IBM Connections introduced the External Collaboration feature in version 5.0, released in June 2014. With this feature, you can add external users from outside your firewall to your own internal IBM Connections deployment. Once registered, external users can be added to Communities and Files, enabling them to collaborate with your internal users but with a refined user experience, limited access to content, and special identifiers that alert internal users when content is visible to external users.
Being able to collaborate directly with your external partners, customers, and suppliers in communities inside IBM Connections, increases the speed and scope of communication and enhances productivity.
This white paper was first published last September, and focused on configuring your LDAP topology to facilitate the on-boarding of external users. This update explains the security considerations that you can follow to securely allow access through the firewall. Single sign-on solutions such as IBM |Security Access Manager and CA Single Sign-On are discussed in detail.
Support @mention in a Linked Library (CCM): This function allows @Mention other users in comments on documents in libraries.
Metrics Reports for Linked Libraries (CCM): Metrics reports are now supported for Link Libraries in a Community.
Open Questions and Answered Questions tabs have been added for Forum Topics: This function allows a user easily view the Open Questions and Answered Questions in either a Standalone or Community Forum.
Launching a Video Player on supported file types in the Activity Stream and Embedded Experience: For ActivityStream entries based on Status Updates or Files where a supported video file format is present, there is now the option to play the video directly inline on the ActivityStream and from within the related Embedded Experience. Supported video file types are the same as for the existing Media Gallery and Files video player (.mp4(H.264 endoding) and .mov)
Previews of non-image filetypes in the Activity Stream and Embedded Experience: When IBM Docs or the File Viewer document conversion service is configured with Connections, it will automatically generate a front page thumbnail image of supported document types (e.g odp, odc, .doc etc)
Monthly repeating Events are now supported in Community Events: This function allows repeating Monthly Events to either occur monthly on a specific date (between the 1st - 31st) or a particular day, for example the first Friday of the month.
Abbreviated Business Card for external users: Visitors (external users) who are not part of your organization that enter a community will view an abbreviated business card with no clickable licks for employee names.
Performance optimization updates for the Activities Seedlist: This function optimized and improved performance for searching in Activities. Some new configuration properties were added to a-config.xml for this performance enhancement.
It has been out for a little while now, but the Connections 5 install process included some significant updates for CCM. As we get more and more adoption on 5.0, we've been getting more questions on this. In Connections 5, you'll see a much shorter list of post install steps for CCM.
There is now one task for Configuring IBM Connections Content Manager with a new FileNet deployment. This task has no subtasks. Compare this to what we had in Connections 4.5 where the similar task had 5 dependent subtasks.
We previously had this as a list of "post install" steps specific to new CCM deployments. What happened to these? Let's go one by one through the old post install steps and see what we did to improve in 5.0.
Configuring Libraries automatically
This task was mostly configuring the FileNet domain and object store through a post install script we provided - something we called the ccmDomainTool. The step remains with IC 5, but we've rolled it up into the parent document in the Knowledge Center since it's the only required post install step now. The parent topic used to be a table of contents for the subtasks, but with no subtasks remain, the table of contents is no longer necessary, so the documentation was simply reorganized here. You can read more in the documentation about what a domain is and how it relates to CCM.
We've also made quite a few improvements to the ccmDomainTool itself. The tool now sets up a Collaboration Configuration document inside FileNet to enable the Activity Stream. If an anonymous user was specified during the Installation Manager process, the ccmDomainTool will complete the anonymous setup. The ccmDomainTool also has improved input and output, better logging and prompt to confirm all information it is using to configure the system before it proceeds.
Generating Security identifiers to be used in configuration
This step was just a helper task to enable other steps. Specifically, you needed to get FileNet's internal security identifiers to set up anonymous access fully and to set up the Activity Stream config. Since anonymous setup and Activity Stream config are now included in the ccmDomainTool, we've moved this task to the Administering > Administering Libraries > Configuring the FileNet deployments used by Libraries > Generating Security Identifiers to be used in the configuration. You might need to reference this is you change something in the config, and it's useful reference, but isn't required for initial installation anymore.
Configuring FileNet to be an Activity Stream producer with a new deployment
This task previously instructed you how to manually set up the Collaboration Configuration object in FileNet to enable the Activity Stream. This step was basically telling FileNet how to find the Connections Activity Stream and how to connect to it. Activity Stream configuration is now automated in the ccmDomainTool. The task may still be useful especially for altering configuration in some situations, so it remains for reference in the Administering section. The task is now moved to Administering > Administering Libraries > Configuring the FileNet deployments used by Libraries > Configuring collaborative features in FileNet.
There are a couple other improvements worth noting to the Collaboration Configuration. If you look at the Collaboration Configuration object in FileNet which is created by the ccmDomainTool in Connections 5, you will notice that config2 and config1 and the Activity Stream Extended Settings are empty. This is not a mistake. As of FileNet 5.2 FP 3 which we use in Connections 5, these fields may be left blank. As explained in the new documentation, if config2 and config1 are blank, FileNet will use the connectionsAdmin J2C authentication alias to post stories to the Activity Stream. This J2C authentication alias is a way of storing a user and password in WebSphere's configuration, instead of directly in FileNet. The alias is also required for the rest of Connections to function, and is created by the installation, so it will already be set up if you have a functioning Library widget.
There is one known character encoding issue on Windows when config2 and config1 are empty. When users create Community or File Names with NLS characters they appear corrupted in the Activity Stream. This impacts only Windows deployments of Connections Content Manager version 5.0 where config2 and config1 are empty. This is resolved with FileNet CPE 184.108.40.206 IF002.
Setting an LDAP group to be domain administrator in addition to, or instead of, a specific user
The ccmDomainTool now prompts for a group to be used and will set up the group's access to the domain and object store. Since you could still do this after the installation, the old documentation remains for reference under Administering > Administering Libraries > Configuring the FileNet deployments used by Libraries > Setting an LDAP group to be domain administrator in addition to, or instead of, a specific user. One way or another, you must add an LDAP group to the administrator access of the system, but we've now included this in the ccmDomainTool.
Changing the bootstrap admin password
While this wasn't a step in the initial installation, you previously had to use this to change the password of the FileNet admin in FileNet's configuration. Now with Connections 5, the out of the box bootstrap config for a newly installed CCM system will use the filenetAdmin J2C alias here (similar to how we use the Connections alias for the Activity Stream and for the rest of Connections), so this step will be used less and less. With this change we will no longer need to store any user passwords in FileNet's own configuration. They were stored encrypted before, but now we're move consistent with the rest of Connections and WebSphere. There are still user IDs stored in FileNet though, so IDs of users and administrators should be kept consistent throughout the user's lifecycle.
We know there is always room for constant improvement, and so we always love being able to remove steps from our documentation. Our install team is focused on constant improvement.
TIMETOACT Group's recently released a new tool for IBM Connections customers who are interested in using the new external user feature but do not have an external user registration system in place. User Access Manager (UAM) for IBM Connections registers external users and also provides features for internal users such as password administration.
With TIMETOACT's UAM, you can:
Register External Users for Access to IBM Connections
Approval Workflow for (Internal and External) Access Requests
Terminate Access for Individual Users
Change Password (with defined strength)
Recovery / Reset Password
Check out more with the new slide deck they released recently
Two significant enhancements were announced today for IBM Connections V5.0. The product now supports IBM i, the cost-effective and intregration-ready operating sytem for IBM Power Systems and IBM PureSystems. Also supported is IBM Forms Experience Builder V8.5.1, which integrates with the IBM Connections polls and survey widget to produce community surveys. This enhancement allows external users to view the results of community surveys.
The wiki article has been updated with instructions for configuring for IBM Tivoli Access Manager and SiteMinder (now called CA Single Sign-On) for secure external collaboration.
Available for the first time in IBM Connections 5.0, External Collaboration allows you to add external partners, customers, and suppliers to communities inside IBM Connections, increasing the speed and scope of communication and enhancing productivity.
A new article in our documentation wiki explains how to add external users from outside your firewall to your internal IBM Connections deployment. Once provisioned in your directory, external users can be added to Communities and Files.
We have some great new integration news for IBM Connections. This month's release brings new features to those of you working with Microsoft Office Desktop apps (even if you use the desktop apps with Office 365) and Microsoft Sharepoint.
For some time now, we've had integration into Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook) via the ribbon and Plugins and Widgets for Sharepoint. Today, we've added new functionality to the ribbon and additional support for Sharepoint.
Microsoft Office and Desktop Additional Features
With the new features, you can now do the following directly from Microsoft Office:
Lock a file to prevent others from editing while you make changes
Share the file and add others as readers or editors
View version history
View download history/audit log
Like, pin, and follow
Check out this quick 2 minute demo that the team created to show some of the new functionality:
Connections Profiles search integrates with your Microsoft SharePoint directory, and you can easily add people to your Microsoft SharePoint group or site.
Connections business card for getting contact and social networking information about users in your organization appears within your Microsoft SharePoint environment. From the business card, you can easily email, instant message, open their Blog, Bookmarks or full Profile.
Connections tag cloud Web Part can be added to any Microsoft SharePoint site for finding content contributed to the social network. Clicking a tag, launches a query against all Connections services. From the results, easily explore the social data in Connections using the tags as a gateway to the Connections federated search.
Includes the needed API's to support the IBM Lotus Connections 220.127.116.11 Widget for Microsoft SharePoint.
Recently, Omar Davison, a colleagues in technical sales, created this video showing how IBM Connections can enhance Sharepoint. It's a creative spin on how these technologies work together. Nice job Omar & team!
One of the most anticipated new features in IBM Connections 5.0 is External Collaboration - the ability to invite your external partners, suppliers, and customers to collaborate with you inside IBM Connections.
Instead of sharing information with external users though email, meetings, and phone calls, you can now invite them to join a community where they interact with your internal users, and together you can leverage the power of IBM Connections, helping you improve communications and productivity, and enhance business results.
External users can work with all the content of a community; they can also work with files that have been shared with them. However, external users cannot see content in Connections that has not been explicitly shared with them. For example, they can see communities only if they are members of them, and they can only see files that have been shared with them.
This video demonstrates just how easy it is to invite external users to join a community (or just share files with them). It points out the different capabilities for internal and external users, and shows you how to identify communities and files that are shared with external users so that you don’t share internal-only information by mistake. Also, when you view the business card of an external user, a special icon tells you that they’re external.
For a quick overview about the External Collaboration feature of IBM Connections 5.0, check out the video demo:
The video was created by Information Developer Paddy Barrett and Associate Designer Danielle Naughton, with guidance from Senior Product Manager Suzanne Livingston and Senior Product Designer Amy Travis.
For those who aren’t familiar with the Reviewer’s Guide, here’s what it is:
This Reviewer's Guide provides a brief summary of the applications that are included in IBM Connections. It is important to note that these applications can be used within an organization as needed—all together or as individual applications. Organizations may start with a single application and add other applications when they choose. As in previous releases of IBM Connections, applications can be installed to naturally fit into the user experience making it simple to expand as needed.
So, if you are looking for an end-to-end review of the features in the release and it's capabilities, this a great document to go through. We've included tons of screenshots as well.
There's a couple of things that I would like to call out here. First, IBM Connections 5.0 will be available for download next week. This is the first time that we have released the desktop plugins before the actual new server code is available. This is because the new desktop plugin also adds new features even if you are not using 5.0.
Second, this is yet another simultaneous release for cloud and on-prem. Cloud customers can download the update directly from the "Apps - Downloads" page within Connections.
Fourth, this release also adds access libraries from IBM Connections Content Manager. Of course, this was already possible before but required installing a separate plugin. In this release, you now install only one plugin simplifying the deployment and adoption process.
Lastly, but not least, this release also adds the ability to browse and access community folders.
Here's a demo that walks through the File Sync capabilities:
For those of you who have been with us for a few years now, you are used to consistent updates to IBM Connections. To best summarize what is new for you, we create the "What's new for existing Customers" slide deck. This covers all the shiny new features that will be brand new for you.
What might those be?
External collaboration in Communities and in Connections
So back to File Sync. As you can see from the screenshot in the right, when you install the latest IBM Connections Desktop Plug-Ins (which will be available for download in a couple of days) a new Sync folder will be created under Favorites.
There you can save files directly to IBM Connections and use Connections as your personal backup drive where everything is sync'ed automatically (including of course edits that you make offline).
Another added benefit and differentiator is that right from within your desktop you can right click on a file and act upon it. In other words, you can comment on it, tag it, like it, lock it (to prevent others from editing while you are offline) and even share it with other colleagues without ever having to open a browser. By default, all files are marked as private and only you have access to them. From there you can choose to share with individuals, groups, or communities.
On the mobile side, you can use our native apps for Android and iOS and sync files to your favorite mobile device/tablet. On each device you can manually specify which files you want to have available there. For example, you may want some key presentations on your iPhone, while you have documents, spreadsheets and other assets available in your iPad.
Here's a quick 5 minute demo that show the enterprise file sharing and sync capabilities of IBM Connections 5.0.
If you are an on-prem customer, get ready to download the code next week! Stay tuned for other new features in the coming days.
We're very proud to announce IBM Connections 5.0, the latest version of IBM Connections available in market. This release packs in many new capabilities, including external user collaboration, updates to the home page that make it easier to focus your attention, and updates to files that make it easier to work with content, among other features.
External User Colaboration
The team had been working hard to bring you this feature, which enables you to add external users outside your firewall to your own internal IBM Connections deployment. Once registered, external users can be added to Communities and Files, enabling them to collaborate as your internal users do with a refined user experience, limited access to content, and features to ensure internal users know their audience.
Check out this brief video that describes the feature in more detail.
@mentions on content throughout
Smarter content filtering in the Activity stream
View the number of new @mentions and notifications on your home page.
Type-ahead search for people
Preview link content in status updates
Pasting images directly into the editor.
Consistent access to search feeds and improved ability to subscribe.
Notify and select all members in an activity
Join sub-community and parent community in one click
Create folders in communities
Landing page customization in communities
Identify and act on open questions in forums
Multiple Ideation Blogs per Community
File grid view provides thumbnail views
Preview files without the need to open a new window to simplify reviewing and commenting
We are pleased to announce that IBM is a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Social Platforms, Q2 2014! Forrester Research uses 65 criteria to rate each of the 13 vendors they selected to be part of the evaluations. Our team worked hard to ensure Forrester knew everything IBM had to offer, and we are proud to announce that we have been selected as a leader with the highest score for current offering, second highest rating in market presence and one of the second highest scores for strategy categories.
What sets us apart? We received the highest scores for core functionality, engagement workplace readiness, and the highest score possible for event logs, monitoring & reporting, cross platform support, and partners criteria.
Forrester states in the report that "IBM continues to tap assets across its broad portfolio to build the value of Connections....With the release of Connections 4.5 in April 2013, IBM introduced robust, scalable document management with Connections Content Manager and pushed the product into the role of a full engagement workplace....with the increasing integration of Kenexa, IBM is bringing social to talent management..."
Well done team!
UPDATE (6/12/14): You can now read the entire report from our website here.
Source: The Forrester Wave™ is copyrighted by Forrester Research, Inc. Forrester and Forrester Wave are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. The Forrester Wave is a graphical representation of Forrester's call on a market and is plotted using a detailed spreadsheet with exposed scores, weightings, and comments. Forrester does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in the Forrester Wave. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change.
Whether you are just getting started with your Social Business Adaptation Journey, or whether you are already a very well seasoned 2.0 knowledge worker, this workshop will provide you an opportunity to learn with other fellow practitioners through plenty of practical, hands-on advice, good practices, lots of hints and tips and, most importantly, all of the necessary knowledge resources available to date. This is a great opportunity to learn how you can get the most out of your IBM Connections deployment. It will help you as well to even break free from the email yoke: Outside of the Inbox.
This will be an all day workshop and capacity is limited to 25 people to ensure that it's personal and focused. Therefore, if you haven't yet, go ahead and register now.
On May 21st the IBM Connections team held an event launching the newest version of IBM Connections. I'm excited to take a deeper dive on the Community Gallery App and the thumbnail preview we're introducing in IBM Connections Next.
The Community Gallery and Files Preview
The Gallery App, coming in IBM Connections Next, allows community managers to showcase files from their Community on the Community Overview page. A folder of mages, Videos, slideshows, documents, or more can be chosen to be shown on the Community Overview page. Small thumbnails will be shown as a preview of the content and a user can click to preview the contents of the folder.
Adding a gallery
In the “Add Apps” view, select the Gallery app to add it to the Community Overview page.
Populating the Gallery
The App will be added, and you will be asked to set up the Gallery.
You’ll be asked to select a folder to showcase, or showcase all the files that have been shared with the community.
On the Community Overview Page
After selecting a folder, thumbnails for the files will be added to the App and users can preview the files, or view all of them right form the overview page.
By clicking on one of the thumbnails, a preview of the files in the Gallery are shown in a preview pane. Users can navigate between the files in the Gallery without leaving the Community Overview page.
Since when the Gallery is set up a folder from the community is chosen, when a user chooses to "view all" they are taken to a view of the folder that shows thumbnails for each item in the folder. This view is not just available for folders in Communities, but also Community Files and Personal Files
When a thumbnail is rendered, important information about the file can be garnered by hovering over the thumbnails.
Want to learn more?
My colleague Rene Schimmer will be speaking tomorrow on a Webcast for IBM Connections Next. Check it out here!
I am pleased to announce the latest update to the IBM Connections Mobile is now available in the app stores. The app provides a native set of collaboration capabilities so you can work seamlessly with your team, anytime, anywhere. In this update you will find that you have a new hidden navigation which provides for more on screen real estate. The new navigation also can be personalized based on the individuals needs and preferences, so that you can organize the navigation based on what is most important to you.
Some of the new capabilities include:
The Favorites section allows you to add content that is more relevant and important to you.
You can rearrange your Apps or Updates section based on your preference or usage. The personalization provides quick access to the apps that you need or use most often.
The History view allows you to scroll through all the items you has recently accessed and provides a quick and easy way to find information you have previously seen. This history view is unique to the IBM Connections Mobile app. Now with just 1 tap you can go back to any item reducing your time searching for it again.
The newly redesigned Blogs provide a Blogboard to allow for easy scrolling of all recent posts and your blogs. The design provides easy navigation and ability to mark a Blog to Read Later even while you are offline.
This is just a small preview of some of the exciting features in this release of the mobile app.
For more information about the app and the upcoming release of IBM Connections Next, join us on May 21 for our Virtual Event - REGISTER TODAY - and check out the awesome mobile demo there!
If you got here, you are either a regular subscriber to this blog, a fan of IBM Connections, or you are looking for tips and tricks to get the most value out of the enterprise social collaboration platform. Maybe you have a question on how to drive adoption, how to tune your email notifications, how to better structure your community navigation, or you are looking to learn more about IBM Connections.
Jim Claussen, a colleague of mine in IBM, has decided to take it upon himself and created the AskJim podcast to provide 5 minute answers to IBM Connections questions -- daily! For the past 4 weeks he's kept up the pace and has produced 30 episodes so far.
To listen in you can just do it directly from here (see below) or you can download the SoundCloud app for your mobile device (iOS and Android). You know you want to listen to these episodes while on the go, working out, etc.
IBM today announced that for the fifth consecutive year, IDC ranked the company number one in worldwide market share for enterprise social software. According to the press release, IDC's analysis of 2013 revenue, the worldwide market for enterprise social software applications grew from $968 million in 2012 to $1,242 million in 2013.
The press release quotes IDC's Vanessa Thompson:
Customers are increasingly assuming that all applications must be social. IBM's focus on a core social networking platform to support application environments, such as Smarter Commerce and Smarter Workforce aligns well with this customer intent.
Here's a look at the key innovations in the past 5 years (click to see it full screen):
IBM's Social Business portfolio, including its industry leading IBM Connections and Smarter Workforce technologies, allow organizations to integrate social solutions with critical business applications and people-centric processes that empower employees, increase workforce productivity and deliver exceptional customer service. Deployed on cloud or on premises, these solutions also enable business leaders like the Chief HR Officer (CHRO) to attract and retain top talent when combined with social workforce analytics that ensure the organization has the skills and expertise to meet emerging market demands.
The press release also quotes our General Manager, Craig Hayman:
The transparent nature of today's business environment, combined with the integration of social, cloud and analytic capabilities into everyday processes, has fueled the emergence of a Smarter Workforce. We’re thrilled to be recognized by IDC as the market share leader for the fifth consecutive year as our clients continue to harness Social Business to accelerate innovation, increase agility and remove boundaries to collaboration.
I'm looking for a quick response - and a place for you to tell your tale.
What are the 5 most important capabilities, experiences, functions, or features to you that are in IBM Connections. And ideally why those are so critical, important, valuable, useful or compelling for you, your business etc.
Let me know if you're a business partner, a user at a company with an on premise Connections deployment, or you're in the Cloud. Please post your comments here - but of you'd rather stay away from the overseers of things posted here - feel free to send me an email - and I'll wash your name from this list.
How we collaborate has profound implications for how we live and work. In this video interview, the author and New York University professor explains how social media has upended traditional norms. more
But even more than this great new center of the IBM Design thinking world, our entire company, every designer has been re-energized with this new direction, and we're applying this to our work, in the products you love (and maybe don't love so much) to turn them into compelling wonderful experiences.
To do this we're making use of of IBM Design Thinking, a guide and practice for building out designs. We want all of our products and solutions to Work together, Work the same, and Work for me. If you came to IBM Connect you may have seen some presentations that talked about this - and I included a small bit on this from my own presentation there.
I encourage you to check out this link, the presentations from IBM Connect and to reach out directly to me here, if you want to learn more about what we're doing in design....for you.
IBM Connections is proud to offer our customers an alternative rich text editing experience through our innovative partner, Ephox. Ephox's editor provides many advanced features that content creators are looking for, such as:
Easily embedding social media URLS and creating an interactive experience with them directly in the editor
Tracking changes of content over time
Copy and paste images directly into the rich text editor - from your desktop, from a file, from wherever
Spell checking, accessibility and broken link checking
Damien and I had a chance to talk a bit about the new option we're offering clients. Here's what he had to say:
What's your role/background at Ephox?
I'm the Director of Products at Ephox, so when it comes to IBM Connections, I'm the person responsible for ensuring our rich text editors meet the needs of IBM Connections' users. I've been working with IBM Connections customers for over a year now and with IBM Portal and WCM customers for several years before that. I'm sure some of the people reading this will have seen me around on Greenhouse and at Connect or Lotusphere.
I joined Ephox 13 years ago as a software engineer and one of the first employees. As a result have spent most of my career focused on content authoring in some way, shape or form. Despite that I'm continually surprised by the amount of content and variety of applications that Ephox's editors have been used in. The Internet has done great things for the volume and variety of content that the world produces and it's great to be a part of that.
Why should IBM Connections customers install Ephox's EditLive!?
The team at Ephox spends a lot of time thinking about how rich text editors work to ensure that EditLive! delivers a frustration free editing experience. Our customers should be free to focus on expressing themselves and empowered to create the best content possible, without fighting the editing environment. So whether it's spell checking, copy and paste from Microsoft Word (with images!) or embedding social content, EditLive! will both remove frustration and empower content authors. That's why customers should install Ephox's EditLive! into IBM Connections.
What is your favourite feature when using EditLive!?
My spelling isn't great, as an Australian I have a tendency to add extra "u"s and uses "s" instead of "z" (that's a zed by the way), so having spell check as-you-type and autocorrect features are certainly up there. But it's the new social media capabilities of EditLive! that I really like. To me these features embody what we're about at Ephox. I think the way we've been able to simplify the process of adding media so users never see an object or iframe tag is just fantastic. Social media content is such an important part of the way the web works, I'm excited that we're empowering users by making adding this content as easy as copying a URL.
Anything else you want to share?
It's an exciting time in the content authoring space — well as exciting as rich text editing gets at any rate.
We're seeing a lot of change right now as word processing and content creation becomes web native. The next generation of word processors, including IBM Docs, are being built for the web. With tablets, smartphones and e-books we're increasingly consuming content via interactive, paperless mediums and now we're starting to see word processors like IBM Docs emerge for these devices.
The content we're creating is increasingly web native too — I don't think I've ever seen a video in a word processor document, yet most of us would think nothing of embedding a video, interactive map or presentation in an article on a blog or wiki. So I'm especially excited about our new partnership with the IBM Connections team as to me it embodies what the future of content is about.
At Ephox we've always been focused on creating web native content. So we're certainly thinking about all of these trends and we're excited about the new challenges to solve and opportunities this will bring for us and our customers. We're going to continue to bring our same attention to detail and ease of use to these new platforms and new ways of creating content. I'm looking forward to working on all this and more with IBM, the IBM Connections team and our customers.
So what's the catch? Nothing! If you a customer of one of the following IBM Connections licenses, you can download the Ephox editor code from IBM Passport Advantage today:
IBM Connections V4.5 IFR2
IBM Connections Extranet V4.5 IFR2
IBM Connections V4.5 Intranet and Extranet IFR2
IBM Connections Extension from Notes® or Domino® with limited entitlement to Connections V4.5 IFR2
IBM Connections Extension from WebSphere® Portal with limited entitlement to Connections V4.5 IFR2
I had the opportunity to meet with the HYPE team a few weeks ago, and they demoed their Ideation/Campaign Management tool. If you are looking for an ideation management system that integrates into IBM Connections' Ideation Blog, check them out. They offer:
Campaign-based ideation in IBM Connections
One-click import of Ideation Blog ideas to HYPE including votes, comments, and visits by your community
Information transfer from HYPE such as campaign picture, description, audience selection, diagrams
Support for IBM Connections’ Activity Stream: campaign updates from HYPE are being displayed in IBM Connections, including idea progress, new comments, and the latest participation statistics
A new statistics widget for IBM communities including campaign information such as start and closing dates, campaign sponsor details, and campaign statistics
IBM Connections Explorer in HYPE to review campaigns and import ideas
Option to map existing communities in IBM Connections to existing campaigns in HYPE
Incorporating IBM business cards including a user’s online status in HYPE
This fixpack includes updates to the PoC resolver to enable more fine grained control of content navigation, to add an extension point to navigate to WCM content and enable navigation to third-party portlets:
AD303 : Creating a Client-Centric Hub for Employees with IBM Connections
Stream 2: For IT Practitioners
Track 04: Application Development
Joe Russo, IBM
We will take you through a design and demo of how you can transform your business and create a client-centric hub for your employees to collaborate. You'll see real-world user stories we've discovered through our IBM Design Thinking framework being demonstrated on IBM Connections Communities. You'll learn about the ways we've incorporated very specific needs for people who work in support of their client, using Communities, extensions and capabilities of IBM Connections. We'll cover things like creating a custom template for your community, building out focused "project" pages through creative use of wikis and how we've extended Activities with widgets to provide app integration.
Wed, 29/Jan 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM
Dolphin N. Hem E
And I'll ask, if you're involved in doing this kind of customization in your world, or supporting someone or client who is, or are thinking about it, please seek me out before, or after this talk.
The team at ISW has been busying away on a new tool for IBM Connections users! Kudos Boards for IBM Connections allow you to view an Activity as a Board, giving you the option to drag and drop your Tasks and Entries within Activities and filter the content of your Boards by Person, by Priority, by Color, and more. ISW will be announcing more on Tuesday the 21st of Jan, just before IBM Connect. You can see it live at IBM Connect. Just look for the Kudos Ped on the showroom floor.
Joyce Davis and I are excited to be presenting at IBM Connect 2014! Our session is INV107 - If You Build it, Will They Come? Debunking the Myths of Social Software Adoption. In preparing for our session, we want to hear from you! What are some of the best or worst stories you have when it comes to adopting enterprise social in your organization? Share with us in Twitter by using the hashtag #INV107. We will select and include stories in our session from the ones you share!
We've got a talk that's been accepted for IBM Connect -> Creating a Client Centric Hub for Our Sellers with IBM Connections - Joe Russo, Erika Varga
where you can learn about what we've been doing to explore ways to meet real goals of our sales teams in IBM through the use of Connections. We done some work extending things and some very exploratory work that's beyond those areas. Our goal is to show you the kinds of things you can do, or could do and get your feedback about directions, ideas and interest in pushing the limits here.
We're happy to announce the IBM Connections Suite 4.5.1. The Connections Suite Includes:
IBM Connections 4.5 IFR1
IBM Connections Content Manager 4.5
IBM Sametime®Complete 9.0
IBM Connections Content Manager 4.5 adds content management capabilities to Communities in Connections. Together, Connections Content Manager and Connections combine an enterprise grade social software platform with embedded content management capabilities designed to help make corporate content available for use across the enterprise. Sametime brings seamless communication to the entire platform.
Some of the highlights include Polls and Surveys in Connections, Video meetings while sharing files, and review processes for managing files!
Please see this overview of what's new in the IBM Connections Suite 4.5.1:
If you are already a customer of IBM Connections or IBM Sametime Complete please inquire about trading up to the full IBM Connections Suite.
By now, you are probably aware that we have updated our social collaboration cloud services and that the latest monthly release of the IBM Connections mobile apps have been posted to the app stores (click here for iOS and here for Android).
The big feature this time around for IBM Connections is File Sync which started rolling out to users Monday and should be available to all cloud users by Friday of this week.
As someone who works from home and travels a lot, I depend on my tablet. Wherever I go, I have instant access to the content that I need, irrespective of whether or not I have an internet connection. And when I'm connected, it gets even better as I have instant access to experts, I can start a video chat with them or a multi-way video meeting and just get business done! I still remember just 6-7 years ago when I travelled how important it was to have access to a telephone jack so I could try to plugin and get business done over a 56K connection. How much have times changed!
Earlier this year, we released IBM Connections 4.5. The big focus of IBM Connections 4.5 is the new Content Manager add-on which brings the power of content management and combines it with the power of the IBM Connections social platform. The add-on is part of the core IBM Connections installer so there's nothing else to install!
Combines the ease of use of social tools with the power of a structured hierarchy.
Includes document check-in and check-out, version control, approval routing, metadata, taxonomy, document types and nested folders.
Makes content management tools as easy to use as social networking tools.
This add-on also allows Quickr customers to upgrade to a better experience. To facilitate this transition, we've provided a migration tool to our customers at no extra cost (as you can see in slide 18 below). This allows them to take their libraries from Quickr Domino or Quickr for Portal and migrate them to IBM Connections Content Edition.
The functionality is virtually the same as in the CCM Widget in IBM Connections
The portlet will run on WebSphere Portal 18.104.22.168+
A new version of the Connections Portlets for Websphere Portal was released on Greenhouse today. The significant enhancement in this release is the addition of the Community Library Portlet (CCM). The new portlets are located on Greenhouse at: http://bit.ly/10Cb5G9
Here are some screenshots to give you an idea of what the Portlets will look like:
A Library Through the CCM Portlet
Bringing an entire CCM Library to Portal allows you to leverage the strong content management functionality of CCM in the Portal environment; alongside all the Social context that makes Connections so powerful. Here is a screenshot of a CCM Library with status updates regarding the content alongside it in a Portal environment.
A Single File from CCM
Entirely new to the release are the following points:
Community Library Portlet (CCM Portlet)
Community Membership Integration (VMM Adapter) Refresh
ckEditor Update (v22.214.171.124)
Search Integration enhancements for News and CCM documents
Connections 4.5 CR2 is required to use the CCM Portlet. CR2 arrives on Monday September 16th.
Yesterday, we made a video tutorial available to walk admins through the process of customizing the out of the box IBM Connections Reports.
Out of the box, IBM Connections provides over 100 reports for admins and community managers to monitor adoption and figure out the content that's working so they can focus their energies in the right place. The data in these reports can be aggregated in several formats such as by date, by geography, by department, etc.
Sometimes, there's data or dimensions that specific community managers want to see. When we built out the reporting mechanism, we had this in mind and made it extensible. It takes just a few steps to take the reports to the next level!
To see how you can customize the reports, check out the video below:
To learn more about customizing the IBM Connections reports, click here.
As announced here last week, we are updating our social business offerings and this quarter's release will be the biggest release ever! Interested to learn more? The first step is to register for our webinar in 2 weeks (see link below).
While there's tons of new features and capabilities that we are deploying over the next few days, I wanted to briefly call out our new file synchronization capabilities. As you may recall, Forrester cited IBM Connections as a Leader in File Sync and Share. For some time now, you've been able to download files, store them offline, edit them, and then manually re-upload them back to the server. It was time to automate this whole process. With File Sync, you can now travel stress free knowing that all your files are automatically sync'ed to your mobile device and that you always have the latest and greatest version of that very important presentation.
I've also gone ahead and updated my overview presentation with the latest content and you can see that here:
To walk you through all the great new features and watch demos of our new capabilities (spoiler alert: I'll be doing one of the demos), please make sure that you attend the following webinar. It will be on September 18th and that's where we'll go into more details about this amazing new release.
From the event registration page:
Workers are more dissatisfied and less engaged than ever before. But did you know that using social technology can increase efficiency by up to 25%? (source: McKinsey) . Additionally, 69% of employers believe employees are engaged, while only 34% of employees claim to be. (source: Kenexa blog) Since people now determine your success or failure, it's time to use social to rethink how work works.
Congratulations to Cheryl and Mark Burgess on their new book - The Social Employee is an Amazon Best Seller! Here's some great info about their new book:
One underlying theme in our book The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work,available now through McGraw-Hill, is the idea that establishing real connections with real people matters. While some have feared that the advent of social media would depersonalize and dehumanize both professional relationships and friendships, we've found the opposite to be true.
Everyone has something to sell in the digital bazaar, and the only way to sort through the tangle of data, branding messages, and calls to action is to find a community of people you trust. As members of these communities, we share what we learn, pass on the good, and steer each other away from the not-so-good. Without these authentic voices to help guide us through, any one of us could get lost in this digital maze rather quickly.
As a community, we amplify each other's voices, working to drive social change in the marketplace as one unified voice.
So, it is with that spirit of gratitude that we are honored to celebrate the release of The Social Employee with so many of our trusted colleagues. Our new trailer puts the people who helped make this book possible front and center, letting their words speak not only for the ideals shared in our book, but for the ideals that we feel define our community.
In The Social Employee, we go behind the scenes with several leading brands-IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo-pulling the lid off the inspiring social business success stories that have propelled these companies into the 21st century. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
Make no mistake; the @SocialEmployee Revolution is here. What is your brand doing to get ready?
If you missed our first book trailer, please click the image below.
Here's a tip to accelerate the deployment of the IBM Connections Mobile app on your sites. You may have seen some sites like LinkedIn recently add a banner suggesting users they launch into
A quick search on the web yielded this page on Apple's site with instructions on how to add a smart banner to promote a particular mobile app. Reading the instructions, I found out that all it takes is 1 line of code. You know I had to try it!
I went in to our blog on ibm.com, added the 1 line of code and voilá ! You can see the results in this screenshot from my iPad. To test it out, click here from your iOS device.
If the user doesn't have the app installed, they will be prompted to download it directly from the App Store.
To do this on your deployment:
Follow the instructions here to customize page.jsp. The instructions are specific to header.jsp but it's the same process
With KangoGift's integration into Connections, you can quickly bring six HR processes and bring it into the social business platform. I believe this is important as it promotes usage and realizes the social business vision
Today, I'm happy to report that TemboSocial continues its integration work into our platform. As an enterprise social network (ESN), IBM Connections is uniquely positioned to be the one stop destination for all the collaboration needs you may have. As such, TemboSocial now provides their peer-to-peer recognition and polling capabilities directly from the IBM Connections mobile app.
Here's a screenshot of how the polls from TemboSocial show up in the tablet mobile app (which we just updated last week):
And here's how The Hive looks within the mobile app:
It's extremely exciting to see how the partner eco-system for IBM Connections continues to grow and that partners continue to expand on their existing and are keeping their solutions up to date with our latest release.
In today's press release, Kevin Cavanaugh (VP IBM Collaboration Solutions) was quoted as saying:
The time is right for wide scale enterprises adoption especially with the upcoming end of support for Microsoft Office 2003. By choosing Apache OpenOffice, enterprises will free up resources for their cloud and mobile infrastructure investments.
Additionally, as you are probably aware, we have a plug-in for that brings social to OpenOffice available today. In a couple of weeks, we'll also be releasing a new version of this IBM Connections Plug-In for OpenOffice which will surface in the new sidebar. I'll be sharing more about this plugin in the coming weeks as we approach the release date. Here's a screenshot just to give you a sense of how it's going to work:
For reference, the full list of What's New in this release is available here.
We have just released the latest mobile apps for IBM Connections, IBM's Enterprise Social Network (ESN). I haven't blogged about the mobile apps lately. However, I'm sure you've been up to date thanks to Chris Reckling's posts. By now, you know that we've been releasing monthly updates with new features every month!
In this month's release we've added various new things, with the most powerful one being real-time co-editing of documents directly from your iPad. Last week, Forrester cited IBM as a Leader in their File Sharing and Sync Wave. As the product manager for Files, I don't want to just sit idle now, but instead want to keep pushing our leadership position further ahead.
Imagine being on the go and being asked to review a document. Why wait until you are back in the office, when you can make quick changes directly from your device?? Just edit and go, and yes, as others throughout the world make changes to the document, you see them in real-time! And since Connections provides document editing, the document never leaves the secure container. You probably remember this from the IBM Connect OGS earlier this year, so it's extremely exciting to roll this out today!
Here's a quick and simple 2 minute demo I captured to demonstrate some of the new capabilities in this release.
So what are you waiting for? Go get the latest apps from your favorite app store! If you are not using Connections today, start your free trial by going to http://ibmcloud.com/social !
In Forrester's 26-criteria evaluation of file sync and share vendors, we identified, researched, analyzed, and scored products from the 16 most significant solution providers in this market: Accellion, Acronis, AirWatch, Alfresco, Box, Citrix, Dropbox, Egnyte, EMC, Google, Hightail (formerly YouSendIt), IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Salesforce.com, and WatchDox. We scored factors like mobile support, security, links to systems of record, organizational commitment, market experience, and deployment architecture to give you the decision tools to create the right shortlist for your particular environment and scenarios. This report and accompanying spreadsheet detail our findings about how well each vendor scores based on our criteria and where they stand in relation to each other.
Chris Reckling wrote about our sync features here and shares his view on the user experience:
The first thing we wanted to do it make it super easy to sync a file on the device. This caused a bit of redesign on all the actions to make them more consistent and visible. Most people I asked in the lab understood what the icons meant. On the details page for a file, tap the sync button to add it to your offline storage. Here you can also determine whether you want that file automatically updated. (There is a setting to always sync, too - we found that people wanted options available, depending on their own patterns.)
Offline files are stored in a device-encrypted database which you access via the "File Sync" tab on the left navigation. We wanted it to be really easy to access these, so we moved the view to the main left navigation. From this view you can quickly open or view files and perform other file management tasks, like update and remove from sync. The app alerts you when a file is out of date and you can decide when to sync it.
With the availability of IBM Connections 4.5 Cumulative Refresh 1 (CR1), customers have even more flexibility with providing a customized look and feel of the Connections user interface. This Next Generation theme was made available Cloud First to our IBM SmartCloud Connections customers. Now, on-premises customers can deploy the theme on top of IBM Connections 4.5 CR1 and see an enhanced navigation and more visually appealing design.