It is here! Your social business blueprint!
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
Read more in our official announcement here
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:
- Presence awareness
- Secure, enterprise instant messaging
- Federation with Public Instant Messaging services
- Offline messaging
- 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
As some of you might have seen, I've just changed roles here at IBM. I'll still be with the Worldwide IBM Collaboration Solutions marketing team. But now, instead of marketing our Unified Communications offerings, I'll be supporting
our flagship Lotus messaging and collaboration offerings
, including Lotus Notes, Lotus Domino, Lotus Symphony, and much more. I'm not going far, and I'll always be a huge Sametime fan. But if you see a lot less of me on this here SametimeBlog, you'll know why. And don't fret, we have an incredible bench of UC subject matter experts, from Marlon Machado
and Lisa Harris
to many more. I encourage you to share and comment on their insightful work.
But before I move over, I wanted to let you know about an upcoming webinar with our Business Partner CDW. On Wednesday September 28 at 1pm Central US, please join CDW to learn how you can affordably realize the benefits of unified communication today without having to rip and replace your current telephony or email systems, with IBM Sametime. As the only UC client to offer complete integration with Lotus Notes, IBM Sametime also integrates with Microsoft Outlook, SharePoint and Office
. And whatever your messaging and collaboration environment, you can integrate it with your telephony systems, whether you have an older TDM environment, a modern VOIP infrastructure, or a mixture of many different systems across the organization.
There is no better time to look at IBM Unified Communications with significant discounts available on licensing now. Complete a survey at the end of the webinar, and you will receive a $10 Starbucks gift card, and be entered to win an iPad2. Register today
as space is limited. We look forward to seeing you there!
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.
In a post entitled "Breaking cultural barriers to enterprise social software adoption
", SearchUC.com published an in-depth Q&A with IBM's Caleb Barlow
discussing how organizations can overcome barriers to adopting and
effectively using enterprise social software:
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.
As you probably guessed from my post earlier this week for Polycom's new whitepaper,
I'm catching up on some older e-mails. And I came across another new whitepaper, this time from IBM Global Technology Services: "Session Initiation Protocol (SIP): Impact & Implications".
Whether an organization is starting a new Unified Communications (UC) project or they have already deployed some UC capability, a Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) based infrastructure can significantly drive down costs and provide greater flexibility for the future. This white paper, authored by IBM Research and GTS experts, examines the impact a SIP-based architecture can have on all aspects of the business - the infrastructure, applications and process layers of the organization. The paper explores the business and technical implications of this transformation from a services perspective and describes how a structured approach is necessary for organizations to extract the full value of the new SIP technology.
As you are hopefully aware, we made many enhancements in Sametime 8.5.2
that help you collaborate more effectively and easily with colleagues outside your firewall. Sametime 8.5.2 browser-based meetings with audio
and video can help you build deeper relationships with customers and business partners, eliminate
expensive monthly fees from hosted meeting services, and reduce the need for audio conferencing, voicemail, and even travel. If those weren't reason enough to buy now, here's one more.
For a limited time, the commercial IBM Passport Advantage® Relationship
Suggested Volume Prices (RSVP) and Passport Advantage Express® Suggested Retail Price (SRP) for
selected eligible new IBM Sametime Standard
for Extranet Processor Value Unit and Sametime Advanced Extranet Processor Value
Unit products have been reduced by 75%
. This means it's now more cost-effective than ever to experience rich online collaboration with customers, partners, vendors and more.
Orders must be received by IBM on or after August 2, 2011 but no later than December 31, 2011. This discount is available worldwide except in Japan.
For a list of eligible products, and additional details, restrictions, applicability, and all the standard legal boilerplate fine-print
, please refer to the specific links provided below:
Ever since I happened upon an exhibit of Japanese post-war consumer design at Design Museum London back in 1992 (the miniature cars! the sleek juicers! the radios encased in melamine!), I've been somewhat enamoured with design. When you are (or like me, used to be) an engineer, it's too easy to put function over form. Great design doesn't put form over function, but instead marries the two seamlessly in order to solve real human problems in a way that feels natural.
In that vein, and continuing today's features of IBM Business Partners for unified communications, I wanted to shout out my congratulations to Plantronics for winning the Elite International Design competition for their Voyager PRO UC headset.
particular bluetooth headset is designed to work with IBM Sametime. And when combined with their recently updated IBM Lotus Award winning Plantronics Plug in for Sametime
, it offers additional Call control features to further improve the end user’s mobility and productivity on premise or in the Cloud.
In the words of our own Thierry Nicolle - EMEA’s IBM BUE’s experience on our new Voyager PRO UC:
Plantronics Bluetooth Headset is delivering the best Unified Communication Experience on Sametime I ever had. Not only this headset is extremely well designed and easy to use but is also providing unique capabilities in Sametime environment . For instance: the new ‘ Smart Sensor feature’ that ‘automatically‘ answers any inbound call when you place the headset on your head is a fantastic feature and the Plantronics Call control plug ability to ‘roam’ from your PC / desktop up to 33 feet (10 metres) away to multitask and remain ‘connected’ to [Sametime Unified Telephony] calls. [And] meetings with its multiple call handling features provides real freedom and extra productivity benefits. After trying this headset I simply cannot work without it…
Speaking from my own experience, it is a visually engaging piece of technology. And it really does enhance your mobility and productivity.
If you happen to use the headset, Plantronics is always looking for feedback; just blog your response at http://pltx1.com/on-the-record/
tweet to @Plantronics.
And for a full view of latest Plantronics UC Devices Bluetooth ,
Wireless, Corded and Speakerphone - all built for IBM Sametime - download the PDF here
I've discovered that keeping our Business Partner features to just Tuesdays wan't enough. So instead, we'll feature our Business Partners more throughout our weekly editorial calendar.
Today's IBM Business Partner Feature is about Lionbridge. On Wednesday, they announced the GeoFluent IM for IBM Sametime solution
. This solution will help IBM Sametime clients collaborate more effectively with non-English speaking colleagues, partners and customers:
“Today's dynamic workforce is increasingly globally dispersed, multigenerational and multicultural,” said Caleb Barlow, Director, Unified Communications and Collaboration, IBM. “As globally dispersed organizations move towards becoming social businesses, the challenge of resolving real-time barriers of language translation is critical. Today’s always available, socially-connected organizations need to communicate seamlessly with networks of partners, clients and suppliers, regardless of location, time-zone or language.”
We encourage you to join Lionbridge and IBM for a webinar
on August 23rd to learn more about increasing social communications across borders with multilingual unified communications. Please register for the webinar here
As a native English and French speaker, I have to say this is pretty cool. I've seen the real-time translations in action, and it makes cross-language real-time communication SO much easier. It won't replace professional translators for all use cases, but for the majority of day-to-day real-time translation work, it's a great solution to look into.
Underscoring the role of unified communications in a social business, in India, Smart Techie magazine published a Q&A with IBM's V. Venkataraman, "Unified Communications: Enabling the Next Gen Business Communication
" discussing how unified communications and social software can help geographically distributed teams collaborate.
Companies will go beyond the initial capabilities of IM—like
click-to-call and online presence—to deep integration with business
processes and line-of-business applications, where they can realize the
In a SearchUnifiedCommunications article about mobile collaboration apps in the cloud, "Cloud providers deliver mobile collaboration apps better than on-prem
", IBM's Caleb Barlow discusses IBM's on-premise and cloud strategy for its social software portfolio.
A 'generic' cloud will not meet [enterprises'] needs for compliance, security and back-end application integration," Barlow said. "IBM's current thinking is that private clouds may be the way to go, and we are running experiments in this area.
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.
Following up from our July 18 Business Partner session on Living Social with UC
, I modified our presentation a bit to make it a more general story on how unified communications can work together with Enterprise 2.0 capabilities to help your enterprise become a social business. The benefits of both together really are a 1+1 > 2 story. I would very much appreciate your feedback, as this is the first time I've personally posted a presentation to SlideShare.
Blair Pleasant over at UC Strategies recently blogged about
a Focus.com IBM and Polycom webcast
on video communications in the enterprise. My personal experience has been similar to hers, specifically video collaboration can be both a positive reinforcement AND negative reinforcement of good collaboration behavior and outcomes. On the negative reinforcement side:
One of the strongest arguments in favor of video calls is that
participants are less likely to multitask and do other things while on
the call. If someone is looking right at you, you're probably not going
to be checking your email, playing Angry Birds, or eating your lunch.
And on the positive reinforcement side:
Communication is enhanced. Using video lets you see if someone is
confused, bored, or angry, so you can modify your message and
presentation. Interactions are more personal, which helps to enhance the
quality of relationships between the participants.
Negative reinforcement isn't a bad thing - social mores are just as often about "don't do so-and-so...it's bad manners" as they are about "do so-and-so, it's good manners". Video collaboration is no exception. Personally, I've experienced both the positive and negative reinforcement of good behavior both in work meetings from video meetings. At work we've been (of course!) using video inside a Sametime 8.5.2 meeting for regular weekly meetings, and our team's focus has increased significantly in those meetings. And I've also experienced it outside of work. My personal mobile device is an iPhone 4 and lately I've been using FaceTime to communicate with my spouse, who's recently been in New York while I've been back home in San Diego. The interactions we've had via video on mobile has been leaps and bounds more satisfying than a pure voice call, making the 3000 miles seem a lot less distant.
That personal experience is enlightening. It reminds me that even in business situations, we're still HUMAN. We still want -- need -- visual communication to establish trust and maintain deeper relationships (note that I'm omitting an important conversation on the special challenges faced by the vision-impaired). If Trust is the new currency, then video collaboration will surely be an increasingly important tool in the enterprise.
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
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
Sametime, since the 7.5 days, has allowed users to access its basic presence and chat features from a variety of mobile devices. It allows us mobile people to not only reach others in an effective manner (it seems I am constantly getting off a plane and seeing who is available to me right now to deal with whatever issues are top of mind). But it also gives others more accurate information about when and how I can be reached... making presence a universal dial-tone, rather than one that is accurate only when I am at my desktop.
Sametime 8.5.2 extends native presence/chat to new platforms...specifically the great variety of Android devices that are sweeping the marketplace and filling our pockets and briefcases. And you Apple fan boys and girls (I am now officially one, having gotten my first Mac and iPhone within the last month) will see enhanced capabilities on iOS in the near future...watch this space!
But Sametime 8.5.2 goes beyond adding Android and paving the way for iOS devices. It is the beginning of a whole new approach to our increasingly mobile world. For example, we mobile folks can not only do IM functions, but Sametime meetings can now be attended from the mobile devices -- first from Blackberry, with Android and iOS to follow (you just have to experience a Sametime Web Conference on an iPad!)...watch this space!
With Sametime 8.5.2 we even have SUT on mobile devices. Previously, your mobile phone could certainly be a preferred device, with calls being routed to it by Sametime-contextual rules (geographic location, availability, etc.). And you could move calls to you mobile phone (and back again) from any other device. And you could even click-to-call someone and have your mobile phone be the one you use to talk and listen. However, you could not initiate an SUT call from the mobile phone (this was possible only from the Sametime desktop client). With the Sametime 8.5.2 native Android client, SUT users can initiate a call to any Sametime contact, Android contact, or phone number. This call is actually handled by SUT, ringing back the caller on the mobile phone and then completing the call to the other party. The advantages are:
The caller shows as "on the phone" to other Sametime users
The incoming caller ID shown is the caller's SUT unified number (not the mobile carrier number)
Enterprise dial plans can be used for least-cost routing and roaming/toll charge avoidance
Of course, if you are interested in SUT calling capabilities on iOS...watch this space!
Finally, there are a couple of features of the Sametime 8.5.2 native mobile client that are particularly significant. These include using the phone's GPS for (optionally) showing location, converting incoming text chats to speech (e.g., when you are driving), and taking a picture with the mobile phone and including it in the chat you have with another Sametime user. This last capability, while not earth-shattering in itself, may be the most significant one we have ever delivered in Sametime mobile. That is because historically our mobile apps tried to emulate what you do on the desktop...taking into account mobile form factor and connectivity. The add photo to chat feature is the first one that rather than taking a desktop collaboration feature and adding it to mobile, takes a mobile feature and uses it for collaboration. This indeed is the hallmark of the new era of mobile UCC.