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.
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"!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
During my tenure these past three years as the Exam Development Manager for IBM Collaboration Solutions, I've been contacted regularly by candidates who feel that they've run across a bad question on an exam they've recently taken. Frequently, however, I'm unable to look into the issue as I don't have enough information to find the question. Here are some tips if you think you've found a questionable question:
DO NOT take out your phone to get a picture of the question. If you take your phone out during your testing session, you could lose credit for your exam if you are caught by a proctor as it could be considered cheating.
Look for a 'Comment' button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen for each question. Use that button to enter any comments about questions you think might not be correct.
If for some reason there is no 'Comment' button or you forget to use it, try to remember significant information about the question. For example, is there a person's name in it? What was the topic? What were a few of the options? What was your issue with it? Then, send me an email with that information.
If you cannot send me the information above, I cannot help you. Telling me the question was "number five" on your exam won't help me as the questions are randomized for each person's exam.
I review the comments received periodically and take corrective action as needed.
ICS Certification Program Manager
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.
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.
Often, there is a need to collect the additional information from end-users, making sure tacit indicators of expertise get reflected into systems. For that, we use IBM Connections Touchpoint to assist a customer service representative in completing their expertise profile.
Answering the Question
A common scenario resolves around a supported constituent having a question. The question is posed to the support team and one of the service representatives answers it. Many support departments use question categorization and support queues to align the question with a targeted workgroup of service representatives. By using IBM Connections Social Q&A, we can streamline that process. When the user enters their question, related questions are served up as links, allowing the user to obtain their answer from previously populated repositories. When entering the question, the user does not need to know whom is the best expert nor where is the best queue to place it within. The Social Q&A solution will automatically route it to the best team of experts based on the question content, the expertise profiles, and contributions of the support team. The experts are notified within their workstream and do not need to monitor queues nor switch context in order to access other systems. Once answered, the requester sees the response within their news stream.
Finding the Expert
Additional experts are sometimes needed to address a support inquiry. IBM Expertise Locator quickly finds experts based on geography, job role, and expertise topic from any workstation or mobile device. Once identified the experts can be contacted via phone, message or social platform and added into a growing network of favorite and connected experts.
Indications of expertise can be found in many systems throughout the enterprise. By using IBM Expertise Discovery, data from many systems can be aggregated and analyzed for use in the scenarios above.
Common Support Systems
IBM Expertise Solution
Requester navigates through a tree of categories or call queues
Requester can pose question directly and the solution will route to the proper queue and team of experts
Requester must perform a search of FAQ and previous answers
Related questions and their answers are automatically linked for the requester to access
Support personnel are assigned to monitor a queue
Work items are automatically routed to support personnel based on their expertise
Support teams are assigned based on supervisors understanding of their expertise
Expertise is systematically based on certification levels; declarations made by the enterprise, peers and individual; published contributions; and willingness to assist.
September makes me think of transformation. Back to school, students start a new year of learning that further expands their skills and the way they think. Inspired by the season, I invite you to discover a paper from the IBM Institute for Business Value on the topic of transforming the business through Social Business:
It discusses the opportunities provided by social business practices by many organizations involved in this transformation today. This research revealed three major areas of focus for such efforts:
Create valued customer experiences
Drive workforce productivity and effectiveness
For each of these areas, the paper explains how companies are doing it today and highlights basic practices, leading edge practices and future directions. For instance, here is a summary of the discussion on the first point:
Creating valued customer experiences
Doing today / Methods of engagement
Basic / Leading Edge / Future
Listening and engaging
60% provide self-service and agent-based support via social platforms (78% in 2 years)
55% solicit customer reviews and opinions (79% in 2 years) through one or a mix of practices such as:
Mining conversations to determine customer sentiment, purchasing preferences and overall market trends
Crowdsourcing insights to products and services to allow customers to rank them and review new design
Influencing influencers to obtain unique insights and gain mindshare
Develop organization-wide, cross-functional approach to listening and responding to customers
Integrate insights from customer conversations with purchase and usage data to innovate and personalize offerings
Design customized “storefronts” that are aggregated from different retailers using social information
Define a governance process to oversee the community’s operation
Recruit, train and develop continually community moderators
Extend to a critical mass of external participants to influence the influencers and to promote the community
Expand their ability to quickly react to opportunities and challenges presented by customers, while seizing upon new business opportunities.
Pay attention to existing customer communities sponsored by outsiders
Initiate, host and nurture customer communities to build engagement and learn from customers
71%Promote events/marketing campaigns (83% in 2 years)
51% Generate sales leads and revenue (74% in 2 years)
46% Post-sales support (69% in 2 years)
35% Sell products directly to customers (61% in 2 years)
Identify the areas of the value chain where customers are looking to interact via social channels
Develop a social media strategy that integrates relevant components of marketing, sales and service
Fuse the external company brand with the internal corporate culture to create a consistent customer
The document also offers questions to start your own reflection to evaluate how your company creates valued customer experiences, drives productivity and accelerates innovation.
Really, a thought provoking paper you will want to explore, whether you are beginning or extending your social business transformation.
Diane Morneau, M.Sc.
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.