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
This week's UC Friday Funnies is a wonderful blast from the past: The IBM Muppet Show
"Before Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, Jim Henson
made short films for Big Blue. The tech may be archaic, but the
entertainment is timeless."
Although not directly related to unified communications, I'm far too much of an avid fan of the Muppets (since Sesame Street, 'natch) to not share this one.
(hat tip: fellow IBM blogger Adam Gartenberg
One of our Public Relations team members, Michelle, has put together an ongoing YouTube channel, AwesomeBobcatVideos
She puts together a wide variety of short videos that cover Enterprise
Collaboration, including Unified Communications, as well as some other
fun and intriguing videos.
The Sametime team has just joined her series. The first video our new collaboration has me at the beautiful Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga
, a short drive out of a foggy San Francisco and into the sunny South Bay. I talk briefly about why IBM should be considered as one of your short-list vendors for Unified Communications. You can see the video on YouTube here
I'm happy to report that a new thought leadership piece based on a long, long, long paper based on deep, deep, deep research that yours truly undertook last year has finally been published.
The Value of UC² in the Banking Industry is finally available for public consumption (yay!) The final product is shorter than my original paper and the editing process rendered the writing more lively than anything this old geek can muster. I'm very pleased with it and I think you will too if you feel so inclined to read it. You can find it here
I get numerous requests for references of Sametime being used in call center scenarios. We've worked with three business partners in building integrated solutions featuring Sametime for call center scenarios.
Two of them are new and are just being brought to market. The third one has been around for a while and it has already garnered many accolades and, with that, some very nice references. I'm talking about Instant Technologies' Instant Queue Manager
. Check it out and, more importantly, take a look at these nice case studies
For those of you who think UC can fix all call center problems...
Have a great Memorial Day!
Speaking of business partners, FaceTime has built a very nice solution that adds considerable value to Sametime deployments in various industry scenarios with high security and regulatory compliance requirements.
FaceTime for Sametime augments Sametime deployments with hardened compliance for regulatory and e-Discovery. It provides tamper-proof logging, it provides a framework for defining ethical boundaries, it allows exporting Sametime file transfers to IBM Enterprise Content Manager and it adds an e-Discovery user interface to facilitate searching and reviewing.
When it comes to security, the solution adds protection against viruses and worms for instant messaging sessions. When it comes to data loss prevention, it scans file transfers over IM sessions and it allows filtering file transfers by keywords and regular expressions.
Regarding management, the solution allows controlling availability of features (IM, VoIP, video) on a per-user basis and it provides a rich reporting framework that allows retrieving conversations as they occurred.
In short, wherever there's a need for IM archiving and compliance, security and data loss prevention on IM sessions, enforcing compliance, ethical boundaries and communication policies, I think FaceTime for Sametime
is a a good way to go.
A day late, but still worth the wait. This is WHY
we need unified communications...
A new technical article from IBM detailing how to troubleshoot Lotus Quickr and Lotus Sametime integrations. Over at the Quickr Blog, here
For today's entry in the ongoing Business Partner Tuesday series, own own Marlon Machado guest posts on the Plantronics blog
. "On Old, New and Simple" is a neat discussion on user interfaces and why they're important. It also ties into today's Plantronics announcement of new plug-ins for Sametime
. We'd love to hear your comments, either there or here.
I want to elaborate a bit on the ideas I rambled about on one of my previous posts
about how UC without collaboration doesn't do the trick and how this makes IBM's vision for Communication-Enabled Business Processes (CEBP) better than our competitors'.
Humans are wired for communication. We just cannot shut up (some more than others) and that's why our brains developed the ability to create language as a coding system to express ideas. This is also the reason our bodies evolved to have the anatomical features that allow us to talk and not just grunt and howl at each other--we still do that in general but that's another story. In short, communication is natural to us and we will communicate no matter what; even when we have nothing important to say (Twitter anyone?)
Collaboration, on the other hand, is trickier. We are social animals but human nature is not necessarily wired for cooperation. Instead, we are wired for survival at a very individualistic level. Our brains have evolved to understand that cooperation is a more cost-effective way to survive than going it alone and, arguably, having learned to internalize that understanding is what makes us civilized. However, collaboration is learned behavior and that's why it doesn't come as natural as communication.
So, when we put the two together and we end up participating in a CEBP having the ability to communicate with others doesn't mean much unless we have something to talk about, i.e., a context. Some of our competitors will tell you that CEBP is all about adding voice to everything, which suits them well because they sell hardware and phones, but what do you do once you got the SIP session going? What do you say besides "Hello!"?
In my view, CEBP is as much about collaboration as it is about communication. In order to get there you need to create the conditions that will provide the context in which people will collaborate before they have anything meaningful to communicate about. This is known as Business Process Management, or BPM, and IBM is a strong player in this market.
For us, BPM is not just about automating everything and removing people from the picture. It's about optimizing and creating context. Collaboration is a new theme within BPM and there are new buzzwords such as "social BPM" and "people-centric BPM" that reflect the ways in which this may play out:. The way I see it, collaboration is the realm where people operate within an optimized business process and communication is what enables them to collaborate.
We always say we don't do just UC. Our thing is UC² (Unified Communications and Collaboration). When you do BPM+UC² you're bound to get a better CEBP as a result.
We're working with the IBM BPM team in building concrete scenarios for CEBP. We're just getting started and we're very excited about the possibilities. Stay tuned.
I got a piece of good news a few minutes ago. The WebSphere Portal team recently released a software asset called the IBM Retail Banking Template for WebSphere Portal. This is a generic retail banking application (a template) that integrates Sametime 8.5 through the Sametime Proxy toolkit. This is what it looks like:
When you click on the advisor's name a Sametime Web Client chat session starts so you can chat away for as long as you want. Pretty cool.
You can learn more about the template here
. You can see it in action here