IBM SmartCloud for SocialBusiness changing IP address in June 2014

IBM has announced they will be changing IP addresses for the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business on or before June 21 2014.
IBM SmartCloud for Social Business logo

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    On Monday, May 5th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

IBM SmartCloud for Social Business enhancements for May 2014

IBM is enhancing SmartCloud for Social Business in May 2014 to include social and mobile, Docs, and Notes enhancements detailed below.
IBM SmartCloud for Social Business logo

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    On Thursday, May 1st, 2014   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.
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    On Tuesday, December 4th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IBMSocBiz aggregator launches for all IBM Social Business News and Videos

IBM Social Business aggregator

Just launched is as a free resource to keep up on tweets, articles, videos and even photos around IBM Social Business.

IBM Social Business (or ibmsocbiz as we see it in hashtags) is generating a lot of interest. Unfortunately there was not a single place for me to capture it all so I built one for personal use. Then I decided it should be for everyone and set up the aggregation.

You are able to increase/decrease the font, change the background to white or black depending on your preference and please share away with anyone you think may be interested across you business networks.

IBMSocialBiz is brought to you by Spiked Studio.
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    On Tuesday, November 27th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

Why does the Greenhouse Solutions Catalog only support older browsers?

Lotus Greenhouse Catalog Solutions browser error

I have been working heavily in the Lotus Greenhouse IBM Collaboration Solutions Catalog the past week. I can see the browser warnings stopping what could be more traffic.

As you can see in the image from the Collaboration Solutions Catalog that Chrome is not included, Firefox is outdated by about 14 versions and IE is behind by one. I do not see Safari on there at all. I know some enterprises have not upgraded their Internet Explorer version on the desktop, but with the speed revisions are being published I would expect this to be updated regularly.

As I have a solution in the catalog (Lotus Blogger and Technical Search Widget) I have a personal interest in making sure it is freely available.
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    On Monday, November 26th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IdoNotes Episode 128 - IBM Forms Experience Builder demo

I quickly needed an online form to collect data and decided to try out the IBM Forms Experience Builder in Lotus Greenhouse.  After playing around with the capabilities I realized there was no tutorial to make a quick and simple form in under five minutes. Watch the YouTube video above to see it in action.

The IBM Forms Experience Builder is quite powerful and allows simple to complex forms via a drag and drop interface.  You can then share the forms with the public or authenticated users. You can then export the data collected for simple reporting.

Make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel or in iTunes to keep up with all the latest videos.
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    On Wednesday, November 21st, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IBM Kills Drops and Uses Other Words about Lotus in articles around the web

While we have all heavily reported IBM simply removing the Lotus name from what was IBM Lotus Notes and Domino to just IBM Notes and Domino, the press is all over it.  I have been enjoying reading the articles that have recently come out.
  • PCWorld - IBM Kills Lotus Brand, readies Notes/Domino Social Edition (they use the wrong logo in this article)
  • - IBM quietly kills its Lotus brand
  • NetworkWorld - IBM kills Lotus brand, readies beta of Notes/Domino Social Edition
  • eWeek - IBM Drops Lotus Brand, Takes Notes and Domino Forward
  • Techweek Europe - IBM Drops Lotus Brand (IBM is to axe the Lotus brand.....)

Luckily in many of these headline grabbers I found decent quotes from Ed Brill and sometimes just an unnamed IBM executive. With the purchase in 1995 of Lotus for over $3 billion it has had a long foothold in enterprises. I know many outsiders to our blogs always think 1-2-3 when we mention Lotus or shake in fear of their remembrance the client due to bad deployments. Hopefully the name will still sit somewhere in the catalog.
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    On Monday, November 19th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

SmartCloud for Social Business aka is changing it’s domain name and adding Sametime meetings

The notice came today that (SmartCloud for Social Business) will be officially changing over it's domain name to starting December 1 2012.  While the domain will still work with redirects, they are strongly urging you to make the necessary firewall and rules updates as needed.
Early in 2012, IBM announced rebranding of our service, from LotusLive to IBM SmartCloud for Social Business.  This quarter, we are announcing the next phase of the rebranding -- changing the service domain itself.

From:  *
To:       *

The above change will take place on or after December 1 2012 so anything that you specifically allow to this domain should be updated.  Additionally..

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    On Thursday, November 15th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IBM SmartCloud maintenance this weekend

IBM SmartCloud has some work being performed so notify your users about this weekend.
IBM SmartCloud for Social Business Maintenance Announcement

The IBM SmartCloud team will be performing scheduled maintenance during the date and time shown below. While this maintenance is being performed, some SmartCloud services may not be available. (Note: SmartCloud Notes users who access SmartCloud Notes via the Lotus Notes desktop client or BlackBerry® smartphones should not experience any service disruption during this maintenance window. However, SmartCloud Notes web and Traveler users will experience periodic disruptions during the service window.).

Maintenance Schedule: Sunday October 07, 04:00 AM - 08:00 AM Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

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    On Thursday, October 4th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IBM SmartCloud Meetings app on iOS frustrates me!

I have been trying to use IBM SmartCloud Meetings app on my iPad and I am frustrated by the experience. With the variance in behind the scenes meeting services that are supported SmartCloud you cannot often join meetings. This leads to confusion for the users and frustration in the product reliability.

Scenario 1: A user with an actual LotusLive (now SmartCloud) sends you an invite with a meeting id that contains a DASH as in  Yes it needs to have a DASH.  If the moderator has not started the meeting you get an error
Unable to join meeting session

Not that it hasn't started yet.  Unable to join.  Why am I not able to? There is no more help screens or info.  The user has no way to know they should wait or if the product is working.

Scenario 2: A user gets an invite to a meeting that looks like one of the following:
Those seven digits are an entirely different meeting service that was previously WebDialogs in the IBM cloud family and will have NO DASH.  However if they attempt to use IBM SmartCloud Meetings app on iOS they get
Unable to join meeting session

One again the user has no idea what is wrong or why they are being denied. This is incredibly frustrating there is no direction or error controls.

With the constant flux of meeting invites you never quite know which service you are getting.  I hope this helps.

Testing was done on IBM SmartCloud Meetings for iPad build 8.5..201202230736 and should not be confused with the IBM Sametime Meetings Viewer for iPad
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    On Tuesday, September 25th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

Google Apps defeats Lotus and Groupwise in Australia per Delimiter

An article from Delimiter in Australia highlights findings from analyst firm Telsyte that Google Apps has moved to number two behind Outlook/Exchange over Lotus Notes/Domino and Groupwise.
Google’s popular Apps collaboration suite has knocked IBM’s Lotus Notes/Domino and Novell’s GroupWise platforms off their perch to become the second most popular office suite in Australian enterprises behind Microsoft Outlook/Exchange, analyst firm Telsyte revealed this week.

According to a statement released by the company, it conducted a survey of more than 330 local chief information officers and senior IT decision-markers on their enterprise software use and intentions.

There are some flaws in what is written as usual.  It compares Lotus as email lumping it in with Outlook, not the full Microsoft suite.  It highlights a ton of the cloud stuff as a key factor, with no mention of IBM SmartCloud for Social Business (or the name is too long to type unlike LotusLive).  They did mention Google Apps and Office365.

They talk greatly about SaaS and how the offerings are better but no real details of what is better for each.

Continue reading more from Delimiter.

Related posts:
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    On Monday, September 17th, 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        

Microsoft offers superior web based interface per newspaper

A long time user of Lotus Notes, the University of Nebraska, made big waves last year when they announced the move away from Lotus Notes for their entire faculty and staff at campuses (students moved long ago).  The article from Daily Nebraskan states they spend $1M USD annually to use the software and will reduce costs by half when they switch to the web based Microsoft Office 365.

NOTE: The University of Nebraska Medical Center is not migrating to the new system because of concerns about security.

Interestingly they said their Lotus Notes environment only had 1G of storage per person and the new Microsoft system offers 25.  This is alrgely due to their limitations the university set and had nothing to do with the software as we know.
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    On Thursday, February 16th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IBM Collaboration Solutions Community Meeting - IBM SmartCloud for Social Business

The monthly webcast for the ICS community will take place on Feb 28th at 9am CST.  They will be discussing LotusLive  ISCFSB. Here is an excerpt of the topics:
LotusLive is joining IBM's SmartCloud portfolio! The new IBM SmartCloud for Social Business simplifies access to business-grade file sharing, social networking, communities, online meetings, instant messaging, email and calendar. Join this community meeting to hear program director, Dave Durazzano, share IBM's marketing strategy for the service as well as get a glimpse into its future direction and roadmap

You can register for the event right here
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    On Friday, February 10th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

LotusLive gets enhancements - here is the updates

LotusLive underwent upgrades this past weekend, the following enhancements were made:
  • Searchable Help System
  • Community enhancements- including changing the owner
  • Activities enhancements - including auto save
  • Files enhancements where LotusLive Files are not replaced by IBM Connections Files
  • Instant messaging enhancements - including adding Sametime 8.5.1 and BlackBerry clients and dropping Sametime 7.5.1
  • Sametime Meetings for mobile enabled
  • IE9 and FIrefox 5 support added
  • Trash folder management
  • Email filters added
  • oAuth 2.0 is now supported

For a complete explanation please see the attached document from IBM

What's New In LotusLive from IBM
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    On Tuesday, December 6th, 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        

LotusLive to Webdialogs meeting glitch

For quite some time this glitch has existed as Lotus brings together LotusLive Meetings and the Webdialogs meeting services.  If you properly log into LotusLive and attend a native LotusLive Meeting, then all is well.  You can tell it is native as the meeting number will be formatted xxx-xxx.

However, if you are being redirected to Webdialogs/Unyte the meeting number will be XXXXXX with no dashes.  What happens is the following if you log into LotusLive and then get redirected:

Image:LotusLive to Webdialogs meeting glitch

Your name gets replaced with an attendee number.  You lose your LotusLive identity.  This does not stand true for staying within a native LotusLive meeting. I was attendee 37 and should be Chris Miller where the arrow points.

The only fix is to log out of the meeting, log out of LotusLive and then log straight into the Webdialogs meeting and type your name in manually.  this has been around for some time and becomes very apparent the more people using LotusLive logins as shown in the image.
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    On Tuesday, July 26th, 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        

LotusLive from 6 to 75,000

LotusLive currently operates from 6 globally placed "edge servers". It seems they are out to improve performance by having 75,000 (yes that is seventy-five thousand) by improving the Accelerated Network.

From the wiki comes this new LotusLive News article:
The key benefits will be more consistent and reliable application performance and routing. The numerous edge servers offer access points closer to the various locations from which our users access the LotusLive services, meaning they will have a consistent user experience from almost any location. Additionally, this highly available network infrastructure protects systems from single server/service failure while providing a more reliable performance experience

There are some new firewall considerations you should be aware of and this article helps clarify some of that.
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    On Tuesday, April 26th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Domino Application Hosting in the Cloud broken down

IBM finally announced the new Domino Utility Server for LotusLive.  since I have gotten pings, a customer call and expect more, let me break down what this means for you, our customer, in the simplest terms I know so far.  Let's start with the first part of the announcement:
Based on the same model as the Domino Utility Server, this new license allows you, as LotusLive Notes subscribers, to use the included Notes client for access to Notes/Domino applications

You must be a LotusLive Notes subscriber to be eligible for this server license model.  I do not see any minimal user count amount on LotusLive to be eligible, so set a user up over there.
That means that instead of paying per-user software subscription to continue to use Notes/Domino applications, regardless of client/browser access method, you can now switch to a server-only based licensing model. Instead of paying for everyone in an organization to continue to use those applications, you can pay for anyone in the organization to use those applications.

So now both Notes client and browser access are allowed,  One cost opens access to everyone in the company
The Domino Utility Server for LotusLive model is available in the IBM Cloud and Amazon models, in addition to on-premises deployments if you are moving or considering a move to the cloud.  

If you use LotusLive then you can keep a Domino server in-house or with a partner if you are trying to outsource management, backups, monitoring and more.  All for a fixed Domino server license cost.
Special pricing is planned so you can trade up from Domino Enterprise Servers, in conjunction with deployments of LotusLive Notes (or LotusLive Notes and LotusLive Engage).

You can free up Enterprise license cost, per user application costs and more.  You must have a user on LotusLive Notes.
The Domino Utility Server for LotusLive licensing model may be utilized with other "pay as you go" offerings through IBM Cloud, Amazon EC2, or business partners providing Domino application hosting services

I have tested the IBM Cloud.  You can watch IdoNotes Episode 105 screencast of my trials here.  Amazon will allow usage based models (good for very small models) in the public or private.

However, the key is the last part.  We (Connectria) are now able to offer you a Domino application server model that you can easily implement at a fixed license cost.  Internet connection, private connection, backups, networks,  firewalls, monitoring. Just another item to strengthen our position as a Lotus software hosting leader.

Read more about How to Choose and Migrate to a Cloud Email Provider by Forrester where Connectria is mentioned.

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.

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    On Tuesday, March 29th, 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        

Micrsoft and RIM launching new FREE hosted Blackberry service

ZDNet ran a blog posting, which is now confirmed by Microsoft, that they will be launching a free hosted BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) offering.  Microsoft will host the servers and they are betting it will also be covered on a webcast RIM has tomorrow.

We have exciting news for Microsoft Online Services customers. We are in the process of updating pricing for Hosted BlackBerry Service for Exchange Online to make this service available free of charge.  Starting today, BlackBerry mobile e-mail for new Exchange Online customers is now free through our Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).  For existing customers, we expect to be able to provide more information later this month on how you can take advantage of this change.

The service will be hosted, licensed and supported by RIM who have committed to offer their new BlackBerry cloud based service for Exchange Online starting at $0 per user per month.

With Lotus launching LotusLive Notes Hosted BlackBerry just a short time ago (read my live blog posting), this will be another layer in the battle for places comparing the two offerings.
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    On Wednesday, March 16th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

IdoNotes Episode 106 - IBM Cloud Sales Guide for BP’s

You can also watch this video in HD on the IdoNotes YouTube Channel.

I received a link today for a Cloud Sales Guide for IBM Business Partners.  There is nothing NDA in there or even close, only references and areas to get more information.  I did find one portion I wanted to highlight.  That was the lack of Lotus Software across three of the areas.

Did I mention this was in an exe only?
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    On Tuesday, March 8th, 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        

IBM LotusLive Notes Hosted BlackBerry Service (live blog)

This morning IBM kicked off it's first call on the LotusLive Hosted Blackberry option with a TechTalk after the press releases yesterday.  I captured some of the points from the call.

The meeting started late as the operator got on the call and stated they are having problems with the e-meeting.  Fifteen minutes in it was still the case... But we got it!  And they said there is really no slides.  The event was attended by over 190 people and most all were IBM.  I counted ~17 without the IBM tag behind their name.

A quick LotusLive strategy slide set was presented for the partners on the call.
Ed hinted at the upcoming releases past the third iteration that took place this past weekend.  There should be more this year.

What's new in GA3 that came out:
  • Additional mail manager controls, such as content older that "n" days removal
  • Support for limiting inbound emails including attachments
  • import contacts in any supported language
  • options to purchase add-on for Traveler (Android) and Blackberry
Now a look into the Blackberry portion, the biggest part of the GA3 release.  A big portion to pay attention to is that it ONLY supports the hosted users.  You cannot get BES access back to your other users in the on-premise deployment side.  (You will needed dedicated BES hosting to service cloud and internal users in one sweep).  BES is not multi-tenant, so they have to dedicate like any provider.

There is NO service level agreement (SLA) around this portion. There is around LotusLive Notes.  None around BES at this point.
  • Two flavors, MDS and non MDS
  • Provides hosted BES - redirects email messages and sync contatcts with cloud servers
  • 99.9% up-time SLO
  • Dedicated deployment environment - for every customer that says yes they physically get an image with BES.
  • Administrator and user self-service portal (remote wipe, password reset)
  • Sold in 12 month blocks at $10USD for non MDS and $15 for MDS
  • Available for only the Hybrid or service only environments
  • Corporate Directory lookup
  • No additional costs for licensing, BES upgrades included

Next was a list of gotchas for the service.  Pay attention to the minimum, MDS options and time to deploy.
  • Available for LL Notes users only
  • Decide which flavor.  You cannot mix MDS and non-MDS
  • Juniper SRX240 Services Gateway is only VPN/gatewway supported
  • 300 seat minimum purchase
  • Non-MDS takes a few days to a few weeks to onboard
  • MDS takes two to four week or longer to onboard
  • Documentation in English only
  • MDM in English only
  • Only features found in wiki are supported
  • customers must accept RIM terms of use
  • Blackberry devices must be running 4.0 and later (expected)
  • Migration of a current Blackberry is not supported, you must reactivate
  • After config you can not swap to MDS or non-MDS. pick carefully
  • Customer must place a Juniper SRX240 device on premise and give IBM an IP address for it
  • Proxy server is required
  • Customers firewall must allow UPD access over ports 500, 4500 and 10000 for LotusLive

If you are looking for hosting of Blackberry below 300 users, feel free to contact Connectria.

Find out why we offer the best in Lotus Software hosting and management.

Eat.Sleep.Host    It is what we do.

Image:IBM LotusLive Notes Hosted BlackBerry Service (live blog)

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    On Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011   by Chris Miller        

IdoNotes Episode 101 - Exclusive OGS interview on LotusLive Symphony for the cloud #ls11

I sit with Jeanette Barlow, Product Manger for LotusLive Symphony, to dig deeper into the Lotusphere Announcement on moving what was Project Concord to the web.  It is now part of LotusLive Labs and Lotus Greenhouse.

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

Image:IdoNotes Episode 101 - Exclusive OGS interview on LotusLive Symphony for the cloud #ls11
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    On Monday, January 31st, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Lotusphere Podcasts - Marc Gingras, CEO of Tungle, on being a Lotus Award finalist

I had the pleasure to grab Marc Gingras, CEO of Tungle, to see what impact being a Lotus Award finalist has had on Tungle and to get the scoop on all the new enhancements.  We cover:
  • Notes integration
  • LotusLive integration
  • the Pro program
  • their manifesto
  • Blackberry integration
  • Facebook
  • Google Apps
  • the list didn't stop...

Don't forget you can always register today for your free Tungle account right here.  Then go ahead and try their promotional Pro plan for a while.  Quite impressive.

Lotusphere Podcasts - Interview with Tungle CEO Marc Gingras from Lotusphere Podcasts.

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    On Tuesday, January 18th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

A projector or a magician box?

I installed the sharing portion of LotusLive today and it placed a desktop icon (without asking) that was a simple URL shortcut to the web.  I am unsure if this is to be a projector stand or a magician stand with a body being cut up
Image:A projector or a magician box?

Note: there may have been Pixelmator involved
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    On Wednesday, January 12th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Thinking of using the cloud for Lotus? Free webcast tomorrow

Tomorrow, January 12th 2011,  there will be a free webcast on Seeing Shapes in the Clouds at 10am CST from Consultant In Your Pocket.  Many are debating how they would utilize the cloud as part of, or even replacement of their Lotus infrastructure.  This webcast will cover
  • questions to ask
  • security considerations
  • network considerations
  • architecture decisions
  • how different Lotus products behave
  • LotusLive choices
  • extending your own infrastructure

Join in and bring your questions, managers and those thinking about using Lotus software in the cloud.  You can register for the event right here.
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    On Tuesday, January 11th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Seeing Shapes in the Clouds - webcast January 12 2011

Another free webcast from Consultant In Your Pocket was announced last week titled Seeing Shapes in the Clouds.  It is about cloud architecture in the Lotus world and things you should consider.  Here is the full abstract:
While investigating numerous cloud solutions, including LotusLive, you need to understand how this fits into your business plans both technically and functionally.  Explore architecture pitfalls from ten years of Lotus software hosting and learn the right questions to ask about data security and retention, geographic location and more.  Understand TCO and ROI while shaping your infrastructure for the cloud.

Lotus is currently undergoing a major shift to cloud solutions and lines of business need an understanding of the architecture decisions surrounding the multiple directions.  In this session the business cases as well as simplified pictures will be presented.

Enterprise decisions around implementing Lotus software in the cloud is becoming a hot topic.  This webcast will dive into the following:
  • Defining the difference in hybrid, cloud and on-prem deployments
  • Architecture decisions for cloud deployment
  • Security considerations
  • The right questions to ask the providers
  • Administrative controls
  • Reporting and status

Registration is open for the event.  

You can also watch the replays of past webcasts, for free, at Consultant In Your Pocket including the recent What's New In Domino 8.5.2 Administration.

Recommended Reading

LotusLive Notes - a better understanding
LotusLive Hosted Notes - the comparison chart
LotusLive Notes Cloud Hybrid Modeling
Can We Audit LotusLive Data Protection Security?


IdoNotes Episode 82 - LotusLive and Skype Integration
IdoNotes Episode 83 - LotusLive and Tungle Integration
IdoNotes Episode 84 - LotusLive and Vondle Integration
    for this posting

    On Monday, January 3rd, 2011   by Chris Miller        

LotusLive Notes - a better understanding

After sitting through the first half of the TechTalk on LotusLive Notes this morning, I have a much better understanding of the architecture.  It is overly complicated for the hybrid cloud model.  We, Connectria, offer a simplified approach.

We have an entirely different approach, management, versioning and implementation.  Simplified, easier to connect and give more flexibility in architecture decisions and choices of management levels.  Simplified integration without requirements on server and client versioning make it faster.  I am still sitting here stunned while the presentation goes on.   Here is a sample slide of confusion

A summary should be done here, but I think I will be a bit more open in my newsletter, issue #8, coming this week.  Subscribe in the upper right.  Make sure you select IdoNotes Newsletter and Consultant In Your Pocket to keep up to date.

See my previous postings:

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

    for this posting

    On Wednesday, December 1st, 2010   by Chris Miller        

IdoNotes Episode 84 - LotusLive and Vondle Live integration

In this screencast I walk through LotusLive and Vondle Live integration for file viewers.  You must create a Vondle Live trial or full account, provision the application in LotusLive and then you can begin.  It supports up to 70+ file types for viewing, marking and printing.

You can see LotusLive integration with Skype and Tungle in the previous two IdoNotes podcast episodes.
This screencast was brought to you by Connectria.

I could continue on but I think you should read my previous LotusLive Notes comparison chart, postings and comments including our merger and relaunch of expanded services.

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

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    On Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010   by Chris Miller        

IdoNotes Episode 83 - LotusLive and Tungle integration

In this screencast I walk you through Tungle integration with LotusLive.  I cover implementation, account creation and management as well as contact importing.
Watch the full HD version of this podcast on my YouTube channel right here.

This screencast was brought to you by Connectria.

I could continue on but I think you should read my previous LotusLive Notes comparison chart, postings and comments including our merger and relaunch of expanded services.

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

    for this posting

    On Wednesday, October 27th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

CIMTrek launches product, claims to move your Lotus Notes apps to the cloud

I admittedly could not find anything more about the migration product from CIMTrek on their barren website.  Just a small product line about how they can seamlessly assess, analyze and migrate your Lotus Notes applications to the cloud.  The quote from the press release:
“CIMTrek removes that barrier by providing the tools to discovering what applications your organisation has and what can be migrated. Users can then define which apps they want and then in one simple click can migrate all identified applications. At this stage we have focused on IBM Lotus Notes which has over 600,000 users here in the UK alone,” he added. “The beauty of CIMTrek is that it makes no assumptions as to how you do business. We don’t ask that you change your modus operandi. We won’t ask you to buy any software!”

It might just be me, but have we not heard this before?  They cite lots of stats of why you would move, how many companies have moved, how many will move.. yada yada.  But nothing on how they move you.  No screenshots, demos or documentation.  All the links to videos and more simply point you to buy a book he helped author.

I couldn't figure out the company name from the founders or anything else until I ran across this:
The name CIMtrek was inspired by the tag-line ‘Collaborate in Motion’

From another article or two I found.  It seems he is targeting the UK customers first with the tactic claiming 6,000 UK companies with Notes.  I especially like the squirt comment:
The CIMtrek application, developed by a team of developers working for Pyke in the UK, will identify business processes and data dependencies in existing Lotus Notes installations. Using a proprietary schema, based on the XML standard, it will then transpose those process flows and dependencies to a hosted platform, such as Amazon, Azure or Google.

The CIMtrek tool will start by discovering what Notes users are actually using the tool for in the enterprise, then go through an analysis and categorisation phase before enabling migration to another platform. It is able to take the key ingredients of an existing IBM Lotus Notes installation and ‘squirt’ that in an XML-like format to another platform that is hosted.

Has anyone tried this tool yet?  Discuss..   Nice Wordpress design though.
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    On Thursday, October 14th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Can we audit LotusLive data protection security?

While reading the recent NetworkWorld issue (vol 27 number 19 for your reference) they highlighted an issue with Google and their stance on not allowing your organization to fully audit their data protection in the Bits section:
Many customers worry about how well cloud providers protect customer data, and there is no satisfactory way for customers themselves to evaluate it, says Adam Swidler, a product marketing manager at Google speaking at the Mass Technology Leadership Council Security Summit.
"We won't let you audit to the degree that you would audit your own infrastructure," Swidler says. "It's never going to be the same as auditing your own infrastructure. You'll have to extend some level of trust to third-party verification."

I found it more interesting that you cannot even find full descriptions of the data protection policy from either Google or LotusLive online.

I searched the LotusLive site, support forums and more for this information.  I also looked through searches against the site to make sure there was not something indexed I could not find linked.

What are the data protection policies of cloud providers?  What should they offer to you in terms of documentation and access?  Here is some of our stance as Connectria on being a cloud provider:
We are SAS70 Type II verified and proud of that fact.  It open a lot of doors into working with your organizations for the processes we have in place and documentation surrounding it.  This allows us to show you documented procedures for most anything.  We welcome visits to our data centers (escorted of course) to view operations and facilities.

So, in essence, we are happy to discuss segregation of data, physical and logical security and more with you and your teams.

I could continue on but I think you should read my previous LotusLive Notes comparison chart, postings and comments including our merger and relaunch of expanded services.

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

    for this posting

    On Wednesday, October 13th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

LotusLive Notes cloud hybrid modeling

While at Tri-State LUG, Kevin Cavanaugh took the stage for a session on LotusLive Notes and how it fits into everyone's infrastructure.  There were a lot of questions around architecture, certification, helpdesk and more.  Kevin did his best to answer them all but there is some comparitive issues that arose that I have some opinions.

Application hosting -
this is something that LotusLive Notes does not currently support.  Connectria Hosting does.  With the shared directory infrastructure there is issues with signing applications to run properly as agents and even script.  They cannot take the chance of your code affecting other users on these shared servers.  We at Connectria dedicate a Domino server to be part of your existing (or new if you never had Notes) environment with any security settings you need.

Custom mail templates -
LotusLive Notes will support a custom mail template if you pay Lotus to check it out first, according to Kevin.  We allow as many custom mail templates as you need at Connectria Hosting.  You can have every user running a custom template, or stick with out of the box design.  It is up to you.

Hybrid modeling -
This is something we have done at Connectria for over ten years.  We become an extension of your Lotus Domino environment.  Kevin was queried on performance and possible lag with having the servers in Virginia or the other IBM data center for LotusLive.  He didn't touch on managed replicas, new in 8.5.2, but we are all to familiar with the scenarios and possible performance issues.

Kevin went on further to state your mailfile hosted on LotusLive Notes are clustered across four physical servers, two at each data center.  This gives an idea of the current userload and scaling on LotusLive Notes.

Also, I made mention that everyone needs to understand in the LotusLive Notes hybrid model you are sharing server resources, network connectivity, firewall and data storage with an unknown number of other companies.  At Connectria Hosting we provide the dedicated hardware, firewall and network connection into your own VLAN.  We segregate your data storage as well as connectivity.

Pay by credit card -
This is something we do not touch.  LotusLive is provisioning anywhere from 1 to XX users and allows you to setup via credit card now.  I am sure this looks great for some SMB companies needing services for Notes in the cloud.  I do not see us offering this type of commodity buying since we are a cloud extension of your infrastructure, not just hybrid.

Lotus Traveler and BES -
LotusLive Notes offers Traveler for an additional cost to cover hardware needs.  We include this in your hosting if you desire.  We can also set up a dedicated machine to just handle Traveler against your mail servers to be that Internet facing presence.

BES is a catch-22.  While LotusLive Notes will not support the current BES, since it is not multi-tenant, they want to.  We dedicate a BES server to you for your access.  We have many companies utilizing this type of service as their mobile environments grow and they do not want the traffic or access on their network.  This is something we love to host for our customers at Connectria Hosting.

I could continue on but I think you should read my previous LotusLive Notes comparison chart, postings and comments including our merger and relaunch of expanded services.

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

    for this posting

    On Tuesday, October 12th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Salesforce now claims the sun is setting on Lotus

Back in July 2010 I received a surprising email from Salesforce (Goodbye Lotus hello cloud direct from Salesforce) telling you to migrate away from Lotus.  A new email has arrived now stating that Lotus is becoming an island and you had better jump ship and run away form your Domino based apps quickly.

I said it before, if you are a partner that Lotus is launching integration with for things lie LotusLive, you can definitely still market yourself.  But to go so far as to say the software you partner with is becoming extinct is a bit of a stretch.
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    On Thursday, September 9th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

LotusKnows ad spotted and friend ignored it and why

This weekend a friend had the laptop out reading and I saw the LotusKnows ad below pop up.

Image:LotusKnows ad spotted and friend ignored it and why

I waited to see the response and disappointingly saw it get dismissed.  I made a quick prompt as to why it got overlooked?  Do you ignore all ads like most people?  Do you already know what the deal is?  Did it not strike you as interesting?

The response surprised me even more.
Yes I saw the ad and thought the way it stood out was cool.  The little joke was funny, but I have no idea what the heck it was trying to sell

After a brief discussion, I think it came down to one thing.  The marketing colors/banner got the attention, the joke caught the eye but the lack of a simple word got it dismissed.
Try LotusLive

It seems all that was missing was the words "Web Meetings", "online meetings" or something else to make the Try button and the joke work together.
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    On Wednesday, September 8th, 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

    for this posting

    On Monday, August 23rd, 2010   by Chris Miller        

LotusLive Hosted Notes - the comparison chart

Ed has blogged about all of the exciting news on hosted LotusLive Notes .  The bloggers had some great things to say as well.  I took a lot of notes and began to chart it out the differences between our hosting at Connectria the last ten years and LotusLive Notes.  It was good enough to share:
Connectria Hosting
LotusLive Notes
On-site backups included No, separate agreement with Sonian that moves your data again
Retention default included No retention default native to LotusLive Notes
Restores included No statement on restores
Mail template customization allowed No mail template customization
IMAP/POP support No IMAP/POP support
Traveler included (per your licensing) No Traveler support (as of Aug 2010)
Unlimited mail storage (based on server you spec) 25GB per user storage
Application support !!! (based on your license) No application support
Control your own servers No control
See your administration controls No capability
Dedicated hardware No, shared hardware and actual Domino server
Ability to change Domino tasks and intervals No, shared Domino server
Dedicated connectivity to your server No, every tenant is sharing a network connection to the server
Dedicated firewall for your Domino server No, every tenant is sharing a firewall to the server

The list is not complete yet, and we do share some things in common.  But, I needed to organize my thoughts as we are getting calls to explain the difference and how we stand out.  I think this is a great beginning.

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

Image:LotusLive Hosted Notes - the comparison chart
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    On Thursday, August 12th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Hosted Notes - yeah we offer it better, bluntly

Lotus finally announced LotusLive Notes to officially launch August 24th.  While they are giving you a huge price break in licensing, you are only licensing mail from everything published I can read (Ed Brill, Collaboration Matters, Volker weber).  The breakdown is easy:
For $5/user/month you get 25GB of mail, calendar, tasks and instant messaging.  You also operate in a multi-tenant architecture

This is great if Lotus was just an email client.  It seems Lotus was pushed into making a cloud offering and have coded Domino to finally allow multi-tenant from Notes clients, not just the web as old XSP mode did.  Ed's posting compares them against Exchange hosting and Google mail hosting.  

EDITOR NOTE: I applaud all the hard work from the Lotus team in making this happen, do not mistake that portion.  I just don't get the move into the space is all

So why does this tone of this posting sound bitter?  This is something we have asked for up to ten years now as one of the largest hosting providers Lotus has.  The ability to serve smaller customers in this manner.  But, we never intended to just offer mail.  We want it all.  Lotus has now written it, but apparently it is untouchable by partners, except to sell their service.

Our solution differs greatly: provided dedicated hardware, unlimited mailbox size based on the server you already choose and configure, DWA, XPages, application support, Traveler, instant messaging and presence through Sametime Limited Use, add on BES if you wish.  The list goes on.  You get the idea on the flexibility.

We stay away from multi-tenant machines to cover HIPPA concerns, SAS70 concerns, PCI concerns and more.  Want your network isolated?  We do it by default?  will Lotus be offering your multi-tenant Domino portion through it's own dedicated network segment?  Highly unlikely since you will hit the server over the same connection.  How will you terminate your connection to their data center for a multi-tenant server?

Do we do that for $5/user/month?  Nope.  We flat rate the servers and let you pick what license you need from Lotus.

The point is don't overlook the bigger picture that Notes is not just email.  The license cost is just email.  If you want to really think about expanding your architecture for disaster recovery, remote clustering, outsourced management, and more you should know we built it.

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

Image:Hosted Notes - yeah we offer it better, bluntly
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    On Tuesday, August 10th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

AMP dumps Lotus notes for hosted Exchange, boos LotusLive

I was saddened to read on ITNews that AMP becomes the first cloud computing client to CSC in Australia with their move to hosted Exchange and Sharepoint.
Financial services firm AMP has dumped Lotus Notes, looking to instead rent Microsoft's collaboration tools over the network from the Australian data centres of CSC.

What I found most interesting and was wanting to read, is why they chose that solution. LotusLive was listed and here was the areas in which they tested:
AMP's IT Director for service management Sharmini Sivathas told iTnews that "extensive pilots were undertaken to evaluate the end-user experience for several platforms."

This review assessed such factors as security, information risk and regulatory requirements, interoperability and integration risk, cost, mobile device support, reliability, support models available, usability and end user feedback.

I don't think LotusLive failed any of these.  It all had to to deal with AMP being a ten (10) year customer of CSC and wanting to keep their data and solutions in Australia instead. The factor of location was more than obvious in the article and should have been stressed more.

    for this posting

    On Friday, July 30th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Good-bye Lotus, hello cloud direct from Salesforce

This is the exact heading from Salesforce in an email I received.  I thought Salesforce was a partner with Lotus and integrator with such things like LotusLive?  Their advert states:
Thousands of companies struggle to integrate and administer their Lotus Notes apps every day. Now—faced with a costly forced upgrade—many are moving to the cloud with

I, ahem, filled out the form required to access some of the information they provide including two free hours of assessment, an online savings calculator and free online training.

I went through the calculator for a knowledge base type app in IT Management.  Savings were an amazing 50% + average.  However, I am using a standard template right out of the Lotus install.  No development, no maintenance, no nothing but people entering documents.

All of them were the same.  For some reason they feel moving it online, spending the time and effort to redo the entire application and migrate tens of thousands of documents was simpler?  Cost effective?  I don't buy any of that nor do I buy the TCO stats on the next tab.

Image:Good-bye Lotus, hello cloud direct from Salesforce

So Salesforce is now going directly after Lotus applications and migrating people off of the system.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, July 6th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Admin2010 keynote with Alistair Rennie, demos by Ron Sebastian

Great news for all third party plug-in developers for Lotus Notes an Sametime as the keynote kicked off with demos of Gist, Tungle, TripIt and more.

For help in learning how to deploy these plug-ins I would catch the Consultant In Your Pocket webcast on Jun 2 right here.

LotusLive is a key push with the ability for any enterprise to get involved in the beta early on.

We all know that Sametime 8.5 is picking up steam and they want companies to start looking at migrating and upgrading to the new features. If you are entering new into Sametime, it is an easy move and you never know the difference.  If you are migrating up, you can stay with what you have now and run Sametime 8.5 without all the new bells and whistles.  But for the full experience, you need to plan your Websphere deployment parts.

Let's not forget all the UC2 stuff and Sametime Unified Telephony.  VOIP is a big topic all over and the recent Skype integration into LotusLive adds to that argument.

They mentioned social analytics in Lotus Connections version 3.  This is something that was more of an asset in previous versions, I wonder if they are adding some of Atlas for free into version 3.  That would be incredibly helpful.

It will be interesting with the last part of open Q&A, not the normal for a keynote but a great idea!  I wonder if people will step up and ask what they want to know.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, May 12th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Univ of California dumps Gmail for faculty and staff due to security concerns

This article just hit the wires, but the comments sum up the issue.  They just didn't get the best way to use and secure the information.  I do not consider this a strike against cloud computing.  Reading the article deeper showed that they felt it was against the compliance of the Electronic Communications Policy.  I question whether the location of the mail content was the issue or that is was not on university controlled hardware.

Most of these cloud initiatives are not well planned or thought out in advance and often do not take into account the reaction of the community at large.  It seems the university system jumped the gun slightly and are puling back the reigns.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, May 5th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Webinar - Comparing LotusLive, Domino Hosting, Disaster Recovery and More

Why pay for all that expensive travel cost?  Join us for another quality webinar next week on April 15 2010.   Soon, the subscription webcast series will open with deep technical content, so pay close attention for discounts and early registration as full series subscribers will be limited.

Are you having difficulty understanding all the differences in LotusLive iNotes, Notes, Notes Web and other packages?  How does integration work with my current environment?  How does LotusLive compare to Domino hosting as we know it?

Can I use these systems for disaster recovery?  Can I integrate my directory?  Can you make this simpler for me to grasp?

Join us to walk through all of these questions to provide some simple explanations and how this is beginning to fit together.  Find out what parts could fit your current infrastructure and what portions are new.

Registration is now open for this new webinar in the ConsultantInYourPocket series.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, April 7th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

LotusLive meetings makes a play for more marketshare

LotusLive meetings has dropped a low end price point, or actually just added more users to that same pricing.  Either way the deal works out that you can now have yourself and 199 friends in a meeting for the pricing they used to offer for only 15 people.  This is a direct shot at WebEx and some others.

Now available, IBM LotusLive Engage and IBM LotusLive Meetings offer new Named User (Host+199 participants) subscriptions at the same low price as the previously offered Named User (Host+24 participants) subscription. As such, the Named User (Host+24 participants) subscription SKU is now withdrawn from market.

This new pricing plan lets your customers host Web conferences for up to 200 attendees (including the Host) for a similar price of competitive services that only offer Web meetings for up to 25 attendees.

There is no change to the Named User (Host+14 participants) or Named User (Host+999 participants) subscription plans.

    for this posting

    On Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009   by Chris Miller        

LotusLive, Ed Brill and User Groups - shake well and present

Due to inclement weather, we were able to experience Ed Brill presenting the the St Louis Lotus User Group via LotusLive.  it worked out well with Ed using his video camera, a conference line and sharing his screen.  Performance was good as he and the computer used were coming across the IBM network.  While Ed might have pulled the old "business on top, casual on the bottom" with us, the video integration played a key part in the feeling of the presentation reaching to the audience.  Just a voice and slides never carries the same weight as seeing the person.

Image:LotusLive, Ed Brill and User Groups - shake well and present
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    On Tuesday, December 8th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

BPM Blueworks - in beta as part of LotusLive

I ran across BPM Blueworks a while ago but didn't sit down to play with it until now.  It is built around Business Process Management and using collaboration to work with others, in an almost crowd-source way to get best practices and accelerate development.

Image:BPM Blueworks - in beta as part of LotusLive

Inside was quite the listing of experiences, broken down into smaller sections.  The disappointment was the emptiness of each topic.  It was asking for ratings on pages that had no content or had never been viewed before.  Everything I clicked in the Experience area was empty.  Quite disappointing.

I headed next to Collaborate and there was only a Blog link there.  The blog itself has many postings but I am not sure where the collaborate function fit in.  You could submit to collaborate but I am not sure where it went.

The Learn link had sections for podcasts ,papers, webcasts and demos.  I chose to view all content so I could get a feel for what was there.  I found some presentations and webcasts, all submitted by IBM.

I think they are trying to build a new area of the site, but there isn't much outside participation or growth yet.  I am not sure of the overall goal as the linking of collaboration, content and experience don't seem to flow.  They seem like separate silos in one site which doesn't work well for what you need.
    for this posting

    On Friday, August 28th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

LotusLive just pushed a hotbutton in me

As an early adopter of Bluehouse, I posted thoughts on it and even had a great podcast interview with the product managers.   Anticipating the growth, I tried to build my contacts up in Oct 2008 by announcing and then connecting to tens upon tens of you (not the number was not hundreds in there yet).  Yes, I was excited to grow my network while we were testing and working away in learning the system.

 At Lotusphere2009 they announced the formal name change and had everyone accessing files for Lotusphere through LotusLive.  It seemed we were on a path of understanding how it would fit into the SaaS model and how customers and partners both could take advantage.

The wall came crashing down today.  Through some work, we will be using LotusLive yet again for a project.  I know my previous personal and corporate account went from free to not free soon after Lotusphere.  No issue , no problem and no foul.  However, they seem to remove all files, all connections and all traces of your account from their system.  Which means my company profile, user account, previous Activities, files and everything are totally gone.

Now reading through the Terms of Service and more, I could find no reference of total removal and deletion of all account records!  I know files are heard to keep, with backups, disk costs, etc.  Trust me, we do this and I know.  But a simple record entry with pointers of connections is nothing.  A minor few lines of text that is coded to be read.  I even understand removing the avatars for space, as small as they must be.

I knew it must all be a mistake so I went to the screen to reset my password.  It says it reset it, so I waited.  I reset it again with the message saying the email was being sent.  I knew it was in there.  Had to be.  Then the dooming email from not one, but two people.  It is gone.  Officially not there any longer.  NO word on when, why or how long they keep accounts after someone gets closed.  If I was in the SaaS model I sure as heck would want to get some data out or back, even with a cost.  I found that you can delete your own account, but no time limit of how long one is kept in the FAQ or wiki.

Humorously sales for LotusLive has now just called me asking if I wanted to register a test account and what I needed.  I said now isn't the time.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, August 11th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

LotusLive serving files? Nope, now we have errors

Am I being too hard?  (screenshot) Has this not been in beta for almost a year as Bluehouse before it became LotusLive Engage?  Was the shift from Lotusphere Online to here rather rushed?  Ugh.

Image:LotusLive serving files?  Nope, now we have errors

I did find out that I had to log into the email address I used at Lotusphere, with no way to link my existing profile nor is there any way to update the temporary one. Now I have this bizarre profile sitting out there.  Top that with my team members that had automatic accounts created on the fly from Lotusphere with no way to bring them into our company profile either.  I just can't put my finger on what the reasoning behind this is yet.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, February 10th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Lotusphere09 site down, LotusLive offers.. clothing?

We were told last week (or so) that the Lotusphere2009 site would be going down.  It is down as far as I can tell.  All the materials were to be moved to LotusLive Engage (that is my profile link so we can connect).  Well a search today only turns up a test account for clothing?  Anyone know how to find anything related to Lotusphere in there?  Does it even exist yet?

There is no groups, one profile and one for the Lotusphere Event team.  I am terribly confused..

Image:Lotusphere09 site down, LotusLive offers..  clothing?
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    On Monday, February 9th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

A glaring hole in LotusLive

As much as I get frustrated with some of the tiny things in LotusLive, this one is huge to anyone attempting to gett their business involved or even have people from Lotusphere come in the site for content.

When you first come in you are able to create an account and also a company profile.  You are then the owner of that company profile.  From there you may invite others from your company to join and hook them all together.  So far so good.  And then the walls come down.  Since everyone is being encouraged to start creating accounts, they are.  And what you get is multiple upon multiple company profiles for the same exact company and no way to merge or restrict that from happening.

For example I have had ours since early in the beta for Bluehouse.  Now that Lotusphre has come and gone, plus the recent press, some of the people here willingly joined up due to Lotus saying all content will be there from Lotusphere.  You would think that if they tried to enter the company name it would say, WAIT, are you part of this company?  Let me send an approval request to the company profile owner to add you in, but here is your account anyway.  Nope, not the way they did it.  They say, here you go new account holder, your own company.

Now it gets worse.  So I say add/invite (not the word ADD here) a person to my company profile.  I type in the email address of the person and it says, no way, that person already has an account!  So I cannot add them to the profile.  So they check when adding but not when registering and once added I cant get them over to the right one?  Or remove the duplicate?  UGH
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    On Thursday, February 5th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

LotusLive misses friend requests in Chrome

I received an email notification that I had pending requests for LotusLive.  I logged in from Google Chrome and nothing was there.  I figured that the person withdrew the request.  No problem.  However, logging in via Firefox at a later time I saw that request and a few other.  Interesting to know that there are differences across the browsers.  I wonder what else might be different.
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    On Wednesday, February 4th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

LotusLive Instant Messaging concerns

With the hype announcements around LotusLive I am still surprised to see no changes to the function or UI except the name migrating from BlueHouse.  One thing that I still find interesting is the Sametime IM integration.  Instead of working on a rich web client, they require (not option) that you add the LotusLive Engage community to an existing Sametime Connection 7.5.1 or higher client or download the stand-alone Connect client.  The idea of the cloud side is not to have local items to manage. But here we are installing one.  Make sense? Nope.

If I use LotusLive Engage as my primary community, what policy settings will I get?  What controls are in place?  Who is allowed to modify these for my users?  I cannot even connect to via HTTP to get any information.  Plus the page for the client does not specify if I should use the native Sametime port (1533), port 80 or some other variant.  This will make a huge difference on firewalls at numerous client sites.

Hopefully Lotus hears this and adds the feature and functions necessary to do some true cloud work in the IM portion of LotusLive.
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    On Thursday, January 29th, 2009   by Chris Miller