‘IBM plans to expand the IBM Connections supported server platforms to include support of IBM i’

Interesting announcement of enhancements to System i 7.1, including:

However, this line way down the document could make the biggest splash of all:

IBM plans to expand the IBM Connections supported server platforms to include support of IBM i.

No idea on dates yet, but this is big news for all System i customers.


IBM plans to provide IBM i native support for Lotus Notes® Traveler on IBM i 6.1, 7.1, and later. With the IBM i native support, IBM i users would be able to deploy Lotus Notes Traveler server on IBM i to keep a consolidated and simplified environment.

This is fantastic – Domino, Sametime and now Traveler and Connections on the System i platform.  Choice for customers and great performance and reliability for end users.

Kudos to Steve Pitcher for helping to make this happen.  I know Sharon is going to be very very excited!

Thrilled about this… Kudos Analytics!

As you should be aware by now, Collaboration Matters is a reseller of Kudos Badges.  We’ve recommended it and implemented it at some very large (and very small) Connections customers over the past year, and it is a fantastic tool for enhancing user adoption within the Social Business platform.

When Adam Brown (of Kudos Badges developers, ISW) and I met during Autumn 2012, one of the concepts we discussed most passionately is the knowledge that developing Kudos Badges has given his organisation.  Knowledge about the use of Connections within organisations, the speed of adoption, barriers to use, the demands of internal communications departments and Connections Champions and most importantly, the way in which Connections itself has been architected at the application and database level.  As I told Adam at the time, I don’t believe that anyone else outside of IBM development now better understands how the Connections database tables are linked and updated.

So, where has that got ISW?  Today, Adam announced Kudos Analytics:

We have found that most users of Connections really just want some light weight reporting that is easy to access and install. Kudos Analytics takes about 10 minutes to install and get started. This is just the first step and we are planning on adding Kudos Analytics capabilities for individual Communities so Community Managers can see what is happening in their realm. We would also love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what else is needed so come visit us at IBM Connect pedestal C49!!

The new Cognos integration within IBM Connections 4.0 is amazingly powerful, but it is also a chunk of technology that needs to be deployed, managed and customised to get the most from it.  For larger customers it is absolutely the tool they need to get metrics and trends from Connections deployments.

However, for smaller organisations or for those without deep Cognos or BI knowledge or skills, Kudos Analytics could be exactly what is required.  Take a look at the video above and make sure you meet with ISW at IBM Connect 2013 if you attending.  If not, then get in touch with either ISW or Collaboration Matters and we’ll be delighted to take you through this great new solution.

Joining the team… Sharon Bellamy

I am truly delighted to announce a new member of the Collaboration Matters team, Sharon Bellamy.

In many cases, Sharon will need no introduction, as you will already be familiar with her great work on IBM Connections at a number of organisations, regular blog posts, appearances on This Week in Lotus, speaking engagements at user groups and Lotusphere conferences, her efforts to co-found and organise the Social Connections user group and indeed, her status as an IBM Champion!

If you haven’t had the fortune to meet Sharon yet, hopefully you’ll soon have the opportunity to get to know her enthusiasm, tenacity, deep technical skills and boundless energy!

Sharon will be working to deliver Social Business projects to our customers, including technical and business consultancy, managed services and training.

Welcome Sharon!

IBM Connections 4.0 announced

At a glance

IBM Connections V4.0 is designed to help you:

  • Track the activity of your network and respond more quickly using the embedded experience within the activity stream.
  • Bring external applications and content into the activity stream to respond in context, saving time and reducing context switching.
  • Track and respond to the activities of community members using the community-centric activity stream and embedded experience.
  • Quickly bring content from external sites and related communities into your community for faster response and better customer service.
  • Develop insights into community adoption and usage with new standard and customizable metrics and graphical reports.
  • Receive relevant recommendations on people and content using social analytics that now also utilize status updates and microblogging content.
  • Use hashtags to follow important topics and “Like” updates with a single click.
  • Schedule team events and incorporate into a personal calendar using a new community calendar.

More >

The GA code will be available on Friday 7th September from Passport Advantage and PartnerWorld.

There will be much more to come on this new release now that embargos and NDAs are being lifted.

To say I’m excited about having the 4.0 GA code in my grubby little paws is a massive understatement. Many fun days ahead!

IBM Connections 4.0. About to go public…

News from the IBM Greenhouse:

We are targeting our upgrade to Connections 4.0 Beta for Thursday July 26th. Connections will be down for the entire day while we upgrade and test the new environment.

Less than a week away!  As many of you will be aware, upgrading the Greenhouse install of Connections is one of the most significant public steps that takes place as an IBM Connections release nears GA.  The wraps are thrown off and everyone gets to try the code themselves first-hand.

With well publicised enhancements such as the embedded experience, share box, Connections Mail (aka ‘Social Mail’), community activity streams and a brand new UI, this is a massive release for the Connections product.  Where 3.0.x saw Connections hit maturity as a social platform in my eyes, 4.0 will see it really leap forward in terms of the impact on enterprise users – it can definitely become the centrepiece in an organisation’s messaging and collaboration infrastructure.

These are exciting times…  Make sure you check out Connections 4.0 in the Greenhouse this time next week!

IBM tidies Collaboration Solutions product line

One in a while IBM takes a scalpel to the set of products it sells and adjusts the offerings that are marketed to new customers. That’s just part of the cycle of product management…  The changes haven’t been communicated particularly broadly (though they are mentioned on the Greenhouse), so I thought it was worth a blog post.

This month we’ve seen an announcement of the demise of a couple of products, replaced by others in the line. First up, Mashup Center and Lotus Mashups:

Effective on the dates listed below, IBM® will withdraw from marketing, part numbers from the following product releases licensed under the IBM International Program License Agreement:

5724-V06 1.0.0 08/07/12 IBM InfoSphere® MashupHub V1.0.0
5724-V06 1.1.0 08/07/12 IBM InfoSphere MashupHub V1.1.0
5724-V06 2.0.0 08/07/12 IBM InfoSphere MashupHub V2.0.0
5724-U69 1.0.0 08/07/12 IBM Lotus® Mashups V1.0.0
5724-U69 1.1.0 08/07/12 IBM Lotus Mashups V1.1.0
5724-U69 2.0.0 08/07/12 IBM Lotus Mashups V2.0.0
5724-V33 2.0.0 08/07/12 IBM Mashup Center V2.0.0
5724-V33 3.0.0 08/07/12 IBM Mashup Center V3.0.0

Mashup Center is not being directly replaced, but the features and functions within it have been subsumed into WebSphere Portal, and hence customers and partners are recommended to purchase that solution instead. MashupHub is replaced by IBM Web Experience Factory Designer.

Secondly, Lotus Forms Turbo:

Effective on the dates listed below, IBM® will withdraw from marketing, part numbers from the following product release(s) licensed under the IBM International Program License Agreement:

5724-W05 3.5.0 05/08/12 IBM Lotus® Forms Turbo V3.5.0
5724-W05 3.5.1 05/08/12 IBM Lotus Forms Turbo V3.5.1

In this case, the replacement is an almost direct one, with IBM Forms Server, which has always been the more comprehensive offering, albeit at a higher price.

In all cases support for the withdrawn products will continue for a significant period of time, it is just that they won’t be marketed or be available to purchase from IBM. Check the announcement letters for more information.

These changes also see the removal of two more Lotus-branded solutions, leaving just a few remaining, principally Lotus Notes, Domino and Quickr.

It’s announcement day! Notes/Domino 8.5.2 and LotusLive 1.3 are here

Ed Brill has dropped hints, the announcement has been previewed at User Group events and on podcasts, now the day is here…  

Notes/Domino 8.5.2 has been formally announced this morning (ah, the delights of being based in Europe!), along with the latest release of the LotusLive suite of cloud-based collaboration and messaging applications.

IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.2 delivers new features and enhancements for end users and developers

At a glance

IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.2 provides enhancements for both the end user (Lotus Notes, Lotus iNotes and Lotus Notes Traveler) and developers (Domino Designer). Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.2:

  • Allows Lotus Notes to take advantage of improved instant messaging and unified telephony services provided by Lotus Sametime
  • Contains usability and productivity enhancements to the Lotus iNotes mail and calendaring experience
  • Supports the Apple iPad and new features of the Apple iPhone with Lotus Notes Traveler
  • Has new XPage features and extensibility APIs, as well as Lotus Domino Designer enhancements that provide developers with additional capabilities


IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.2 delivers powerful new features for your messaging and collaboration infrastructure. There are many new features and enhancements that improve the end-user experience, mobile access, and application development capabilities for Lotus Notes and Domino.

The Notes client improves real-time communication by taking advantage of the latest instant messaging and unified telephony services provided by Lotus Sametime 8.5.1. Improved integration with IBM Lotus Quickr means you can more easily store files in Quickr. The Notes client also complies with 2009 Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) requirements.

Lotus iNotes delivers productivity gains with improved performance when creating mail messages, and the ability to create Lotus Sametime meetings from within your calendar invitations. iNotes Ultra-light adds Android support for Nexus One and support for Apple iPhone 4.0.

Mobile users get more device options with the addition of Apple iPad support for Lotus Notes Traveler, and added operating system support for Apple iOS 4, Windows Mobile 6.5, and the Lotus Notes Traveler server for Linux. Additional Traveler enhancements improve security support of HTTPS for push notifications and Apple iPhone and iPad security policy enforcement.

Lotus Domino and Domino Designer 8.5.2 continue to deliver innovation for developers. XPages ships the CKEditor for enhanced rich text editing on the Web including in line images and tables. XPage and Domino Designer extensibility APIs allow developers to add new XPage controls to simplify development and increase the functionality of the collaborative applications they build. Developers can also take advantage of Domino in the cloud through developer and test images on Amazon Web Services.

Notes/Domino 8.5.2 is scheduled to be available for electronic download on 24th August 2010, with physical media and documentation following in October.

A more detailed list of enhancements is available in the announcement letter.

Also announced today is the latest release of the LotusLive suite, LotusLive 1.3:

IBM LotusLive 1.3 adds e-mail services for both new and existing Notes Domino customers

At a glance

LotusLive Notes, as part of IBM LotusLive 1.3, is designed to:

  • Enhance the security, integrity, and availability of the messaging system
  • Keep costs lower by using automated processes and an integrated platform
  • Support a faster implementation with an established infrastructure and a team of subject matter experts


IBM LotusLive 1.3 delivers cloud-based online technologies for business that combines Web conferencing, messaging, and collaboration services with social networking capabilities.

IBM LotusLive Notes, an addition to LotusLive, is a messaging service for both new and existing Notes Domino customers. LotusLive Notes:

  • Provides industry-leading messaging, robust calendar and scheduling, and contact management features that are used by the world’s top enterprises and is backed by 24×7 monitoring and IBM support.
  • Includes both the service and the software via the Lotus Notes client or Web browser (via LotusLive Notes Web).
  • Features standardized services that are designed to deliver faster deployment and competitive pricing via a cutting-edge infrastructure built to improve the efficiency and cost containment of your messaging environment.
  • Introduces bundle for IBM LotusLive Notes, which includes LotusLive Engage for Enterprise Deployment.
  • A team of IBM experts, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and established processes and controls help to create a highly available, security-rich messaging environment, including built-in antivirus and antispam protection.

In addition to LotusLive Notes, you get:

  • Enhanced calendaring support in LotusLive iNotes that allows free and busy time lookups when scheduling meetings

Overall, LotusLive offerings (file sharing, e-mail, instant messaging, activities, Web conferences, surveys, and social networking) help companies focus on growing their businesses, and finding and working with the right people by providing essential software for getting the most out of every collaboration in a simple to acquire service.

The addition of full calendaring and scheduling support within LotusLive iNotes will be a major enhancement for customers looking for low-cost cloud-based messaging, and the bundle of Lotuslive Engage and Notes provides a cohesive suite of collaboration and messaging abilities for those looking for a more feature-rich service. LotusLive 1.3 is also scheduled for availability on 24th August.

I’m sure more details will be forthcoming today – check Ed’s blog and PlanetLotus for the latest news.

Announcement: Collaboration Matters Bring Comprehensive Enterprise 2.0 Social Collaboration Suite to Lotus Domino

This morning’s press release in full.


Collaboration Matters Bring Comprehensive Enterprise 2.0 Social Collaboration Suite to Lotus Domino

The ‘Knowledge Network’ was developed in partnership with Oak Ridge Business Solutions and delivers the first integrated suite of social and knowledge sharing tools to the Lotus Domino platform.

LOTUSPHERE, ORLANDO, FL. January 17, 2010 –
Collaboration Matters (www.collaborationmatters.com) today announced it has launched the Knowledge Network (K-Net) solution, bringing a broad suite of social collaboration and knowledge sharing tools to the Lotus Domino platform.

Focusing on the management of information, knowledge sharing and collaboration the Knowledge Network promotes and enables an effective knowledge networking environment.  It empowers knowledge workers to develop and nurture relations with a network of their colleagues; react and respond to business opportunities by calling on the knowledge and skills of their network; discuss and refine new ideas with communities of colleagues, partners, and customers; and to maximise the value of the shared knowledge held within the organisation.

The Knowledge Network is 100% web-based and is ideally suited as an intranet environment or to complement existing intranet environments. The solution can be provided either as an on-premise implementation or externally hosted as a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering.  It is supported on Lotus Domino 7, 8 and 8.5 platforms and on a wide variety of browsers and client operating systems.

Built and delivered through a two-year-long strategic partnership between Collaboration Matters and Oak Ridge Business Solutions, the features included in the Knowledge Network are based on feedback from existing clients using previous versions of features within the suite:

“In our global business the power of the Knowledge Network allows us to have a central point where all our knowledge can be stored and shared. People can go here for all critical support information which allows us to operate on a common platform across diverse communities.”

— Mike Singer, European Knowledge Manager, BP

Collaboration Matters has extensive experience of planning, deploying and supporting existing social software solutions from IBM and other vendors, and has discerned the requirement for an offering that delivers many of their features whilst being based on Lotus Domino.  

Collaboration Matters’ Technical Director, Stuart McIntyre commented “The benefits of deploying and using social software have been clearly justified for organisations and individuals alike.  Technologies such as social profiles, dynamic communities, micro-blogging, bookmarking and file-sharing are here to stay.  The Knowledge Network brings these features to the Domino platform for the first time as an integrated and easily-deployable suite, delivering the value of social collaboration to more than 100 million Domino users worldwide”.

Oak Ridge’s Executive Chairman, Andre van Zyl commented “We are excited to launch this new release of the Knowledge Network. It incorporates the feedback and suggestions from our customers, addressing the requirements for knowledge sharing, using social networking technology. We are delighted to work with Collaboration Matters to take the Knowledge Network to market.”

About Collaboration Matters

Collaboration Matters is one of the UK’s leading social software consultancies, offering both technology-based solutions and sound business and cultural change management. We aim to deliver intelligent, elegant, social IT solutions internally within small businesses, knowledge-focused corporations, education and not-for-profit organisations.  For more information, visit www.collaborationmatters.com.

About Oak Ridge Business Solutions

Oak Ridge Business Solutions, founded in 2006, are at the forefront of redefining the way knowledge is managed and have delivered a number of global Customer Relationship and Knowledge Management solutions that provide tangible business insight for our clients.  For more information, visit www.oakridgenetwork.com.

Contact Information
Stuart McIntyre
+44 (0) 121 288 0008

Image:Sametime 8 announced today

Sametime 8 announced today

Exciting news, Sametime 8 has been announced today, in three of its four flavours:

IBM Lotus Sametime Standard 8.0 and IBM Lotus Sametime Enterprise Meeting Server 8.0 deliver continued enhancements

IBM Lotus Sametime Entry software delivers core enterprise instant messaging capabilities at an affordable price

I assume that Advanced will follow along at a later date.

The Sametime product pages have had a refresh too, as you might expect, with a cool new “Get the Buzz” page:

Image:Sametime 8 announced today
I like the way the different levels have been split out, as I think this will make sense for a lot of SMBs.  However, as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, I do think the Entry/Standard/Advanced tags are a huge retrograde step – so 2004 (well apart from Vista of course)…

Adam Gartenberg has a very nice summary of the new features and the announcement details on his blog.