One of the great things about a blog is you can quickly experiment with editorial calendars. A month ago I started the Friday Funnies postings, where I try to inject a little humor into the Unified Communications market. This newest series I'm calling Business Partner Tuesdays, where I would like to feature a specific member of our loyal and critically important business partner community. If any partners out there have some interesting things they're like to share about being a Sametime partner, from customer references, new integrations, new technologies, partner success stories, or more, just send me an e-mail (just click my name above).
This week I wanted to showcase an upcoming presentation by Epilio (sponsored by LotusUserGroup.org and Plantronics), a business partner who has written many interesting plug-ins for Sametime. Carl Tyler will present "Two tin cans and a piece of string? Sametime can do better than that!" virtual event, June 10 at noon ET (registration link here). The focus will be on features and capabilities that customers are using to make their employees lives
easier. If you're confused when you hear
Sametime, VoIP,TCSPI, SUT, and Lotus Foundations Reach in the same sentence,
then this webcast is for you. Registrants are entered to win a Plantronics Plantronics Voyager PRO UC wireless Bluetooth headset
(drawing void where
prohibited, see rules for details).
The Sametime Blog
with Tags: business X
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  ucoms survey wainhouse business ucc uc research 1,954 Visits
Just a quick reminder to our Sametime audience. As we blogged about a month ago, our friends over at Wainhouse Research are still soliciting responses to their 2010 Unified Communications and Collaboration End User Survey. Your responses will help develop a clearer understanding of the unified communications marketplace. This survey should take 5 - 8 minutes to complete! And as an added bonus for your time, Wainhouse will select ten respondents to win a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate. Hurry: the survey closes July 30!
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  partner foundations shoretel smb business business-partner-tuesdays 1,992 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).
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  #ibmexperience social #ucoms communications unified business 3,259 Visits
As we posted about over at the Lotus Knows blog earlier today, IBM has announced the coming availability of Connections 3.0, and the IBM social collaboration platform. Why should those of us in the unified communications business care?
The inclusion of Lotus Sametime as one of the key platform components of the IBM social collaboration platform -- along with Lotus Connections and Lotus Quickr, business and technology services, and more -- was no accident. As loyal readers you know IBM has been talking about unified communications and collaboration for several years now. This is a natural extension of that conversation, and our leadership in this space. Gartner said recently that the distinction between unified communications (UC) and collaboration will disappear by 2013 (as reported by CIOL), but we know that outperforming organizations are already doing this today.
Social media may generate a lot of buzz, but if you look more deeply at that conversation, invariably there is a communications element. All that socializing may be great, but eventually you just want to talk to someone (or IM them, or video chat with them, or meet with them, or...). For all the power of these new social collaboration capabilities, we are at heart a social species which means we still crave live verbal and visual contact with others, not just their words or photos or (pre-recorded) videos. That's why the phone isn't going away anytime soon as a collaboration device (maybe as a wired desktop phone, but that's just replacing one form factor with another, the underlying capability is still the same).
Unified communications and collaboration, then, is about making sure that we include that verbal, visual contact as an integral component of the overall collaboration mix, because that's how people WANT to collaborate. That's why we continue to invest in Sametime - with three releases in the past 2 years alone (Sametime Unified Telephony, Sametime 8.5 and Sametime 8.5.1). And why we continue to push the integration of Sametime with not only the rest of our Lotus portfolio, but the broader IBM portfolio (like WebSphere Portal, or Cognos), business partner offerings (just read any of our recent Business Partner Tuesday posts that highlight just a small sliver of the over 400 partners we work with), and even competitors (because we live in a heterogenous world, despite the rip-and-replace strategies other vendors ask of you).
So when you see the words Social Business, or social collaboration, from IBM, know that Sametime, and Unified Communications, are absolutely critical and key to that strategy:
We're excited about this announcement. Hopefully this explains why we think you should be too. But what do you think? How well integrated today are social collaboration and unified communications in your enterprise? What will it take to get there? Why aren't we there yet?
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  business partners polycom intelligence interactive business-partner-tuesdays 2,213 Visits
Two IBM business partners I wanted to highlight on this week's Business Partner Tuesdays post.
In the first, Bob Preston over at DiscussUC had an excellent post about Innovation - the Heart of the Matter in Unified Communications. In it, he discusses some of his thoughts coming out of a CIO virtual event hosted by Polycom. John Del Pizzo, our Program Director for Unified Communications Software, was one of attendees joining 60 CIOs from around the globe. Bob's key finding:
...my top take-away from today's event is that innovation is at the heart of the matter. Corporate leaders are beginning to radically rethink how to guide their companies into a new era of economic growth to maximize performance and stay ahead of the competition. Forward leaning executives with the passion to lead have a new opportunity to kick-start patterns of innovation within their organization to stimulate organizational transformation. Tapping the energy, enthusiasm, and power of human interaction to enable a culture of innovation is now THE business imperative for ALL organizations.
This very closely matches IBM's own findings in the 2010 CEO Study, where we found that CEOs of leading organizations are slowly but surely re-orienting their organizations towards growth, and that innovation driven by collaboration and closer customer relationships is core to many of their transformation efforts. As Bob quotes John from the event:
Secondly, my fellow blogger Marlon Machado has just published a joint whitepaper with Brad Herrington, Product Marketing Manager at Interactive Intelligence, Building Customer Centricity through Expertise-Based Interactions (free registration required). This paper discusses the emergence of customer centricity, driven by growing customer sophistication and empowerment across geographies and market segments. It also discusses the need for large and small businesses to embrace customer centricity and to take steps to internalize it as the driving force behind business processes and policies. Not surprisingly, it ties into the same innovation and customer-centric themes talked about at the CIO virtual event.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  ucoms business-partner-tuesdays unified-communications business uc partners 2,567 Visits
Many of you are no doubt gearing up for what will be a very exciting Lotusphere 2011. There will be plenty of Sametime and Unified Communications activities and content filling up the week. Here's just a taste of the top activities:
For our Business Partners, there's also plenty of additional content and activity at the Business Development Day (BDD) on Sunday:
During the main Lotusphere event, in addition to all the sessions covering Sametime and UC, we'll also have:
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  lotusphere humor business friday-funnies 1,439 Visits
Events like Lotusphere are always exciting, busy, energizing affairs. I look forward to meeting with clients and business partners. Getting out of the office and into the marketplace is all goodness for a marketer. But no matter how good the conference, inevitably the presentations all start to look like this after a while (from WorkFailBlog).
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  communications business jam unified ibm social crowdsourcing 2,184 Visits
IBM will host a Web-based Social Business Jam from February 8-11, 2011, where more than 1,500 leaders from around the world will pool their knowledge and experiences to examine the next generation of business. Social Business Jam participants, including reporters, analysts and other influencers from Dachis, Read Write Web ZDNet, FASTForward, Altimeter and Gartner, will cooperatively explore the value of social technology in business, the mitigation of its risks, and the management system required to drive a social transformation resulting in a blueprint for organizations to help them become a Social Business.
As we wrote about a while back, Unified Communications is a critical part of any successful social business. We would love to hear from a diverse set of viewpoints, including IT and telephony business leaders, on what it means to be a social business. Click here to participate or learn more.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  ls11 business partners radvision lotusphere ibm business-partner-tuesdays ucoms sametime lotus 1,791 Visits
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  sametime lotusphere partner business business-partner-tuesdays ls11 avaya ibm 1 Comment 2,529 Visits
Avaya shares what they're up to at Lotusphere 2011 Showcase, and their recent integrations with Sametime.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  lotusphere ls11 business ucoms sametime vsee partner business-partner-tuesdays 1,806 Visits
A short video of IBM Business Partner VSee, what they're up to at Lotusphere 2011, and their latest integrations with Sametime.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  2011 lotusphere ibm ls11 lotus voicerite ucoms business-partner-tuesdays partner business 1,997 Visits
VoiceRite shares what they're up to at Lotusphere 2011, and their latest integrations with Sametime.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  unifiededge unified communications radioconnect business-partner-tuesdays partners business sametime 2,234 Visits
Following up from last week's post about Sametime going to the Super Bowl, here's a short video showing how Sametime and IBM Business Partner Unified Edge did it.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  business-partner-tuesdays meridian-it business ucoms social 2,088 Visits
It took us a little while, but we finally were able to get a video of the work Meridian IT did with SXC Health Solutions around unified communications and social collaboration.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  unified communications connect business ucoms partners business-partner-tuesdays enterprisecon enterprise 2,698 Visits
What makes a successful solution ecosystem isn't just the vendor platform, of course, but the business partners that add value to that vendor's platform. In the case of IBM Unified Communications, we have over 400 business partners that make Sametime one of the leading unified communications platforms out there. Here's just a few of those business partners that happen to be exhibiting at Enterprise Connect this week. In addition to stopping by our own booth at 623, please stop by their booths to learn more about what they do, and how they work with IBM.
Aastra - 918
Acme Packet - 1123
Alcatel-Lucent and Genesys - 816
AudioCodes - 1223
Avistar Communications - 1031
AVST - 830
BlackBerry - 403
Carousel Industries - 517
ClearOne - 631
Interactive Intelligence - 1111
iscoord ag - 636
Jabra - 1323
NEC Corporation - 609
NET - 1117
Orange Business Services - 937
Plantronics - 1229
Polycom - 617
Psytechnics - 522
RADVISION - 311
Samsung - 931
ShoreTel - 909
Skype - 801b
Smoothstone IP Communications431
Spring - 417
VBrick Systems - 1323
Verizon - 923
Vidyo - 1209