Connect 2014: Some Additional Highlights

February 14, 2014

Some highlights/announcement from Connect 2014:

IBM will consolidate the collaboration applications under one name, “Connections.” Example, Sametime will be rebranded Connections Chat (the instant messaging portion) and Connections Meetings (the meetings portion). Based on what I heard from the Product Managers in this area during “Ask the Product Managers,” it will be some time before they start using the new branding. It will take you and I much longer.

From PCWorld, comes this:

This means that the Connections bundle will include the Notes/Domino email platform, Docs office productivity apps and Sametime tools for IM, audio/video communications and Web meetings.

As those products get updated this year, they will be rebranded with the Connections name and offered as part that suite, whose core ESN software lets users create employee profiles, blogs, wikis, discussion forums and the like, as well as share, co-edit and comment on files and documents.

“Those products work together today. They’re fully integrated, but now the branding will provide clarity and focus and highlight all these integrated capabilities,” said Kramer Reeves, IBM Messaging and Collaboration Solutions director.

Consolidating these integrated products under a single brand umbrella will help IBM show prospective customers what it has to offer against competing suites like Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s Apps, as well as against vendors with narrower offerings, like Box and Dropbox in cloud storage and Jive Software in ESN.

More >

 For Connections, the following were announced:

  • File Sync which lets you synchronize files between your Connections Files repository, your desktop, and your mobile devices. You can pick and choose which files you would like to sync and differential sync is automatic to save bandwidth and time. File Sync with mobile devices is available today in SmartCloud. This is very much needed and will keep users in Connections instead of using competing products. It received a rousing round of approval from the delegates in the OGS.
  • Coming in Connections 4.5 IFR2, Ephox EditLive. A demo can be seen here, along with additional information.
  • Focus on user engagement. You’ll be able to personalize your activity stream and navigation bar and filter for content that is most important to you right now based on what you’re working on.
  • Search your activity stream, set up your real-time notification center and mark favorite content.
  • File galleries in Communities where you can preview files before choosing to download them and where you can manage, organize and share files visually.
  • Community folders which can be shared onto the overview page and browsed
  • @mentions everywhere
  • Secure external file sharing from a single internal instance of Connections installed on premises. External people will see only the information they were given access to, they won’t see public profiles and public communities. (Secure external file sharing is a feature of SmartCloud Connections today)

Coming in Traveler this year:

  • Ability to sync the trash folder with the server
  • Response indicators in inbox (reply and forward icons)
  • Sending S/MIME encrypted mail
  • Sametime awareness in the inbox
  • Integration with Connections services (Files, Communities, Activities)
  • Enhanced Support on Windows Phone for Calendaring, ToDos
  • DLP enhancements
  • Certificate-based authentication
  • New native Notes Traveler for iOS which allows cross-app integration and more features
  • Redesigned Android Traveler app

Coming in Sametime (oops, I mean Connections Chat, Connections Meetings):

  • Implementing additional on-premises Sametime 9 functionality in SmartCloud
  • Sharepoint 2013 integration
  • Chat logging for persistent chat rooms
  • More continuous video streams, video recording, optimized Citrix VDI support, content sharing with video, intelligent cascading MCUs
  • Mapping meeting management features to Connections
  • Integration with IBM Docs
  • Mobile API’s
  • Windows phone and tablet support
  • Ability to receive incoming calls via the mobile softphone

Of course, MailNext was announced. Screen shots and my thoughts can be found here.


Connect 2014: Must-Attend Sessions for Administrators

January 21, 2014

Connect14Logo

I’d like to say that for the Domino Administrator will be a plethora of sessions that you “must see” (meaning several blog posts on the topic). However, if you’ve seen the writing on the wall, then you’re prepared to attend a profusion of sessions on Connections and Sametime administration. Here are some of the “must see” sessions for Domino Administrators.

JMP402 – Master Class: Reaping Rewards and Avoiding Risks: The Secrets of Consolidating Domains (Andrew Pedisich and Rob Alexrod)

Sunday | 1:30-3:30 | Dolphin Southern Hemisphere – II

Was your environment designed almost a decade ago? Whether you want to move your email to the cloud or if you are just trimming the fat, consolidation is your future. This session covers details of collapsing multiple domains into a single domain infrastructure that is easier to manage and more efficient in costs and operations. Discover tricks and tips learned by experience to move users and servers into a single domain where best practices are implemented from start to finish. Well cover consolidation methodologies that are low risk with solid back-out plans and high rewards that will make you a superstar of infrastructure. Come to this session and get expert advice from the folks in the trenches who have consolidated dozens of domains.

ID106 – #UserBlast 2014! (Mat Newman)

Monday | 11:00-12:00 | Dolphin Southern Hemisphere IV-V

It’s time to release the power! IBM Notes has outstanding capabilities that ensure your social transformation starts from your inbox. We’ll demonstrate how to take advantage of all of these features to improve your IBM Notes literacy, boost productivity, locate expertise, find relevant information, share knowledge and collaborate – straight from your Inbox. Don’t miss the “IBM Notes 9 in 9 Minutes” demo so you can go back to your users and blast them away with the power of the amazing IBM Notes client.

SHOW101 – IBM Traveler Highly Availability – Deployment and Best Practices (Daniel Nashed)

Tuesday | 2:00-3:45 | Swan Osprey 1-2

IBM Traveler is mission critical. There is no good time for maintenance when it comes to mobile devices. In this session you’ll learn how to install IBM Traveler 9.0.1 in the classical and high availability mode. You’ll also understand the new functionality, differences and benefits. This session will cover requirements, functionality, setup of the IBM Traveler server on Windows and Linux connected to the current DB2 10.1 back-end. We’ll cover best practices including performance tuning tips for IBM Traveler on Windows and Linux and migration scenarios.

BP101 – AdminBlast 2014 (Paul Mooney and Gabriella Davis)

Tuesday | 3:00-4:00 | Dolphin North Hemisphere E

Sit down and strap yourself in for the annual Adminblast session! We’ll revisit the 200+ tips given and we’ll pick the top sixty. We’ll cover the top tips taken from the trenches over many years of consulting, covering IBM Domino, IBM Sametime, IBM Traveler — and more! Practical tips that you can use as soon as you get back to work will be emphasized, You must pay attention — and you must listen fast!

ID112 – IBM Domino Policies: Deep Dive and Best Practices (Mark Skurla)

Tuesday | 3:00-4:00 | Dolphin Southern Hemisphere I

IBM Domino Policies are a powerful tool that can be used to administer anything from ID vault to mail managed replicas. However, the flexibility of policies often causes confusion regarding their use. This session will focus not on the settings themselves, but the overall application of policies. Learn how policies actually flow throughout a domain, best practices on how to reduce the number of policies in your environment, how to troubleshoot problems, and how to use policies when using IBM Smart Cloud Notes.

ID104 – Best Practices for Upgrading to IBM Notes and Domino to 9.0.x (John Paganetti)

Tuesday | 4:15-5:15 | Dolphin North Hemisphere E

Why release 9.0.x? Get a head start on your upgrade plans by listening to the development team share their experiences upgrading IBM Notes Clients and Domino Servers to Release 9.0.x in their production domains. We’ll cover general recommended best practices and also discuss enablement of some of the new exciting features in release 9.0.x that you’ll want to take advantage of right away. We’ll riddle the presentation with FAQs about upgrading, new features and lessons learned with release 9.0.x. You’ll walk away with information helping you expedite your own 9.0.x production deployment.

ID302 – Upgrading and Migrating to IBM Sametime 9 (Anthony Payne)

Thursday | 10:00-11:00 | Dolphin North Hemisphere E

IBM Sametime 9 is here! This session will help administrators understand how to upgrade and migrate from previous releases. Included will be discussions on end user data migration as well as architectural reviews.

ID602 – IBM Notes Traveler – Best Practices for Deployment, Maintenance and Support (Charles Ebbe and Robert Sielken)

Thursday | 11:15-12:15 | Dolphin Southern Hemisphere – II

This session will cover best practices for deploying and maintaining IBM Notes Traveler along with how to troubleshoot many problems yourself and get the best, fastest support should the need arise. Topics to be covered in depth will include: system/capacity planning, handling maintenance, monitoring your IBM Notes Traveler servers, cloud administration, and general do’s and don’ts to avoiding common pitfalls. A must attend for all IBM Notes Traveler administrators!

(hat tip to Bruce Elgort for the blog topic idea – I took his “Must Attend” post for developers and made it for administrators)


Florida in Winter – Preparing for Connect14

January 3, 2014

As a Northerner, nothing makes me laugh more than seeing the Disneybots in full winter gear on days where I am wearing a t-shirt. Yes, I get that the mornings (and evenings) can be “chilly,” but they come out in fleece, gloves, and hats when the temperatures dip below 70°F.

Which brings me to my point, be sure to check the weather forecasts leading up to Connect 2014. Right now, this is what I see:

OrlandoWeather

 

The main days to watch are Sunday and Tuesday, when major events take place out of doors. However, remember, you will be outside as you travel from one hotel conference center to another.

To help you navigate the parks on those chilly days, here are some tips for visiting the parks when it’s cold.

Thanks, Barb, for the weather forecast.


Free ICS Certification Tests at Connect14

December 12, 2013

One of the biggest draws at this event has always been the certification testing and prep labs. IBM is pleased to announce, for the very first time, that unlimited complimentary IBM Collaboration Solutions exams will be available for all registered attendees for the duration of the conference. All other Software Group exams will be available for 50% off the regular price.

As in previous years, testing will take place in the Lark room of the Swan Hotel.

More >

While that is pretty great news, the kicker is that there will be none of the pre-registration stuff as in year’s past. You show up, sign up, take your exam (although you do need to have created a profile in advance and also remember your user ID and password).

So, while at Connect 2014, in addition to the education, you can also get certified. For free.


Connect14: Creating Buzz by Announcing Updated Agenda Monday

November 12, 2013

In order to garner more interest, more reservations, and more “buzz,” IBM is publishing accepted speakers/sessions on Mondays. Yesterday, they released these sessions/speakers of particular interest (full list is at the link, below):

Application Development

The Mobile Disruption – Why XPages Development is Targeting Mobile First – John Head, PSC Group; John Beck, IBM

IBM Domino Application Development – Today and Tomorrow – Pete Janzen, IBM; Martin Donnelly, IBM

Extending IBM SmartCloud Applications in 30 Minutes – Michael Blackstock, IBM

Turbo-charge Your Enterprise Social Network with Analytics – Vincent Burckhardt, IBM; David Robinson, IBM

IBM Worklight for IBM Domino Developers – Mat Newman, IBM

Infrastructure and Deployment

What’s New in IBM Notes – Scott Souder, IBM

Sametime 9.0 Voice and Video Deployment – Uri Segev, IBM

Devil in the (Data) Details – Mobile, Cloud and Your Enterprise Network Wes Morgan, IBM

Best Practices

Simplifying The S’s – Single Sign-On, SPNEGO and SAML – Gabriella Davis, The Turtle Partnership, Chris Miller, Connectria

Uno! Deux! Three! Making Localization of XPages Apps as Easy as 1-2-3 – Kathy Brown, PSC Group; Brad Balassaitis, PSC Group

Show Me the Money! The Value in Social Business – Sasha Beerendonk

Next Generation Project Management: Collaborating Inside and Outside the Box – Mikkel Heisterberg, OnTime by Intravision; Mat Newman, IBM

Show ‘n Tells

Proper Connections Development for Proper Domino Developers – Matt White, Fynn Consulting; Mark Myers, London Developer Coop

How to Create a Perfect Profile: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to A Smarter Workforce – Mitch Cohen, Colgate-Palmolive; Chris Whisonant, Best Methods

IBM Traveler Highly Availability – Deployment and Best Practices – Daniel Nashed, nash.com

More >

These are all excellent additions to the Connect agenda. Whether a first time attendee, or a multi-year delegate, the speakers listed are fantastic. And, if you find them wandering the halls/parties/Product Showcase and you strike up a conversation, you will discover that they are very friendly and willing to share more of their knowledge.

Be sure to check back with the Social Insights blog every Monday for a new round of accepted sessions and speakers.


Early Look at Connect 2014: Drumming Up Interest

October 30, 2013

If you wanted to generate interest in something, anything, one good, proven method is to show the product.  And so it is with Connect 2014.

The abstracts are pouring in, but here’s an early glimpse of a few that may land on the agenda. The deadline is just around the corner, so put on your thinking caps and sharpen your pencils — so to speak.

Messaging and Collaboration

Messaging and Collaboration Roadmap — A Vision for the Future

What’s New in Notes and INotes 9.0.1 Social Edition

IBM Sametime 9: From On-Premises to Mobile, Cloud and Beyond

IBM SmartCloud

IBM SmartCloud: The Road Ahead for Social, Mobile, Meetings and Mail

Getting Beyond Theory and into Practice: Deploying Mail and Social Business in the Cloud

Growing Your Business with SaaS: Cloud Options for ICS Business Partners

Social Software

What’s New with IBM Connections and Connections Mobile

IBM Connections 4.5 Administration Jumpstart

Customizing and Extending IBM Connections

More >

Okay, we have some session topics. However, if you are a long time delegate at Connect/Lotusphere, you know that those sessions are all presented by IBM. Who, from IBM presents them, is irrelevant.  These are standard, first or second day sessions.

Not what I was expecting, especially in a post that may help decide if you will approach the budget level manager for approval to attend.  Realizing that abstracts haven’t been approved, so that a better agenda could be published, IBM must have an idea of the key sessions/speakers that will be presenting. That seems to me to be the proper items to promote, not the same old sessions (updated with current information).

Finally, it doesn’t look like they have any problems, right now, with hotel space.