Our Sametime team was very busy this week, what with our extensive presence and sponsorship at this year's event. While they're flying home and catching up, I wanted to highlight a few items of note.
- Alistair Rennie's Keynote: you can see a video replay of our General Manager's keynote address here at tv.voiceCon.com (free registration required). IBM clearly differentiated around business value and process expertise, while many of the other keynotes were focused on technology nuts-and-bolts. The reaction was very positive, with the Twitterverse abuzz. My favorite one so far -- Cberndtson #voicecon IBM's Rennie: Integration is the better way. "The assets you have are valuable. They work. Why don't we just integrate them." Eric Krapf over at nojitter blog had a nice liveblog review of the keynote as well.
- Sweettweets were once again a popular draw for the IBM booth. Nothing like a sugar rush to keep the conversations flowing.
- The big IBM new news at the event was the IBM and ShoreTel announcement of General Availability of ShoreTel for IBM Lotus Foundations, a unified-communications-and-collaboration-in-a-box solution specifically designed for small and medium businesses.
- IBM participated in a lot of sessions, including a few particularly contentious ones where Bruce Morse, our fearless VP of Unified Communications, and Pat Galvin, our equally fearless CTO of Unified Communications, made strong cases for open standards and interoperability (and the lack thereof, or resistance to, from some of our competition). Good write up of that in both the nojitter blog and in InformationWeek.
As our team gets back on track, I'm sure we'll have additional updates for you next week. Until then, here's the next installment of our Friday Funnies.
Final reminder: Join IBM at VoiceCon Orlando 2010, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and
Convention Center in Orlando FL, March 22-25. Visit the IBM Booth at
the Expo Floor to see demonstrations of our unified communications
offerings, including IBM Lotus(r) Sametime(r), IBM Converged
Communications Services, LotusLive cloud services, Lotus Foundations
small office appliances, integration with mobile, audio and video and
IBM will also be participating in several sessions and panels as well:
- Monday 9:00am: "Implementation Options: Unified Communications"
- Monday 11:00am: "Summit: Next Generation Communications Architectures"
- Monday 1:00pm: "Summit: Unified Communications Executive Forum"
with Bruce Morse, Vice President, Unified Communications &
- Monday 2:00pm: "Comparing Unified Communication Options: Who's offering what?"
- Tuesday 1:00pm: "Summit: Role of Cloud in Enterprise Communications"
- Tuesday 2:00pm: "Integrating Mobility and Unified Communications: Comparing the Vendors' Solutions
- Wednesday 8:00am: "Managed/Hosted Services for Unified Communications"
- Wednesday 9:15am: "Keynote Presentation: IBM - Alistair Rennie, General Manager, Lotus and WebSphere Portal
- Wednesday 1:00pm: "Marrying Social Networking and Enterprise Communications"
- Wednesday 1:00pm: "Unified Communications Leadership Roundtable: How far have we come? What's next?"
- Wednesday 3:00pm: "Presence: Preferences and Rules Drive Communications Effectiveness"
Oh, and I almost forgot our Friday Funnies for this week, courtesy of Mitch Cohen:
As our team gets all geared up for our General Manager Alistair Rennie's IBM Keynote at VoiceCon (Wednesday 9:15am - if you're in Orlando it's a Don't Miss Moment), a couple of news items we wanted to bring to your attention.
The first comes from an article on Forbes.com written by Alistair, "Managing Communcations Overload
". The article discusses how information overload is partially a result of communications overload: too many information sources vying for our attention via too many tools and applications and devices. The answer isn't technology per se, but how to better integrate the multiplicity of tools and sources and devices into a more people-centric vision of collaboration:
Unified communication and collaboration (UC2) is not a technology
itself. It is an approach that lets us use technology to help us work
smarter. UC2 centers on delivering a unified experience for users,
allowing them to communicate and collaborate seamlessly within the
context of their daily work. People don't have to bounce around between
applications to find, reach and collaborate with the people they need
to get the job done.
Please comment on the Forbes article (or here) - we'de love to get your feedback.
The second comes from CDW, "UC Delivers on Payback Expectations
", a survey of 915 IT professionals on the state of Unified Communications in the enterprise. Not sure how I missed this one, since it was released back on March 1 (I guess it was all those VoiceCon preparations that distracted us). A lot of very encouraging data showing the continued growth and penetration of unified communications in the Enterprise. My favorite quote:
"...71 percent of organizations that have fully implemented UC and track
return on investment (ROI) say that ROI has met or exceeded their
expectations." (emphasis mine)I tweeted earlier in the week
about a possible perceived "value gap" for Unified Communications. This survey shows that given the right business case, UC provides real, tangible value for enterprises. Something you should include in your next upgrade cycle or proposal to your CFO or CIO.
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
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.
FaceTime just announced their new Vantage platform, the successor to IMAuditor. Vantage includes a number of new capabilities for Sametime users, including:
- Support for Sametime 8.5
- A new connector deployment option for Sametime
- Sametime announcement logging and auditing
- File transfers from Blackberry devices to Sametime can now be captured and scanned for viruses and content violations
- Support for importing group chat from Sametime advanced
- Compliance disclaimers, ethical walls, archiving and auditing for Sametime
The Vantage policy framework allows granular policies to be defined between groups of employees and for communications with non-employees through federation and external connections. Vantage enables the management of users outside of the organization through expanded inter-group policies, domain-based groups or through the concept of registered non-employees – protecting and restricting communications by employees with unregistered individuals.
You can find the press release here
Just FYI. We are currently testing the beta release of Plantronics' plug-in for Sametime 8.5. The plug-in allows seamless integration of Sametime 8.5 and SUT with Plantronics' product line. If you happen to have a CS50 or CS60 USB, Voyager 510 USB, Voyage Pro UC, Blackwire 6xx or 4xx, DA45 USB, Calisto Pro, Savi Go or Savi Office device from Plantronics, you're going to like this when it comes out. Stay tuned.
From our friends over at UCStrategies.com, a new article
from Blair Pleasant
on how IBM is integrating unified communications with social software. Several real customer examples are cited, with a nice quote or two, including:
IBM is not the only company to offer enterprise social software capabilities, or to integrate them with their UC capabilities but it has a head start over most of its competitors, which have only recently announced such capabilities.
If you are considering ways to improve asynchronous communications, teaming and sharing across your organization, you can see first hand that integration with Lotus social software, including Lotus Connections and Lotus Quickr.
As posted many times, many of you are aware of Virtual Collaboration for Lotus Sametime
("Sametime 3D"), a virtual world technology solution available from IBM Software Services for Lotus, which allows organizations to bring teams together in highly interactive online meeting spaces. We've taken a big step forward in making this great technology easy to show to you, our customers and partners, by making it available for demonstration on Lotus Greenhouse
Now you can see the collaborative benefits of this virtual world technology by engaging in a meeting that leverages tools such as brainstorming areas, action item walls, planning spaces, virtual flipcharts, interactive polling, presentation sharing and more!
Seeing is believing so contact your Lotus Sales or Channel Sales representative to set up a demonstration to see how to Virtual Collaboration for Lotus Sametime can help you realize the benefits of in-person meetings without incurring the high cost.
Last week at VoiceCon, our good friends at Meridian IT Inc., announced plans for a Sametime Unified Telephony (SUT) Center of Excellence.
The Meridian SUT Center of Excellence, located in Deerfield, Illinois at Meridian's IBM Business Partner Innovation Center, responds to clients’ needs for a source of expertise to integrate disparate communications and collaboration systems and teams.
The SUT Center of Excellence can eliminate risk and allow organizations to maximize the value of their current technology investment. Meridian offers IBM unified communications & collaboration expertise around solutions from Cisco, Avaya, 3Com, Polycom and others.
As an international systems integrator with offices on three continents, Meridian Group operates two IBM Business Partner Innovation Centers, one in the United States and one in Australia. These centers allow customers to experience IBM’s latest software solutions, along with voice, video and data solutions from Avaya, Cisco, 3Com, Polycom, HP, EMC and others. Offering customers 30 years’ IT experience, Meridian, as a certified top level partner with providers of solutions for the unified communications and collaboration environment, meets the technology, integration, consulting and service needs of today’s enterprises.
You can read the full press release here
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.