I was in Dallas last Thursday attending the All-Hazards 2012 Summit with our friends from UnifiedEdge and I was told that they were getting ready to put out a press release with our colleagues from the Intelligent Operations Center for Smarter Cities team. We were so busy that I forgot to ask what the press release was all about. Well, it just came out today and it's pretty exciting.
The City of Davao in the Philippines will "... scale-up its existing Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) by integrating city operations into a single system ..." That system is IOC along with IBM Sametime and UnifiedEdge RadioConnect and other key technologies.
This is pretty cool. The PSSCC will provide first responders and city personnel with state-of-the-art situational awareness: GIS, GPS, real-time video feeds, presence and live communication channels (phones, radios, IM, video, etc.) powered by IBM Sametime and UnifiedEdge RadioConnect.
Congratulations to the IOC team and to our partners at UnifiedEdge. This is an exciting project. Davao is the second largest city in the Philippines behind Metro Manila. According to the 2012 census it has a population of over 1.5 million people and it's the 87th fastest-growing city in the world according to the City Mayors Foundation.
You can find the full press release here to learn more.
The Sametime User Experience team is conducting an online survey on Sametime Mobile regarding "Top Tasks for Chat". If you're a Sametime Mobile user we'd love to hear your opinion on what features and usage patterns are important to you when using Sametime Mobile.
Completing the survey takes just a few minutes and your input will be invaluable to us--especially as we continue structuring the plan for our next release. So,if you have a few minutes to spare, please take a look at the survey and let us know what you think. You can find it here: https://www-950.ibm.com/survey/oid/wsb.dll/s/ag470
I'm happy to let you guys know we have published a new tool designed to help expedite deployment of Sametime server components. The tool is called IBM Sametime Configuration Validator. It's an Eclipse-based tool that our support team developed initially for internal use and now, after some scrubbing and polishing, we're making it available to customers and business partners. Thanks to Jeff Miller and the rest of the team for such a good job.
IBM Sametime Configuration Validator does something very simple yet very useful. It harvests the entire configuration of a Sametime environment and validates the settings against a standard validation profile based on best practices and known settings. What it does is totally deterministic, i.e., total grunt work, and very powerful because now you don't have to do it manually.
The tool generates reports that tell you how the configuration stands against the standard profile and points out potential problems you may encounter. The report doesn't necessarily tell you that there's something wrong with your configuration. But, based on what's known to work, it'll tell you whether something may potentially go awry. That way you can nip any bad mojo in the bud and go back to relaxing.
The IBM Sametime Configuration Validator is available for download from the Sametime Wiki. You can find it here.
I am happy to announce to my Sametime friends and family the IBM Connections Suite v1.0! Today we announced an important bundle that brings together what your organization needs to optimize on the latest evolution in communication. Social Communication.
Today's world necessitates a social business. Social Communications makes it happen. Social Communications is not only the unification of social software and unified communications and collaboration but together creates a powerful new form of communication greater than the sum of its parts. It moves us beyond simple presence - beyond finding an expert and leveraging their static published content - shifting the focus to both relevance and real time engagement. Thus, it goes beyond an expertise search, beyond just reaching someone because they are available. For example, not only can you see what someone knows but also easily see validation by others - usage of their files by others (number of downloads, comments), how many people follow them, and what comments and questions have been left on their profile.
The IBM Connections Suite combines IBM Sametime Advanced, IBM Sametime Unified Telephony Lite Client, and IBM Connections with Community Custom Libraries powered by IBM FileNet, to provide exceptional value in built-for-business integrated social software complete with robust document management yielding a real-time social communications platform. With this bundle see a users static content, collaborate asynchronously or engage real-time with the relevant expert with text, voice or video.
Wouldn't this be a cool broadcast announcement to send to my IBM Sametime Blog Community? And that community is also the same community in IBM Connections' Communities where we work on activities together, have a forum, and share files? Just a simple example.
Check out these demo's in Luis Benitez's blog : http://www.lbenitez.com/2012/05/announcing-ibm-connections-suite-sweet.html
Read more in our official announcement here : http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/ShowDoc.wss?docURL=/common/ssi/rep_ca/7/897/ENUS212-087/index.html&lang=en&request_locale=en
Extractions from the Announcement letter :
IBM Connections capabilities:
Home page - Use the home page to see a snapshot of updates collected from across your subscriptions, notifications, and network of colleagues.
Communities - In Communities, members can participate in community-specific activities and forums, and can share blogs, bookmarks, feeds, and files.
Community document libraries - Configure IBM FileNet libraries to display, access, and manage content from within a Connections Community. Document libraries support document check-in and check-out, versioning, access control, and prompting for required metadata.
Profiles - Permits you to search for people across your organization using tags to identify expertise, current projects, and responsibilities.
Activities - Provides capabilities for gathering and sharing project documents, and working with colleagues to complete tasks.
Files - Provides a repository in which you can upload files and share them with others.
Wikis - Permits individuals, groups, and communities to capture, share, and co-author information.
Forums - Allows individuals to share ideas with, and benefit from, the expertise of others.
Blogs - Provides the ability to create online journals that you can use to deliver timely information to others. You can use a blog to present your ideas and get feedback from others or learn from the expertise of others who blog.
Bookmarks - Helps you save, share, and discover bookmarks through this social bookmarking service.
IBM Lotus Quickr Connectors
Author, share, collaborate, and manage Connections community document library content in FileNet using desktop applications such as Microsoft™ Windows™ Explorer, Microsoft Office 2003 to 2010, Microsoft Outlook, IBM Lotus Notes®, IBM Sametime, and IBM Lotus Symphony™.
IBM Sametime Advanced :
Unified communications and collaboration core capabilities:
Secure, enterprise instant messaging
Federation with Public Instant Messaging services
File and folder transfer options
Integrated Voice (VoIP) and desktop video
Mobile device support
Open APIs and an extensible client
Online meetings - Persistent meeting rooms with native and third-party audio and video from both the rich client and the browser-based desktop meeting experience.
Instant share - Share or remotely control a computer desktop with colleagues.
Persistent group chat rooms - Create, enter, read, and contribute to ongoing chats at any time from the rich client or a browser. Users can be alerted to new content, events, and people in the chat room.
Broadcast communities - Create and subscribe to real-time channels devoted to various topics. Channel subscribers receive real-time alerts, ask questions via Skill Tap, interact with experts, create and respond to real-time polls, and join online group conversation.
Organizational tree view - Leverage an organizational tree view of your contacts to see the reporting structure of your company based on the corporate directory.
Bandwidth management - Bandwidth limits can be set to constrain the overall amount of audio and video on the network consumed by Sametime. Administrators can set policies to control bandwidth based on classes of users and locations.
IBM Sametime Unified Telephony Lite Client
IBM Sametime Unified Telephony Lite Client license enables the Sametime Connect rich client software to make and receive telephony and video calls when configured with a certified telephony or audio video environment.
addition to the rich set of social collaboration capabilities
independently offered by IBM Connections and IBM Sametime, IBM
Connections Suite V1.0 allows you to take advantage of existing points
Presence and awareness - Know if someone is available without leaving your IBM Connections environment.
collaboration - Leverage IBM Sametime broadcast channels to reach out
to IBM Connections Community members in real time with Instant Broadcast
Announcements, Broadcast Chats, and Polls.
card integration - Leverage business cards in IBM Connections and IBM
Sametime to see a person's availability and to access that person's
profile, blogs, wikis, communities, and more. Launch a chat session
directly from the business card by right-clicking on the person's name.
Here are a few examples of how these products can be used together:
From IBM Sametime
Reach out to the members of your IBM Connections community with instant broadcasts, polling, and announcements
Utilize a dedicated persistent chat room or meeting room with its own content library
Engage with compelling native and third-party audio and video in both the IBM Sametime rich client and browser-based online meetings
From within your IBM Connections environment
Determine if someone is available via presence awareness
Hover over an individual's name, and from the pop up business card, click to chat or start an instant meeting
With an additional click, move to a video or voice chat from the Sametime rich client chat window
From a user's IBM Connections business card in the IBM Sametime rich client chat window
Share or record your communication by adding your chat transcript to a relevant IBM Connections community forum or activity with a click of a button in the chat window
From the business card click to quickly see your chat partner's blogs, profiles, activities, bookmarks, communities, and more
From within an IBM Connections community
Access and use content libraries that leverage the capabilities of IBM FileNet Content Manager
Create, view, access, and manage corporate content and associated metadata stored in IBM FileNet Content Manager
Our friends from foresee GmbH have some really nice piece of integration between their interacTable and ScreenMate products and IBM Sametime meetings. This is a realy cool project that was demonstrated at CeBIT 2012 at the IBM booth.
The video below shows foresee's technology in action and how it can be shared via Sametime meetings. At 3:30 you can see a Sametime meeting room on the southeast quadrant of the screen. I know, it's kind of at the end but make sure to watch the entire video. It's really cool. Here it is:
Y'all (I have to use it here...) may be already familiar with the project our business partner UnifiedEdge has been working on at The City of Fort Worth, Texas. The project is all about outfitting the Joint Emergency Operations Center serving Fort Worth and surrounding Tarrant County with a social communications infrastructure to enable rapid responses to natural disasters and other emergency events in the area. The infrastructure includes IBM Sametime and UnifiedEdge RadioConnect for Sametime.
The story was released as a public reference yesterday. It's a great story that describes a powerful solution that addresses a complex problem in a very elegant way. The benefits are such that you only notice them when they're not there: the solution helps people make better, more informed, wiser decisions in situations when you have to think fast and respond quickly. Check it out if have time. It's an interesting read. You can find ithere.
We just released a new app: the IBM Sametime Meetings Viewer for iPad. It is available for download at the iTunes Store.
As with all Sametime mobile applications, this one requires a full-fledged Sametime infrastructure in the back end (we recommend moving up to 8.5.2 IFR 1). If you don't have that you can always point the app to Greenhouse.
Thanks to our partners at BelSoft AG for recording and publishing this video:
Those of you who saw it at Lotusphere 2012 have been waiting for it. Those of you who didn't will be as excited to know that the IBM Sametime Video Chat Widget for IBM Connections just came out today. It's a technology preview that provides an easy way to associate a Sametime audio/video session with an IBM Connections Community page.
The plug-in is available on developerWorks. You can find it here.
Info-Tech Research Group just published its UC Vendor Landscape report, which ranks UC vendors and UC products based on various criteria. Their rankings go from Emerging Player to Market Pillar to Innovator to Champion. That's where we are:
We're sharing the honor with Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft and Siemens. Congratulations to them. Congratulations are in order as well to our partners Interactive Intelligence and ShoreTel for making the Innovator quadrant.
Here's a couple of videos showcasing what IBM's software for social business can do.
First, here's Sandy Carter doing an overview of a few interesting case studies in government as part of the Social Business Coffee Break series:
Sandy talks about the Joint Emergency Operations Center serving the City of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Texas, which is outfitted with IBM Sametime and UnifiedEdge's RadioConnect for Sametime to integrate real-time communications from over 40 agencies from the US Federal Government, the State of Texas and the local agencies from Tarrant County and the City of Fort Worth itself. This is one of the coolest projects we've ever been involved in and one that has brought a lot of attention to Sametime deployments in first-responder scenarios thanks to our partners from UnifiedEdge.
The second video showcases the awesome integration IBM's social business software, including Sametime, has with Polycom's REALPRESENCE platform. This is a very nice video that shows how it's done when it comes to integrating a real general-purpose platform like Sametime with Polycom's state-of-the-art technology.
It also shows how Sametime and Connections complement each other. You find the people you need using Connections and you reach out them using Sametime. I like to call this paradigm "Enable+Connect" as in enabling with Connections and connecting with Sametime:
Thank you Sandy, UnifiedEdge and Polycom. We couldn't have done it without you.
I think I've said many times here that we envision the next generation of Sametime to be heavily influenced by the tablet usability paradigm. We are spending lots of time studying what people do with tablets today, how the usability pattern will evolve in the near future and what new capabilities software programs will have to include in order to accommodate the transition from mouse-and-click to finger-and-gesture as the main interaction vehicle with the glass.
As part of that research I've gone tablet myself. I got me a very nice 10-inch tablet running Android 3.2 and I've been working on figuring out how it fits into my daily work routine. The first thing I did was install Sametime 8.5.2 IFR 1, Lotus Traveler and the Lotus Symphony Reader. I haven't installed Connections yet but I will soon.
So far, I have to say I am equipped to go on a business trip without my laptop. The tablet gives me pretty much what I need with the exception of authoring documents and presentations. Authoring content is still easier to do, for now, on a laptop running a legacy operating system. Applications such as Symphony and MS Office are definitely designed for the mouse-and-click paradigm and it's very hard to use them when all you have is your finger.
I think this is a point-in-time issue that will get resolved soon. I know Apple already has an office suite called iWorks that allows you to create content, including presentations, on your iPad. I know there are at least two other office suites for iOS that have good potential. For Android there's QuickOffice Pro and OfficeSuite Professional, both of which allow you to create and edit MS Office documents. I haven't found a product that handles ODF, though.
I'm not stressing about not finding an office suite that I can run locally on my tablet, though. Storage is limited on a tablet and I wouldn't want to crowd it with lots of files that I may only need sporadically. I like the fact that the tablet forces me to narrow my context and helps me focus on what I need to work on. Instead of carrying my 500-GB hard drive with me (I thought about that), I can focus on just taking what I need--as opposed to my entire digital life--with me. I can upload just the files I need (and nothing else) onto the tablet's SD card (I got a 16-GB Class 10 card) and go.
There are a few "mainstay" files I always need ("What's New in IBM Sametime", "The IBM Sametime and SUT Roadmap", etc.). These are files that I'm updating constantly and it wouldn't make sense to have outdated copies on my tablet's SD card. The solution lies in the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business (LotusLive) Connector for Lotus Symphony. Whenever I update one of those files, I upload the new version to my file repository. That way, if all I'm carrying with me is my tablet, I can just log into my IBM SmartCloud for Social Business account and get what I need.
This brings me to what may turn out to be the utilization paradigm that will make tablets stick: cloud.I have to confess that before getting this tablet I hadn't found a mission-critical reason to make daily use of my IBM SmartCloud for Social Business account (I didn't even remember my password!). Now I don't think I can rely on my tablet without it. The most interesting thing is that I don't need a VPN client to have access to it. In the future, once IBM Docs supports Android, having an office suite will be a non-issue.
At this point the experience has been positive. I can do most of my work from my tablet and I could take measures to minimize the impact of the things I cannot do. I could, for instance, upload the 12-or-so GB worth of files sitting in my hard drive's My Documents library to my tablet's SD card if I have to. I could install a VPN client on my tablet and get to all the internal sites I don't have access to just yet, or I could get me one of those RDP apps that would allow me to access my laptop from my tablet over the Internet--as long as IBM IT is OK with me doing that.
This experience is also giving me valuable insight into how Sametime will fit into this equation. The dynamics of "current context", i.e., what's in the foreground, will change and, with it, how we experience situational awareness. We'll have to rethink what the idea of "presence" means, what kind of information becomes pertinent at a given time and whether it merits to be shown, and how we enable real-time communication among users and devices. It's challenging and interesting.
The most important point of all this is that, for the first time, there's a lightweight computing platform with enough potential to replace traditional PCs. Based on what I saw there were more tablets than laptops at Lotusphere this year. That's very encouraging.
This doesn't mean I no longer have a need for a PC; at least not yet. The one thing I still need my laptop for is to play Battlefield 2142 Northern Strike when I travel. I just don't do Angry Birds. I can't; I won't!
Now that Lotusphere 2012 is history it's time to take a look at what people are saying about it. Before most of us had even made it home from Orlando, the analyst community was already gearing up to comment on what they heard at Lotusphere. So far, the comments have been positive and encouraging. Here's a few that I found interesting:
Let's start with Frost and Sullivan. Rob Arnold's piece has an attention-grabbing title: Is IBM Backing Away from UC? The answer, of course, is no, and Rob gets to that conclusion very quickly when he states that
Leveraging a greater breadth and depth of its strengths, IBM is now
placing the bulk of its emphasis on social business. For IBM, UC has
become a component or a subset of capabilities within social business
environments. Sametime’s IM and presence applications are powering rich
communications, mobile and real-time capabilities within IBM’s flagship
next-gen collaboration platform, Connections.
This is an important acknowledgement. We've been saying for a long time that social interaction patterns provide the natural context for people-to-people interactions; that we've been using them ever since humans learned to communicate verbally and that it's only natural that we should leverage their effectiveness in the enterprise. Integrating real-time communication channels (UC) into our social software is the way to do it.
Art Rosenberg writes in the UC Strategies Blog about the meaning of "Social Business" in What's in a Name? "UC", "Lync" and now "Social Business". The piece emphasizes the UC-enabled nature of our Social Business offerings as a leap forward in the evolution of UC.
Art actually makes that point one more time in a comment on Marty Parker's piece on the UC Strategies Blog: IBM Lotusphere 2012 - Socializing 'Social Business'. Marty provides a thorough report of the conference and highlights the main takeaways of our Social Business message: Reach, Engage, Discover, Act.
All three pieces hit the mark on identifying and highlighting the message we wanted to convey at Lotusphere 2012. I would, however, emphasize that the Reach, Engage, Discover, Act mantra works precisely because UC is an integral part of it. I would argue that, when put in this particular context, the term UC actually falls short and it may be time to come up with some other term that reflects the new normal more appropriately. We're already working on it.
IBM developerWorks has just published a brand new white paper titled "IBM Sametime 8.5.2 Security Features." The paper was written by Smriti Talwar, our security architect, with Anna Guri from our development team and Jonathan Crissey from our support team. Here's a summary:
IBM Sametime 8.5 has many new components that leverage IBM WebSphere and IBM DB2 infrastructures. This paper provides an overview of the security features of the new WebSphere 8.5.2-infrastructure-based offerings along with security-related best practices for the existing components.
Check it out. It's a good read. You can find it here.
I had originally installed it on my HTC Incredible 2 from an email I got from our development team. I went to the Market and launched a search for "IBM Sametime". It came up as expected. The Market app recognized that Sametime was already installed on my phone and asked whether I wanted to upgrade. I said yes, it downloaded the updated app, installed it and picked up my settings flawlessly. I launched it and it worked. The way it is supposed to b e. Pretty nice and painless. I like it.
For those of you who won't be able to join me in the UX lab at Lotusphere but want to contribute to the conversation, we've created an ideation blog where you can post your thoughts about features and capabilities you'd like to see in Sametime, and vote on features that others have entered. Here's a link:
We'll have lots of great activities and conversations in the User Experience lab at Lotusphere, located in Asia 4. I'll be in the lab with UX colleagues from all product areas -- so be sure to stop in!
Monday, January 16 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM Tuesday, January 17 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM Wednesday, January 18 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM Thursday, January 19 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
We'll also have some scheduled talks in the lab:
Date: Monday, January 16, 2012 Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm Topic: "IBM Collaboration Solutions Future Product Design Direction" Speakers: Chris Paul, Director, User Experience; Ethan Perry, STSM; Brian Utesch, STSM. Abstract: How is the user experience (UX) of IBM Collaboration Solutions products designed? What role does Lotusphere play in ongoing collaboration with customers? The ICS User Experience Director, Chris Paul, and UX Design and User
Research Senior Technical Staff Members, Ethan Perry and Brian Utesch,
will discuss how design direction is set, the importance of user
adoption, and how you are engaged in the design process. Bring your questions to this interactive session. Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 Time: 9:30am - 10:30am Topic: "Mobile User Experience Directions" Speakers: Tyler Walters, Chris Reckling Abstract:
Social Business and mobile technology go hand in hand. See where we are
going in designing mobile apps for tablets and smartphones in 2012.
Provide feedback on the design directions and help prioritize features. Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 Time: 9:30am - 10:30am Topic: "Meet the User Experience Designers" Speakers: Amy Travis, Margo Ezekiel, Ethan Perry, Eric Wilcox Abstract: Join
our lead user experience designers and talk with us about our design
challenges and future design directions in a fun and lively session. It's your chance to see how we design your favorite products.
I got this nice little PNG from the Lotusphere 2012 team that says "I'm a Speaker":
I think it's pretty cool and I'm already using it as part of my email
signature. It's great that the Lotusphere team decided to do this for
next year. They're also collecting Social Business stories, which I also think it's pretty cool. You may want to check it out here.
My session, ID213 - What's New in IBM Sametime is scheduled for Tuesday, January 17 at 3:30 PM. Feel free to drop by if you're attending the conference. But before you do that, please make sure to attend John Delpizzo's session, INV209 - Strategy and Roadmap for IBM Sametime, on Monday, January 16 at 5:00 PM. It'll give you the necessary context you'll need to make sense of what I'm going to talk about. We'll publish a full list of all the Sametime-related sessions on this blog once we get the final list. Stay tuned.
Blair Pleasant writes on No Jitter (here) about how UC and Social Business have more in common than most people realize. She quotes Alistair Rennie on how "...three years from now we won't call this social business--it'll just be business." I happen to agree.
I've said many times that social interaction patterns are natural to us while linear interactions, the way we've worked with each other for years, are learned behavior.
In our natural environment (home) we use people-to-people interactions to communicate, collaborate and deal with each other. When we are at work, we use people-to-process and people-to-information interactions as the primary means of getting something done and we use people-to-people interactions when we need to. Social Business reverses this paradigm and makes people-to-people interactions the center of the universe, the way it should be.
Earlier in 2011, we told you about changes in the way Yahoo! Messenger federates with IBM Sametime. As you may recall, your IBM Sametime Gateway integrates directly with the Yahoo! Messenger servers through a single sign-on capability, letting your employees use their corporate Sametime identity to exchange presence information and text chats with Yahoo! Messenger users. Yahoo! has communicated their intention to shut this service down on or near mid-December 2011.
IBM planned to deliver a plug-in to the Sametime Connect client that would allow users to exchange text chats with Yahoo! Messenger users through a new Yahoo! Messenger IM API. Unfortunately, despite diligent efforts by both parties, IBM and Yahoo! have not been able to agree to terms that would allow us to use the Messenger IM API on conditions that are mutually agreeable. When Yahoo! shuts down their SIP infrastructure this month, your IBM Sametime Gateway will no longer work with that service.
Please note that the Sametime Gateway will continue to function as normal for AOL, Google, XMPP based services, Microsoft OCS and other Sametime communities.
As Lisa mentioned in her last posting, IBM Sametime 8.5.2 IFR 1 also brings support for browser access to meetings on Android tablets and iPads. Just so you can see how cool that is, here's a couple of screenshots.
First, this is what a browser-based meeting looks like on an iPad:
Now, with Sametime 8.5.2 Interim Feature Release 1, we've made it much easier to know who is speaking during a meeting. In Sametime meeting rooms, an "active speaker" icon now displays next to the name of the participant who is currently speaking during a call.
Yesterday, Marlon blogged about SOME of our iOS news for Sametime –the client on iPhones and iPads. As a Mac aficionado / albeit late* but happy member of the Apple fold I was personally most excited about this. And if you read further in my note you will find something else very exciting for iPad and Sametime users. And yes my Google Android friends, there is something new for you too! Although I'm in love w/ my Mac and iPhone and truly am most excited about ST and SUT on the iPhone, I would like to also summarize some of the other great features that came out with this release for everyone on November 22nd. Some of these features folks are even more excited about then the iOS Client!!?? Many many across the world were eagerly awaiting and requesting...(can you hear the drum roll)?
….You've seen some great posts from our engineer and end user help writer Lauren with details on how to use these features but here they are again....in one long blog...post our mobile press release yesterday.
BRAND NEW to Sametime you can now send offline messages from your Sametime chat window and view offline messages sent to you when you log in. (Even iOS and Anrdoid users can receive offline messages on their devices! Yes I am throwing more Apple in). Also, received offline message text will be included in chat responses so that it is very easy and quick to see the context of the response.
Our development and design team created a great UI for enhanced file sharing features. You can now send files, groups of files, or entire folders to another Sametime user. Or in a multi-way chat, you can send the same file to several people at once, and see the progression independently still. They also built a brand new organizational tree viewof your corporate directory based contacts.
And for the Administrator, of course there are policy controls and server settings for offline messaging, file and folder sharing.
No, we didn't forget meetings!
There are new Meeting room features for both the rich client and the browser based desktop meeting experience. This includes an Active Speaker indicator in the meeting room which will quickly and clearly let you know who is speaking. Don't guess who is speaking and no need to ping your boss or co-worker saying "who just said that"? Also when launching your meeting room, owners now have the flexibility to decide whether their room is video enabled or just keep the selected default setting.
And this one is really great - upon opening an Audio Video meeting, meeting room owners can now start a meeting with all participants on Auto-Mute . Participants will join in a muted state and can optionally disable mute themselves. Now we don't have to say - can everyone please go on mute?
And speaking of meetings...back to iOS and Android...I promised there was one more thing...on your Android tablets and Apple iPads you can now also participate in, create, and lead browser based meetings.
A picture is worth a thousand words so we brought you images yesterday of the new client in Marlon's post, but for those that like to also read a bulleted list –here is what is in store for you with the new client:
New native client for Sametime for Apple iPhone and iPad mobile devices includes:
o Presence and instant messaging so you can:
Participate in individual or group chat
Take and receive photos from the chat window or send from your photo library
Get Background notification of new messages
Leverage Quickfind to locate a contact and initiate communication
Send and receive announcements
Create customized presence status
o Chat history that is retrievable and also appears in active chat windows
o Ability to add new individual contacts or groups to your contact list
o A business card view from which you can directly:
Send a chat to an individual or group
Send an announcement to an individual or group
Add or remove individual from your Sametime contact and or favorites list
Add individual contact information or everyone's contact information in a group at once to your Apple device contact list
Edit the contact or personal group nickname
o Application preference management from the Apple iPhone and iPad device settings
A dialer providing additional mobile telephony capabilities for licensed Sametime Unified Telephony users :
o Place a Sametime Unified Telephony call directly from the dialpad or by selecting a Sametime contact. Telephony presence is reflected to Sametime desktop users
o Launch a call directly from a contact's business card. The contact's business card may provide alternative numbers to tap and call.
o Leverage Quickfind to locate a contact and initiate communication by name or phone number.
o Receive incoming Sametime Unified Telephony calls.
o Have your unified phone number appear as the caller ID when initiating calls with the mobile client.
o Set the preferred device for incoming Sametime Unified Telephony calls.
And just one more Apple thing I have to mention...LION is supported.
For more information and more features then I mentioned, please see our announcement links below and more importantly upgrade so you can use them. We are really excited to be able to bring you all these new great features this year versus waiting for next year. Enjoy!!! It is great managing a product you actually get to use all day every day. Now if I can just get my daughter to let me borrow her iPad so I can join my next meeting on it instead of my Mac...
SUT and more details on the dialer in the new iOS client:
On November 22 we released IBM Sametime 8.5.2 IFR 1. IFR means "Interim Feature Release" and as part of our very first IFR release (hence "IFR 1") we're bringing to market a rich set of features that complement and augment the themes we set out to deliver on with Sametime 8.5.2 back in May.
The most anticipated of those features is our new IBM Sametime Mobile client for iOS. It is a native client for both iPhone and iPad devices and it's available for download from Apple's App Store. Here's a few screenshots showing what the Sametime contact list, a person's business card and an SUT call look like on an iPhone:
Here's what a chat session looks like on an iPad:
And this is what an SUT call looks like on an iPad:
8.5.2 IFR 1 runs on top of Sametime 8.5.2. It won't run on top of 8.5.1
or 8.0.2 or 7.5.1 or anything besides 8.5.2.
In addition to the new
mobile client for iOS Sametime 8.5.2 IFR 1 brings to the table other
capabilities that you've already seen described in previous blog
postings. This one, however, it is probably the one most people have
been waiting for and we're very proud to bring it to market. The reviews
have been very positive so far and we already have a large number of
customers testing it out.
If you want to play with it just go to the App Store, download the app and make it point to Greenhouse. Here's how:
Server: st85meetingsp.lotus.com Port: 9444 Secure Connection: On Connection Type: Direct Connection
Then just use your Greenhouse user ID and password and you'll be ready to go.
If you're a meeting room owner about to start the conference call for your meeting, it's easy to set the call so that all meeting participants join the call muted. In this case, only the meeting room owner's voice can be heard on the call, until other participants unmute themselves.
In addition, room owners now have the flexibility to turn video on or off for the call when they start the call, rather than having a single setting per meeting room.
As I recently posted, meeting room participants now see the new Leave Meeting button, which they can click to leave the meeting.
With Sametime 8.5.2 Interim Feature Release1, meeting room owners and managers still see an End Meeting button; they do not see a Leave Meeting button. However, clicking the End Meeting button now gives meeting room owners and managers the option to either leave the meeting or end the meeting for everyone. This gives meeting room owners and managers more flexibility for managing their meetings, for example, if they have to leave the current meeting for another commitment, but want to let others continue in the room.
We've got another great new feature to tell you about!
If you have Sametime Advanced and you see an Organization View panel in your Sametime client, click it to see a hierarchical view of your organization.
Click to expand and collapse individual nodes in the organization view to show or hide contacts in that part of the organization.
Here's what this might look like:
You can also hover your mouse on a contact to see the business card and right-click a contact or node and select an action to perform, just as you do can with your Sametime contacts. You can also drag and drop people and even entire groups from the organization view right into your contact list.
Administrators must set a policy to turn on the Organization View feature:
Have you ever wanted to send a chat to one of your Sametime contacts who is not online or has an availability status of Do Not Disturb? Well, now you can with the new "offline messaging" capabilities of Sametime 8.5.2 Interim Feature Release 1.
If you have Sametime Advanced, you can double-click or right-click an offline contact or a contact whose status is set to Do Not Disturb to send them a chat. Or, you can continue an existing chat even when your chat partner goes offline or sets their status to Do Not Disturb.
When your chat partner logs on again or changes their status from Do Not Disturb, they see any messages sent to them while they were unavailable.
If someone sends you an offline message, you'll see an alert when you become available, just as you will with a regular chat. The offline messages show up in their own window, so they're easy to find. You can also open the offline message viewer anytime with the File>View Offline Messages menu. The offline messages viewer looks like this:
You can send offline messages to people who have older Sametime Connect,
browser, and mobile clients. Only people who have the 8.5.2 Interim Feature Release 1 client
can send messages as well as view them in the new offline messages viewer. (Other users will see offline messages in a standard chat window.)
Administrators must set the "Allow user to send offline messages" policy to turn on this feature.
In my posting yesterday, I told you about how you can send multiple files or even an entire folder to a chat partner. Today I'll talk about another great enhancement to file transfer in Sametime 8.5.2 Interim Feature Release 1: sending a file to everyone in a multi-person chat session, simultaneously.
In your mulit-person chat, you will now see a file attach button, which you can use to send a file to everyone in the chat. You can see the progress of the file transfer as it is sent to each person in the chat:
If you have someone in the chat who is still using an older client, you'll see a separate chat window open so you can easily send the file to that person, as well.
Although you can send only one file at a time, if you need to send multiple files, you can click the file attach icon to send another file, in another tab.
There are several new policy settings to administer the new file transfer features:
Whether to allow transferring multiple files and folders
Whether to allow transferring files in multi-person chats
Maximum number of users who can receive a file in a multi-person chat
I was just listening to Gabby Davis do a great job explaining all things Sametime on the "This Week in Lotus" podcast, when the question was asked... "What is an IFR / Interim Feature Release?". This has come up in a couple of different venues, so I thought I'd explain. And no, we don't just sit around thinking up new acronyms to confuse all of you. :-)
As you can imagine, an organization the size of IBM Software Group has a handful of rules about what can go in a given release. New functionality can go into "major" releases (ie: 8.5.2) but not into "minor" ones, fix packs or the like. Major releases also have very specific, intentionally onerous and time consuming testing requirements. By calling it 8.5.3, we wouldn't have been able to ship until next year.
The IFR mechanism, while not commonly used by ICS, is regularly employed in other Software Group divisions. Through it, we could deliver new capabilities as a bolt-on to the existing release and limit our testing to the just new components. While a mouthful to say, 8.5.2 IFR 1 probably shaved 6 months off our ship date. I'm oversimplifying and IFR's are intentionally difficult to get approved... but we thought there was some really good functionality here and we wanted to get it to you as quickly as possible.
Hello - I am the Sametime end-user Help writer and in the upcoming days I will be posting information about some of the great new features that are
available in our latest release, Sametime 8.5.2 Interim Feature Release 1.
first thing I'm going to tell you about is our file transfer
enhancements for sending files to a chat partner. If you have Sametime Advanced, you can now do so much more than transfer a single file!
From an open chat window with a single chat partner, send multiple files or an entire folder to a single user, as follows:
Right-click a contact, or select a single
contact and then select Tools > Send, and choose either File or Folder. If you choose File, you can select any number of files to send. Or choose Folder and send an entire folder.
You see these same choices from an open chat window:
The file transfer information shows you the name of the current file being sent, and the total number and size of files you are sending. When sending files, you see a link for each file sent. For folders, you see the folder name only, and can open the folder directly from the chat transcript.
If you're viewing the files in chat history, you'll see when individual files and entire folders were sent.
Next time, we'll talk about more file transfer updates.
Hello, Sametime 8.5 Meetings users. I am looking to make some improvements to the Sametime Meetings sidebar shelf. I use it all the time -- especially the Scheduled Meetings view, which gives me an at-a-glance view of what's happening in my day, and makes it easy for me to jump into any online meetings (as well as spin up a meeting, if one is needed).
Here's what the shelf looks like, for those of you who may be less familiar with it:
Do you use this shelf for finding and joining meetings? If so, what view do you like the most? Anything you'd like changed?
I'm about to embark on some design work regarding security models for online meetings. This is an especially fun and challenging design task, since we have many possible options, but presenting them in a straightforward, uncomplicated way to end users can be tricky.
I'd love to hear from some of you regarding which online security capabilities matter most to you, and why. Here are some capabilities that come to mind:
Meeting rooms that are hidden (i.e., people can't find them by searching, except by exact match)
Meeting room passwords, including rules around when they expire
Only authenticated users can join
Meeting participants can join only if the meeting room owner is in the room
Meeting room access control lists (you can only join if your name is in the list)
Locking a room (i.e., no one can enter the room once it is locked)
Which of these do you use? Which of these would you never use?
A colleague of mine suggested that it might be worth some explicit information about how to re-arrange the components in the Sametime installed meeting room -- that this behavior can be hard to find. So I posted some instructions here:
We are excited to announce the
availability of Actiance's Vantage Compliance Module for IBM Sametime directly
from IBM. Vantage for IBM Sametime software helps organizations
protect corporate brand and reputation, ensure ethical practices, and
maintain compliance with industry regulations and legislation.
Vantage is an industry leading security, management, and compliance
solution for unified communications.
IBM and Actiance (formerly known as
FaceTime) have been partners for years, but we are now reselling (through both IBM sellers and
partners) Vantage for IBM Sametime as well as the brand
new Vantage Compliance Module for IBM Connections, providing the perfect social
collaboration platform along with security and compliance features beyond
Vantage not only helps maintain
compliance with government and industry regulations, but also ensures
organizations are prepared for eDiscovery requirements. And in
today's world where communicating with your partners is as vital as
as with colleagues inside your company, security and control around
internal and external interaction is absolutely necessitated. And companies need
software that provides security where corporate anti-virus software
leaves off, protecting at the application level. Some of the features from Vantage for
IBM Sametime that support these requirements include :
Day-Zero worm blocking, malware
prevention, and Spam over IM (SpIM) protection to provide a robust
Creation and enforcement of ethical
walls at a global, group or user level, and for federated accounts.
Granular control over feature usage and
even the ability to restrict messages from specific domains.
Real-time inspection, content
filtering, alerts, and logging of UC events such as, IM, persistent
group chat transcripts, FAQ, announcements, and file transfers.
Disclaimers with different priority
codes let users know in multiple languages they are being monitored.
Inspection is based on granular content
filtering rules and event auditing to help for electronic discovery.
Secure, intuitive web-based
administration interface; There is one UI, consistent with that for
Reporting of metadata, rich text,
announcements, file transfers, and data integrity validation
Enables content to be archived on the
Vantage server, passed to another content management system or both.
information can be found at the following ibm.com pages:
#jobs We're hiring! The IBM Sametime team needs a new marketing manager. We're looking for someone with a Marketing MBA and 3+ years experience to manage our worldwide go-to-market planning and execution. Candidates can work from New York, Boston or Austin. For more information about the position and to apply, visit us online here.
This affirms IBM's commitment to Sametime as a market we want to continue to lead in. Our platform for unified communications continues to adapt to meet our client's changing needs, with Sametime 8.5.2 just released back in June. The Unified Communications marketplace continues to grow and change. Put those together with IBM as a great place to work, you have a pretty exciting place to be! This new position is a great opportunity to flex your Business-to-Business and technology marketing muscles, and share with the market your passion for innovation that matters -- for our clients, and for the world.
And if you have any questions, let us know through the blog comments below.
Although it's after Labor Day here in North America, technically it's still summer until the 22nd this year. So join IBM, Polycom and Meridian IT to close out the summer with our "Get Social" Summer event at the Polycom Executive Briefing Center in Chicago.
Hear from industry leaders on socially-enabled businesses and the impact on the enterprise. Learn how IBM and Polycom are driving innovation for collaboration and helping enterprises become more responsive to their customers, partners and employees. Meridian IT will also be
presenting how value added services can be meaningfully deployed to help enterprises benefit from the changing business landscape. Click here to register
Here's a draft agenda (subject to change):
11:00am - 12:00pm: Registration and Lunch1
2:00pm - 2:00pm: Welcome, Overview of the Polycom and IBM Alliance, "Unified Communications, Socially Enabled Business and Changing Business Paradigms", review of Polycom and IBM Unified Communications Solutions
2:00pm - 2:30pm: Coffee Break
2:30pm - 3:15pm: Demo of Polycom Video Integration for IBM Social Business Applications
3:15pm - 4:00pm: The Value of Working with Meridian IT: "Creating a Socially Enabled Enterprise, Considerations and Implications"
4:00pm - 4:15pm: Closing Remarks, raffle for tickets to a special sporting event
As some of you might have seen, I've just changed roles here at IBM. I'll still be with the Worldwide IBM Collaboration Solutions marketing team. But now, instead of marketing our Unified Communications offerings, I'll be supporting our flagship Lotus messaging and collaboration offerings, including Lotus Notes, Lotus Domino, Lotus Symphony, and much more. I'm not going far, and I'll always be a huge Sametime fan. But if you see a lot less of me on this here SametimeBlog, you'll know why. And don't fret, we have an incredible bench of UC subject matter experts, from Marlon Machado and Lisa Harris to many more. I encourage you to share and comment on their insightful work.
But before I move over, I wanted to let you know about an upcoming webinar with our Business Partner CDW. On Wednesday September 28 at 1pm Central US, please join CDW to learn how you can affordably realize the benefits of unified communication today without having to rip and replace your current telephony or email systems, with IBM Sametime. As the only UC client to offer complete integration with Lotus Notes, IBM Sametime also integrates with Microsoft Outlook, SharePoint and Office. And whatever your messaging and collaboration environment, you can integrate it with your telephony systems, whether you have an older TDM environment, a modern VOIP infrastructure, or a mixture of many different systems across the organization.
There is no better time to look at IBM Unified Communications with significant discounts available on licensing now. Complete a survey at the end of the webinar, and you will receive a $10 Starbucks gift card, and be entered to win an iPad2. Register today as space is limited. We look forward to seeing you there!
Today's IBM Business Partner Feature looks at our Sametime integration with Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch 8400. IBM and Alcatel-Lucent provide desktop-level integration to speed decision-making and streamline communications. Integrations include:
OmniTouch sidebar application ("My Instant Communicator") in the Sametime Connect client
One-click calling services
Rich call control, desktop control, and call forwarding
Choice of multiple endpoints
Call notifications, including inbound calls, voicemail, missed calls, callback requests, and more
You can download the Quick Guide from the Alcatel-Lucent website for more information. If you're using this integration today, what do you think about it? Comments are welcome.
Brian Pearson, IBM Executive Collaboration Solutions Advocate, has been building out a "Social Business Everywhere" video series. As part of that, he just released a 3-part demo video series showcasing IBM Collaboration Solutions integrations of IBM Sametime, IBM Connections, IBM Lotus Quickr and more to Microsoft productivity applications, including Office, Outlook and SharePoint. As Brian states in the opening of Part 1:
"...we believe collaboration isn't encapsulated in a single product or single site; as this demonstration will show, we believe in bringing collaborative services to the environments in which you work: in this case, Microsoft tools."
With these videos, you can see IBM's continued commitment to supporting a "social everywhere" environment. supporting multiple platforms and environments.
Part 1 opens with an overview of the IBM integration value proposition, and moves into integration of IBM Sametime presence, chat, web meetings, and audio and video, into Microsoft Outlook.
Part 2 looks at Sametime Unified Telephony integration with Microsoft Outlook, and moves to Social Applications in Outlook, including IBM Connections and content management.
Part 3 looks at integration with Microsoft Office, content management in Windows Explorer, and integration with Microsoft SharePoint.
So you want an easy entry point to bring VoIP into your enterprise? As you heard from our May 18 announcement, we added the IBM Sametime Unified Telephony Lite Client license to our Sametime product family. This easy-to-deploy VoIP solution quickly adds many softphone capabilities directly to your users' desktops right from their Sametime Connect client. We just posted a demonstration of how this works to YouTube. Take a look, and let us know what you think!
Today IBM announced enhanced capabilities for mobile collaboration. Customers can easily download the software from all major app stores
including Android, Apple, and BlackBerry, and gain immediate access to
blogs, employee data, status updates, wikis, as well as share files,
videos and photos. This includes IBM Sametime enterprise instant messaging and IBM Sametime Unified Telephony dialers for Android, and IBM Sametime meetings on the BlackBerry. IBM is also helping IT administrators simplify
the management of corporate and personal data on employee devices. by allowing employees, customers and partners to collaborate more effectively while on mobile devices.
You can read a more in-depth analysis of this announcement, and why we're so excited about it, on Todd Watson's Turbo Todd Blog. As always, we would love your feedback: how are YOU using mobile collaboration in your business environment?
I spend a great deal of my time working with our sellers. They come to me with all sorts of requests ranging from answers and statements they can provide their customers to advise in building use cases to address specific customer requirements. Sometimes the questions are fairy straightforward. Sometimes they're pretty arcane and hard to answer but, after a few iterations, we always end up finding an answer.
Sometimes the answer is not what they would like to hear. When that happens, I can picture them figuring out how to tell the customer what they just learned. I've learned to appreciate the effort and the stress they have to undergo to keep an opportunity alive even despite our product not being able to fulfill a specific use case. More importantly, I've learned to appreciate the way they get up in the morning and go do it again; every day until the opportunity either materializes or it fizzles out.
If I haven't said this before, to our sellers (and to all software sellers out there), please know that I appreciate what you do and, in the spirit of at least making you chuckle a little, I thought I'd share this little snippet of wisdom from the one and only Scott Adams:
Interested in implementing unified communications, but concerned about cost and deployment resources? A cloud-based unified communications strategy could dramatically lower your infrastructure and other fixed asset costs, while offering a flexible deployment model. Leverage the power of the cloud to collaborate! On August 30 at 12noon Eastern US time, please join speakers from IBM, and IBM Business Partner Meetrix, to learn about UC as a Service (UCaaS), powered by IBM Sametime. Register here for free access today. Speakers to be confirmed shortly.