Friday, May 27, 2011

Let's Get Techie: Deep Dive into Connections coding and TDI

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The Connections development team have put together a great series of videos over at YouTube that take you through a deep dive on some of the administrative aspects of Connections.

The intended audience for these videos are IT administrators who run or are about to run IBM Connections in their infrastructure or ISV's / Business Partners interested in developing applications on top of Connections.

The latest video, which was posted on Wednesday, is a deep dive on the Profiles API:

Another video that I recommend is this one from Judy Piper. Everything I learned about coding for Connections, I learned from Judy Piper, specially thanks to her tutorials and sample code. If it wasn't for Judy's tutorials, I don't think I would've been able to create the some of the plugins that I have coded and have made available in the Lotus App Catalog.

One that a lot of people may like (based on the number of questions that I've received about this) is how to load photos into Profiles from LDAP using TDI (Tivoli Directory Integrator):

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

How To Create a Custom Event Handler for Quickr Domino 8.5

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Here's another Quickr Tip. Quickr Domino has a very powerful Event model which allows to intercept and modify certain events. You can use either C/C++ or Domino agents to intercept various events. Before writing hook interfaces, you need to decide which method is most appropriate for your environment. You also can combine C/C++ code and Agent code on one server. Using C/C++ for hooking into the events is the fastest method and reduces the impact on the server to a minimum. When writing C/C++ hooks, make sure the C/C++ code is clean and error codes are checked properly, because a crash in your C/C++ hook will crash the Quickr Domino server as well.

The previous example that showed how to use C/C++ hooks was specific for Quickr Domino 8.2. There's now an updated example specific for Quickr Domino 8.5. The example shows how to use Visual Studio and provides sample code that you can download and play with.


You can check it out here:   http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/lqwiki.nsf/dx/Quickr_Domino_8.5_C_Hook_Sample_code

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Portlets Available for Connections 3.0.1

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Because Mac Guidera is out of the office and is probably not able to share these great news (he's the Product Manager for the awesome Connections plugins), I figured I would do so. Today we made available new portlets for Connections 3.0.1. As I mentioned earlier, we had 9 portlets for: Wikis, Activities, Profiles, Bookmarks, Tag Cloud, and Blogs.

Today, we've released new portlets that support Ideation blogs and add support for 3rd party authentication providers (TAM / Siteminder).

Even though the portlets are called Connections 3.0.1 Portlets, they support:

  • IBM Lotus Connections 2.5
  • IBM Lotus Connections 3.0
  • IBM Connections 3.0.1
  • IBM WebSphere Portal Server 6.1.5.2*
  • IBM WebSphere Portal Server 7.0.0.1*
  • Microsoft Windows XP SP3
  • Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 (32-bit, 64-bit toleration)
  • Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8
  • Mozilla Firefox 3.5, 3.6
  • Apple Safari 4

You can download the portlets, for free as usual, from the Lotus App Catalog here: https://greenhouse.lotus.com/plugins/plugincatalog.nsf/assetDetails.xsp?action=editDocument&documentId=511C128045FCD5D1852577B60055AD81

Thanks to the plugin team for making this available!

How To Give Quickr Domino 8.5 the new OneUI look

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Two weeks ago I blogged about how to make the Connection 3.0 UI look-n-feel like Quickr Domino 8.5. I've also received some questions on how to do the reverse. In other words, how to give Quickr Domino 8.5 the new look-n-feel in Connection 3.0+.

I asked the Chief Architect for Quickr Domino (Albert Wang) to see if he could pull this together. Very quickly he turned around and not only demonstrated that we can do this, but also created an article explaining how to implement this in your own system. Here's how Quickr looks with the new look-n-feel:

For instructions on how to do this, visit this article: http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/lqwiki.nsf/dx/Sample_Custom_Themes_for_Quickr_Domino_8.5

Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Key to a Successful Social Business is Social Everywhere

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The keyword 'social' is undoubtedly top of of mind for many people. It seems it's harder and harder every day to go by without hearing the words Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in your job, in the media, in the bus, in the subway, or wherever else you go. Hollywood has even taken this to the big stage with the movie The Social Network . And while the words 'social' and 'social software' may come up often, they could mean different things to different people. Some think of 'social software' as a way to waste time. Others view it as a way to collaborate with friends and peers. Others see it as dangerous because it makes content sharing too easy.

Nevertheless, consumer social networking sites such as Facebook are widely considered a success for its power to connect people and make it easier to market products. It begs the questions

  • "Is there any value to bring social collaboration technologies into my Enterprise?"
  • "Can I use Web 2.0 technologies inside the firewall to effectively transform my organization into a Social Business?"

This entry describes the importance of social technologies to your organization, common challenges faced when deploying these, the importance of a 'social everywhere' strategy and what tools are available to achieve this mission.

Why Is Social Important To Your Organization?

This past decade has been a difficult one on many fronts. Starting in 2001 the global economy has suffered and it's just now showing some signs of recovery, though painfully slow. Businesses have found themselves trying to rapidly adjust to the market demands. Some of those businesses have found, however, that they are not agile enough and can't adapt as fast as they would like to respond to emerging opportunities. It's time to take action and position your organization for growth as the global economy slowly comes out of its downturn.

The following sub-sections describe steps to take to position your company for growth.

Step 1: Accelerate Innovation - Increase Productivity

In order to position your organization for growth, we need to understand what are they key areas to focus on. An imperative way to drive growth is to accelerate innovation and ensure that you innovate faster than your competitors. Apple is a great example of this. They've seen huge success in the last 3 years because they've innovated a lot faster than their biggest competitor: Microsoft. While Apple still has a lot of work to do to catch up on market share, their revenue and profit numbers are certainly impressive. Apple has also been able to surpass Microsoft and has become the biggest technology company based on market capitalization.

In a survey of global CEO's, 98% of those CEOs said they need to restructure the way their organizations work. 5.3 hours are wasted per employee per week due to inefficient processes. Additionally, two hours are spent per employee per day looking for the right information and expertise within an organization.

Often times, information within an enterprise lives in silos. Therefore, the usefulness of this information is not maximized across the organization. Many companies have deployed team sites in the hopes that employees would dump their wisdom in these sites. However, each part of the organization, down to the department level, uses different places for document storage. This leads to fragmentation of the corporation as a whole and it means that employees must do a lot more work to individually search across these information silos. Inevitably, this leads to employee frustration and because they can't find the information they need, they need to "re-invent the wheel" and recreate the intellectual capital which already exists.

This is the where social software for the enterprise first comes in. Social software inside the enterprise helps accelerate innovation and increase productivity. The Australian Bureau of Statistics, for example, deployed IBM social software to bring speed and effectiveness to the organization.

Step 2: Rapidly Develop Workforce Skills and Capabilities

IBM recently released the 2010 Global Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) Study. The study highlights major challenges faced by organizations that could prevent growth. One of them is ensuring that the right employees with the right skills are allocated to the right projects. In fact, organizations classified as financial outperformers are 47% more likely to rate themselves as effective in workforce allocation.

Additionally, CHROs feel there are three critical capabilities they need to provide but feel its beyond their ability to achieve: developing future leaders, rapidly developing workforce skills and capabilities, and fostering knowledge sharing and collaboration. There are various reasons why CHROs feel they are not able to address this, as cited in the study:

Embedding creativity, agility, and speed, however, won't be easy. A number of boundaries -- functional, cultural, geographical, generational, and informational -- constrain workforce productivity and prevent enterprises from realizing their full potential. Organizations must overcome these borders to address emerging opportunities, whenever, wherever, and however they arise.

At the employee level, it's often left up to the employee to do self training or figure out which courses to take. Companies also struggle to both find and nurture effective future leaders. A U.K. HR director said "Our leaders currently rise to the top by chance, not design. We need to foster talent." Try as they might, organizations don't have a clear view of who's who in an organization.

Social software behind the firewall is the right solution in this case. Whether users decide to blog, write wikis, share files, participate in discussion forums, join/participate in communities, their intellectual capital is captured in one single place: their profile. This profile is fully searchable and discoverable making it easier to identify individuals for the right job. At the same time, employees can effectively learn from each other and discover topics that they may be interested in and even career opportunities that best match their interests, skills, and capabilities. This informal learning (also called social learning in the enterprise) is critical to empower employees to rapidly develop the skills they need for the job they want.

Sogeti, a Capgemini subsidiary that specializes in technology services, deployed IBM social software because it wanted to ensure that its consultants had the right skills for the projects they needed to staff. Additionally, it made it easier to identify the consultant that had the right skills and experience for a particular project.

Step 3: Break Down Existing Silos

For some time now, organizations may have been following knowledge management principles where everything is tightly controlled and centered around documents. Individual business units, departments or divisions may have chosen their own way of collaborating around documents. This often means different technology products sitting disconnected from the rest of the enterprise, and perhaps not even accessible by everyone in the enterprise.

Organizations need to develop the infrastructure and, perhaps most importantly, culture required to stimulate innovation and enhance operation efficiency and effectiveness. The 2010 Global Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) Study clearly concludes that the best way to achieve this is by encouraging the formation and use of cross-organization communities around strategic business topics, solicit and recognize fresh insights and new thinking from internal and external sources, and create value through the systematic capture and reuse of individual work outcomes.

Cultural and organizational silos often compromise the ability of companies to share information across functional boundaries. A senior vice president of HR of a North American company said: "We need to know our stuff and be self-reliant, to solve problems cross-functionally and to fully leverage our talent and ideas".

An enterprise-wide social collaboration platform can easily break down organizational and collaboration silos and unite your workforce. It can give your workforce the tools necessary to form and track communities of practices, share and re-use intellectual capital, and lead idea capture. Additionally, it can even break down the barriers between employees and customers. Sennheiser, a leading manufacturer of headphones, microphones, and other audio equipment, recently deployed IBM social software to more effectively connect the workers across the organization. The platform enabled the company to build a single global collaboration solution among customer support representatives, audio engineers and global experts. Using the solution, the company started to build a single knowledge base. Team members can now instantly access detailed information about a performer’s equipment requirements and a venue’s technical specifications. Global RF specialists exchange their knowledge, ideas, and suggestions over blogs and wikis.

Common Enterprise Challenges with Social - If You Build It, Will They Come?

A key challenge here is determining who has ultimate responsibility for driving information sharing within an organization to effectively break down these information silos. Dion Hinchcliffe, founder and chief technology officer for the Enterprise Web 2.0 advisory and consulting firm Hinchcliffe & Co, recently wrote that it doesn't have to be a C-level executive. However, he does emphasize that while strong executive leadership is a key success factor, it's really critical that a group of forward-thinking leaders from across the organization get together and drive the organizational and culture transformation:

It really takes a village, or more properly, an forward-looking organization that is trying to recalibrate itself around the way that the way that the world seems to be shifting. That shift, the fast-moving and global world of sharing, participating, and openness that is social media at its finest, is one in which smart organizations will pull together their best internal leaders to proactively make themselves better. This will get the ideas, innovation, and knowledge into the right places at the right times to the benefit of customers, shareholders, and ultimately, you and I.

Hinchcliffe is not alone. According to CMSWire, the biggest challenge in transforming your organization into a Social Business is adoption.

You can't expect to build a Social Business solution and pray to the gods that employees will use it. It just won't work. As stated above, Social Business aims to break down silos, connect employees, and increase productivity and this is only achieved if the employees believe and use the system. Social Business is about leveraging the wisdom of the crowds. Social Business is about leveraging each other's work and ideas. Without people, the system breaks down.

Questions to think about:

  • What can I do to engage users on day 1?
  • What can I do to keep users engaged?
  • How can I increase trust in the system

Importance of Social Everywhere

Today's workers are under extreme pressure to meet deadlines. It's unreasonable to expect that they'll have to take the time to learn new tools and figure out ways to incorporate it into their business process. Therefore, it's essential that these new collaboration technologies are weaved into existing business processes. If employees can collaborate from their existing tools without needing to open a browser, sign on, and consume/share content separately then it's more likely that the employees will participate more and rely on it. You want to drive your employees to social software, not away from it.


In real estate, it's all about location, location, location. When considering a Social Business deployment for your organization, you must think about integration, integration, integration. Think about this: where do your employees do most of the work? In e-mail? Mobile? In spreadsheets? In documents? Most likely, your employees are creating intellectual capital and doing their day-to-day tasks in a particular application that's not the browser. Therefore, why not bring the tools to the employee instead of waiting for the employee to come to the tool?

CMSWire recently published an article where it highlights the importance of integrating your Enterprise 2.0 solution with existing tools and processes.

Enterprise 2.0 tools don’t live in a vacuum, in fact, far from it. They have to be integrated within the fabric of your organization as it exists today. [...] You might think that you can roll out an Enterprise 2.0 tool without integrating it anywhere or with anything. However, beware of creating an information silo (or additional information silos).

Consequently, Social Everywhere is important because it will:

  • make the best-of-breed collaboration tools available to all employees everywhere, anywhere, anytime
  • make it easier for your employees to collaborate, share and re-use intellectual capital
  • help your realize value from an organizational transformation faster
  • keep end-users engaged
  • simplify the process of exchanging information
  • bring the tools to the end users
  • create trust
  • increase productivity

In all, a Social Everywhere strategy is about driving and sustaining adoption which accelerates the rate at which ROI is achieved and surpassed.

How to Drive Social Everywhere

IBM's Social Collaboration Platform is ideal to drive the social everywhere strategy you need. Ever since it was made available to customers 4 years ago, it has focused on integration as a key method to drive and sustain adoption. Through it's App Catalog, IBM currently provides integration plug-ins for:

It's critical that you don't forget about your mobile workforce. These are probably the first to realize value from a Social Business solution. IBM's Social Collaboration Platform is accessible via mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and Nokia S devices, and the like without additional plugins. RIM provides a native application for BlackBerry devices. ilionx has built a native iPhone / iPad application for Connections.

The following images show some of the integration points available today for free.

Figure 1. If your employees are already connected to your portal, then you can surface IBM Connections directly in their context

Figure 2. Microsoft SharePoint surfaced within IBM Connections where you can upload and download files directly through IBM Connections which effectively destroys those Microsoft SharePoint silos you have.

Figure 3. Bringing IBM Connections content to Microsoft SharePoint

Figure 4. IBM Connections available on your mobile device

Figure 5: Microblogging from your email client

Figure 6: Sharing documents directly from Microsoft Word

The integration points provided by IBM's Social Collaboration Platform are endless and it's impossible to cover all of them in this entry. Hopefully, this provides a sneak peek into all the integration options available which will be key to drive and sustain adoption of your new Social Busines platform.

Conclusion

In adopting IBM Connections technology, the ABS is in very good company. Over 35% of Fortune 100 companies have also adopted IBM's social software offerings.

According to the IDC Worldwide Social Platforms Revenues by Vendors, 2007-2009, June 2010, IBM was named the worldwide market share leader in the Social Software Market, which includes IBM Connections. The IDC report states that worldwide revenue for the social platforms market was $369.7 million in 2009, representing growth of more than 55 percent. Gartner has classified IBM's social platform as a Leader in their Social Platform Magic Quadrant of October 2010.

Thus, if you are ready to transform your company and get it ready for the new growth opportunities in this new decade, look no further than at IBM's Social Collaboration Platform.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Estudio Sobre Redes Sociales en Puerto Rico

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Me acabo de topar con esta presentación en Slideshare. Me encanta el concepto de tener un estudio sobre el uso de las redes sociales específicamente en Puerto Rico. 618 cibernautas de Puerto Rico participaron en el estudio. De estos 80% tiene un bachillerato o algún tipo de maestría o doctorado (por lo tanto, la mayoría no son personas de escuela elementa/superior).

El estudio tiene unos hallazgos bien interesantes:

  • La mayoría que prefiera Facebook como su red social favorita son los que tienen algún tipo de maestría o doctorado.
  • Los que prefieren Twitter tipicamente son los que tienen bachillerato. Sería bueno tener algún tipo de desglose por edades ya que tipicamente la audiencia de Twitter suele ser gente mayor Y Facebook es usado por gente más joven
  • 66% de los usuarios de redes sociales están empleados a tiempo completo
  • 71% de los usuarios están 3 o más horas dedicados a redes sociales! Wow!
  • 72% de los usuarios visitan las redes sociales todos los días (no surprise there! :) )

Una estadística que me sorprendió es la gran cantidad de corporaciones que están bloqueando el acceso a las redes sociales. El estudio encontró que 48% de los patronos de estos usuarios están bloqueando el acceso. Esto es un ejercicio fútil ya que me imagino que 100% de estos usuarios tienen algún tipo de proxy para circumventar los bloqueos de estas corporaciones. Además, el que los empleados estén en las redes sociales es crítico para el éxito de una compañía. Si trabajas en IT para una compañía te recomiendo que leas este blog para que veas el valor que tiene el que sus empleados estén en las redes sociales.

Aquí está la presentación de SlideShare.

Me imagino que esta data va a ser bueno ahora para las agencias de mercadeo que quieren entender quienes son los usuarios de estas redes sociales.

Gracias a Jeanessa García por darme el link.

Recap of IBM's Social Business Jam

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As mentioned in a previous post, the IBM Social Business Jam results have been posted (no registration required).

Others have already beat me to the punch to highlight some of the results from our Social Business Jam which was held the week after Lotusphere 2011 #ls11. For example, Peter Kim from the Dachis Group offers his take here and my colleague Rawn Shah has his take over here.

The 72-hour jam brought together 2,700 participants from 80 countries (with a high profile list of special guests). According to the report, in those 72 hours, there were 2600 posts and 600+ tweets (this # seems low to me though).

Throughout the Jam there were several quick polls aimed at getting a quick pulse from the participants. One of the polls that caught my eye was: "What is most likely to encourage you to use social software more in your job?". Top answer? Social software must be embedded in the applications I use to do my job!

And that's something that I've been promoting a lot. Every customer I go to, I tell them the importance of integration, integration, and integration. Just like real estate is all about location, location, location. This poll also validates IBM's Social Everywhere strategy which was announced at Lotusphere 2010.

The jam also addressed the elusive social media ROI (retun on investment). The participants believe that social media ROI is measurable but there's a need for a new set of metrics, for example:

  1. Brand mentions
  2. Customer engagement (comments / re-sharing)
  3. # of active advocates (outside of the brand)
  4. Customer satisfaction increase
  5. Increased web traffic
  6. etc
I thought #3 was an interesting one. I hadn't really thought about that one and that's a good one to try and measure.
Another section of the report that caught my attention was that "the role of middle managers is changing -- or perhaps disappearing altogether". This is something that I fear prevents adoption at some organizations as some levels of management see this as a threat to their jobs. It reminded me of a blog post I read recently: Why middle management must feat social media. To address this, I often mention how middle management is going to become even more effective and productive at their work because they'll have more transparency. At the same time, they remove themselves as the bottlenecks and can focus on business decisions that require their attention instead of just being a connector.
A key point that was brought up by the participants was the role of IT in a social business. In a previous blog post, I highlighted the importance of not falling victim of the "If you build it, they will come approach". The jam participants validated this by stressing the importance of making IT a partner in this process. If IT is not nimble enough to adjust quickly to the needs of the employees, the company faces a bigger challenge: the adoption of consumer tools for internal social collaboration.   

You can download and read the full report here and read it on your way home on your iPad or favorite eBook reader.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

IBM is now the 2nd largest technology company eclipsing Microsoft

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About a year ago, Apple became the largest technology company after surpassing Microsoft's market capitalization. About 7 months ago, I referenced how IBM stock had reached it's all time high. I jokingly mentioned that it was because of our use of social business platform.

Fast forward to today, and a few minutes ago IBM is now the second largest technology company after Apple leaving MIcrosoft in position #3.


Keep it coming!

Enterprise 2.0 Adoption Council 2011 Salary Survey

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The Enterprise 2.0 Adoption Council (part of the Dachis Group) released last week the results of the salary survey for those working on internal social business transformation. You may know the 2.0 Adoption Council from the This Week In Lotus podcast where Susan Scrupski, Luis Suarez, and myself participated in a podcast episode. If you haven't listened to that episode yet, I strongly recommend that you do. And if you are solely responsible for driving adoption of your social business platform like Connections, I also strongly encourage you to join the council. It's a great opportunity to learn from fellow practioners across the globe and across a wide range of industries (regardless of which technology they are using).

93 of the 2.0 Adoption Council members responded to the short survey of 3 questions. The median salary for the group landed at ~$115k, and it shows that IT is no longer the gatekeeper for knowledge sharing and intellectual capital reuse.

My colleague, Rawn Shah, did a write up on Forbes as well which you should read. Rawn picked up on a statement that also caught my attention:

Working in 2.0 initiatives is not a ‘social sandbox’ for tire-kicking, groundswell, low-level employees.

Too often I hear of companies who want to follow a "If you build it, they will come" approach, and often I hear how these companies face continuous challenges to get the adoption they desire. Thus, it's important that the right people are engaged with the right plan in order to achieve this transformation.

I recommend viewing the presentation in full screen because of its high resolution graphics.

Now you have something to use to negotiate your next pay increase.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Register Now: How a Social Business Reduces Cost & Improves Effectiveness Webcast

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The following just came via email so I figured I would share with you:


An InformationWeek and BrainYard Webcast:


Honing Your Social Antenna: Improve Effectiveness and Reduce Costs by Becoming a More Social Business

Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Time: 11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET
Duration: 60 Minutes

Across industries, the challenges for managers and leaders today are clear: how can I employ social collaboration in a way that creates business value and not chaos? How can my people make the right connections easily, so they don't waste time and money looking for the person or insight they need to do their jobs? How do I evolve my organization in a controlled way, avoiding pitfalls and mistakes in today’s rapidly changing landscape?

A Social Business activates networks of people that apply relevant content and expertise to improve and accelerate how things get done, delivering unprecedented return for the time invested. Welcome to a new workplace where "knowledge = power" evolves into "shared knowledge = power". Where new technologies give whole new power to users without breaking IT's budget. Where organizational best practices unleash your teams' true potential, placing people back at the center of the equation.

Join Caleb Barlow, Director for IBM Unified Communications and Collaboration, for a discussion on how savvy businesses are honing their social "antenna" in order to better see, hear, and sense changing market conditions. Learn how to act more quickly on that knowledge by collaborating effortlessly with peers, customers and business partners.

In this webcast you will learn:

  • The three key social shifts your business can't ignore
  • The three tenets of being a social business
  • How new capabilities such as voice and video collaboration, social listening, and social monitoring tools save money AND improve effectiveness

Register for free here: https://www.techwebonlineevents.com/ars/eventregistration.do?mode=eventreg&F=1003151&K=MAA3

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Couple of Updates

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I'm now about 8 months into my new job and figured it would be a good time and just write down some of the things that I've been working on.

For the past month, I've been heads down working with analysts on their new evaluations of social software platforms. It's definitely been a lot of fun to learn how analysts review Connections and how they compare us against our competitors. Both of the analyst firms first gave us a long list of questions to answer where they were looking for answers on which capability we had, which one we didn't and which one could be done via a customization. One of the analyst firms invited us for a 4 hour demo of our platform. Given that was my first exposure to an analyst in such an important review, I have to admit I was a bit jealous.

I was working very closely with Suzanne Livingston, who is already an expert at these things. Needless to say, I learned a LOT from her. Now it's all done so we just have to wait until the reports come out.

I've also been working with the developers as we continue to plan towards Connections Next and Quickr Next. In particular, I'm looking at what's coming in Communities, Files, and Wikis Next.

Something that I'm very excited about, but can't share a lot about right now, is a new capability that we are working with our sales team to better compete against the other vendors in the space.

My plan now is to catch up with some of the things that have been published recently, such as:

1) Rawn Shah's presentation at the Dachis Social Business Summit:

2) Review the results from the IBM Social Business Jam

3) Catch up on This Week in Lotus and Get Social Do Business podcasts

4) Review more entries that have been submitted to the Lotus App Catalog

5) Keep playing and reviewing the beta of the new iPhone app for Connections: iWildfire

6) Register for the InformationWeek/BrainYard webcast on May 18th. More info here.

How To Dynamically Change the Connections Theme

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Yesterday I got a question from a customer who was looking to revert the Connections 3.0.1 theme back to the Connections 2.5 theme. Part of the reason why they wanted to do this was because they were running Quickr 8.5 and they wanted to have some visual integration of the two. At first I thought this was going to be a daunting task, so I asked in my internal board. Within 2 minutes a discussion started and in less than 60 minutes I had my answer! (can you tell why I love this stuff??):


I'l spare you the details of the discussion, but the important thing to note is that the 2.5 theme is included as part of 3.0.x. So basically, there are two approaches. You can create a button that when clicked calls the method specified by David above. You can also do it manually and test it against Greenhouse by following these steps:

  1. Go to http://greenhouse.lotus.com/homepage
  2. Log in
  3. Once logged in, type the following in the address bar and press Enter: javascript:lconn.core.header.switchTheme('gen1');
  4. Voilá

Alternatively, the second approach is to make the 2.5 theme the default for all users. Here's how you do this:

  1. Go to the server where Connections is installed
  2. Create a directory called: <CONNECTIONS_ROOT>\data\shared\customization\common\nav\common\styles\defaultTheme
  3. Copy all the files from <WAS_PROFILE_ROOT>\installedApps\showcase2Cell01\Activities.ear\oawebui.war\nav\common\styles\gen1Theme
  4. In the directory specified in step 2, rename the gen1Theme*.* files to defaultTheme*.* (e.g. rename gen1Theme.css to defaultTheme.css)
  5. Restart Connections
  6. Voilá

Enjoy!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Achieve a Smarter Planet by Becoming a Social Business

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You are probably aware by now about IBM's Smarter Planet strategy. IBM's products and solutions are aligning and being packaged around the need to create a Smarter Planet. A key pillar to this strategy is, of course, Social Business. And to that effect, IBM has created a single page to aggregate tons of information and resources into a single place.

In that page, you'll find benefits of using social business tools, a description of what it means to be a social business, whitepapers, analyst reports, case studies, 60 seconds snapshots, and solutions to get started.

In terms of the benefits of social business tools (or the business value of social business tools), the page includes several stats such as:

  • The world spends 110 billion minutes on social networks per month
  • McKinsey latest study reveals that 9 out of the 10 businesses using Web 2.0 tools are seeing measurable business benefits from its use
  • Standout organizations are 57% more likely than their peers to allow their people to use social and collaborative tools


As mentioned above, the site also includes various "snapshots". These are 60-second videos that show Social Business at work. One of the videos that caught my attention was the one where a group of MIT students used social networking to find hidden weather balloons across the United States. They did this as part of a challenge issued by the US Government and the team was able to find 10 balloons in less than 9 hours!

So achieve a Smarter Planet by becoming a Social Business.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Quickr 8.5.1 User Essentials Course Now Available!

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I'm glad to see all these solutions become available for Quickr. Yesterday, I was made aware of a new course made available by wareSource called "Quickr 8.5.1 User Essentials".

Here's the description:

Social networking tools provide a way for people to communicate and interact online. Lotus Quickr is a key element of IBM’s “Social Business” initiative that provides a new competitive advantage with an integrated set of social networking tools.

During this course you will learn how to use Lotus Quickr to share all types of content with your colleagues down the hall or around the globe using online libraries, blogs, wikis, discussions, and shared calendars and task lists.

You will learn how to create and secure new Places while serving as a Place Owner and Manager, add content using a variety of Item types as an Author, and serve as an Editor to validate and revise content.

You will also install and use the Quickr Connectors to share and work on files directly from other desktop applications.

To get the full list of topics covered and view a free sample go here. The licensing for the course is by user so take a peek. This may be a great way to get your users up to speed with all the new great things in Quickr 8.5 for an affordable price.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Check It Out: My Information View Widgets for Quickr

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Recently, one of our business partners, Peters Technology Group, published a set of new widgets for Quickr Domino.

The widget is pretty cool because it gives you custom views that enhance the experience as you are navigating the document library. The views are:

  • Recently Edited - shows a list of documents that you have recently edited regardless of where they are
  • Checked Out - shows a list of documents that you have currently checked out regardless of where they are
  • Lifecycle Status - shows a list of documents waiting for your approval
  • Favorites - shows a list of documents that you have marked as Favorites

Steven Peters also created a quick 2 minute video to demonstrate this functionality.

The widgets, of course, have been added to the app catalog, so go ahead and check it out there.