Let’s say you need an internal expert on polymer filters. Typically the easiest way to discover the elusive expert is to do a web-technology search of your internal collaboration system to find someone, anyone, that may have created content or been labelled via their title as being associated with, polymer filters. But are you really finding what you are looking for?
Expertise involves working with and identifying the most mercurial of resources in any organization, people. Finding an expert isn’t about search, at least not search as defined in the post 90’s computing world, it’s about analytics and behavioral sciences. Experts and finding expertise is about discovery, looking at people via a variety of parameters and attributes to answer what is at least on the surface a simple question: “Whom in my organization is ready, willing, and able to serve as an expert to solve a business problem?”
IBM has spent the better part of seven years of research and active experimentation in creating software, an engine that can find the right person at the right time to solve the specific business challenge that awaits their expertise. IBM’s Expertise Engine can take a query such as, “I need an expert in polymer filters to be in Frankfurt on the 12th of August to meet with Acme customer on a sales opportunity”, and find the right person.
How, you might ask is this even possible? Well Expertise Engine can analyze many of your organizations systems including traditional collaboration systems such as instant messaging and email. It can analyze not only the data in these systems to assign weight and breadth of expertise but also monitor the behavior of experts. If an expert is asked three questions a week and answers them promptly but typically on the fourth question exhibits delay in response the Expertise Engine will absorb that specific expert’s ability to respond and throttle requests accordingly.
Behavior is important. Once the Expertise Engine determines that an individual is an expert in a specific field or fields and routes questions, groups, or other people to that expert, what happens next is just as important as the fundamental identification of expertise. Is the expert thanked after the interaction? Is the thanks made publically or privately? Does the interaction end with a single query or does it vault the expert and the group seeking expertise together into a social graph? Do others seek out that specific expert on that topic?
The Expertise Engine can also look at relationships. If someone is a well determined expert in basket weaving and regularly contacts two other individuals on the topic then the Expertise Engine will begin a determination of expertise of those two individuals in spite of the lack of data establishing them as experts in basket weaving.
So what can you do with an Expertise Engine? Well quite a lot actually. IBM’s Expertise Engine is a platform that we are actively building and selling clients for including Connections Social Q&A and Expertise Locator. With Social Q&A, a question from a user, whom may have no idea of what kind of expert to turn to, is routed to a series of experts, answered, and then the answer itself is curated for the next time a user asks a similar question so an answer is given without ever involving the highly valuable expert. Expertise Locator helps a user find an expert, now, based on the user knowing what kind of expert they need, just not how to find them.
Business Partners of IBM are looking to leverage the Expertise Engine for many diverse use cases. Imagine a project manager setting up a project and having the people they may need to bring the project to fruition already recommended. In learning, what if instead of taking a course, at random being able to simply tell the system I want to be more like one of your mentors, heroes, or colleagues; and have the system identify what makes that person an expert and tailor a program to achieve the enablement goals.
Expertise is truly an elusive find, but it certainly isn’t about search. It is a process of discovery of something that isn’t static but a dynamic fluid of relationships, knowledge, willingness, readiness, and ability. And the expert you may need today, might not be the expert you need tomorrow. While it sounds like science fiction, it isn’t. This technology is available today along with its associated applications from IBM Lab Services.
Jason Roy Gary IBM Director - IBM Distinguished Engineer
CTO IBM Enterprise Social Solutions - Exec Apps and Assets Program
Asia Pacific Lab Services Business Leader - Senior Board Member OpenSocial Foundation
Jason is the thought leader behind the innovative IBM Apps and Assets portfolio. He is the executive technologist behind Expertise 360°, a suite of apps that helps discover Corporate Knowledge and uses analytics to identify sharing patterns to involve the right expert timely, for higher speed in action and greater competitivity.
IBM Verse takes a vastly different approach to enterprise email by integrating the many ways employees connect each day – via email, meetings, calendars, file sharing, instant messaging, social updates, video chats and more - all through a single collaboration environment. It is the first messaging system to feature 'faceted search,' which enables users to pinpoint and retrieve specific information they're seeking across all the various types of content within their email.
IBM Verse uses built-in analytics to provide an ‘at-a-glance’ view that intelligently surfaces an individual’s most critical actions for the day. By learning unique employee preferences and priorities over time, it provides instant context about a given project as well as the people and teams collaborating on it. Clients using IBM Verse will also have the option to embed a Watson feature into their collaboration environment, which enables users to query Watson on a given topic and receive a direct reply with answers ranked by degree of confidence.
“The convergence of analytics, cloud, social and mobile technologies is not just impacting our personal lives, it's profoundly changing how we work,” said Bob Picciano, Senior Vice President, IBM Information and Analytics Group. “These forces are reshaping how people make decisions, create and share new ideas and collaborate across teams to get work done. With IBM Verse, we challenged our design teams to use analytics to completely reimagine the social collaboration experience to focus on engaging people and driving outcomes, not managing messages and inboxes.”
Cemex Chief Technology Officer Gilverto Garcia talks about his experience with Verse:
"The overall design and visual interface immediately caught my attention, there is a simplicity and purpose in how information is presented that makes the entire experience very intuitive. I quickly realized just how much was happening beneath the surface. It gives you a seamless blend of email, social and collaboration capabilities that didn't force me to jump between my inbox, calendar and other apps to share and connect with people. It's hard to even call this email anymore, that's just one facet to what they are delivering with IBM Verse."
What it Takes to Survive and Thrive in Epic Times Thursday, June 04, 2015 12 - 1245 EDT
The world is changing. At the current rate and pace, you might even say these are epic times! Market factors and technological shifts are affecting every industry. Professions aren't what they were even five years ago.
As a business leader, you can take advantage of this combination of events and also use them as catalysts for growth. When done and done well, you'll find this can make the difference between merely surviving and thriving.
Social Media Today
Social Business Manager
Executive in Residence
Beyond Budgeting Round Table NA
If your an existing IBM Notes/Domino customer, and looking to move your email to SmartCloud Notes or our new IBM Verse technology, you'll need to configure a hybrid environment to move your mailboxes to the Cloud. An hybrid environment provides a number of other important benefits.
If your considering a hybrid configuration, consider deploying the hybrid components and existing Domino applications in SoftLayer. Softlayer provides a number of unique benefits including a competitive monthly or hourly charge rate with no long-term commitments. It also has an wide variety of configurations including virtalized and bare-metal configurations. Customer can get computing images provisioned within hours globally in one of our many Softlayer data centers. With the available firewall options, you can have the environment up and running quickly and securely.
My experience with leveraging SoftLayer as the foundation for Hybrid configurations has been extremely positive. A first plus is the global network of SoftLayer data centers which allows the deployment of hybrid servers in relative proximity to users within an organization and IBM's Connections Cloud Data center's.
SoftLayer can also host your on-premise Domino applications or Sametime services and be a co-location of Security, Hygiene or DLP services.
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 the ISSC America’s Technology Council, an affiliate member of the IBM Academy of Technology.
The dreaded call spike from a new version of software is the nightmare all Service Desk professionals have experienced. Service Level metrics, staffing and productivity all suffer when we deploy new versions of software, especially when the User interface has changed. Remember “Where is the Print Button?” from the new Office 2007 ribbon? That simple interface change stimulated a 47% rise in Service Desk calls for a 90 day rolling period in countless organizations. Answering ‘spike’ questions disrupts service levels, creates staffing challenges, and causes delays in agents resolving more complex diagnostic issues. By using pre-emptive intervention and a continuous ‘User Adoption Campaign’, Service Desks are able to smooth the implementation change for End Users and minimize the Service Desk metric levels.
Continuous Campaigns is a way to think about the solution from an End Users’ perspective. Like an advertising agency, we need to ‘touch’ the ‘consumer’ 13 times to change behavior. If we are going to do that, we need tools and programs that intersect with the End User (aka Spike Caller!) at every point in the users’ learning progression in the their new application environment. The chart below illustrates some of the resources that can be deployed in concert to minimize disruption and enhance productivity.
User Adoption Tools (UAT) are the key to running Continuous Campaigns that will keep spike calls to a minimum. UAT materials can be as simple as what the Service Desk has always known as a ‘Cheat Sheet’. These 2 page basic How-To guides are essential for Agents, so why not for ‘Consumers’ (aka End Users)? How about a short commercial that gives a preview of the new software? A Tip of the Week email as the product is launched? Or Lunch and Learn Topic slide presentations? Deploying a range of resources that can get in front of questions as they occur or stimulate questions when we are ready to take them is a good thing for both the User and the Service Desk. New user interfaces and changes to software design are as frustrating to End Users productivity as it is the Service Desk efficiency!
Our job is to get IT Users back to work! … and get them up to speed on new software quickly. Think about how you can contribute to Continuous Campaigns and how you might build User Adoption Tools that pre-empt the spike that will occur AGAIN with Windows 10 and Office 2016.
Keith Gibson, CEO
Keith is a 15 year veteran of the Service Desk industry where he has focused on the role of Knowledge in the support equation. His experience includes very large as well as startup service desks. He has worked for IBM, KPMG, Sykes Enterprises before founding his own business over 15 years ago. Knowledge Accelerators was founded with the belief that once table driven applications accelerated application deployment, the speed an organization can adapt to changes is then constrained by the speed knowledge can be assimilated by the end ‘consumers’ of the knowledge.
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.
Manager of Communications, Offerings and Knowledge Development
Based in Canada, Diane has been working in IBM's Collaboration Services division for eighteen years. Her team supports the Social Business Support and Services teams for their Communications, Marketing, Service Offerings, Knowledge Management and Education needs. Her favorite blogging topics are subjects related to creativity and innovation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.