Sametime, since the 7.5 days, has allowed users to access its basic presence and chat features from a variety of mobile devices. It allows us mobile people to not only reach others in an effective manner (it seems I am constantly getting off a plane and seeing who is available to me right now to deal with whatever issues are top of mind). But it also gives others more accurate information about when and how I can be reached... making presence a universal dial-tone, rather than one that is accurate only when I am at my desktop.
Sametime 8.5.2 extends native presence/chat to new platforms...specifically the great variety of Android devices that are sweeping the marketplace and filling our pockets and briefcases. And you Apple fan boys and girls (I am now officially one, having gotten my first Mac and iPhone within the last month) will see enhanced capabilities on iOS in the near future...watch this space!
But Sametime 8.5.2 goes beyond adding Android and paving the way for iOS devices. It is the beginning of a whole new approach to our increasingly mobile world. For example, we mobile folks can not only do IM functions, but Sametime meetings can now be attended from the mobile devices -- first from Blackberry, with Android and iOS to follow (you just have to experience a Sametime Web Conference on an iPad!)...watch this space!
With Sametime 8.5.2 we even have SUT on mobile devices. Previously, your mobile phone could certainly be a preferred device, with calls being routed to it by Sametime-contextual rules (geographic location, availability, etc.). And you could move calls to you mobile phone (and back again) from any other device. And you could even click-to-call someone and have your mobile phone be the one you use to talk and listen. However, you could not initiate an SUT call from the mobile phone (this was possible only from the Sametime desktop client). With the Sametime 8.5.2 native Android client, SUT users can initiate a call to any Sametime contact, Android contact, or phone number. This call is actually handled by SUT, ringing back the caller on the mobile phone and then completing the call to the other party. The advantages are:
The caller shows as "on the phone" to other Sametime users
The incoming caller ID shown is the caller's SUT unified number (not the mobile carrier number)
Enterprise dial plans can be used for least-cost routing and roaming/toll charge avoidance
Of course, if you are interested in SUT calling capabilities on iOS...watch this space!
Finally, there are a couple of features of the Sametime 8.5.2 native mobile client that are particularly significant. These include using the phone's GPS for (optionally) showing location, converting incoming text chats to speech (e.g., when you are driving), and taking a picture with the mobile phone and including it in the chat you have with another Sametime user. This last capability, while not earth-shattering in itself, may be the most significant one we have ever delivered in Sametime mobile. That is because historically our mobile apps tried to emulate what you do on the desktop...taking into account mobile form factor and connectivity. The add photo to chat feature is the first one that rather than taking a desktop collaboration feature and adding it to mobile, takes a mobile feature and uses it for collaboration. This indeed is the hallmark of the new era of mobile UCC.
A great post in today's Building a Smarter Planet Blog
on the use of Sametime and IBM Business Partner UnifiedEdge to help develop a smarter, more social emergency response center.:
To help better protect its citizens, the City of Fort Worth in 2008 began efforts to build a new Joint Emergency Operations Center (JEOC) facility with their Tarrant County emergency management counterparts.
UnifiedEdge’s RadioConnect™ solution, delivered as a plug-in inside of IBM’s 8.5.1 Sametime, delivers a multi-channel toolset that enables JEOC personnel to work with communication features as needed.
I've been doing the rounds across the country (Dallas, Orlando and, today, Chicago) talking about what's new in Sametime 8.5.2. I get questions about what is the main theme for 8.5.2.
As most of you remember, 8.5 was all about meetings. 8.5.1 introduced refinements to that theme by making the meetings experience even easier. 8.5.2 continues to drive along those lines with a special focus on audio and video. So, I can say 8.5.2 is all about the audio and video experience.
This release brings audio and video to the Web meetings client:
Audio and video on Web meetings opens a plethora of new possibilities.
For instance, all you need to do to launch a meeting room enabled for audio and video is embed a URL to the room on your Web page. The Web page may correspond to a portal, a self-service application, a customer service application or anything you want. A Sametime meeting room, being as easy to launch as a chat session, can become your new paradigm for customer service. Why stop at chatting when you can offer your customers a full-blown meeting room?
Bringing audio and video to the Web meetings client provides us with a nice deployment pattern for other capabilities on the Web browser. The browser extension model we're using to deliver the Sametime Web Player is secure, reliable and offers great performance. Unlike our old applet-based approach, You install it once and that's it. It can be downloaded the first time you enter a meeting room or it can be pre-provisioned on the browser by IT.
In addition to delivering audio and video on the Web meetings client, we're also delivering new capabilities that users will only notice if they're not there.
First on the list is NAT traversal, a new component based on the ICE/STUN/TURN standards. The new Sametime TURN Server (I wanted "Stun Server" but apparently there was a risk that no one would come near the thing...) helps Sametime audio and video play nice with firewalls so people can hear and see each other regardless of where they happen to be.
We're also delivering bandwidth management capabilities for audio and video. The new Sametime Bandwidth Manager helps audio and video play nice with the network. We all know audio and video tend to be bandwidth hogs. Bandwidth Manager regulates bandwidth usage to allow other applications to use the network as well.
We're also enhancing our TCSPI adapter model. 8.5.2 allows you to deploy two TCSPI adapters simultaneously. You can deploy, for instance, a third-party video adapter and an audio conferencing bridge adapter concurrently to give users a richer audio and video conferencing experience.
Finally, the new deployment option for the Sametime soft phone (SUT Lite license), allows you to integrate Sametime to certified SIP-based video end points as well as SIP gateways to enable telephone and video calls directly from the Sametime Connect client.
As you can see, we put a lot of effort in making audio and video easier to adopt; in providing a richer experience and in enabling more of the Sametime user interface with audio and video. Notice a trend here? If you do, you'll notice how our focus is turning to audio and video and mobility: we're delivering two new native mobile clients, one for Android, and a meetings client for BlackBerry. Stay tuned and you'll see more of this in upcoming releases.
I just wanted to let you know that we have a podcast planned for this Friday (5/27) at 10:00am EST with our friends at Sennheiser. Caleb Barlow will interview Lars Rasmussen about the importance of using quality headsets for unified communications.
Please join us as http://www.blogtalkradio.com/unifiedcommunications
Yesterday as part of the IBM Sametime 8.5.2 release, we introduced the IBM Sametime Unified Telephony Lite Client (aka "SUT Lite Client") This offering provides an exciting opportunity for customers to start down the UC path. This new communication option, lets users make and receive voice and video calls from their desktops using the Sametime Connect Client as a rich, standards-based audio/video softphone.
As a video endpoint, the SUT Lite client allows users to make and receive video calls with other video end-points, including conference rooms and telepresence systems, other software clients, desktop and deskside video hardware units, and video media control units (MCUs). Using video conferencing can reduce the need for face to face meetings, thus reducing the loss in productivity and costs of travel, and enabling more engaged interaction than a audio-only experience. As this is enabled from the Sametime Connect client, the users access this added functionality as part of the same familiar Sametime UC experience
Likewise, for voice calls, SUT Lite client acts as a softphone that can be used from virtually anywhere a user has internet connectivity. On the road, making calls directly from the computer can reduce costs by avoiding long distance charges, cellular costs, including roaming costs which can be quite high when traveling internationally.
Users have easy access to softphone controls including incoming call notification, click2call, dial, hang-up, volume control, and mute. As users need the features of a full SUT license (move calls from device to device, single-number reach based on location and context, visual conferencing, etc.), they can upgrade without major changes to the user experience.
The IBM Sametime Unified Telephony Lite Client is easy to deploy and does not require any additional hardware or software over Sametime Standard. It simply requires a SIP trunk to be configured between the Sametime Media Manager and a certified SIP environment.
Planned availability date is June 10, 2011 and the per user price is $53.00 SRP
It's not over yet ! Jacques might be done touring Caleb around but there are more IBM Sametime 8.5.2 webcasts to come from the Get Social Roadshow and Lotus Greenhouse webcasts series of events!
May 24th, 2011 (Tuesday) : It's Video-riffic, Sametime 8.5.2; Register for free
here , brought to you by LotusUserGroup.org
Come join me to hear more about our amazing new capabilities in IBM Sametime 8.5.2, including new native and third-party audio and video in browser-based online meetings, Standard-based Network Address Translation (NAT) support and Firewall traversal for Audio & Video, a new Bandwidth Manager to protect the network by managing all of this audio and video usage, support for dual Telephone Conferencing Service Provider Interface (TCSPI) adapters, new mobile options, and a new telephony licensing option to connected to audio and video endpoints. Join this webcast to learn more about our exciting new capabilities that will strengthen your leadership position in the market and enable a nimble, engaged, and transparent Social Business.
May 26th (Thursday) : Sametime Mobile Strategy and Solutions; Join here
brought to you by Lotus Greenhouse Series
Join Robert Ingram, Mobile Strategy Product Manager, where you will learn more about Sametime Mobile 8.5.2 offerings and strategy. This popular topic will be discussed on May 26, 2011 at 12:00 PM EST.
May 31, 2011 (Next Tuesday): IBM Lotus Sametime Unified Telephony: Today and Tomorrow ; Register for free
here, brought to you by LotusUserGroup.org
While you are registering for "It's Video-riffic" be sure to register at the very same time (no pun intended) for IBM Lotus Sametime Unified Telephony: Today and Tomorrow where David Marshak, UC2 Senior Strategist, and Tracee Wolf, UC2 Product Designer, provide more in depth coverage of Sametime Unified Telephony and our new licensing option SUT Lite Client. This exciting and highly requested discussion topic will take place on May 31, 2011 at 12:00 PM EST.
See you there!
Recap of this past Wednesday in case you missed it, be sure to catch the replays :
Replay of the main Social Launch event w/ Alistair, Jeff, and Caleb is available on ibm.com/social
Replay of Caleb's webcast, Honing Your Social Antenna: Improve Effectiveness and Reduce Costs by Becoming a More Social Business is available on TheBrainYard (http://tinyurl.com/65c)
Replay of Lisa's podcast, What’s New in Sametime 8.5.2 on May 18th! hosted by idoNotes with Chris Miller of Connectria, Gabriella Davis of the Turtle Partnership, Carl Tyler of Epilio, David Marshak of IBM, and Lisa Harris of IBM, will be available on
Replay of Jeff Schick's with Plantronics at their BIG Launch replay is available at Plantronics.com/launch
For many other exciting feature presentations, visit Caleb Barlow and our team, at blogtalkradio/unifiedcommunications for additional podcasts.
On behalf of the entire IBM Unified Communication & Collaboration organization, I am pleased to introduce IBM Sametime 8.5.2 (Standard, Advanced and SUT). This is an absolutely jam packed release that continues to deliver against our "UC2" vision. More importantly, this release helps position Sametime as a critical part of your Social Business Platform... making it possible to find, reach and collaborate with your colleagues, customers and partners when and how it is most beneficial.
Here's an overview of whats new in this release:
New in Audio / Video (av):
- Native and third-party audio and video in browser-based online meetings.
Sametime 8.5 made it easy to access meetings through the Connect client or through a browser. Now we've added audio video to the browser experience. You can leverage our own native capabilities (up to 20 people with switched video) or use third party audio, video conferencing and telepresence systems for more robust capabilities. Either way, all it takes is a a small browser plug-in (2 mb).
- Standard-based Network Address Translation (NAT) support and Firewall traversal for Audio & Video.
This bit of infrastructure makes it easy to use av with customers, partners and anyone outside of your network.
- Bandwidth management tools to protect the network by managing audio and video usage.
Protect your mission critical applications by controlling how much bandwidth is allocated to av overall, how much is allocated to different classes of users and locations and politely prevent av sessions from connecting if there is inadequate bandwidth.
- Support for dual Telephone Conferencing Service Provider Interface (TCSPI) adapters.
This enables simultaneous integration with multiple audio and video conferencing systems and gives users the choice of which makes the most sense for them.
New in Mobility:
- A new Sametime client for Google Android devices
Text to speech reads you incoming messages, embed images in Sametime chats, update your location through the phone's GPS and initiate SUT calls.
- A new Sametime Meeting client for Research In Motion (RIM) Blackberry devices
New in Telephony:
- SUT Lite Client License
An easy way to get started down the UC path, this new license turns your Sametime Connect client into a simple softphone. It requires minimal configuration (a SIP trunk from the Sametime Media Manager) to make or receive voice or video calls.
- Intelligent number recognizers within the chat window.
Sametime will now recognize phone numbers sent to you via instant message and let you click on them to dial.
- Active speaker notification in ad-hoc conference calls
- SUT Dialer on Google Android devices
Change your preferred SUT device and initiate SUT calls while mobile. Call recipients will see your unified number and other Sametime users will see when you are on the phone.
New in Sametime Advanced
- An infrastructure refresh that improves both scalability and deployability.
Sametime Advanced helps you interact with communities of users (for example, your IBM Connections Communities) in real time. A great way to tap into experts you don't personally know right when you need them.
Of course, there's more. For all the details, please see the SUT announcement letter
and the Standard / Advanced announcement letter.
We'll be deep diving into all of these capabilities and more on this blog over the coming weeks.
#UCOMS #Sametime #IBMEXPERIENCE
Hi Sametime Community!
We are less than 24 hours away from our big launch event at noon tomorrow!! The excitement is building. I hope your calendars are blocked because we start off at 10am with Jeff Schick and Caleb Barlow joining our Business Partner, Plantronics, in their big launch event in New York City which also continues their 50th anniversary celebration coinciding with our Centennial. And we go all the way until 3pm EST.
Here is we have planned :
10 AM EST - Plantronics Launch Event with Jeff Schick and Caleb Barlow as guests, live from NYSE - Join at : http://links.mkt345.com/servlet/MailView?ms=MzkyNjgzOQS2&r=MTcxODkxOTE1MDkS1&j=MjMyODQzMDUxS0&mt=1&rt=0
11 AM EST - In between the big launch announcement from Plantronics and IBM, catch the 'pre - game' IBM Launch day show - an IdoNotes Podcast with Chris Miller from Connectria, Carl Tyler of Epilio, Gabriela Davis of Turtle Partnership and myself, Lisa Harris, Sametime Offering Manager. - Join at: http://idonot.es/k0USbi
12 PM EST - THE BIG ONE !! Livestream from NYC !!! Join Alistair Rennie, General Manager of IBM Collaboration Solutions , Jeff Schick, VP IBM Collaboration Solutions, and Caleb Barlow, Executive Director of Unified Communications and Collaboration - You do NOT want to miss this. Hear our big announcements first hand live - Join at : www.ibm.com/social
And continuing the big launch - be sure to join Caleb -
2 PM EST - WEBCAST WITH CALEB BARLOW - Honing Your Social Antenna: Improve Effectiveness and Reduce Costs by Becoming a More Social Business
Register now at https://www.techwebonlineevents.com/ars/eventregistration.do?mode=eventreg&F=1003151&K=MAA5
Join here : http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=310170&s=1&k=7B7F3E35ECAF7A1DE24B099FE6ECD4C6 - Login with your email you used for registration
More to come!!
twitter : ld_harris
Wainhouse Research invites all end users to take the 2011 Unified Communications end user survey. They use this data to help vendors and service providers bring the communications and collaboration products and services you want and need. Help yourself and the entire industry by taking a few minutes complete this survey.
There's a nice quid pro quo as well: end users who complete the survey will be emailed an invitation to download highlights of the survey results. And in addition to the satisfaction of contributing your perspectives, they are offering TEN $50 amazon.com gift certificates to be awarded separately in a random drawing to those completing this questionnaire.
The survey includes a few quick demographics questions and then asks a series of short questions about your organization's thinking with respect to deploying unified communications. Completing the survey should take between 5 - 8 minutes. You can complete the survey online here
So Caleb Barlow, our esteemed Director of Unified Communications and Collaboration, is going to be one busy guy this coming Wednesday. 10am ET:
Caleb starts his day off at the New York Stock Exchange to help out with IBM Business Partner Plantronics' announcement event
, 12pm ET:
I then have to whisk him (and Jeff Schick, who's speaking at the Plantronics event) uptown to the new IBM Client Center at 590 Madison Avenue, where Caleb and Jeff will be speakers in an important IBM social business and unified communications announcement, "Engage your broader business network with IBM
". 2pm ET:
And if that wasn't enough, right after that Caleb will be recording a live webcast. Brought to you by InformationWeek, The BrainYard, and IBM, join us for a 60 minute webcast, "Honing Your Social Antenna: Improve Effectiveness and Reduce Costs by Becoming a More Social Business",
Wednesday, May 18, 2011, at 2pm ET.
industries, the challenges for managers and leaders today are clear: how
can I employ social collaboration in a way that creates business value
and not chaos? How can my people make the right connections easily, so
they don't waste time and money looking for the person or insight they
need to do their jobs? How do I evolve my organization in a controlled
way, avoiding pitfalls and mistakes in today’s rapidly changing
landscape? Join Caleb for a
discussion on how savvy businesses are honing their social "antenna" in
order to better see, hear, and sense changing market conditions. Free registration is here.
I think after this week, I'm going to give Caleb a break from any new speaking engagements, at least for a few days.
11 AM ET: In between the big launch announcements, you might want to catch the pre-game show. Lisa Harris, Sametime Offering Manager, will be the guest on the idoNotes Podcast. Join live at: http://tinyurl.com/4yd3lxs