The Sametime Blog
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.
Marlon Machado 100000PEST email@example.com Tags:  sametime banking collaboration 1,079 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.
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  meridian_it sametime sametime-unified-telephon... 1,134 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:
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.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  sametime ibm voicecon alistair-rennie event 2,232 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.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  sametime event ucoms orlando voicecon 2010 ibm unified-communications 1,751 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:  documentary video virtual sametime-3d sametime collaboration services tv 1,646 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  lotusphere sametime-unified-telephon... sametime lotusknows lotusphere-2010 ls10 1,231 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?
Marlon Machado 100000PEST email@example.com Tags:  collaboration-agenda industries solutions lotusphere sametime 1,240 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 ls10 lotusknows 766 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.
I've been reading lots of literature about Communication-Enabled Business Processes, or CEBPs over the last few weeks. Most of it seems to revolve around the notion that CEBPs are nothing but voice-enabled business processes; that all you need to do to enable a business process with communications services is add voice to it. Other ideas around CEBPs call for taking the basic premise of eliminating human latency to the extreme and to actually measure how much a business process can be accelerated through communications enablement in actual minutes. I think both notions fail to present the full dimension of what CEBPs are and why we need them.
I agree that the main purpose of turning a regular business process into a CEBP is to deal with human latency. However, there are business processes in which human intervention is an intrinsic feature and, as a result, expected to be part of the process. I'm talking about processes where human decision-making must be rooted on reflection and careful evaluation of pros and cons, reflection that will invariable manifest itself as latency in the overall business process. I wouldn't mind, for instance, having my doctor taking enough time to evaluate the best treatment options for me or a fund manager taking time to go over a company's books and strategy before investing my money in it. What I would like is for both, my doctor and my broker, to be able to access all the contextual information they need to support the thought process and to have the tools to eliminate latency from their own decision-making process.
I think in these cases the goal behind communication-enabling business processes should be to prevent the process from slowing down as opposed to accelerating it just because faster is better. Doing this requires more than voice, chat and video. It requires a healthy combination of real-time and asynchronous communications and collaboration services to reduce not only human latency where needed but to enhance the context to support decision-making.
I think work styles have a lot to do with the perception that CEBPs are all about voice and reducing human latency. Traditional work styles tend to hover towards extremes: you're either sending email (the most asynchronous way of communication aside from snail mail and fax) or you get on the phone with that person if you can't walk into his or her office. And so, if these are your parameters, that's what you're going to try to optimize. When, on the other hand, you're used to live in a multimodal environment in which chat, voice, a blog post, an entry on a Wiki or a tweet can get you the information you need and when knowing the person who gave you the answer is just there without you having to talk directly to him or her, that's when you realize email and voice alone are way too extreme. Then you learn that just having access to the context in which that person operates can be enough.
Why am I talking about this? Well, this is how we define CEBPs in the Sametime world. We view Sametime as more than just real-time communications--hence the "UC²" thing. We do have the real-time communication capabilities that our competitors have and we also provide the asynchronous and context-based means to provide a better way to do CEBPs through Sametime Advanced and with the help of our sister products and I think we need to talk more about this. I know I should probably write this in a white paper at some point (and I will) but I thought it necessary to rant about it a bit here just to get it off my chest..
See you all in Orlando.
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A email@example.com Tags:  sametime webcast lotususergroup sametime-8.5 1,087 Visits
Come join us, and our hosts, the LotusUserGroup.org, for a pre-Lotusphere 2010 live webcast reviewing Sametime 8.5's newest capabilities, and the real business value they provide. To learn more, visit the registration page is here. Registration is required, but membership to the LotusUserGroup is free!
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  documentation sametime_8.5 sametime 1,446 Visits
The following Sametime 8.5 Documentation is now available for your use:
Sametime 8.5 Information Center
Contains online information and PDFs for planning, installation, configuration, administration, tuning, troubleshooting, the error message catalog, as well as End-User FAQs, the Preview guide, videos, and reference cards: http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/sametime/v8r5/index.jsp
Sametime System Requirements 8.5: http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=477&uid=swg27016451
Known problems are documented in the form of individual technotes in the Support knowledge base at http://www.ibm.com/software/lotus/support. As problems are discovered and resolved, the IBM Support team updates the knowledge base. By searching the knowledge base, you can quickly find work-arounds or solutions to problems.
John Del Pizzo 270001QBN7 email@example.com Tags:  sametime uc2 unified communications lotusphere 1,971 Visits
The (nearly) final list of Lotusphere 2010 sessions is now available on the Lotusphere blog. But since this is the Sametime blog, here are the sessions we think you should focus on. ;-)
Jacques Pavlenyi 1000002W2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  collaboration services virtual sametime cnn sametime-3d cnn.com 1,169 Visits
It's nice to see we're still getting coverage for the Sametime Virtual Collaboration Services (a.k.a. Sametime 3D). A November 9 article on CNN.com, "Going to the virtual office in Second Life", specifically mentioned our offering by name:
Not everyone of course will want a full virtual world environment for realtime collaboration, but it's good to know the option it there, and the business value tangible, for those situations that warrant a richer visual environment than traditional online meetings or rich text / audio / video chat. And it further shows the power of Sametime as a collaborative platform.