Lotus Education has put together a new course on "Demystifying Sametime 8.5: Designing and Deploying a Sametime 8.5 Infrastructure". "This webinar brings together multiple Sametime experts, sharing their knowledge and best practices to help you design, deploy, install and administer a new or upgrade an existing Sametime 8.5 Infrastructure. Get a jumpstart on your Sametime 8.5 education today!"
- Module 1 : Designing your Sametime 8.5 Infrastructure
- Module 2: IBM Lotus Sametime System Console: The New Browser-based Dashboard for Managing Your Sametime Infrastructure
- Module 3: Installation and Setup of IBM Lotus Sametime 8.5: From "Zero to Hero" in under 2 Hours
- Module 4: Sametime System Console - Post Installation Tools demo
The first class will be on March 25th. For more information, please visit the Lotus Education site
Just so you don't think we don't have a sense of humor around here (wait, that's a double negative...), I thought we could start a Friday Funnies section. Here's a typically good one from Dilbert, which made me realize that maybe online meetings aren't ALWAYS better that in person.
Feel free to share other humorous sources and any particularly good ones I'll save up for future Fridays.
If you plan to roll out Sametime 8.5 embedded inside Notes 8.5.1, this recent technote describes in detail how to build a custom install kit. Hope you find this helpful.
Internet Telephony has just awarded IBM a 2009 Product of the Year Award for IBM Lotus Sametime Unified Telephony
. "IBM has proven its commitment to quality and excellence while addressing real needs in the marketplace,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC
. “We’re happy to recognize and honor IBM for their development of IP communications technology. We look forward to more innovative solutions from them in the future.” A complete list of Product of the Year winners is published in the February 2010 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine (www.itmag.com
). For more information about TMC, please visit TMCnet.com
We're very proud of the 2009 launch of Sametime Unified Telephony. This also comes on the heels of IBM winning the 2009 TMC Unified Communications Excellence Award
for our IBM Global Technology Services Converged Communications Services for Lotus Sametime Unified Telephony. The combination of our award-winning software, services, hardware and industry expertise uniquely positioned IBM in 2009 as a leader in unified communications, and we look forward to an even stronger 2010.
Jim Burton wrote an excellent article outlining what Lotusphere 2010 meant for Unified Communications.
What impresses me most about IBM’s UC2 solutions are
the breadth and depth of the product offerings. Most of IBM’s UC
products have evolved over 10 years, with continual added
functionality. Many of the demos at Lotusphere showed how easy it is to
add functionality to an application...
While waiting for the Sametime 8.5 demo I assumed that it
couldn’t be a big deal – not with a .5 release. Well, I was wrong. IBM
Lotus really beefed up the collaboration capabilities with a new online
meeting experience, new mobility support, and a social views capability
that makes it easier to find people you collaborate with the most.
Another surprise was the improved integration with Microsoft Outlook
Lotus also made it easier for partners to integrate with its UCC
platform. Of special interest to me is the SIP-based audio/video
interoperability, which brings me to Sametime Unified Telephony (SUT).... Several customers had integrated Sametime into a multi-vendor PBX
environment using SUT. This is a really big deal. Customers told me
that they were able to combine the value of Sametime with telephony and
video capabilities without replacing their existing phone systems.
What made the biggest impression on me from Lotusphere is the large number of customers who got on stage to talk about their Lotus implementations and applications. Almost every announcement and product introduction included customer testimonials. What’s more, many of these customers were or are Microsoft shops using Exchange and SharePoint. IBM went out of its way to explain its desire to provide customers with choices – even when it means supporting a competitive product... I know that based on what I witnessed at Lotusphere, IBM Lotus continues to have a great vision for UC and collaboration – as well as lots of passionate and loyal customers.
To read more, see the entire article on UCStrategies
I don't know if this has been widely shared yet, but as Lotusphere drew to a close, we learned that Akiba Saeedi would be leaving us for a new challenge in IBM. For the past four years, Akiba has led the Sametime product management team with equal parts passion, intelligence, eloquence and tenacity. (Ok... maybe a little more tenacity.) She, Adam Gartenberg and David Marshak were instrumental in reinvigorating the Sametime brand and establishing our Unified Communications and Collaboration Strategy.
On February 1st, Akiba joined the Information Management division of Software Group where she's taking on portfolio strategy for emerging markets and products. Just to show how small IBM actually is (despite its size) one of the products she's taking on is the Infosphere Traceability Server. This was a key component of IBM Solution for Pharmaceutical Track & Trace... which was of the solutions I used to own before coming to Sametime.
We wish her all the best.
A new PBS Frontline documentary that airs tonight has a segment on IBM's efforts to conduct internal meetings in virtual worlds (using Virtual Collaboration for Lotus Sametim
e - aka Sametime 3D) and how more than 10,000 IBMers are incorporating virtual world meetings into the way they work.
Part of the IBM segment for the Digital Nation documentary was filmed from the home of Francoise LeGoues (IBM VP of Innovation Initiatives) and follows her as she participates in virtual meetings and talks about the use of virtual worlds for collaboration. Another part shows IBMers being trained on virtual world technology.
All of the "in world" scenes shot in her home office as well as the training session were done in Sametime 3D!
addition to meeting with customers and business partners, Lotusphere
is also a great opportunity to meet with IT analysts, reporters and
bloggers, share with them what we're up to, and get their feedback,
since they have such a strong pulse on the marketplace. Our Analyst
Relations lead, Public Relations lead, along with our Unified
Communications leadership team met, with several analysts and
reporters throughout the week.
wanted to summarize some of the feedback we received, mainly to show
IBM's continued commitment to the Unified Communications and
real-time collaboration market.
up is a video interview with Zeus Kerravala from Yankee Group. He particularly liked
the themes of multi-modal UC and cost effectiveness that were in the
broader themes covered in Bruce Morse's Unified Communications
Keynote Monday afternoon. Zeus is also a regular contributor to the nojitter.com blog.
our analyst relations lead, also had the opportunity to interview Melanie Turek from Frost & Sullivan. Money quote:
think the most interesting new stuff right now revolves around the
Meetings [function in Sametime 8.5]. And I think that what we saw
especially how fast and easy it was."
Riggs from Current Analysis blogged extensively
about his thoughts from Lotusphere 2010 on nojitter.com. Money
Sametime client can of course provide the same click-to-call and
other telephony features. And with the release of SameTime Unified
Telephony last year, IBM can now deliver a soft phone that combines
instant messaging presence, telephony presence, and the ability to
initiate and receive calls in a multivendor PBX environment. So while
IBM has stayed out of the PBX business, it is quite capable of
delivering a UC-enriched soft phone that works with a variety of
Clive Longbottom from Quocirca was also in attendance. Money quote:
IBM is demonstrating is that no matter where an organisation is
starting from, it can move the communication and collaboration
platform forward to wherever the organisation feels it needs to go:
in-house, hybrid or pure-play cloud.
Osterman from Osterman Research was at Lotusphere as well, also
producing a lengthy blog entry.
is making major strides toward moving its offerings into the cloud.
IBM is also focusing heavily on mobility, demonstrating a number of
interesting mobility-based features and functions for Notes, Sametime
and other platforms.
Kelly from Wainhouse Research devoted a big section of the January 26 Wainhouse Research Bulletin
to his attendance at Lotusphere. And Henry Dewing from Forrester also wrote about the launch of the IBM Collaboration Agenda.
Twitterati were out in force as well, certainly aided by my extensive use of Tweetdeck on my iPhone, the @Sametime id, and lots of retweeting by @bilaljaffery
and others. What was nice, though, was some of the more “water
cooler” a-ha! Moments, such as this one from Stephane Rousseau:
#Lotusknows that I enjoyed #Lotusphere. Check my feedback here :
let us not forget the mainstream media. Sametime's press activities
at Lotusphere did generate articles in key technology and telephony
trade magazines including: NetworkWorld, Computerworld, ChannelWeb,
eWEEK, IDG, VON, V3 and TMCNet.
Hot of the presses, some good news for those looking to use Domino 8.5.1 and Sametime 8.5 community server or 'classic' meetings server. IBM will now provide technical support to customers using this configuration. Here is the official technote with the official support statement
We plan to continue testing Domino 8.5.1 configuration for inclusion in a maintenance release of Sametime 8.5, currently targeted for release in 1H 2010.
IBM announced our annual Lotus Award Winners for 2010, as blogged about in the Collaborate for Success Blog
. Our Business Partners were a bright spot for us in 2009, and we look forward to even more success in 2010. A sampling of the Sametime business partners who won or were nominated include:
Best Unified Communications and Collaboration Solution Award
WINNER: Instant Technologies (United States)
Finalist: RADVISION, Inc. (United States)
Finalist: KMSLAB Co. Ltd (Korea)
IBM Lotus Breakout Technology Award
Finalist: Alcatel-Lucent (France)
IBM Lotus Marketing Award
Finalist: Epilio (United States)
Distinguished Achievement Award
Finalist: Meridian IT (United States)
If I forgot a few winners or finalists, please let me know so I can post an errata. Congrats to our winners and finalists!
In case you missed them, here is a quick summary of the unified communications & collaboration press releases issued by IBM partners at Lotusphere:
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
. 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!
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.
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 –
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 :-)
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
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!