Thursday, June 26, 2014

IBM Connections 5.0 Is Ready for Download

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I just got confirmation that IBM Connections 5.0 is now ready for download ! This has been quite an exciting quarter as we've been building up to this day ever since I published the trailer back in April.

When I initially joined the product management team we were just launching IBM Connections 3.0.1.   I was then managing another component of the platform.

As time went by, I started to influence more of the platform and with this release, it was the first time that I was completely involved all the way from the first planning session to the release of the software. Of course, it's been quite an experience and it's what I've wanted to do for a long time.  I'm grateful for the opportunity that I've been given to bring this new product to market and for everything that I've learned in terms of what it takes to plan, build, and launch a product.

Here are some links you'll probably need:
I'll be updating those links as necessary.

I've also started collecting videos about IBM Connections 5.0 and will continue to update this playlist as they become available:

Now that you have the code, I'm anxious to know when you upgrade!! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Download the New IBM Connections 5.0 Desktop Plugins

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The new IBM Connections Desktop plug-ins for Microsoft Windows have just been released to our app catalog.

There's a couple of things that I would like to call out here. First, IBM Connections 5.0 will be available for download next week. This is the first time that we have released the desktop plugins before the actual new server code is available. This is because the new desktop plugin also adds new features even if you are not using 5.0.

Second, this is yet another simultaneous release for cloud and on-prem. Cloud customers can download the update directly from the "Apps - Downloads" page within Connections.

Third, as I mentioned earlier in the week, this is the plug-in that adds File Sync capabilities for those that are using IBM Connections 5.0 or later.

Fourth, this release also adds access libraries from IBM Connections Content Manager. Of course, this was already possible before but required installing a separate plugin. In this release, you now install only one plugin simplifying the deployment and adoption process.

Lastly, but not least, this release also adds the ability to browse and access community folders.

Here's a demo that walks through the File Sync capabilities:

So go get it and download today!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Little About IBM Connections 5.0 and File Sync

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Now that we have officially announced IBM Connections 5.0 I wanted to take some time and talk about one of the top new features in this release: enterprise file sync and share. Also, if you haven't seen it yet, check out Suzanne Livingston's blog from yesterday where she talks about the new external collaboration features of IBM Connections 5.0. This is a capability that we've had available in our cloud for a while and now we are making it available to our on-prem customers.

IBM Connections has already been cited by Forrester as a Leader in their Enterprise File Sync and Share Wave and IDC has stated that when it comes to marketshare, IBM Connections leads the way.

So back to File Sync.  As you can see from the screenshot in the right, when you install the latest IBM Connections Desktop Plug-Ins (which will be available for download in a couple of days) a new Sync folder will be created under Favorites.

There you can save files directly to IBM Connections and use Connections as your personal backup drive where everything is sync'ed automatically (including of course edits that you make offline).

Another added benefit and differentiator is that right from within your desktop you can right click on a file and act upon it. In other words, you can comment on it, tag it, like it, lock it (to prevent others from editing while you are offline) and even share it with other colleagues without ever having to open a browser.  By default, all files are marked as private and only you have access to them. From there you can choose to share with individuals, groups, or communities.

On the mobile side, you can use our native apps for Android and iOS and sync files to your favorite mobile device/tablet. On each device you can manually specify which files you want to have available there. For example, you may want some key presentations on your iPhone, while you have documents, spreadsheets and other assets available in your iPad.

Here's a quick 5 minute demo that shows the enterprise file sharing and sync capabilities of IBM Connections 5.0.

If you are an on-prem customer, get ready to download the code next week! Stay tuned for other new features in the coming days.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Announcing IBM Connections 5.0

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I'm in Prague today enjoying the Social Connections VI event meeting and talking and learning from the IBM Connections User Group.

The timing couldn't have been better for this event.  That's because today we are announcing IBM Connections 5.0 and that's just a week after IBM Connections came out as a leader in the latest Forrester Wave.  The announcement letter has been posted here if you want to take a look. Basically, it says that the software will be available for download on June 26th ! If you are using our cloud offering, you pretty much got it already!

For those of you in the US, that means that you can take advantage of the long holiday weekend in July and do your upgrade there.

Throughout the next couple of days, we'll be sharing more about the release and all the details as to what's new since we launched IBM Connections 4.5 a little over a year ago. Speaking of Prague, yesterday I got a chance to do the keynote and talk about the importance of IBM Connections 5.0 as well as demo the latest and greatest.  Here's the presentation that I did yesterday:

Again, for those of you on prem... get everything ready! You are about a week away from being able to download it!

Monday, June 9, 2014

IBM Cited as Leader in the Enterprise Social Platform Wave Report

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As we continue our march towards the release of IBM Connections Next, there are some amazing news I would like to share according to the most recent blog entry from one of my peers in product management, Suzanne Livingston.

There you'll see IBM was compared against 13 other vendors.  Suzanne and I worked very closely with Forrester throughout this process and needless to say, we are extremely excited with the results.

Update 13/Jun/2014: Download the Q2 2014 Forrester Wave for Enterprise Social Platforms from here.

This is another perfect case where timing couldn't have been better as the release of IBM Connections Next is imminent. I hope by now, you have seen some hints of what's coming.  If you missed our webcast on May 21st, or the Live Q&A on May 22, or the follow on webcast on May 28th, then definitely go catch those replays (note: the Live Q&A was through a Forum discussion so you can catch up all the conversations there).

Another opportunity for a sneak peek is this blog entry by Albert Nichols, another peer of mine in product management team.  There, he expands on some of the demo that we did on the May 21st webcast. Get ready, we are almost there! Get ready to put people back in the center of your business:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

From Adoption to Adaptation, from Enablement into Engagement - The Upcoming Luis Suarez Masterclass

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There are just 12 more days left for the IBM Connections User Group meeting in Prague! The 6th Social Connections event. There's still time left to register and book your travel plans.  With IBM Connections Next now just weeks away, this event couldn't have been timed any better.

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I'm going to join the IBMer who fired himself, Luis Suarez, so if you haven't yet, send us your toughest digital business question.

There's one more item that I want to highlight.  If you are going all the way to Prague, then you most definitely can't miss the Luis Suarez's MasterClass: From Adoption to Adaptation, From Enablement to Engagement.

Whether you are just getting started with your Social Business Adaptation Journey, or whether you are already a very well seasoned 2.0 knowledge worker, this workshop will provide you an opportunity to learn with other fellow practitioners through plenty of practical, hands-on advice, good practices, lots of hints and tips and, most importantly, all of the necessary knowledge resources available to date.  This is a great opportunity to learn how you can get the most out of your IBM Connections deployment. It will help you as well to even break free from the email yoke: Outside of the Inbox.

This will be an all day workshop and capacity is limited to 25 people to ensure that it's personal and focused.  Therefore, if you haven't yet, go ahead and register now.