Announcements on IBM Domino and Notes 10 and Beyond for numerous products

IBM has partnered with HCL Technologies to invest in a long-term roadmap for the IBM Domino product line and family. This means updates for Domino, Notes, Sametime, Verse, and more
.To show IBM’s level of commitment to stakeholders, the company is entering into a strategic partnership with HCL Technologies to begin delivering on the roadmap with the intent to release version 10 of the Domino portfolio next year. The goal of the partnership is to drive future development of the Domino product family, energize the offering, and protect clients’ investments.

This means to customers that the original  fixpack featurepack and support only announcements are totally gone. IBM had previously promised small enhancements and bug fixes through more consistent featurepacks. They were staying away from delivering an entirely new version number for many reasons. One was speed of delivery, legal naming and all that stuff we geeks just say give us a 10.  With this move and the below #domino2025 jam announcement, IBM has fully committed to enhancing the entire product family.
Continue Reading here" Announcements on IBM Domino and Notes 10 and Beyond for numerous products" »
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    On Thursday, October 26th, 2017   by Chris Miller        

Announcing IBM Bluefizz - goodbye IBM Docs and IBM Connections on Greenhouse

IBM has announced IBM Bluefizz and the sunsetting of IBM Greenhouse entirely.
The Greenhouse team thanks you and all of our loyal users, customers and business partners for making Greenhouse the place for learning about and trying out IBM collaboration products and solutions. On October 15, 2017 we will sunset both IBM Docs and IBM Connections on Greenhouse. We have officially launched the next evolution of Greenhouse, Bluefizz.  We welcome you to start using Bluefizz now to discover the latest social and email products available in the IBM Cloud by visiting

The Greenhouse Team

There is no word on how the catalog will be migrated or even if it will be migrated to a new marketplace.

It was two years ago (almost to the day they are doing the sunset now) that I wrote a blog posting about Greenhouse was being retired. This caused a but of an uproar in the community about needing such a test platform for customers and business partners that had over 140k members of Greenhouse.
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    On Monday, September 11th, 2017   by Chris Miller        

IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for July 2017

IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for July 2017. Here is some of the updates

Verse for iOS 9.4 performance, scalability, and security enhancements
Verse mobile for iOS just got better with enhancements to performance, scalability, security, and ease of use. This release contains general performance improvements for Inbox, Calendar, and Contacts views.

Connections: Get started fast with guided tours
New guided tours provide first time users and experiences users alike with a quick view of main features and actions on the Home Page, Communities, and Files. If you cancel out of a tour, you need to clear your browser cache of cookies to have them run again. The new tours replace the "Welcome Boxes".
Connections Guided Tours

Connections: More options for designing a Community home page
Now you can design modern Communities with new navigation, new layouts, and defined app styles.
Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for July 2017" »
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    On Tuesday, July 18th, 2017   by Chris Miller        

IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for June 2017

IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for June 2017. Here is some of the updates

Verse: Preview attachments while composing a message

When you compose an email message, you need to be able to preview an attachment while in Draft mode so that you're confident you're sending the correct information. Now you can! Click the attachment to preview it in the Verse window. Click X to close it and return to composing your message.
Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for June 2017

Verse: Replied to and forwarded icons on messages

Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for June 2017" »
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    On Monday, June 26th, 2017   by Chris Miller        

IBM Cisco Offering Technical Deep Dive replay

IBM put together a webcast on the new IBM and Cisco Offering. The webcast is just under one hour. You can stream it with the blow link
Cisco IBM partnership
Watch and replay the webcast right here and even download the presentation here
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    On Thursday, June 8th, 2017   by Chris Miller        

IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for May 2017

IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for May 2017. Here is some of the updates


Verse: Calendar delegation

Need to view or manage the calendars of others? You can now use IBM Verse to add people who have given you access to their calendar using IBM Notes. Add them to the Delegation panel, and open any managed calendar in a separate browser tab. When a new calendar notice arrives, you'll be alerted by a red badge in the calendar's browser tab.

Alain Amadou gave Kelly Hardart delegated access to manage Alain's calendar using IBM Notes*. See how easy it is for Kelly to set up and monitor Alain's calendar in IBM Verse.

1. Get the button to open the Delegation panel

The first thing Kelly needs to do is get a button added to the navigation bar. The button will open the Delegation panel where she can manage calendars.

Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for May 2017

2. Adding names to the Delegation panel

Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for May 2017" »
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    On Friday, May 19th, 2017   by Chris Miller        

Replacing IBM Connections Chat with Cisco options

IBM and Cisco partnered together to integrate Cisco Jabber, Cisco Webex or Cisco Spark with IBM Connections. Here are some things we found in testing the integrations. Of course, we presume you have licenses for Cisco and IBM Connections.
Cisco IBM partnership
Your organization needs to choose a standard chat client and direction
. You have numerous options with IBM Connections Chat including Sametime, Connections Chat and more. However, only one can be configured for all of the icons and links in the IBM Connections interface. This means the business needs to pick a product. Once ou swap the configs, the entire organization is affected for chat. If they do not have Jabber installed they could be missing communication and awareness will not be working.
Continue Reading here" Replacing IBM Connections Chat with Cisco options" »
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    On Thursday, May 4th, 2017   by Chris Miller        

IBM Connections now says ’heart’ my status

IBM Connections is releasing an update that is replacing the Like with a heart icon.  It will universally replace "Like" and in some places the happy face icon. I am torn by this decision.

Image:IBM Connections now says ’heart’ my status

As you can see in the above image, the heart icon allows you to let the author of the file, blog, status update or comment know that you love it. I did say love it since the heart usually means love. Continue Reading here" IBM Connections now says 'heart' my status" »

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    On Thursday, April 13th, 2017   by Chris Miller        

IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for April 2017

IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for April 2017. Here is some of the updates.


Verse: Automatically show remote images

Messages that contain remote images can pose a security risk. Up until now, if you wanted to see an external image, you had to click Show Images in each message containing external images. However, if you are willing to trust external images, you can have Verse automatically show remote images for all messages.

There's a new setting in Mail and Calendar Settings > Security where you can set a new default to Always show remote images.

Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for April 2017

Verse on Android: Persistent password for encrypted emails

Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for April 2017" »
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    On Friday, April 7th, 2017   by Chris Miller        

IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for March 2017

IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for March 2017. Here is some of the updates.

Verse Mobile: Android users now can view mail as threaded conversations

Verse Mobile is introducing visual grouping of messages and their replies into threaded conversations or threading. You have the option of viewing messages individually or as a grouped thread.

Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for March 2017

  • A thread is shown as one item in the Inbox or folders
  • Forwarding rather than Replying starts a new thread
  • Changes in subject do not start a new thread
  • Enabled by default
Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for March 2017

IBM Mail Support for MS Outlook: Accumulate more than 30 days of mail

Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for March 2017" »
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    On Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017   by Chris Miller        

IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for January 2017

IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for January 2017. Here is some of the updates.

Sign and encrypt mail by default
  • Protect the messages that you send. Now you can digitally sign and encrypt all outgoing mail and calendar messages by default. Go to Mail and Calendar Settings in Verse and select Security.
Calendar Inbox
  • Make better decisions when responding to calendar notices by viewing your calendar at the same time. The new Calendar Inbox organizes all your calendar notices in one place. This feature is being rolled out gradually to all users. Available on or after January 23, 2017.

IBM Connections and Box

Box is now integrated with IBM Connections Cloud - Community owners can add Box to their communities so members can view files and folders stored in Box. After the Administrator activates the Box integration the Box app will be shown as an available Community app under the “Edit Community” - “Add App” dialog. To grant access to the files and folders in Box, the Community owner must add the Community members to the selected Box folder.
Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for January 2017

Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for January 2017" »
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    On Wednesday, January 18th, 2017   by Chris Miller        

IBM Connections Cloud - Web Mail Cloud Advisory

IBM Connections Cloud has issued an advisory/warning active February 2017 discontinuing iFrame support of Web Mail Cloud. See the below information
...beginning in February 2017 we will no longer support embedding Web Mail Cloud in iFrames on our clients sites. This includes presenting the login, messaging, or other components of the service (such as the address book or calendar) in an iFrame.

If your organization is currently embedding part or all of the way your users access Web Mail Cloud in an iFrame, please begin planning what steps you will need to take to present the service in it's own tab or window

So if you somehow used Web Mail Cloud from the IBM Connections Cloud and embedded the interface into apps or pagesy ou have to revisit that configuration.
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    On Wednesday, January 11th, 2017   by Chris Miller        

IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for December 2016

IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for December 2016. Here is some of the updates.

SmartCloud Notes

IBM Client Application Access (ICAA) now available

The following feature is new in IBM® Client Application Access (ICAA) feature pack
Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for December 2016" »
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    On Monday, December 12th, 2016   by Chris Miller        

IBM launches IBM Connections Cloud Inform (IBM Inform) app

IBM recently launched the IBM Connections Cloud Inform (IBM Inform) app. The app is geared for administrator to show the health of the IBM Connections Cloud.
Image:IBM launches IBM Connections Cloud Inform (IBM Inform) app
The app provides information at the individual service component level (i.e. Verse, Meetings, Traveler, etc.) and will send push notifications from IBM as status changes.

The main screen is the status page with a glaring check mark on green for good and a yellow exclamation on yellow for alert.  In the Status by Service page you can edit to show and notify you on only the services you consume from the IBM Connections Cloud.  Push notifications can be enabled. Also, the settings menu allows you to put the app into sleep mode to mute notifications.

You can get more info here and go to the Play Store and App Store for the downloads
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016   by Chris Miller        

IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for November 2016

IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for November 2016. Here is some of the updates.

SmartCloud Notes

SmartCloud Notes Administration: Refresh of the pubnames.ntf template
  • We will be refreshing the pubnames.ntf which will include bug fixes for Traveler and IMSMO as well as renew holiday documents that are due to expire in 2016/2017 (technote 1989194).
IBM mail support for Microsoft Outlook (IMSMO) - search your entire mailbox
  • IBM Mail Support for Microsoft Outlook (IMSMO) users are able to leverage IBM Verse search to locate messages on the server which are not cached on their workstation.
    Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for November 2016

    IBM mail support for Microsoft Outlook (IMSMO) - configure your client in a single click
    Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for November 2016" »
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      On Wednesday, November 9th, 2016   by Chris Miller        

    IBM and Cisco integration enhancements for December 2016

    IBM and Cisco have entered into an integration agreement a while ago. Here is what is planned for enhancements in the December 2016 timeframe:
    IBM Cisco Webex integraton
    One click to get from Connections Cloud to WebEx dashboard
    • Add a WebEx meeting as a default meeting in my IBM Verse calendar invites
    • Easily join a WebEx meeting from Verse
    • Join a Jabber chat from Connections Cloud or Verse Navigation bar, or the Connections Cloud Business Card
    • Share a Connections Files Cloud document from a WebEx mobile meeting
  • There is a page on IBM where they update more on the integration and offerings
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      On Monday, November 7th, 2016   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for October 2016

    IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for October 2016. Here is some of the updates.

    SmartCloud Notes web and IBM Verse

    Unsupported browser warning message

    We plan to enable a new warning message, October 2016.  When someone is using an unsupported browser to access IBM SmartCloud Notes web or IBM Verse, a warning message will be displayed at the top of the browser as soon as the unsupported version is detected.  The message will say, "It looks like your browser might not give you the best experience.Click here for a list of supported browsers."  Users will be able to close the warning message to get it out of the way.  The unsupported browser warning message could be displayed before the user interface fully loads.  It will display each time the user loads or reloads the page, and it will display in tear-off windows.
    Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for October 2016
    On or after November 19, 2016, there will be an additional impact to someone using an unsupported version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (earlier than IE11) in particular with SmartCloud Notes web.  Users with browsers earlier than Internet Explorer 11 will see the new unsupported browser warning message and SmartCloud Notes web will not work.  Users will notice they can no longer access SmartCloud Notes web from the navbar.  We strongly encourage you to upgrade end users with unsupported versions of Internet Explorer to avoid any interruption of mail for those users, and to upgrade all end users to the supported browsers for Connections Cloud, for the best experience.

    Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for October 2016" »
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      On Friday, October 21st, 2016   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for September 2016

    IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for September 2016. Here is some of the updates.

    SmartCloud Notes

    IBM mail now supports Microsoft Outlook
    Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for September 2016" »
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      On Saturday, September 24th, 2016   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud Data Center Multi-Active Notice

    In August 2016 the IBM Connections Cloud team will begin taking steps to introduce a multi-active architecture. Included are a bunch of things you need to know about these changes. IBM states there is many changes that should not interrupt your service but here is why the changes are coming first..
    Why is IBM Connections Cloud adopting a multi-active Data Center approach?
    • This multi-active data center architecture will enable IBM to provide you with a higher performing and more resilient IBM Connections Cloud service.
    • With this architecture, your users will be served from any number of active data centers within a geographic region.  The intent is to eventually build a quadruple set of data centers in the same region.
    • Users will be served out of the data center most geographically co-located to them under normal conditions, and will automatically be routed to other available data centers in the event of service disruption or planned maintenance.
    So to prepare for this here are the changes you need to make sure have in place for your network and users   Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud Data Center Multi-Active Notice" »
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      On Friday, August 19th, 2016   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for August 2016

    IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for August 2016. Here is some of the updates.


    Drag and drop multiple files and folders
    • Quickly organize files and folders. Now you can drag multiple files to a folder, or drag multiple folders to a folder. Personal files can be dragged into folders you own only. Community-owned files can be dragged into community-owned folders only.
    Nest folders using the Connections Plug-in for Notes
    • The IBM Connections Plug-in for IBM Notes now supports nesting folders. Organize your content in folders the way you want to with nested folders. Work with both personal and community owned files organized in multi-level nested folders.
    Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for August 2016

    Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for August 2016" »

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      On Thursday, August 18th, 2016   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for July 2016

    IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for July 2016. Here is some of the updates

    Search: Find it faster and see your page history

    Search has been streamlined to help you find Connections Cloud content faster and it remembers the pages you visited.

    Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for July 2016

    Copy the format in table cells and lists

    Now you can copy the format of table cells and lists and apply that format wherever you need it.

    Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for July 2016

    Expand all and collapse all sections in Activities

    Now find content faster. Activities has added two buttons that let you open all sections or collapse all sections.

    Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for July 2016

    SmartCloud Notes Web

    Draft email messages automatically saved

    SmartCloud Notes web mail messages are automatically saved to the Drafts folder while they are being created. The messages are saved at regular intervals, so that the draft and changes made to them are maintained. This feature also prevents data loss in the event of a power outage or workstation failure.


    Mobile SSO Support for ADFS

    Updated versions of Connections Chat, Connections Meetings, Connections Social and Verse Mobile apps are targeted for end of July with support for authentication against on-premises instances of Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS). 

    Please see the following document regarding the specifics of this new support:

    Sametime SAML authentication for Microsoft ADFS

    Today, Sametime Connect client users enjoy SAML-based authentication with Connections Cloud using Tivoli Federated Identity Manager (TFIM). IBM is pleased to extend SAML-based authentication to work with Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services for SSO scenarios. This applies to organizations that use Connections Cloud Chat but authentication and directory services remain on-premises.

    Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for July 2016

    See the previous IBM Connections Cloud enhancement posts right here (and previous SmartCloud naming ones) on IdoNotes

      for this posting

      On Friday, July 22nd, 2016   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for June 2016

    IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for June 2016. Here is some of the updates


    Filter messages to show unread when offline

    Filtering messages by unread messages is not new, but having that feature available when you're in offline mode is.  Tackle your inbox and get organized by identifying which messages are new and which ones have been read. A new envelope icon now appears in the message list toolbar. Click the icon to toggle the display to show only unread messages. The unread filter works on messages in the inbox and folders. It is not supported for search results.

    Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for June 2016

    Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for June 2016" »
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      On Monday, June 6th, 2016   by Chris Miller        

    Did you know? IBM Collaboration Solutions Business Partner Enablement Program

    Apparently there is a Partner Enablement Program for IBM Collaboration Solutions Business Partners that is coming up. Registration is open for a short time longer for this part of #NewWayToLearn 2016 program
    NewWayToLearn 2016 nwtl2016
    I happened to run across this article by Alan Hamilton on LinkedIn   Continue Reading here" Did you know? IBM Collaboration Solutions Business Partner Enablement Program" »
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      On Thursday, April 14th, 2016   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for April 2016

    IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for April 2016. Here is some of the updates


    Connections: Real-Time alerts focus your attention
    • Stay up to date with things that require your attention and response. The new notification center in the navigation bar increases your awareness less disruptively. See alerts with a single click - no matter where you are in the service. Allows you stay on track or swiftly shift gears depending on what is required at the moment.  This feature will be available on or after March 23
    Connections: Easier access to critical companion applications
    • Files - Now you can access your files in Connections Cloud, right from the IBM Notes sidebar.
    • Forums -  Files attached to forum entries are now easily accessed in search results
    • Forums - When someone posts a reply to a forum topic, notifications about that reply are now linked directly to the posted reply.
    • WIKIs: WIKI pages have permanent links - You can rename WIKIs without changing the URL leaving bookmarked links intact.
    • Groups: Add people when creating a group - You can create personal groups and add people while you are creating the group.
    Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for April 2016" »
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      On Tuesday, April 12th, 2016   by Chris Miller        

    Box for IBM Connections integration guide and steps

    IBM announced some time ago the integration between Box and IBM Connections. I happened to find an online guide to setting up the connections via the Box website. In summary:
    IBM and Box integration
    • Download the widget XML and Javascript from Box
    • Host both on a web server that requires Dojo. Luckily the IBM HTTP Server does this via IBM Connections
    • Update the widget XML with the particulars for your IBM Connections Community
    • Restart Profiles and Communities inside of IBM Connections management screens
    • Add the widget to the Community in IBM Connections
    • Log in with your Box credentials (which means yes everyone needs a Box account too
    You can set this up to a specific folder or give a user access to their root folder so they can get to all their files.

    The entire document, with screenshots, can be found for viewing or donwload on the Box website right here.
    Also see my post on the Box and IBM Connections integration webcasts
      for this posting

      On Monday, March 14th, 2016   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for February 2016

    IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for February 2016. Here is some of the updates
    Connections Chat

    SAML auto-login support on desktop clients

    The Sametime Desktop Client now will remember the user name and password in SAML authentication scenario. The Sametime Desktop Client will be automatically logged in once the user name and password are remembered.

    Connections Meetings

    Support for Safari 9 & Mac OS 10.11

    SmartCloud Notes

    IBM Mail Onboarding Manager Updates
    • Multiple mail files are able to be uploaded to the cloud simultaneously resulting in improved performance.
    • Existing Transfer Group Settings can be used as a basis to create new Transfer Group Settings. Administrators can simply click the Copy button on a settings tile to create new settings based on the existing set.
    • Multiple administrators in your organization can log in and work in the onboarding tool simultaneously. To view all of the administration activity, click your organization name and then select Audit Logs from the menu.

    For complete information about using the onboarding manager tool, see Using the Mail Onboarding Manager.

    Verse Mobile

    Syncing of the Trash folder is now targeted for February availability for the following:
    • Verse mobile iOS/Android clients
    • Traveler supported, OS provided clients on iOS, BlackBerry 10, and Windows Phone devices

    Once enabled, a Trash folder will appear in each of the supported clients.  Deleted items will appear in the Trash folder, and may be restored, or permanently deleted from the Trash folder.  Please note, when Trash folder sync is enabled, only items in the Trash folder starting the day of enablement and later, and within the user's mail sync filter range, will display in the Trash folder.

    Any items in the Trash folder prior to enablement, or outside the mail sync filter range, will not display in the Trash folder on the device.

    Desktop Plugins

    Windows Desktop and Office plugin:
    • Support Office 2016
    • Nested folder usability enhancements
    • Ability to upload new versions of IBM Docs files directly from the plug-in.

    Outlook plugin:
    • Support Office 2016

    Read more about these enhancements right here

    See the previous IBM Connections Cloud enhancement posts right here (and previous SmartCloud naming ones) on IdoNotes

      for this posting

      On Tuesday, February 16th, 2016   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for January 2016

    IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for January 2016. Here is some of the updates:


    Verse Mobile Updates (available on or after Jan 8)

    While in other iOS applications, Verse is now a selectable mail application for sending pictures, file attachments, URL links, and more.  

    On Android, calendar events processed when using the application offline are now immediately reflected in the Verse application calendar. No more waiting for a sync to complete.


    Real-time alerts help you focus on items that need your attention

    Stay up to date with things that require your attention and response. The new notification center in the navigation bar increases your awareness less disruptively. See alerts with a single click - no matter where you are in the service. Allows you stay on track or swiftly shift gears depending on what is required at the moment.

    Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for January 2016

    Leverage third-party apps to maximize the value of Communities

    Community owners can add third-party apps to Communities. A new extension point opens up the possibilities for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to create apps for Communities. Developers can now write custom responsive apps that can be surfaced within Communities. Community owners don't have to do anything different from what they do today. As soon as a new third party app has been approved by the administrator, it'll be available for all community owners of that organization

    Organize your files with nested folders

    Now you can create nested folders to organize your content in a familiar hierarchy. You can create sub-folders within folders to give your content a structure that makes it easier for you and other users to manage content. For both My Files and Community Files, you can build a hierarchy of folders with tree-navigation on the side of the Connections Files page.

    Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for January 2016

    Nested folders are also supported in the Connections Mobile app and in the IBM Connections Desktop Plugins for Microsoft Windows and the IBM Connections Plugin for Microsoft Outlook when syncing your offline files with Connections Files in the cloud. Note: Syncing of folders is coming in the future

    Drag and drop support added on Microsoft Windows (available now)

    Also new in January is the ability to drag and drop files from the Windows desktop directly to an IBM Connections folder in the IBM Connections Desktop Plugins for Microsoft Windows.

    Improved user experience working with files

    The sidebar is now resizable and labels have replaced the icons on the tabs making it easier to navigate and view information and comments.

    Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for January 2016


    Enablement to help new users get started

    A guided tour for new users has also been added to provide an overview of Connections Docs.

    Additional browser support and other enhancements

    Enhancements have been made to the editors including adding support for Apple Safari 9 and Microsoft Windows 10.  A guided tour for new users has also been added to help them get up to speed quickly.

    Meetings and Chat

    New browser and operating system support

    Connections Meeting and Chat are now supported on Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 and Firefox on Microsoft Windows 10.  For the complete list of browsers and operating systems supported, see IBM Connections Cloud system requirements.

    Read more about these enhancements right here

    See the previous IBM Connections Cloud enhancement posts right here (and previous SmartCloud naming ones) on IdoNotes
      for this posting

      On Wednesday, January 27th, 2016   by Chris Miller        

    Try IBM Connections and Verse for 60 days free!

    IBM has made a 60 day free trial for IBM Connections and IBM Verse on the IBM Connections Cloud S1 to new customers. No credit card required.
    IBM Connections Cloud trial account
    The 60 day free trial starts when you get your confirmation link in email. There is also a quick start guide available to get everyone started.  The trial includes the following: Continue Reading here" Try IBM Connections and Verse for 60 days free!" »
      for this posting

      On Monday, January 4th, 2016   by Chris Miller        

    What’s New in IBM Connections Docs Next

    IBM has announced enhancements to be found in IBM Docs Next due soon. Enhancements will include some of the following:
    IBM Connections Docs
    One of the enhancements for IBM Connections Docs Next is instant, real-time co-editing for up to 20 editors that can utilize @mentions to grab the attention of specific editors.  I guess that is instead of just selecting their name as some other programs offer.  Comments will be available offline and chat awareness will be available while online. You can see a sample image from IBM below  Continue Reading here" What's New in IBM Connections Docs Next" »
      for this posting

      On Wednesday, December 16th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    What’s New in IBM Connections 5.5

    IBM has finally announced some of what's new in IBM Connections 5.5 due soon for everyone. Some of the highlights of  enhancements include nested folders and:
    A new user experience theme. Not much else to say but a new theme.
    Image:What’s New in IBM Connections 5.5
    Communities get new looks and feel with new features  Continue Reading here" What's New in IBM Connections 5.5" »
      for this posting

      On Wednesday, December 16th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections plugin update December 2015

    IBM has added a new feature for nested folders into the IBM Connections plugin update for December 2015
    This month's updates introduce a much anticipated capability - nested folders. Instead of a flat view of all your files, you can now manage your files in a hierarchical tree structure of folders to organize them the way that suits you.
    This capability is now available in the IBM Connections Desktop Plugins for Microsoft Windows and the IBM Connections Plugin for Microsoft Outlook. (Note that your sync folder won't show nested folders just yet - you'll still see a flat view of synced files. We'll have this capability ready in 2016! It'll also be available in 2016 in the IBM Connections for Mac plugin.)

    Straight from the IBM Social Software blog.

    See the previous IBM Connections Cloud enhancement posts right here (and previous SmartCloud naming ones) on IdoNotes
      for this posting

      On Tuesday, December 15th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for November 2015

    IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for November 2015. Here is some of the updates:


    Participate in polls and surveys from the Connections mobile app (available on or after Dec 11)

    The Connections app on iOS and Android now allows you to list polls and surveys in a community, submit responses, and see a summary of results if allowed.

    Guest invitations are sent with your email address on copy(available on or after Nov 21)

    Connections Cloud will now add the inviter to the guest invitation email in the cc field. This provides better awareness that the guest was invited to Connections Cloud and gives the inviter the chance to resend the invitation directly if for some reason the guest did not receive it or deleted the invitation.

    New icons that show file sync status (available on or after Nov 21)

    Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for November 2015" »

      for this posting

      On Friday, December 11th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for October 2015

    IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for October 2015. Here is some of the updates:


    Send Encrypted Mail (available now)
    Now you can send signed and/or encrypted mail from within the Verse client experience.

    Upload, tear off and view files in separate windows (available now)

    Now you have more options at your fingertips when viewing a file in Verse. You can upload the file to Connections Cloud and you can’ tear off’ the file enabling you to view it in a separate window

    Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for October 2015

    New email and calendar features for Verse mobile (available on or after Sep 30 )

    New features include support for iOS9, Contacts sync on iOS, Calendar ghosting and more.

    Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for October 2015" »
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      On Friday, October 9th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM (Lotus) Greenhouse is being retired?!?

    I was looking for some IBM Partnerworld content that linked to IBM Greenhouse when I found it. On the page was the following words:
    The IBM Greenhouse is scheduled to be retired in late 2015 or early 2016

    I believe I sat stunned for a few moments. The IBM (Lotus) Greenhouse has been an outstanding place for companies and individuals to test a plain install of IBM Connections, iNotes, IBM Sametime and even more.

    It is stated that content was being moved to IBM Developerworks. That leaves out a ton of other content such as Activities, Communities and the Solutions Catalog. Even I personally have listings in the Solutions Catalog for some awesome Lotus Blogger and Technical Search widgets (in cooperation with Julian Robichaux) that managed to get over 400 downloads to date.  Other solutions have over 20k downloads.

    As Gabriella points out, I totally overlooked the discussions and other data that is searchable and so beneficial.

    The IBM Greenhouse shows it has over 140k members with 1500 new members this month. Are those users being migrated over? Do we need to recreate all of our connections we have made on Greenhouse?  I know this site remained free, but the benefit it gave to the community was priceless.  We wish you farewell IBM (Lotus Greenhouse)

    Update: Go and read even more summation from David Hablewitz on DeveloperWorks Premium that is coming
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      On Thursday, October 8th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    External User Registration Application - free from Turtle Partnership

    Gabriella Davis, on the Turtle blog, announced the availability of the Domino based External User Registration Application they have written and use for customers. This app makes setting up external users for accounts so simple, including allowing self registration. This will help companies with IBM Connections, IBM Sametime and apps in Domino itself.
    External User Registration from Turtle Partnership
    There is a simple configuration or, and I recommend, let Gab and her team do a few hours of work to configure and tune it for you! If you choose to do it yourself know that the app is delivered with no warranty and is distributed freely

    Visit the Turtle blog for more information, screenshots or to just thank them for this awesome free directory and registration tool
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      On Wednesday, September 9th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM roadmap for messaging and social platform - updated Sep 1 2015

    IBM sent an email to business partners with the IBM Roadmap for Messaging and Social Platform. I was hoping  to summarize it for you and give a link but I was hit with this:

    When you click "I agree" you agree that this information

    • will not be disclosed to anyone inside your company without a demonstrated business need to know as they market or support IBM products.
    • will not be disclosed to any party outside your company without express permission from IBM
    This information is intended for IBM Business Partner information and is not to be shared with customers or prospects unless approved by IBM. Contact your local IBM representative if seeking approval to share with others outside of your organization

    So all I can do is give you the link and if you are a business partner then you will be able to see it. Or track down your IBM rep to help out?

    UPDATE: After reading this I think there are enough public presentations from user groups and other events to piece it together.  Some can be found in the IBM Connect sessions database  I aggregate each year.   The above video from MWLUG 2015 by Kramer Reeves may happen to contain a lot of the same information
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      On Tuesday, September 8th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for August 2015

    IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for August 2015. Here is some of the updates:

    Send Encrypted Mail (available on or after August 31)

    IBM Verse now offers the ability to send signed and/or encrypted mail from within the Verse client experience.

    Updates to Needs Action and Waiting For (available on or after August 31)

    The sort order for messages with due dates in the Needs Action and Waiting For message lists has changed. The messages now sort with the nearest due date at the top of the list. This follows the pattern of other message lists which sort with most current messages at the top.

    File Viewer updates (available on or after August 31)

    A new feature in IBM Verse allows subscribers to open attachments or links in a new browser window, so they can work in Verse and preview files and links at the same time. Another new capability, the "Upload to Files" button has also been added to the viewer, allowing subscribers to upload direct to their cloud files

    Team Analytics Updates
    (available on or after August 31)
    • The Team Analytics UI has been updated to improve the user experience. Changes include:
    • Adding the number of addresses to the information in the header of the Team Analytics display, for example: PEOPLE ON THIS MESSAGE (11)
    • Changing the contents of a bubble when a photo is not available from a silhouette to showing initials
    • Making your location in the report to chain more prominent by adding a “You” graphic just below your location.
    • Updating the layout of the grid for individuals who are external to your organization or not included in the report to chain and making it collapsible
    Image:IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for August 2015

    Open Notes applications from Verse and SmartCloud Notes web (available on or after August 17)

    Subscribers that open messages containing Lotusscript or Formula language buttons will see a message at the top of the message such as "This message contains content that needs to be viewed using IBM Notes or IBM Client Application Access". Once the subscriber clicks the "Open" button, the message will be opened in IBM Notes or IBM Client Application Access (ICAA). This feature is disabled by default. You enable it through the new option, Allow browser users to open messages with scripted elements, in the Email & Calendar Options page of IBM SmartCloud Administration.

    Business cards help identify correct mail recipient (available on or after August 31)

    Now you can open the business card of any suggested name in type ahead to make sure you're addressing the right person.

    Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for August 2015" »
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      On Thursday, August 27th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM announces flexible demo accounts for Business Partners

    IBM has had demo accounts for Business Partners in the IBM Connection S1 Cloud for a while, but has now enhanced the offering.
    Flexible Service Activation for Connections Cloud S1 Demo Accounts
    The new Flexible Service Activation part for IBM Connections Cloud S1 Demo accounts, allows Business Partners to selectively activate components of the bundled S1 service.

    PartnerWorld members are eligible for this no charge, one year renewable Business Partner demonstration account for up to 30 authorized users. Progress your Q3 deals and demonstrate the full capabilities of the S1 bundle, with full administrator access and hybrid mail support:
    • IBM Verse
    • Mobile Apps
    • Connections Social
    • Document Editors
    • Instant Messaging
    • Web Meetings (with Audio/Video)
    Check out the IBM Connections Cloud wiki for more on this flexible Business Partner demo account provisioning
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      On Monday, August 17th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for July 2015

    IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for July 2015. Here is some of the updates:
    IBM Verse for iOS app update

    IBM is expecting to provide an updated IBM Verse for iOS application in early July.

    Primary targeted new enhancements:

    • iPad, iPhone 6+ tailored experience
    • Chair actions for repeating calendar events
    • Selectively subscribe/unsubscribe, add/rename/delete personal folders
    IBM Verse for iOS
    Read more about these enhancements right here

    See the previous IBM Connections Cloud enhancement posts right here (and previous SmartCloud naming ones) on IdoNotes
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      On Tuesday, July 14th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    Goodbye Notes Browser Plug-in and hello ICAA

    IBM has announced that the name of the Notes Browser Plug-in will be changed to IBM Client Application Access (ICAA) starting somewhere in June 2015.
    Notes Browser Plug-in

    IBM Client Application Access
    This lightweight solution helps clients who want to move to a browser-based interface for email (IBM SmartCloud Notes web, or IBM Verse), while continuing to work with existing Notes and Domino applications on-premise. This complete solution helps subscribers work efficiently, benefiting from all the new capabilities of IBM SmartCloud Notes and IBM Verse, with easier access to applications.

    You can see how they snuck the name change announcement in right here.
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      On Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for June 2015

    IBM has released what's new for IBM Connections Cloud for June 2015. Here is some of the updates:
    Multi party audio video in meetings
    New multi-party video capabilities in meetings is available from either the browser or the Connections meetings mobile application, and supports continuous video presence for a more interactive and social experience.
    Video conferencing is available at no additional charge for customers with subscriptions from IBM Connections Cloud S1, S2, and Meetings.

    Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for June 2015" »
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      On Monday, June 22nd, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for April 2015

    IBM has announced enhancements coming to IBM Connections Cloud for April 2015.  Here are some of the updates.  Luis Benetiz was kind enough to give everyone a sneak peek of this at Social Connections
    • Customize community layout and navigation
    • Type ahead search
    • New theme aligned to IBM Verse
    • Policy to disable chat history on file transfer
    • IBM Verse for iPhones
    • Apple Push notifications for To-do's
    • Google Cloud Messaging integration for Traveler users.  (Using GCM is easier on Android to get notifications instead of being constantly connected for push notifications)
    IBM Verse for iPhone

    I am curious if we will see a new One UI change with a change toward IBM Verse look and feel.  This would be some retooling of numerous applications and interfaces for users.  While the end result would be cleaner, it might be a bit too clean.

    See the previous IBM Connections Cloud enhancement posts right here (and previous SmartCloud naming ones) on IdoNotes.

    See the past cloud enhancements posts on the IdoNotes blog
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      On Thursday, April 23rd, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Verse Basic (or freemium if you like)

    IBM Verse Basic is the starter kit of welcoming users to try IBM Verse. We previously referred to it as freemium. The final statement of restrictions seem to be announced.
    We want you to see how Verse helps declutter your inbox. You can:
    • Send up to 100 emails in a 24 hour period.
    • Send mail containing up to 10 recipients per email.
    • Send mail messages up to 100MB in size.
    • Have a mailbox quota of 500 MB.
    • Experience spam filtering for emails sent from outside domains.
    I formerly mentioned the restrictions that seemed to have slightly changed just for the number of messages you can send per 24 hour period. and error you get when reaching the send limit.  I am still concerned that one of the restriction they chose for the number of outbound messages. How can you successfully test the follow-up, threading and other features fully with a limit no other mail system enforces.

    The mailbox quota is also incredibly small to test the analytics ability.  500MB is something I cannot even find across any free mail based system as a limit.  I would have hoped for 1-2GB.
    Continue Reading here" IBM Verse Basic (or freemium if you like)" »
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      On Monday, April 20th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    Introducing the Mail Onboarding Tool

    Today IBM had a webcast Introducing the Mail Onboarding Tool (MOM) launching an updated tool for migrating users to the cloud. IBM Design helped build the new interface as shown below.  MOM is designed as a browser-server model as a Windows service on your side.
    Mail Onboarding Manager
    Continue Reading here" Introducing the Mail Onboarding Tool" »
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      On Wednesday, March 25th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Files on Cloud with 1TB storage

    IBM has launched IBM Connections Files on Cloud with 1TB of space to directly compete with the other file hosting providers. I first talked about this on Feb 9th and was waiting on more confirmed details. Here is the announced pricing model for IBM Connections Files on Cloud.
    IBM Connections Files on Cloud pricing
    As you can see, IBM is going after this market hoping to wrap their IBM Connections on Cloud services around it as the upsell. I will say that many of the other services miss this opportunity to offer additional services (I hate using the word social) that engage the customer more and keep them in the system.

    Services like can already start you with 15GB free (using my link get 15GB today),  And it always remains free.  What IBM does not offer is any small free amount like every other service.  There is a 60 day free trial but that is not enough to keep users hooked into the system.  Everyone likes that free space and you end up paying that provider a few dollars each year when you need more.  Having no entry point model confuses me some if you want to directly compete.

    Will you test out the service? Start a trial? Or stay with something that gives free space as I linked above? I mean 15GB is a heck of a lot of free shared space but I already bought more.
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      On Thursday, March 19th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Verse General Availability on March 31 - IBM website states

    IBM has announced the General Availability of IBM Verse on March 31, 2015 to new subscription purchases.
    IBM Verse homepage
    IBM Verse will sit on top of the IBM Cloud hosted mail system and integrations with the full IBM Connections suite:
    IBM Verse offers:
    Web-based mail, calendar and contact information in the cloud, including tracking of actions that need attention, analytics based identification of important people and content, in depth search, in line preview of attachments and Connections Files, team analytics services, support for mail threads, and entitlement to IBM Notes client (includes software download).
    50 gigabytes of mail box storage allocated for each IBM SaaS user
    Spam and anti-virus protection
    Integrated instant messaging
    Ability to upload, store, and share personal files
    30 gigabytes Personal File storage
    Post and view status updates
    Create profile and work with profiles in your organization and network
    Mobile access for email

    You can read more and get links to get signed up when it becomes generally available from the What's New page.
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      On Thursday, March 12th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM announced a cloud file sharing service at IBM ConnectED 2015

    IBM, via Jeff Schick, announced at IBM ConnectED 2015, a cloud file sharing service to compete with services like Dropbox, Box and Copy. While exact dates were not offered this is an interesting market for IBM to enter now.
    IBM Connections Files Cloud

    This cloud based file sharing will be based on IBM Cloud Connections and is likely an entry point into upselling users on a full IBM Connections deployment. While an exact date for this offering was not made, the infrastructure beginnings are already in place.

    What I found interesting was the late arrival of this offering when many organizations a deeply entrenched with services like Dropbox already. Most everyone you share with personally even asks what your Dropbox email address is. It seems certain services have become ubiquitous with the term file sharing and starting up usage on another service just for that offering would not be a draw.
    Continue Reading here" IBM announced a cloud file sharing service at IBM ConnectED 2015" »
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      On Monday, February 9th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud is changing IP ranges again

    IBM announced that IBM Connections Cloud will be adding new IP ranges and sunsetting previous ones. Here is the announcement
    IP Address Changes in February 2015
    Action required if your firewalls require IP addresses!

    On or after February 07, 2015, IBM will be adding several new IP address ranges to the network supporting the Connections Cloud and SmartCloud Notes services in our United States based data center. We plan to transition to these new ranges, sunsetting some of the current ranges at a later date.

    This change will not impact clients who are accessing our services as recommended by using our public DNS names (eg. and is specific to services in our United States based data center.

    Clients who utilize firewalls requiring IP addresses, private DNS, or who otherwise filter based on IP addresses are urged to contact Brad Ralphs ( or IBM Connections Cloud Support ( to ensure you have the full, current list of required addresses inclusive of those being put in place on or after February 07, 2015.

    Seems kind of important for you to know since most enterprises block or restrict ranges. Or need to update DNS cache
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      On Thursday, February 5th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for February and March 2015

    IBM has announced enhancements coming to IBM Connections Cloud for both February and March 2015.  Here are the updates

    New feature coming on or after February 4

    See meeting invitee status on mobile devices 

    You can now view meeting invitee status in your calendar using Traveler on your iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone and Windows Tablet devices.  Possible statuses are accepted, tentative, declined, and no response. Additionally, the Android client can show a status of delegated.

    These capabilities are available for IBM Connections Cloud S1 and IBM SmartCloud Notes customers with Traveler subscriptions.

    Announcing a new Files offering available in March 2015
    We’re introducing an exciting new standalone offering that enables customers who don’t want the full set of social capabilities in IBM Connections Social Cloud to buy file-sharing, profiles, file sync and more.  This offering includes:
    • secure file sharing in the cloud
    • file sync with desktop and mobile devices to make sure you always have the right version
    • profiles for business contact information
    • updates and notifications in an activity stream to learn what others in your network are working on

    This standalone offering is an easy way to start using cloud and expand into other services as needed.  It will be available in March 2015.

    See the previous IBM Connections Cloud enhancement posts right here (and previous SmartCloud naming ones) on IdoNotes.
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      On Wednesday, February 4th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Cloud enhancements for January 2015

    It is time for IBM to update the IBM Connections Cloud again with new features and enhancements. Here is what you can expect after January 17 2015.

    Work with larger files in Activities
    We’re continuing to make it easier to work with more content, continuing the improvements announced last year with storage increases for Files, Communities, and Wikis. Now you can upload files as large as 2 GB when you use an HTML-5 browser such as Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. Additional browser support is coming soon.

    Assign tasks more effectively across teams
    Assign To Dos to one or more members of an Activity to work more easily across teams. Select people from the Activity members list.

    View relationship history in your contacts
    Now you can view the relationship history for each of your contacts. See when a contact is created, when a network invitation is accepted, when a contact is modified, and when a contact is forwarded. This gives you important information about the timeline of your relationships.

    These capabilities are available for IBM Connections Cloud S1, S2, and IBM Connections Social Cloud subscribers.
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      On Monday, January 12th, 2015   by Chris Miller        

    What is the IBM Bridge to Cloud program?

    IBM launched the Bridge to Cloud program to help users move easier into their IBM Connections (formerly SmartCLoud) Cloud offerings. The goal is to keep entitlements in place and move to subscriptions.
    IBM Connections Cloud

    • "Bridge to Cloud" allows a customer to switch from on-premises Notes CALs to SmartCloud (now Connections Cloud) Notes subscriptions at renewal time, keeping the same entitlements whether they stay on-prem or move to IBM Connections Cloud
    • Domino server licensing remains as-in (customers transitioning to the cloud will not need to renew Domino messaging server in subsequent years)
    • Rates will auto renew at the current year price you subscribe under

    So in essence you are simply signing on to a subscription model license instead of annual Software and support (S&S) and moving some users for email to their cloud.  You could also investigate this same model with partners, like Connectria, and do your apps too. Using XWorks and other models.
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      On Wednesday, October 15th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    Rebranding IBM SmartCloud offerings name to IBM Connections family

    IBM has announced the rebranding of IBM SmartCloud to IBM Connections. As you can see in the chart below, IBM Connections is now a platform and not a product. We were first told of this at IBM Connect 2014. Here is a quick chart with the new names plus more news.
    IBM SmartCloud new names
    These changes will be implemented on or after September 20.
    No customer actions or changes will be required, and no URLs will change.

    There will be a dual entitlement option to help you move to the IBM Connections cloud for your email.  You can maintain S&S on the specific offering you have on-premises and wish to bridge to cloud.

    Chat with audio and video is coming as well as an a la carte chat offering. This will allow IBM to offer IBM Connections chat as a service.  I am sure more news will be coming shortly.

    This was to take place on or after September 20, 2014 per all the emails and alerts I received.  It seems this hit the web first back on September 3 2014 by CuriousMitch. And IBM has finally announced it.
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      On Wednesday, September 24th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    Top 10 reasons to choose IBM SmartCloud for Social Business over Microsoft Office 365

    IBM has released Top 10 reasons to choose IBM SmartCloud for Social Business over Microsoft Office 365 whitepaper. Here are some highlights.
    IBM SmartCloud versus Office 365
    Documents from either IBM Connections or SmartCloud for Social Business which are synced to your laptop or mobile device are encrypted. Microsoft’s offline files are not encrypted which may result in the loss of confidential information if your device is lost or stolen.

    This is generally a large requirement by organizations. I would not be surprised to see them address this though.
    An internal IBM study showed that people located information 32% more quickly using tags because tags allow us to express relationships that are not readily apparent in the content. An Office 365 search would only return items that match the searched text, tagged items are not returned in the results. Tagged items can only be located by browsing a tag cloud

    That can be a great selling point as long as users are actually tagging items.

    From there I am not too sure about some of the others as organizations just don't seem to care. I am being honest in saying that when we talk to companies that are looking at Office 365 for just mail, the rest of this are things that just come along with mail. They will still use Domino for apps for a long time to come, but it is the mail experience driving the change.  Hopefully IBM Mail Next will help in that area.

    Get you hands on the Top 10 reasons to choose IBM SmartCloud for Social Business over Microsoft Office 365 whitepaper (seems you have to be a partner to get it after some digging, I am looking for a public link)
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      On Tuesday, September 16th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections 5.0 Entitlements for Notes & Domino customers

    IBM has announced entitlements for IBM Connections 5.0 with IBM Notes and Domino 9.0.1. Customers will get access to the Files and Profiles features freely with Domino licenses.
    With this update, IBM Notes and Domino customers continue to receive access to the Files and Profiles features of IBM Connections 5.0 with the entitlements listed below. The entitlement lets IBM Notes and Domino customers deploy and access the Files and Profiles features of IBM Connections through all clients, browsers, and mobile devices, at no additional charge.

    IBM Domino Enterprise Client access license
    IBM Domino Messaging Client access license
    IBM Domino Collaboration Express® License
    IBM Domino Messaging Express license

    Apparently the actual press release is hard to find. Thanks to Luis Guirgay for finding the link
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      On Friday, July 25th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

     IBM Connections 5.0 Workshop - FREE

    IBM is offering a free IBM Connections 5 instance on SoftLayer and workshop materials as a lab environment for business partners. You can request to provision a server or use the lab materials on your own server.
    IBM Connections logo

    The materials were written using an IBM Connections 5.0 device on SoftLayer but they also outline it so your own Linux based system could be used.
    In the IBM Connections 5.0 Workshop, you will learn about the new and existing capabilities of IBM Connections and IBM Connections Mobile.  You will learn how to implement external collaboration in your environments and gain an understanding of both the internal and external user experiences in these deployments.  If you are an administrator or a developer, you will also learn about the following topics:  UI Customization, Mobile UI Customization, iWidget Development for Profiles, and Activity Streams Integration using the Social Business Toolkit SDK.

    Access the Greenhouse Workshops to register and get materials right here.
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      On Monday, July 21st, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    What’s new in IBM Connections 5.0

    Here is Whats New in IBM Connections 5.0 that IBM recently released: A nice list of features have been added. Here are some highlights
    IBM Connections logo

    Installation and Configuration
    • New Cognos® installation verification tool and simplified installation and configuration
    • Simplified post-installation tasks for IBM Connections Content Manager for Libraries
    • New system requirements and support
    Continue Reading here" What's new in IBM Connections 5.0" »
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      On Tuesday, July 1st, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    Social Business Collaboration: Five Best Practices, Three Market Trends

    The Aberdeen Group has published Social Business Collaboration: Five Best Practices, Three Market Trends in a short 21 page ebook available free right here. Of course they mention mobile, transparency and a bunch of other words aligned with the trend
    Social Business Collaboration: Five Best Practices, Three Market Trends

    Aberdeen’s research identifies five best practices that consistently describe the top performers in social business collaboration, and provides insights into three market trends in how the infrastructure supporting collaboration initiatives is being implemented.

    Get your copy of the report (and a bunch of others are there too)
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      On Tuesday, June 24th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    What’s New in IBM Connections Next (5.0)

    IBM is set to release IBM Connections Next (5.0) later in Q4 of  2014. Here is an overview of what is new in IBM Connections 5.0. Most of the new features are in the IBM Talent Suite already. Here is a rundown from the webcast.
    IBM Connections logo

    Continue Reading here" What's New in IBM Connections Next (5.0)" »
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      On Wednesday, May 28th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    What to expect in IBM Connections Next

    Today a live Q&A was held on what to expect in IBM Connections Next from IBM and SocialBizUg. This event was definitely not what was expected. Here is why.
    What to expect in IBM Connections Next

    Continue Reading here" What to expect in IBM Connections Next" »
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      On Thursday, May 22nd, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Makes Mail Next Advisory Program and Apps on Cloud announcements

    IBM has announced on the Collaborate or be Left Behind webcast the new IBM Mail Next Advisory Program, IBM Domino Applications on Cloud and IBM Software Services for Collaboration Managed Business Services.
    Collaborate of be Left Behind

    Continue Reading here" IBM Makes Mail Next Advisory Program and Apps on Cloud announcements" »
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      On Wednesday, May 21st, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Collaboration Solutions Quality survey

    IBM has yet another survey, this time asking questions based on product documentation, installation, wizards, integration and more. This is from their quality group I think.

    Survey asking product used

    Continue Reading here" IBM Collaboration Solutions Quality survey" »
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      On Tuesday, May 20th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections file editing experience survey - Your feedback requested

    IBM is asking for feedback on file editing experiences in IBM Connections. Below is the links and what file editing in IBM Connections areas they want feedback on.
    IBM Connections logo

    The IBM Design team has asked me to reach out to you to gather feedback on some features they are currently working on:

    The IBM Docs design team is working on improving the Connections file editing experience and would like to extend a special feedback opportunity to those interested. The team is seeking to gain a thorough understanding of features involved in editing files on Connections. For example, do you find the ability to insert an image to be a basic, intermediate or advanced feature? How often do you use that specific feature and is it useful on your phone and/or tablet?

    These surveys will take about 15 minutes (combined) to complete, and your feedback will help improve the Connections online editors.

    Document Editing

    General File Editing

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      On Tuesday, May 6th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    Why is IBM Connections missing threaded blog responses

    IBM Connections is still missing threaded blog discussions. I am unsure why, after four versions, this isn't there. Forums has the ability. Here is a screenshot from the article I linked yesterday.
    IBM Connections blog comments

    Note that we can like a comment and even flag one as inappropriate.  But there is no way to actually respond to someone to keep a conversation going.  IBM can we get this? Is it planned?
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      On Tuesday, April 29th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    IBM survey on search in IBM Connections. Go give feedback!

    IBM has issued a public survey on how you use search in IBM Connections. It supposedly helps influence the product so the more responses the better.
    Image:IBM survey on search in IBM Connections. Go give feedback!

    As you can see the survey is very short.  Help them out by taking the search in IBM Connections survey right here

    Feel free to ignore this weird question at the end about what generation you identify with. Sounds like another way of asking "how old are you?", which shouldn't make a difference in this type of survey.
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      On Friday, April 11th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connect 2014 slides for BP303 Empowering ICS Communities for SocialBizUG with IBM Connections

    I had the pleasure of presenting at IBM Connect 2014 with Celia Hamilton (SocialBizUG), Mike Smith (Turtle Partnership), and Mark Myers (LDC) on Empowering ICS Communities for SocialBizUG with IBM Connections. session BP303
    Continue Reading here" IBM Connect 2014 slides for BP303 Empowering ICS Communities for SocialBizUG with IBM Connections" »
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      On Tuesday, February 4th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connect 2014 OGS and day 1 recap - Lotusphere Podcasts

    I recap IBM Connect 2014 day one activities and the Opening General Session (OGS) in this Lotusphere Podcast video. We dig into the backpack, the badge attendees wear and how the opening party went. From there it is all about the OGS:
    • IBM Mail
    • Sametime getting renamed
    • lack of demos
    • tons of customer stories with no demos
    • Snuch in announcements
    • Alcatraz the product

    You can also catch the replay of our OGS commentary on LotusphereLive, just select 2014 from the archives.

    See the video for the whole story and make sure you subscribe to the IdoNotes podcasts and Spiked Studio channels on YouTube,
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      On Monday, January 27th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    Goodbye IBM Sametime, we loved your name

    At IBM Connect 2014 opening session minutes ago, we watched Jeff Schick announce the new IBM Connections Meetings and IBM Connections Chat. This ends an era of Sametime
    IBM Sametime 9 logo

    This doesn't mean much to you about the current path of enhancements. What it does mean is that a long term and known name is being changed. They did this one before when they renamed Sametime to Lotus Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing. That failed and one year later it was back.

    I do not see this name ever going back to IBM Sametime. The path of consolidating is clear. Welcome IBM Connections Chat and Meetings.
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      On Monday, January 27th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    My serious privacy concern with #ibmconnect 2014 online

    IBM launched IBM Connect 2014 online weeks ago. The modifications to IBM Connections have raised a privacy concern. Here is my summary.

    IBM Connect online status updates

    We have a video coming, but the IBM Connect 2014 online system allows you to follow anyone on the system. the person being followed does not have any ability or control to block this ability. Then, by default, they publish every session you add to your schedule. Imagine you are not wanting competitors to see what sessions you are attending. Or worse, you have a stalker or other safety concern.

    I did not ask them to publish my personal agenda, I did not ask you to share it to others without my knowledge and i certainly want the ability to block or hide that data. None of these exist.

    This would be another huge reason not to use this to build my agenda in that system. Anyone else see an issue with privacy controls and this?
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      On Sunday, January 26th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    IBM SmartCloud for Social Business new features launching Jan 2014

    IBM has announced new features in IBM SmartCloud for Social Business going live around January 11 2014. Here is a summary of enhancements and changes

    New meetings and chat changes:
    IBM SmartCloud for Social Business meetings
    • Download a new version of the Sametime Connect rich client
    • Navigate the chat and meeting applications, and launch their communication tools more easily with new context sensitive icons and user flows that have been streamlined to minimize the number of clicks
    • Share rich content immediately with file transfer* and screen-capture in web chat
    • Launch a meeting directly from a shared document in Files
    • See at a glance what's happening with the new Meeting Stream that shows the chat discussion, when people share files, join the meeting, interact with poll questions, etc.
    • Use additional meeting tools located next to the Audio Conferencing controls (if purchased as an add-on)
    • Use new Meetings and Audio Conferencing reports available to subscribers
    • Use new mobile applications that allow users to not just attend, but take control, share content, collaborate, and manage their meetings
    • Use Meetings effectively with Chrome
    • Use Federated Identity Management (SAML) support for the Chat plugin embedded in Notes

    New "social" capabilities for SmartCloud Docs
    • Presentations supports AirPlay® Mirroring and dual-screen projection. While your audience sees the full-screen slide show, you can see the slide show, speaker notes, timer, and annotation tool on your iPad®.
    • Import and export .xslx and .pptx files
    • In spreadsheets, customize the look of new or existing charts, and edit chart data ranges without going back to the sheet

    These new capabilities are available for SmartCloud Engage and SmartCloud Connections subscribers.

    Make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channels for both IdoNotes as we prepare for IBM Connect 2014 and to Spiked Studio for all the recent CES news.
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      On Friday, January 10th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

    IBM is transitioning from Prometric to Pearson VUE for testing services

    I received the notice twice today that IBM is transitioning from Prometric to Pearson VUE for testing services effective January 2, 2014.
    Pearson VUE logo

    The IBM Professional Certification Program will transition certification and mastery exam delivery to Pearson VUE (PVUE) on January 2, 2014. There will be no disruption to your ability to take and report your exams. As always our goal is to make this transition as easy as possible for IBM testing candidates, and if you have taken an IBM exam in the past, you will be able to continue using your current Candidate Testing ID. Additionally, Pearson VUE will honor IBM promotion codes and most valid and unexpired IBM vouchers. Please note the certification requirements and testing prices will not change.

    With the transition to Pearson VUE the test numbers are changing. Correlation Tables have been created that map the current test numbers to the new test numbers

    Read more of the very long FAQ on the certification website announcement

    Ok I wanted to highlight this one part of the FAQ
    Starting January 13, 2014, most unused Prometric vouchers that have not been redeemed or expired will be valid in the Pearson VUE system.

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      On Tuesday, December 10th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

    IBM taking down most user forums and wikis this weekend for maintenance

    IBM has announced that forums, wikis and apps on, and will be down the afternoon of Friday November 22 2013 to morning of Monday November 25 2013.
    IBM Notes 9 icon

    all other wikis, forums and other applications hosted on,, and are expected to be unavailable from 4:00 PM EST (9:00 PM GMT) Friday, November 22nd, 2013 to 9:00 AM EST (2:00 PM GMT) Monday, November 25th, 2013 due to maintenance work at our facility. This outage does not apply to IBM SmartCloud for Social Business itself.

    Just an FYI for everyone that may be looking to read, catch up or post this wekeend.

    Go join my IdoNotes Network Facebook page or YouTube channels, I am trying to grow those too :-)
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      On Friday, November 22nd, 2013   by Chris Miller        

    New Features for SmartCloud for Social Business go live this weekend

    IBM has announced New Features for SmartCloud for Social Business that are to go live on or after November 2 2013. Here is a quick recap.
    Dashboard Enhancements
    • See at a glance what action is required, who is asking questions or commenting on your content
    • Discover and mine content and ideas relevant to their work and priorities with Recommendations
    • Quickly scan what's happening across their social network with simpler views and easily accessible Share box
    IBM SmartCloud Dashboard

    Continue Reading here" New Features for SmartCloud for Social Business go live this weekend" »
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      On Thursday, October 31st, 2013   by Chris Miller        

    Gamification as explained by Dilbert

    Dilbert explains the meaning of gamification in the enterprise a few weeks ago. By Scott Adams

    The Official Dilbert Website featuring Scott Adams Dilbert strips, animations and more

    View the original posting here
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      On Monday, June 10th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Collaboration Solutions community sunsets - now The Social Lounge

    Annnounced on June 4th, the IBM Collaboration Solutions Community is being sunset and moved to The Social Lounge.  What  this means is that IBM is moving their own ICS community from the IBM Connections environment on Lotus Greenhouse to the IBM Connections environment on SocialBizUg.
    Notice: As of June 4, 2013, the IBM Collaboration Solutions community is being transitioned toThe Social Lounge in the Social Business User Group community. Please register at to continue participating in this vibrant community of professionals focused on social business and collaboration. For more information, see
    Image:IBM Collaboration Solutions community sunsets - now The Social Lounge

    One of the reasons cited is that SocialBizUg allows anonymous access to view to community, but you will still need to register to add comments and such of course. They also mention that SocialBizUg is different than DeveloperWorks but this site was not on DeveloperWorks.  I enjoyed working with the new features in Greenhouse. On the opposite side is that SocialBizUg will not be undergoing constant outages and maintenance like Greenhouse seemed to.

    The previous community and all it's content will not be migrated to the new community so you will need to access both for a while or for archive purposes. I was asked what I thought of the move.  I am torn.

    Sure, where it is located really doesn't matter as long as it grows as a community.  Then again, having an official IBM type community on a non-IBM official site is rather strange when it was already running inside the exact same software is strange.

    What is your thoughts?
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      On Wednesday, June 5th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

    Kango Gift for IBM Connections

    Kango Gift has created embeddable widgets for IBM Connections that allow people to give you gift cards as employee recognition from their cloud based platform.
    KangoGift style=

    First, how does Kango Gift make their money? You can either choose a free plan, up to 25 users, and only pay a small fee for each gift card. Or you can pick the company plan for $2/user a month plus the small fees associated with giving the cards.  The small per gift fee is not disclosed anywhere I can find on the site.

    I was not happy with the lack of FAQ or support or disclosure of fees on the site itself but it makes sense that is how they make money outside of the per user subscription.

    Now that we tackled the technical information, or lack thereof, how about the idea of the monetary rewards from other people you work with? Would this give additional strain for you to use your own money (or maybe it is hooked to a company account) to give to other people for work they did? We are not talking bonuses or incentives, but just simple thank you gifts.  Then these widgets and Kango Gift allow each person a rewards page and the ability to post to their stream.

    Does the worry of not giving gifts put a strain on the professional relationship? How about the worry you have never received any and shared it publicly? Would someone fear their job may be at risk for NOT being recognized.

    Share your thoughts, I am curious what you think about the idea of non-bonus related recognition and public sharing

    Update: I would also like to consider why they don't charge the per user fee on smaller installs where they are less likely to get the card service fees they tack on.  I do not see a 10,000 seat company wanting to pay $20k/month just to have the service.  Also is the per user fee based on the recipients, senders or just everyone? I could find none of this on the website.

    Related posts
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      On Tuesday, June 4th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

    Changing IBM Connections email notifications

    IBM Connections can get a bit overwhelming in default email notifications. IBM offered customizations to the email digests starting back in version 3. What the administrator has to decide is what the defaults shall be for users.
    From the defaultEmailPreference section of notification-config.xml, the administrator can control
    most of the default settings for email preferences available to all users

    Lotus Greenhouse seems to have the defaults set to notify you of pretty much everything all the time.  I went in and adjusted quite a few and it got me thinking about best practices for users. Admins can allow users to specify their own settings.

    Image:Changing IBM Connections email notifications

    Users can work with:
    Continue Reading here" Changing IBM Connections email notifications" »
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      On Thursday, May 30th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

    Achieving Real Business Value with IBM Connections - IBM Redbook

    IBM Redbooks

    IBM has released an IBM Redbook Solution Guide titled Achieving Real Business Value with IBM Connections on May 15 2013. This guide is written by the manager that helped oversee the IBM Connections 4.0 Deployment redbook.
    IBM® Connections is a leading social software platform that can help your organization engage the right people, accelerate innovation, and deliver results. This integrated, security-rich platform helps people engage with networks of experts in the context of critical business processes. This IBM Redbooks® Solution Guide provides a quick overview of the IBM Connections 4.0 features and architecure.

    While it is not an entire Redbook as you would expect, it is more of a couple page information sheet for the higher executives. You can view the solution guide in HTML or download the pdf for Achieving Real Business Value with IBM Connections.
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      On Tuesday, May 28th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Social Business commercial on YouTube

    I saw a link for an IBM Social Business ad that is also found on YouTube. It raised some interesting thoughts and questions about how no exact software, service or platform was ever specified, just come visit the site to let us help you. The site itself then has trials, demos and solutions included with some benefits of being more social.

    I did appreciate one comment at 37 seconds into the one minute ad:
    By 2014 nearly four out of five businesses plan to invest in social technology

    Doesn't almost 4 out of five really mean 3 out of 5? can we not say 3 out of 5?  Also, hasn't everyone already invested.  I cannot think of a business that does not have email.  No matter what is said, email is still social as it meets the very basic criteria of social business. It shares information.

    Do not forget to visit the #ibmsocbiz aggregator site to keep up with all the IBM news.
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      On Friday, May 24th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

    Tracking IBM Lotus technotes, hotfixes and fixpacks

    It has always been hard to track the growing list of technotes, fixpacks, hotfixes and SPR's that IBM Lotus collaboration software has.  Over the years I have made my own tools:
    Image:Tracking IBM Lotus technotes, hotfixes and fixpacks

    So as you see it has evolved over the years as the material to collect grows and the capabilities grow the list of fixes have too.  So I will be adding the Notes/Domino Fix List full RSS feed to some of the above to give you timely information when fixes and being addressed and in what version

    Let me know what other tools you need or sources added and I will make sure I get them included to help you find the information quicker.  Ok everything but IBM PartnerWorld.  No one can help you there.
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      On Thursday, May 23rd, 2013   by Chris Miller     Connections servers gets it first spammer

    IBM Connections logo

    A large number of us received some spam notices from the Connections server this past week. I was surprised to see this enter my stream and send my email notifications from the main IBM Connections environment:
    naomi bashir posted a message to you:
    naomi bashir Hello dear new friend,
    My name is Naomi Bashir a good looking girl.I
    have a special reason of contacting you which i will make known to you, Please write to my email address box: ( that
    I will tell you more about me and send my pic to you bye.

    Now the more entertaining portion was that some people connected to this account (as shown in the stream) and IBM quickly deactivated the account.
    This person is no longer an active user.

    With any open system this is bound to happen, but it does ask the question what form of spam preventions and controls exist in the current IBM Connections servers.  Anyone?
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      On Saturday, May 4th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

    BLUG 2013 keynote with Scott Souder and Louis Richardson of IBM

    BLUG logo

    Join Scott Souder and Louis Richardson of IBM as they keynote BLUG (Benelux Lotus User Group) 2013 in Leuven, Belgium.

    Scott Souder covers IBM Notes and Domino Social Edition, Lotus Traveler and more.
    Louis Richardson discusses creativity crisis

    This is an outstanding keynote worth paying close attention to all the details

    View the list of all the IamLUG 2013 sessions and then make sure you register now while there are still seats. You can also register for this TackItOn session from the IamLUG website

    note: sorry for the angle as the full  tripod did not make it in time.
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      On Friday, March 29th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

    AusLUG 2013 Keynote with Chris Crummey

    AusLUG 2013 banner

    AusLUG 2013 is completed and Chris Crummey of IBM provided the keynote address.  Spiked Studio was asked to record it for everyone to see the kickoff of IBM Notes and Domino 9 gold code.

    Make sure you subscribe to the entire keynote playlist as we record BLUG 2013 this week.
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      On Monday, March 18th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

    IBM ranked as Specialist in Hosted Business Email Market Quadrant for 2012 - FREE COPY

    The Market Quadrant 2012 for Hosted Business Email and Collaboration by The Radicati Group, Inc was released.  While IBM was listed as a Specialist in the report, they also appeared in the lower left corner which shows a loyal subscriber base but behind on capabilities and innovation.
    The Radicati Group evaluated 15 cloud-based Hosted Business Email and Collaboration vendors based on various technology platforms, including POP3/IMAP, Microsoft Exchange, and other proprietary technologies

    The quadrant choices were mature, top, trail blazers and specialists.  Google showed itself as a Top Player. Functionality was rated 1-10 with 10 being the highest and Market Share assigned to installed base in reverse numbering.  Meaning the largest installed base was 1. (that is silly tome to not be consistent in numbering direction).

    Their definition matches hundreds of current providers:
    Hosted Business Email and Collaboration Providers offer cloud-based email services that provide robust, enterprise-grade functionality aimed at business users. These providers typically offer email services on a multi-tenant server located in their data centers.

    Their statistic says that 21% of business email is hosted.  I find this number quite high and I am unsure of the sample rate. Reading through the requirements and other options, you can make your own conclusions on how they come up with such numbers.

    The report is a long 48 pages but much of it is a listing of those companies in the quadrant. Using your own math you could plug in other companies or even dispute why a specific one got placed in a certain corner.  Definitely worth the read and the discussion about it.

    You can download your free copy of the Hosted Business Email and Collaboration - Market Quadrant 2012 from The Radicati Group, Inc. right here.
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      On Thursday, January 3rd, 2013   by Chris Miller        

    IBM SmartCloud launches IBM Docs, Sametime Meetings and more enhancements

    Download the IBM SmartCloud What's New & FAQ for December 2012 by simply sending a tweet

    IBM is introducing new capabilities to IBM SmartCloud and adding enhancements to IBM SmartCloud Engage and IBM SmartCloud Notes.  Here is a breakdown including IBM Docs, Sametime Meetings and IBM Connections capabilities. Make sure to get the pdf version of the FAQ and What's New by clicking here to download by sending a tweet back to the blog post!

    IBM SmartCloud Docs will be a huge boost to productivity with the co-editing features if users can start working with the online tool instead of locally.
    This is a new cloud-based office productivity service providing teams the ability to work on word processing, presentation and spreadsheet documents and offers real-time co-editing support designed to help users quickly edit files and manage file versions within IBM SmartCloud Connections. Users have the ability to upload, create, share, and edit Microsoft Office or IBM Symphony documents.

    IBM SmartCloud is then bringing in Sametime Meetings to augment what was Webdialogs. I imagine eventually it will replace the existing system.
    Continue Reading here" IBM SmartCloud launches IBM Docs, Sametime Meetings and more enhancements" »
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      On Tuesday, December 4th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Secure Authentication for Mobile Devices

    IBM has given another free paper to share with my readers on IBM Secure Authentication for Mobile Devices that revolves around the Tivoli suite of products. You can download the whitepaper here.
    IBM Research has developed an innovative security architecture that leverages several Tivoli products including Tivoli Endpoint Manager, Tivoli Identity Manager, Tivoli Directory Server and Tivoli Directory Integrator to provide the validation of a device, device posture and a user's identity prior to authentication to the network.

    This solution will be the basis for a 2012 IBM CIO internal offering for managing remote access of Android and iOS devices. This will provide the first ITCS300 compliant access for mobile devices.

    You can request and download your free copy of the IBM Secure Authentication for Mobile devices right here . If you are getting into the mobile device management and need to secure access from these devices I would be looking into this right away.
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      On Wednesday, November 7th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    September 2012 Sys Admin Tips is out on

    This month I talk about the end of another era with the renaming of Lotusphere to IBM Connect. From there I move into:
    • A reader asks about Office 365 comparison to Lotus Notes
    • Poll Results: What is the primary mobile device in use at your organization
    • IBM Connections 4 and immediate fixpacks
    • Finding good resources

    Related posts:
    I post all the Sys Admin Tips links each and every month

    Visit the Connectria website today and find out why we offer the best in Lotus Software hosting and management.

    Eat.Sleep.Host    It is what we do.

    Image:September 2012 Sys Admin Tips is out on

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      On Monday, September 24th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    IBM retiring numerous technical sales mastery exams on Nov 30 2012

    IBM has announced the retirement of numerous technical sales mastery exams to be replaced with new Associate Level certifications.  The following are being retired:
    • 000-M38: IBM Lotus Notes & Domino Technical Sales Mastery Test v2
    • 000-M46: IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Technical Sales Mastery Test v2
    • 000-M48: IBM Lotus Web Content Management Technical Sales Mastery Test v2
    • 000-M61: IBM Lotus Protector Technical Sales Mastery Test v1
    • 000-M62: IBM Lotus Connections Technical Sales Mastery Test v1
    • 000-M63; IBM Lotus Forms Technical Sales Mastery Test v2
    • 000-M64: IBM Lotus Sametime Technical Sales Mastery Test v1
    • 000-M65: IBM Lotus XPages Technical Sales Mastery Test v1
    • 000-M82: IBM Lotus Quickr Technical Sales Mastery Test v2
    • 000-M83: IBM WebSphere Portal Technical Sales Mastery Test v3

    The credit will be active until March 2013, but that seems short as well.
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      On Monday, September 17th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    A living ICSTT Twitter relationship page

    In order to make sense of the conversation and flow for todays #ICSTT Twitter event I used a nifty tool that shows conversation relationships, the tweets and impact on the conversation called TAGSExplorer.  Here is a current map.

    Image:A living ICSTT Twitter relationship page

    You can zoom in and out, see who responded where and basically dig into the conversation.  This map will continually update for each event automatically, so bookmark the page now!  You can find it here ->>>

    TAGSExplorer for #ICSTT
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      On Thursday, August 16th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    Content Collector for IBM Connections

    IBM launched another side product tagged at working against your IBM Connections environment.  With the Content Collector for IBM Connections product you are able to archive files, wikis, blogs, forums, profiles and activities.

    For those tasked with eDiscovery and the ability to store and search things forever, this is a tool worth investigating. The archives are indexed and content hierarchies are maintained for ease in those searches.

    It does require FileNet Content Manager as the repository (or Content Manager Enterprise Edition) and it part of the Content Collector family from IBM.

    You can learn more about Content Collector for IBM Connections right here.
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      On Wednesday, August 15th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    IBM offers a "Make Your Sharepoint Social" Webcast

    I figured I would send this out for all of those looking to sell IBM Connections into sites that have chosen Sharepoint.
    As social business is gaining traction, it is critical to follow a best-of-breed strategy using a “true” social collaboration platform.
    IBM, again named WorldWide Leader in Social Software by IDC, has an integrated approach to building social solutions being rapidly
    adopted by companies who are looking to extend their existing collaboration solutions with new and better ways to strengthen their
    relationships with clients, customers and suppliers.

       • Do you have a proliferation of SharePoint sites you need to get under control?
       • Is it difficult to discover information and knowledge across the multitude of Team Sites?
       • Are the barriers in your SharePoint system making it difficult to discover, share and collaborate?

    IBM can help extend your current SharePoint implementation to include true social capabilities reducing the friction associated with
    discovering, sharing and collaborating within a team, across the company or with your business partners and customers.


    Vanessa Thompson, Research Manager, Enterprise Collaboration and Social Solutions, IDC
    Ronald Denham, Worldwide Sales, Executive Consultant, IBM
    Laura Wolf, Social Business Sales Executive, IBM

    Date: August 21, 2012
    Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Eastern

    You can register for this event right here or send your customers over to listen as well.

    Once you get them involved remember that Connectria offers proof of concepts and full hosting of IBM Connections and even SharePoint in a cloud environment
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      On Friday, August 10th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    IdoNotes Episode 126 - Tembo Social interview

    I had the opportunity to sit with TemboSocial president Steven Green and talk about The Hive and it's integration with IBM Connections. We discuss social business, employee recognition, gamification, rewards.

    We look at how The Hive is integrated with IBM Connections, badges, analytics, customization and even more.  Make sure to visit the TemboSocial website for the whitepapers, blog and receiving a product tour.
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      On Thursday, July 12th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    IdoNotes Episode 125 - IBM Connections iOS app review

    I take a walkthrough on the new iOS update for IBM Connections. I liked the speed of interacting with the client.  I do feel there was some UI challenges and I never recall seeing any closed beta testing of features and functions which might have been helpful.  Watch the full review above to experience it for a first time as I do.

    Before I could even get this out via podcast, many had found the YouTube version and made comments. Go catch up over there to read the threads.

    Episode 125 was brought to you by Instant Technologies and Instant IMtegrity Archives.
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      On Wednesday, June 13th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    IDC reports the future of email is social - sponsored by IBM

    An IDC report came out in February 2012 stating how the future of email is social.  I was interested to see that IBM was the sponsor of the paper.
    This IDC white paper takes a look at the current state of enterprise email and the perceived and real problems that surround its use.  The paper discusses the changing nature of collaboration and work fueled by the social web by examining current email trends and the emergence of new social collaboration tools.  Rather than envision "a world without email," it revels a future where email converges with social tools...

    The paper begins with a situation overview and a team that needs to work on a project before jumping to a section on the history of email and a statistic that email will reach 2.4 billion users by the year 2014.

    The paper covers the standard challenges about the number of emails, mobile access and blurring personal and business use of devices and email. Filtering is given a section on pages 4-5 which I feel is the basis for most of the overload.
    Continue Reading here" IDC reports the future of email is social - sponsored by IBM" »
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      On Thursday, May 24th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    IBM uses Facebook for Exceptional Web Experience event in May

    An interesting IBM event will be taking place May 14-18 utilizing Facebook to discuss Exceptional Web Experience.  With IBM selling it's platforms and the Customer Experience Suite I am trying to figure out why they would use Facebook which is mainly for personal accounts and not business solutions.  It definitely isn't considered an Exceptional Web Experience
    The IBM Social Business team will be hosting a virtual event on Facebook May 14-18. Topic: Exceptional Web Experience. Be sure to like now!
    You have 5 seconds to engage a customer before they leave your web site, and nearly 40% of web users won't return, according to a survey by Gomez and Compuware (see link). How do you create an exceptional web experience?
    Join the conversation on on May 14-18 to share your experiences and ideas, and to see success stories.

    It appears they are wanting to drive traffic to Like the Facebook page for IBM Social Business and generate content on it instead of an actual Jam idea they have done many times before using IBM software.

    Related Posts:

    IBM Social Business Jam walkthrough
    IBM Social Business Jam concludes. What was the benefit to you?
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      On Tuesday, May 8th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    Will enterprise gamification tools be used against you at your job?

    I watched and somewhat participated in a conversation about enterprise gamification addressing the negative side to employees as well as the rewards. Alan Lepofsky kicked the conversation off with the following tweet
    Talk about #gamification always focuses on rewarding positive actions. Do you think negative behavior should also be surfaced? #socbiz

    You can read the threads from there.  I wanted to bring out a quick theory I developed.

    With the current enterprise gamification engines a employee is rewarded with badges or other tidbits for completing specific tasks and activities inside some piece of software.  Examples for gamification engines for IBM Connections are Bunchball and Kudos.  Both include rewards andbadges for filling in your profile, uploading and sharing files, joining communities and making comments on others.

    Now my theory is that this can be used against the employee as any other productivity benchmark can.  Your manager, HR department or supervisor can quickly pull up your profile on the enterprise collaboration software and see you have not earned any badges or marks from the enterprise gamification engine. Will this now be used against you as not being a team player and working with others?

    What about simple productivity? Can they say due to your lack of file sharing you are not producing content valuable to the enterprise?  I personally do not know of any company that states that the enterprise gamification system will not be used against you. Many do not even say how it benefits you in any way.

    This has nothing to do with the gamification engines at this time, as they are not offering markers or badges that are negative, it is just a view into how interpretation may be done at some companies.

    Make sure you go watch my interview of Bunchball founder Rajat Paharia in IdoNotes Episode 123 on YouTube.
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      On Monday, April 30th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    IdoNotes Episode 123 - Bunchball founder Rajat Paharia and gamification

    I had the pleasure to not only interview Bunchball gamification engine founder Rajat Paharia, but get a behind the scenes look at the user and administrative interfaces.

    Bunchball launched a cloud based gamification solution that runs across more products than just IBM Connections including Salesforce and Jive. Nitro for IBM Connections is pretty powerful and competes directly with partner solution Kudos from ISW.

    Watch the video for the interview sessions with Rajat before and after the demo in the middle.  I could see this gamification being used inside of email and other tools to drive adoptin of the cool new features.

    Note: I just caught I left a remnant logo in there, sorry I will will fix it.

    You can watch or subscribe to IdoNotes and all the Spiked Studio shows including TheSocialGeeks, BlackBerry Today and NotesIn9.
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      On Wednesday, April 25th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    AusLUG 2012 Keynote replay with Ed Brill of IBM

    AusLUG 2012 kicked off in Melbourne, Australia with Mat Newman introducing Ed Brill as the keynote speaker in this video replay.  Ed covered strategy and futures before handing it over to Stuart for live demos and Ted Stanton with more insight.  This keynote runs just at an hour and thirty minutes.

    Visit AusLUG to get more information on sessions and register for their Lotus Connections community.

    Also make sure to watch the keynote from Chris Crummey at BLUG 2012 in Antwerp, Belgium from the week before,  Spiked Studio is happy to have produced both videos for replay.  Make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel to stay up to date on all the videos as they get released.
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      On Wednesday, April 4th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    LotusAppStore launches to sell Lotus apps - my initial review

    I received notice about this new app store for Lotus Notes from PDQ Information Systems that launched and went to take a look called LotusAppStore.  As some of you know we investigated and launched into this some time ago, and well it does not float.  Vendors did not have the capability to sell this way were not willing to do so.  So this came as a surprise.  Here is a screenshot of how LotusAppStore looks today with the first listings their own products (of course)

    Image:LotusAppStore launches to sell Lotus apps - my initial review

    Continue Reading here" LotusAppStore launches to sell Lotus apps - my initial review" »
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      On Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    Social panel replay with Paul Mooney, Luis Suarez and Femke Goedhart at BLUG 2012

    An incredible social panel at the Belux Lotus User Group for the second year of BLUG 2012.  I moderate an excellent conversation with Luis Suarez, Paul Mooney and Femke Goedhart around such questions as the first item checked daily, is email social, is there social sharing bullying, social acronyms in business environments and plenty direct from the audience.
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      On Tuesday, March 27th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    BLUG 2012 keynote replay with Chris Crummey of IBM

    Watch Chris Crummey of IBM at the Belux Lotus User Group (BLUG 2012) in Antwerpen as he covers the strategy, futures and enhancements to the IBM Lotus suite of software. He walks us through live demonstrations of his daily life using the technology and case studies on other businesses embracing the new IBM direction.
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      On Saturday, March 24th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Pulse 2012 - set to stream keynotes for first time

    The IBM Pulse conference has been around a while and it seems IBM Collaboration Services (ICS) will be there in a large amount this year talking mobility.  To aid in getting information out to the masses, and after they saw how Lotusphere works apparently, IBM Pulse 2012 will stream the keynote from Kevin Cavanaugh.
    Continue Reading here" IBM Pulse 2012 - set to stream keynotes for first time" »
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      On Tuesday, February 7th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    January 2012 Sys Admin Tips is out on

    In the January 2012 edition of Sys Admin Tips I cover OpenSocial and Social Business in the editorial section and the following articles:
    • From the Idonotes mailbox: Citrix performance and Notes Standard client
    • OpenSocial as an administrator
    • Lotus Traveler device ids and names of devices
    • From the IdoNotes mailbox: A failed Sametime 8.5.2 IF1 upgrade attempt

    Look for a bunch of new webcasts coming along from Consultant In Your Pocket as we kick off the spring season
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      On Monday, January 30th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    Activity Streams - a demise of productivity

    I really don't like the current state and implementation idea of activity streams.  There, I said it. Now I can explain more about why.

    IBM made a grand showing of integrating activity streams into the Notes client with the Social Edition and the expansion in IBM Connections with OpenSocial. However, they introduced this idea well over a year ago (below image from Feb 2011) with no traction.  I believe that expanding capabilities is always a bonus for any product if it allows more adoption and usage.

    Image:Activity Streams - a demise of productivity

    I have been quite verbal since R1 and R2 of Lotus (now IBM) Connections about the easier inclusion of public services. Activity Streams are not what I had in mind.  I feel that they will become a distraction more than a productivity tool.
    Continue Reading here" Activity Streams - a demise of productivity" »
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      On Thursday, January 26th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Connections Next launch and news #ls12

    During the keynote today of Lotusphere 2012 there was much talk, and some demo, of the enhancements coming in IBM Connections Next as it is called before moving to Connections 4.  Some key areas were analytics integration, activity streams (which I have an entire post on) and OpenSocial Embedded Apps.

    Here are some highlights of the announcements and news links for more.  There was quite a bit of press there as well.  Read on.

    Continue Reading here" IBM Connections Next launch and news #ls12" »
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      On Monday, January 16th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    IdoNotes Episode 119 - the Lotusphere Community

    Joyce Davis walks us through the new Lotusphere Community on Greenhouse.

    I had the chance to sit with Joyce Davis of IBM as she walks us through the new Lotusphere and IBM Connect Communities on the Lotus Greenhouse.  In the video interview she shows us how this Greenhouse community will be the future destination for all the content from the temporary Social Business Online site that runs during Lotusphere and Connect.

    Lotusphere Community
    IBM Connect Community
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      On Monday, January 9th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

    Important reminder concerning the IBM Professional CertificationTesting Policy

    If you are planning on taking any certification exams with IBM, they have tightened down on their policies and thoughts about how you should study in recent years.  The above blog title was received as an email.  Here is the email content that was received.  I thought it was valuable enough to share with everyone.

    Image:Important reminder concerning the IBM Professional CertificationTesting Policy

    Please review this important information regarding the IBM Professional Certification Testing Policy.

    In order to ensure the validity and integrity of the IBM Certification Program, testing data and results are randomly audited.

    All test takers are required to agree to a confidentiality statement which specifically prohibits test takers from discussing test content or questions at any time. This includes casual conversation with colleagues, and especially discussing test content with prospective test takers after completing testing. Additionally, IBM Certification tests are the exclusive Intellectual Property of IBM. Per your IBM Business Partner Agreement the IBM Business Partner Code of Conduct sections referring to Intellectual Property and Unauthorized Sources apply to certification testing. When you (or your staff) are preparing for an IBM Certification test it is imperative to use only the links provided on IBM's Web pages for recommended education and sample practice tests. Many of the "sample" or "practice" test vendors make use of unethically acquired testing material.

    IBM has taken, and will continue to take, appropriate actions when testing data indicates that unethical methods were used to prepare for or take an IBM Certification test. Actions may include a temporary or permanent ban from taking additional Certification tests

    For full information you should visit Information on IBM Professional Certification Program and Certification testing policy to get up to date on apporoved study material and sources (IBM)
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      On Thursday, December 15th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    IdoNotes Episode 114 - IBM Timeflash launches

    Don't forget you can watch this in HD on YouTube, just click through!

    Looking around the public side of Lotus Greenhouse, there is some recent public postings on the wikis and such about a new labs experiment called IBM Timeflash.  It is basically a competitor to Plancast and Lanyrd which build timelines around events, conferences and more but extending some areas to include timers, countdowns and the ability to draw in iCAl feeds.

    Timeflash is a social microcalendar that allows you to publish your upcoming or past events to your social network, while keeping track of your time and interests.

    I went ahead and did an introduction video until the invites start rolling out.  Go ahead and peek yourself at IBM Timeflash information.
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      On Tuesday, October 11th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    "What’s New in 8.5.3 Notes, Domino, Traveler & XWork Server" - REPLAY online

    We are happy to announce that the full recording of the "What's New in 8.5.3 Notes, Domino, Traveler & IBM XWork Server" from Consultant in Your Pocket is online and ready for streaming.

    Look for details surrounding IBM XWork Server, the entitlement for IBM Lotus Connections and mobility discussions around iOS, Android and Symbian.

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      On Wednesday, October 5th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    Participate in a Lotus User Experience Study

    Lotus is looking for volunteers to submit for a futures usability study.  It runs this and next week.  Details below!

    The Lotus User Experience Research team is conducting user research the week of August 22nd (extending to the week of Aug 29th as needed) and is looking for participants.

    You will be asked to attend a 60-90 minute online session (connection details to follow) where strategic design direction, encompassing multiple IBM products, will be shown and discussed.

    We are looking for a diverse audience to represent a rich set of perspectives.

    This is not a usability assessment of current products nor a commitment to implement what is shown. This is directional research but your feedback will be used to shape the future direction of the products you use.

    If interested, please tell us a little about yourself and available days and times using the brief survey []. Someone will contact you if there is a day/time match.

    Thank you for your time!



    Brian S. Utesch, Ph.D.
    STSM, Lotus User Experience Research (UXR) Lead
    IBM Software Group, WPLC, Lotus User Experience Group

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      On Wednesday, August 24th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    How Lotus fits into the IBM Social Strategy - finally explained

    The IBM Collaboration Solutions community call was held this morning and a guest speaker was Scott Neuman, Director of Social Business Marketing at IBM.  He ran through a number of high level slides around social strategy and futures.  But I think he made it very clear in the middle.  I will summarize in MY words
    Lotus will be folded into coupled solutions with other IBM software products and services to provide these magical social solutions. Gone will be the days of a laundry list of products you have to wade through.

    So you will see things like Sametime, Connections and maybe Portal as a vertical solution offering to customers for example.

    Learning WAS, Sharepoint or whatever shouldn't matter to the big question.  If there is a software IBM owns then learn it.  Plain and simple.  If there is a bundled solution approach that covers seven products, learn them.

    If social is the keyword of the bi-annual to IBM, then we say ok!  Domino was social, Sametime was social, Connections (for 4 years now) was social.  But now we have the term social applied and we can approach it as new.

    The mass world doesn't know or doesn't like the Lotus name, but love and trust IBM as recognizable.   This was ten years coming when IBM bought Lotus.  No need to ponder it now.

    We didn't sell previous solutions as social, we did it as collaboration. Guess what, collaboration had to be social to work.  We just have a new word.  Move along.

    This article brought to you by IamLUG - the North American "Lotus" User Group.  Hotel rates expire July 7th!
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      On Tuesday, June 28th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    June 2011 Sys Admin Tips is out on

    In this June 2011 edition I talk about IBM removing the Lotus brand name and the following:

    * From the Editor: Chris' 0.0123122 GIP
    * From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Split Notes Data Over Multiple Volumes
    * Free IBM Connections testing?
    * Quick Tip: Sorry, We Are Unable to Process Your Request At This Time
    * From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Sametime 8.5.2 Deployment Options


    You can head over now to watch the IamLUG 2011 keynote in streaming HD!  The keynote was amazing, given by Brian Cheng of IBM.

    Edited, produced and brought to you by Spiked Studio Productions.  Your niche podcast network
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      On Friday, June 24th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    Live blogging Admin2011 keynote

    The View once again live streamed the keynote address that contained Kevin Cavanaugh, Ed Brill and Chris Crummey for Las Vegas, NV.

    After years of it being said that attendees wanted the printed material, WIS announced it went green and would not print materials.

    Debbie Lynd announced the Three Musketeers to the stage, Ed and Chris are up first.

    Ed started covering:
    • all the product releases, versions and some features
    • three updates to LotusLive since Lotusphere
    • Lotus Protector 2.8 about to ship (or is it IBM Protector now?)
    • Traveler companion for iOS now caches the password
    • Ed wants to talk about XPages Application Server licensing model

    Chris Crummey stepped in for live demos:
    • a Notes demo and social demo were on tap
    • Live text was a huge showing of the initial part of the demo

    From here I got lost in the flow and point of the demo.  He stated he wanted to do a demo where social and Notes were so blurred that you didn't know which was being covered.  But, then he switched over to the Connections experience which showed the defining line.  Social integration and analytics.

    Ed stepped back in and highlighted LotusLive Notes.  They are using an optional FTP approach to send data into the staging servers.  I am still unsure what happened to good old replication that we here at Connectria provide.

    "Social Mail" is their idea of next generation messaging.  Back to Chris for the demo.

    Chris brings up iNotes as the demo client with Sametime, calendar and the OneUI look and feel.  Makes me think "Social Mail" will head towards my posting of Saying Goodbye to the Notes Client I did back around the #ibmexperience announcements.

    Kevin Cavanaugh takes the stage and talkes of Sametime 8.5.2 launch in May.  You can watch a great webcast on "What's New in Sametime 8.5.2"

    Chris launched a demo of the new web based IBM Connections client from the Mobile betas.  He shows the IdeaJam Ideation blog from the mobile device as well to vote on topics.  
    Funny I would think working with files would be more important immediately than working with uploading photos.  I can see some companies wanting to do this, but more work with files would be higher on my personal listing.

    He then went into the native Sametime client on the iPhone, including groups.

    Kevin went back into more Sametime 8.5.2 tools like NAT and Bandwidth Manager.  (See above webcast for more info on those.)  Presence and IM on the Android devices including a SUT Dialer for calls and preferred numbers. As well as Sametime Meeting clients for BlackBerry.

    Kevin announces that the Connections mobile client is awesome and ahead of schedule. It will be in all the major app stores.  I have heard rumblings from iWildfire not knowing about this coming.

    From Kevin:
    "Activity Stream services for IBM Connections 4 will also have an installable app to take things offline as well as pivot on those activities and launch into a full embedded experience using the Open Social 2 standard to launch actions from your mobile device."

    With Open Social they can make items in the stream actionable.  Meaning click to do something.

    After a brief Symphony demo showing off color coded web editing for Lotus Symphony by Chris, we moved to his iPad.  He mentioned iWildfire which I wonder how this fits with the new Connections mobile client.

    He then shows the new dashboard, Morning Report, to show everything for the day on his iPad.  It sees the messages, calendar, tasks and more.  Basically back to the old dashboard of the Notes client. You can adjust some settings around showing unread and others. He uses the word analytics and the social business toolkit.  I think widgets.

    Kevin talks about the openness being brought into the product line with Open Social standards and 2.0.  The work being shown was being run on an Open Social public sandbox site. We went to some demos of the work IBM has done and Kevin wants Open Social widgets to be brought to the next Lotusphere SocialSphere.

    An interface was shown in a browser on the iPad, including file preview from the stream. Basically widgets hooking together social sites.

    Ed then announced the IBM Champions, congrats to all the winners!
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      On Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Social Business News before Enterprise 2.0 #e20

    Alistair Rennie, IBM General Manager Collaboration Solutions, had a brief teleconference to disclose announcements from IBM before Enterprise 2.0 kicks off.  Jeff Schick, VP, also joined in.
    Social is having an impact on how people relate to business.

    Alistair talks about maintaining a single community to find expertise and leveraging their own technology through such tools as IBM Connections.  They have:
    • Over 17,000 blogs
    • Over 1M page views in the wikis.
    • Over  20M minutes of LotusLive meetings every month

    Technology is only the enabler into a different type of income. Social tech and social business helps drive ideas in more real-time. Putting great tolls in front of the people helps drive real intelligence for the organization.

    The news and announcements:
    • A new IBM Connections platform, coupled with version 3.0.1, is launched to track relevant conversations around data in real-time.  They are doing this with Actience and the core part of Connections.   In the 3rd quarter they will launch this new product to manage social media in the enterprise.
    • IDC, the analyst firm, has named IBM the leader in social business platforms for the second year in a row.  This is growing at at 31.9% growth per year, starting at a $500M business last year.
    • IBM will be pushing cloud delivery to push social business technology.  A data center is being opened in Japan with full social business capabilities to open and launch in September 2011.

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      On Monday, June 20th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    My article why IBM should retire the Lotus brand

    Yesterday I posted on the announcement made in the UKLUG keynote address by Ted Stanton on the sunsetting of brands (not products) in the IBM naming world.  Earlier in the year I had written an article for publication that I am providing following this news coming true.
    In the first week of February 2011, the annual Lotusphere conference by IBM was held in Orlando, FL. Each year a new theme is launched to drive the flow around the conference as new products are announced and futures discussed. The theme for 2011 from IBM/Lotus was Social Business

    IBM/Lotus entered the realm of social business about two years ago by placing social networking into the enterprise with Lotus Connections. They soon became self proclaimed, and known to some, as an industry leader in this space.  With the recent release of Connections 3.0, they have made a strong statement.

    However, the stigma of the name Lotus hangs heavy. It carries with it 20 years of weight from Lotus Notes and the nagging thought of the old 1-2-3 anytime you say Lotus.  So how would IBM break away, while moving forward the implementations of such products as Connections, Portal and and freshly remodeled and painted Notes?  Removing the Lotus moniker is a first step in that transition.

    In no way am I hinting or saying that the actual products under the Lotus banner would be retired.  Simply the Lotus portion of the name itself. They have begun this movement years ago by placing IBM at the head of each product name. Many have been cross branded for some time, such as IBM Lotus Sametime.  Removing the Lotus from the middle is not a trivial task. Nor should IBM treat this decision lightly.

    Back at Lotusphere, Social Business was pushed into everyone's minds as soon as the Opening General Session kicked off. while many still sit at companies globally wondering how this affects their email and applications based on Lotus Notes, even the sales reps are being told to push this initiative. The link for Social Business does take you to a Lotus branded URL, but one of the main links announces the IBM Social Collaboration Platform and the just completed IBM Social Business Jam

    This new initiative focuses around social analytics, tracking, enhanced customer and web experiences and platforms to deploy these solutions.  All based on a collection of IBM software properties.  From this alone is makes perfect sense for IBM to bring these all together as one brand face and name, much like Cognos was brought into the IBM banner.

    Since Lotusphere both the products Connections and Sametime have had the Lotus name removed from the product marketing.  While we do still the the name Lotus in the actual installed product in some places, new efforts will not show it when making future announcements and marketing.

    IBM held massive press events last year around Project Northstar.  Their first move of taking software like Websphere Portal and making it the foundation for the IBM Customer Experience Suite.    I blogged extensively on Project Northstar  and during the launch.  While much of the press was there, the splash was not made.

    Where does this leave Lotus in the new IBM picture?  As a name that held strength in the enterprise messaging and application platform space.  As a name that still haunts many people as a horrid experience because they were stuck on older versions or never experienced the full customer experience.  As a name to soon be retired, it's jersey hung in the banners and all the awards placed high on the IBM trophy case as an acquired, assimilated and merged product line in the IBM behemoth.  Goodbye Lotus brand name. Hello IBM collaboration.

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      On Tuesday, May 24th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    IBM retires the Lotus (and other) Brand - official from #UKLUG

    During the keynote today from Ted Stanton (his bio from UKLUG):
    Ted Stanton is a World Wide Executive Consultant for IBM's Software Solutions Group. Ted is committed to maintaining high customer satisfaction while helping customers align software solutions with their strategic business goals. Ted’s strong technical background includes over twenty IBM product certifications allowing him to proactively work across technical teams and line of business to build solutions and articulate the business value, ROI, and transformation required for success

    He confirmed that over the next two years that IBM will be retiring many of it's brand names by the end of 2012.  Products (think Sametime, Connections and more) will not be going away at all. Brands like Lotus, Websphere, Tivoli and DB2 will be folded in.

    We have already seen this with IBM Connections and now IBM Sametime just last week.  Many were questioning and looking for a statement from IBM.  I think we have some answers they were looking for.  This is an overhaul of direction and branding to make IBM seen more as a single package, instead of multiple requirements.  For example installing Lotus Sametime was including Websphere Application Server, DB2 Enterprise and possible Tivoli Directory Integrator.  With the change you will install IBM Sametime that includes an IBM Application Server, IBM Data Enterprise server and IBM Directory Integrator.

    Earlier this year I wrote and article for another online publication which I will post in later today in a follow up article.
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      On Monday, May 23rd, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Defines Social Business

    A RedGuide from IBM was released (I have never heard of this new RedGuide term yet) titled:
    Using IBM Social Business to Take Your Business Relationships to the Next Level

    Quite the mouthful.  The core of this document was defining social business and showing how IBM software is the solution that wraps it up tight.
    IBM® defines Social Business as a business that embraces networks of people to create business value. Social businesses embrace technology to enhance relationships between employees, customers, and partners. They augment business processes and applications with social interactions and insight. They provide integrated activities that use business data and social data. Social businesses more fully integrate the collective knowledge of people-centric networks to accelerate decision making, strengthen business processes, and increase innovation that matters.

    The idea is that companies have not understood how to use what the employees know in their heads and personal document storage and bring it out via social interaction in software.  Software has always been bland, corporate feeling and dry.  All process and no shine.  Some argue that email is social and has feeling in it.  I agree.  However, email has been a silo for a long time.

    Here is the graphical representation of a social business:
    Image:IBM Defines Social Business

    In the RedGuide, IBM manges to highlight the yellow section and cross blend it with the current motion IBM has in selling the social business theory backed with the terms and software they use.  The yellow box brings together activity streams, communities, analytics and mobility in the RedGuide. The pages following the graphic list the software IBM offers to give that exceptional experience in a social business.

    I am guessing from reading this is the guide is made as a heavy pre-sales and "get some CEO interested" maneuver. It is not made to compete with the technical Redbooks already published by IBM.  I am still trying to figure out what I took away from the ~15 pages of the guide.  Even with the definition above, I am unsure what the heck I am supposed to do.  Is the call to action to get IBM in the door to make me social, or to do something myself? Am I already on the path? Is there a benchmark?
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      On Thursday, April 28th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    IBM Community getting SSO and an outage

    I thought this was good enough to pass along, mainly with all of the silos of log-in
    The Community applications will be temporarily unavailable during the
    Single Sign On deployment.   You may notice that the applications are accessible
    for parts of this deployment window; however, any updates to content may not be

    Start:  Saturday, 16th April, 11 pm ET

    End:   Sunday, 17th April, 10 am ET

    About Single Sign On (SSO):

    SSO means that users can log in to Community, then visit other SSO-enabled www applications without having to sign in again - and vice versa.  And, if
    you are an IBMer and have linked
    your w3 ID with your IBM ID, Community (and other SSO-enabled
    applications) will recognize you with your w3 ID.  (If you haven't already
    linked your IDs, now would be a good time to do that!)
    There will be
    some UI changes as a result of SSO: 
    New sign in page:  Our Lotus
    Connections sign in page is going away (and will be replaced with a message
    directing users to the new sign in process, in case anyone has this page
    bookmarked).  With SSO, we will use the generic Web Identity SSO UI. 

    In addition, the
    Log Out link will no longer be presented, there will be updated, more
    user-friendly, messages for some log in error conditions. The Chat function
    in Communities will be disabled and the links will be removed. We are planning to incorporate a
    more robust Chat function in 2H11.

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      On Friday, April 15th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    IdoNotes Episode 107 - Lotus Connections 3.0.1 and IdeaJam

    I played with the new features of IBM Connections 3.0.1 through the Lotus Greenhouse and had some thoughts on the features, as well as wanting to introduce them to you.  I also jumped over to IdeaJam for a comparison of some areas which I like better on IdeaJam.

    You can also watch the video in HD on the IdoNotes YouTube channel.  I would also suggest you keep up with all the Spiked Studio shows.
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      On Monday, April 11th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    How to Choose and Migrate to a Cloud EMail Provider by Forrester

    Forrester has launched two recent reports and ReadWriteWeb Enterprise wrote a nice summary including Connectria in the article.  We pride ourselves in over ten years of Lotus Software hybrid or outsourced hosting and remote management.  

    Diversified hosting and telecoms, such as AT&T, Connectria, ....

    Forrester doesn't offer any specific recommendations about any particular company. Instead, it encourages decision makers to consider their organization's needs and existing partnerships. The firm also recommends considering hybrid models.

    You could also watch a current Consultant In Your Pocket event (free no registration needed but signing up for the newsletter encouraged) on Seeing Shapes in the Cloud.

    Visit  the Connectria website today and find out why we offer the best in Lotus Software hosting and management.

    Eat.Sleep.Host    It is what we do.

    Image:How to Choose and Migrate to a Cloud EMail Provider by Forrester

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      On Tuesday, March 29th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    LotusTechDocs on Twitter updated

    I went in with the suggestions I received and tweaked the LotusTechDocs account on Twitter some more.  Apparently you all are finding it useful.  I bring in a bunch of technical document feeds together from Lotus using Yahoo Pipes.  I label and then output the entire thing as RSS.

    Everything is there: Domino, Sametime, Connections, Quickr, LotusLive, Redpapers and more.

    You can then use your favorite Twitter client to make a column or channel and see them in almost real-time as they are published.   You could also use Wildfire from OpenNTF in your Notes client sidebar.
    Image:LotusTechDocs on Twitter updated

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      On Thursday, March 17th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    Lotus technical documents now on Twitter and full RSS feed

    Just as I wrote this morning about IBM having tons of Twitter accounts, a great resource launched on Twitter and RSS for those administrators and developers in the Lotus software world.  If you need to keep up with news and alerts close to real-time, then this is the solution for you.  It covers all the Lotus products.

    LotusTechDocs on Twitter and the Lotus Support Megafeed via RSS are both available.  Using Yahoo Pipes, the multiple feeds are brought together, each entry labeled and then output into a single stream in real-time.  Included are:
    • Domino 8.5
    • Domino 8
    • Quickr
    • Connections
    • Sametime
    • LotusLive
    • Redbooks
    • Whitepapers
    • Tech articles
    • Tutorials

    Both are identical information (with Twitter a few minutes behind due to pushing).  So you can choose to get your technical updates via Twitter or RSS.  Subscribe today to either resource via Twitter or RSS.
    Image:Lotus technical documents now on Twitter and full RSS feed

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      On Tuesday, March 1st, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    IdoNotes Episode 102 - After OGS interview with Sandy Carter on social business #ls11

    Sandy Carter, Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Evangelist, takes a deep breath to discuss her new role with IBM and all of the Social Business news from the Opening General Session at Lotusphere.

    Special thanks to one of our sponsors Sherpa Software for their participation and support.

    Image:IdoNotes Episode 102 - After OGS interview with Sandy Carter on social business #ls11
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      On Tuesday, February 1st, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    Best & Worst of Lotus 2010 day #4 of 5

    Day #4. A daily posting for a work week of the best and worst of 2010 in the Lotus world from my eyes.

    Best - Lotus Connections 3.0

    As the reported leader in the enterprise space for a social networking software platform, Lotus Connections saw version 3 roll out the doors a short time ago.  Added features like forums, recommendations, better community management and notifications as some examples.
    Via Radicati of all places:
    The release of Lotus Connections 3.0 symbolizes IBM’s commitment to two things: making the social network viable for enterprises as an on-premise and hosted solution, and using analytics to further streamline business processes and tools.

    While businesses that have not deployed or taken the investment have a hard time validating due to ROI theories, the ones that took the step and chance see the return as employees find valuable information faster and share more intellectual capital easier in a controlled environment.

    Lotus cannot sit back now as companies see the success and begin to build their own solutions.  Lotus/IBM will need to evolve the product further adding even more advanced analytics, functions and integration into public networks.

     - IBM social silo's
    I have blogged about this before in two ways.  
    1.        How IBM has built numerous silo's of social interaction, causing everyone to have multiple profiles and no seamless linking of information in the article Here comes another silo, "My Developerworks".
    2.        How the Lotusphere social site is built each year, content never brought along and then destroyed just a month after the event closes in the article Shouldn't Lotusphere be a growing and nurtured community? Not reborn every 12 months?.

    I long for the day where I can bring together all of my content needed on IBM as well as share information across forums, Greenhouse, Developerworks, wiki's, Sametime communities and more.  Then hooking into public social networks with ease to share to larger groups.  Not everyone spends their time searching only on IBM.  That is why the custom blogger search engine has been used heavily, for example, through the web and the awesome Lotus Notes widget. (also on Greenhouse if you prefer to get it from that catalog).

    I have seen postings on LinkedIn groups about a possible long term site being established and managed for Lotusphere. I can only wish it does not rely on yet another name/profile/login to integrate.  I hope they dig deep into existing systems and begin to fold them together.

    IBM stands proud as a leader in the social software space for enterprises, but that does not mean fire up a new environment for every project, section or purpose.

    ********Related Posts*******
    See the best & worst from Lotus 2010 day #5 of 5
    See the best & worst from Lotus 2010 day #4 of 5
    See the best & worst from Lotus 2010 day #3 of 5
    See the best & worst from Lotus 2010 day #2 of 5
    See the best & worst from Lotus 2010 day #1 of 5
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      On Thursday, January 6th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

    IdoNotes Episode 86 - Connections 3.0 launch with Chris Lamb (repost sorry)

    Chris Lamb, Senior Marketing Manager for Lotus Connections, joins me for 30 minutes to cover all the new features in the leader in enterprise social software.  You can read all about the new features in the following:
    This podcast was brought to you by Connectria.

    Lotus Connections hosting, deployment and proof of concept offerings.

    Eat.Sleep.Host    It is what we do.  Connectria Hosting

    Image:IdoNotes Episode 86 - Connections 3.0 launch with Chris Lamb (repost sorry)
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      On Wednesday, November 17th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

    See "The Social Network" for free - from IBM and St Louis Lotus User Group

    IBM and the St Louis Domino User Group (STLDominotes) have joined forces.  IBM will be showing information on their Social Enterprise Initiative followed by a free private screening of The Social Network.

    Please register at the following link and I hope to see you there!

    Image:See "The Social Network" for free - from IBM and St Louis Lotus User Group
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      On Tuesday, October 12th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

    Streaming live Connections 3.0 and then the new Lotus Connectors sessions from NLLUG

    You can catch the live streams from the IamLUG channel on uStream.   Join Suzanne Livingston for Connections 3.0 and then Mary Beth Raven for the Lotus Connectors.
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      On Friday, September 10th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

    Connectria relaunches a unified hosting brand including Lotus products

    I am pleased to announce that we (Connectria) have brought in our subsidiary Managed Hosting division, RedPlaid, to create a unified hosting solution.
    Launched in 2006, REDPLAID Managed Hosting (“REDPLAID”) targeted small to mid-sized organizations that wanted secure and reliable Windows & Linux hosting solutions with a wide range of managed services. REDPLAID leveraged Connectria’s experience in delivering highly reliable and secure solutions that it had built for companies like Deutsche Bank and IBM. These solutions were packaged into standardized offerings that could meet the needs of a wide audience at very attractive prices. Since its inception, REDPLAID’s business grew exponentially, providing a complementary offer to its parent, Connectria, whose focus has been providing complex hosting solutions for large enterprises.

    With the blending of all the services, we now offer under a single umbrella:
    • self managed
    • managed
    • complex
    • cloud

    Visit our new Connectria website today and find out why we offer the best in Lotus Software hosting and management.

    Eat.Sleep.Host    It is what we do.

    Image:Connectria relaunches a unified hosting brand including Lotus products

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      On Monday, August 23rd, 2010   by Chris Miller        

    "PassItAlong - share your expertise" product from IBM webcast thoughts and commentary

    Way back in Feb 2009 I mentioned the Pass It Along site that was in Alpahworks that I had tested and played around it.  Well today IBM had a webcast on Pass It Along meaning it has made it from Alphaworks to an actual possible product.

    Pass It Along is about peer to peer training and knowledge sharing.  It is not document management, but more of a mechanism to build connections of people around the content.  Experts are expected to self promote and being the knowledge transfer process.  The whole project is deployed inside IBM on the W3.
    • Topics are learning paths.  Short and to the point
    • Content is the actual wiki, file attachment or web resource
    • Knowledge paths let's you organize topics where they can be grouped for broader learning
    • Teams are the people with interest or expertise in the topic in question

    Image:"PassItAlong - share your expertise" product from IBM webcast thoughts and commentary

    Now here the overlap and separation begins from the other social software Lotus has in place.  There is linking, a more formal community that Lotus Connections offers, Q&A possibilities and the built paths.  The lacking parts is true profiles (that already exist in Connections), a true Activities area and loose document management.  You can invite others to participate in the topic via email with no directory integration.  You must comma delimit addresses to send invites.

    Lessons learned on a subject are built in with the ability to describe the issue and the answers.  I can see the system being an advanced Q&A and even a helpdesk resource that builds over time.  Past that, having this as a stand-alone product would leave a large gap in content location, directory integration and activity management.  They mentioned hooking this to content in Learning Management Systems (LMS) yet the SSO and directory integration work still isn't there.

    Case studies were given for companies using it to roll out education and training which would mean a large effort to get the Knowledge Path, Topics and content built into the system with heavy participation from Experts and Contributors for the learners.
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      On Thursday, February 25th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

    Microsoft Outlook Social Connector takes on Lotus widgets and plug-ins

    Lotus introduced the LinkedIn widget, that I gave my opinion on back in July 2009.  It was not any type of connector, but a simple web interface that sat in the Notes 8 sidebar.  They soon did the same with TripIt for the same result.  I, admittedly, was disappointed in the integration I had hoped would appear.  I am actually able to use the TripIt app on my Blackberry to sync to my calendar which then goes into Notes.  It should not have taken that much work.  Tungle is exposing this now in their integration.  This week some more news hit the web.  Here comes Microsoft. A screenshot for your viewing pleasure first:

    Image:Microsoft Outlook Social Connector takes on Lotus widgets and plug-ins

    Before you jump on the Lotus Connections bandwagon commenting, we are talking about bringing in social contacts seamlessly to provide an integrated experience.  Shortly, there will be hooks from the announced partnerships with Facebook, and (ugh) MySpace with the connector.  LinkedIn did a great welcome blog posting for getting set up.  

    Lotus Connections bridges integration inside the firewall with profiles from the Connections system.  The benefit given from the OSC is when we start exposing the social data that people are sharing and placing on the web into our history of email, CRM and local contact data.  Tungle (listen to podcast Episode 71) now opens your calendar information from Lotus and Gist (Iisten to podcast Episode 72) is attempting to work with contacts.  

    The question we need to ask: Is Lotus moving fast enough to keep up with the social changes needed for the sites not deploying Connections at this time?  Is the majority of Notes users a large enough demand to have them create this type of integration or are the social vendors not working hard enough to write against the Lotus infrastructure?
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      On Wednesday, February 17th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

    Lotus Greenhouse webcasts have a widget - can I get an iCal feed?

    Lotus Greenhouse has begun offering a widget for you to drag into your sidebar to get a news feed of the upcoming webcasts.  

    Image:Lotus Greenhouse webcasts have a widget - can I get an iCal feed?

    While this is nice, I would like to see this taken a step further and make it an iCal feed that I can take right into my Notes calendar and see it around my free times.  Remembering to peek at the sidebar feed would definitely slip my mind.  The feed reader in Notes is quite weak and it just makes more sense to have a direct calendar overlay to me.

    Almost forgot to mention, you must also create (you are prompted) an authenticated HTTP account that gets stored locally to pull that feed.  If you change your Greenhouse password, you will need to change the password for that local account also. Also, don't forget to place the widget on all of your clients, or in the catalog pushed via policy, so it shows everywhere.
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      On Thursday, December 3rd, 2009   by Chris Miller        

    Transition of PaXos Users to New IBM PartnerWorld Community Site - or how to lose your content

    A few years ago, Lotus gave Business Partners there own Lotus Connections network (announced at PartnerWorld 2007 in IdoNotes Episode 31), based on version 1.0, to launch the product and get partners excited.  Last night the email arrived with some great specifications:
    When we started the Lotus Connections for Partners initiative nearly three years ago in conjunction with the launch of Lotus Connections 1.0, who would have thought we'd have over 2000 registered users from 1000+ partners, close to 1400 social bookmarks, nearly 200 blogs, and well over 100 public Communities?  What started as a grassroots effort to provide the IBM partner community with a partner-only social environment has done very, very well.

    So the good news is that the site is and was utilized.  While the blogs were closed and not open to the public, and communities were tested and sat idle, the site still had some content.  IBM is now pointing the PaXos users to Partnerworld Communities (IBM ID required to log in) or even over to Greenhouse, MyDeveloperWorks and still in PaXos as a sandbox. ( Read more on the creation of too many Lotus Connections silos)

    What was missing from the information received was if your profile and all your content were being migrated across to the site.  Sure, there may be some things you do not want listed, but that would be part of the migration option process right?  I can't see losing 1400 social bookmarks and all the blog content from 200 blogs. (Update at 8:55am - only approved IBM employyes can create blogs on the site according to the warning on the screen.  Oops)

    PartnerWorld Communities just launched in Q1 of 2009 and to date has accumulated:
    • IBM PartnerWorld Community is the #1 (membership) Community on
    • IBM PartnerWorld Community has over 430 members and continues to grow
    •  Since its launch, four new Communities, three new blogs and multiple new Forum topics have been added
    • Over 1,150 Blog visits
    • Over 4,000 visitors to PW Communities to date

    I would still like to see all of these merged together and communities and areas created as needed for Developers, Partners and whomever else gets involved.  I would like to search across profiles and build one network of IBM contacts instead of numerous places.  I would likle to see all the blogs and social bookmarks in one place.  I would like to have the ability to have one Activities panel in my Notes client that would cover one instance.  Currently you can run only one so having Connections internally and 4 other places with Activities just doesn't work.  (Update 9:15a, - I would suggest getting all your files from Activities on PaXos even if ti will be there in Sandbox mode, no guarantees on data storage there)

    I have not mentioned Greenhouse as I do think it is a great testing lab for all things beta.   The production site on MyDeveloperWorks should be 'gold" code and in production as it is a front face for IBM.  But let's get rid of all the other disparate installations and actually build a single social network where we can all meet and collaborate n one place.

    Image:Transition of PaXos Users to New IBM PartnerWorld Community Site - or how to lose your content
    Use the code "IdoNotes" for up to 25 % off only right here!

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      On Tuesday, November 24th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

    Bluto - Lotus Connections and Twitter in one client

    IBM internally has BlueTwit, an internal microblogging network.  Add on Twitter itself and the new capabilities in Lotus Connections, you needed a consolidated client.  A while ago, Bluto was pointed out on the web by Luis and I never took the time to play with it.  By all means it is a fair Adobe Air application for doing the basics in Twitter and seeing the stream for Connections.  It in no way competes with a client for power users of Twitter, like Mixero, but for a normal user that also has Lotus Connections, this might be for you.  A great way to test this is with your Twitter account and the public Lotus Greenhouse.

    Bluto has a few capabilities and can be downloaded here:
    • customizable pop-ups
    • cross posting to both services, or one at a time
    • retweet and reply in both services
    • Follow and Unfollow Twitter usersFriend and Unfriend Connections users

    Image:Bluto - Lotus Connections and Twitter in one client

    Things like lists, groups and more don't exist, but this was not meant to be that type of client.  Just an open project that turned out nicely done.  Did I forget to mention it is free?
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      On Tuesday, November 10th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

    Watch Facebook make my BlackBerry contacts better. What about Lotus Connections profiles?

    We were having an issue with certain BlackBerry devices not being able to turn on integration features on the updated Facebook application.  In short, the new Facebook app should allow you to integrate messaging, calendar synchronization and contact matching.  However the calendar and messaging option was grayed out on our BES devices, but enabled for those not BES server connected.  So off we went to the BES server policies.  A sample of what we saw on the devices is below.

    Image:Watch Facebook make my BlackBerry contacts better.  What about Lotus Connections profiles?

    What we discovered after reading a ton was there was no policy that controlled the options,  only for a BES 4.x server.  There is a new policy in BES 5 that let's the administrator control how Social Applications interact with devices that have applied policies from BES servers.  It not only controls Facebook, but has very special settings for Lotus Connections individually.  It definitely shows how Lotus and RIM are working together.

    So what did we do for the BES 4.x server??  BlackBerry just released a downloadable policy update for BES 4 servers.  You import the policy update, make the necessary changes, apply the updated policy to the users and they are almost instantly able to work with the new features.

    The new policy area allows the BES administrator and to control data access on the device for social networking applications.  You can read about the policy update from this technote . It will also point you to a secondary one where you should download the additional policy.

    What we did notice missing was the same integration for Lotus Connections.  It would be nice to have profile information, including pictures, pulled in to match my address book like the Facebook application.  Also, the ability to bring Activities into the calendar would be of huge benefit.  Moving into Bookmarks (Dogears) and having those sync to the Blackberry would make Connections a seamless integration point as well.

    I'm just saying.
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      On Friday, August 7th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

    My Developer’s Greenhouse Bleeds Live Lotus Yellow

    I spent some time today discovering what a pain it was to build a network of friends and business relationships across the Lotus Connections network.  This is all production code, so we are not talking beta issues.  I am talking about the process.  If I want to find you I do a search.  That works great.  Up come results by name, keyword (which includes organization) and even Advanced searches.  Once I find your listing:
    • Click once to view your card
    • Click again to add you to my network
    • Click again to send you an email
    • Then search all over again since it takes me to my profile and not the search!!!

    There are a few things missing:
    1.  A one step, one click add or window that allows me to add right from the search results
    2. The ability to be taken back to the search results after adding

    The other part missing is the inherent ability to search my current contacts from my address book, my Gmail, my LinkedIn, my Facebook, my 50 other social networks, whatever and attempt to match it up with what is inside Connections environments.  Ahh wait again.  Natively there is no hooks in in profiles to other social networks to match identities.

    Lastly all of this means nothing since I have mentioned it many times that these are all separate communities instead of one global Lotus Connections mega-community (outside of BleedYellow which I don't expect since it is partner run and not IBM).
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      On Tuesday, July 28th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

    IBM is insisting we socially divide

    Use the coupon code IDONOTES for at least 20% off you order on the above link only.

    I have talked about this here and here.  Now IBM brings this site to the forefront for partners and then I get yet another email for yet this site (screenshot below) all in one day:

    Image:IBM is insisting we socially divide

    Why is there not one Lotus Connections install that combines all of this together?  I have not even included Greenhouse and Paxos into the mix.  For IBM to push itself as a social networking platform on Connections, it needs to have one social networking site that brings together all of these into one global community with one global login.  I cannot make it any simpler than that.  I cannot run more than one Activities in my sidebar, I cannot keep putting Dogear bookmarklets into my browser and there is only one place I blog.  Help me!
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      On Monday, April 13th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

    Here comes another silo, "My DeveloperWorks"

    I have been playing around in Pass-It-Along, the IBM Alphaworks site for some time now.  Basically kicking tires and always striking a flat.  But this presentation popped up today showing the coming changes for DeveloperWorks as a whole.  Basically a combo of Lotus Connections, Pass-It-Along and some other things crammed together.  Here is a summary they are introducing in "My DeveloperWorks":
    • Home page design changes
    • Profiles - yes make another one
    • in-line commenting
    • ratings
    • community links
    • tagging
    • it seems you can surface other web personalities, maybe hooks?
    • more groups
    • users can become topic experts
    • widgets to personalize your homepage
    • blogs ?!?!
    • Activities
    • bookmarking
    • knowledge paths (this is Pass-It-Along)

    So what we get is another Lotus Connections install integrated with Pass-It-Along.  I can't take many more of these when the Notes client alone will not let you run more than one Activity plug-in to surface all of these!
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      On Friday, February 6th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

    Lotus Connections Proof of Technology (PoT) review

    Back on November 26th I announced that the Connections PoT was coming to St Louis.  I went ahead and attended the event and made a bland comment on Twitter yesterday that elicited some response and prompted this blog posting.  While there was tons of content presented at the session, the book itself is like 2 inches think of labs and slide printouts, the topics had to be covered too fast.

    A proof of technology to me is not just two laptops running the Lotus Connections servers in the room with everyone doing the labs from another laptop.  They rolled so fast through deployment architecture everyone was left reeling.  While some diagram pictures should a bunch of servers, they never really let you know to do a large scale implementation would not only take tons of man hours, but tons of hardware.

    I know the time was consolidated, it just seemed this was more of a listing of technology and proof of end user.  The presenters did a fine job of giving their own insight into easing the install, and answered many questions, there was far too much more than needed explanation for those that were new to the product and social networking in the enterprise as a whole.
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      On Thursday, December 4th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

    Lotus Connections Proof of Technology hits St Louis

    It is late notice that we just received, but there will be a PoT in St Louis on December 2nd and 3rd.
    The IBM® Lotus® Connections Proof of Technology (PoT) provides a hands-on experience for those needing to understand how social software can foster innovation in the business environment. Participants will gain an appreciation of how Lotus Connections software helps business people with common work objectives or professional interests to find each other and share what they know. Offering an integrated set of five Web 2.0 based components -- Profiles, Dogear (for social bookmarking), Communities, Activities, Blogs -- Lotus Connections opens new channels for productive relationships. It helps users enlarge their collaborative, knowledge-sharing networks, enables businesses to tap the collective intelligence of their people, and facilitates faster, more agile business execution

    A full day on the 2nd and a half day on the 3rd.
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      On Wednesday, November 26th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

    50% off certain Lotus licenses until year end it seems

    We were in a meeting today with the VP of Global Sales for Lotus and he reiterated an announcement that they are providing 50% off for gap licensing in Sametime Advanced, Lotus Connections and Quickr.

    What that basically means is that if you have only 500 Quickr licenses, but 5,000 Lotus Notes licenses, the 4500 difference can be purchased at 50% off.
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      On Wednesday, November 19th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

    IBM (twice) and Oracle say Beehive yourself (and a pic)

    Interesting twist.  At Lotusphere (a time when we became able to talk about it it seems), they were busy showing off a slew of collaboration tools on the Innovations Lab.  Beehive was one of those tools.  Another collaboration/social networking/put your data here site for the enterprise.

    Well Oracle announced Beehive, their collaboration offering also.  It includes:
    • Web conferencing
    • instant messaging
    • email
    • calendaring
    • team workspaces
    • On Demand hosted or install yourself
    It is supposedly standards based, hot pluggable, etc etc etc.  While it sounds more like Notes, Sametime and Quickr, the timing is impeccable.  I also have some test accounts for the next month if anyone wants to play.  Twitter me.

    The images from the two companies:

    Image:IBM (twice) and Oracle say Beehive yourself (and a pic)

    The end humor is there is even an IBM Apache project called Beehive
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      On Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008   by Chris Miller        

    Doesn’t anyone see an issue with this?

    After spending these past two weeks doing a third Collaboration University, one thing became apparent.  The disparity between all the collaboration products system requirements.  Let us look first
    Sametime Gateway 8.0.1
    Sametime Advanced 8.0.1
    Lotus Connections 2.0
    Websphere Application Server
    DB2 9.1
    DB2 9.1
    DB2 9.1 FP4

    So the way this is designed, I cannot share any infrastructure across the products.  I am destined to install numerous systems.  While I could install Advanced and Connections on the same WAS version, the system requirements for Connections eliminates that while idea.  I could then share DB2 across the Gateway and Advanced, but not the same WAS set.  This is until one of them gets an upgrade and totally changes the game once again.  So plan on at least 4 servers to install the above, but with clustering and scaling for thousands (tens of thousands sometimes) you suddenly jump into the more than 20 range immediately.

    You can find and cross verify the requirements under the following technotes
    • Sametime Gateway - 4017448
    • Sametime Advanced - 4018149
    • Lotus Connections - 7011798

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      On Wednesday, September 17th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

    Collaboration University - Day 1 (updating all day)

    With the largest attendance in 3 years, we kicked off right on time this morning.  There are over 1 million Sametime users represented and over 14 countries between attendees here and London.  Amazing.  So what I have presented so far...

    Sametime Advanced Install - wake up call for the resources to some, but everyone had great questions and comments.  Hopefully everyone got enough in the hour to install it via applianceware or as a whole when they get home.  The prerequisite installer really helps demo systems.

    Lotus Connections Install with Mitch Cohen driving the train.  Many of the people in the full room had not really seen Lotus Connections and really needed a crash course.  While we did a demo session earlier, many were at other sessions.
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      On Monday, September 8th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

    IBMr - I Build My Reputation won’t let me in to build mine

    I have now received a handful of emails saying I need to go to IBMr since I am well connected, but I can't get in.  Ugh, a bummer a new site like this opens and I can't play !!
    Unlike other social networking sites, IBMr is business oriented
      - First, it allows you to easily find experts, as identified by other IBMers
      - Second, it allows you to highlight your skills and confidently receive feedback from your peers
      - Third, it allows you to anonymously recognize your colleagues and their specific skills and attributes

    Together these capabilities actually put all this web 2.0 buzz to work

    Well hold crud, I thought Lotus Connections was that.  Profiles, find experts.  I wonder if this will make its way in soon.
     IBMr is a WebAhead development project looking to understand peer feedback and reputation systems.

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      On Wednesday, August 13th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

    Lotus Connections isn’t playing nice with others

    I ran across a posting from Luis Benitez on how the Redwiki residents are showing the integration of Connections with some public social networking systems such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Skype.  I thought to myself, they finally got it!  Umm, no.

    I said this at the Busines Partner Summit as well as at Lotusphere, in person and on here.  Lotus should be making built in (read that as it comes with the product out of the box) hooks to draw in already built profile information or provide a widget to show that data.  What appears in the wiki is the ability to provide links to their profiles to show in business cards.  I don't want my users going out to the other places when building an enterprise social networking solution.  I want the data coming to them.  I want profiles that my users have built for years on such things as LinkedIn to possibly be brought in.  It should match their resume they have internally already anyway right?  I want that business skill and knowledge to show when I search.  A link does me no good.

    There was also a huge stretch in the example:
    For the sample actions that integrates with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Skype, we are assuming that the UID in Lotus Connections matches those in the target applications

    Since many of these users joined well before Lotus Connections rolled out, the odds of the UID matching are very slim.  Allowing the users to enter and securely store their credentials to bring the data over makes sense.  Not many companies will modify their LDAP infrastructure to allow it to match seemingly endless possibilities in the way other systems store an attribute like UID.

    So how about it? Can we get built in abilities, widgets and scripts to hook to these public sites?
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      On Tuesday, August 12th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

    Too many Lotus Connections sites to Connect on?

    It seems that Lotus Connections has taken hold in the Lotus world and sites are popping up everywhere.  Now where do you go?  All of them?  Here is the breakdown as I see it:
    • Lotus Greenhouse - this is where anyone and everyone in the world was welcome to come and play with the newest tools Lotus has to offer, build communities and even chat.  A large scale mess of information, tags and communities.  But a great way to test new things like DWA, Sametime Advanced and more beta code,  You find the universe on here in a tangle.
    • BleedYellow - an awesome move by the folks at Lotus911 to make a community out of Connections.  What you find is the die hard that follow blogs and such are there, but when talking to average users, they have no clue.  But the site runs great and has Sametime, Sametime Advanced and popular blogs.  This is the place to find the bloggers and many Loti hanging out.
    • Paxos - the Lotus Connections community for business partners.  You can only find partners on there that seem too busy to really update it.
    • IBM Connections - a hidden site that Stuart McIntyre reminded us of today.  Using your IBM id you log in and start, well connecting.  It offers the full suite of offerings at this point.  This is so new the movement hasn't taken off.  Watch this one.

    While there is a couple smaller ones popping up, what the heck is a person to do?  Where do you go?  Which do you frequent?  Where do you put your bookmarks?  What if I want to blog?  What about chat?  Are there communities?  Can then sync my profile?

    There is no answer to any of this but to sit back, make a pick and hope people find you.  Or maybe someone can figure out how to push Greenhouse, Paxos and the new IBM Connections into one and solve that immediate issue.  Talk about splitting hairs.
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      On Thursday, August 7th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

    New UC2 Publication looking for authors

    "Wellesley Information Services (WIS), the publisher of THE VIEW and The
      Sphere Journal, is seeking authors and advisors for a new online
      knowledgebase dedicated to IBM's UC² -related technologies, including
      Lotus Sametime, Quickr, and Connections. This new publication's mission
      is to help every reader maximize his or her investment in -- and mastery
      of -- IBM UC² technology through the experiences and wisdom of reigning
      experts and practicing professionals. If you have recently completed a
      project or have an interesting application, WIS would love to hear from
      you! Please contact Erin Durkin at if you would
      like to get involved in this exciting initiative."

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      On Thursday, August 7th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

    my not well received thoughts on Lotus Connections for Blackberry

    Many of my fellow bloggers have posted and express excitement over Connections for Blackberry.

    I, unfortunately, do not share the same enthusiasm. I have already let RIM know those thoughts through some surveys that I already provided.

    Lotus Connections for Blackberry screenshot Since this (see screenshot above) has been under development for such a long time, I expected one simple thing. I , without hesitation, expected all five services to be primed and ready. Only have a native Profiles and Dogears makes it useless for my suers to load. For the other 3 services, you have a link that launches a Blackberry browser session that you must log into once again. Humorously I see how Chris Whisonant of Lotus911 only pointed out connecting to BleedYellow via the new client.

    Profiles and Activities are arguably the most important parts. But in my opinion, any hook into social software should expose all of the services, or just don't present them until they are ready. Accessing the Connections information via that tiny browser is a terrible experience and I don't want my users doing it. I have been getting deeper into the social networking over the past year or so and see Lotus attempting to make strides. But having a Facebook application for Blackberry that works better and offers more, makes the Lotus Connections one a hard sell.

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      On Friday, May 9th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

    How Lotus Connections could step up ’friending’

    Here is a quick animated gif cutout of another social networking site that has an alternative way (outside of searching) to add friends and create groups and relationships.  I just like this approach for users to gain interest and also use the idea of face recognition as well as profile information if necessary.

    Image:How Lotus Connections could step up ’friending’
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      On Wednesday, February 6th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

    Microsofts first thoughts into social networking

    I will say this first, I do have my issues with Lotus Connections.  So this is not a Microsoft or Lotus bashing post.  It is a posting directed towards social networking in the enterprise.  Many of you know I run an alter-ego blog at TheSocialNetworker.  I am starting to get more site review requests that I can run through in a timely manner, so I take the ones that look the most interesting and go from there.  So I ran across a slide set found here that was co-presented by Peter de Haas at the end of November 2007.  I see he and Stuart had some comments back and forth when I went looking in his archives.  In the set there was the following slide towards the end:

    Image:Microsofts first thoughts into social networking

    If you take the second line that says Microsoft 2007 Office System, you could go with either Lotus or Microsoft on this one.  So without reading what Stuart had to say on the topic, I have my own thoughts.  Both of the companies are fighting for what the consumer (public) space already has in abundance.  The question are:
    • how to relate it to business usage
    • secure the data
    • get people to utilize it
    • allow outside data to be referenced and pulled in
    • give the users the Ohh's and Ahh's they find on the consumer side
    • provide presence both for internal and external awareness
    • open the system to pull in external feeds in a structured and loose manner (ie: Attensa and user defined feeds)

    The approach on the underlying purple, blue and green colored areas above fit into both vendors.  The question is who can make their product grow up the quickest and maybe pay attention to suggestions (cough cough)
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      On Wednesday, December 26th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Lotus announces Atlas for Lotus Connections but didn’t check their compass

    Numerous sites are reporting the release of Atlas for Lotus Connections.  I will link those below.  My thoughts first.

    While this is a step in the right direction for giving users a visual tool to extract and work with data that is contained inside of Lotus Connections, why the heck is this an IBM Software Services Asset that must be purchased as a consulting agreement?  That is ludicrous considering the amount of free social networking sites that offer this type of capability inside of their free products.  Lotus Connections is not a cheap purchase and is an investment in the growing world of social networking in the enterprise, this is a toolset that should be available now and included in how you work with Connections.  Staring at web pages all day with no dashboard or visualization makes the product dry.  I have seen many products that were Lotus assets stop dead in their tracks.  Too many places are trying for a piece of the corporate social network pie.  Lotus has to make strides to be far ahead of the competition to keep a hold on this emerging market.

    For example, check out the simple site Spokeo for a dashboard across multiple social networks.  I have a podcast with them coming out in a few days, look for it to describe how to make a dashboard and soon to provide some better management of the data you receive.

    From Infoworld:
    "Atlas looks at the data within Connections and does some visualizations of the information," said Chris Lamb, senior product manager. "The main point is that it is a way to visualize the social data from a line-of-business perspective and a personal level."

    The Atlas suite contains four components dubbed My Net, Find, Reach, and Net.

    IBM is selling Atlas through its Software Services for Lotus group. Lamb declined to provide specific pricing information.

    Good idea and having multiple parts of the product makes it expansible.  Reach is the dashboard tool to navigate the six-degrees of separation and to find expertise.  Find, well it finds things.  How it differs from search is not clear.  Net somehow builds on the ideas of communities, not sure how yet.

    The actual IBM webpage on the topic gives some basic description while pointing you to IBM Software Services (ISS) to make a project out of installing, defining, piloting and then deploying Atlas and Connections.  The blog also has the announcement

    The Money on CNN page also had another variance on the announcement.

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      On Tuesday, December 18th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    IBM releases the system requirements for Lotus Connections 1.0.2

    You can find the technote right here
    Content Hardware requirements
    The following hardware is required for the systems that host IBM® Lotus® Connections services.
    At least two Intel® 64 or IA-32 based server machines
    Two CPUs per server, 2.6 GHz CPU speed or higher
    Minimum 4 GB of memory per machine

    Plus a special note for using Lotus Domino as the directory source:
    Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) server
    IBM Lotus Domino 7.0.2 and later.
    Note: Before you can use this LDAP server, you must apply fix PK52839 to WebSphere Application Server.

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      On Thursday, November 15th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    IBM leads enterprise social software race but lags behind the consumer web 2.0 space

    This article on ARNnet summed it up quite nicely.
    IBM: Big Blue is a "dominant player in the collaboration space" that has done well in Web 2.0 with Lotus Connections. "Based on its own experience as a power user of Social Computing, IBM developed a new ground-up offering for customers: Lotus Connections. Connections, which blends blogs, tagging, communities, profiles and task management, represents a highly integrated platform that is enterprise-ready," Forrester writes.

    This is exactly what I know I have conveyed to the team there for Connections.  While they are ahead in enabling enterprises for social networking, there is so much they can include that is readily available on the consumer side to draw the people into seeing not only the business nees but  growing the demand and usage.
    From the same article:
    IBM, Microsoft and SAP are taking a charge at the business Web 2.0 market, but the big vendors still lag behind smaller rivals who have developed far more innovative technology with quicker release cycles, according to a Forrester analyst.
    "Right now I'm seeing a clear preference toward smaller vendors," says Rob Koplowitz, an analyst at Forrester. "Generally speaking the big vendors are playing catch up and the big vendors have a deployment model that is not very attractive."

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      On Friday, November 9th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Overview from the ND8 Upgrade Seminar in Las Vegas

    So all 3 days are completed here in Vegas.  We have already done Philly and Chicago is only 2 weeks out.  I missed almost all of day 1 flying in, but I was here for days 2 and 3 to talk to attendees around presenting.  I gleaned the following facts:
    • About 95% of the attendees did not want to have a session on the Productivity Tools.  Many said 10 slides glazing over the topic would be enough as they are so entrenched in MS licensing there was not a recent chance.  plus, they were not the ones that would even make that decision
    • About 85% of the attendees here already had Sametime running and were eager to see more info on what was coming in integration and implementation
    • About 20% had any interest in Lotus Connections.  70% had no clue what it really did and the remaining knew already they did not want it.
    • About 15% of the attendees here had over 20k users installed.  Many with large DWA implementations in place
    • About 80% really wanted to get more info on Quickr
    • About 95% loved all the ways that the products were starting to integrate tighter.  For example, all the hooks with Lotus Connections and Quickr into Notes 8 and Sametime and Sametime into Notes 8.  It is all making a cohesive direction from Lotus

    One last stat came to mind:
    • About 99% of the people in Las Vegas will wear absolutely anything on Halloween to win $1500 at the Voodoo club contest.  Even 50 stories above the strip, most clothing is optional.

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      On Thursday, November 1st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Facebook is released for the Blackberry, Lotus Connections is still in testing I hear.. here is a screenshot of mine all loaded up

    Image:Facebook is released for the Blackberry, Lotus Connections is still in testing I hear..  here is a screenshot of mine all loaded up

    You can grab it at  by the way
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      On Thursday, October 25th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Live from the Lotus Collaboration Summit - St Louis

    This event was well run and on-time the entire day so far.  An interesting group after lunch that did on the spot comedy routines.  But as for content, it is what was expected.  Over 100 registered to attend, I would say around 80 arrived. Many were IBM employees however, here to learn more.  The sessions covered all the important parts of Lotus Connections, Notes and Domino 8, Quickr and Sametime.  A surprise session (since the agenda website always said TBD up to yesterday) was Antony providing a competitive landscape session.

    Was there things missed?  In my opinion, a few here and there.  Not enough demos and too many slides for the technical session on Lotus Notes/Domino 8 deployment.  Otherwise, well balanced for 45 minute slots with two rooms running at once.
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      On Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    From the ND8 Upgrade Seminar - grabbing the Lotus Connections plug-ins for provisioning

    Here is the link to the catalog I promised.  If you scroll down on the right to the 'Popular" section you will see the Lotus and Sametime plug-ins for Connections.  Have at it!  From there is you need help in adding the plug-in, you can find the online info center right here.
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      On Saturday, October 13th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Live blogging - Enterprise Social Software webinar by Radicati

    The guest speakers didn't make much sense at all to me for Social Software for the enterprise outside of 1
    Matt Anderson of Radicati was the speaker.  After 5 slides it went to Q&A with the panelists.
    • Vendors that they listed included Lotus and a slew of others I did not know offered such solutions.
    • The suites are what Lotus Connections offers with some added parts like Business Intelligence
    • They then have specialists that work on each part of the software itself
    • The market drivers were just what you know now.  Make some teams and share some info then find people around them
    • The market barriers are what you expect but easily overcome.  Compliance (US issues), deploying new technologies

    Q&A section
    1. What does your offering provide to set it apart from other offerings
    John Landau - Current enterprise software is inside the firewall focused and Huddle is trying to get externally focused as well.  Pushing for the MySpace generation and use of social networking is growing and businesses are banning such site access to MySpace.  The Huddle tools are aimed at business users.  The low cost of Huddle was their other point of their offering
    Mike Walsh - They are trying to making it easier for the business person to make and find relationships.  Taking some of the Web 2.0 items , with security and making it easier for the business worker to share information in a collaborative environment within and outside the company.

    2.   What was the initial pain point that caused them to look for a social networking solution for their enterprise?
    Janine Popick - They have 30K small business customers with only a small number (50) of employees.  So they are the customer experience side.  They let the customer

    3. How has business social software changed how employees share information between themselves and with customers?
    Janine Popick - They have an award winning blog.  Employees post more content to give them exposure.  They use Leverage as their social software choice it was said.  They also started a Facebook group with about 200 members giving product feedback.  There is a wiki in place to post documents and share information.

    4.  What are some of the key factors when vendors go up against Microsoft Sharepoint in this space?
    Mike Walsh - Everything is based on the needs of the users.  It varies across prospects.  He said Sharepoint, which is a great product, and Lotus Connections, which he was not familiar with, helps them find the right people for a specific person to assist with a project or prospect.  he said Sharepoint seems to be for internal collaboration behind the firewall.  he does not look as them as a competitor, but as augmentation.
    Jon Landau - They are often compared to Sharepoint.  The perception he finds is that is a free tool but the TCO is incredibly high for a business.  It does well for internal collaboration.  But the idea is to bring external clients together with the inside groups and becomes costly with Sharepoint.  Kingfield is a customer of theirs, and they were looking at Sharepoint until he brought Huddle to them.

    5.  What were some of the critical features that your business looked for in a social software package?
    Janine Popick - They found that their customers that used their service needed different feedback.  So small groups of customer types are forming.  They are also able to push focused product release information.  Finding users "like me" on a people map and then reaching out is helping the company since they already compile a large amount of data from each customer.  Live chats are helping get feedback on what features of their product are most important.

    Questions from the audience....
    1.  What are the real benefits, like ROI.  These seem like a solution looking for a problem.
    Janine Popick - One of the things they did when deploying was hire someone to manage the deployment.  Without someone to drive and manage this can fail.  This person also participates in the social network by watching and even generating conversations.  On a hard ROI front they know they are saving time on email and feedback processing.  Vocal people in the communities help promote what is needed without them sending out constant user surveys.
    John Landau - Huddle offers the ability to share documents and work together internally and with external partners gives a tangible ROI.  If that was done by email instead, You end with multiple people looking at different versions and chasing information.  Huddle has the centralized upload, sharing and work area to set approvals and tasks, etc.
    Mike Walsh - They were out as a social network platform before Facebook caught on and now everyone is clamoring for this type of application.  They work with 300 companies with different goals and needs.  ROI might be decreasing support, increasing upsell, increasing customer loyalty, getting products to market faster by getting feedback.  Microsoft, HP, Oracle, Salesforce, Time Warner, NY Times are all sample customers.  Some need projects done faster and others are using it to find hidden talent in the company.

    2. Were are a small software startup with 400 partners/resellers, can you describe the benefits of utilizing the software?
    Mike Walsh - They do work with smaller companies to share best practices.  Relationship building through the social network is a huge benefit.
    John Landau - You are able to bring all these partners and resellers into one social network so you can all chat, talk working group and share information with branding and customization.

    3. How does voice and real-time collaboration overlap with services such as the social networking vendors?  Will you follow?
    John Landau - Huddle is in a position in the next few weeks to offer integrate single sign-on ability.  Web conferencing tools are also being built into the product offering.
    Mike Walsh - Open architecture through widgets allows you to add features and functions even without their help.  They are partnering with companies like Webex and SalesForce, or even pulling in a Skype or Webex widget.  Also a GoToMeeting widget as they used in this conference.

    4. Is there a listing comparing what these vendors offer in their social network offerings? (my question)
    They will have a listing in the Radicati report

    5. How do you deal with issues around compliance. (yada yada yada) ?
    Janine Popick - She does have compliance issue it seems.  They use a wiki for a lot of collaboration but will be tightening up how the information is controlled.
    John Walsh - needed the question repeated.  The data can be exported so it depends on the requirements of the organization.  One feature they do not have is document check-in and checkout.  Their solution has revisioning and tagging.  How it is completed and found is up to the client, such as Wells Fargo.
    John Landau - The document management system saves every version of the document as it is worked on.  Their solution is geared towards compliance.  You can see date and time stamps for all edits, updates, changes and new items.

    6. What is the cost for trials of these softwares?
    They will send that out later or go to the websites and get some free trials.  Huddle and Leverage offer free trials.

    Sara Radicati wrapped it up with not much fanfare but look for their report, of course
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      On Thursday, September 27th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Lotus Greenhouse getitng an update - with Domino Web Access?

    It might just be me, but is that a test to show off DWA8 to users that may not have seen it or to provide a new email address?  How long will data be kept?  Is there a max quota?  Is this a hint to come of what we will see again at Lotusphere 2008?  Inquiring minds wanna know..

    Dear Lotus Greenhouse members, we are excited to announce Lotus Greenhouse will have an entirely new look and feel, improved user experience and additional functionality. We will be upgrading Lotus Greenhouse over this weekend with a new and improved user experience, we invite you to come and see what we've added.

    Also coming soon will be the addition of Lotus Domino Web Access 8.  You will soon be able to send and receive email experiencing the features of DWA via Lotus Greenhouse,
    Lotus Greenhouse Team

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      On Thursday, September 13th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Overview of Lotus Connections pilot install part 2

    So yesterday I covered the basics but today it is time to point something else out.  The directory source you use is built from a local text file.  You do not point to a live LDAP source and there is no option but to use the local Cloudscape data store for the pilot install.  This means that it is truly meant as a test pilot.  It does generate some questions at this point in the game.  In my podcast (Episode 38) the Connections product managers and myself covered the fact that there was a migration ability of data to full production.
    • But what about the document created under the test names?
    • Who has access to the past data when the user accounts change?
    • How do I change access from a test account to a production account?
    • How do I map the profiles to the live users?

    Here is the format for the user scripts.
    Image:Overview of Lotus Connections pilot install part 2

    Humorously they only place 8 test digits in the mobile field.  Not sure how many of you have something other than 7 or 10 in the US, but 8 is a nice number too.
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      On Tuesday, September 11th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Overview of Lotus Connections pilot install part 1

    Right before vacation, I did the pilot install for Lotus Connections 1.0.1.  It ran a few hours, with a few simple clicks.  It ate up about 4GB of diskspace overall when the install was complete.  They did make it a single "cd" install, which was nice.  I didn't tweak any properties files, any text changes or have to do a raindance of any kind.

    They did make some of the normal mistakes that I saw in the Sametime Gateway with the path choices.  You can pick and choose if you want all 5 of the Connections parts installed or the whole thing.  I went for the whole thing

     Here is the screenshot showing what gets installed with the single cd pilot option.
    Image:Overview of Lotus Connections pilot install part 1

    Overall, impressive.
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      On Monday, September 10th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Lotus Connections 1.0.1 Pilot install hits the web and Connectria is offering hosting of it!

    We are happy to announce that we already have our first server live with today's Lotus release of the pilot install option, which is basically up to 100 users in a single server installation.  There are some caveats with it, but Connectria is offering a hosting package around it for all of your enterprises wishing to test deployment without the headaches.

    IM me (upper right corner of blog), email me or carrier pigeon.
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      On Thursday, August 30th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Lotus Connections Day 3b - Jeff Schick talks futures

    2nd Quarter for Connections saw over XX companies jumping into the fray of deploying Lotus Connections with over XXX Lotus Connections pilots currently in play

    As we sit here with Jeff, this article hits the web talking about a couple other companies rolling out enterprise social network software
    SelectMinds pitches itself as a corporate social network that can give business and IT managers a bit more control over how employees connect on the Web, compared with something like Facebook. The networks are designed to let business professionals exchange information such as business leads, job candidate referrals, and new product ideas, or develop networks for groups of people with similar interests and concerns, such as women. Participants in a network complete a profile and can search directories for friends, former colleagues, or other people of interest.

    Connectbeam lets employees share bookmarks and tag articles, pages, and documents with descriptive words.

    Ok, so the rest fell under things we can't talk about, sorry.  Had to remove a bunch
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      On Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Lotus Connections Summit Day 3a - Paxos numbers

    Paxos statistics
    • Lotus Connections with Partners was announced at Lotusphere and started with 30 people.  There are now 1084 people across hundreds of partners
    • There are 71 communities
    • There are about 100 blogs with 561 people logged into blogs
    • There are 546 dogear users
    • There are 1710 tags in system
    • There are 1020 profiles

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      On Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Lotus Connections Activities (live with the developer Bob)

    Sample ways Lotus Connections Activities can assist;
    • Track path through multiple processs and store results
    • combine informal knowledge with formal guidance
    • refer to previous Activities for guidance

    Templates are a way to take Activities for copy and reuse
    • remove specific references possibly
    • you might want to leave tips for example
    • over time there begins a library of templates
    • templates can be taken from other templates

    Activities really has no or simple workflow, with no application builder or program logic.  The focus is content.
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      On Tuesday, August 21st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Lotus Connections architecture and Atom (live)

    Access points include many of the following:
    • Browsers
    • Lotus Notes
    • Lotus Sametime
    • Websphere Portal
    • Web applications
    • Feed readers
    • Other rich clients

    Interesting approaches in thought on deployments
    • default allows read access to all of Lotus Connections except Activities
    • posting comments, blog posts and to participate in Communities requires authentication
    • Paxos pushes the authentication farther out to require authentication for all facets

    Atom is the API for Lotus Connections
    • Pushing data out from Lotus Connections is the means
    • Syndication of your data for subscription
    • RIM made some excellent statemetns about the overhead of RSS feeds and parsing with mobile devices
    • important to remember: this is also for pulling information inbound into Connections, like the new RSS enabled mailfiles in Domino 8
    • HTTP protocol is the transport mechanism
    • common HTTP command, GET, PUT, POST, DELETE all apply when working with resources
    • Atom Publishing Protocol is still an Internet draft, in the queue to be a RFC

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      On Tuesday, August 21st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Lotus Connections plug-ins available for download

    It seems IBM has snuck out a software catalog for Connections.  I am sure it was announced somewhere but I found some cool tools

    I was going to use TinyURL but IBM got smart and made short links, nice.
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      On Monday, August 20th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Live at the Lotus Connections Partner Summit

    There is a slew of things I will need to blog while here... catch up
    • eGA on August 30 for version 1.0.1
    • Activities plug-n
    • Pilot install for 100 users
    • Integration for Notes 7 and 8 classic and Microsoft office

    Connections v 1.0.2 soon with platform expansions
    • Domino 7.0.2 and 8.0  LDAP support plus Sun One 5
    • Intel SLES 10
    • Firefox 2 on Mac
    • IE 7 on Vista
    • SQL server
    • TAM / Siteminder Integration

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      On Monday, August 20th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Trying Lotus Greenhouse again (aka Lotus Connections for the masses)

    I got some heat for the comments I made on Connections in the Sys Admin newsletter for July that came out a few days ago.  I suggest you read my editor comments to get a feel for the topic.

      Well today I went into Lotus Greenhouse after receiving another invitation.  I already had an account but had not been in for months.  The Quickr and Sametime offerings is a nice touch but one thing stuck out in my eyes first.

    Greenhouse is able to make Sametime work over port 1533 for everyone and Sametime 7.5.1 at that.
     We can't seem to make this happen for the Business Partner communication link that still runs 3.1 of Sametime and won't let me log in via the Sametime client for about 8 months now (or maybe more).  However, I can log into that server with the java interface (same username) or an alternate name with the Connect client successfully. Frustrating at best

    So you have to know each user you wish to add to your Sametime buddylist as they have disabled browsing for any names (there is a way but most won't find it).  So adding people is slow and tedious.  Apparently you show online in your profile and then I am trying to see where else.  Stlinks popped up after a few minutes.  But they are not using a public SSL certificate so that may cause issues for some of you.  

    Image:Trying Lotus Greenhouse again (aka Lotus Connections for the masses)

    So then I poked around the forum, communities and the blogs.  I must admit people are generating some content but I was looking for the thing to "grab" me at some point.  But nothing quite drew me in right away.  Back to the drawing board
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      On Friday, July 27th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Quote in from Alan Lepofsky on Lotus Connections

    The following article popped up on Particls:
    Connections developed out of an in-house toolset called IBM Innovation Factory, and features five main elements: profiles, shared bookmarks, activities, communities and blogs.....

    "Profiling is an evolution of your Linkedin or Myspace page, adding management, activities and so on," says Lepofsky. "We could have built it in the Domino directory, but we also wanted to be able to reach non-Domino customers and users."

    The part that struck me is that support for the Domino Directory via LDAP was not tossed into the V1 release.  Basically going in the opposite direction.  Instead of not just offering it for Domino customers, it alienated pushes against what they built for years and points them into another directory direction. (Domino LDAP support is rumored to be coming in a point release though)  With the upcoming Sametime and Quickr integration, which shares presence through any LDAP source, including the Domino Directory, will have to be merged into this architecture.  Mainly if you have already built the integration point against Domino LDAP and combined the presence.

    I really wish the first release would have reached into Domino LDAP and made the sale easier into some of the existing Domino customers.
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      On Monday, July 2nd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Lotus Greenhouse (Connections area) underwent an upgrade to beta 1 last night

    I received the email with the notifications and took interest in a couple of the items that were added.  Sametime integration is not one of them but here is a short list I was provided:
    New Features:
    • Visible E-mail Addresses - e-mail addresses are now automatically visible in each person's individual profile, so connecting with others will be easier than ever.  Please note that this means your e-mail address will be easily viewable to all Lotus Greenhouse members.
    • Multiple To Do Assignments - ability to assign to do items to multiple people.  This allows you to create identical to do items for multiple people without having to create each item manually.
    • Profile Search - search results now include content from the Profile Tags, About Me, and Background fields.
    • Pop-up Business Card - clicking the arrow next to a member's name in Lotus Connections pops up a "business card" with the user's picture, contact info and links to all their content.
    • Blog - when viewing a person's blog, you can now see their profile information and click on links to easily access their profile, communities, dogear bookmarks, and activities.

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      On Friday, May 4th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Seems I received my first Lotus Greenhouse Activity invite

    This adds a twist as it got blocked in the spam filters.  I listed my 'personal' email address as an alternate but I guess it only sends to the primary registered address.  Here is a screenshot of what you get in email.

    Image:Seems I received my first Lotus Greenhouse Activity invite

    Now if I say open this Activity, can I get it to open in my plug-in instead of the browser?
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      On Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

    Partnerworld review of the "Lotus Software: Expanding your business across the collaboration continium" session

    This is the only session I walked over to see and was pleasantly surprised.  While there was not a ton of new information in there, it moved very fast and well orchestrated for the 100 or so people that came to see it.  I even went so far as to grab audio of segments of this I will make into a podcast later today so you can match my notes to the actual talks.

    Tim Kounadis did the opening, and you got to hear form him yesterday on IdoNotes Episode 31.  His intro was more than brief and he quickly turned it over.  Then I learned why.  They have 5 demonstrations they intended to do in this session plus some talk at the end.

    Ken Bisconti and Ron Sebastian were up next.  Ken did the slides and talking while Ron did his usual lightening speed, well defined, working demos.  This is a huge posting so I am putting in the keep reading link.

    Continue Reading here" Partnerworld review of the "Lotus Software: Expanding your business across the collaboration continium" session" »
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      On Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007   by Chris Miller