I have for a while wondered why Skype can boast having 299 million users. It’s a huge number, and while the product is arguably used by a lot of people, I’ve still found that number a bit fishy. Until today. Because today I realised why they can claim having so many people using their product.
My offspring bought a new laptop, and I helped him set it up. Then it came time to connect and start up his Skype client. The school he goes to uses Microsoft’s One Drive. This means that he has a Microsoft account with an outlook.com address as well, even if he insists on using Gmail and Chrome (yay, I’ve been a good father!)
A few years back, Microsoft bought Skype. This means that you can connect your Microsoft account with your Skype account. So that’s what I tried to do. In my infinite naiveness, I thought that should be no problem. But after telling the Microsoft account to connect to Skype, the latter pops up and asks you for your Skype user name and password. What? Skype user name? What is that?
I tried the offspring’s full name. I tried his gmail address. I tried his outlook.com address. I also tried all the passwords he has ever used. Nope! So I clicked on the “forgotten my credentials” link, and lo and behold an email about how I could reset the password landed in his gmail account. – Aha, I thought. – This means that his Skype account is registered with his gmail account.
I clicked on the link provided in the email, and I was now taken to a web page where it showed the users associated with that account. No Skype user name or email address in sight! I could choose to reset the password on that page. But get this: Resetting the password would mean that I also would reset the password to his Facebook account! Err…what? On this page I was also told that I also had the alternative of logging on to Facebook and continue from there. So that’s what I did. And the Facebook user name was the very same user name Skype didn’t accept!
I was now totally and utterly confused, so I contacted a colleague of mine who a while back told me had a similar problem to hear how he had solved this. – Oh, I solved it by just creating a new Skype account he said.
Ok. I then moved on to another friend of mine who also had this problem. He said the same thing: – I just created a new account.
I then googled the problem, and guess what the answer most forums and blogs gave was? Yup, you guessed it.
Regaining a forgotten user name on Skype is like regaining your virginity. You give up, and then you just create a new account. And that’s why Skype has 290 million users!
Summer holiday and a huge load of journalistic assignments made me postpone and postpone, and postpone yet again, my summary of the Norwegian IBM User Group’s spring seminar, which took place at Farris Bad (a spa resort) at the end of May. I will therefore here do a short summary of the last sessions I attended.
Single, integrated social content management system
Joar Lyngaas (now retired, I’m told) from IBM talked about content management within IBM Connections. In my company, we use FileNet and CCM. This makes it possible to define document types with meta data, as well as creating a work flow for reviewing documents before being published. What Joar went through went deeper, and for my company, which is very much looking at a content management system for our documents, this was very interesting.
I have to say, though, that IBM’s acronym confusion continued. You have CCM, CECE, ICF, IBM ECM and so on. What I have gathered is what we need is CECE, IBM Connections Enterprise Content Edition. What this will give us is:
Check in and check out of documents
Another important factor here is IBM’s Content Manager, which we now will be able to use for administering the various document types, and it will also give us a widget/app that will work both in Microsoft Office, in IBM Connections and even in a widget IBM Notes.
This session was the most useful for me during this seminar, and we have already invested in three development licenses. We will make web versions of our biggest IBM Notes applications, and via the API for CECE, we will probably use it for storing of attachments and files and other documents used in the sales and service process.
Honestly, Bluemix and Xpages is something my company have decided not to pursue. We will be using Domino as nothing more than a platform for storing the data, and then we will use the REST API in Domino to get the data.
Gabriella is always very knowledgeable and fun to listen to. She went through a lot of tips on how to secure the Domino environment, as well as very good tips on things you can do with Domino Administrator. I learned some new stuff:
Driving success with social business through an effective adoption approach
Alan Hamilton from IBM then talked about one of the biggest challenges Social Business adopters like me face: How do you do user adoption properly, and get people to use solutions like IBM Connections? But this also goes for adoption of any new system, because after 70% of the project budget is spent, that’s when you start user adoption. And neither time nor resources are enough at this stage.
He described five stages of user adoption:
Vision: You need a vision when you start a project. You need to have a plan. What do you want to achieve with this project?
Leadership commitment: Make sure the ones taking the bill are on board with what you are doing. Refer to business cases and tell them why this project is important and will increase your earnings and improve efficiency. Without leadership backing, you will get nowhere.
Use Cases: Define what improvements and benefits you envision for your organisation and focus on them. Then define what improvements and benefits you foresee for the individuals in the organisation. The good old “what’s in it for me?” is something that the users will ask or wonder about. Define what’s in it for them and focus on that. Use examples on where you think things would be improved.
Plan: Recognise that not all users are the same. Identify the early adopters, the ones that will be ahead of even you, the ones that need prodding and the ones that will never adapt no matter what you do. Plan how you will deploy the solution, how you will train your users and how you will support them.
Iteration: Do points 1-4 over and over again during the entire process, and improve. The old days of the waterfall technique are long gone
This session hit pretty close to home with me, as we are still going through them. Slowly improving, but not quite there yet.
How to do more with IBM Connections through integration and expansions
Runar Brastad from Item consulting did a very good presentation on how you can use the very open APIs in IBM Connections and the Social Business Toolkit to both fetch data from Connections, as well as post to Connections from external sources.
This was a very interesting session, and I got several ideas that I’m testing these days. The plan is to replace our intranet with IBM Connections, and use the API’s to fetch data on to our own custom made start page, as well as to information screens that are in place all over our company.