Written by: Nora Chase
We are excited to launch our new blog series that will feature ISSL team members and the unique solutions they create while on the job. The ISSL Solutions series will feature interesting, successful projects delivered by ISSL.
Dave Hay is a Portal and Collaboration architect for ISSL and resides in the United Kingdom. Dave has been with IBM since 1992, in a variety of roles including AS/400 technical support, network computing solutions, ISV and partner enablement, software technical pre-sales and, since 2009, ISSL.During the past three years, Dave has implemented a number of solutions, based around IBM Connections, IBM WebSphere Portal and IBM Web Content Manager, at clients throughout the UK based upon deployment patterns including Secure Portal, Process Portal and Collaboration Portal.Recently, Dave has presented at a number of internal and external events, including ISSL World-wide enablement events, the WebSphere User Group and the Social Connections user group. In December, Dave presented a paper on the experiences gained whilst implementing desktop Single Sign-On via Active Directory, Kerberos and SPNEGO with IBM Connections at a client engagement.Dave is a co-leader and active participant of two internal company Connection communities: Connections and ATLAS ISSL Practitioner Network and the ISSL UK and Ireland Community. He also blogs, both internally and externally, and is also active on Twitter, both personally and, more recently, via the ISSL_NA and ISSL_UK handles.For the past year, Dave has been working with colleagues around the world to develop an offering based around the use of the IBM Connections in the Cloud pilot which was created by the ICS Development team. This offering makes Connections available to customers who are interested in evaluating the benefits of a platform such as IBM Connections, by way of a pilot or proof-of-concept environment and are delivered via the IBM Smart Cloud. Customers can begin using Connections almost immediately which provides a simple, convenient approach to introducing a new software product.One of the problems customers have with any technology is that they spend a long time implementing the solution in a pilot before they actually get to work with the actual business users to determine what their requirements are. The involvement of ISSL at this stage is to assist the customers in deploying the technology by beginning to plan out deployment using any another offering or capabilities ISSL has available in its arsenal.However, Dave noticed an opportunity to further assist the customer. If the customer has Connections in the Cloud as a pilot and then decides to implement Connections on their own premises, what will become of the data created in the Cloud? What if the customer wants to keep it because it has some value for them? Surely, here is an opportunity for ISSL to develop a solution that will safely transfer and preserve the data from the Cloud to on-site premises environments.Hence the creation of ISSL's "IBM Connections Data Transfer" offering. With the sponsorship of ISSL's Chief Technology Office (CTO), Dave and the team began exploring the possibility of creating this offering. Over the course of last year, Dave worked with the ISSL Lab Services team in China (which developed the Data Transfer Tool which is the core of the offering) the Connections team in Dublin, Ireland, and now the Solution Architects in the United States as this solution is being finalized.What is interesting is that Dave saw yet another opportunity to use this developing solution in another capacity while on site at a customer engagement in the U.K. with a customer in the banking industry. This customer was using IBM Connections as a pilot and decided it was time to put it into production. Although the ISSL "IBM Connections Data Transfer" offering was still in development, Dave and his colleagues were able to fashion a similar solution with the help of the China Lab Services team, the Connections team in Dublin, Ireland, and even the Littleton Software Lab in Massachusetts, U.S.A.Not only did this customer want to preserve and transfer the data created during the pilot phase, they also wanted to change the target user directory when Connections went into production, from IBM Tivoli Directory Server to Microsoft Active Directory. So Dave had the means of satisfying the customer's requirement for that aspect of the project by using the Data Transfer tool, which can be configured to match the individual characteristics of the source or target system. So at any point in the pilot to production phase (or cloud to on premise) where the directory is going to change, this solution can do the actual migration, to reflect the changed directory without losing any of the data. There is also the opportunity to use this solution when transferring data on premises from one target sever to a different one.So there you have it. A brief glimpse into how ISSL works with customers to create innovative solutions and how working with customers inspires us to create more. Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed if you are interested in receiving more of these stories from the IBM Software Services for Lotus community.
Dave Hay is a Portal and Collaboration architect for ISSL and resides in the United Kingdom. Dave has been with IBM since 1992, in a variety of roles including AS/400 technical support, network computing solutions, ISV and partner enablement, software technical pre-sales and, since 2009, ISSL.