Monday, September 29, 2014

New Release of IBM Connections Social Cloud Is Here

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Here's one way to start the week on a high note.  Over the weekend, we enabled the latest features for our Q3 (or fall release) of IBM Connections Social Cloud, which, as you can tell off the bat, features a new name and tons of goodies. Mitch and Chris had already shared the news about the new name, which we made public back in January of this year at IBM Connect 2014.

You may have already seen the blog from last week from Rebecca Buisan which previewed some of the things that we turned on this past weekend. Let me take the opportunity to go into a bit more detail.
First, you'll notice that we have a brand new site over at http://ibmcloud.com/social as you can see above. We want to make it easy to find what you need and direct your attention to what matters. As you may remember, last month we turned on video chat. This month, we've added features to make it easier to find experts, synchronize your files to the desktop, and increased engagement capabilities by using @mentions in more content areas (for example, forums, to-do's and more). I'm not fond of text, so check out this presentation for all the details of what's new:



How's that for a release ? But wait...! There's more!



Developers.. we haven't forgotten about you!! We are launching a new site just for you over at http://developer.ibm.com/social (screenshot above) very soon. We are going to be doing some continuous updates to this page so expect to see more changes soon. Additionally, we've created a schedule to continuously share content with you via the team blog. This will get you more content from more people and gives a hand to the super awesome Niklas Heidloff. If you haven't subscribed to that one, do it now.

Want to get your hands on all of this? Start a trial today over at http://ibmcloud.com/social .

Monday, September 22, 2014

Up and Running with IBM Connections Now Available on Lynda.com

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I'm on my way to San Francisco, but I couldn't wait to share some fantastic news.  For some time now there have been some hints of new things coming to Lynda.

As you may have seen from teases in the past few weeks, today I'm happy to share that there's a new course available:  Up and Running with IBM Connections by Bruce Elgort.

Bruce and I collaborated on this, well, he actually did all the work, I just gave him a server to record on.

For those of you who haven't heard about Lynda.com, they are an online learning company that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through individual, corporate, academic and government subscriptions, members have access to the lynda.com video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts.

Not yet a Lynda.com subscriber? Try it out free for seven days. To see the course description, outline and get a quick intro (and a few free sections), click here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

More IBM Connections Social Features Now Available Inside Microsoft Office

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As you may know, we are now releasing new updates to the desktop plug-ins on a monthly basis. This month's release brings some cool new features to those of you working with Microsoft Office Desktop apps (even if you use the desktop apps with Office 365).

For some time now, we've had integration into Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook) via the ribbon.  Today, we've added new functionality to the ribbon.


With the new features, you can now do the following directly from Microsoft Office:

  • Lock a file to prevent others from editing while you make changes
  • Share the file and add others as readers or editors
  • View version history
  • View download history/audit log
  • Like, pin, and follow

Check out this quick 2 minute demo that I created to show some of the new functionality:



To download the latest plug-in you can get it from Apps - Downloads on your cloud deployment, or from our app catalog here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gartner Recognizes IBM Connections as a Leader in the 2014 Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace

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Put it in the books! For the 6th year in a row, Gartner has placed IBM Connections as a Leader in their recently released 2014 Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace.

This year, I had the opportunity to engage in the entire process from beginning to end.  The whole process started back in May of this year.  There's a lot of things that happen during the evaluation process such as coordinating customer references, filling out feature surveys, showing the solution and more.


This report follow recent analyst reports:
If you haven't seen IBM Connections lately, check out this video that we recently published (and if you are reading today, yes, our mobile app is ready for iOS 8 support! )



So where do we go from here? We have a release coming to the cloud in several days which I'll share more details on soon.  And don't forget to submit your abstract for IBM ConnectED on January 2015.

To download the report, you can access it from Gartner's page here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Brand Image and Security Concerns – All the More Reason to Become a Social Business

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To get the full benefit of social business, you must inject it into your key business processes for stronger customer engagement and workforce collaboration. But many enterprises are afraid to fully embrace social business, with 30 percent of them citing security concerns and perceived risk as major adoption barriers, according to IBM's 2014 Business Tech Trends report.

image But these fearful enterprises need to realize the true nature of social business. At its core, social business is a grassroots movement. Your customers have already embraced social. They’re online, on multiple channels, multiple platforms, talking about your business and reviewing your products and solutions. In other words, there’s no such thing as ‘opting out’ of social business.

In fact, the real risks of security and brand perception are increased when you don’t engage in social business. If you're struggling to integrate social into the core of your business internally and externally, IBM can help.

For example, IBM Connections can help you reorganize, restructure and transform your enterprise into an effective social business with social guidelines and policies set into place to optimize both customer engagement and your internal workforce communication.

When social business is done right, the possibilities are endless. In fact, Pacesetters engaging in social business have reported an 87 percent stronger competitive advantage in their respective markets.

To read the full IBM 2014 Business Tech Trends report, click here.

To watch the webcast replay of the Business Tech Trends announcement, click here.

After you’ve read the report, join us for a Bluemix app JAM! Simply download the report's data in an IBM Bluemix app and start discovering new insights! Share with us and IBM will highlight our favorites!