Monday, April 14, 2014

As Seen in the Masters: Social Business is about Productivity, Innovation and Influence

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Over the weekend, IBM had a run of ads in print media and on TV with many different spots going throughout the Masters.

The spots were around IBM's 4 big areas: Social, Cloud, Mobile, and Big Data.  It was fun to hear from my friends and family who had seen the spots and mentioned how it was really hard to miss the IBM spots.

The spots highlight customers and scenarios that are being Made with IBM.  If you are not a golfer and want to watch the entire series, check out the IBM channel on YouTube.  Additionally, check out the Made with IBM site for more details and customer stories, such as this one on how Princess Cruises is optimizing their operations with social.

Below, I've included 4 videos that are specifically around social business, powered by IBM's enterprise social collaboration platform,  IBM Connections.

#8 - Workforce productivity

#28 - Crowdsourcing Innovation

#45 - Collaboration made with Social

#65 - Influence made with Social

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How To Build a Hello World App for IBM Connections

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Work is quickly ramping up as the product management team is working on the go to market activities for IBM Connections "Next". For example, yesterday I was working on updating the current IBM Connections Reviewer's Guide with information about the new release.  I also submitted two abstracts for the upcoming Social Connections VI user group meeting, which I hope get selected, but more on that later!

In case you don't know by now, my background is in app development and I wanted to take an opportunity to share a couple of new items in the IBM Connections SDK.

First, a pre-release of the iOS SDK is now available so that you can build your own iPhone/iPad apps as seen in the screenshot below.  Second, those of you developing for on-premises servers, the latest version of the QuickStart image which has Connections and Sametime all pre-installed is now available on SoftLayer.  And for those of you PHP lovers, there's now a PHP version of the IBM Connections SDK.

And that's not all. For those of you looking to develop apps for IBM Connections in the Cloud, Niklas Heildoff has posted several articles to help you get started:

  • Use the IBM Connections Banner in Custom Apps - One of the key aspects of building a custom app is integrating with the look and feel of the overall platform. IBM Connections in the Cloud provides a simple way to incorporate the main navigation into your own app giving end users a single, integrated end user experience and all you need to do is include a couple of lines of code!
  • Extending the User Interface of IBM Connections - IBM Connections in the cloud provides various extensions to make it super easy to extend the user experience. For example, let's say that you want to add a "Send a Thank You Award" button in someone's profile. A couple of clicks and voilá. 
  • Build a Hello World App for IBM Connections in Less than 5 minutes - This video walks through setting up your development environment and build a sample Hello World app to integrate with our cloud environment using the IBM Connections SDK.  In this case, it explains how to set up the Eclipse development environment, setting up Tomcat, get the right OAuth keys and go! Check it out below:

Developers, start coding!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Introducing File Sync for Mobile and More in IBM Connections 4.5 CR4

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A couple of hours ago, IBM Connections 4.5 CR4 was made available.  This new cumulative release introduces various new features, two of which specifically for mobile that I would like to focus on.

It's worth noting that these features are already available to our cloud customers so we are just wrapping these up and giving them to our on prem customers.

First, push notifications alert you when you have a new to-do (as seen below in the image), when someone asks to join one of your communities, or someone invites you to join their network.

Additionally, you can now select individual files to sync and work while you are offline. When syncing, the server will do a differential sync. That way if one of your co-workers updates only 1 slide in a 50MB presentation, only the particular slide that was changed will be sync, saving you time, battery, and bandwidth. If you don't have unlimited 3G/4G/LTE plan, you can also choose to sync only while connected to wifi.

Finally, you can also pick and choose which files to sync to which device. For example, you may only want 2-3 key presentations on your Android phone (or iPhone) while having 20-30 documents on your iPad where you can more easily edit the files.

Check out this 4 minute demo so you can see File Sync working in Mobile:

To see what else is new in IBM Connections 4.5 CR4, go here. To configure File Sync and push notifications, see the documentation here.

Monday, March 31, 2014

LikeMyIdea Demonstrates Idea Management with IBM Connections

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It's the last day of the first quarter and it's time to wrap up. I've been heads down working on various go to market activities for IBM Connections Next and even starting to think about what I'll say at the Social Connections VI User Group meeting in a couple of months (you ARE going, right??).

Idea management continues to be a hot topic. You may already be familiar with some partners who have extended the ideation capabilities in IBM Connections (hint: I've talked about them before in my blog).  

One of the solutions featured in the IBM Connect 2014 App Dev Throwdown was LikeMyIdea as you may have seen here.

LikeMyIdea not only integrates directly with IBM Connections, but it also users IBM BPM behind the scenes as yet another example of combining social with business processes. LikeMyIdea also provides a set of metrics to see top ideas, top voters, top submitters, etc.

Once the ideation managers are ready to execute on the ideas, LikeMyIdea presents a dashboard where you can assign people to execute on those ideas, specify a due date and then track it all seamlessly from one place.

Check out the 4 minute demo:

To learn more, check out LikeMyIdea in the Connections App Catalog.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tip: How To Share Links Using The IBM Connections Mobile App

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Various users have reached out to me asking how they can share links / pages as they surf the web from their mobile device with their network in IBM Connections.

The trick is to use what's called bookmarklets. Follow these instructions to add the two bookmark lets to your browser and then you'll be able to quickly share links from your mobile browser to the IBM Connections Mobile app. I've written these instructions for Safari on iPad so these might vary based on your browser and/or mobile device.

  1. Open Safari on your iPad
  2. Add this page as a bookmark (click on the "Share" button in the top left)
  3. Find the bookmarklet below that you want. Select and copy the Javascript in the text field.

    To post a link as a status update:


    To save the link as a Bookmark in Connections

  4. Go to your bookmarks (the book icon in the top right) and tap "Edit" in the bottom right. 
  5. Tap the new bookmark you just made of this page.
  6. Edit the name (e.g. Share in Connections) and in the URL field paste the Javascript you copied on step 3 above.
  7. Now to do the actual share, go to any web page, go to your bookmarks and tap the bookmarklet you want to use.


If you want to create your own bookmark lets for other things, check out this documentation on opening links to start the IBM Connections Mobile app. And if you are interested in other Bookmarklets (e.g. for Digg, Reddit, Pinterest, etc) check out this page.