Category Archives: IBM

Her name was LoLA

The Lotus Leadership Alliance kicked off today at the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, FL.  I arrived in time to attend most of the Lotus Connections customer advisory council meeting, which was followed by the opening reception.  Tomorrow things really get underway with the opening general session and a full day of strategy and roadmap sessions from each of the product groups within the Lotus brands. Today was the third consecutive Sunday that I flew out of Newark Airport, and in an incredible streak I departed Newark and arrived at my destination on time all three times, this possibly qualifies me for an entry in the Guinness book of World Records. More from LoLA as the week goes on both here and on the Twitter stream.

Day one of the IBM Premium Support Seminar (and other miscellaneous information)

Today was day one of the annual gathering of IBM Premium Support Customers in Boston.  The event brings together customers, their premium support managers, and members of the support and field service organizations.  In many ways this is a mini Lotusphere of sorts (a lot smaller, and significantly less walking).  The seminar kicked off with a keynote address delivered by Bob Picciano, this was my first opportunity to hear him speak since he took over the General Manager role from Mike Rhodin.  In speaking with Bob after the address I discovered he was a Yankee fan, real shame I didn’t have a Met hat on me, another time I will have to continue this fine tradition. Today was filled with sessions, and a lively “Ask the Developers” session to end the day.  This evening before dinner I had the opportunity to see some early designs of potential features in Quickr and Connections in future releases and there is some pretty good stuff on the drawing board. Since I don’t feel like another post, couple of miscellaneous points thrown in here. Tomorrow is the day for Notes 8.0.2, it  should be available for download on Passport in a few hours. Finally a new experience this evening, I am staying at the Westin Copley Place, this evening when I stopped in my room before heading out to dinner the phone in my room was blinking.  Having  no idea who could have possibly called my room I checked the voice mail to find that the hotel is now leaving recorded advertisements for restaurants on voicemail.  Please stop this, telemarketers are bad enough at home, do I need to register my hotel room on the Do Not Call list?

Is it or isn't it a "third party application"?

For a while now I have been working with both Lotus and Tivoli products that interact with each other, specifically Tivoli monitoring for Domino, and Tivoli Storage Manager TDP.  On more then one occasion a Domino server crash has been attributed to a Tivoli process, but that is not the part that drives me crazy.  What gets me is when Lotus support refers to a Tivoli application as a “third party application”.  So this morning I was doing some work in TiVoli Directory Integrator (TDI) and discovered it works both ways.  While looking around at the various connectors supported here is what I found 3party 3rdparty So yes according to TDI all supported IBM products are third party applications, including DB2.  (NCSO.jar is for connecting to a Domino server it does not ship with TDI I copied it there from a Domino server but figured I wouls stick with the 3rd party theme) IBM can you please stop referring to your own products as third party!

IBM Predicts Five Future Trends That Will Drive Unified Communications

IBM released their five predictions for Unified Communications which were delivered during Mike Rhodins keynote address at VoiceCon

1.The Virtual Workplace will become the rule. No need to leave the office. Just bring it along. Desk phones and desktop computers will gradually disappear, replaced by mobile devices, including laptops, that take on traditional office capabilities. Social networking tools and virtual world meeting experiences will simulate the feeling on being there in-person. Work models will be changed by expanded globalization and green business initiatives that reduce travel and encourage work at home. 2.Instant Messaging and other real-time collaboration tools will become the norm, bypassing e-mail. Just as e-mail became a business necessity, a new generation of workers has a new expectation for instant messaging (IM) as the preferred method of business interaction. This will fuel more rapid adoption of unified communications as traditional IM becomes the core extension point for multi-modal communications. 3.Beyond Phone Calls to Collaborative Business Processes. Companies will go beyond the initial capabilities of IM, like click-to-call and online presence, to deep integration with business processes and line-of-business applications, where they can realize the greatest benefit. 4.Interoperability and Open Standards will tear down proprietary walls across business and public domains. Corporate demand for interoperability and maturing of industry standards will force unified communications providers to embrace interoperability. Converged, aggregated, and rich presence will allow businesses and individuals to better find and reach the appropriate resources, removing inefficiencies from business processes and daily lives. 5.New meeting models will emerge. Hang up on routine, calendared conference calls. The definition of “meetings” will radically transform and become increasingly adhoc and instantaneous based on context and need. 3-D virtual world and gaming technologies will significantly influence online corporate meeting experiences to deliver more life-like experiences demanded by the next generation workers who will operate more efficiently in this familiar environment.

I think we can already see the first four starting to happen, number five is interesting, but I think it will take a little more time before 3-D virtual worlds become the standard.  While the technology is certainly rapidly maturing, it is going to take more time for people to adopt,  and for companies to provision hardware to the desktop, and bandwidth to support these technologies. IBM Predicts Five Future Trends That Will Drive Unified Communications  

NYC Premium Support Customer Summit

Friday I was in New York City for the a Premium Support customer summit, there were about 70 customers in attendance.  I gave a presentation on Lotus Connections.  The presentation covered the five connections services, as well as the explaining the business case used to promote lotus connections in the organization, and a demo of my test Connections environment.   A picture named M2

IBM Quality Software Engineering team

Yesterday I was in Boston for the day where I was invited to speak at an internal IBM meeting  of the IBM Quality Software Engineering team.  I was asked to present from a customers point of view on what IBM does well, and where improvement is needed in the quality of the products shipping from IBM.  I spent about an hour presenting an overview of my companies IT strategy, and then focused on 3 main areas, Integration of IBM products (or the lack of in some cases), Configuration, mainly focused on client configuration issues, and Serviceability of the product once it has been deployed. While much of presentation was not on specific issues, I did choose a few areas to highlight that needed attention including – Quickr should honor name changes made via the AdminP process – Sametime and Quickr should support be supported on servers configured with Internet Site Documents – Integration for Notes, Sametime and Quickr Calendars In addition to presenting I had the opportunity to meet with members of the Quality teams, and Executives in smaller groups to discuss more specific issues.  While I can’t tell you the items mentioned above or some of the others I discussed will happen right away, I can tell you it is obvious from the questions I received and the number of people who wanted to talk to me when I am done, that IBM is listening and trying to meet the customers needs. This was my third trip on the Acela in the last 2 months, but this time I had my brand new Verizon Wirless broadband card, giving me internet access for the 4 hour train ride.  Over the entire trip there were only two spots where the network disconnected, one was a drop and immediate reconnect, the other was about a three minute stretch with no coverage, overall pretty impressive coverage, and decent speed. The entire trip was done without my Blackberry, Notes Traveler has been doing a good job for me so far, though the device itself is very different and takes some getting used to.

IBM uses RFID to Track Conference Attendees

Just caught this story  on IBM’s first  use of RFID technology to track conference attendees

At its Information on Demand conference in Las Vegas, IBM is deploying RFID technology on name tags worn by attendees that automatically tracks their session and meal attendance.

The use of RFID in the badges was not a secret, and attendees were given the option to opt out

Of the 6,500 people here, approximately 2 percent didn’t want a name tag with an RFID chip in it, said Mary Ann Alberry, IBM’s conference manager.

I wonder if we will be seeing this technology at Lotusphere this year as the article explains the benefits,,

The real-time aspects of the system help with day-to-day conference management. If a room gets filled to capacity, a decision can be made to repeat the session. If a person needs to be reached in an emergency, he or she can also be tracked down, Alberry said.

I personally have no problem if they want to put an RFID tag in my badge, if it helps them manage the conference, it should help me get to the sessions I want to, and make sure the sessions being repeated are the ones with the demand.  Does anyone have any strong objections to this?  IBM Uses RFID to Track Conference Attendees

IBM and Second Life to work on opening up virtual worlds

I have tried Second Life and I just don’t get, maybe it was the computer I was using at the time that lacked the proper resources, maybe it is just a lack of time to play with it, but it has not kept my attention.  I caught this article today, IBM and Second Life have announced plans to work together to open up virtual worlds so you can take a persona created in one world and use it in another.

Interoperability is emerging as a key goal of the nascent virtual world industry, which attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in investment on the hopes that video-game graphics and rich 3-D environments will supplant flat Web pages.

I am not sure how fast the web will be replaced by virtual worlds, but who knows, since Social computing has now grown up and entered the enterprise maybe the online virtual office is next, and it would be nice to be able to have one persona, and be able to leave the virtual office for a virtual meeting  I am still not sold on the whole thing,  I think for now I will just focus on building the Lotus Connections environment.  Second Life, IBM in open borders for virtual worlds

Lotus Collaboration Summit – NYC

Today I was at the Hayden Planetarium for the NYC edition of the Lotus Collaboration Summit.   Steve Mills and Mike Rhodin delivered the keynote,  covering the announcements IBM made today.   Lotus Symphony was the first announcement of the day,  IBM has now released the productivity tools that shipped in Notes 8, as a stand-alone free office suite.  The Symphony name is being recycled as it was used years ago for another Lotus Office Suite.  I suspect this one will do a little better with the price tag being right, and the document format being open so it will work well with other office suites.  I suspect the system requirements might also be a little different then original Symphony product.

Like its predecessor, Symphony is loaded once into memory. Then, unless you need to print graphs or use some of the other arcane functions, no further program loading is necessary. The differences is that 1-2-3 requires about 128K of system RAM for program instructions while Symphony uses twice as much. Lotus recommends a minimum of 320K of memory to use Symphony, but a more practical configuration would include 512K. With the minimum RAM you can load the program and use all of teh software features, but the amount of data you can manipulate is reduced.  

Symphony was also covered in the Technology section of the New York Times today Next up IBM announced plans to provide hosted Notes 8 environments for small to mid-sized companies, with options to include Sametime and Quickr, and plans to provide hosting for more products down the road. There was a recap of the Sametime Announcements made last month at Voicecon, even better after the keynotes there were demos of some of the Sametime Advanced, and Sametime telephony products in the innovations labs. Domino 8.0.1 was officially announced, as well as some of the new features that will be delivered with 8.0.1:

  • Domino Web Access light
  • UI Improvements to the To Do’s
  • Quickr Sidebar integration
  • Mail Quota gauge
  • Better compression delivering 35% reduction in storage.
  • 64 Bit for Windows and AIX
  • Notes Traveler for mobile e-mail, calendar, contacts and to do  on Windows Mobile  (and yes if you are curious this is why I got a Windows Mobile device, been beta testing this for a few weeks now) For all the Mac users out there there was a demo of Notes 8.0.1 on the Mac as well. Quickr 8.1 was announced, with new features
  • Quickr integration with Outlook
  • UI Improvements
  • Quickr Personal edition
  • Integration with Enterprise Content Management Systems (Filenet, Documentum, and more to come) Quickr content integrator – a new product being released to facilitate the migration or synchronization of data from Sharepoint, Exchange, Domino and Domino.doc with Quickr. Finally Lotus Connections was covered, and in the labs they were showing some of the plans for Connections 2.0.  The plans for 1.0.2 in November with official support for Domino LDAP was confirmed as well. One of the themes throughout the entire presentation was not only the features and enhancements to the products, but the commitment to seamlessly integrate all the products together, this is an area that IBM needs to focus on, and it is nice to see them talking about it when they are announcing products and features. There was a portion of the program which was a customer panel where customers answered some questions based on their experiences with Lotus products and their plans for the next year.  I had been invited to be a member of the panel, but unfortunately did not have enough time to get sign off from my corporate communications department to participate, maybe next time. The Hayden Planetarium was a really great choice for the event, and the weather was great today to be walking around NYC. Symphony press release Collaboration Summit press release Product announcement press release  

IBM Introduces gizmos for developerWorks

IBM announced “gizmos” for developerWorks which are widgets and gadgets to extend developerWorks content in to applications, browsers, mashups, and an interface for the iPhone.  This is not enough to make me want to run out and get an iphone, but I will have to check out some of the other gadets. Full Story developerWorks gizmo page