This week's Business Partner Tuesday is a day late, but if you saw our earlier post today, you'de know why :-)
Would you like to connect instantly with other members of the Lotus Community? Perhaps your favorite blogger? A presenter you saw at Lotusphere? A Lotus Business Partner? Or even an IBMer? Well the people running BleedYellow.com are helping make this a reality. Here's an easy how-to guide to set yourself up. I've already done it, so you can now connect with me via Sametime (say hi!).
BleedYellow is a public Lotus Connections site, run by IBM Business Partner Lotus911 (now GROUP). So the first thing you need to do, is go there and register. (the Register link is at the bottom left corner, as shown below):
Once you have an ID and PW on BleedYellow, you next go into your Lotus Sametime client, and add an additional community, allowing you to connect to both your company's Sametime server to chat with your coworkers, and the BleedYellow Sametime server to chat with people from all over the world (but you already knew that Sametime client can connect to multiple communities, didn't you...)
- Choose File - Manage Server Communities from the top menu.
- Click Add New Server Community
- On the Log In Tab, add the username that you registered at BleedYellow.com, and your password. * Note: Some people have told me that they use the email address they registered on BleedYellow with, not their username.
On the Server tab, enter im.bleedyellow.com as the Host Server, and 1533 as the Server community port.
Then click OK at the bottom. Now the last thing you have to do is add a group so you can see the people to chat with. Click on the New icon, and choose New Group:
Select Search for a public group (1), select the bleedyellow community (2), search for the group yellowbleeders, select it (4), and click OK.
A Special thanks to Alan Leposky for the screenshots and Bilal Jaffery for the instructions.
The Sametime Blog
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  sametime business-partner-tuesdays communities 3 Comments 2,231 Visits
For those of you who attended Lotusphere or DNUG, you may have attended the highly regarded session on Sametime 8.5 installation by Frank Altenburg and Volker Juergensen.
Now Frank has published the next generation online version for you to use. Its posted here for anyone to play. The slides are also posted to download.
Here is a summary of the session
Lotus Sametime 8.5.1 setup can be fast, smooth, and easy when you know what you are doing. The new server architecture of Lotus Sametime 8.5.1 offers so many more options to deploy that it is not easy to know where to start. In this presentation, the presenters wanted to prove that it is possible to create a proof of concept setup very quickly, They install all the new Lotus Sametime 8.5.1 components: Lotus Sametime System Console, Community Server, Proxy Server, Meeting Server, Media Server, and the new Lotus Sametime Connect client. At the end of the presentation, you can experience how to maintain and administer the whole environment from the new Lotus Sametime System Console.
We hope you can benefit from this free training tool.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  user-group webcast lug news whats-new 8.5.1 2,043 Visits
A reminder from our energetic LotusUserGroup.org community and the Virtual User Group program: join Lotus product managers Rob Ingram and Kathleen Cooke on September 14, 2011 for a brief, but information-packed 30 minute webcast on what's new in IBM Lotus® Sametime® 8.5.1 and IBM Lotus Sametime Unified Telephony 8.5.1 software:
Plus, one lucky participant will win a Plantronics Voyager PRO UC wireless Bluetooth headset*. The presentation is free but requires pre-register here.
(*There's that 'conditions apply - see registration page for details' asterisk again...)
***CORRECTION 08/25*** I forgot to mention that this webcast is part of a series of three upcoming Sametime webcasts jointly sponsored by Plantronics and Meridian IT.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  friday-funnies conference humor #ucoms calls 2 Comments 1,686 Visits
(hat tip: Bilal Jaffery). Who HASN'T been on a conference call like this?
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  maintenance 8.5.1 upgrade 7 7.5 sametime renewal 2 Comments 1,550 Visits
As if the greatly improved administrative experience, user experience and overall business value from IBM Lotus Sametime 8.5.1 weren't enough (hey, I had a lot of coffee this morning), you might want to also know that IBM has announced that as of September 30, 2011 (over a year from now), IBM will no longer be providing support for Sametime 7 and Sametime 7.5. This should give you, our esteemed clients, plenty of time to upgrade. And remember, if you're on Software Maintenance (and most of you already are), there is no charge to upgrade*: begin planning your upgrade now by starting with Upgrade Central or Planning for migration from an earlier release in the Sametime Information Center.
(*terms and conditions apply, see Announcement Letter for details. I had to say that or IBM Legal would get mad at me).
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  news blogs ucc press uc2 uc uc-news-roundup 1,414 Visits
As one of the SametimeBlog managers, I'm always looking for more conversation opportunities with you, our readers. So in addition to our Business Partner Tuesdays and Friday Funnies sections, today I'm introducing a new, hopefully weekly every Friday, the IBM UC News Roundup. We'll bring you a summary of IBM- and Unified Communications-related stories in the press and blogosphere, and add our own thoughts as well.
Hopefully you find this new section valuable. As always, we thank you for making us part of your regular reading, and looking forward to your comments, questions, and conversation.
Although not technically in the week of August 2, the big story, of course, is today's article in CIO.com, "IBM to Accelerate Mobile Unified Communications". IBM continues to see Unified Communications, and mobility, as very important components of the collaboration market, and it was nice for our General Manager, Alistair Rennie, and Rob Ingram, our senior offerings manager, to talk to CIO Magazine about these trends and where IBM plays. Don Van Doren, a principal with Unicomm Consulting, had some nice things to add to the article as well:
"Van Doren also ranks IBM as being far ahead in its social networking software for business with Lotus Connections tied into presence and with its capabilities for mining information within the corporate network to enhance finding the right people for specific tasks. "They've been working on this four or five years," he says. "Cisco is just starting to do it...[and] IBM is aligned to do well in battling its primary competitor, Microsoft, [says Don Van Doren]"
And Alistair also linked in the coming 4G deployments as well:
"Over time, as businesses deploy 4G handhelds, IBM will fully support mobile collaboration "on the mobile device of choice" and treat the collaboration features as services, not a stack of available features but an always-available set of tools, Rennie said."
There were two stories we followed this past week. Following a blog post from Gartner’s Craig Roth on Project Northstar, IT Business Edge blogger Loraine Lawson has chosen to continue the discussion, focusing on Project Northstar as IBM’s “Grand Theory.” Overall, Lawson is supportive of the technology, particularly it's promise to integrate unified communications and other collaborative tools and capabilities. We, of course, whole-heartedly agree:
And this one is particularly nice, because it promises to integrate across unified communications, social software, mobile technology and rich media, Roth writes. IBM includes an even more exciting integration story among its five key NorthStar principles…”
UCStrategies published a podcast with IBM's Caleb Barlow discussing IBM Lotus Foundations and its integration with ShoreTel. A key element of providing unified communications to Small and Medium Business (SMB) is a focus on lower up-front investments in both capital and IT resources. The needs of SMBs might be similar to larger enterprises, but the resources are usually more constrained. The IBM Foundation for Smart Business program and products are exactly about that, and UC is definitely part of the mix:
...The Foundations appliance out of the box: it’s a file server, print server, web server, mail server, anti-virus, anti-spam, firewall, VPN, you get the idea...
And that's this week's roundup.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  partner foundations shoretel smb business business-partner-tuesdays 1,400 Visits
Join IBM and IBM Business Partner ShoreTel for an informative luncheon and seminar program on how to drive business value, improve productivity and reduce costs with affordable and reliable unified communications. Learn how small and midsized businesses can leverage the enterprise- class capabilities of unified communications through the ShoreTel on IBM Foundations unified communications appliance. There will be three seminars throughout September, and you can attend by registering online here.
Register now and you are automatically entered to win an iPad (restrictions apply, see registration for more detail).
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 email@example.com Tags:  sametime-8.5 sametime-unified-telephon... sametime_8.5 1,364 Visits
We are pleased to announce (ok... re-announce) the availability of Sametime Standard 8.5.1 and Sametime Unified Telephony 8.5. We appreciate everyone's patience while we resolved a late breaking issue in the release process. You should be able to download the new software from Passport Advantage and PartnerWorld today, August 4th.
The new IBM Lotus Sametime 8.5.1 release is GA today. Here are the system requirements.
Notabale additions are Mac and Linux desktop clients, Windows 7 client support, support for Notes and Domino 8.5.1 and 8.5.2 (when it is delivered) and a plan to add support for zLinux servers for IM and Meetings features within approx 60 days. We have also updated the mobile clients to support Blackberry 5.0 OS and Windows mobile 6.5.
This week's IBM UC News roundup includes several articles on the heel of the CIO.com interview with Alistair Rennie we posted about earlier in the week. Reinforcing that story, FierceVoIP and Rethink Wireless published articles on IBM's unified collaborations strategy and offerings for the mobile market. Mobility is still very hot, with 4.1B mobile phone users worldwide (a 60% penetration) and an increasing percentage (although still small) of those are smart phones on higher-speed networks (ITU report from 2009). The effect of this shift to mobility on the way we work is already being felt.
A feature story in Australia's ARNnet focuses on the opportunities and challenges presented to IT teams when mobilizing an organization's workforce. In the article, IBM's Michael Handes discussing the benefits of social software in identifying knowledge workers and the future convergence of unified communications and mobility.
IT Jungle continued the coverage on the new features of Lotus Sametime 8.5.1, including support for Linux desktops, mobile phones, Web browsers, Notes, Outlook and Windows.
The Really Big News of the Week, IBM's intent to acquire Unica, might not at first blush seem related to Unified Communications. But with the increased market need for creating exceptional customer experiences, whether on the web or in all channels, comes a need for enterprises to not only analyze the traffic on their websites more effectively, but turn that insight into more meaningful and longer-lasting customer experiences. That includes the ability to interact with company representatives beyond e-mail or picking up the phone: rich text chat, audio and/or video chat, click-to-call, etc. Customer service representatives and the Call Center are only the first line of contact; they can't possibly answer every question, and customers are more than ever demanding faster (and smarter) responses. So more and more enterprises are going to be under more and more pressure to allow (encourage?) more and more of their employees to connect with customers directly. Unified Communications integrated with web portals and e-commerce seems to me at least a natural extension of the power and promise of UC beyond "traditional" information worker collaboration.
I don't know about you, but I for one will be glad to be rid of the all-too-deeply-buried webform "fill this out and we'll get back in touch with you shortly".