I woke up this morning to a text message telling me that my plane was cancelled. Stuck in Brussels an extra day. What to do?
I spent this week at the Engage conference, which this year took place in Belgium. I gave a presentation yesterday about a solution that my colleagues at iSi have made. People went “wow!” when they saw it. Which was nice, and I sent them a message telling them that they had impressed people.
The venue was the awesomely cool museum Autoworld, with a huge collection of vintage cars and vehicles.
The conference is focused on the collaboration tools from IBM, like Notes/Domino, Sametime, Connections and others. It also deals with third party tools that interacts with these systems, as well as general talks on user adoption, development and administration.
Over 400 people were at the conference, and as always it was a wonderful opportunity to meet old friends, make new friends, engage in discussions, learn, teach, make contacts, make deals and just having a good time. So once again: Thanks to Theo & Hilde for another awesome event.
But I woke up this morning to a message telling me that my plane was cancelled, and that they had re-booked it for me tomorrow. So I had to extend my stay at the hotel one more day. I’m not even sure if SAS will cover it, since this was because of an air traffic control strike. This means it’s out of their hands, and is deemed to be an unforeseen event. EU regulations stipulates that they won’t have to compensate me then.
It also means I will spend our constitutional day (our 4th of July if you will) on planes on my way back home tomorrow. That’s one holiday down the drain. Bummer.
So I spent the day walking 15 km around downtown Brussels, taking in the sights. And I stopped at watering holes every now and then, where I took out my computer and worked on the photos I took at the conference. After four stops, and a little work back at my hotel, the photos were finished. They can now bee seen in my photo album on flickr. You can also see some photos of the car exhibition, as well as some photos of the world famous Atomium building.
I will write a blog posting about the new stuff I learned in the coming days.
Enjoy the photos by clicking on the title of the photo album below:
For the fourth year in a row I will be a presenter and speaker at the biggest ICS usergroup event in the world. And this year I will be giving a presentation that neither developers nor executives will want to miss!
The superlatives and positive messages about the Norwegian user group’s (ISBG) launch of IBM/Notes Domino V10 in Norway yesterday has been pouring in all morning. As the leader of ISBG, this makes me immensely happy. And it gives bright hope for the future, and we will use this momentum when we’ve now started preparing for the spring seminar. Read on to see what happened at the launch!
As I’m sure a lot of you know, I do a lot of presentations and lectures, as well as giving courses and doing user training. I’m especially doing a lot of this kind of work when it comes to collaboration and efficient use of email and calendar. If you want me to come and have a look at your organisation and make you less dependant on internal email, make it easier for your organisation to find information and documents and help you find the knowledge and skills that you have in house, please get in touch!
A week ago today the annual Engage conference started in Rotterdam, on one of the most amazing conference venues I’ve been at so far, the ship SS Rotterdam, which is a permanently moored hotel ship in the harbour. Theo Heselmans put on a stunning conference, where over 400 people attended. They were IBM Customers, end users, IBM business partners, members from other user groups, people from IBM and I’m sure there were other representatives as well.
As a part of the Brainworker consultant pool, I was treated to this trip by Arne Nielsen, who footed the bill. We did a road trip from Norway to the Netherlands, via Sweden, Denmark and Germany both to and from the conference. It was a nice trip, but I think we will fly next year…
I also did a presentation at the conference called “30 tips about IBM Verse.” I was so nervous that nobody would come, but it turns out I got a full room with 50 people. And the feedback was great.
Milan Matejic wrote: “Nice Session for everybody who plans to use Verse Client on a regular basis. Packed with lots of information delivered in a funny and energetic manner.” Aww! Thanks!
Notes/Domino v10 and 11
IBM presented a lot of things around IBM Notes/Domino v10 and v11. I’ve written about most of the Notes 10 stuff in this blog posting, but I will mention the new stuff they presented at Engage about 10:
Support for unlimited documents in folders – This really means nothing to me
Enhancements in Domino Cluster Administration – This was about time
Cluster configuration document – This means you have a place to you configure the files and directories, which have to be clustered
Domino statistics and monitoring via New Relic – Great for administrators
A lot of self repairing and self healing on the Domino server
Roll out automatic updates of the Notes client from the Domino server – Oh yeah!
Forwarding multiple mails in ONE EML-file including attachments and formatting – Yeah… Outlook could do that ten years ago
Scheduled mail delivery – Have to send out an announcement tomorrow before lunch, but you won’t be at work? Schedule it!
Mail policy checks BEFORE the mail is sent to the server – This one I liked. You can actually prevent people from sending out confidential emails
A new “Team Calender” – This can also be used as a Team Mailbox. But most important: You can overlay the Team Calendar over your personal one! Yay!
Forwarding meeting invitations to other persons – Should have been made 10 years ago. But it comes with a twist that the competition doesn’t have: You can set up when you create the meeting whether people should be allowed to forward the meeting invite or not
Persistent chat – This means you can log off Sametime in your Notes client, and then continue the conversation, uninterrupted, on your mobile client. And vice versa.
Nothing new here, but it was strongly hinted that when the lacking functionality in IBM Verse is in place, Verse will replace iNotes as the Domino webmail platform.
What’s Nomad? It’s the ability to run your Notes applications on an Ipad, without the need of any coding! Everything (except mail and calendar) will work! I got to do testing with this on an Ipad, and it worked beautifully
This was the biggest news. Turns out that HCL, who took over development of the ICS portfolio (except IBM Connections), have started developing an alternative to the Notes client. It is more reminiscent of an application with feeds, but it’s still early days.
The first beta of Notes/Domino 10 will be out in June, and the second one will be out in August. We did get to se the new Notes 10 client, and I was severely disappointed. It looked just like V9, but Feeds, OpenSocial Component and Composite Application Editor will be removed. This an attempt to make the client lighter. It also stems from customer feedback that almost nobody was using these features of the client. You can also change the colours of the client in totally different ways than before, but a visual impression is so important, that I really wish the design of the client had been changed.
Notes/Domino v 11 will be out already next year. That version will have a much tighter integration with Active Directory, so that you will be able to create Notes users in AD, and then they will be automatically created in Domino Directory as well. Another vision for Notes/Domino 11 is that of low code. It will be even easier than it is today to set up applications, both for mobile, web and the client itself.
Also, the Domino Designer might get killed off, so that you can the Visual Studio Plugin for coding instead. The idea is that anyone should be able to code a Domino based solution, without much, if any, knowledge of the Domino platform. With new and improved APIs they will be able to read from and write to Domino. Personally, I hope they also get rid of Eclipse.
It was also revealed that over 200 developers (TWO HUNDRED) were working on the next versions of IBM Notes/Domino. And at one of the presentations, the lead developer agreed with me that Xpages had been a blind alley. Thank you! I’ve been saying that for years. And: There’s no end of life date for Notes/Domino.
There was also talks about IBM Domino in the cloud. You can already today move your Domino applications to the cloud or run them in a hybrid environment. This will be made even more easy in the future.
Phew! That was quite a lot about Notes/Domino 10 and 11. What else did we learn?
IBM Watson Workspace
Watson Workspace is something IBM is pushing really these days. They have already made templates for various types of businesses, that will make it easier for organisations to have spaces where teams can collaborate, and have their data analysed in ways that will make it easier for you to make quick business decisions. At least that’s what IBM says. It can also be integrated into IBM Connections Cloud. Contact your local IBM sales person, or partner, to give it a try.
I also attended a few sessions where organisations did presentations on what they are using IBM’s Watson technology for. I especially liked Margo van der Stam’s presentation about what the Dutch tax office is doing by automatically processing letters from the public. It was very interesting to hear about the challenges they have by making the automatic process recognise things like addresses, censoring the names of the sender and decide on the right cause of action. It’s all still in being developed, so there is a manual review as well.
I also saw demos on how to make scripts and customise the templates so that you can add your own actions that you can trigger Watson to do. It is a very promising technology.
Sponsors and partners
The sponsor room was great, with a constant stream of food, snacks and drinks. It was also nice to talk to several of the business partners and sponsors about that they could offer for Office 365, Notes/Domino and IBM Connections.
And speaking of IBM Connections. There was nothing announced about Connections. Less than a year ago at Social Connections in Vienna, it was all about IBM Connections Pink. Now? Quiet. The only times it was mentioned was whenever IBM denied they were only thinking about cloud customers, or when it came to integrating IBM Watson Workspace into communities in IBM Connections.
In addition, I attended a couple of sessions about how to leverage your Notes/Domino data by using various types of technologies and development platforms. Especially Paul Withers talk about Node.RED and the Domino APIs was great. I’ve worked way too little with stuff like this and should really get my act together.
The people that you love
And that was the technical stuff. Another important part of the conference is the social bit. On Tuesday the sponsors and speakers were pampered to a great dinner, with tribal drumming and didgeridoo playing, on the deck of the SS Rotterdam. In beautiful weather, I might add.
On Wednesday Theo took us speakers, as per tradition, on a secret tour. We started the evening at the Dutch Pinball Museum and ended up with a dinner at the Euromast tower.
The next morning Arne and I drove back, and thanks to lots of road construction work on the German Autobahn, we weren’t home in Norway until 3 in the morning. And I had to be at the train station at 04.20…
Once again, Thanks for a great conference, Theo. You give us other user groups something to really strive for! And thanks to all the attendees, especially my fellow IBM Champions and the other speakers, for helping to make it great. See you all next year!
You can see my entire photo album from the conference here:
For the third year in a row I’ve been invited to go to Engage to do a presentation. Last year we were in Antwerp, where I gave a presentation on IBM Connections plugins, and the year before that we were in Eindhoven, where I also gave a session about the plugins.
This year the event will be held Tuesday – Wednesday May 22nd – 23rd, on board the SS Rotterdam, the former flagship of the Holland American Line. That’s so frigging cool!
If this conference will be anything close as good as the previous two I’ve been to, we are in for a treat. What’s that? You haven’t signed up, you say? Well, you still can! What are you waiting for? I’ts free (apart from the trip and sleeping arrangements)!
You will be there with 400 like minded individuals to learn and engage with the best people within their fields. You will also get the news about what’s coming up from IBM and their partners. Hear the latest news and the roadmaps for Domino, Connections, Verse, Watson Workspace etc.
I will be going down there on a roadtrip through Europe with my friend and business partner Arne from Brainworker. I will be representing Brainworker and the Norwegian IBM Collaboration User Group (ISBG) there as well.
Last week I attended the Social Connections conference in Vienna. This conference is put together by a group of users and IBM partners, and they alternate between North-America and Europe. This was the twelfth conference, but it was my first.
Not only did I attend, I also did a presentation myself. Since I’ve become Mr. IBM Connections plugins over the last two years, I naturally gave a presentation on those. Again.
Vienna is a beautiful city, with a huge legacy of culture, architecture and history. I arrived the day before the conference started and therefore took the opportunity to do some sightseeing. There are those who frown upon those “hop on and off” tour buses that you find all over the world now, but I love them. They are perfect for getting around to see the best sites, and not too expensive.
The conference itself was attended by several IBM-ers, and they started off and ended the conference by talking about the future of collaboration. Over the two days the conference lasted we could learn about:
The way your organization changes because of digital transformation
Administration of IBM Connections (which can be a bitch on-premise)
Various third party apps and solutions for IBM Connections (and that’s growing, something I’m personally very excited about)
Integrated workspaces for employees
How to boost user engagement and make sure your change to collaborative solutions succeed, and how not to do it
The file solution Box which makes it easier to share files from Connections with people outside your organization
Livegrid, which is an even easier way to get your data out of Domino, or make it more easily available for other solutions (and for them to write back to Domino)
IBM Watson Workspace, IBM’s version of Slack where you can add their Watson technology, which will function as a bot that can answer questions. A lot of banks are using similar solutions these days without their customers even knowing about it
IBM Connections plugins for Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Office and Windows Explorer, IBM Notes and the MacOS (given by yours truly)
Security and hacking. A great lecture was given by my fellow Norwegian Robert Farstad about how they asked professional hackers to hack the IBM Connections solution used by Høyre (the Norwegian political party who currently holds the Prime Minister in Norway)
Phew! Quite a list. But a great conference. If you are interested in learning about any of this stuff, you can find the slides for each session in the agenda. Just click on the More Info button.
I’m interested to see where IBM Connections Pink is going. It seems exciting, but how will customers react to it going from an out-of-the-box-solution to a make-it-into-whatever-you-want-it-to-be solution?
The venue was fantastic. It was like you could hear the ghosts of winter balls past, with the waltz ringing in your ears. Chandeliers, tapestries, long winding staircases, statues, paintings and all other things you think about when you talk about the old Vienna.
Quite a few Norwegian ICS customers and partners ahve signed up for the Social Connections conference in Vienna. Why don’t you join us?
Social Connections is an international user group. They set up meetings twice a year, and they alternate between Europe and North-America. The conferences usually last for two days, and a lot of the most famous faces in the ICS community are there to give sessions and presentations. Yours truly will this year present his talk about plugins for IBM Connections.
The conference is also a great opportunity to meet official IBM-ers, new and existing customers and ICS experts that will give you the chance to expand on your knowledge about collaboration.
This autumn the conference is in Vienna, and it takes place on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th of October, at Palais Pallavicini.
A lot of Norwegians are going, and the Norwegian usergroup, ISBG, is trying to get all Norwegians together for an informal gathering.