Friday, March 29, 2013

IBM Connections 4.5 Is Ready for Download

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The day has come! IBM Connections 4.5 is ready for download!! Partners can get the software from PartnerWorld and customers from Passport Advantage.

Let me summarize give you a couple of pointers to help you get ready to deploy:
Next week, I'll share two new videos to show explicitly a demo of what's new in IBM Connections 4.5 and also a deep dive on the new IBM Connections Content Manager. So stay tuned for that. For now, check out this demo which shows an overview of IBM Connections 4.5:
Now, I'm curious to know who will be the first to go into Production with 4.5

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Replay of Monthly ICS Webcast featuring IBM Connections 4.5 &Connections Content Manager Webcast Now Available

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Yesterday I presented at the monthly IBM Collaboration Solutions webcast. The topic? Of course: IBM Connections 4.5 and IBM Connections Content Manager.

As Joyce Davis posted late last night, the replay is available for those that missed it (tip: you should never miss a Joyce Davis webcast) or for those who want to see it again.

There was a technical glitch with my computer where it decided to alert me that I had run out of disk space (must be all those demo movies!). After several minutes, I was able to recover and you can enjoy the fun below. I was also very happy to know that more than 80% of the attendees were planning on upgrading to version 4.5 to enjoy the new content management capabilities. Remember, the download of 4.5 will be available this Friday!

Webcast replay:

I have also shared the presentation over at SlideShare:

If you want to download a copy of the original presentation, you can find it here on Greenhouse.

Monday, March 25, 2013

How To Create a Social Portal for Exceptional Web Experiences

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This video takes a deep dive on how to create a Social Portal for Exceptional Web Experiences. The social layer is provided by IBM Connections and using the new social rendering portlets you can create a great and compelling experience with a few clicks and, most importantly, with no coding skills required.

This is very useful when you want to open up Connections to users outside of the organization and/or you want to socialize an existing web front.

All of these capabilities are available today so there's no need to wait!

Update on 27/Mar/2013: I've embedded part 2 of the series and thanks to Ken Krause for doing this!!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

New IBM Connections Plug-Ins for IBM Notes 9 Now Available

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In conjunction with the new IBM Notes 9.0 release today, we have also just released the latest IBM Connections plug-ins for the best email client available delivering the world's first social email experience to the market.

The new plug-in adds support for:

  • IBM Notes 9.0
  • IBM Connections 4.5
  • Mac OS X 10.8
  • Windows 8

Additionally, the Connections business card has now been redesigned and the plug-in now provides a single installer to enable all the integration points to Connections: microblogging, file sharing, and tasks. As you probably know the plug-in allows you to:

  • Attach a file to a status update
  • Like / unlike a status update
  • Activity stream integration allows to monitor updates for all Connections services
  • Search by people and communities
  • Post status letting your colleagues know what you are doing
  • View status for people in your network
  • Comment on status updates
  • Delete your status or associated comments
  • Forward an update by email
  • View or post updates from the icon in the system tray when you are not working in the Notes client
  • Keep up with updates for people you follow
  • Lock/unlock files
  • Upload files for your own use or to share with others
  • Drag and drop an attached file or a file from your desktop to Files
  • Drag and drop or copy and paste a file from Files to your desktop
  • Send an HTML link to a file
  • Search for people or communities
  • Sort files for easier browsing
  • Detach the Files window from the Notes sidebar

So if you are upgrading to IBM Notes 9.0 and/or IBM Connections 4.5 you must get this plug-in today! To learn more about IBM Notes 9, check out this 90 second video from Ed Brill:

And for a demo of these features check out:

To download the new plug-in, you can get it from our app catalog over here.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Replay of the IBM Connections 4.5 Launch Webcast Now Available

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Last week was a busy one with the launch of IBM Connections 4.5, and the enhanced IBM Connections plug-in for Microsoft Outlook. To kick off the launch, we had a webcast to showcase the business value of IBM Connections 4.5 and IBM Notes 9 called: From Liking to Leading - Transforming your Business with a Next Generation Platform for Social Business.

If you missed the webcast, or you want to watch it again, you can do so here (even if you hadn't registered for the original webcast). In the replay you also have the option to download the broadcast presentation from the “Resources” widget of the broadcast replay. I had fun getting ready for the launch and creating the demo of IBM Connections 4.5 where I focused on the importance of mobile and real-time collaboration.

Also a quick reminder that if you are looking for the two demos that were shown during the webcast, you can access those quickly here.

Here's a storify that summarizes the webcast:


Friday, March 15, 2013

Check out the new IBM Connections Plug-In for Microsoft Outlook

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We have just released the new IBM Connections Plug-in for Microsoft Outlook ! This enhances the existing integration that we provide via the native Outlook Social Connector capability. However, we found that Microsoft implemented this in a limited way since it only provided "read-only" access to the social network.

Therefore, we took the integration to the next level and added a brand new sidebar to Outlook to provide access to files, microblogging, communities and more. And you can interact with your social network all directly from Microsoft Outlook!

By bringing social to the end user, you can accelerate adoption, reduce time to value, and reduce training costs as users that live and die in Outlook don't have to learn anything new to interact with IBM Connections.

Here are some of the features:

  • Share files easily – send links instead of attachments.
  • Drag and drop email messages and attachments from Outlook to the IBM Connections sidebar application to upload them to IBM Connections.
  • Search Connections files directly from Outlook.
  • Search people by name, job title, organization, etc.
  • View complete Connections profiles.
  • Initiate a chat with a colleague directly from the sidebar application.
  • Receive live updates from your colleagues, communities you follow, and when changes are made in files you follow.
  • View community files and updates.

Here's a quick 5 minute demo showing this off:

To download the plug-in, go here or find it directly in our App Catalog .

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Demos of IBM Notes 9 and IBM Connections 4.5 Launch Now Available

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By now you know that this week we launched IBM Notes 9 and IBM Connections 4.5. On Wednesday, we had a webcast to launch these two products.

At the webcast we had Ray Wang, from Constellation Research, kick things off by talking about the 9 C's of collaboration.   

During the webcast, Scott Souder and myself did demos of our respective products. Those demos are now available online in case you missed it (or you want to see it over and over and over again! )

Here's the IBM Notes 9.0 demo:

Here's the IBM Connections 4.5 demo:

The full replay of the launch webcast is also available here.


IBM Connect 2013 and Product Demos Available

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Building on the launch of IBM Connections 4.5 and IBM Notes 9.0, the demos that were done during the IBM Connect 2013 keynote (aka OGS) (aka Opening General Session) are now available directly from the main page.

From that page, there's a demo tab which then brings you to a page with individual product demos as well as the OGS demos from IBM Connect 2013.

And clicking on See Demo shows the following movie. Here you will see a little of IBM Connections 4.5. Additionally, I demo the new real-time collaboration capabilities provided by Sametime as well as some of the new features provided by IBM Notes 9.0. If you couldn't make it to yesterday's launch webcast a replay of that will be available soon, so for now, enjoy the following video:

As a reminder, IBM Connections 4.5 will be available on March 29th, 2013, so get ready!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Announcing IBM Connections 4.5

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Today is a big day ! Following up on our previews at IBM Connect 2013, today we have updated all of our pages to reflect this new release: IBM Connections 4.5! This release comes exactly 6 months after the huge release of 4.0 back in September of last year.

I've already talked a little about IBM Connections 4.5 and of course I showed it at IBM Connect. If you weren't at IBM Connect, or couldn't get to my session, here's the slides that were shown:

The big focus of IBM Connections 4.5 is the new Content Manager add-on which brings the power of content management and combines it with the power of the IBM Connections social platform. The add-on is part of the core IBM Connections installer so there's nothing else to install! Content Manager:

The feedback so far from customers has been overwhelmingly positive. So now, to really learn everything about IBM Connections Content Manager, you should come to the live webcast tomorrow. I'll be in the webcast to do a demo so you MUST attend.

Click on the button below to register!

One final note, there are now three license levels you can buy:

  • IBM Connections Suite 4.5 - social + content + unified communications (this is what I'll demo tomorrow)
  • IBM Connections Content Manager 4.5 - social + content
  • IBM Connections 4.5 - social networking and collaboration platform
Get your servers ready !

Thursday, March 7, 2013

How to Compete in the Era of "Smart"

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Today, IBM Social Business was highlighted in the Wall Street Journal and it is front and center as part of IBM's Smarter Planet strategy.

In the essay published in the Wall Street Journal, we describe how for the past 5 years we've been working with companies to transform how they operate using key IBM technologies in mobile, social, analytics and cloud to achieve measurable business value and results.

At organizations, we've seen how employees have far more access to data, and better access to something else: each other. My favorite quote from the essay is:

In this knowledge economy, the exchange of ideas has become the new means of production. And the advent of social and mobile technologies is shifting the competitive edge from having workers who amass knowledge to having workers who impart it.

I've seen this in practice at IBM. The transparency created enables the organization to become agile an connect a remote workforce (e.g. enabling them to live in cool places like Puerto Rico). In the essay, we highlight some of the organizations that have achieved tremendous value from becoming a social business, such as Cemex and Lowe's. So again, make sure that you go ahead and read it.

The op-ad is very well timed as South by Southwest (SXSW) kicks off tomorrow. Speaking of SXSW, if you are going to be there, make sure that you check out these sessions presented by IBM speakers:

I Know Where You're Going: Location as Biometric

- Jeff Jonas, IBM Fellow & Chief Scientist

The Large Enterprise of Social Media - Meet Up

- Noah Kuttler, Market Segment Manager, IBM Enterprise Content Management

Mentor Session

- Rawn Shah, Social Business Strategist, IBM

Engaging Government for Fun, Profit & Meaning

- Gadi Ben-Yehuda, Innovation & Social Media Director – IBM Center for the Business of Government

Making Accessible Transportation Modern & Cool

- Bill Curtis Davidson, Accessible Transportation Solutions & Business Development Lead, IBM

Just Add Followers – The Key Ingredient to Telling Your Brand Story and Getting Results

Panel Discussion with Shoutlet, Bare Escentuals & IBM, Moderated by TechCrunch
- Sandy Carter, Vice President, Social Business Evangelism and Sales

As a reminder, make sure that you don't miss next week's webcast: "From Liking to Leading": Transforming Your Business with a Next Generation Platform for Social Business

In the webcast Ray Wang, Principal Analyst & CEO, Constellation Research and speakers from organizations like Prudential, Genworth, Czarnowski and Celina Insurance to learn how the right platform for social business can drive competitive advantage. The broadcast will also include a demo of IBM Notes and Domino and IBM Connections Content Manager (and I hear that it's going to be an awesome demo!).

Monday, March 4, 2013

IBM Connections Coders: Get Ready for the Appathon !

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The past several blog posts have been about cool new apps built for IBM Connections and how they were announced at IBM Connect. Needless to say, I'm extremely happy with how the IBM Connections ecosystem has grown and I want to keep growing it!

To that end, at IBM Connect I talked about the Appathon which has just started. In case you missed it, I wanted to make sure you were aware. For this contest, the IBM Connections category will have five $1000 prizes and the deadline for submission is June 23, 2013 so there's plenty of time to get started !

If you haven't done any app dev work for IBM Connections, I would like to suggest 2 steps to get started.

1) Get familiar with the SDK: and you can even play *today* with the SDK over at The playground is a web-based live demonstration of the JavaScript libraries exposed in the SDK.

2) If you missed IBM Connect, you can still get access to most presentations and get going creating apps for IBM Connections. A good presentation to check out is SHOW301: Becoming an IBM Connections Developer by Rob Novak. To access the rest of the presentations, click the image below:

Access Connect 2013 content!

Now, get coding and good luck!