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.
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.
Have you heard about IBM Event Connect? It's an event management software, allowing participants to connect through a social network, ahead, during and after an event. The social approach is great to extend the event beyond these few days that are so expensive for everyone - the planners as well as the participants.
Available prior to the event, participants can meet other attendees and presentors to plan their event. It is a clear advantage to be able to find new contacts in a network of people with similar interests and whom you may decide to plan to meet. The conversation can mature sooner than if it just starts at the event. This is similar to the experience you get when you take a course remotely and then meet the other course participants in person: you don't start from scratch and you are already clear on who you want to prioritize to meet.
More ecologic, an event management tool saves a ton of weight on the participants shoulders and a ton of work to the event planners with the simplified logistics. The analytics also allow the planners to adjust the delivery in real time, like to add more high demand sessions and be able to communicate it to the participants. It also provides them insight for the planning of their future events.
With the large scales of today's conferences, you want to make sure you don't miss anything or anyone when you invest to go there. Conferences are for accelerated networking because so much is already available locally and virtually. If I go out of my way to participate to a professional event, I want it to be worthwhile. A tool like IBM Event Connect provides accelerates the quality of the networking, leading to higher quality discussions sooner and a more satisfying event experience. This is good for both the participant and the planners!
Find out more about IBM Event Connect by visiting regularly its home page which I also bookmarked in this community.
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.
Those of you interested by detailed technical news for the maintenance and support of your IBM Collaboration products, you may be interested to visit and become a member of our sister blog site, the IBM Collaboration Solutions Support blog, which I added to our important bookmarks for your future reference.
Featured this week, some news that you may be interested in:
- A reminder about End Of Service reached on April 30 for the following products: Notes-Domino 8.0x, Sametime 8.0x, Sametime Entry 8.5x, to name a few. It is possible to purchase a service extension for some products through your services contact.
At the IBM Amplify 2015 conference next week, May 11-13, you'll learn how IBM can help you deliver the engagement that your customers expect and your business requires. When it comes to customer engagement, the ability to make the right decisions and take the right actions based on a consistent and meaningful view of each customer is critical for success.
If you are registered for Amplify 2015, you can log into IBM Event Connect now to learn about the exciting events planned for the week and begin building your event agenda before you arrive. IBM Event Connect also helps you grow your social network before and during Amplify 2015, and stay connected after the event has ended.
And IBM Event Connect provides convenient mobile access to all your Amplify 2015 planning and networking needs through the IBM Event Connect mobile apps for iOS and Android.
With IBM Event Connect, you don't have to miss anything or anyone when you attend Amplify 2015. You accelerate the value of networking, leading to higher quality discussions sooner and a more satisfying event experience. IBM Event Connect is the best way to get the most out of your Amplify 2015 event experience.
Did you know that IBM has created an exclusive member services site just for IBM Certification Professionals?
The IBM Certification Member Site is full of great resources to help you share your certification experience with the world. For example, members can create a unique profile page that will share your certifications and allow you to describe your accomplishments. Then you are able to share this unique profile with anyone you choose using a friendly URL. Members may also order premium or wallet-sized certificates and update their demographic information at the site.
To register at the site, you will need an IBM ID and a testing ID.
Working as a Field Support Engineer, the majority of our service engagements are tailored to the specific needs of a client. One of my favorite types of engagements is delivering deep dive sessions onsite at customers.
I just returned from delivering two customers engagements delivering IBM Sametime 9 enablement onsite to administrators. Sametime is a product that delivers a front end user experience that depends so much on a variety of interacting products which vary greatly from configuration to configuration. The best way to keep the skills fresh and focused is often to do it with an environment review.
I spend most of my time with a select group of products. The exposure allowed by a year of engagements builds an experience rapidly, not to mention the ongoing experience sharing with peers in a similar role, in Support or with Development worldwide. During a customer engagement, I typically discover new opportunities to help on things beyond the intended product training, as the conversation leads sometimes to wishes, odd "esoteric experiences", past issues or just a question that bring to light unmet needs that I can sometime address on the spot. At minimum, the training allows us to focus specifically on the components used, helping the installation overall and the manpower driving it.
Doing such training onsite definitely delivers value more than once.
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.
In an interview delivered to IBM Thoughts on Cloud at the recent IBM Innovation event, renowned public speaker Guy Kawasaki shared how Cloud has been an enabler for innovation. A summary of the interview along with the recording can be accessed by cliking on the image below.
During the interview, Kawasaki noted that Cloud computing made innovation and entrepreneurship more affordable for the past decade. Cloud lifted important set up cost barriers, opening markets to more suppliers of all means and consequently, more choices for the consumer. His suggestion is compete on a strategy of a differentiated valuable product.
Creating value in today's competitive market happens through a series of success or lessons by the customer side. In that context, he shared that entrepreneurs never loose: they either succeed or they learn. This iterative process leads to steady and meaningful progress.
Reflecting on his career, he sees two key roles in a business: making a product or selling it. This observation is very much in line with American management consultant Peter Drucker, who stated that "because its purpose is to make a customer, the business has two - and only two - functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation create value, all the rests are costs."
As an enabler to make innovation accessible to all, Cloud helps reduce the costs component of the equation so businesses can focus on creating value.
Diane Morneau, M.Sc.
Manager of Communications, Offerings and Knowledge Development
Based in Canada, Diane has been working in the Collaboration Services division for eighteen years. Her team supports the Social Business Support and Services team for their Communications, Marketing, Service Offerings, Knowledge Management and Education needs. Her favorite blogging topics are subjects related to creativity and innovation.
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.
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.
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.
Our YouTube channel, ICSSupportVideos, delivers short 5-6 minutes videos on a variety of topics related to our products - best practices, configuration tips, demonstrations and so on. Subscribe and be one of the first advised of new postings!
Here are a few recent submissions:
Connections Touchpoint demo
In this demonstration, Scott Rogers, Collaboration Consultant, shows how a new user can be routed through the Touchpoint application to build their profile and social network.
A brief overview of the Websphere SSL Configuration area as used by the Sametime product family
An overview by Tony Payne, as part of a Sametime Open Mic session titled "SSL and Sametime: POODLE Training 101" delivered in March.
Install and configure IBM Notes client for federated login (SAML) on a PC workstation
In this video, Frank Meng and J Rajendran explain how to install and configure IBM Notes client for federated login (SAML) on a new or an additional PC workstation.
Times: 10am ET / 10 pm Malaysia OR 12am ET / 12pm Malaysia
We have an incredible agenda lined up. Jeff Schick, Vice President of IBM Enterprise Social Solutions, will discuss how collaboration in the cloud can help companies realize cost savings and operational efficiencies, plus how IBM and our partners can help companies achieve this success. Several clients will also speak about their move to IBM Connections on Cloud.
In addition, we will demo the power of IBM Verse -- cloud delivered email that works for you. IBM Verse uses Design Thinking and analytics to bring together email, meetings, calendars, file sharing, instant messaging, social updates, and more – all in a single, intuitive, collaborative environment. This is mail reimagined for a new way to work, with a seamless array of social and mobile capabilities.