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).
IBM Software Services for Collaboration Blog
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To continue our ConnectEd Expertise Zone blog series, I'd like introduce Charlie Price.
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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.
Meet Andre Hagemeier, IT Specialist
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To continue our ConnectEd Expertise Zone blog series, I'd like to introduce Wes Morgan.
You can listen to and meet Wes:
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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.
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.
Cynthia Oehmig 110000BG7P firstname.lastname@example.org 280 Visits
From the desk of Scott Rogers
Our discussions with customers have begun to identify use cases for Expertise solutions in different lines of business. Recently, we explored Customer Service and how processes within that group can be enhanced with Expertise services.
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As part of the acquisition of IBM's X86 business, Lenovo needed to migrate users out of IBM systems. Thy chose T-Systems who provides the engine for our Content Migration Factory to help them quickly move content to the cloud. For more information on the Lenovo migration check out the article in Computer Weekly online. For more information on our Content Migration Factory see the sales kit in this community.
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Promotional offer available September 15th thru December 15, 2014.
All for $65,000 msrp Enterprise License (Regular price would be $110,000 for 10K users.)
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
More info here or reach out to your local Collaboration Solutions Services representative. Unsure who to contact? Send an email to email@example.com and we'll follow up quickly.
Scott Rogers 110000CCX3 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  expertise linkedin collect profiles touchpoint onboarding 869 Visits
Capturing Expertise - User Onboarding Example
In this entry, we'll explore in a little more detail how to capture indications of user expertise during the onboarding process.
Previous entries have mentioned the IBM Connections Touchpoint application, which is a solution positioned to address the "blank page" problem: a social platform has been deployed, user accounts have been activated, and the message goes out to people to start using the system. The trouble is, that without proscribed tasks or guided actions, new users may navigate to the solution and not engage because profiles are empty, social networks do not exist, or communities or practice have not been established. Touchpoint helps to kickstart these activities.
Enhancing the Experience
As we developed the family of Expertise solutions, it was natural to use the initial and engaging Touchpoint experience as a mechanism to gather additional indications of expertise.
We chose LinkedIn as an important external system from which to capture data, and utilized an opt-in model for each user to access their profile, social network, and contact info.
- Details from the LinkedIn profile were used to populate the IBM Connections profile
- Skills & Endorsements from LinkedIn were added as Tags on the IBM Connections profile
- 1st and 2nd degree connections in the LinkedIn social network generated invitations to corresponding users in IBM Connections
The users choose whether to incorporate LinkedIn data or not; if not, they can skip over this section. They can also selectively choose which elements from LinkedIn gets added to their IBM Connections profile.
After the LinkedIn extraction, we retained the remainder of the core Touchpoint features:
- Additional Tags were recommended based on the user location and job role
- Additional People were recommended based on the data captured in the steps above
- Communities were recommended based on the data captured in the steps above
By priming the IBM Connections profile with these details, we were able to drive user adoption in the initial weeks of deployment. Some statistics from recent projects include:
- Manufacturer with over 30,000 profile completions within the first 2 weeks
- Technology company with 80% profile completion within 4 days
With expertise more accurately indicated in the IBM Connections Profile, we found that in one case of 2,000 users they saved at least 30 minutes each week locating experts to answer questions. The result for them was $130,000 in annual savings
For More Information
To discuss how best to utilize IBM Connections and IBM Expertise solutions in your environment, please contact your local ISSC representative or send inquiries to email@example.com
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and let us know what you think? How could you use IBM Connections Social Sidebar?
We'd love for you to post comments and questions in this Community, but if you prefer email, send to us at email@example.com
Scott Rogers 110000CCX3 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  issc analytics search expertise isscapps 841 Visits
What's the Difference Between Search and Expertise Analytics?
During discussions with customers about the advanced capabilities of IBM Software Services' Expertise solutions, I find myself describing the differences between simple searches, enterprise searches, and the expertise analytics that we utilize. This blog summarizes those thoughts and explains why expertise analytics provides much better results than keyword or attribute searches.
Let's build up a series of layers representing different data sets and what results can be made available when trying to find an expert.
Directory - a simple attribute search
The foundation layer is the directory; that simple repository used for authentication and authorization which provides basic information like name, email address, phone number and office location. It provides answers to questions like "What is Scott's phone number". When extended to include job functions and titles, it can be used in a limited sense for expertise location by surfacing results to a search for "Certified Project Manager".
User Profile - aggregating what we know about a person
The next layer up is the user profile; a container into which we can aggregate additional details about a person. Solutions like IBM Connections provide a rich container of structured and unstructured data, aggregating details in three different dimensions
With this rich profile in place I have a strong foundation for a profile search in order to locate experts. I can search for keywords and be presented with the people that have a match on that topic based on profile attributes and tags. The rich social profile is so important that we've developed a solution to rapidly capture information into it. More on IBM Connections Touchpoint in a future blog.
Content Contributions - expertise inference through publication
Any content that is contributed by a person is also a strong indicator of their expertise. IBM Connections have many containers for this purpose in the form of Files, Blogs, Wikis, Forums and Activities. Looking for an expert based on a topic keyword at this layer is similar to an enterprise search. It is very powerful and returns a large results set based on different content types. By focussing on the authors of the content, we can screen the results down to the most likely people having expertise in the needed area, and pivot to their profile to find out how to contact them. However, enterprise search results typically return a large volume of results, causing the searcher to segregate and apply filters to sift down to the real experts.
Recommendations - an application of profile and content analytics
So content and enterprise searches produce a lot of results that might overwhelm a user, and in large systems it is impossible to keep track of new people and new content as it is created. Hence the need for the Recommendations component within IBM Connections. This is an application of profile and content analytics to serve up important people and publications based on your areas of expertise. In this scenario, potential experts are served up for you consideration based on the attributes and actions you share.
The power of IBM Connections searching...
All these layers combine to form the core of IBM Connections, using search and recommendations to locate experts. It is very powerful stuff and many customers are at this part of the journey. They may have just determined a corporate directory strategy, deployed IBM Connections Profiles and begun aggregating additional data sources onto the profile, and started to use some of the content elements to capture the contributions from experts.
These elements form a repository of explicit expertise: we have specific tags, published content, and certification tracking levels stamped on the profile. What else do we have as an implicit indicator of expertise, or ways to make the results set of potential experts better?
...but let's harness the social platform and do more
Since IBM Connections is a rich social platform and we use these additional elements to reach out to more experts and refine the results to present the best experts to meet the need.
By taking these additional factors into account, the results set of experts moves from "Who has the skill?" to a much richer answer of "Who is the best at helping on this topic at this time?"
These additional factors are what IBM Software Services is incorporating in our series of IBM Expertise Solutions. Content within IBM Connections, as well as external content in enterprise systems, is analyzed and indexed according to standard full text practices and the more advanced social factors. We can then incorporate the expertise analytics into a variety of use cases:
For More Information
To get started, we recommend customers schedule a free IBM Expertise workshop. Contact the IBM Software Services representative in your area to learn more.
Scott Rogers 110000CCX3 email@example.com Tags:  issc connections migration content 1,529 Visits
Migrating Content to IBM Connections
In my previous blog, I summarized the components of the Move to Connections offering from our services team
This week, let's dive a little deeper into how content is migrated, staying with the Jive example.
The migration of Jive content into Connections is completed using IBM Content Migration Factory, following an Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) process.
Extraction of content is achieved using a migration software tool. The tool identifies content for migration using a web spider approach. The extraction process takes an ‘offline’ copy of the content items and stores them in the software repository. This ensures there is no impact on the current content as it exists in the Jive places.
Transformation of the content is then applied once the content has been identified, it is processed through the migration tool engine. This process involves a series of steps/tasks that perform the required transformations to enable the content to fit the target environment. These transformations can range in complexity depending on the source content structures and its intended target. For Jive content, we have a specific set of transformation rules that accelerates this step.
Loading the content into the Connections instance is the final step after the content has successfully been processed to meet the target requirements. This load process leverages the published API of the Connections instance, ensuring the content is processed through the recommended Connections interface.
All content that has been through the migration process is fully auditable and a mapping is produced to show the source and new target location for each content item migrated.
We conduct the work using these steps
Source Analyis - take inventory of the content, perform a test conversion, and create the plan for the migration
Additional Transformations - if you have some unique requirements, we can define and apply additional transformation rules
Validation - Execute a mini-migration and have you validate that the content is migrated as expected. We can adjust the transformation rules if needed.
Execution - Based on the plan, stage the cutover date and execute the migration
Delta Execution - If you have a large environment, or one that cannot be frozen during the migtration testing, we can go back and migrate the 'deltas' or migrate the content in multiple waves.
Each of the Jive content types is migrated into a corresponding Connections element:
For More Infomation
Content you local IBM Software Collaboration Services representative
Scott Rogers 110000CCX3 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  connections offering announcement migration webinar 2,292 Visits
Earlier today, we conducted a webnar entitled: "Sharing in the Digital Economy Just Got Easier: See how the number one social business platform can help you do it all"
During that presentation, we annouced a targeted services offering to migrate customers onto IBM Connections. It combines the best aspects of our services deployment experience, solution assets, and capabilities to provide a fully-managed solution for customers coming from Jive, SharePoint, or other solutions.
Let's look at the components of the solutions in a little more detail, using the scenario of 5,000 users in a managed service.
Infrastructure provided by IBM Softlayer
We configure a private cloud environment, with all the needed web, application, directory, database, and storage services for a full-fledged solution. Public cloud options also exist, but we expect customers to want a dedicated environment with the flexibility to customize to their specific needs.
Operations provided by IBM and Certified Business Partners
Infrastructure, operating system, and applications services are managed and monitored by IBM and our business partners. A customer could chose to manage the infrastrucutre with their IT team, but we expect IT staffs are fully utilized such that it makes sense for IBM to take on those operational responsibilities. Either way, an IBM Solution Specialist is the primary point of contact for managing the service and acting as liaison with the cusotmer.
The Full Power of IBM Connections...
IBM Connections is then deployed to the private, managed environment. Our customers can control the features, and add additional capabilties as needed. IBM SmartCloud Connections and IBM SmartCloud Engage offer many of the standard Connections features in a full SaaS model, but if a customer has unique requirements this environment can support them.
...and Much More
We then load some extra capabilties into the solution.
Figure 1. TimetoAct XCC
XCC provides content presentation management and is great for a department like corporate communications. A home page is configured to showcase important announcements, from one, or more, communities.
Within that managed page you can present controlled and personalized content, some items make sense for employees, others for contractors, and the page includes the logic to present the proper content to the right people.
We'll use our automated migration tools to move the people, places, and content from your existing solution into the managed Connections environment. For example,the places, groups and project sites in Jive transition into IBM Connections Communities. As part of that move, membership lists and access roles are preserved. The Jive content then becomes Connections content within the community.
To get started, we recommend customers schedule a free Move To Connections workshop. Contact the IBM Software Services representive in your area to learn more.
Figure 3. Move to IBM Connections Workshop