Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Scan Documents Directly into IBM Connections with Cobra Image Router

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Do you work for an organization that it's very paper intensive? Would you like an easier way to get paper documents into IBM Connections? Well, here's the solution for you!

Cobra Image Router v6 is now available and integrates directly with IBM Connections. Cobra Image Router (CIR) 6 for IBM Connections enables capture of paper content using any network connected scanner or multifunction device - and intelligently delivers content to your IBM Connections Files environment.

CIR will :

  • deliver content directly from scanning device to your on-premise or cloud based Connections environment
  • allow the user to distribute content securely to any audience share - including specific Users, Folders or Communities
  • deliver a full-text-searchable PDF via OCR
  • allow point-of-scan data entry for profiling content with document title and description, even to add comments and tags!

Take a peek at the demo below:

To download a free trial of the app visit the IBM Connections App Catalog here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Webcast - What is New in IBM Connections Next

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On September 7th, I will join Joyce Davis' IBM Collaboration Solutions Webcast. This webcast is open to everyone so if you haven't seen what's coming in IBM Connections Next yet, this will be a great opportunity for that. I think a large number of people have already seen and experienced the newest release of IBM Connections in the Greenhouse.

I'm hoping to show you features (yes, via a demo!) that perhaps you haven't discovered yet so I would like to invite you to register and join the event.

Here's the description of the event:

For the 3rd year in a row, IDC ranked IBM number one in worldwide market share for enterprise social software. Also, in Forrester Wave™: Cloud Strategies of Online Collaboration Software Vendors, 3Q 2012, IBM SmartCloud for Social Business, built on IBM Connections, was cited as a leader. And recently, IBM Connections ranked as Leader in the Aragon Research Globe for Enterprise Social Software, 2012 report.

By now, you've probably been using now IBM Connections "Next" on Greenhouse for a few weeks. You think you may have used all the cool new features, but have you really seen them all? Join us as we take you through a tour of IBM Connections "Next" so that you can see first-hand, all the amazing new collaborative capabilities that are available in this new release!

To register for the webcast, click here.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

IBM Ranked as Leader in the Aragon Research Globe for Enterprise Social Software, 2012

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And the great news keep piling up. On Tuesday, IBM was cited as a Leader in Forrester's Wave: Cloud Strategies of Online Collaboration Software Vendors.

Today, I've learned that IBM Connections has been ranked as Leader in the Aragon Research Globe for Enterprise Social Software, 2012. IBM Connections continues to be the market leader in enterprise social software !

According to their announcement, the report evaluates 22 social collaboration vendors against 3 dimensions: Strategy, Performance, and Reach. Based on the evaluation of each vendor, each vendor is placed in 1 of 4 spheres: Leader, Innovator, Specialist or Contender. Again, IBM was ranked as a Leader.

Aragon Research is the newest technology research and advisory firm. Aragon delivers high impact research and advisory services to provide enterprises the insight they need to help them make better technology and strategy decisions.

A great example of a customer reaping the benefits of becoming a social business with IBM Connections is Lowe's Home Improvement. Earlier in the year they shared this story:

Needless to say, I'm extremely excited to continue to see IBM Connections being validated by independent research firms as a leader. Exciting times ahead indeed!

If you want to read the report, you can get it from Aragon here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

IBM SmartCloud Cited as a Leader in Cloud Strategies of Online Collaboration Vendors

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Amazing news to share today! As you may have seen in Bethann Cregg's blog entry from today, IBM was among the vendors Forrester Research invited to participate in their latest Forrester Wave™: Cloud Strategies of Online Collaboration Software Vendors, 3Q 2012. In this report, IBM SmartCloud for Social Business, built on IBM Connections, was cited as a leader. W00t !

IBM SmartCloud for Social Business is IBM's premier cloud-based online collaboration platform. Several weeks back I worked with my peers as we prepared our documentation to send it over to Forrester. Needless to say, I'm extremely excited that Forrester considers IBM a leader in this Forrester Wave report!

The BrainYard earlier this week published an article that highlights the vendors that Forrester recognized as leaders. In it, you can see my colleague Ramsey,  who I worked with to get this done, quoted in the article.

More and more companies are looking at leveraging cloud-based collaboration solutions. A recent example is Ricoh who chose the IBM Connections platform on the cloud to better collaborate with its global employees. Check out the video that was recently shared by them:

Other media outlets have picked this up too:

Congrats to the entire team who worked on this. [Updated 30/Aug/2012] - to view the report now go here.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

IBM Connections Mobile Apps Updated - Get Them Now

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IBM has just updated its mobile apps for IBM Connections on both Android and iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) to version 3.5. By now, you've most likely seen the demos of this apps. If not, I'm including the one for iPad here and you can see the others over here.

With today's update IBM SmartCloud Connections users can now access their files on the cloud directly from their mobile device and also store them offline (with full encryption security) in case you are going to that very important meeting where you won't have Wifi or 3G access.

As you can see above, the app is also pre-configured for SmartCloud so simply select that account type, enter your username and password and off you go. Very easy! Expect more updates as we enable more and more services on the mobile apps for SmartCloud.

As usual, the app remains free and can be downloaded immediately from the iTunes App Store or from Google Play. If you went to Lotusphere 2012, you'll remember that this was originally targeted towards the end of this year. I'm happy that the development team was able to accelerate this work and enable these capabilities for our SmartCloud users.

So go on and get it! And don't forget to rate the app and leave a comment!

From Liking to Leading - The Success of your Business is Social

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IBM and InformationWeek will host From Liking to Leading, a live broadcast Thursday, September 13 at 1:00 PM ET.   We will explore the changing face of business. Brian Gillooly, editor-in-chief of InformationWeek, will give his market perspective on business and the value of the social graph. Market-leading organizations will share the benefits they're realizing by being social. And IBM executives, Jeff Schick and Alistair Rennie, will discuss ways businesses can gain competitive advantage by enabling more employees to be innovators and more clients to be advocates.

In this webcast you'll have the opportunity to learn from other organizations ways you can harness these unique capabilities NOW to gain competitive advantage:
  • Create a smarter workforce that is socially empowered to attract and connect the right people to the information and expertise they need, whenever and wherever they need it
  • Create exceptional customer experiences that are socially engaged, across all channels, and can anticipate and meet individual needs before they ask
To view the invite and learn more, click on the image below:

Register today!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Office Space's TPS Reports (May) Go Social At SXSW 2013

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Earlier this week, Suzanne Livingston shared that SXSW voting is now open for the 2013 conference. I had a great time attending the SXSW 2012 conference and would love to speak again at the conference.

Suzanne and I have submitted our abstracts so let me tell you about them.

First, I think is one that is going to be loved by all fans of the movie Office Space. If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend that you check it out (it's in Netflix right now). A funny scene in the movie is when an employee is reprimanded when not formatting their "TPS" report properly. So at SXSW we want to talk about how you can make that TPS report social! You can watch the scene below:
Second, we are proposing a panel so attendees can learn how companies have transformed their cultures to create a more engaged workforce, accelerate innovation, and lead in social business. With only 8% of organizations leveraging social collaboration tools across the entire enterprise, I truly believe that we need to do more to get this going and starting by transforming the corporate culture is key.

Would you like these to be part of the SXSW 2013 agenda? So do I!!! So here's how you can help out.

Please comment and vote on the following two abstracts. (Note: to vote, you need to be signed in):
1) Yes, that TPS report can be social, too -
2) Corporate Culture shock: when strategy isn't enough -

Discussions on the abstracts are highly important, so don't forget to comment. Also, while you are in the PanelPicker site, you may want to check out the other sessions submitted by other IBMers:
Thanks for voting and commenting!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Exciting Times Ahead: The Case for How Social Media Can Boost Employee Productivity

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With the upcoming launch of IBM's newest Connections release, I can't help but get excited as to what's about to happen. And of course, when I see the product that I work on as the Cover Story of the USA Today, that gets me even more excited! As you probably saw in Ed Brill's blog yesterday, the USA Today ran a piece on how companies are seeing employee productivity increase with the use of social collaboration tools, such as IBM Connections. The article highlights Newly Weds Foods which uses IBM Connnections for its 2,700 employees to help them share sauces, batters, breadings, and more. To see a video of Newly Weds Foods testimonial, check this out. Also, check out the picture I took of the paper's cover story:

So the next question is, how big is the opportunity for social collaboration tools ? Well, another interesting piece that I ran into yesterday was the 2012 Digital Workplace Trends Report. In it, only 8% of enterprises surveyed claim to have a social business platform rolled out enterprise wide. The number at first seemed very small to me, but when you compare that with 33% of organizations that say they have sporadic deployments, it makes sense. However, it concerns me that companies are still taking a silo'ed approach instead of taking an approach where silos are destroyed.

What's very encouraging, and validates IDC prediction that spending will continue to increase in this area, is that the report found that 47% of organizations are planning to increase their investment in social collaboration tools.

Exciting times ahead!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Oh Yeah - IBM Connections Next Beta Now in Greenhouse

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Let's get straight to it. A beta version of IBM Connections "Next" has now been loaded up in the Greenhouse. Check it out here:

Ok so I still am not allowed to show you this externally so the only way to check out this beta of IBM Connections "Next" is to go to Greenhouse. If you are not part of the beta, go check it out now! And if you don't have a Greenhouse account yet, you can get one here!

Please go out to Greenhouse and feel free to post comments there about what you see. And also invite your friends to check out IBM Connections "Next" in the Greenhouse by sending them a link to this blog (or the short URL above).

I look forward to the comments you post in Greenhouse.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

IBM Connections App Dev Contest Now In Progress

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Many developers are quickly ramping up and building solutions for social business platforms. Because IBM's social business platform is the one with the biggest market share worldwide, we are seeing a large amount of partners and ISVs building solutions for our platform.

Earlier this week, OpenNTF announced the 4th Development Contest and this time around it's focused on IBM Connections.

OpenNTF Chairman Bruce Elgort is quoted saying:

IBM Connections is now the platform of choice for companies embracing social business and I am extremely happy that this fourth development contest has a category specifically for it. I am eager to see what the awesome development community will development and submit to the contest.

Bruce also runs the Taking Notes Podcast and in the latest episode the podcast is focused solely on application development for IBM Connections. In the podcast, I cover an overview of the extension points and APIs available. The podcast also features Kudos, a gamification solution for IBM Connections and how it was built for that platform. To listen to the episode, check it out here.   

Additionally, if you haven't played with the Social Business Toolkit my colleague, Konrad Lagarde, has published a tutorial that explains how to use the toolkit to build apps for our cloud-based solution. As you'll see in the video below, Konrad uses the toolkit directly on his Mac. The toolkit is a simple-to-use wizard which guides the developer through a series of steps to create the building blocks for the app along with the OAuth dance. Here's that video:

So what are you waiting for? It's never been easier to build apps for IBM Connections!