Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Now Available: IBM Connections Wikis Tips & Tricks

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Recently, I've been working with a number of customers who are migrating content from other tools/platforms into IBM Connections Wikis.

Immediately, I started noticing a pattern in the questions and they were all trying to do very similar things. This gave me an idea to leverage the Best Practice sub-community of the IBM Connections Users community to share tips & tricks.

If you use Connections or if your company is in the process of deploying Connections, you MUST follow this community. I talked about the community last week as members came together during Lotusphere 2012 #ls12. The community is where a lot of Connections users from all over the world and from various industries and organizations are coming together to share best practices on adoption, deployment and more.

Inside IBM, a wiki had already been created to share tips & tricks. I was able to leverage that and make those examples public so that everyone could benefit from this great library of tips. In there, you'll find things like how to embed podcasts, video, Google Maps, and much more. Here's a screenshot of how it looks.


To access this wiki, click here and log in with your Greenhouse credentials. If you haven't registered yet on the Greenhouse, you can register here.

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lotusphere 2012: Thursday Recap

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And now we get to the last day of Lotusphere 2012 #ls12. Lotusphere 2012 was my 5th Lotusphere, but it was the first time that I actually stayed the full day on Thursday and left on Friday. Usually, I would head out to the airport Thursday at noon so I had never seen a Closing General Session or participated in a Blogger Open before. Like Sharon said, I'm surprised with the number of people who leave Wednesday night or super early on Thursday.

Thursday started like any other day with customer breakfast and then customer meetings. Then it was time for the Ask the Product Managers session. As usual, Mitch Cohen live blogged that session so you can see what happened there. It was an easy session for me since I only had to answer 1 question in the whole hour :) .

Leaving on Thursday also gave me a chance to connect with more people. At lunch I finally got to see Chris Whisonant if only for a few minutes and of course got my hands on the famous pretzel cookie.

After lunch, I took a very loooong walk encouraged by Alan Lepofsky. The last 7 days I had been trapped inside the Dolphin and/or Swan so it felt great to spend time outside and breathe some fresh air. I also had never been all around the property. Given the weather was so great, I had the opportunity to take some very cool pictures.

From there I headed to go see my first ever Closing General Session. The session was mainly hosted by Andrew Zimmern, who has his own TV show on the Travel Channel: Bizarre Foods.

Before the final session started, the big screen was showing tweets from earlier in the week. I managed to grab a couple of tweets but this is the best one that came out:


I think that tweet summarizes Lotusphere 2012 very well. Looking back on Lotusphere 2011, I think it was very focused still on the "Why Social Business", whereas this year with so many customers sharing their examples it was more about "How Social Business". And this was reflected as well on my 1:1 conversations with customers. They knew they had to become a social business and they were going to do it. They didn't need me to convince them of that. Rather, they wanted to talk adoption and roll-out strategies.

Finally, after the Closing General Session, we walked to the Blogger Open for some mini golf fun. It was awesome!!!! Our team didn't win anything (sorry guys!), but still had tons of fun.



I can't wait for Lotusphere 2013!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lotusphere 2012: Wednesday Recap

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Hopefully by now you've been able to read some of my previous posts on Lotusphere 2012 #ls12. I've already covered some of the media coverage, my recap from Monday, and my recap from Tuesday. So let's get on with Wednesday.

Just like Tuesday, I had to wake up very early to attend a Birds of Feather (BOF) session, this time hosted by IBM Champions: Sharon Bellamy, Stuart McIntyre, and Simon Vaughan. For some time now, Simon has been managing the IBM Connections Users community in Greenhouse. This community is a community run by IBM Connections customers for IBM Connections customers. A popular part of this community is the idea section where customers and partners are coming together to submit ideas for feature enhancements and vote on these ideas.

If you are not yet a member of this community and you use IBM Connections, I strongly recommend that you join the community. Simon has been doing a great job as the community manager and knows how to engage the right IBMers to participate in the conversation.

After the session completed, it was time for the third keynote titled The Future of Social Technologies with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web. This was an interesting day to have him on stage as this was the same day that there was a global protest against SOPA. Berners-Lee was very enthusiastic during his talk and I could tell that he's very excited about the Semantic Web and the mashup possibilities that are possible when you destroy silos and bring data together. At the keynote, we also got to hear from Manoj Saxeona, General Manager of the new Watson Solutions group at IBM.

Of course, if you missed the keynote, you can watch the replay here.

ibmsoftware on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free

The rest of the day was filled with customer meetings and my second session at Lotusphere 2012. This time I presented on What's New in IBM Lotus Quickr for Domino, what's coming very soon and what's in the long term roadmap. One of the things that I was very happy about in 2011 was how good the product did and how much the ecosystem grew. Many partners keep building solutions on top of Quickr and the customer base keeps growing. I also shared the news around the releases that were done last year.

During the session, I got the feeling that people were very happy with the roadmap. I did announce that there's a new release coming out in Q1 of this year. I'll be sharing more details soon as to the specific release date so stay tuned. Here's the presentation for those of you who couldn't make it.

Towards the latter part of the afternoon, I joined a BOF that was hosted in Spanish. I think that was a first for Lotusphere (a BOF hosted in a language other than English). In the BOF we talked about social business challenges in the Spanish-speaking market. I got to share my own personal story of how I was able to overcome some common fears which prevent adoption, such as "knowledge is power". I couldn't stay for the whole session as I had a meeting to go to prior to leaving to the Wednesday night party.

After the last meeting of the day, I headed out to Sea World where I got to see Shamu (not the show but the mascot) and ride Manta and Kraken! Those two roller coasters were so much fun! And because lines were moving fast, I was able to ride the coasters multiple times. Sweet! The weather was just beautiful. Here are a couple of pics I snapped.



Overall a great day at the conference!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lotusphere 2012: Tuesday Recap

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Tuesday at Lotusphere 2012 #ls12 required getting up very early as Mac Guidera and I had a 7am Birds of Feather (BOF) session on IBM Connections Adoption and Governance.

The sun completely threw me off and I barely got out of bed in time. As I walked towards the Swan, the sun wasn't even out and I took and shared this picture on Instagram. I did make it on time, and was surprised that the room was completely full that early in the morning which led to a great discussion.

We talked about guidelines, gamification, integration, plugins, executive engagement, and other tactics to help the adoption of social business within an enterprise. To my surprise, Michael Sampson, author of the recently published book Collaboration Roadmap made it to the session! My favorite part was getting customers to talk to each other and share was has worked for them.

Day 2 keynote was right after our BOF so we headed back to the Dolphin. Mike Rhodin, Michael Chui from the McKinsey Global Institute and Wendy Arnott VP for Social Media from TD Bank were the keynote speakers. Wendy told various stories of how TD Bank has adopted IBM Connections and are becoming a social business. She also shared some tips on what has worked for them to drive adoption:

  1. Get the executives involved from the beginning
  2. Set up dedicated community managers
  3. Get various business units involved: Marketing, HR, Communications, IT, etc
  4. Don't overlook the minor details
  5. Engage employees

And speaking of TD Bank (who uses Outlook for email), I was glad to see so many customers that use competing products such as Microsoft Outlook and/or SharePoint add IBM Connections to their stack. Other examples that came up at the conference were Electrolux, Bayer, and Continental AG.

Todd Watson has an amazing recap of this opening keynote. And, if you couldn't make it to the keynote on day 2, you can catch the replay right here:

After lunch, I headed down to the Social Café where it was my turn to take on my duties as a member of "Team Social". I had various persons come up to me telling me their company had deployed IBM Connections and just wanted help on the best ways to use it. I shared my experiences and got them to promise that first thing they would do once they got back was to start using IBM Connections more.

Another surprise of the day was when I learned that I had received an award: VideoFest 2012 Super Star. Sweet!!   VideoFest is now a yearly tradition where members of the community submit videos that show tips on how to use the various products of the portfolio.


And thanks to Mitch Cohen for capturing this pic:
Lotusphere 2012 Random Images

A great day overall!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Lotusphere 2012: Monday Recap

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Last Monday was the 2nd day of the Lotusphere 2012 #ls12 and was the day that the Opening General Session took place. I was part of the demo team so for me this was the day that Lotusphere actually started as up until then we were backstage getting ready for the big keynote.

As you probably know, the keynote was live streamed. The main speaker was Michael J. Fox and the opening band was Ok Go which made Lotusphere trend in Twitter. Michael J. Fox did a tremendous job on stage and was very funny. I'm sure that every time someone brings up a problem, I'm going to say: "Hey, a lady had a baby in a tree, what do you got?". If you don't get the reference, you'll have to watch the live stream replay here.

Or if you are short on time, here's the OGS in 60 seconds:

The feedback from the audience in Twitter was extremely positive. I loved every minute of the experience of getting the demo ready and getting to know what it takes to put together the best demo ever for Lotusphere. Hope that next year I get to participate in this as well. Here's a picture of the demo team taken by Alistair Rennie.

Immediately after the main keynote, customer and business partner meetings started. Throughout the conference, the attitude was extremely positive and everyone was very excited about what's coming in 2012.

At the same time, Guy Kawasaki took the stage for the Opening General Session at the IBM Connect conference. Guy had a great message around trust, where you have to trust others before they start trusting you. Guy also insisted that you have to accept others the way they are, and not to try to change them. Next, he emphasized the importance to always think how you can help the other person, and not how they can help you.

If you missed it, here's a quick chat recorded with Guy:

Watch live streaming video from ibmsoftware at livestream.com

or his actual keynote is here:

Watch live streaming video from ibmsoftware at livestream.com

Monday afternoon was also my first session of the conference where I co-presented with Mike Roche, Chief Architect for IBM Connections. Since our session wasn't on the Application Development track, we wanted to stay away from code and instead highlight the art of the possible and show how customers and business partners have extended the IBM Connections Platform. I often find that not everyone is aware of all the integration points that are available today so that's why we wanted to focus on that.

Here's the presentation that we used:

Monday night, the OGS team headed out for dinner and it was great. I had such a good time. I think I hadn't laughed that hard before so it was a great way to end the day and hang out with colleagues who are often remote.

More to come in other posts...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lotusphere 2012: Media Coverage

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Just like last year, I am now back home and it's time to catch up with my feed reader and all the press coverage that was generated by #ls12 or Lotusphere 2012. Looking at the press generated this year and comparing to that of 2011, this year's coverage is **significantly** higher! To me, this has been my favorite Lotusphere and I'm extremely excited as to what the rest of 2012 will look like!

Newspapers and Magazines:
NY Times: IBM Makes Its Social Computing Strategy Smarter
The BrainYard: 10 Ways to Transform Into a Social Enterprise
TechNewWorld: IBM Hones Social Enterprise Tools (I'm featured here! :) )
IT World: TD Bank goes social 'inside the firewall'
eWeek: Electrolux Taps IBM for Social Software
V3: IBM takes on Google and Microsoft with cloud-hosted document editing tool
The BrainYard: IBM Aims To Be First With OpenSocial Embedded Apps
eWeek: IBM Bolsters Social Business Play with Analytics
(added on 24/Jan/2012) The BrainYard: TD Bank's Social Strategy: Start Small, Think Big
(added on 24/Jan/2012) ComputerWorld: TD Bank Gets Social for Better Business
eWeek: IBM: Defining a social business
eWeek: IBM Kicks Off Lotusphere with Focus on Social Business
eWeek: IBM Partners Prep for Social Business at Lotusphere 2012
CIO Insight: IBM Social Business Software is Bolstered with Analytics
CIO Today: IBM Launches Services To Help Businesses Go Social
SiliconANGLE: IBM Gears Up for Social Business: the New Enterprise
ZDNet: IBM rolls out new social analytics tools
CMSWire: IBM Connections: Analytics, Email, the Activity Stream, & More
ServicesANGLE: IBM to Launch IBM Docs with a Collaborative Service Similar to Google Apps
IT Jungle: IBM Gets Down to Social Business
No Jitter: Lotusphere: IBM Puts Meat on the Bones of its Social Strategy
UC Strategies: IBM Provides Analytics to Social Business
Technorati: IBM Adds to its Social Business Tools with New Analytics
MyCustomer.com: IBM continues social business expansion with new programs and partnerships
Channelnomics: IBM Eyes Partners to Expand Social Business
theflyonthewall.com: Electrolux enables a social, mobile workforce with IBM software
WebProNews: IBM Announces Social Analytics Services: IBM Connections and more, for the enterprise
IT World: IBM unveils next-gen Connections
CIO Insight: Social Business: If You Build It, Will They Come?
Information Management: The (IBM) Social Network
Destination CRM: IBM Brings Analytics to Social Business
TechZone360: IBM Connections Looking to Make the Enterprise More Social
Computerworld: Sharepoint is a 'document coffin', says IBM
V3: Lotusphere: IBM demos social lab projects including business ramification tool
eWeek: Lotusphere 2012: 10 Takeaways from the Show



Bloggers:

Bill Ives: Lotusphere 2012 Notes: Opening Session
Alan Lepofsky: My POV on the Lotusphere 2012 Opening General Session
SmartPlanet: Is your company ready to be a social business?
Bill Ives: Lotusphere 2012 Notes: Monday Morning Press Q&A
Keith Brooks: Rachel Happe's Session at IBM Connect
Chris Pepin: Lotusphere 2012 kickoff
Bill Ives: Lotusphere 2012 Notes: Opening Session Tuesday
(added on 24/Jan/12)Todd Watson: Live @ Lotusphere 2012: IBM Customer TD Bank Makes Major Social Business Deposit
NTEK: IBM Takes The Power of Analytics to Social Businesses (Spanish)
@gawed: IBM Continues its Leadership in Social Media (Spanish)
Perficient: Lotusphere Session Highlights - IBM Connections Auditing and Compliance Infrastructure
Alan Hamilton: Lotusphere Business Development Day
Adam Brown: Why Gamification for IBM Connections
Perficient: Lotusphere Tuesday Keynote: Social Evolution with McKinsey, TD and FAST Company
PaulGillin.com: Live Blog: Lotusphere 2012 Opening Session
PaulGillin.com: Live Blog: Day 2 Kickoff Strikes Transformation Theme
PaulGillin.com: Live Blog: 3M Unites Global Workforce with Technology
Bill Ives: Lotusphere 2012 Notes: IBM as a Social Business
Bill Ives: Lotusphere 2012 Notes: Customer Conversation - Russell's Convenience
Bill Ives: Lotusphere 2012 Notes: Opening Session Wednesday
mwd advisors: A new, confident IBM at Lotusphere 2012
GigaOM: Notes from Lotusphere and thoughts on IBM

(added 25/Jan/2012) Social Media Today: Lotusphere 2012 Touts Social Business But What About Social Media?
(added 25/Jan/2012) Inspirian: Shiny Social Tools Meet Practicality at Lotusphere
added 25/Jan/2012) Per Henrik Lausten: Thoughts from Lotusphere 2012: IBM Connections Next



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Social Business Trends on Twitter Thanks To Lotusphere 2012

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At this week's Lotusphere 2012, Social Business became a hot topic.  In fact, in the United States 3 of the 9 trending topics at Twitter were a result of Lotusphere '12 #ls12.

First, the band Ok Go started trending as they took the stage sharp at 8am to get people psyched for what some are calling the best keynote and demos ever!  As they rocked the stage, some of their YouTube videos played on the big screen.

Second, Michael J Fox started trending on Twitter as he was announced as the guest speaker at the Opening General Session.  It was great to see him on stage.  I remember always being jealous of him as he got to fly on the hover boards in the Back to the Future movies ;).  My favorite quote:  "a lady had a baby in a tree, what do you got?"

And third, the hashtag for the conference, #ls12, started trending on Twitter as well.

Suzanne Livingston shared a tweet earlier with a screenshot of the trends ( see below ).
asd


How cool is that!!!??!! W00t!

If you missed, it, you can always check out the live stream.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lotusphere 2012 Live Streaming #ls12

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Straight to the point… here's the live stream for Lotusphere 2012 !!! Watch carefully and you'll see me briefly during the Opening General Session on Monday January 16th @ 8am ET.



If you want to know what will be showing when, check out the Lotusphere 2012 Live Stream Schedule.

Enjoy!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How To Add Twitter Search Widget to IBM Connections Communities

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In my previous blog post, I shared how to add a 'Subscribe in iTunes' button to the Media Gallery in IBM Connections. In the video that I shared, you may have noticed a widget that I had added to my demo community in IBM Connections.

I've created a simple widget that exposes Twitter's Search widget inside of a community. You can configure this widget so that you can specify which hashtags to monitor. The widget updates in almost real-time every time someone uses the hashtag in Twitter. This is great if you want to have a community that supports a product launch, or a customer support community, or even a social media marketing community.

I'm working right now to get the widget posted in the Lotus App Catalog. Once the widget is there you'll be able to simply install it on your server.

UPDATE: 16/Feb/2012 - The widget is now available in the catalog here.

If you want to use it immediately, you can use the copy that's running on my publicly facing server by following these instructions:
  1. Follow the steps here to check-out and modify widgets-config.xml
  2. In the section for community add the following 1 line of code

    <widgetDef defId="TwitterSearch" url="http://blog.lbenitez.com/widgets/TwitterSearch/twitterSearchWidget.xml" 
    
    
    modes="view edit" primaryWidget="false"
    iconUrl="http://www.twitter.com/favicon.ico" uniqueInstance="true"/>
    
    


  3. That's it!! 1 line of code! Now, save and close the file and check it back in as documented in the instructions in step 1.
Once you restart IBM Connections, you'll be able to add the widget to any community and configure it for any hashtag. This simple widget took me about 10-15 minutes to code showing once again the extensibility and flexibility of IBM Connections. And because it was created by me, do note it's not officially supported by IBM and is provided as-is.

Here's a video that shows the widget in action.


Let me know what you think and if there are any simple changes you would recommend. I'll also be demoing this on my Monday session at Lotusphere '12 #ls12 so hope to see you there!

Friday, January 13, 2012

How To Subscribe To IBM Connections Media Gallery via iTunes

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One of the new features that was introduced in IBM Connections 3.0.1 is the Media Gallery which Suzanne demos here. Chris Crummey recently asked me how could he subscribe to the items in the Media Gallery via iTunes. That way, when he's traveling he can catch up with the videos that have been added to the Media Gallery.

As you probably know, IBM Connections provides a very easy way to subscribe to each page via feeds. iTunes also has a way for you to manually add a feed to subscribe to a podcast. Thus, you can manually copy/paste the URL provided by IBM Connections, add it to iTunes and voilá.

I wanted to take this to a new level. As I thought more about this, I realized this is a huge use case. Imagine using the Media Gallery as a way to store enablement sessions as part of a product launch. Now, imagine giving your sales force a 1-click ability to take the Media Gallery offline and get up to speed on new products on their own time, perhaps as they are traveling from one customer to another.

Having said that, I created a quick customization which enables this. If you want to enable this on your server, follow these steps:

  1. If you haven't yet, copy footer.jsp to the customization directory. For example, copy <WAS_PROFILE_ROOT>/installedApps</cellName>/Activities.ear/oawebui.war/nav/templates/footer.jsp to <IC_INSTALL_ROOT>/data/shared/customization/common/nav/templates
  2. Switch to the <IC_INSTALL_ROOT>/data/shared/customization/common/nav/templates directory
  3. Open footer.jsp with your favorite text editor
  4. Scroll to the very bottom of the file and add the following line of code

    <script type="text/javascript" src="http://blog.lbenitez.com/iTunesConnections.js"></script>
    


  5. That's it!! 1 line of code! Now, save and close the file. This will make all the files uploaded to the Media Gallery and tagged with 'podcast' available via iTunes.

Here's a video of how this works:

I'll be demoing this in my session on Monday at Lotusphere '12 #ls12 .

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

ISW Introduces Gamification for IBM Connections

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What a great way to start 2012. IBM Business Partner, ISW (the same business partner that created iWildfire for iPhone and iPad and Wildfire for Notes) announced that it's now providing gaming capabilities within IBM Connections.


I caught a demo of the add-on yesterday and it looks very good. Out of the box, it comes with a variety of badges that users earn based on various metrics and achievements within IBM Connections. When you go to a user's profile, you can see the various badges that they have earned and their progress towards other badges.


Administrators can define their own badges and metrics (the actions that users must take to obtain a badge). For example, you can configure that a badge is awarded when 30 files have been shared with more than 100 tags as shown here:


You can even tie with external systems. For example, you can create badges that are awarded to members of the sales team once they achieve their quarterly quota and show that within Connections.

Gamification is a way to drive adoption of a new platform. For companies that have rolled out IBM Connections, you may want to consider this add-on to drive adoption of the platform. In the words of ISW:

ISW has performed many implementations of IBM Connections and we have found that a significant factor in organisations driving real business value is ensuring strong user adoption. In addition, providing guidance to users to leverage all of the capabilities of Connections rather than just individual capabilities is a key success factor. The key is to help users understand "Why?" they should leverage social software to work better. An important strategy for encouraging user adoption is providing reward mechanism's, both tangible and intangible. Kudos Badges for IBM Connections provides this strategy in a very powerful and flexible way.

To learn more about Kudos for IBM Connections, go here.


Article originally published in Technorati: http://technorati.com/blogging/article/isw-introduces-gamification-for-ibm-connections/

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

IBM Connections Celebrates the Holidays

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Happy New Year to everyone! As I catch up with emails and get ready for Lotusphere 2012 #ls12 I saw an interesting "card" from a business partner in Spain.

They loaded profiles for Santa Claus and the Three Wise Men. The card is of course in Spanish, but you'll probably get a kick out of it as well.

May 2012 be an AWESOME year!


Enjoy!