB per mail box.
We leverage our IBM Cloud Infrastructure, powered by SoftLayer to deploy of migration tooling to get the migration of data running faster.
This service is a partnership where the customer responsibilities are:
reviewing technical prerequisites to ensure they are in place before the project begins.
to be ready to prepare 2500 mail boxes per week for the move.
to have an appropriate communications channel and support model in place to support the delivery.
to limit mailboxes to 500MB.
The service is very affordable when compared to other onboarding services and we price it in a per user pricing model to keep it simple.
Contact us if interested to hear more about SCUF or other onboarding services for IBM Verse or SmartCloud Notes.
Delivery Manager and Architect, IBM Software Services, Social Business and Industry Cloud Solutions
Stuart is an experience architect with a concentration in the design of portal and collaborative Lotus technologies. As an IT Architect in the Canadian software group’s Toronto Laboratory, Stuart has 16 years experience in the architecture and design of enterprise solutions for the banking/finance, insurance, government and manufacturing sectors. Stuart is also an active member of the IBM technical community, serving as an elected Canadian member of ISSC America’s Technology Council, an affiliate member of the IBM Academy of Technology.
To continue our ConnectEd Expertise Zone blog series, I'd like to introduce Wes Morgan.
Many of our readers have seen or heard of Wes Morgan. Wes is a senior member of the IBM Support team and has presented at IBM events for over a decade. He has a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of hardware, software, networking and troubleshooting. He is a valued and experienced IBM Sametime Deployment Engineer.
You can listen to and meet Wes:
Sunday, January 25 at 1 - 2 PM EST - Wes will be presenting along with IBM Champion Chris Miller, "IBM Sametime Deployment Do's and Don'ts: Tips, Tricks, Perils and Pitfalls" in the Mockingbird room of Walt Disney World's Swan Resort.
Wednesday, January 28 at 7:15 - 8:15 AM EST - Wes will be presenting "Enterprise Networks - What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You" in the Toucan room of Walt Disney World's Swan Resort.
Wednesday, January 28 at 8:30 - 10:30 AM EST - Wes will be available to meet and speak with you at the ConnectED Expertise Zone (set up in Peacock 1 in Walt Disney World Resort's Swan Resort). Stop by to meet Wes, network between sessions or take a coffee break.
In addition to being a Sametime guy, Wes is a network guru, is a father of four, loves to read, is a musician and does not shy away from a great political discussion.
One of the key advantages of moving to Cloud is, of course, no longer having to worry about engaging into upgrade exercises, big or small. But for those still in that mode today, please be aware that Notes, Domino or Sametime releases 8.0 are coming to end of life in April.
If you are running these releases, you may want to bridge over quickly to a supported release OR to your new platform (like Cloud). To save cycles and do it safely, we have an offer called AVP Upgrade Bridge that can be added to your maintenance contract to stay supported. Through the assistance of an Accelerated Value Leader, you will get priority service to expedite the resolution of issues, keep your production humming while you focus on your destination.
Between now and the end of March, IBM will also include, free of charge, a Multi-Media Library/User Adoption tool kit, complete with training videos, presentations, tutorials and more! This toolkit will significantly reduce training expenses and help your users adopt more quickly.
Want to hear more about the Upgrade Bridge offer? Visit the Expertise Zone while at ConnectED or contact email@example.com
Would you like to hire Watson to be part of your workforce in action? You will be pleased to hear that Watson can now participate in Connections in the same way a human worker can, as an option available through Social Q&A.
Social Q&A is part of the Expertise 360 suite. It enables users to obtain and reuse answers from questions intelligently routed to subject matter experts throughout your organization. Social Q&A leverages smart analytics to route new questions to the appropriate subject matter experts for timely handling and to build a central repository of questions and answers for reuse.
We now have the capability of adding Watson as an expert that can be polled by Social Q&A, allowing Watson, as an expert in your organisation, to support your workforce in unprecedented ways. An employee could post a question, say, related to one of your products requirements, corporate policies, a question regarding local laws, traveling, etc... Watson will apply the extent of his expertise to answer questions with unmatched speed and efficiency.
Find out more about Social Q&A and about hiring Watson to support your workforce by visiting the Expertise Zone set up at Peacock 1. Jason Gary or David Byrd will be pleased to tell you more.
Tony Cusato is one of our most popular FSS Engineers as he has touched a large number of the products in our portfolio. Tony has been a precursor on the use of our products on virtual platform, on IBM Connections, Docs, Forms Experience Builder, Sametime, Notes/Domino, and Traveler.
Lately, Tony has been focused on IBM Event Connect, an Event Management software that IBM developed and which is used for several of IBM's key events such as ConnectED. If you have been at any of our key events last year, you probably noticed the modern, mobile conference site with social collaboration woven throughout that attendees, presenters and conference organizers have access to before, during and after the event. This facilitates greatly networking, helps conference attendees get the most of their attendance and conference organizers to maximize the value of their current and future events.
Come to meet Tony at the Expertise zone to discuss topics of common interest, to get his input on a challenge you might be facing, or simply just to say "Hi"!
As a certification program manager, I bring together regularly Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from all sources to prepare certification exams. One of the first steps in creating a new exam is determining what will be on it. To do this, I ask my SMEs, “What does a person need to know how to do in order to do XYZ job role?”. Before IBM Connections Docs came along, it was a painful process for me, as all my SMEs began shouting out tasks at once and I had to try to capture them in a document while doing a screen-share.
Now, Docs has simplified greatly this process for me and my team of SMEs. During our brainstorming session, I can simply turn the SMEs loose on a Docs Document and let them type out their ideas in their own words. All of the technical jargon is now spelled correctly! They are able to add onto each other’s thoughts in real time. I can edit their tasks in the background as they brainstorm so that they are formatted correctly so that no further editing is needed later. All of us in the Document can see who has contributed what as each contributor’s text is indicated with a different color. As we are reviewing tasks, we don’t have to wonder who contributed XYZ task because the text clearly indicates who did.
Using Docs, our brainstorming now only takes one session rather than several because difficulties with data capture and frequent editing have been virtually eliminated. The SMEs find Docs to be a very effective tool to collaborate on their exam ideas and are always pleased with the results. I've used Docs for other purposes, but this, by far, is my favorite and most useful way to use Docs.
Based in Austin, Texas, Rena has worked at IBM in a variety of roles for the past 17 years. In that time, she has worked in IBM Notes and Domino Support, the Accelerated Value Program, and now, ICS Education with Certification. She has always stressed knowledge as a way to plan and solve problems.
IBM Customers can get started on their own Expertise journey. The
IBM Software Services team has made the Expertise Analytics,
Expertise Locator, and other applications available for customer
deployments on-premises and in the cloud. More details available in
the IBM Software Services Collaboration community
(https://ibm.biz/issc_community) and the Expertise Locator wiki
page (https://ibm.biz/BdEb9m). My thoughts on the difference
between search and expertise location in this blog entry
Keep watching for the new releases of Touchpoint, Expertise Locator
and Social Q&A.
Contact me or your local ISSC representative for more details.
Things are progressing rapidly in the world of IBM Verse, our new intelligent mail assistant, with a neat "Getting Started" wizzard just released and the Android version of Verse Mobile expected this week (the iOS one is already out).
Personally, I am very impressed by the genius behind the important contacts toolbar, highlighted in red in the enclosed picture of the desktop version. I consider it the "dashboard to my mail file". It presents the counts of unread emails, of what I owe others, of what they owe me, along my important contacts. On Mobile, important contacts appear in a full screen, from which you can see a person's mail by selecting their picture.
What is so great about it?
It helps me be more dynamic! Verse scans my inbox and identifies important correspondants based on the moment. I can make a suggestion of important contact stick through a simple drag and drop or work with the dynamic choices identified by Verse's smarts. Prior to using Verse, I did not adjust to my actual workload my list of important contacts. Verse does it for me now. Verse's recommendations on my cyclic important friends is priceless: they help me adapt to the changing demand.
One clic replaces scrolling. Verse saves me from scrolling to attend my mail. While color coding previously helped me spot important mail, now, I am informed of important arrivals without any browsing thanks to visual cues on this dashboard and a single clic. Nothing falls off to screen.
You've got mail! No, Better: You've got important mail! Verse advises me of any new mail from an important person by a red dot. I can't miss it. Dynamic. Visible. Timely. Effective. If I click on the circled icon representing this person, it shows me the mail related to this person. I am no longer in chasing mode through a list of emails: what is important comes to me in a click.
Act on me! Just as brilliant, are the counts of unread mail and follow up emails, now split in two categories: what I owe others and what they owe me. I always found that I did not attend as regularly as I would like to, my follow up folder. Here, the numbers are nagging me for action!
Without a doubt, the important contacts toolbar is key to my new way to work, a huge time saver and organizer.
Help Desks are the first line of assistance for users when it comes to their user experience with technologies. While the service centers play an important role supporting the success of these applications for the business needs, the help desk information needs are sometimes left unattended. They have to compose with end-user documentation or the administration information, or create their own hybrid mix as the needs arise.
Here is how I typically prepare for a service engagement to bring our experience to the Help Desks:
1- Deep dive into the functionalities enabled at the site
A good understanding of the functionalities used by their users, complemented when it makes sense with how it works in the background, is a wise investment.
2- Review related processes
Often tasked to execute common processes like creating users, groups, fixing issues, a review of these processes can not only ensure they are well understood but it can help unveil some outdated practices or potential improvements that have become available since.
Of course! Troubleshooting scripts. Ensuring they are aware of the existence of valuable information to use it or pass it along. Where to be plugged in to be in the know of the latest. Where they can exchange with people in similar roles using the same technologies. And so on.
When I prepare for such engagement, I often review IBM's own help desk information to identify the popular requests. That's another way of making our customers benefit of the experience of the bigger IBM team.
Accelerated Value Specialist/Field Support Engineer
Based in the United States, Brad Boston has been working in a customer facing role at IBM for the past ten years. In that time the focus has always been not only on problem resolution but on total customer satisfaction. His areas of technical skill include the IBM i platform, Sametime, Traveler and Websphere.
The C2040-TBD: IBM Connections Cloud Fundamentals V1 is currently in the works and will also be a brand new addition to the portfolio. This exam is an entry-level exam covering the features and functions of the IBM Connections Cloud family of products and subscriptions. This overview exam covers all the Connections Cloud subscriptions, including IBM Verse. Candidates successfully completing this exam will receive the IBM Certified Associate - Connections Cloud V1 certification. This exam and certification pair is expected to be released around the first of April 2015.
All for $65,000 msrp Enterprise License (Regular price would be $110,000 for 10K users.)
Offer through December 15, 2014
Do you know what the User Adoption Toolkit includes? In addition to the Multimedia Library content your customer is currently enjoying, with the upgrade to User Adoption Toolkit the customer receives content to assist their development of customized targeted content for their users. For example
Courses that can track user Progress
Customizable Trainer Guides
Lunch-and-Learn Topic Trainers
Widget/Gadget for quick integration into core applications
More info hereor reach out to your local Collaboration Solutions Services representative. Unsure who to contact? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll follow up quickly.
Event Marketing company Omnience Casey Cote talks about the benefits of using IBM Event Connect as an event app. He explains that the social space distinguishes this solution from event apps. It observed that it achieves a higher level of engagement among event planners, participants and speakers through out the conference. Omnience has noticed a higher satisfaction rate among participants since using IBM Event Connect.
The move to the Cloud does not have to be a lonely journey... in fact it should not be! The move to the Cloud is driven by cost,improved agility and innovation, in order to improve business results. Whether it is a back office application that tracks customer behavior, a self service application that reduces cost and improves sales, or a CRM system, they all have one common denominator, business results. Successfully leveraging Cloud computing requires making sure your organization is properly aligned and all roles and responsibilities accounted for. As we accompany various Corporations through their different stages of maturity with their use of the Cloud, I identified five patterns which I would like to share:
1: IT organizations must adapt
A successful move to the Cloud requires awareness and planning for the new roles and responsibilities that come with the move. Today's organizations are built to accommodate the traditional on premise computing model that has been around for decades. Even if parts are outsourced, the model as well as roles and responsibilities remained the same. The life cycle of on premise is spans the gamut from product/technology evaluation, architecture, deployment, operations and support. The environment is under the control of the CIO and the teams are organized for best results. With move to the Cloud,the environment as well as roles and responsibilities required for success are different
2: Change is constant, get used to it
One often overlooked change in moving to the cloud is what is needed to manage change. With on premise computing, change is a critical part of any organization. I have a long history in the change management discipline. I have sat through weeks or months of planning meetings for new hardware and software. Changes to the environment are painstakingly planned, and tested before deployment. Introducing a change with out due diligence can have catastrophic results, taking down mission critical systems and impacting the business. Cloud is much different. No longer do changes come in waves or "releases", instead there is a constant delivery model where changes are made weekly or even daily. To take the best advantage of Cloud an organization must be constantly informed and updated on new features and functions. Business units need to plan to take advantage of the new features and functions, help desks must be aware in order to support users. Above all the customer IT organization must be well informed and as agile as possible.
3: Opportunities abound, the agile will win
Cloud computing brings with it many great opportunities but to fully exploit them, you need to look at your organization. The constant delivery model necessitates changes to everything from application development to help desk. While we typically think of a deployment phase, now we must think of constant exploitation of what the Cloud has to offer. The organization that can identify the way to best leverage Cloud capabilities and do it quickly and constantly, will succeed. Organizations that do not will find the move challenging and will not optimize their investments.
4: Partnership is required for success
We in the IT community have talked about "partnerships" for decades. With the Cloud it is even more imperative that vendors and customers build strong and true partnerships. With the rate of change and today's highly competitive business environment no one can afford time lost due to finger pointing. Instead, the communication needs to be as partners, not as vendor and customer. This applies not only to any issue encountered during the initial set up or migration, but throughout the complete process. Good communication is the key to success.
5: It's ok to be in the dark
Introduction of new features and products, like many aspects of Cloud computing, is vastly different from the on premise model. Unlike on premise, where upgrade decisions are made based on a new release or version of a product, Cloud leverages "dark launch". New features or upgrades can literally be introduced at any time, with limited access granted by the vendor. Now, instead of a 6 month beta period, customers can involve themselves in programs where they can pick and choose new features they want to try. Instead of a "waterfall" approach, the customer must position themselves to constantly evaluate and take advantage of new features.
To help customers to get the most of the Cloud, we crafted a Premier Support offering that offers a higher level of support and can be personalized to the needs.