As some of you know, I turned 100% freelance last year, and my income is now all down to me in my pursuit of assignments. If you want to book me, either as a user trainer for effective use of mail and calendar (Outlook IBM Notes or Gmail), general courses about IBM Notes, IBM Connections, general collaboration, social media, Microsoft Office, writing and photography, as a developer/architect or writer and photographer, get in touch.
I’m gonna be more active around here from now on. So first a recap about what I’ve been doing lately.
November and December was filled up with me doing user training in IBM Connections for the worker’s union Industrienergi, on behalf of Item. The feedback was great and I’m going to do even more user training next week and later in February. Last time I taught them their new intranet, which is running on IBM Connections, the news stream, how to stay updated on what goes on in IBM Connections and Files. For the latter I also helped them set up the IBM Connections plugins for Windows, Outlook and IBM Notes, as well as the mobile app. The reason I focused mostly on Files is that in my experience that is the ticket in for most users. That’s what makes them really see the potential in a collaborative solution as Connections. The next courses will be all about Activities, another neat feature in Connections.
I also did an IBM Notes project for a company just outside of town in December and January. It was good old fashioned Notes development, with lotusscript and Notes design elements. It was great fun, but I’m trying to get them to see the advantage of starting to go in a more web enabled direction.
As the leader of the Norwegian IBM Collaborations Software User Group (ISBG) I’ve also been busy arranging meetings and webinars. All our webinars can be seen on our Youtube channel. The webinar is the last Tuesday of every month. If you want to do a presentation, please get in touch with me.
I’ve also done loads of journalistic and photographic assignments. Some of them will be presented in this blog during the spring.
And lastly: If you are thinking about going to IBM’s Think conference this year, get in touch with me as well. I can give you a $100 discount.
The Norwegian IBM user group meeting took place in Oslo Monday October 14th. For the first time I did a presentation, (yay!) but I will give a short report about the entire meeting here.
The meeting took place in the brand new PricewaterhouseCoopers’ building in Bjørvika in Oslo. The auditorium had certainly been decorated to my liking.
IBM Sametime 9
Bo Holteman, Unified Communication & Collaboration Specialist IBM Collaboration Solutions – Europe (boy, his business card must be long), presented the new Sametime package.
In short the higlight can be summed up like this:
No more licenses when connecting external users to the system!
The licensing model is simplified. There’s now three models: Sametime Communicate, Sametime Conference and Sametime Complete, where you can get an additional module for Sametime Unified Telephony.
If you have a standard Sametime license today you will be able to get Sametime Complete, which contains everything of the already existing Sametime Standard, Sametime Advanced and Sametime Unified Telephony Lite
The menus have been simplified to reduce the number of clicks
In video conferences all video images are showing, instead of like it is today where only the active speaker is shown
Scaleable Video Quality: No more lagging. The client tells the server how much bandwidth it will need
Maximum 6 video feeds at any one time, but hundreds of people can take part in a meeting
You can now run a presentation from a Community in Connections.
Easier to integrate chat solutions on web pages, this makes it easier to create chat solutions for customers and agents
IBM will come to your company and hold a 4 hour free workshop on how to upgrade
So what’s the catch? Well, this:
The server setup is even more complex than before! You’d think this would be impossible, but I’m not kidding.
In addition. the SVC makes it necessary for you to have two more servers! AND: THEY HAVE TO RUN LINUX!
The video conference solution for pads and cell phones is not ready yet, but will be released sometime during Q4
There are currently no plans for integration with Files in IBM Connections
Bo gave a good demo on both a PC and on mobile devices to demonstrate the functionality, and I’ll give Sametime 9 this: It really does work and looks great!
Geno is owned by ca 10 500 Norwegian farmers. Their main task is breeding and developing the NRF-cow (Norwegian red cow). Tore Søgård, IT manager at Geno, and Erik Borse from Item Consulting gave a great presentation on how to introduce IBM Connections into your organisation.
This was very useful for me, since I’m in charge of the training and I have the responsibility of introducing our users to the product. I got a lot of great input for our own approach to this, as well as a confirmation that we are on the right track.
Also: Item is our new partner on our IBM Social Collaboration tools, and it seems that we are in good hands. I did an entire blog posting on my internal IBM Connections blog at work on this presentation alone.
Now it was my turn. I gave an hour long pep talk about all the cool features of the IBM Notes client, as well as how one should go about training ones users. My point is that a lot of people hate the Notes Client because it’s either badly administrated, or that people have no training using it (and sometimes it’s a combination of these two.) If someone put you in front of a complicated CAD program, or gave you Photoshop, and just said: “Get to work,” you wouldn’t be very productive.
I also think a lot of companies sin when it comes to Microsoft Office and Outlook as well. There are tons of hidden features in those products that would enhance your users productivity if they were just told about them. Train your users!
My presentation, was very well received, and people told me that they had both learned new features after having been Notes users for years, as well as been give ideas on how to train their users better. This reception made me very happy. Not least that a lot of people liked the idea of doing what I do at my company: A weekly Notes tip blog posting.
And thanks to Mat Newman for the inspiration to do this.
Download the presentation (Party Norwegian, but all screen captures and menu choices in English, so you should have no problem following it even if you’re not Norwegian)
The Euroka Moment: The Knowledge You Need to Understand Xpages
Paul Withers, IBM Champion and OpenNTF Director, now gave a talk on the underlying JSF framework of Xpages. Really insightful and good.
After this IBM treated us to dinner and Paul Withers and I struck up a chord and sat talking during dinner, and continued on the train to the airport. We also took in a cup of coffee (hot chocolate for me) before our planes took off. Paul is a great guy and I think OpenNTF is in good hands.
As I left for my gate I realised that I had been sweating like all hell for a few hours, but everyone had been telling me it was cold. On the plane in the seat next to me, was a nurse. She cast one glance at me and said: “You got a fever!” Then she told the stewardess she would take care of me during the flight. Nurses are heroes!