Phasing an IBM Connections Rollout? Profile Types May Be the Answer
Colleen Burns 120000C4RP firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  wannes_rams profiles ibm_connections profile_types
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Let's say you want to roll out IBM Connections in your company but you can not do this with a big bang, but rather you have to use a phased approach to get all your users on the new system.
This could be due to several reasons, and I'll give two examples:
Because you have just rolled out several new applications for a
specific department and you don't want to burden them with yet another new tool
· You have this country in your organization where it is just difficult to get started right away because you have less control on them and they need to be convinced first that IBM Connections is the way to go
I have faced this challenge recently for both of the above reasons and I needed to come up with a solution to get everyone in the system at once and to be able to have the profiles completely filled up, because they wanted to use IBM Connections as a people directory but not have everyone rolled out at the same time because of the already mentioned reasons.
Profile types are basically different user types; you can change the look, feel and enabled features based on the profile type. For example, you could choose not to show a user image for external users this way or make sure that home workers also have their home address details listed. I think you understand there are loads of possible configurations.
This is what was used in this particular case:
I created different profile types based on an attribute in the
corporate directory. By default everyone was considered "non-active"
and if the deployment team would like a user to become active they would just
change the attribute in the directory and due to the setup of the synchronizing
mechanisms in place the next day the user is active.
The "active" users would have all features enabled and
act as normal IBM Connections users as you know them.
· "Non-active" users have a lot of features disabled. As they are not able to log on to the system we want to make sure active users can not interact with them. This way it is impossible to invite them to your network, tag them or write on their board. It is also used to show a different set of profile information on the business cards and search results.
A “non-active” one would look like this:
As you can see from the screenshots, the following features have been disabled for non-active users:
The possibilities of these user profiles are wider than what we are using now: you could for example disallow certain profile types to change their user photo, or the telephone number.
You could show less info on a certain user type's business cards or hide custom widgets based on this.
What the customer gained in the end with this way of working was that they were able to perform a phased roll out where they had immediate access to all users in the profiles section to replace their current who is who system, but avoided having unresponsiveness from non-active users. This was all automated because the users profile type was linked to an attribute in the directory that could be easily changed by the project team.
If you are interested in using profile types, please check out the wiki section on adding profile types.
Wannes Rams is a senior consultant for GFI Benelux, an IBM Premier Business Partner from Belgium. He specializes in IBM Connections, Lotus Quickr, IBM Sametime and Social Business. He was also a speaker @ BLUG. You can follow him on Twitter @wannesrams or read his blog wannesrams.blog.com
Wannes is an IBM Redbooks Thought Leader