I am happy to announce to my Sametime friends and family the IBM Connections Suite v1.0! Today we announced an important bundle that brings together what your organization needs to optimize on the latest evolution in communication. Social Communication.
Today's world necessitates a social business. Social Communications makes it happen. Social Communications is not only the unification of social software and unified communications and collaboration but together creates a powerful new form of communication greater than the sum of its parts. It moves us beyond simple presence - beyond finding an expert and leveraging their static published content - shifting the focus to both relevance and real time engagement. Thus, it goes beyond an expertise search, beyond just reaching someone because they are available. For example, not only can you see what someone knows but also easily see validation by others - usage of their files by others (number of downloads, comments), how many people follow them, and what comments and questions have been left on their profile.
The IBM Connections Suite combines IBM Sametime Advanced, IBM Sametime Unified Telephony Lite Client, and IBM Connections with Community Custom Libraries powered by IBM FileNet, to provide exceptional value in built-for-business integrated social software complete with robust document management yielding a real-time social communications platform. With this bundle see a users static content, collaborate asynchronously or engage real-time with the relevant expert with text, voice or video.
Wouldn't this be a cool broadcast announcement to send to my IBM Sametime Blog Community? And that community is also the same community in IBM Connections' Communities where we work on activities together, have a forum, and share files? Just a simple example.
Check out these demo's in Luis Benitez's blog : http://www.lbenitez.com/2012/05/announcing-ibm-connections-suite-sweet.html
Read more in our official announcement here : http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/ShowDoc.wss?docURL=/common/ssi/rep_ca/7/897/ENUS212-087/index.html&lang=en&request_locale=en
Extractions from the Announcement letter :
IBM Connections capabilities:
Home page - Use the home page to see a snapshot of updates collected from across your subscriptions, notifications, and network of colleagues.
Communities - In Communities, members can participate in community-specific activities and forums, and can share blogs, bookmarks, feeds, and files.
Community document libraries - Configure IBM FileNet libraries to display, access, and manage content from within a Connections Community. Document libraries support document check-in and check-out, versioning, access control, and prompting for required metadata.
Profiles - Permits you to search for people across your organization using tags to identify expertise, current projects, and responsibilities.
Activities - Provides capabilities for gathering and sharing project documents, and working with colleagues to complete tasks.
Files - Provides a repository in which you can upload files and share them with others.
Wikis - Permits individuals, groups, and communities to capture, share, and co-author information.
Forums - Allows individuals to share ideas with, and benefit from, the expertise of others.
Blogs - Provides the ability to create online journals that you can use to deliver timely information to others. You can use a blog to present your ideas and get feedback from others or learn from the expertise of others who blog.
Bookmarks - Helps you save, share, and discover bookmarks through this social bookmarking service.
IBM Lotus Quickr Connectors
Author, share, collaborate, and manage Connections community document library content in FileNet using desktop applications such as Microsoft™ Windows™ Explorer, Microsoft Office 2003 to 2010, Microsoft Outlook, IBM Lotus Notes®, IBM Sametime, and IBM Lotus Symphony™.
IBM Sametime Advanced :
Unified communications and collaboration core capabilities:
Secure, enterprise instant messaging
Federation with Public Instant Messaging services
File and folder transfer options
Integrated Voice (VoIP) and desktop video
Mobile device support
Open APIs and an extensible client
Online meetings - Persistent meeting rooms with native and third-party audio and video from both the rich client and the browser-based desktop meeting experience.
Instant share - Share or remotely control a computer desktop with colleagues.
Persistent group chat rooms - Create, enter, read, and contribute to ongoing chats at any time from the rich client or a browser. Users can be alerted to new content, events, and people in the chat room.
Broadcast communities - Create and subscribe to real-time channels devoted to various topics. Channel subscribers receive real-time alerts, ask questions via Skill Tap, interact with experts, create and respond to real-time polls, and join online group conversation.
Organizational tree view - Leverage an organizational tree view of your contacts to see the reporting structure of your company based on the corporate directory.
Bandwidth management - Bandwidth limits can be set to constrain the overall amount of audio and video on the network consumed by Sametime. Administrators can set policies to control bandwidth based on classes of users and locations.
IBM Sametime Unified Telephony Lite Client
IBM Sametime Unified Telephony Lite Client license enables the Sametime Connect rich client software to make and receive telephony and video calls when configured with a certified telephony or audio video environment.
addition to the rich set of social collaboration capabilities
independently offered by IBM Connections and IBM Sametime, IBM
Connections Suite V1.0 allows you to take advantage of existing points
Presence and awareness - Know if someone is available without leaving your IBM Connections environment.
collaboration - Leverage IBM Sametime broadcast channels to reach out
to IBM Connections Community members in real time with Instant Broadcast
Announcements, Broadcast Chats, and Polls.
card integration - Leverage business cards in IBM Connections and IBM
Sametime to see a person's availability and to access that person's
profile, blogs, wikis, communities, and more. Launch a chat session
directly from the business card by right-clicking on the person's name.
Here are a few examples of how these products can be used together:
From IBM Sametime
Reach out to the members of your IBM Connections community with instant broadcasts, polling, and announcements
Utilize a dedicated persistent chat room or meeting room with its own content library
Engage with compelling native and third-party audio and video in both the IBM Sametime rich client and browser-based online meetings
From within your IBM Connections environment
Determine if someone is available via presence awareness
Hover over an individual's name, and from the pop up business card, click to chat or start an instant meeting
With an additional click, move to a video or voice chat from the Sametime rich client chat window
From a user's IBM Connections business card in the IBM Sametime rich client chat window
Share or record your communication by adding your chat transcript to a relevant IBM Connections community forum or activity with a click of a button in the chat window
From the business card click to quickly see your chat partner's blogs, profiles, activities, bookmarks, communities, and more
From within an IBM Connections community
Access and use content libraries that leverage the capabilities of IBM FileNet Content Manager
Create, view, access, and manage corporate content and associated metadata stored in IBM FileNet Content Manager
#ucoms #socbiz This week, several IT industry blogs reported on the increased focus around unified communications as organizations embrace social computing in the workplace. In the first, IT Business Edge discusses in "Social Networking and Unified Communications: Catalysts for Change", the impact of unified communications on social business and cloud computing:
What Barlow is driving at is that it won’t be too long before all of these technologies combine to fundamentally change the way we all work.
The barriers to enterprise social software adoption are far more cultural than technical. Internal social networking tools make for great demos, but unified communications (UC) pros often struggle to define what problem enterprise social software is trying to solve.
IBM today announced new cloud-based collaboration services to help U.S.
Federal government organizations reap the benefits of social computing. The new set of social collaboration services, including IBM Sametime, delivered on IBM's Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)-compliant Federal Community Cloud, addresses the administration's drive to adopt a "cloud-first" policy which is designed to help the government improve its overall IT efficiency and delivery of services to citizens. By having Sametime as part of a FISMA-compliant environment, IBM is able to provide a roadmap for unified communications as a service for those organizations looking for FISMA-compliant delivery.
IBM Business Partners: please join us on Monday, July 18 for our second in our Living Social webcast series. Presented by Sandy Carter, VP IBM Social Business and Collaboration Solutions
Sales and Evangelism, and Rick Schonbrun, Worldwide Business Unit
Executive for Unified Communications and Collaboration, discuss with IBM and your peers about why IBMers, IBM Business Partners, and our customers are
using the IBM Unified Communications and Collaboration platform to socially connect employees across the enterprise, regardless
of geographic location.
Why Attend? We all need to LIVE social. Your customers and prospects expect you to live as, and not just talk about becoming, a social business. Living social earns you credibility with your customers and opens more doors. It's simple: live social, and close more business.
To accomodate multiple time zones, we have two sessions you can attend (PartnerWorld membership and registration is required):
As I blogged about on NoJitter back in June ("The Future of UC is
Social" --> http://www.nojitter.com/blog/229900178?queryText=the+future+of+UC+is+social
), I disagree with the premise that it's either UC or social
collaboration, but not both. Enterprises for some time have been asking
to make UC part of a broader collaboration environment, including newer
collaboration capabilities such as blogs, wikis, forums and communities.
Users want a variety of tools to use, and more importantly, the ability
to pivot between various tools depending on the circumstances they're
in, and from the applications and environments they're working from,
whether business process applications, mobile device, e-mail client, web
application, etc. And many analysts have been seeing the same thing; I
believe Gartner just recently said by 2014 more than 20% of business
users will use social networks as their primary communication hubs, and
separately said that the distinction between UC and collaboration will
disappear altogether by 2013.
I also believe that, while many
recent UC startups and cloud offerings in the consumer space are
spurring innovation, the levels of security, policy management and other
administration features demanded by enterprises are going to stay out
of reach for many consumer-focused UC and collaboration vendors -- cloud
or on premises. Social collaboration, including voice and video,
generates a certain level of agida on the part of enterprise Legal, IT,
and Finance that has to be addressed by any serious vendor.
Microsoft and Cisco are by no means the only vendors integrating social
collaboration with unified communications. IBM has been doing this at
least since the launch of IBM Connections several years ago. Integration
with other IBM applications as well as with best-of-breed applications
and platforms through open standards-based APIs, has been the hallmark
of the IBM approach for some time.
What do you think? How fast do you think UC is merging with other collaboration tools? What are examples in your environments where this is -- or isn't -- happening?
#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.
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.
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
As we blogged about way back in November 2010, unified communications is a core component of becoming a social business. And social media needs unified communications to help turn socializing into action. While we may have been ahead of the industry a little bit in making this connection explicit, much of the conversation at Enterprise Connect last week was dominated by Social Business and Social Media and how they're related to UC. Now comes this blog post from Carousel Connect as well, where they discuss IBM's social business initiative within the UC context. Whether you're trying to provide a more exceptional customer experience...
Now that you are listening more effectively, give [customers] more ways to interact with you. On-line chat and customer service
solutions integrated into your contact center are proven to substantially improve customer satisfaction levels. Providing customers with the types of social interactions and collaboration they have
become accustomed to will pay dividends both in cost savings and happier
...or an exceptional work experience...
An overlooked toolset in corporations is ‘Group Chat”. Many businesses
are bastions of “tribal knowledge” where a few employees know the
answers to problems that are asked over and over again. Setting up
“topic-based” group chat rooms (think Facebook-like simplicity) that
employees can join and which are moderated by internal
subject-matter-experts (SMEs), can speed reaction time and build up a
powerful knowledge base very quickly.
...what's important is that UC is placed within a broader context of collaboration in the enterprise.
Jim Burton, fabled thought leader in the UC space and wine connoisseur extraordinaire, writes about Lotusphere 2011 and IBM's approach to UC as an aspect of getting social and doing business in an article on No Jitter. You can find it here.
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 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:
trust is the new competitive advantage - what better way to build trust than through real-time conversations (whether IM, voice, video or e-meetings?)
brands are experienced through their people - and unified communications is critical for not just call centers, but for enabling all your employees to be real-time brand ambassadors to your customers
outperforming organizations are doing this today by making people, not devices or documents, central to the collaboration strategy. And we have plenty of real examples where unified communications have resulted in profitable transformations
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?