APQC logo

Webinar: Surviving the Gartner Hype Cycle for your Enterprise Social Network

The APQC (American Productivity & Quality Center) are hosting an interesting webinar in a couple of week’s time, looking at how to manage a successful ESN:

When The Chartis Group launched its enterprise social network (ESN) in April 2016, the initial deployment and usage was a tremendous success, but engagement gradually slipped after the first 4-6 weeks. Through persistent promotional efforts and making the ESN a part of how employees do their jobs, adoption steadily improved over time.

During this webinar, The Chartis Group’s Director of Knowledge Management, Darrin Brogran, will discuss ways to strengthen any ESN within an organization. He will emphasize many of the challenges and pitfalls likely to be associated with a post-deployment ESN environment, actions designed to revitalize and refresh an ESN, and ways to optimize opportunities for your social network to become an embedded part of the organizational culture.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, April 20 at 10:30 a.m. CDT. Register now.

ibm connections cloud hearts

IBM Connections Cloud: Rakin’ in the 💙s

Coming in the next release of IBM Connections Cloud on 22 April 2017:

Now you can put your heart into it when you like something in Connections Cloud. The new heart icon has universally replaced the word “Like” or, in some places, the happy face icon.

ibm connections cloud heartsClick the heart icon 💙 to like a file, blog, status update, or comment.

I ‘like’ this move… 😉

The ‘like’ verb always seemed a little out of place, particularly in the more formal of Connections environments. The new heart icon still indicates the same action, and therefore the same important indication of approval for the content or interaction, but I feel as though it is a better fit with current best-practices in social media terms, as well as the overall context of IBM Connections Cloud communities. Look out for the change in three weeks or so.

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Have you completed the State of Community Management 2017 survey yet?

The Community Roundtable’s ‘State of Community Management’ annual analysis of online communities is one of the resources that I use almost every day in my role as a digital strategist. It contains vital information on what constitutes best-of-breed communities (both internal and external), how mature platforms are continuing to evolve into new areas, how the art (and therefore professional role) of community management is developing and much more. The 2016 edition is available here – I really would highly recommend that you download a copy if you’re at all interested in this topic.

The survey for this year’s edition launched a couple of months ago, and is expected to close soon:

Community managers and program owners in all communities – large and small, internal and external, SOCM 2016 Cover with Shadow Finalpublic and private, and across all industries and use cases are encouraged to take the 25-minute survey, which explores critical elements of successful communities. Survey participants receive:

  • A free estimated Community Maturity Score, which compares your responses to The Community Roundtable’s database of hundreds of surveys, and gives you a sense of where your community ranks on the Community Maturity Model.
  • Access to the full State of Community Management 2017 report on the day it’s made available (expected mid-May).

If you’re a community manager, and you haven’t yet taken the survey, please do so ASAP. It’s a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the understanding of progress in the profession, as well as gathering some incredibly useful information on your own community:

The 25-minute survey explores your community across the 8 competencies of the Community Maturity Model, and generate an exclusive (and private) scorecard of where you stand in:

  • Strategy
  • Leadership
  • Culture
  • Community Management
  • Content and Programs
  • Policies and Guidelines
  • Tools
  • Metrics and Measurement

Plus, you can use the included ROI calculator to get a sense of how your ROI stacks up, based on the value of answers created in your community use our ROI model.

Take the survey now!


Building enterprise software today: A partnership in openness (IBM’s Jason Roy Gary at FOSSASIA 2017)

FOSS ASIAThose that were at IBM Connect or on recent partner calls may have seen versions of this presentation from Jason Roy Gary of IBM. However, I am thrilled to find a video version recorded at last week’s FOSSASIA 2017 event held in Singapore.

Jason is a Distinguished Engineer and since last year has lead the IBM Connections engineering team. It’s fair to say that his arrival has resulted in a dramatic revolution in the way that IBM is approaching the Connections product, infrastructure and development process. The plans for Connections Pink demonstrate this in an emphatic way.

In this presentation, Jason outlines his beliefs, the challenges that vendors face in 2017, and why an open approach is essential for enterprise software.  It is a fascinating hour’s worth of listening, and I’d recommend it to any IBM customer or partner.

IBM Connections 6 summary

IBM Connections 6.0 announced, generally available March 31st

They told us at Connect that IBM Connections 6.0 would be made available in Q1, and here’s the announcement that they’ll be sneaking it across the line on the 31st March…

IBM Connections 6 summaryConnections V6.0 adds new capabilities for creating and customizing engaging Communities, and offers users increased flexibility in syncing and managing their online and offline Files folders.


  • Community customization capabilities can help to make a Community more useful and engaging for the Community members.
  • Doing so can lead to greater Community participation and provides a more effective collaboration experience for the Community members.
  • File folders can be taken offline to a PC for local work and then synchronized with the online folders.
  • Advanced analytics provide an optional personalized and prioritized home page that will surface information that is most relevant for the individual.

The significant new features are highlighted in the announcement letter, along with some of the implementation details:

Communities are more customizable

Advanced Community customization capabilities provide Community owners additional options for designing their custom Community. These changes allow a Community to be more useful and engaging, leading to increased community vitality. As Community owners build these vibrant communities, they can copy the existing layouts and designs from one Community into a new one.

Community owners can:

  • Create Community experiences with enhanced rich text content editing, so that Community members can enjoy an engaging experience.
  • Choose from new modern layouts with a horizontal navigation bar to better use space on Community pages and match the Community’s purpose more effectively.
  • Create new Communities faster by choosing from existing layouts, which can help to save time and establish guidelines for Community design.
  • Reduce clutter on Community pages by hiding a widget while retaining its link in the navigation menu.

Files delivers added flexibility

Files users can select a top-level folder in their Files and mark it for sync. This permits the users to take the content of entire folders offline to their desktop and keep them synchronized with the files on the server.

Relevant updates are brought front and center

A new optional program, IBM Connections Orient Me, can be used with Connections V6.0 to provide new home page capabilities that apply advanced analytics to surface information and people that are most relevant to an individual.

Individuals can take advantage of new capabilities provided by Connections Orient Me:

  • See, at a glance, the updates and information most relevant to users, displayed in a new visual layout and prioritized based on their interaction with content and people.
  • Apply new content and people filters to better control what users see.
  • More easily view updates grouped by a person, a Community, or content.
  • Receive suggestions about the people most likely to be important and relevant to their work.
  • See a snapshot of their day in the Action Center, accessible throughout Connections.

Connections Orient Me is planned for availability on the availability date of Connections V6.0. Connections Orient Me is planned to be made available for download from the Fix Central website by organizations with entitlement to Connections V6.0

As previously blogged, this is set to be the final on-premises release of Connections built the run wholly on the traditional platform of WebSphere/DB2/IHS/TDI etc. Connections Pink will start to arrive in pieces from later this year, running on an entirely more dynamic and easier-to-manage infrastructure. You will need to be running 6.0 to make that transition, so start the planning process now to get there as soon as you can.

Connections 6.0 will be available to download from Passport Advantage or Partnerworld as usual.