- Epilio and The Turtle Partnership announce UC2Ready™ to streamline the deployment of IBM Lotus Sametime 8.5
- Alcatel-Lucent introduces contextual unified communications that now links with IBM Lotus Connections software to speed up connected knowledge
- Avistar Announces Manageable HD Support across its Line of Desktop Videoconferencing Solutions and Extended Support for IBM Lotus Sametime 8.5
- IBM Software Services for Lotus to Resell FaceTime Communications Security and Compliance Solutions
- iscoord introduces new OEM rental model for hosted solutions
- Get the Answers and Get Going! Just-In-Time Training for IBM Lotus Collaboration Software (Knowledge Accelerators)
- NEC Announces Enterprise-class Unified Communications for SMBs, Fully Integrated with IBM's Lotus Foundations Appliance
- Permessa Extends Its Award-Winning, Comprehensive Management and Reporting Suite for IBM® Lotus® Software To Help Cut Costs and Increase Performance
- PGi to Deliver More Meeting Options With MANAGED COLLABORATION SERVICES for IBM customers
- Polycom Expands Integration for IBM Unified Communications and Collaboration
- SCANSOURCE COMMUNICATIONS ENTERS AGREEMENT WITH IBM AND SHORETEL TO DISTRIBUTE INTEGRATED UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTION
- ShoreTel Demonstrates Successful Complete UC Integration with IBM Lotus Foundations Reach at IBM Lotusphere 2010
The Sametime Blog
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  sametime-8.5 sametime_multimedia_libra... uc2 unified_communications lotusphere-2010 2,434 Visits
In case you missed them, here is a quick summary of the unified communications & collaboration press releases issued by IBM partners at Lotusphere:
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 email@example.com Tags:  lotusphere-2010 award sametime-8.5 1,844 Visits
Each year Lotus gives out many awards for best partner, best solution, etc, etc. My personal contribution to award season is the annual Best in Lotusphere Chotski Award. For those of you not familiar with the term, chotski's are the freebie's given out by exhibitors on the show floor. Last year, Premiere Global Services (PGi) won with nerf-like dart guns (great fun with the kids) and chocolate bars. (This year PGi rolled out Sametime 8.5 + their audio conferencing as a managed service... but no great chotski's.)
This year there were two runners up, Polycom and Permessa. On the floor, Polycom was showing their telepresence, voice and video conferencing solutions for Sametime 8.5. Permessa featured their email and instant messaging management and compliance tools (which won the Lotus Award for Best Tool or Utility). Interestingly, both gave away fantastic pens. (Yes, pens.) Permessa went the traditional, but high-end, route with a very substantial silver and black number. This thing is solid. Polycom took a more modern approach with a smooth writing ballpoint with a built-in yellow highlighter.
But this year's winner was clearly Extracomm. Granted, it might have been because I got to them late on the last day... but they were handing out USB Sametime phones, 3D optical mice, iphone cases and golf shirts. Among other offerings, Extracomm produces ExtraTxt and ExtraFax. These let Sametime users send faxes or SMS messages from their Connect client. Check them out.
Congratulations to all our winners and good luck next year!
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  sametime-unified-telephon... lotusphere sametime lotusknows lotusphere-2010 ls10 1,867 Visits
I finally have a free moment to catch up on sharing our Sametime experience here at Lotusphere 2010. But rather than a laundry list of recaps, I wanted to talk about story telling.
One of the most wonderful aspects of meetings like Lotusphere is serendipity. One such seredipitous moment came this morning when I had the pleasure of sitting next to Jean-Francois Chenier, of “The Man Who Should Have Used Lotus Connections” fame, on the bus from the Port Orleans hotel to the Dolphin. His videos, and our wide-ranging conversation about Japan and Calgary and snow, have inspired me to find ways to tell better stories. And not just any stories.
In IBM we're awfully good at telling the “how” stories – I would say 90% of the content here at Lotusphere is training, education, implementation, etc. The two excellent videos (and more to come) that John Del Pizzo produced are great examples of that too. But those of us who are close to a topic often struggle with the “why”. I'm not just referring to the business value of our Lotus portfolio, though that's clearly a big part of the “why”. It's also the more personal stories that make a direct connections between these incredible technologies and improving our lives.
On a subconscious level, those of us who use Sametime every day – indeed, the younger generation that uses Skype and Yahoo! and Google Talk -- instinctually know the incredible value it brings to our lives – the visually rich, instant communication with friends and colleagues all over the world, and the flexibility it provides for our work and personal lives. But how do we put ourselves in the shoes of someone not so close to it as we are? To communicate that “why” to the vast mass of people who may not be aware of Sametime or discount out-of-hand the business value of real-time communications?
So that's the challenge that I, as the worldwide market segment manager for Sametime, set for myself this year: to learn from a master like Jean-Francois, to reading wonderful books like “Back of the Napkin”, to tell the “why” of Sametime. The product team worked extremely hard in 2009 to improve Sametime: Sametime Unified Telephony; and Sametime 8.5 are sea-change improvements in unified communications and real-time collaboration software. My job this year – and the help I need from you as business partners and evangelists in your enterprises – is to now shift into that wonderful story-telling mode. To get our prospects' eyes wide with wonder at the possibilities Sametime can open up in our work, and personal – lives.
I would love to
hear YOUR stories. What are your experiences, good and bad? How do you wish you COULD use Sametime? Whether through comments here, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or YouTube, WHY do you use Sametime?
Marlon Machado 100000PEST email@example.com Tags:  collaboration-agenda industries solutions lotusphere sametime 1,902 Visits
It's 12:26 AM EST in Orlando. Lotusphere is in full swing and I just came back to my room at the Dolphin hotel after attending the Australian Party--allegedly the hottest ticket in town during Lotusphere. I just said good night to my lovely wife and, instead of brushing my teeth and getting ready to go to bed, I'm here writing this post.
The reason I'm doing this is to clarify what Collaboration Agenda means for Sametime. I've been manning the Collaboration Agenda pedestal at the IBM booth and I'm getting lots of questions about what this actually means; questions from business partners, customers and even from IBM colleagues. So, here it goes.
Collaboration Agenda is a philosophy, a way of doing things, a metamethodology that brings together well-known best practices to help customers address pain points with solutions that will save them money and help them make money.
It all starts with industry priorities defined by industry leaders and visionaries. Each industry priority encompasses a series of well-defined pain points that are measurable and quantifiable. Then, based on that knowledge, we apply known best practices to address those pain points with solutions designed to minimize the impact inflicted by those pain points on the customer's business processes and to maximize efficiency and agility. In the case of business processes that benefit from reducing and/or eliminating human latency, such solutions will be based on unified communications and collaboration software.
Devising solutions using the Collaboration Agenda philosophy produces things such as RadioConnect for Sametime, a solution based on Sametime Standard and a soft radio plug-in developed by UnifiedEdge, an IBM Business Partner based out of Round Rock, Texas. RadioConnect was designed with a manic focus on solving a single problem: lack of interoperability among disparate radio infrastructures in emergency response and public safety scenarios and nothing else.
This is what Collaboration Agenda can help us achieve. RadioConnect may not be very sexy--it won't update your Tweeter status or your Facebook wall--but it will help first responders communicate with each other in an emergency situation, which can contribute to minimizing the loss of life and property.
If you happen to be at Lotusphere and would like to have a deeper discussion about this feel free to drop by the IBM booth. I'm going to be back at the Collaboration Agenda pedestal between 11:45 AM EST and 2:00 PM EST today.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  lotusknows twitter 2010 ls10 tweetup lotusphere 1 Comment 1,939 Visits
For those readers who are traveling to Lotusphere 2010, feel free to join our first ever Tweetup! It's co-hosted by our own Bilal Jaffery and Luis Benitez, of the Lotus Social Software Community (of which I'm a member). Have a safe trip and bring some comfortable clothing - looks like the weather is finally turning back to normal down there.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  lotusphere sametime lotusknows ls10 1,186 Visits
An update to our original post back on December 2: we are planning a wide range of activities at next week's Lotusphere 2010 for Sametime. Here's a handy-dandy 1-page JPG you can download and use to find us in the happy madness of it all.
I've been reading lots of literature about Communication-Enabled Business Processes, or CEBPs over the last few weeks. Most of it seems to revolve around the notion that CEBPs are nothing but voice-enabled business processes; that all you need to do to enable a business process with communications services is add voice to it. Other ideas around CEBPs call for taking the basic premise of eliminating human latency to the extreme and to actually measure how much a business process can be accelerated through communications enablement in actual minutes. I think both notions fail to present the full dimension of what CEBPs are and why we need them.
I agree that the main purpose of turning a regular business process into a CEBP is to deal with human latency. However, there are business processes in which human intervention is an intrinsic feature and, as a result, expected to be part of the process. I'm talking about processes where human decision-making must be rooted on reflection and careful evaluation of pros and cons, reflection that will invariable manifest itself as latency in the overall business process. I wouldn't mind, for instance, having my doctor taking enough time to evaluate the best treatment options for me or a fund manager taking time to go over a company's books and strategy before investing my money in it. What I would like is for both, my doctor and my broker, to be able to access all the contextual information they need to support the thought process and to have the tools to eliminate latency from their own decision-making process.
I think in these cases the goal behind communication-enabling business processes should be to prevent the process from slowing down as opposed to accelerating it just because faster is better. Doing this requires more than voice, chat and video. It requires a healthy combination of real-time and asynchronous communications and collaboration services to reduce not only human latency where needed but to enhance the context to support decision-making.
I think work styles have a lot to do with the perception that CEBPs are all about voice and reducing human latency. Traditional work styles tend to hover towards extremes: you're either sending email (the most asynchronous way of communication aside from snail mail and fax) or you get on the phone with that person if you can't walk into his or her office. And so, if these are your parameters, that's what you're going to try to optimize. When, on the other hand, you're used to live in a multimodal environment in which chat, voice, a blog post, an entry on a Wiki or a tweet can get you the information you need and when knowing the person who gave you the answer is just there without you having to talk directly to him or her, that's when you realize email and voice alone are way too extreme. Then you learn that just having access to the context in which that person operates can be enough.
Why am I talking about this? Well, this is how we define CEBPs in the Sametime world. We view Sametime as more than just real-time communications--hence the "UC²" thing. We do have the real-time communication capabilities that our competitors have and we also provide the asynchronous and context-based means to provide a better way to do CEBPs through Sametime Advanced and with the help of our sister products and I think we need to talk more about this. I know I should probably write this in a white paper at some point (and I will) but I thought it necessary to rant about it a bit here just to get it off my chest..
See you all in Orlando.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  pr press itjungle crosspost sametime-8.5 1 Comment 1,838 Visits
Just saw a very nice article from the folks over at ITJungle, reviewing the new Sametime 8.5. The hat trick:
Sametime developers will fly out of their seats when they learn about the new support for representational state transfer, or REST-based Web 2.0 APIs. Put into standard English, the new REST-based API--in concert with the new no-download browser-based client that's used throughout version 8.5--will allows developers to use standard AJAX tools to embed Sametime into Web applications and Web portals.Communications Enabled Business Processes is not just a buzzword, and with Sametime 8.5, looks like CEBP will get a little easy to implement. Nothing like some positive press to make one's day :-)
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 email@example.com 1,096 Visits
Today Gartner published their First Take on Sametime 8.5 and had some great things to say about our new capabilities. Unfortunately, we don't have the rights yet to publish the entire report here, check out gartner.com to purchase and read the details.
And, if you didn't see this piece last week, Forrester has posted their view... 'Sametime 8.5 Is "Click To Conference"'
"In case you haven't noticed, IBM Lotus not only didn't go away, it's here with a vengeance. LotusLive.com claims 18 million users, the 8.5 release of Notes/Domino is a winner in storage savings, Lotus Connections beats other social software platforms on many dimensions, and Sametime's pushing the envelope on real-time collaboration at global scale."
You can try the new Sametime Meetings experience on Lotus Greenhouse or check out the highly rated demo on Youtube.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  sametime webcast lotususergroup sametime-8.5 1,640 Visits
Come join us, and our hosts, the LotusUserGroup.org, for a pre-Lotusphere 2010 live webcast reviewing Sametime 8.5's newest capabilities, and the real business value they provide. To learn more, visit the registration page is here. Registration is required, but membership to the LotusUserGroup is free!
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 email@example.com Tags:  sametime linux sametime_8.5 macintosh 2 Comments 4,480 Visits
If you've read the Sametime 8.5 Requirements, you may have noticed that Windows is the only platform listed under the Connect client. As much as it pains me to say this - especially as a long-time Mac user - we've had to hold the Mac & Linux clients. This is simply a point-in-time statement and we intend to release them both in 2010. In the meantime, if you need Mac support in order to deploy Sametime 8.5, please contact me. There is a beta (which I've been using for months) that we will make available in select situations. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the new zero-download browser client, demo'd here.
Now, to keep the lawyers AND the finance folks happy, I am required to add this disclaimer anytime I make statements about future releases:
"The information on the new product is intended to outline our general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision. The information on the new product is for informational purposes only and may not be incorporated into any contract. The information on the new product is not a commitment, promise, or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion."I certainly don't feel over-regulated (see Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002). How about you?
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  documentation sametime_8.5 sametime 1,955 Visits
The following Sametime 8.5 Documentation is now available for your use:
Sametime 8.5 Information Center
Contains online information and PDFs for planning, installation, configuration, administration, tuning, troubleshooting, the error message catalog, as well as End-User FAQs, the Preview guide, videos, and reference cards: http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/sametime/v8r5/index.jsp
Sametime System Requirements 8.5: http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=477&uid=swg27016451
Known problems are documented in the form of individual technotes in the Support knowledge base at http://www.ibm.com/software/lotus/support. As problems are discovered and resolved, the IBM Support team updates the knowledge base. By searching the knowledge base, you can quickly find work-arounds or solutions to problems.
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 email@example.com Tags:  online_meetings sametime sametime_8.5 demo youtube web_conferencing 3 Comments 3,330 Visits
Thanks for all the positive feedback on the Sametime 8.5 Meetings demo! It seems I've tapped some latent demand. Yes, we will be making these available on IBM.com as soon we clear the posting requirements. In the meantime, IBM'ers can download them from our internal Connections site (see my Files area). When the rest of them are done, we'll bundle them up and post a collection publicly.
Here's the second in our series:
Marlon Machado 100000PEST firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  api web-2.0 sametime toolkit sametime-proxy 1 Comment 2,921 Visits
I'm working on the slides for the session I'm going to present at Lotusphere 2010. The session title is JMP201 IBM Lotus Sametime for Web 2.0. The session is really about the Sametime platform and the Sametime SDK with an emphasis on the significance of the Sametime Proxy 8.5 Toolkit.
The more I learn about the Proxy and the Proxy Toolkit the more I like it. I honestly think it represents the easiest way to enable Web applications for unified communications services. It's amazing how easy to use the toolkit is. The footprint it imposes on a Web page is minimal and yet it's gentle enough to be fully customizable.
I like the fact that it has an encapsulation layer that makes it backward compatible with the STLinks and Sametime Connect Web toolkits. I also like the fact that, if it detects that the Sametime Connect Client is running on the same desktop as the Web page, all requests go to the Connect Client through the Connect Web toolkit, which broadens the integration picture from Web pages all the way to custom applications through the Sametime Helper toolkit. The possibilities are endless. I like that.
There are going to be several sessions about the Proxy 8.5 Toolkit at Lotusphere 2010. Make sure to check them out if you're interested in learning more. Check out John's December 2 posting for more details.
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 email@example.com Tags:  web_conferencing demo online_meetings sametime sametime_8.5 youtube 4 Comments 3,261 Visits
We've just posted a short video on Youtube that highlights a few key capabilities in the new Sametime 8.5 Meeting experience. Check it out and tell us what you think.
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  sametime_8.5 extension lotus_notes sametime upgrade 4 Comments 4,282 Visits
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:
But, there you go Notes customers, upgrade to Sametime Standard or Advanced today!
* December 16, 2009 update: Corrected Standard Extension part number.
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 email@example.com Tags:  sametime unified_communications lotusknows sametime_8.5 5 Comments 6,245 Visits
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:
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.
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  sametime uc2 unified communications lotusphere 2,626 Visits
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. ;-)
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 email@example.com 1,157 Visits
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.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  2009 voicecon san-francisco 1,372 Visits
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...
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  collaboration services virtual sametime cnn sametime-3d cnn.com 1,825 Visits
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:
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:
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.
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  unfied_communications sametime uc2 1,728 Visits
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.
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 email@example.com Tags:  greenhouse online_meetings beta sametime_8.5 2,173 Visits
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.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!
Rob Ingram 1100009UH2 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  voicecon telephony unified 1 Comment 1,832 Visits
Just got back from a hectic few days connecting with customers and partners, press and analysts in the Unified Communications market. Bruce Morse, IBM VP of Unified Communications and collaboration software delivered a keynote address. The IBM showfloor booth was very busy. We showcased Sametime 8.5 and Sametime Unified Telephony as well as the other Lotus collaborative products. A big hit at this show was the long line for the IBM candy store looking for a 'Sweet Tweet'. Here are few pictures from the show.