Join us as we discuss application assets that our customers are using to drive greater adoption of IBM Connections. We will discuss Touchpoint for guided onboarding of new users, Social Sidebar for lightweight integration with other systems, the User Adoption Toolkit for contextual tutorials of features, and Invite to facilitate collaboration with people outside your organization. In addition, we'll point you to more resources to get the most out of your IBM Connections environment.
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.
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.
In this Open Mic 6 minutes replay, AVL Jim Dewan describes how to incorporate Connections into your software solution monitoring/troubleshooting and performance analysis into a dynamic dashboard to oversee your Connections environment. In this short video, he presents how to collect client response time data throughout the environment and share it within the friendly confines of a Connections Community. Leveraging the Connections mobile client for this data provides access from any place, any time, and anywhere. The key to adoption rates of Connections is to deliver necessary data within various teams. Real time system status and response times metrics, information that is constantly changing, is a great way to increase usage of a Connections Community. Teams then document their knowledge around these real time stats leveraging the powerful features of Connections.
Available also for other ICS products, Watchit is a no cost monitoring and performance reporting tool available via IBM Greenhouse. It is a platform independent tool with some great Connections monitors and stress testing. There are minimal software requirements such as Python and a JRE. For Connections, it leverages the REST apis to create content for performance/functional analysis and to then push the results into a Connections Community if desired.
Over the course of the next months, I plan to bring to contribution in this forum various experts from our Services, Support and Client Success team to discuss things that matter to you.
I work with a great team of innovative folks. I introduced a few in January but there are 800 more of them across the globe! Even though I have been onboard for quite a few years myself, it is only recently that I discovered in more depth some of the great work taking place.
Provide me your input! Let me know what you are particularly interested in. We can give insight on our entire portfolio of collaboration products and services including education. We can point you to good articles and resources to be aware of.
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
In order to allow you 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!
Vouchers are good for 6 months, until July 31, 2015.
Vouchers can be used at any Pearson Vue testing center worldwide. Locate one at pearsonvue.com
Vouchers may only be used for ICS exams. Find those at ibm.co/1k9htjw.
A maximum of one voucher per attendee.
Come to meet us at the Expertise Zone to get a voucher.
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!
To continue our ConnectEd Expertise Zone blog series, I'd like introduce Rob Gearhart.
Located in Austin, Texas, Rob is an extremely valuable member of the IBM Support team. With years of emergency on-site experience, Rob leads by doing and has become an exceptional leader and troubleshooter within IBM. Rob has a deep understanding of memory management and problem determination tooling, which has enabled him to solve the toughest of performance problems for our customers.
On Wednesday, January 28 at 10:30 - 11:30 AM EST, Rob will be presenting "Digital Nightmares - The Biggest Performance Killers in Your Environment" in Mockingbird 1-2 rooms of Walt Disney World's Swan Resort.
We are looking forward to meet you at ConnectED. This year, the AVP Red Carpet Lounge and the Lab Services Zone merged in one room that you don't want to miss: the Expertise Zone.
Discover our innovative solutions to build Organizational Expertise and meet other engaged event participants interested in the same. Our experts have been helping customers worldwide extend the power of Social to accelerate employee engagement and to build greater collective knowledge.
This lead us to extend our portfolio of solutions to help the popular shift to the Cloud and to expand the value of Connections. If you find that expertise sharing is not happening fast enough in your organization, you want to hear about our solutions. We now have social project and innovation management solutions for you. As discussed earlier this week, we will preview Project MUSE, a framework allowing cloud and on-premise customers to be early adopters even with a customized environment. We will present our three tier level of support for cloud customers, maximizing your ROI, providing a higher priority service level and providing expert assistance for the adoption and full benefit of the Cloud. We can help you move to cloud extremely fast and efficiently thanks to SmartCloud Migration Factory and bring your Domino applications along. Last but not least, if you have been busy and missed the upcoming end of service of Notes 8.0, Domino 8.0 and Sametime 8.0, we can help you bridge to a supported release with our Upgrade Bridge offering with an extra!
Lots of action and even more! Drop by the Expertise Zone to meet our hosts. We'll be more than happy to answer your questions and talk about our solutions.
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"!
Rooted in same projects that gave birth to Watson, IBM's cognitive technology, several products have been in development by our collaboration consulting group to do one thing: unlock Corporate Knowledge. Three words may sound simple but they have huge implications given expertise is typically spread across multiple niche applications (e-mails, presentations, communities, databases, etc.) which often spans across different vendors. From emails with short-lived visibility to communities that mushroom so fast in growing organizations that self serve search time and human switchboards become key impediments, Corporate Knowledge is often partly hidden or spread too wide to support well an agile workforce.
That's exactly the agenda behind the six years of work done by our consulting practice. Expertise 360 refers to a series of growing apps that take different angles at discovering and planning the expansion of Corporate Expertise. Let me give you some examples:
One tool is set to recuperate the knowledge stored in various product structures, whether the applications are IBM's or third party, to build a central corpus accessible through our social software.
Another application studies social sharing patterns to identify experts and their readiness to share to help the workforce route their queries. No human can keep up with it fast enough in large organizations so technology helps greatly here.
Another tool builds FAQs for reuse: this is helpful to avoid wasting expert cycles on questions already answered and to programmatically ensure the corpus remains current with actuality. The workflow ensures that answers are gathered timely and new, Watson can be one of your experts!
A couple more help build mobile learning campaigns and follow the progress of your enablement initiatives via a dashboard and measure them against goals.
These are just a few of the tools under the umbrella of Expertise 360 that you can discover while at ConnectED. Drop by the Expertise Zone and see for yourself how they can help build your Smarter Workplace.
If you are not attending and would like to hear more about these tools, just let us know and we will connect you!
To continue our ConnectEd Expertise Zone blog series, I'd like introduce Charlie Price.
If you've worked with IBM Support on your IBM Connections deployment you may have had the pleasure to work with Charlie. Charlie has spent over five years as Technical Team Lead in IBM Connections Support and is one of our most senior Support Engineers. Charlie is based out of Atlanta, Georgia.
On Tuesday, January 27 at 2:30 - 3:30 PM EST, Charlie will be presenting "Fast Lane to IBM Connections 5" in Southern Hemisphere Salon 1 of Walt Disney World's Dolphin Resort.
In his presentation, Charlie will help you build a Connections 5.0 migration and go-live plan. He will also teach you how to enable some popular new features in Connections 5.0, such as Survey Widget, IBM Docs, the Docs viewers, the Ephox editor, the Desktop plugins and more! He has a wealth of knowledge about how Connections integrates with other products.
On Tuesday or Wednesday morning, stop by to meet Charlie with your IBM Connections questions at Expertise Zone (Peacock 1 in Walt Disney World Resort's Swan Resort).
Today, I'd like to introduce Gaganpreet (Ginni) Saini. Ginni is a senior member of our Sametime Level 2 Support team. With over ten years of experience in troubleshooting challenging customer situations and implementing real-time enterprise web conferencing applications, Ginni has a wealth of knowledge. She focuses on our Sametime product but has skills in many areas from application development to code debugging.
On Wednesday, January 28 at 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM EST, Ginni will be presenting "Connect the Dots: IBM Sametime Audio/Video Planning, Deployment, Troubleshooting and Beyond" in Swan meeting rooms 7-10 of Walt Disney World's Swan Resort. During her presentation, she will delve into deploying and administering Sametime media services, a very popular topic lately. You will build an understanding of how the Sametime media pieces work together to provide media services to the end user, and will learn how to troubleshoot the audio/video issues in your existing deployment.
You can also speak with Ginni at the Expertise Zone (set up in Peacock 1) on Monday, January 26 between 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM EST, and on Tuesday, January 27, between 8:30 - 12:00 PM EST.
Interested in seeing a demo of our social business applications at ConnectED? Stop by the Expertise Lab, located in Peacock 1 at the Swan. Here's a peek at what we'll be showing.
Establish robust expertise profiles by guiding users through the process with IBM Connections Touchpoint
Find relevant experts quickly with the IBM Expertise Locator mobile application
Route questions to experts and capture their answers with IBM Connections Social Q&A
Visualize future user experience patterns with Project MUSE (hear more about Muse at ConnectED)
Expand beyond your firewall safely with IBM Connections Invite (coming soon!)
Communicate privately within Connections with IBM Connections Direct Messaging
Stay connected to your social content from any web page with IBM Connections Social Sidebar
Receive effective multimedia learning when you need it with the User Adoption Toolkits
Manage communications and collaboration content together with Collaboration Services for TIMETOACT XCC
Provide Social Project Management for the enterprise with Collaobration Services for ProjExec
Manage the crowd-sourced creative process with HYPE Innovation for Connections
After setting the stage with Bridge to Cloud, Move to Cloud with SmartCloud Upgrade Factory
Move the content from legacy systems to WCM and Connections with IBM Content Migration Factory
Accelerate the deployment and management of the XDX and Social environments with AutoDeploy
Andre Hagemeier is one of our WebSphere Portal and Connections specialists from Germany. His specialty lies in the extensive customization of Portal behavior to suit the clients' needs. He has deep knowledge of the underlying application server architecture and functioning and the Java runtime itself. He has been the core developer of the deployment and middleware automation asset IBM Autodeploy for WebSphere Portal. He is one of our top experts on Connections development, extension and customization.
At ConnectED, André will be teaming with Enno Scholz from Hype, to discuss the work they have been doing to support Innovation Management in large global organizations. They will talk about Hype Innovation for Connections which significantly improves the support for ideation, the selection of the ideas of highest potential, their implementation and success tracking. For instance, this app permits the prominent positioning of Idea campaigns for higher participation rates. It also integrates evaluation wizards. These are just a few of the enhancements that it brings to your Connections space.
Meet André at the Expertise Zone through-out the event to share his expertise on this solution, the Apps portfolio or Project Muse. We invite those who have questions or want to hear more about Hype Innovation for Connections, to come to meet him at the Expertise Zone on Monday, between 3PM and 4PM.
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.
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.
This week, I plan to introduce several of our Service Professionals who will be at ConnectED, present at our Expertise Zone, set up in Peacock 1 at the Swan Hotel in Walt Disney's Resort.
Let me start by introducing Jason Roy Gary. Distinguished engineer, Jason is the Chief Technology Office of IBM Collaboration Solutions, the though leader behind the innovative IBM Apps and Assets portfolio. If you are not familiar with the portfolio, follow this blog where we will continue to provide insight on this great set of applications that complement and enhance the business value of Connections.
Jason is the executive technologist behind Expertise 360. This is a suite of apps that help surface Corporate Knowledge. It discovers the knowledge dispersed in a unique mix of infrastructure and skilled workforce to support your speed in action and your competitivity. Expertise 360 boosts the reuse of your corporate expert knowledge by gathering it to a central source and uses analytics to identify sharing patterns to involve the right experts timely. The net result: you can plan, track and extend the development of your workforce expertise.
IBM ISSC Project Muse is a project that explores the capacity of customization for Cloud products, which efficiency is essentially the result of standardized configurations and standards. Economies of scale, rapid adoption of the latest releases as delivered by the DevOps model, faster performance at the client, and the competitive advantage of one-time and scaling customization: together in one package! We are looking as well into applying this framework to on-premise applications as well.
Come to meet Jason or one of our Lab Services experts at the Expertise Zone to find out more about this most innovative set of tools.
For those not attending ConnectED: don't panic! Jason will be visiting this blog regularly in 2015. So stay tuned!