Archive for the 'Lotus Connections' Category

Versions Out Of Control

Impressions from todays Social Business project meeting:

Next week we will upgrade our existing social business infrastructure from IBM Connections Version 4.0 to Version 4.5.

Which does NOT include the new file management capabilities like nested folders. Nobody told us before. Not IBM. Not the system integrator. Nested folders are one of the main requests from the customers key users.

So we need to license and install the required IBM Connections Content Manager add on (the artist formely known as Filenet), Version 4.5 of course. Which is available, but needs to run on a separate machine.

Which does NOT include IBM Docs for collaborative content creation and editing. Which everybody expected to ship with IBM Connections 4.5. Because everybody who tested this on Greenhouse and saw the colorful slides believed in it. But this feature requires licensing and installating IBM Docs Version 4.5. Or Version 1.0.3. Which is currently not available. Maybe in three months. Current version would require some components running on Linux Red Hat, other components on Windows – and the document converter is still far from usable.

Today IBM released IBM Connections App Version 4.1 to support the features from IBM Connections Version 4.5. Which does not contain the promised “dropbox style” sync capabilities. Maybe this will come in App Version 4.5?

So what will we have after upgrading to IBM Connections Version 4.5? A new Websphere Version. Ahh. And @mentions. Ohh.

You need to understand. This is not Web 2.0 tools simply transfered to Enterprise 2.0. This is enterprise software. This is IBM.

Still think IBM Connections is one of the best E2.0 suites out there in the market. Hopefully IBM will not IBMify this solution.

Quietschende Schuhsohlen und das Enterprise 2.0

Über quietschende Schuhsohlen und Firmen, die eigene soziale Netze bauen. Ein feiner Film für alle, die sich derzeit auch in Projekten rund um Enterprise 2.0 oder Social Business herumtreiben.

Tote Hose

Bei IBM auf Facebook wird “nur noch diese Woche” über Social Business diskutiert. Da denkt man ja fast: Nix wie hin. Nur noch diese Woche!

Also ich so hin. Und keiner ist da. Der eine oder andere Like. Aber diskutieren ist anders. Schaue daher mal rüber zur IBM Deutschland Seite, zu der ich ohne Link finden muss. Immerhin: Da kommentiert wenigstens die CeBIT, die sich auf die IBM freut. Ansonsten gleiches Bild. Und die üblichen Verdächtigen.

Mensch, IBM, ihr investiert gerade soviel in das Thema Connections und Social Business. Da werden sich doch wohl Wege finden, die Leute mit Hilfe vieler schlauer Social Media Berater zum Dialog zu ermuntern. Aber so “nur noch diese Woche wird diskutiert” in die leere Halle zu rufen, das ist ungeschickt.

What would you do, if you were in charge of Lotus?

Today I had the time to read all the comments to last weeks posts about Lotus Notes’ core strengths and weaknesses. Finally Volker asked: What would you do, if you were in charge of Lotus?. And Alan Lepofsky, now Director of Marketing at Socialtext, hits the mark:

[…] DRAMATICALLY simplify the product portfolio down to only 3 offerings: Notes/Domino, Sametime, and Connections.

Gone as standalone products would be Quickr, Doc, Workflow, Portal, Forms, Portal, Mash-ups, Traveler, Symphony, and anything else I’ve left off. Not gone as features, just gone as stand alone purchasable units which require marketing, confuse customers and press, etc. Take their code, and weave it appropriately into the 3 products above.

For example, Quickr does two things, file/attachment sharing and team sharing sites. The main confusion over Quickr is Domino or J2EE? Fine, remove any talk about that, by taking the Domino Quickr code and moving it into… Domino. Take the J2EE Quickr code, and make it part of Connections. Don’t talk about parity across the platforms, talk about how Domino now has file sharing and team spaces, and how Connections now has file sharing and team spaces. That is not overlapping product functionality, as both products need those features. […]

-> read on

I know IBM is listening. I hope they will understand.




Enterprise 2.0 To Become a $4.6 Billion Industry By 2013

Interesting article on ReadWriteWeb about enterprises spending money on Web 2.0 technologies:

[…] However, newer, “pure” Web 2.0 companies hoping to capitalize on this trend will still have to fight with traditional I.T. software for a foothold, specifically fighting with the likes of Microsoft and IBM. Many I.T. shops will choose to stick with their existing software from these large, well-known vendors, especially now that both are integrating Web 2.0 into their offerings.

Microsoft’s SharePoint, for example, now includes wikis, blogs, and RSS technologies in their collaboration suite. IBM offers social networking and mashup tools via their Lotus Connections and Lotus Mashups products and SAP Business Suite includes social networking and widgets.

What this means is that much of the Web 2.0 tool kit will simply “fade into the fabric of enterprise collaboration suites,” says Forrester. By 2013, few buyers will seek out and purchase Web 2.0 tools specifically. Web 2.0 will become a feature, not a product.

From an IBM Business Partners perspective we just see very much interest in learning about Web 2.0 technologies when we talk to our customers. But we don’t see any of our customers investing in these technologies right now. When we talk about Lotus Connections and its blog, wiki, RSS, social web features we do it to show our competence and to create awarness. But I fear we will not earn any money with it right now.

It is an investment which hopefully will pay off in the future according to this Forresters report.

Lotus Connects

lotusconnects

Eat your own dogfood. IBM released today Lotus Connections for Business Partners. Its not just a demo site. It will be used for collaborating with the Business Partner Community.

Unfortunatly I will not be able to use it right from the start. The site on Firefox on Linux looks realy bad. And Internet Explorer on Windows makes the site unreadable. Hopefully they fix this fast. I had exactly the same problems while using it on Lotusphere 2007.

Public Bookmarks

This del.icio.us link tagged with “lotus” just poped up in my rss reader:

Notes 8 Early Adopter Program

Of course you can not access it, its an IBM internal website. But the link itself says enough. That might be a good example to roll out an internal bookmark service like Lotus Connections instead of letting your employees use public services like del.icio.us.

Update: The del.icio.us bookmark disapeared now just 30 minutes later.

Cool Tools

Lotusphere Opening Session is over, the Eagle has landed. Time to review the announcements.

So it´s all about collaboration. It´s about connecting people and knowledge. Bringing together teams to work efficiently on projects. Help people becoming more productive, fighting the email flood and finding their ways throught the information djungel. Nothing realy new to the Lotus community. That is what this community has done for years. But now collaboration seems to be recognized by CEOs as the big challenge. And collaboration finds its way up from all these succesfull web 2.0 projects to the IBM product portfolio.

So what have we seen today?

  • Sametime 7.5 seems to be very successfull. IBM sold over 1 Million seats of Lotus Sametime. Many partners contribute plugins to the new Eclipse based clients. Furture Direction: With video chat support, tabbed chat, voice and telephony integration Lotus Sametime will become THE Unified Messaging tool for corporate usage.
  • Hannover is Lotus Notes 8 now. Public Beta will be available next month. Some partners like our company is part of the Managed Beta program. And what I can say: This Beta version is extremly robust and easy to work with. We saw some features I did not know about like ghosted calendar entries or the integrated PDF converter for documents.
  • Lotus Quickr is a Web 2.0 like collaborative content server. It looked like a mesh-up of Workplace Documents, QuickPlace and some Blog and Wiki solutions.
  • Lotus Quickr Personal Edition supports Document Management functionality within the Windows Explorer, Lotus Sametime Client and Lotus Notes 8 Client with MS Office integration. They said nothing about Open Office integration, but this should not be a big deal. Cool feature: Drag´n´Drop of documents between Quickr and Notes Mail plugin in the new Lotus Notes 8 client. And the best thing: It comes for free to all Lotus Notes users. Lotus Quickr will make the daily work with documents much more easier within the collaborative environment of Lotus Notes and Lotus Sametime. And it shares information with the standards like RSS and Atom support.
  • Lotus Quickr Standard Edition adds Teamspaces, Blogs and Wikis. And it comes with lots of templates. So you can start with a project management teamroom right away. The Standard Edition will be for free for owners of a Quickplace license. Interesting: Quickr apps will be available offline by NSF support. So it replicates. There is a Java based local store too and connectors to Filenet.
  • With Lotus Connections IBM finally makes the Activity server available. The call it the “First Ready-for-Business Social Software”. And this is something I waited for since a long time. The activity centric appoach to collaboration was integrated in several products like the old Workplace Managed Client, and last years Lotusphere visitors could see very cool code in the labs running on top of a simple Tomcat server. IBM now delivers the Activity toolset including a bookmark server á la del.icio.us, a powerfull profiling engine and social community support. Of course it integrates into Eclipse based Sametime client as well as in the new Lotus Notes 8 client. Last year they showed a Lotus Notes 6.x and higher integration for the Activity server, but today I have not heard anything about the support of older versions.
    Lotus Connections will be be available to Lotusphere Online users this afternoon. I am very curious how it works.

IBM promises to build cool tools. Why cool? Because cool tools will be pulled into organizations, you don´t have to push it. Just like Instant Messaging made its way to the corporate world, because it was cool and people wanted to use it. IBM speaks about “viral adoption”. And from what I have seen, there is a good chance for things like Lotus Quickr and Lotus Connections to be adopted exactly this way. These solutions realy look cool.