Network World: What’s next for IBM’s enterprise social business

IBM Enterprise Social Solutions GM Jeff Schick emceed the company’s recent Connect conference in Orlando, where Big Blue updated customers and partners on its latest collaboration, mobile and cloud efforts, emphasizing a message of “Make Every Moment Count.” Schick managed to squeeze in a few of those precious moments for reporters to follow up with him on the company’s direction in social and collaboration business, an operation that he’s been part of since 2006, including as the creator of the IBM Connections enterprise social platform.

Here’s a slightly condensed transcript of Schick’s thoughts on where IBM is headed in this area:

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IBM Connections Files Cloud to Launch March 10, 2015

IBM(R) Connections Cloud provides an intuitive set of cloud-delivered online technologies for businesses that combine social networking and online collaboration, messaging, and web conference tools. With Connections Cloud, companies benefit from essential and effective collaboration tools that help simplify and improve daily business interactions between customers, partners, and colleagues. The power of Connections Cloud is that it is designed to give companies the ability to collaborate and easily work with others inside and outside the firewall.

250 Viewers in 43 Countries

I’m extremely happy to report that my “Up and Running with IBM Connections” video course has now been viewed by 250 Lynda.com subscribers in 43 countries. All of this in one weeks time. Today I received my first “user feedback” and it was extremely positive and encouraging.

You can view the first 5 videos in the series for free. There are 38 videos in total.

  1. Welcome
  2. Accessing IBM Connections for the first time
  3. Configuring notifications and account settings
  4. Updating your profile
  5. Inviting a guest

If you are not yet a Lynda.com subscriber you can sign up for a free 7 day trial.

I’m in the process of developing several more courses for Lynda however, I’m not yet able to disclose what they will be. Many thanks to my friend Jess Stratton, Lynda.com staff author and my producer Jonathan Sears for all of their help, patience and guidance.

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.

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.