It is with mixed emotions that I'm announcing that today is Bruce Morse's last day with IBM. After 32 years, he's decided that it's time to pursue other challenges and adventures in life. Most of you know that Bruce has led our Unified Communications & Collaboration segment for the past 4 years. But in his 3 decades with IBM he also
- helped manage IBM's
S/390 and AS/400 businesses through a number of challenging industry
transitions in technology, computing styles and business models
- was responsible for building strategic
alliances as part of IBM's business development initiatives
- built the Software Group mergers and acquisition team and played a prominent role
in the acquisitions of Lotus, Tivoli, and eight other software
- played a leading role in the
launch and development of the WebSphere Portal business
- was a major driver in a number of our software start-up businesses,
Computing and Software Group Industry Solutions
- participated in some really bad skits on the Lotusphere stage. Holy cow they were bad...
The entire UC2 team wishes him all the best and his leadership will be missed.
As for Sametime, the rest of the team remains intact and our focus unchanged. I had hoped to be able to announce Bruce's successor at the same time as his retirement, but that is still in the works. I'll let you know as soon as I am able.
The world is noticing that communication alone is not as useful as when it's done in the service of collaboration towards achieving a common goal--if only talk show hosts would get a grip on that one... but I digress. The point is that communication as an enabler to collaboration actually make sense and people are starting to notice. The steady penetration of social software into business processes proves my point.
I mentioned before we're working with the IBM BPM team in devising integration scenarios for BPM and UC² around a theme known as "Social BPM". We're making good progress along several work streams and we're all very excited about the strength of this story.
Today, an article on Internet Telephony titled Businesses Are Sweet on Social Networking
talks about specific case studies where customers are deploying social software to enrich collaboration and bridge gaps caused geography and other barriers. The author has nice things to say about our very own Connections software:
"...one customer is Rheinmetall AG, a German defense and automotive manufacturer. They have deployed Lotus Connections and embedded it into their internal SAP portal to improve productivity across teams, time zones, borders and corporate divisions. They can tap the expertise of their entire organization from the context of their ERP system.”
Another IBM customer is the Practicing Law Institute, which deployed IBM social software last year to support its extranet site for 100,000 lawyers. “The social capabilities allow PLI to not only deliver continuing education to the legal industry more effectively, it also helps strengthen PLI’s relationships with those customers so they visit more frequently,” says Lamb.
When organizations embed the knowledge of employee or customer communities into those applications, adds Lamb, they accelerate adoption, and they can optimize that particular business process. This results in faster time to market, shorter sales cycles, improved customer satisfaction, lower call center volume and other potential benefits, he says.
Sametime and Connections are first cousins who are growing up together. Sametime is about ten years older than Connections and, as a good older cousin, it has embraced its younger cousin. Sametime features integration with Connections both ways, on the Sametime Connect client, and on the Connections user interface as well.
You can get to a person's activities, blogs, communities, etc. on Connections straight from a chat window on the Sametime Connect client:
Additionally, you can see a person's Sametime presence and availability status directly from the Connections user interface:
In a nutshell, we got this one down. Now we're working on taking it to the next level where social software and unified communications along with BPM software will truly make CEBP happen.
Many of you may have seen IBM Foundations Reach demo'd at VoiceCon (Enterprise Connect) earlier this year. Foundations Reach is an appliance that puts
- Core IT functions - email, calendars, productivity tools, network security, remote access, file and print sharing, backup and disaster recovery
- AND real time collaborative tools - secured instant messaging, VoIP and video chat capabilities (ie: Sametime)
- On a single package priced with the small business budget in mind.
Now Shortel's IP telephony, audio conferencing, mobility, voicemail and
unified messaging work with Foundations Reach... and it's winning awards.
Mark Arman, vice president of business development, ShoreTel "This Unified Communications TMC Labs Innovation Award reflects the commitment the ShoreTel team has made to deliver a brilliantly simple UC solution for SMBs that helps eliminate complexity and offers the lowest total cost of ownership in the industry. ShoreTel for IBM Foundations is designed to transform every organization in which it is deployed, with unprecedented ease of use, reliability and features -- all backed with ShoreTel's commitment to world-class customer satisfaction. We're proud that TMC has recognized this industry-first achievement."
Buck Baker, president, ScanSource Communications "We are delighted that
ShoreTel for IBM Foundations has been recognized by TMCnet for its
innovation and market leadership. We're already seeing an enormous
interest for this product among small and midsize businesses eager to
take advantage of powerful and reliable unified communications features
without the cost and complexity of a traditional approach. With many
resellers already offering this out-of-the box solution, and many more
in the process of signing up, SMBs around the world can now simplify and
modernize their business communications on a reliable platform built
Caleb Barlow, director, Lotus Foundations, IBM "With this recognition and award, it's clear that ShoreTel for IBM Foundations is the perfect choice for businesses who are looking for a 'UCC-in-a-box' solution that is effortless on all levels -- painless to deploy, simple to manage and easy to maintain. The first communications technology that turns a PBX into an appliance, ShoreTel for IBM Foundations takes simple, yet innovative technology to a whole new level."
You care read more here
IBM was among the select companies that independent research firm, Forrester Research, Inc., invited to participate in its June 2010 Forrester Wave™ report,The Forrester Wave™: Web Conferencing, Q2 2010. In their evaluation, IBM Sametime was cited as a leader. "Sametime got a big face-lift with the 8.5 release in 2009. This product includes instant messaging, presence, videoconferencing, and persistent meeting rooms, so it’s easy to incorporate Web meetings into other modes of communication" Check out the full report on Forrester.com.
Today's Partner topic is on new training tools to help roll out of Sametime 8.5 to your users.
The Learning Continuum Company, Ltd. has three new Sametime 8.5 courses, including an all new course on using the new Meeting Rooms in Sametime 8.5. TLCC's Sametime courses can be taken using either a web browser or the Notes client. A list of lessons can be displayed in the Notes 8 sidebar for quick reference to a particular topic. An Integrated discussion component allows the students to ask questions and interact with the course monitors. The lessons are easily customized for a customer's unique requirements using the Notes client. TLCC's offers low-cost site licensing plans to make it very affordable to properly train all your Sametime users on Sametime 8.5.
For more information contact TLCC at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to:
I don't know who made this video. It's funny in a quirky way. Take a look
. Happy Friday, everyone!
With this new test, you can certify that you have the skills to:
- Understand Sametime 8.5 architecture
- Plan and prepare a Sametime 8.5 environment
- Install and configure
- Manage and maintain the environment
- Manage security
- Work with policies
It's nice to see products evolving to become richer and to provide more value. Permessa Corp.'s IM Control for Lotus Sametime
is one of those products that grows and adapts based on customer needs and, as a result, becomes more valuable with each new version.
IM Control for Lotus Sametime is a solution for compliance and policy. It's also a monitoring tool for Sametime that features four modules:
- IM Investigator for statistical reporting,
- IM Monitor for health and availability--includes a plug-in for Sametime Connect and Lotus Notes,
- IM Archiver for archiving (duh...) and
- IM Enforcement for disclaimers, ethical firewall and content inspection.
Total Oli Trading, SA, a Permessa customer based in Switzerland is using IM Control for Lotus Sametime today. If you're interested in reading about their experience you can find their case study here
As many of you are aware, what with the advertisements on New York City taxicabs, airport lounges and even the seatback TVs on JetBlue, IBM last fall rolled out the Lotus Knows
campaign. We heard loud and clear that our loyal customers and business partners wanted to see more Lotus visibility in the marketplace, and this campaign was designed to do just that. And Unified Communications and Collaboration -- our Sametime family of products -- have been an important part of that campaign since the beginning, with Sametime-related videos and user generated content.
The latest addition to our Lotus Knows ecosystem is The Lotus Knows Blog
. As Alistair Rennie, our General Manager, said:
Since we launched our Lotus Knows campaign last fall I've been
hearing from all sorts of folks - customers, colleagues, fellow
travelers in the airport - who want to hear more about exactly what it
is that Lotus really knows and how it can help their business. This blog is designed to help answer that question.
Feel free to read, subscribe via RSS, comment and share!
This week's humor comes from one of my favorite comics of all times, Bloom County
(I had also wanted to share a clip from Episode 337 of Saturday Night Live, with Harvey Keitel, and a too-close-to-home New York City Subway public announcement system, but that hasn't entered digital archives yet, alas...)
Many of you I'm sure will be, or are considering, attending Enterprise 2.0 in Boston
next week. As unified communications continues to integrate more closely with the broader collaboration requirements of enterprises, this event will be sure to generate a lot of exciting conversations about the state of collaboration in general and the direction of the Web 2.0 world within the enterprise.
IBM has a sponsorship with a large, 20x20 booth including 6 pedestals staffed with product experts. The booth will cover pretty much our entire collaboration portfolio: Lotus Quickr, Lotus Connections, Mashup Center, LotusLive, Lotus Notes & Domino, Lotus Symphony, Websphere Portal, Lotus Web Content Management, Lotus Forms, Project Vulcan, and of course Lotus Sametime and Sametime Unified Telephony. The exhibit hours are Tuesday, June 15 and Wednesday June 16 from 11:30 am to 6 pm. Stop by the IBM booth on Wednesday at noon to get a free book signed by
Rawn Shah, Practices Lead Social Software Enablement, IBM
In addition, we have several speakers participating:
- On Monday, June 14, 4:30 - 7:00pm, don't miss IBM Evening in the Cloud. Cloud is poised to change the way we access technology - see IBM showcase their Cloud solutions and hear industry experts speak about the competitive Cloud marketplace, with Sean Poulley, VP Online Collaboration Services, IBM.
- On Tuesday, June 15, 3:30-4:30pm , join Kevin Cavanaugh, VP Messaging and Collaboration, IBM for "Lotus Knows Enterprise Collaboration and Productivity"
- On Wednesday, June 16, 2:15-3:15pm, join IBM for "Evolution of E2.0 at IBM: The Frustrations and the Glory", with Jeanne Murray, Program Manager, Social Software Adoption, IBM, and Rawn Shah.
- On Wednesday, June 16, 3:30-4:30pm, join Dave Millen, Research Scientist, IBM, for "Social Behavior, Usage Patterns, and Adoption".
Continuing our Business Partner Tuesdays series, this week we feature Dialogic. They recently announced their Dialogic(R) 2000 Media Gateway
to help with the integration of PBX systems with (and through) Sametime Unified Telephony. They also have online training modules
to help sales, sales engineering, and installation/support engineering teams get up to speed.
Yesterday, Apple introduced the new iPhone 4 and iOS 4 (the new name for the iPhoneOS). I'm an iPhone user (white 16GB 3G) and am really looking forward to the new enhancements. For a long time I've used Traveler for push email and calendar access and the Sametime iPhone browser client for chat services (part of Sametime 8.5). (And with iOS 4's new background services, my product managers are already tired of me asking for Sametime Unified Telephony on the device.)
Even so, I don't think I'll be upgrading. The reason.... I really want an iPad.
I can hear some of my favorite customers groaning from here. "An iPad??? It's just a big iPhone / iPod Touch!" Yes, it is. I actually think that's a bit of brilliant marketing on the part of Apple. What was an iPod? Your music in your pocket. How about the iPhone - before apps and the web? Your iPod and phone in one device. Each new Apple product is very simple and easy to understand (a big iPhone). That makes them easy to buy... which is a lesson many in the technology industry have yet to learn.
I won't get into the benefits of the larger screen for reading content
(like research reports over Sunday breakfast) or watching movies
(keeping the kids calm on the airplane)... other to say that it makes
participating in Sametime Online Meetings a breeze from anywhere (pictured on the left).
From a business person's perspective - especially one who travels -
the iPad is just about spot on. What are the things I'm likely to need
on the road? Email? Web? Minor edits / reworks to presentations?
Entertainment? Easy to carry? Long battery life? Location services?
Access to content on the road? All there. And let me stress that last
one. There is nothing like tapping iTunes over wi-fi in the airport for a
couple of movies to make the return trip across the country a
bit more bearable.
The iPad does still need a couple of things to be perfect. First, is multi-tasking. The larger screen size almost demands it and Apple says it will be available in the fall. The other is Symphony / Open Office editors and viewers. Without ODP support, my laptop is still required.
So I'm curious where the iPad & iPhone fit into your plans. Will you be getting a new iPhone? An iPad? And if anyone has a suggestion for ODP support, that would be great, too!
As I mentioned in a previous post
, we've been working with AwesomeBobcatVideos
to include Unified Communications videos in her ongoing series of short videos that cover Enterprise
Collaboration as well as other topics.
Here's the 2nd video in the series. This one talks about how IBM is helping insurance companies, specifically Celina Insurance
, streamline operations and save money with unified communications. Take a look at the video on YouTube here