Connect 2017: The Really Good

February 28, 2017

[Note: I was going to create one post on Connect 2017, but have decided it would be better to break it into sections. This is Part One.]

This was the first year I have attended Connect that I did not attend any sessions that dealt with IBM Notes and IBM Domino. Well, other than the forced sessions, such as the Opening General Session and the Technical Session. It’s not that I don’t want to know what’s coming, it’s that in my current role, I am focusing primarily on IBM Connections. So, if you were expecting something from me on IBM Notes and IBM Domino, this is not the place.

But, I will say this: Last year my team upgraded our Domino 8.5.3 environment to Domino 9.0.1 Social Edition, removed 95% of the IBM Notes clients in the environment by moving users to iNotes, and the remaining 5% of the clients are running IBM Notes 9. Applications? What can be moved to other platforms is nearly complete. What wasn’t moved in the first phase, will be moved, probably this year. Unlike a lot of places, we are using IBM Domino for (strictly) mail. And it’s all on-premises.

That said, I was very impressed with Connect 2017 as a person with an IBM Connections focus.

The Really Good:

  • Catching up with my friends in the IBM stack. This is arguably one of of the few conferences where I can see and talk with most of the people I consider “friend” in this space. Because it is the one large, international conference for all things IBM Notes/Domino, Sametime, Connections, and so on, it will attract the most people from around the world. Regardless of the name or location, they will be at this event. This year, it did not disappoint in this regard. Most of the people were here and it was a great week to talk to them in person.
  • If you haven’t, or don’t, travel internationally, this is the place to talk to your non-USA friends about world views. Sure, it’s a technology conference, however since I have known a lot of these people for quite some time, I do not hesitate to ask about Brexit, the current political climate in their home countries, or in the USA. It is a great way to experience the world from other perspectives. And as I respect them and their views, it broadens my view of the USA and the world.
  • There was a plethora of Connections sessions from which to choose. In fact, on Wednesday, I was double and triple booked during certain time slots. This caused me a lot of stress. Too many sessions, too little time. And no repeats.
  • Wednesday was the best day of the week. Many of the Customer Stories were presented on this day and they were excellent. There is nothing like seeing how other people overcame obstacles, integrated other business applications into Connections, on boarded new Connections users, and increased adoption, to get your enthusiasm to increase. There was furious note taking happening. Also, I introduced myself to several speakers, hoping to parlay the introduction into a more informative conversation in the next several months.
  • Also on Wednesday, there was an onslaught of Connections Pink sessions (see point #1, above). It helped that I was privy to a special meeting with Jason Gary, so I was able to miss several of those sessions, as I heard everything I hoped to hear, directly from him.
  • The Product Showcase was primarily focused on IBM Connections Business Partners and IBM Connections 3rd party applications and extensions. It was perfectly suited to someone like me. After working with Connections for several years, it’s nice to go into the Product Showcase knowing exactly what you want to learn more about as it pertains to your installation and culture. I think I was an “easy sell” to several vendors.
  • While there was a lot of walking within Moscone Center, it was primarily confined to the second floor.
  • The Opening General Session was a nice mix of customer stories, demos, music, and more. It seemed to flow very nicely from one thing to the next. I know that many were ecstatic that IBM Notes and IBM Domino were mentioned, especially concerning IBM’s continued support of the platform. For the nuts and bolts of that support, you had to attend several sessions dedicated to the roadmaps. I was missing from those sessions.
  • The featured speaker, Dr. Sheena Iyengar, author of The Art of Choosing, was an excellent choice. Appearing toward the end of the of Opening General Session, she wove what we had seen and heard, specifically Watson, Watson Workspace, and cognitive, into our current lives and choices. It was enthralling.
  • The Technical Keynote, hosted by Ed Brill, was just what we needed to see and hear. Chris Crummey led the demonstrations and, as expected, did an exceptional job using “real world” examples using real people and real situations, not some made up company with made up problems.
  • The Closing General Session, as usual, recapped the week. However, as is IBM’s custom, their featured speaker, Eric  Whitacre, a classical music composer, was outstanding. Ever since I witnessed Benjamin Zander in Orlando, I absolutely love music themed Closing General Sessions. I suppose it reminds me what I already know, I need to see more orchestras. While I love rock (the harder and more angry, the better), it is classical music that affects me emotionally. I think we all should seek out art that affects the emotions. Eric’s story was spectacular. But, as the session closed, there was no announcement of Connect 2018. No dates, no location. What 2018 will bring for this conference seems to be . . . unknown.

Wednesday was “Pink Day” at Connect, and in response to that, here is a photo of Jason Gary for your enjoyment or amusement:

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I think that Jason must use the same bespoke tailor as Mat Newman.


Not My Code: Advice on Speeding Up a Domino Application

July 13, 2015

In preparation to upgrade our Domino environment to Release 9.0.x, we determined it would be a great idea to know how many Notes IDs we were missing from our ID Vault. A little Google searching, I discovered that two people at IBM created an application, ID Vault Database Scanner.

After some fitful starts to getting it to run, this past weekend I scheduled it to start at 1AM and run for 20 hours (I adjusted Agent Manager to allow agents to run for 1200 minutes). I felt that would be more than adequate time to loop through 22,000 Person Documents and the ID Vault.

After 20 hours, the agent stopped and had looped through . . . 1,598 Person Documents.

If my math is good, that is 1.33 Person Documents per minute. And, extrapolating from that data point, it will take, by my estimation, 502 hours (or 21 days) to completely scan both the Domino Directory and the ID Vault.

That is a lot of time for what I see as a “simple” task.

While it could be asked of me to run the application locally, I have tried that to no avail. In fact, within the documentation of the application, it does not allow for the application to be run locally. And, even if it did, I don’t think that tasking one workstation for 20 days on one task is a good use of an asset.

If you are a developer and you take a look at the code on the website, is there anything you see that can be done more efficiently? Something that will allow this application to complete within 20 hours? Yes, I did read the comments where it was mentioned that this application is slow. However, I didn’t think it would be this slow. I was wrong.

If you know of an application that can compare Person Documents with entries in the ID Vault and return a list of missing Notes IDs, I would love to hear about it.


Premier Foods: Goodbye IBM Notes

April 30, 2015

United Kingdom’s largest food producer and manufacturer, Premier Foods, is dropping IBM Notes and Domino for Google Apps for Business.

… Premier Foods has made a significant investment in Google Apps for Business, dropping Lotus Notes for its 5000 strong user base. The motivation here was to increase the ability to collaborate across multiple sites, including 40 factories spread across the UK. Vickery says:

“The collaboration element grabbed us. We are working better because of the collaboration aspect. We’re using Drive. Choosing it for email was just the way in. Collaboration is changing the way that we work as a business.”

The fact that Notes was replaced by Google apps was exciting in itself and got users to take an interest in the potential of the cloud, he adds:

“The Google thing is interesting. Lotus Notes isn’t the most exciting brand in the world, so when you say, ’I’m going to give you the next release of Lotus Notes’, it’s not that exciting. Google however grabs interest.”

More >


Beyond Bank: Goodbye IBM Notes

March 31, 2015

Another one bites the dust. This time, in Australia.

Customer-owned financial institution, Beyond Bank, is dumping Lotus Notes and an ageing, legacy CRM app as its moves to the cloud.

Beyond Bank will soon start deploying Microsoft Office 365 to around 600 users at its head office in Adelaide and other branches across the ACT, NSW, South Australia, and Western Australia. The cloud solution will be used to access SharePoint Online, Lync Online, and Exchange Online

The reporter did not say whether IBM’s cloud services were ever considered, but they will be running a dual environment, Notes/Domino and Office365, for a while.

More >


Ask the Experts session: Ask us anything about Notes and Domino Install and Upgrade – 07 April 2015

March 31, 2015

Mark your calendars.

Given all the security updates and Interim Fixes within the past year, we’ll present a short demo on the Notes/Domino JVM. Members of the IBM Notes and Domino teams will be on hand to answer questions via the meeting room chat as well as the phone.

  • Topic: Ask us anything about Notes and Domino Install and Upgrade
  • Date: Tuesday, April 07, 2015
  • Time: 11:00 AM EDT (15:00 UTC/GMT, UTC-4 hours) for 60 minutes

Beyond Bank: Goodbye IBM Notes

March 31, 2015

Customer-owned financial institution, Beyond Bank, is dumping Lotus Notes and an ageing, legacy CRM app as its moves to the cloud.

Beyond Bank will soon start deploying Microsoft Office 365 to around 600 users at its head office in Adelaide and other branches across the ACT, NSW, South Australia, and Western Australia. The cloud solution will be used to access SharePoint Online, Lync Online, and Exchange Online

The reporter did not say whether IBM’s cloud services were ever considered, but they will be running a dual environment, Notes/Domino and Office365, for a while.

More >


Liberté! Publicis ditches Lotus Notes

February 25, 2014

Back in July of 2013, I wrote about Publicis moving from IBM Notes to Exchange. Now, seven months later, it appears that the holding company is starting the migration.

It’s official: Publicis Groupe is ditching Lotus Notes. The long ad agency email nightmare is over.

The holding company’s staffers collectively sighed in relief this week when they heard news it is switching to Microsoft Outlook for its email needs instead.

“This is quite possibly the greatest day for employees in their history of working for Publicis,” said an exec at one of its global media agencies.

“I was brought to tears with joy,” added another.

More >