In August 2011, IBM officially announced the release of the IBM Connections mobile app (http://bit.ly/o5FMqT*) which is available in the App Store, Android Market and App World. To date our mobile interface has been through smart phone browsers, but that changes now. With the introduction on the downloadable app from the various app stores we introduced new capabilities to enhance the user experiences based on their device preference. The IBM Connections mobile application extends access to company data to employees who are on the go. It enables you to build a network of colleagues and subject matter experts, and then leverage that network to further your business goals. With its integrated suite of tools, you can share and discuss ideas, work collaboratively on presentations or proposals, plan and track project tasks, and much more. IBM Connections is a web application that is deployed on a company intranet to promote collaboration within the company.
IBM Connections integration with the Customer Experience Suite allows you to inject communities into portal. You can pin specific Connections content on that page. WebSphere Portal serves as the entry point and Connections is integrated to portal using Connections portlets, giving you one UI and lets you get a consistent stylesheet, header, footer, etc. This approach also lets you associate a community with a page. When you associate, you can actually pin specific Connections content to a page, embedding social throughout the portal. It adds the contextual portion to your social portal.
Actiance is an IBM business partner focussing on Compliance solutions for the social business. IBM is re-marketing Vantage for IBM Connections which allows customers to archive comments, posts, files, blogs, wikis, forums, etc from IBM Connections into the Vantage archive to keep a record for future use (e.g. for litigation scenarios). No matter how small or out-of-context a remark or comment might be, every post can be captured and put into the larger context of a holistic compliance solution for the social business. Actiance solutions are critical components designed to help all organizations, protect their corporate brand and reputation, ensure ethical practices, and maintain compliance with applicable regulations and legislation. Key Features of the Actiance solutions for IBM Connections: Content logging and archiving Capture social data from all Connections applications eDiscovery to show the content in context of other related items Content inspection includes filtering, alerts, and rules engine Policies can map to governance standards
In Oct 2011, we released a new iPad app that takes advantage of the iPad real estate and provides a great tablet experience for iPad owners that wish to connect to IBM Connections. The update also provides new round-trip editing capabilities and it fully supports the new iOS 5. Additionally, the app integrates into iOS' file upload mechanism allowing you to take files from any app (for example in Mail) and uploading those directly to IBM Connections).
We define a set of themes for every release of IBM Social Software. The roadmap for 2012 includes work that moves forward several key strategic initiatives: Social Platform Evolution: Support Exceptional Experiences with new services and deeper integration across the portfolio. Enhancing Communities to Support Team Use Cases: Add new functions to communities to meet team use cases for sharing and collaboration. Business to Consumer (B2C): Creation and management of compelling customer communities. Social Everywhere: Continue to deliver new or expanded value in the context of other applications. We have several key capabilities supporting those goals. The upcoming charts show a few of the features that support our mission in 2012
IBM Connections will provide an actionable activity stream with 3rd party content via open standards. This enables 3rd party content to be shared inside the Connections Activity Stream, making the Connections home page the single, central place to view and interact with all collaborative and business critical content. For example, SAP business processes can be “approved” from the Activity Stream and the associated embedded experience. A work order can be escalated from the stream. A document can be signed using our partner Silanis’ eSignature capability.
Many updates to microblogging will be coming in 2012, including photos (displaying inline) and file sharing in status updates, 'Like', 'reshare', and hashtags.
Detail view of a File being highlighted in the Activity Stream
Detail view of the File Embedded Experience opening in the Activity Stream
IBM Connections is being extended to include access to personal mail and calendar information, supporting both Domino and Exchange. This supports the notion of having Connections be the single, central place to work and interact. The mail and calendar options will be available wherever you are in the Connections experience.
The Connections experience will also include a “share” option as part of the global navigation that will let you share status updates and files from wherever you are in Connections. This share experience is extensible to include postings to 3rd party applications as well.
In the next major release of IBM Connections, we are adding a visual layer to our out of box reporting and metrics. This will be featured within a community for community managers to understand adoption of the tools, content, and people interacting in their communities. This will also be available system wide for organizational understanding of metrics across all of the Connections tools. On the back end, Cognos is being utilized to consume the reports generated by Connections, and customers can create their own custom visualizations on the data.
Detail view of interactive charts for a Community manager
In addition to the numerous features added in IC3.0.1, we continue to focus on extending communities with new capabilities, this release with a focus on team collaboration patterns. Taking advantage of the same framework as the homepage, communities can now surface an integrated activity stream on its overview page. This stream will include content produced by the community features. This includes 3 rd party content by allowing publication of events using open standar rest APIs. Calendar integration allows a team or community to jointly plan events in a social context. Calendar entries are augmented with social tags and comments, are visible in context of the community activity stream, and integrate into the users notes and outlook calendar. Users work in multiple context, this is reality, as part of “social everywhere” we allow collaboration from anywhere. In this release we allow reply to forum topics using email. After receiving a notification, just reply to the message and the response will show up in context within the thread with appropriate attributions. Files has had a number of improvements to support community collaboration patterns, these include the ability to have individual team members lock a file while working offline, multi file upload and download, a community trash for recovery of deleted files, a visible community quota, and sharing folders with a community. You can also now view all of your community files in a single view from your personal files, eliminating the need to browse files in each community individually. By popular demand, companies with existing LDAP groups can now take advantage of these groups to drive community membership.
Demo or discuss on screenshot how the community activity stream leverages the same open standard enhancement as the homepage. Leveraging embedded experiences, 3 rd party event contribution, and allowing for community scoped microblog posts. This includes targeting microblog posts at private communities for private conversations.
Demo or discuss how community calendar provides rich calendar views including upcoming events, day, week, month view. User can create new single or repeating events, tag and comment on them. Also show the community iCAL feed that allows inclusion in your personal calendar. Show this on notes calendar and how you can select to make these entries available offline (which can sync with your mobile device)
The community catalog is enhanced to support companies with departmental deployments of team collaboration tools such as Quickr Domino or Quickr J. With the enhanced community catalog, you can configure the community server to federate these places into a single catalog view. This give the end user a single stop show for all team collaboration. The enhanced community catalog will also take advantage of a revised AJAX experience to speed tag exploration. It provides an in context invites view that displays active invitations, allowing the user to browse and accept/ignore in context.
As companies look to monitor and participate in external collaboration with customers and business partners, they will require tools to bridge collaboration across these audiences We call this bridging and have implemented a number of tools to assist employees in this targeted collaboration with suppliers and customers.
Samanta sees a post on an external facing forum. This could be a forum hosted by her company using IBM Connections on the internet or through another internet site. She isn't sure how to respond on her own and wants to engage her team. She uses her installed “discuss this” button to extract the relevant topic from the page and ask her team to help in responding externally
Samantha selects the appropriate forum on her internal community and targets the question at Dan & Paul, two experts on the topic. Now Samantha, Dan, and Paul can discuss in a private space how to respond. After concluding the appropriate response, they follow up with a public answer to the external topic.
Samantha decides she needs a single community to allow her team to track all external communities related to the “Greenwal Partnership” . She uses the new “related communities” widget to link each external community residing on the internet. This makes them accessible form a single federated view. Here she can browse the activities in each related community from a single context.
The 'Next' release will really open up the possibilities of making a social portal in all scenarios; connecting your employees, your partners or providing a flexible and well integrated web experience for your customers.. We are continuing to build on the work that comes in 1H of 2012 and allow for an enhanced administration experience for community owners to setup and configure their pages. Integration into Portal's Tag Center for dynamic filtering of Community page content. Great search capabilities for allowing users to find information in their community and portal space as well as the ability to get to it with updates being added for search engine optimization. This release is intended to be available as a free download on our Business solutions catalog and will be taking advantage of the great new features in Connections “Next” and Portal 8.
Earlier in the presentation we spoke to our introduction of native mobile applications on all 3 major platforms. In Connections Next we continue to expand on this mobile experience, adding additional native features including activity streams, location check in, photo uploads to ones blog, additional offline support, and profiles integration with the device. We are also expanding our micro browser support with rich text editing, a community calendar, and social analytics.
As part of our social everywhere strategy, we continue to provide in-context collaboration tools. One exciting example is our new File Explorer plugin. This plugin will work on both 18.104.22.168 and Connections Next. From this plugin you can use windows explorer to browse and view your own files as well as files shared with you directly or by a community. All social attributes such as comments, download counts, active participants, and versions are all exposed natively through this interface. You can double click and open the file directly in your preferred editor, followed by saving any changes back to the online repository without ever interacting with the web ui or a temporary file. This plugin also brings drag and drop support for file upload. Personal Files Share Any File in the Context of your Work Reflect personal files web experience in Windows Explorer Facilitate ease of sharing of any file on the desktop Round trip editing available in context of Windows Explorer Community Files and Media Gallery Communities that have a files component can be added to the Windows Explorer view “ My Communities” are discovered by search and via a picker. Public Communities are discovered by search with type ahead Media Gallery files will be shown mixed in with the Community files view Previews can be shown only for those media files that are in the media gallery Will use the fact that a preview file is attached to the document to indicate that the file is in the media gallery. Round trip editing available in context of Windows Explorer
Business partner ISW introduced Kudos Badges for IBM Connections: Kudos Badges for IBM Connections is a flexible gamification engine for IBM Connections. By providing achievements and rewards (Kudos Badges), rank and leaderboards (Kudos Rank), and missions (Kudos Missions), organisations can dramatically improve their user engagement and adoption of IBM Connections.
Detail view of Kudos Badges
Collaboration solutions like IBM Connections can drastically improve an organization’s productivity. Powerful and feature- rich, these systems boast a wide range of functionality. So wide, in fact, that getting your users onboarded and using them can be daunting. And if your users don't take advantage of all Connections offers, then the promise of social business remains unrealized. Enter &quot;Nitro for IBM Connections&quot;. Bunchball has integrated Nitro, the world's leading gamification platform, directly into IBM Connections to enable business owners to drive Connections adoption, ongoing engagement, and increased employee performance. The first Nitro for IBM Connections solution is the &quot;Level Up&quot; Onboarding Application.
Add a file to an activity to share it with other activity users. Adding a file to an activity from Windows Explorer is a great shortcut for sharing documents that you have created and stored locally. Open Windows Explorer. Right-click the file you want to add to an activity and choose Lotus Connections > Add to Activity. The name for the activity posting is filled in by default with the file name. You can edit this name if you wish. Add a description for the posting. Add tags. Tags are keywords you assign to describe your posting. Tags must be entered as a single word, separated by commas or spaces. Payroll, human-resources, and event_planing are examples of valid tag formats. Do one of the following: Select an existing activity. Create a new activity. Assign a name and optionally fill out the Descriptions and Activity Tags field for the activity. Click OK to save the file to the selected activity. When you open the activity, your file will be available as a posting.