#ucoms This week in Germany, IBM announced the district of Lüneburg (which includes 177,000 residents and the metropolitan region of Hamburg) is moving away from paper-based filing in favor of IBM's collaboration solutions. The district's administration is using Lotus Notes, Sametime and Quickr to help its employees collaborate in the office and on mobile devices. If you can read German, the IBM press release is now online.
IBM business partners have been active in their support of IBM collaboration software this week, including Sametime. Campus Technology published an article on IBM business partner GSX Monitor's announcement of GSX Monitor & Analyzer v10 that enables administrators to monitor cloud-based messaging and collaboration services including Lotus Notes Traveler, Quickr and Sametime.
And over in Italy, a multi-page feature in Computer Business Review discusses the impact of smart phones and tablets on the enterprise. Broad support for IBM's collaboration portfolio is highlighted throughout the article, including Sametime.
Caleb and I had the opportunity today to talk to Jebb Dykstra CEO at Meetrix Communications. Meetrix is an IBM Business Partner focusing on delivering public and private cloud UC solutions (voice, video, real-time collaboration) and relies on industry leaders such as BroadSoft, Polycom and of course IBM... As you can imagine, the cloud is a broad topic and I definitely recommend you listen to the recording; the excitement about the cloud potential is contagious. Anyone can take advantage of it, now, you don't have to be an enterprise with 30,000 persons to be able to take advantage of a private cloud... This podcast is now available on blogtalkradio.
Today IBM celebrates 100 years of service. It is officially Day 1 of the 101st year for IBM. http://www.ibm.com/us/en/
I started my morning reading an internal blog from our General Manager of IBM Collaboration Solutions, Alistair Rennie. I found it inspiring so I wanted to share it with my Sametime Blog community. Enjoy!
Today IBM celebrates 100 years of helping our customers succeed in business. Of course today, we're less interested in meat slicers, Hollerith cards or typewriters, but they are a part of our heritage, and the core values that propelled us then remain just as relevant today. Products change, and even the company name changed in that time. Now, of course, we are more focused on improving the networked world that IBM invented. It began by interconnecting mainframe systems and then distributed computing, inventing the personal computer, and linking it all together. In the process, something unique occurred when Lotus contributed the original "Killer App" of the PC Era, Lotus 123, and of course defined a generation of collaboration with Notes and Domino. It ushered in the era of personal and organizational productivity. Computing stopped being a back-office process performed by experts and became a way to connect people with people.
Since that time, computing has become increasingly about people - today we see an era of social business dawning. Networking today refers not to the interconnection of machines but the engagement of people. Computers themselves have become so enmeshed in the fabric of our lives that it's no longer about computing, but social business. We assume technology comes out of the clouds rather than machines, and that's okay, because It's not about the underlying technologies but their ongoing ability to engage the full ecosystem, make businesses nimble and provide transparency in an age when trust is being redefined.
In many ways, the century that dawns today will be illuminated by creating new value for our clients based on the code you write, the experiences you design, the opportunities you drive, and the engagements you complete. The story of the last century was highlighted by "wild ducks," smart individuals who thought for themselves, had an innate sense of direction and achieved all they did with a sense of wonderment and mission. Nowhere at IBM have I seen that spirit so well engrained as it is within the IBM Collaboration Solutions team's culture. Today, as the IBM company enters a new century, the entire company is focused on delivering the value of social business deep within our client base, a base you taught to collaborate and that they should never settle for anything less than an exceptional work or Web experience.
Today, following our official Day of Service yesterday (the service continues throughout 2011), we look back in awe at the people who built this company from the ground up into one of the most innovative and respected organizations and brands in the world. But we also look forward to an era of social business we are making happen now on a daily basis. We are already writing the next chapter in IBM's history book, though one that will likely be read on a smartphone, or delivered as an activity stream.
If it's a little quiet around the office today, it's because many of us will be out volunteering at local charities and other organizations as part of the IBM Centennial's Celebration of Service. For example, I will be helping package and deliver food at a local Food Bank here in San Diego. Caleb Barlow is doing some very interesting work over at the UN:
And many more of our team will be out there as well. Watch the Twitterverse for #ibm100 and #cos hashtags to see what's happening, or go to the IBM Celebration of Service page for maps and other fun facts on the impact we're having in our local communities. It's not too often you get to be part of a company, let alone a tech company, that's been around for 100 years. And it's even more rewarding when the leadership of the company decides the best way to celebrate is to give back to the local communities that we're part of. And for a company that does business in over 160 countries, that's a lot of communities!
I wanted to welcome a new blog to the IBM Collaboration Solutions family of blogs: the IBM Social Business Insights Blog. With this blog we hope to share news and thoughts on becoming a business that is engaged,
transparent and nimble. Join us in cultivating a spirit of collaboration
and community. You can also get to it by visiting the short URL for this blog:
As a reminder, other blogs we have include the IBM Collaboration Soapbox Blog (our Social Software blog), the Ed Brill Blog (the blog of our Director for Messaging and Collaboration, which includes Notes, Domino, Symphony and more), and coming soon, a new IBM Exceptional Web Experience blog and community.
Our friends at Jabra have announced a new global offer for Sametime and Sametime Unified Telephony pilot projects: they will provide five Jabra audio end points for free to qualified customers.
I don't know if you're familiar with Jabra equipment. If you're not, you don't know what you're missing. The stuff is awesome. And now you can get five end points for free for your Sametime or SUT pilot. How cool is that?
Sametime 8.5.2 introduces a whole new set of administrative features at various levels throughout the product. As I mentioned in previous postings, we're committed to make it easier for everyone, from end users to administrators, to take advantage of the capabilities we offer. This includes, of course, making it easy to administer those capabilities as well as the underlying infrastructure.
When we talk about administrative features we're not just talking about "systems administration". We're also talking about things such as administrative tools for meeting rooms, tools to administer call routing and preferred devices within Sametime Unified Telephony, access to persistent chat rooms in Sametime Advanced, etc.
On the systems administration front, though, we did lots of pretty nice things on 8.5.2. As I mentioned in my last posting, we're making it easier to administer how audio and video are deployed and used on the infrastructure. This includes the new TURN Server for NAT traversal and the new Bandwidth Manager component. We're also providing federated deployment capabilities for the Sametime Systems Console, new monitoring APIs and integration with Tivoli Monitoring.
These administrative features are aimed at making life easier for Sametime administrators. The new capabilities such as NAT traversal and bandwidth management are intended to help manage resources in a policy-driven manner that does not require administrators to be constantly tweaking settings. Even installation and configuration are easier in 8.5.2 than in previous versions thanks to this approach of expressing tasks in terms of policies and guided activities.
On the end user side, we are also providing new administrative features as I mentioned above.
Meeting rooms include improved moderator and audio and video controls and a way to explicitly end meetings for everyone when needed. Meeting room owners can designate managers and they can decide who can do what on their meeting rooms effectively administering (moderating is probably a better word in this context) the meetings experience for the people they interact with. On the other side of the equation, systems administrators can now remove meeting rooms directly from the server.
We are also providing capabilities to manage the audio and video experience. Having the ability to integrate dual TCSPI adapters for audio and video conferencing, users can now select the service provider that fits their needs and switch from one call to the next.
Users can also administer their call routing and device preferences for Sametime Unified Telephony directly from the Android devices. This is a first for us and something that truly mobile users will appreciate.
Our new meetings client for BlackBerry also provides administrative features. Users can manage the list of their favorite meeting rooms and the meeting servers they connect to.
We have enabled support for Sametime Advanced on the Sametime Systems Console. This makes our deployment and management for Advanced fully consistent with the rest of the Sametime family, again, to make life easier.
Additionally, we're providing new administrative features to improve chat history management. Users can now search chat transcripts by person and by date and they can also search files and links sent by a specific person. Very handy indeed.
All this is, as I said, aimed at making life easier for end users as well as for administrators. We will continue refining Sametime along these lines to make it even easier to deploy and to use. Stay tuned.
Please join IBM and IBM Business Partner Polycom Tuesday June 21, 10am Pacific, for a free live webcast (registration required), "Becoming a Social Business with Unified Communication". In
this webinar, UCStrategies experts will
discuss how Unified Communications with visual collaboration help
medium-sized companies (100 - 1000 employees) achieve "Location
Liberation" and more effectively communicate both internally and
A few weeks ago, Julie told you a little about the new Sametime Unified Telephony Lite Client license that was announced with Sametime 8.5.2. "SUT Lite" is an add-on option for Sametime Standard or Advanced that turns your Connect Client into a basic softphone. When linked to a certified PBX or video environment through a SIP trunk, you can make and receive both voice and video calls without ever leaving Sametime.
Today our friends at Cisco told me about a new Youtube video they made that shows this working with an EX90 endpoint. The trunk is between the Sametime Media Manager and the Cisco VCS. The user enters the appropriate SIP URI (ie: phone number) into Sametime or the EX90 and the user receiving the call answers as they normally would. Video can be full screen and up to 720p. What's not shown in the video is that you can also join an immersive meeting by dialing into the Cisco Telepresence Server as well.
A full list of certified environments is available in the Sametime Wiki (what used to be known as the Information Center).
See what happens when you post3 timesin one day? You forget to post for 6! Seriously, though, we've been reading some of the stories that have come out since our announcements over the past 2 weeks. Here's just a few excerpts from some of those stories.
On May 25, Robbie Pleasant over at UCStrategies.com posted IBM Releases Sametime 8.5.2. It included 2 quotes from industry analysts, including Dave Michels and Marty Parker:
"SUT takes a very different approach to voice by integrating with the PBX behind the scene," says Dave Michels,
UCStrategies UC Expert. "The key advantage is an organization with
multiple voice solutions can provide a consistent user experience.
"With these enhancements, IBM is focusing on continued growth in social
networks and IM, on mobility and video as new modes and media, and on
ease of adoption of Sametime as the enterprise communication interface
for most job types and roles." - Marty Parker, Principal Unicomm Consulting.
There was also a writeup in Network World, IBM Improves Sametime Platform, noting the many enhancements to the unified communications and collaboration software including audio and video conferencing and new mobile support:
Android users will now be able to monitor presence, access instant messaging (including background notification of new messages), use a new text to speech application that lets the Android device read Sametime messages, and take / send photos from the chat window or from the user's photo library.
No Jitter, while not explicitly discussing Sametime 8.5.2, does discuss how IBM's unified communications (UC) strategy has helped us evolve into a social business. The article notes that many UC vendors have been adding social capabilities and integrations into their products, but IBM is the company that stands out with the most social networking capabilities and features.
...the one company that stands out is IBM. They were an early entrant to the social scene, and coined the term "Social Business." IBM has embraced the slogan “Get Social: Do Business,” and backed it up with more social networking capabilities and features than their competitors...IBM's strategy is based on the idea of raising the "big tent" and supporting all vendor PBX implementations.
In the same vein, IBM Germany blogger Stefan Pfeiffer, guest blogging on Silicon.de, posted about his use of social networking as a mobile worker for IBM. Stefan joined IBM through the FileNet acquisition, and since that time has become a member of IBM's mobile workforce using instant messaging, sharing files, bookmarks and collaborating with colleagues through wikis and blogs. Stefan discusses his use of social for collaborating with business partners, customers and prospects, and the self discipline required when working from home (actual text in German).
Today we released Sametime 8.5.2 to market via electronic GA, about 10 days earlier than we originally indicated in our announcement a few weeks ago. The decision to post early was driven by the early completion of our last round of tests as well as a strong demand from our clients for the code. Details on the system requirements can be found here.
I want to congratulate our Development and Test teams on Sametime 8.5.2. We're confident this latest release will be well-received and we definitely look forward to your feedback (whether here or through the Sametime Forum on IBM developerWorks).
If anyone's opinion should be taken into account on these things that would be Carl's. I'm pleased to see that he thinks we did a good job with the Proxy and that he qualifies it as a good replacement for STLinks. Thanks, Carl.
In case you missed it, Caleb and I did a podcast with Sennheiser last Friday. The podcast is available on blogtalkradio. In the discussion, Lars shared with us how their headsets help improve the unified communications experience in your corporate environments so you can look at your computer, or mobile phone, as a credible replacement for your desk phone. And you can also use these headsets for your casual listening pleasure...