The Sametime Blog
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  lotusphere sametime lotusknows ls10 1,239 Visits
An update to our original post back on December 2: we are planning a wide range of activities at next week's Lotusphere 2010 for Sametime. Here's a handy-dandy 1-page JPG you can download and use to find us in the happy madness of it all.
Marlon Machado 100000PEST email@example.com Tags:  collaboration-agenda industries solutions lotusphere sametime 1,977 Visits
It's 12:26 AM EST in Orlando. Lotusphere is in full swing and I just came back to my room at the Dolphin hotel after attending the Australian Party--allegedly the hottest ticket in town during Lotusphere. I just said good night to my lovely wife and, instead of brushing my teeth and getting ready to go to bed, I'm here writing this post.
The reason I'm doing this is to clarify what Collaboration Agenda means for Sametime. I've been manning the Collaboration Agenda pedestal at the IBM booth and I'm getting lots of questions about what this actually means; questions from business partners, customers and even from IBM colleagues. So, here it goes.
Collaboration Agenda is a philosophy, a way of doing things, a metamethodology that brings together well-known best practices to help customers address pain points with solutions that will save them money and help them make money.
It all starts with industry priorities defined by industry leaders and visionaries. Each industry priority encompasses a series of well-defined pain points that are measurable and quantifiable. Then, based on that knowledge, we apply known best practices to address those pain points with solutions designed to minimize the impact inflicted by those pain points on the customer's business processes and to maximize efficiency and agility. In the case of business processes that benefit from reducing and/or eliminating human latency, such solutions will be based on unified communications and collaboration software.
Devising solutions using the Collaboration Agenda philosophy produces things such as RadioConnect for Sametime, a solution based on Sametime Standard and a soft radio plug-in developed by UnifiedEdge, an IBM Business Partner based out of Round Rock, Texas. RadioConnect was designed with a manic focus on solving a single problem: lack of interoperability among disparate radio infrastructures in emergency response and public safety scenarios and nothing else.
This is what Collaboration Agenda can help us achieve. RadioConnect may not be very sexy--it won't update your Tweeter status or your Facebook wall--but it will help first responders communicate with each other in an emergency situation, which can contribute to minimizing the loss of life and property.
If you happen to be at Lotusphere and would like to have a deeper discussion about this feel free to drop by the IBM booth. I'm going to be back at the Collaboration Agenda pedestal between 11:45 AM EST and 2:00 PM EST today.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  lotusphere sametime-unified-telephon... sametime lotusknows lotusphere-2010 ls10 1,926 Visits
I finally have a free moment to catch up on sharing our Sametime experience here at Lotusphere 2010. But rather than a laundry list of recaps, I wanted to talk about story telling.
One of the most wonderful aspects of meetings like Lotusphere is serendipity. One such seredipitous moment came this morning when I had the pleasure of sitting next to Jean-Francois Chenier, of “The Man Who Should Have Used Lotus Connections” fame, on the bus from the Port Orleans hotel to the Dolphin. His videos, and our wide-ranging conversation about Japan and Calgary and snow, have inspired me to find ways to tell better stories. And not just any stories.
In IBM we're awfully good at telling the “how” stories – I would say 90% of the content here at Lotusphere is training, education, implementation, etc. The two excellent videos (and more to come) that John Del Pizzo produced are great examples of that too. But those of us who are close to a topic often struggle with the “why”. I'm not just referring to the business value of our Lotus portfolio, though that's clearly a big part of the “why”. It's also the more personal stories that make a direct connections between these incredible technologies and improving our lives.
On a subconscious level, those of us who use Sametime every day – indeed, the younger generation that uses Skype and Yahoo! and Google Talk -- instinctually know the incredible value it brings to our lives – the visually rich, instant communication with friends and colleagues all over the world, and the flexibility it provides for our work and personal lives. But how do we put ourselves in the shoes of someone not so close to it as we are? To communicate that “why” to the vast mass of people who may not be aware of Sametime or discount out-of-hand the business value of real-time communications?
So that's the challenge that I, as the worldwide market segment manager for Sametime, set for myself this year: to learn from a master like Jean-Francois, to reading wonderful books like “Back of the Napkin”, to tell the “why” of Sametime. The product team worked extremely hard in 2009 to improve Sametime: Sametime Unified Telephony; and Sametime 8.5 are sea-change improvements in unified communications and real-time collaboration software. My job this year – and the help I need from you as business partners and evangelists in your enterprises – is to now shift into that wonderful story-telling mode. To get our prospects' eyes wide with wonder at the possibilities Sametime can open up in our work, and personal – lives.
I would love to
hear YOUR stories. What are your experiences, good and bad? How do you wish you COULD use Sametime? Whether through comments here, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or YouTube, WHY do you use Sametime?
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  lotus uc2 press analyst unified-communications lotusknows sametime ls10 it-analyst bloggers uc 2 Comments 3,035 Visits
In addition to meeting with customers and business partners, Lotusphere is also a great opportunity to meet with IT analysts, reporters and bloggers, share with them what we're up to, and get their feedback, since they have such a strong pulse on the marketplace. Our Analyst Relations lead, Public Relations lead, along with our Unified Communications leadership team met, with several analysts and reporters throughout the week.
I wanted to summarize some of the feedback we received, mainly to show IBM's continued commitment to the Unified Communications and real-time collaboration market.
up is a video interview with Zeus Kerravala from Yankee Group. He particularly liked
the themes of multi-modal UC and cost effectiveness that were in the
broader themes covered in Bruce Morse's Unified Communications
Keynote Monday afternoon. Zeus is also a regular contributor to the nojitter.com blog.
Jennifer, our analyst relations lead, also had the opportunity to interview Melanie Turek from Frost & Sullivan. Money quote:
"I think the most interesting new stuff right now revolves around the Meetings [function in Sametime 8.5]. And I think that what we saw especially how fast and easy it was."
Brian Riggs from Current Analysis blogged extensively about his thoughts from Lotusphere 2010 on nojitter.com. Money quote:
The Sametime client can of course provide the same click-to-call and other telephony features. And with the release of SameTime Unified Telephony last year, IBM can now deliver a soft phone that combines instant messaging presence, telephony presence, and the ability to initiate and receive calls in a multivendor PBX environment. So while IBM has stayed out of the PBX business, it is quite capable of delivering a UC-enriched soft phone that works with a variety of voice systems....
Clive Longbottom from Quocirca was also in attendance. Money quote:
What IBM is demonstrating is that no matter where an organisation is starting from, it can move the communication and collaboration platform forward to wherever the organisation feels it needs to go: in-house, hybrid or pure-play cloud.
Michael Osterman from Osterman Research was at Lotusphere as well, also producing a lengthy blog entry. Money quote:
IBM is making major strides toward moving its offerings into the cloud. IBM is also focusing heavily on mobility, demonstrating a number of interesting mobility-based features and functions for Notes, Sametime and other platforms.
Brent Kelly from Wainhouse Research devoted a big section of the January 26 Wainhouse Research Bulletin to his attendance at Lotusphere. And Henry Dewing from Forrester also wrote about the launch of the IBM Collaboration Agenda.
The Twitterati were out in force as well, certainly aided by my extensive use of Tweetdeck on my iPhone, the @Sametime id, and lots of retweeting by @bilaljaffery and others. What was nice, though, was some of the more “water cooler” a-ha! Moments, such as this one from Stephane Rousseau:
SCROUSS #Lotusknows that I enjoyed #Lotusphere. Check my feedback here : http://techno.rousseau.cc/
And let us not forget the mainstream media. Sametime's press activities at Lotusphere did generate articles in key technology and telephony trade magazines including: NetworkWorld, Computerworld, ChannelWeb, eWEEK, IDG, VON, V3 and TMCNet.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  video documentary virtual sametime-3d sametime collaboration tv services 2,618 Visits
A new PBS Frontline documentary that airs tonight has a segment on IBM's efforts to conduct internal meetings in virtual worlds (using Virtual Collaboration for Lotus Sametime - aka Sametime 3D) and how more than 10,000 IBMers are incorporating virtual world meetings into the way they work.
Part of the IBM segment for the Digital Nation documentary was filmed from the home of Francoise LeGoues (IBM VP of Innovation Initiatives) and follows her as she participates in virtual meetings and talks about the use of virtual worlds for collaboration. Another part shows IBMers being trained on virtual world technology.
All of the "in world" scenes shot in her home office as well as the training session were done in Sametime 3D!
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  internet-telephony sametime award unified sut telephony 1 Comment 3,621 Visits
Internet Telephony has just awarded IBM a 2009 Product of the Year Award for IBM Lotus Sametime Unified Telephony. "IBM has proven its commitment to quality and excellence while addressing real needs in the marketplace,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC. “We’re happy to recognize and honor IBM for their development of IP communications technology. We look forward to more innovative solutions from them in the future.” A complete list of Product of the Year winners is published in the February 2010 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine (www.itmag.com). For more information about TMC, please visit TMCnet.com.
We're very proud of the 2009 launch of Sametime Unified Telephony. This also comes on the heels of IBM winning the 2009 TMC Unified Communications Excellence Award for our IBM Global Technology Services Converged Communications Services for Lotus Sametime Unified Telephony. The combination of our award-winning software, services, hardware and industry expertise uniquely positioned IBM in 2009 as a leader in unified communications, and we look forward to an even stronger 2010.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  sametime event ucoms orlando voicecon 2010 ibm unified-communications 3,201 Visits
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 more.
IBM will also be participating in several sessions and panels as well:
Oh, and I almost forgot our Friday Funnies for this week, courtesy of Mitch Cohen:
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  sametime ibm voicecon alistair-rennie event 3,345 Visits
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.
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.
FaceTime just announced their new Vantage platform, the successor to IMAuditor. Vantage includes a number of new capabilities for Sametime users, including:
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.
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  meridian_it sametime sametime-unified-telephon... 1,652 Visits
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.
You can read the full press release here:
Marlon Machado 100000PEST email@example.com Tags:  sametime banking collaboration 1,863 Visits
I've had the pleasure of representing IBM to the business partner community since 1998. As a member of the Sametime product team I get to work with those partners that build applications on top of the Sametime platform and I have the opportunity to listen to their stories and to learn about how their solutions help customers solve problems.
That's all good. The nicest part, however, is learning, first, about how our technology helps people do things better for other people and, secondly, how the power of people gets to shape business.
I met with the co-founders of Zylinc, one of our business partners from Denmark, at Lotusphere this past January. They told me the story of Sydbank, Denmark's fourth largest bank with 2,500 employees and branch offices in Germany and a subsidiary in Switzerland, and one of their customers.
With only 2,500 employees, Sydbank is a small bank compared to the three largest in Denmark or the bona fide large banks of the world. Perhaps because of its size--it may also be a Danish thing--Sydbank decided that customers should have access to virtually everyone in the organization. They decided that no call would ever go unanswered and that there will always be someone from the bank at the other end of every phone call. How about that? How many of us can say that about the banks we do business with?
Sydbank adopted Zylinc's ZyDesk Operator, a desktop switchboard that integrates Sametime presence and instant messaging, calendaring and click-to-call to give all employees the ability to pick up incoming calls from customers. The drive to make sure no call goes unanswered is such that it has transformed the bank's culture.
According to René and Thomas, the Zylinc Founders, ZyDesk is the first application Sydbank employees open when they arrive in the morning. I saw a demo of the application and I can see why: the thing is a situational awareness dashboard for customer service. It is non-intrusive and yet it provides a pretty good view of the bank's interaction with the outside world. It's not a call center application in the traditional sense but it's just as--if not more--effective.
Without having to build a costly call center in a remote country Sydbank is giving its customers something most of us don't get: real customer service. I know their use case does not apply to all banks and I'm not, by any means, attempting to diminish the importance of call centers. I'm just impressed to see the power of people at work; having all employees engaged in providing a superior customer service experience and doing it with a single tool. Moreover, I'm pleasantly surprised to see Sametime being an integral part of this story.
People are asking me about how one would integrate Sametime and the new WebSphere Application Server v7 Feature Pack for Communication-Enabled Applications (WAS 7 FP CEA). The answer is you use the new Sametime 8.5 Proxy Toolkit to aggregate the functionality at the user interface level on the Web browser and let the servers sit next to each other or, potentially, run on the same box--after all, the Sametime 8.5 Proxy server is a WAS-based REST services runtime.
A customer service scenario where a Web application provides WAS 7 FP CEA-based co-browsing and reactive click-to-call can be enriched by adding presence and instant messaging capabilities through the Sametime Proxy. Co-browsing can be greatly enhanced by giving customers the ability to chat with a specialist on the other end of the firewall when talking is not an option for whatever reason. The same goes for peer-to-peer co-browsing scenarios.
UCStrategies just published a brand new article that outlines a no-nonsense value proposition and a basic roadmap on how to partner with IBM in the new and exciting field of unified communications.
Before you go read it, though, let me say a few words about why partnering with us is better than partnering with the competition:
I've learned these three maxims over the last twelve years that I've worked with business partners. I think it's still true and, honestly, that's one of the reasons I like working for IBM. In a world where there's not much of it left our relationship with business partners is still based on integrity and honesty. That means a lot to me personally.
I'm sure some people out there will disagree and say we have strayed from that principle more than once. Nevertheless, I can say I've never done it--the sizable community of business partners I've worked with over the years can attest to that--and I can also say I don't know any IBMers who have done it either.
Now, if you're curious, please go take a look at the article. You can find it here.
One of the great new components of Sametime 8.5 is the Proxy Server. It let's you embed Sametime services into your web apps using standard web 2.0 tools. One of the most commonly discussed applications of the Proxy is to chat enable customer service sites to improve satisfaction and lower support costs. Well, if you want to see this in action, check out the new "Technical Support Chat" on the Lotus Support sites. You can engage with an IBM Support Engineer when creating or updating a Problem Management Records (PMRs) or reach out to the IBM Technical Support Engineer who is working with you on your open service request. Just look for this logo:
In February, we let you know that our long-time leader, Akiba Saeedi, had moved on to new challenges in IBM (A Changing of the Guard). Today, I'd like to share a couple of additional organizational changes with you
First, I took over as head of the Sametime Product Management team in March. I have been extremely lucky to be a part of this team for the past two years and will do my best to clear the way for the real brains in the organization... our product managers Rob Ingram and David Marshak, SUT Offering Manager, Kathleen Cooke and our Industry Solutions/Collaboration Agenda lead, Marlon Machado.
Second, I'm very excited to announce that Jelan Heidelberg will take over for me next week as the Offering Manager for the core Sametime portfolio (Entry, Standard & Advanced.) You may know Jelan as the Offering Manager for Quickr, a role she's held for the last four years. Jelan really knows how to make the IBM machine move and I'm counting on her experience to help us accelerate the transformation that began with Sametime 7.5 and the Unified Communication & Collaboration vision.
Finally, we also have an important addition to our WW Sales Leadership. Rick Schonbrun, a long-time communications industry veteran, joined us in March. Rick was most recently President & CEO of Telovations, a managed services provider "offering outsourced communications services and applications delivered through a hosted SaaS model". He's also had senior sales and marketing roles with Sonexis, Expanets and 3COM. We're happy to have his expertise to guide us as the collaboration and communication markets continue to merge.
Welcome to Jelan and Rick!