I always thought this was odd...
For years, Lotus Notes has included a basic version of Sametime. It provides simple presence and text chat within the Notes / Domino environment. For online meetings, voice, video, file transfers, screen captures, mobile clients, browser clients, the gateway for public IM federation, etc, etc, etc, users needed a license to Sametime Standard or Advanced. Yet, for some reason, we never had an easy upgrade path in place. Now, we do.
Buried in the Sametime 8.5 Announcement Letter are these new part numbers:
- Lotus Sametime Standard Extension from Sametime Limited Entitlement
- Lotus Sametime Advanced Extension from Sametime Limited Entitlement (D0CCBLL)
They let Notes users 'extend' their Notes licenses with Sametime Standard or Advanced capabilities at a discounted price. While the part numbers are in the Sametime 8.5 Announcement, they
can be used for Sametime Standard 8.0.x or Advanced 8.0.x as well. (Just to be clear, these are just for Notes users and you can only extend the number of Notes licenses you have on active maintenance. For users without Notes, you need a regular Standard or Advanced license.)
But, there you go Notes customers, upgrade to Sametime Standard or Advanced today!
* December 16, 2009 update: Corrected Standard Extension part number.
On behalf of the entire Sametime team, I am pleased to announce that Sametime 8.5 will be available for download on December 22nd. Happy Holidays!
IBM Lotus Sametime 8.5
represents the next generation of unified communications and collaboration
software. As you can see, we've packed in quite a bit into this release:
- A new online meeting experience that is integrated into the IBM Lotus Sametime Connect
client. Join a meeting with a single click. Easily invite others by dragging
their names from the contact list. Accept meeting invitations with a single
click. Upload meeting materials via simple drag and drop.
- New zero-download, browser-based chat and meeting clients that extend
the desktop experience to wherever the user is working.
- A new standards-based audio and video infrastructure that enables more seamless interoperability
with third party audio and video conferencing systems.
- New audio and video codecs that provide higher quality native voice and
video services for a more compelling collaborative experience out-of-the-box.
- New Web 2.0 APIs that let developers embed Sametime capabilities into Web sites
and applications so users switch context less.
- A new, browser-based Apple iPhone chat client, support for the Blackberry
Storm, and an improved mobile client for Microsoft® Windows® Mobile devices.
- New social views that make it easier to find the people you collaborate
with the most.
- Deeper integration with Microsoft and Lotus products
- A new System Console that centralizes infrastructure configuration, deployment,
management, and policy management for all Sametime services.
We'll be exploring all of these capabilities in the new year... but Sametime 8.5 is really about simplicity. Simplicity promotes adoption and adoption creates return on investment.
Ask yourself these questions: How often do you loose the first ten minutes of a meeting providing instructions on how to log into the web conference? Have you invested in video conferencing systems that sit unused because no one knows they're there or how to use them? Do you want to deliver unified communications services into the applications your employees already use? Do you have a mix of communication and collaboration systems that are difficult to use, isolated and underutilized? If so, Sametime 8.5's unified user experience and open integration can help make UC simple for users, leverage those existing investments and drive real business value.
For more information, you can read the Announcement Letter
or visit the new Sametime web site
The (nearly) final list of Lotusphere 2010 sessions is now available on the Lotusphere blog
. But since this is the Sametime blog, here are the sessions we think you should focus on. ;-)
As we approach the end of the year, I receive many recommendation requests for tools that can help manage Sametime license compliance. One such tool is the Permessa IM License Auditor
"In a few quick steps, Permessa IM License Auditor produces fast,
accurate counts of the Lotus Sametime users across an entire enterprise
or for selected servers. You'll know true accurate license counts for
known users, active users and more. The report also displays counts by
client application and version number for detailed license tracking.
The result is that you can be ready for a license audit or true-up with
three simple steps."
As an added bonus, Permessa provides the Auditor under a "free 45-day license with unlimited renewals"... so it's essentially free. Try it and let us know how useful you find it.
I know I promised some photos from VoiceCon San Francisco 2009
, but I've been traveling to Singapore and am just getting around to catching up on a few things before the US Thanksgiving holidays.
First of all a big thank you to the VoiceCon team, especially Fred Knight, who as always rolls out the red carpet for us. I have to say, from my vantage point in the IBM Booth staffing the Sametime demoes, the traffic was good and the quality of attendees even better than I would have hoped with the continuing slowness in the US and California economy.
And as you know, this was also the first time VoiceCon was co-located with Enterprise 2.0 San Francisco
. It was a recognition that collaboration is spanning both real-time and social collaboration, and that Enterprises need to consider both within a broader collaboration agenda. IBM was a key sponsor for both events.
In addition to our usual booth, keynote and other speakers, one of the neat things we did this time was set up a "Sweet Tweets" bar at the IBM Booth. Visitors were encouraged to stop by, pick up some sweets, and then tweet (#sweettweets
or #IBM and #voicecon
) about the IBM booth. Behind the bar was a large display showing a real-time feed of the twitter stream. My favorites were the gummy bananas - almost like banana-flavored Peeps
. Here's a picture from my iPhone:
Here's a few more photos:
It was pretty much impossible to maintain a healthy eating habit with all this delicious stuff around:
There was a lot of traffic not just for the sweets, though...
It's nice to see we're still getting coverage for the Sametime Virtual Collaboration Services
(a.k.a. Sametime 3D). A November 9 article on CNN.com, "Going to the virtual office in Second Life
", specifically mentioned our offering by name:
IBM sells its own virtual meeting tool, Sametime 3D, which allows
businesses to share ideas and collaborate in a 3D world, and the
company is currently testing a more advanced version of the product.
[IBM CTO, Northeast Europe] told CNN that he recently held a meeting with 12 technical leaders from
across Europe and Asia. While that would typically involve flying
everyone to a central location, he said the meeting was held using the
new Sametime 3D.
"Not only did we save travel time, but because the environment was so engaging, a lot more ideas came through," he said.
Not everyone of course will want a full virtual world environment for realtime collaboration, but it's good to know the option it there, and the business value tangible, for those situations that warrant a richer visual environment than traditional online meetings or rich text / audio / video chat. And it further shows the power of Sametime as a collaborative platform.
I almost forgot to report on my panel at VoiceCon but better late than never.
So, the two positions were more or less as follows:
- Voxeo's environment allows you to create voice applications really quickly using scripting languages. The application mashes up data from one or more sources and it presents a voice interface to the user. Dan York showed a telephone-call interface for an application that gives you the weather for a given ZIP code and nothing else.
- The Sametime platform provides a general-purpose environment that acts as the context for whatever data and voice you may want to mash up at a given time. I showed the Sametime Meetings client and Sametime Unified Telephony working in tandem to build an ad-hoc aggregation of data and voice from various sources. We provide APIs for you to extend the general-purpose environment to fit your needs. You may even include one of Voxeo's applications in it if you want to.
The reaction to the two approaches was positive. There was one person, however, who said to me he didn't "see it" as clearly as he did when Dan built the weather application on the fly. I explained the difference and even Dan agreed that the Sametime approach to building voice mashups is based on providing context first and that functionality is implemented as attributes while the Voxeo approach is based on building functionality first while leaving the context to the user.
There were analysts in the audience and, strangely, they left as soon as we were both done with our presentations. I found it strange that they didn't stay for the questions-and-answers bit of the session. Overall it was a good session, good interaction and a good audience. I would do it again any time.
In communication circles, collaboration is apparently the word of the day. But for IBM customers, collaboration has long been an integral part of their UC environment. If you'd like to understand how IBM Unified Communications and Collaboration Solutions can help your business, I invite you to visit the new IBM UC2 Website
and download a copy of the white paper, "The Power of Unifying Communications and Collaboration
." You'll also find useful demos, webcasts, podcasts, 3rd party analysis and the new UCC Business Value Builder, which helps you quantify the value of UC2.
If you're not familiar with Greenhouse
, it's a live community where you can use Lotus Collaboration products for free. And now it features the first public beta of Sametime 8.5 Online Meetings. You've seen the tweets from members of the private beta... and now you can see what all the buzz is about!
"Sametime 8.5 Meetings are an entirely new way to collaborate with others online. They are incredibly easy to use. Fully integrated into the Connect client you already use for chat, they make it simple to join a meeting with a single click; invite others by dragging their names from the contact list; upload materials via drag and drop; even share your screen from the Macintosh operating system. Of course, not everyone can participate via a Sametime Connect client, so 8.5 includes a zero-download, firewall friendly browser client as well.
Sametime Meetings are different. Meeting rooms are reservationless and don't need to be scheduled. They can be instantly created and linked to calendar invitations from Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook. Sametime Meeting Rooms can also be persistent. You can use the same room over and over for regular meetings and keep frequently used materials on hand during the course of the project...."
Greenhouse will be updated with additional capabilities that are part of the 8.5 release over the next month or so. Come on over
and tell us what you think!
The IBM Support team is hosting a Webcast on Sametime Advanced installation, deployment and troubleshooting on November 12th at 10am Eastern.
"This Webcast presentation will consist of a brief overview of
installation, deployment, and troubleshooting of the Lotus Sametime
Advanced Server and its clients. Our goal is to explain and highlight
the details of the various steps of product installation, deployment,
and troubleshooting. The presentation will bring the attendee through a
basic introduction of Sametime Advanced, Sametime client requirements,
installation, and culminate with troubleshooting."
Sametime Advanced continues to be a hot seller, so there should be a lot of interest in this session.To learn more, visit this link
The main reason I'm going to VoiceCon San Francisco is to be part of a panel titled Developing Voice Applications Using Mashups and SOA.
I'll be sharing the panel with the folks from Voxeo. We had this very discussion last March at VoiceCon Orlando. My argument for this is very simple: A mashup is an aggregation of data from different sources presented in a common context. A voice mashup is a mashup that aggregates voice as well as well as other type of data from various sources in a single context (we call this "a unified experience" in Sametimeland). I'm planning to show our implementation of this pattern on Sametime 8.5 Meetings and Sametime Unified Telephony. I'm also planning on discussing our new APIs and how they can be used for this purpose.
If you're attending VoiceCon and are interested in discussing this topic make sure to stop by on Wednesday, November 4 at 3:15 PM.
Not to long ago, we posted about a new offering from Lotus Education called the Sametime Multimedia Library.
This library contains more than 240 short video clips that outline how to use Sametime 8.0.2. I also want to point out a free resource called the Media Gallery on the IBM Sametime Wiki.
The Gallery contains "media resources including demonstrations, videos, tutorials, reference cards, and web seminars to help users get started with Lotus Sametime." Free or for fee, learning options abound for Sametime.
In the event that you just can't wait the weekend to see what IBM will be unveiling at VoiceCon / E2.0, UC Strategies
has posted a podcast
featuring Bruce Morse.
"Bruce Morse, Vice President of IBM’s Unified Communications Software Group, has a conversation with Jim Burton about what's new with IBM in the unified communications market and research that showed many are CEOs thinking about UC. They also discuss the key challenges customers face and the key capabilities an enterprise should be considering. Bruce talks about IBM’s role in the UC market as the industry goes through consolidation and a lot of M&A activity. He also shares what he will present during his keynote at VoiceCon on November 3rd in San Francisco."
Next week, IBM will have a significant presence at the VoiceCon / E2.0 event in San Francisco. To learn more about what we offer for unified communications and social networking, stop by both 609 in the exhibit hall.
We also invite you to attend any of many sessions where IBM'ers will be presenting:
- Nov 2, 11-12, Pat Galvin, CTO IBM UC2 Software, CTO Roundtable on Next Generation Architectures
- Nov 2, 3:15-4:15, Marisa Viveros, IBM VP Converged Communication Services, Managed & Hosted Offerings for UC
- Nov 2, 3:14-4:15, David Marshak, Senior Product Manager, UC2 Software, Presence, Progress of Federation
- Nov 3, 11:15-12:00. Bruce Morse, VP UC2 Software, Keynote
- Nov 3, 11:15-12:00, Wim Hofland, Manager, Inspiration & Innovation, Sogeti, Case Studies in Enterprise Micro-Blogging
- Nov 3, 2:00-3:00, Akiba Saeedi, Director UC2 Software, UC Leadership Roundtable
- Nov 3, 2:00-5:00, David Marshak, Comparing UC Options and Vendors
- Nov 3, 4:15-5:00, Akiba Saeedi, Future of Social Messaging in the Enterprise
- Nov 3, 4:15-5:00, Jeff Schick and Wim Hofland, Customer Perspective on IBM Enterprise Social Software
- Nov 4, 8:00-10:00, Robert Ingram, Senior Product Manager, UC2 Software, Integrating Mobility with UC
- Nov 4, 10:15-11:00, Jeff Schick, VP IBM Social Software, Social Software, Creating Value Today and Opportunities Tomorrow
- Nov 4, 1:00-1:45, Marisa Viveros, VoiceCon Summit: The Evolution of UC
- Nov 4, 3:15-4:15, Marlon Machado, Product Manager Sametime Platform, Developing Voice Apps using Mashups ans SOA