And I’m Off to Lynda!

Today I am flying down to Carpinteria, California to record the “Up and Running with IBM Connections” video learning series for Lynda.com. The current course outline has some 35+ videos covering, Profiles/People, Communities, Files, Activities, Blogs, Ideation Blogs, Forums, Status Updates and much more. I will be returning on Saturday, August 9th. Let the fun begin!

If you are interesting in a free 7 day Lynda.com trial, you can start right here.

Video Training for IBM Connections

I’m happy to announce that I have been hired by Lynda.com to author a video series entitled “Up and Running with IBM Connections”.  I have been collaborating with IBM’s Luis Benitez on this effort and he has been great to work with. My producer at Lynda, Jonathan Sears is awesome as well. I have to say that the experience has been amazing. A huge hat tip also to my friend Jess Stratton for hooking me up with Lynda.com and for being an amazing coach and resource. Stay tuned.

Interested in a 7 day free trial of Lynda.com? Click on the image below to get started.

7-day free trial

Now that you have learned more about IBM’s Mail.Next…

Following up on the IBM Mail.Next poll I conducted a few weeks ago, I now want to ask you again to take the same poll, now that you have seen much more about Mail.Next on today’s webinar.

Regarding IBM’s Mail.Next…

In just a few weeks IBM will be providing an update on Mail.Next which was announced at IBM Connect 2014.  Based on what you know so far about Mail.Next, how interested are you in this new Mail app?

The results of the poll will be shared soon.

 

Want to Learn More About IBM’s Mail.Next?

Date: Apr 23, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Hosted by: SocialBiz UG.org
Presented by: SocialBiz UG.org, Kramer Reeves (Director – Messaging & Collaboration Solutions, IBM Software Group), Scott Souder (Program Director and Sr. Product Manager responsible for IBM Mail Next)

One of the hottest topics at IBM Connect 2014 was the introduction of IBM Mail Next, announced during the opening general session. IBM Mail Next will help you Focus on, Find and Take Control of your mail-based actions and priorities. Register today to join Kramer Reeves, Director – Messaging & Collaboration Solutions, IBM Software Group, Scott Souder, Program Director and Sr. Product Manager responsible for IBM Mail Next, along with members of the Mail Next team to learn about the design advancements since January and see the plan for releasing IBM Mail Next to market.

Attend this webcast to learn:

  • How IBM Mail Next is designed to provide productivity boosts for your organization
  • About the latest design concepts and user experience
  • What the future holds for packaging and delivery of IBM Mail Next
  • How you can begin your journey to IBM Mail Next today with iNotes + Notes Browser Plug-in

Join this webcast to learn how you and your organization will be able to reap the benefits of IBM Mail Next!

Register >

Read What Adam Brown Says About IBM Connections App Dev

Yesterday I wrote a blog entry entitled “This is exactly what IBM Connections needs“. The entry now has over 20 comments and there is a comment by my friend and collegue Adam Brown that stands out. Adam and his company ISW produce several software products for IBM Connections including Kudos Badges and Kudos Boards.

Here is what Adam wrote:

I have been watching this conversation with interest. Now that Daniele has been so complimentary around Kudos (Thanks for the feedback Daniele) I can’t help but get involved.

From my perspective IBM Connections/SmartCloud Connections are already platforms for Apps. I am actually very excited about what IBM is delivering in this space.

Can users build Apps/Utilities like Bruce describes? No not yet. But there is nothing stopping ISV’s from building great solutions that extend Connections. I agree there is a place for user built apps in Connections (and we are already thinking about that with team Kudos!). I have more ideas for solutions built on and around Connections than we can possibly execute on!!!

Has IBM provided everything that App developers need yet? No not yet. But they have done a lot and it is improving all the time. I see Connections 4.x like Notes version 3-4. The ecosystem around Notes 4 was just getting started. Some great ISV’s started to built neat apps. Soon after it really started to get some momentum. Connections is the same. There are some great solutions, a few ISV’s building specifically for Connections, but quite a few intergrating their solutions into Connections. This market is developing most certainly, and has a way to go, but it is progressing well.

Anyway I am of the camp that Connections is becoming a platform for 3rd party Apps. I know IBM is encouraging this and if you reach out to them are very supportive.

Personally, I love the work that ISW has done with their Kudos products. Now the question becomes: “How can an ecosystem of more than a handful of ISV’s develop, that produces apps for IBM Connections?”. This is something I would love to see.

This is exactly what IBM Connections needs

[This is a bit rough, but I wanted to get it out there]

Or does it….

Let’s face it, we all love the app dev capabilities of IBM’s (Lotus) Notes. We are able to design, build and deploy apps of all kinds for enterprise users in organizations. In fact, the users we develop these apps for absolutely love them as they help make the job that they do easier. Tie this together with email, instant messaging and IBM Connections services and you create collaborative “system” that people use to get their work done.

There was a point in time in the history of IBM Notes when line-of-business users (LOB) were able to create “utility” apps. Utility apps apps helped LOB people to better serve  their customers. It was a wonderful environment where staff could be empowered to create, with very little programming knowledge these apps.

Now enter the world of IBM Connections. IBM Connections like IBM Notes is a place where people go to get work done to serve their customers. One currently noticeable difference is the way in which IBM Connections lacks the ability to create utility apps. There is no way to currently do this. There are some great developer toolkits available, however these are focussed at pure-play developers.

Now take a look at this video and see how Microsoft Sharepoint users can create utility apps.

I really want to see IBM Connections develop into the portal-of-portals for people to go to and do their work. Currently, it’s another application “destination” rather than the “primary” Lotus Notes like place to go and do their work.

Would you like to see IBM Connections have some capabilities to have users create “utility” apps? If not for utility apps, full fledged apps – an app dev platform.

Help Define the Future of Open Source for IBM Collaboration Solutions

It’s no secret that OpenNTF has helped shape the IBM Collaboration Solutions app dev ecosystem over the last thirteen years.  At IBM Connect you have an opportunity and in some way an obligation to attend the OpenNTF Birds-of-a-Feather session at IBM Connect. It will be an hour of well spent discussion, strategy and relationship building.

If you are developing apps for anything IBM Collaboration Solution (Notes/Domino/Connections/Kenexa/Portal/etc.) please carve out an hour from your schedule on Tuesday morning for this session:

BOF405 – OpenNTF – Grow with the Challenge

Tuesday | 07:00 – 08:00 | Swan Mockingbird 1 & 2

Let’s talk about the future of OpenNTF and Open Source for IBM Connections, IBM Sametime and IBM XWork Server. We would like to have an open discussion with you, how we can engage more developers in OpenSource Software and how the OpenNTF Ecosystem can profit from Open Source software as well.

The One Product to Go and See at IBM Connect 2014

If your company is using or plans to use IBM Connections I highly recommend that you go and visit the Kudos booth at IBM Connect to see a demo of their Kudos Boards app.

We love Activities in Connections. They are awesome! Working together on projects and leveraging Social Tools is a very powerful way of working. However some Activities can get BIG and sometimes users need to look at their tasks or organise the Activity slightly differently. Sometimes users don’t need to see everything that is going on but just one part. Sometimes it would be easier if Activities was more visual.

So wouldn’t it be great if you could visualise an Activity…as a Board….similar to a Kanban Board? Imagine if you could drag and drop your Tasks and Entries within Activities as progress and circumstances change . Wouldn’t it be neat if you could filter the content of your Boards by Person, by Priority, by Colour code, or by any other filter you want?

Here is something Adam Brown from ISW put together to showcase what Kudos Boards can do for your employees:

 

I’m also proud to say that I have been an adviser to Adam and ISW for both Kudos Badges and Kudos Boards.

A Book on IBM Connections: What’s Possible?

One of the major challenges with getting people in organizations to adopt new collaboration tools – or social business technologies – is helping them to understand what their work would look like if they were to shift to the new way of doing things. Often vendors talk about their products through the lens of features and functions, which is definitely helpful but not enough by itself.

As an independent collaboration strategist, one of the ways Michael Sampson works with clients is to help them understand what’s possible by developing scenarios of how work would be different. Michael’s first book, Seamless Teamwork: Using Microsoft SharePoint Technologies to Collaborate, Innovate, and Drive Business in New Ways (2008) took this approach for conveying how people could use Microsoft SharePoint for running a project. It starts with Roger who works at Fourth Coffee who is given a project to run, and is expected to use SharePoint 2007 for that. Michael’s most recent book, Doing Business with IBM Connections (2013), takes the same approach for IBM Connections 4.5, but covers ten different collaboration scenarios.

Those are:

  • Co-Authoring Documents
  • Managing Meetings
  • Holding Discussions
  • Distributing Team and Organizational Updates
  • Capturing Ideas for Innovation
  • Running a Project
  • Sharing Learning and Best Practice
  • Making Decisions
  • Finding Expertise
  • Achieving Individual Coherence

The book is set in a fictitious company called Albreto, and the adoption and use of IBM Connections starts in the Marketing Department and works its way out from there. Michael’s book is designed as an adoption resource, and is much more about the business and human things that need to work in each scenario rather than just focusing on where to click in Connections. For example, in the Document Co-Authoring scenario, there are specific steps given for how to co-author a document, but there is also reference made to the human dynamics of writing a first draft that allows scope for collaboration, and there’s an advanced concepts discussion at the end of that chapter on how early stage collaboration can reduce the quality of input. This style of approach is followed throughout Michael’s book.

If you are using IBM Connections, it would be a great resource to have available for your users. If you are not using IBM Connections, it would be a great resource to review for the approaches in each scenario. Those approaches are very transferable.

(With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Michael is running a special offer at the moment on his book. You can get 20% off the price of the paperback editions, or the corporate licensing fee for the e-book version. All the details are here – www.michaelsampson.net/thanksgiving.html)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,762 other followers