Building A Collaborative Infrastructure


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Presentation detailing the requirements for a collaborative organisation, how to become one, what technologies will help, and how to deliver these using Lotus software.

Presented to UK Corporate IT forum at IBM Bedfont, 10 Feb 2009

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Building A Collaborative Infrastructure

  1. 1. Building a Collaborative Infrastructure Stuart McIntyre Collaboration Matters Limited 1
  2. 2. Agenda • What is Collaboration? • What is a Collaborative Organisation? • What technologies elements are needed? • What Lotus software might you need? • A look at deployment scenarios • What will be the hurdles to overcome? • Summary 2
  3. 3. About me • Technical Director of Collaboration Matters Limited • Social Software Evangelist • Blogger (, etc) • Connections/Quickr deployment specialist • Tweeter (stuartmcintyre) - are you really not on Twitter yet? ;-) 3
  4. 4. What is Collaboration? • Collaboration is: • a recursive process where two or more people or organisations work together toward an intersection of common goals — for example, an intellectual endeavour that is creative in nature—by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus. • Collaboration does not require leadership and can sometimes bring better results through decentralization and egalitarianism. In particular, teams that work collaboratively can obtain greater resources, recognition and reward when facing competition for finite resources. Source: 4
  5. 5. What makes a Collaborative Organisation? • A collaborative organization is one that has the following characteristics: 1.The values and objectives of employees and management are aligned, 2.A climate of mutual trust and respect exists, 3.The knowledge of all the staff, customers and suppliers is shared and pooled to optimize the organisation's operations and opportunities, 4.Decision making is more decentralised than it is in most current organisations and more stakeholders in the organisation play a role in defining the direction in which the organization moves, and 5.Hierarchical structures are kept to a minimum. The company is managed democratically by consensus rather than by command and control. From 5
  6. 6. What makes a Collaborative Organisation? • A collaborative organization is one that has the following characteristics: 1.The values and objectives of employees and management are aligned, 2.A climate of mutual trust and respect exists, 3.The knowledge of all the staff, customers and suppliers is shared and pooled to optimize the organisation's operations and opportunities, 4.Decision making is more decentralised than it is in most current organisations and more stakeholders in the organisation play a role in defining the direction in which the organization moves, and 5.Hierarchical structures are kept to a minimum. The company is managed democratically by consensus rather than by command and control. From 6
  7. 7. What will be the key technologies required? • First, technology is not the solution - it is part of the solution • Must be embraced by cultural change, by business leadership and by user education (not technical training) • However, some technology will help: • Social Profiles • Communities of Practice • Ideas Sharing & Innovation Management • Collaboration ‘Places’ • Presence Awareness • Persistent Conversations • We’ll look at how they can be implemented in your organisation... 7
  8. 8. Where do those technologies sit? Social Profiles - Lotus Connections Profiles Communities of Practice - Lotus Connections Communities Ideas Sharing & Innovation Management - Lotus Connections Blogs, Activities and Lotus Quickr Team Places (+ IdeaJam?) Collaboration ‘Places’ - Lotus Quickr Team Places, ‘QuickrShare’, Lotus Connections Activities Presence Awareness - Lotus Sametime Persistent Conversations - Lotus Sametime Advanced 8
  9. 9. Shall we take a look? 9
  10. 10. Lotus Connections • Lotus Connections is social software for business that empowers you to be more effective and innovative by building dynamic networks of coworkers, partners, and customers Activities Homepage Profiles Communities Dogear Blogs 10
  11. 11. Lotus Connections has 6 services … HomePage Keep up with changes in your own social network. Delivers aggregate view of all Connections services and provides cross-service search. Profiles Quickly find the people you need by searching across your organization using keywords that help identify expertise, current projects and responsibilities. Communities Create, find and join communities of people who share a common interest, responsibility, or area of expertise. Blogs Use a weblog to present your point of view and get feedback from others; read what others are saying. Dogear Save, organize and share bookmarks to valued online resources, discover bookmarks that have been shared by others. Activities Organise your work, plan next steps, and collaborate easily with others to execute on your everyday deliverables. 11
  12. 12. Social Profiles • So much more than “employee whitepages” • Tap into the knowledge capital within your organisation • Expand your personal network - develop and maintain personal relationships that span obstacles like reporting structure, department, geography, etc. • Profiles typically include a person's photo, reporting structure, name, pronunciation, the time zone the person works in, and information about the individual's expertise and areas of interest. 12
  13. 13. Surfacing Social Profiles • Power of Social Profiles is seen when surfaced throughout your organisation - always available ‘person card’, building context of where and why this individual is important • Intranet/Extranet/Internet • Email (Lotus Notes/Outlook) • IM (Sametime) 13
  14. 14. Beyond the Business Card • Connections Profiles and ‘Person Card’ can be: • Customised - include/exclude any of the default fields (Floor, Building etc), add an almost unlimited number of custom fields (HR ID, Region etc) • Extended - can link to other applications, systems • Typed - can use multiple ‘Profile Types’ to display different information for user groups (teachers/students, full-time/part-time etc.) • Social - links to colleagues, to blogs, wikis, recent activities etc. 14
  15. 15. Communities of Practice communities of practice - an environment connecting people and encouraging the sharing of ideas and experiences Source: 15
  16. 16. What is a Community of Practice • A Community of Practice is a network of individuals with common problems or interests who get together to explore ways of working, identify common solutions, and share good practice and ideas. • puts you in touch with like-minded colleagues and peers • allows you to share your experiences and learn from others • allows you to collaborate and achieve common outcomes • accelerates your learning • validates and builds on existing knowledge and good practice 16
  17. 17. Why Communities of Practice? Communities of Practice are not about bringing knowledge into the organisation but about helping to grow the knowledge that we need internally within our organisations. 17
  18. 18. Communities • Communities helps people who share a common interest to collaborate by exchanging and sharing information or interacting with one another via their Web browser, IBM Lotus Sametime, and email software. • Community bookmarks and Activities • Discussion Forums • Integration with supported wikis • Integration with Lotus Sametime Advanced (chat with other members and save chat transcripts in the community's discussion forum & send a broadcast message to a community when they need a quick answer) 18
  19. 19. Some Community Types • Helping Communities provide a forum for community members to help each other with everyday work needs. • Best Practice Communities develop and disseminate best practices, guidelines, and procedures for their members use. • Knowledge Stewarding Communities organise, manage, and steward a body of knowledge from which community members can draw. • Innovation Communities create breakthrough ideas, new knowledge, and new practices. 19
  20. 20. Ideas Sharing & Innovation Management • Working smarter together • Generation and publication of ideas via blog posts and development via comments and discussions • It’s about creating a stronger, more participatory business culture that fosters quick thinking and new ideas -> Web 2.0 technologies • Mashups enable users to create situational applications that solve business problems as they come up. • Integration of innovation management tools via widgets and plug-ins - e.g. IdeaJam. 20
  21. 21. Collaboration ‘Places’ • Areas where users can collaborate on: • documents • events • tasks • projects 21
  22. 22. What is ? •Mergers & Acquisitions •Innovation Place and ... subscribing to key sites to keep a “finger on the pulse” Finance / Accounting Sales Human Resources Marketing R&D •Competitive •Employee •New Content •Project mgmt. •Budget •R&D Place “Win room” benefits tracking Planning •RFP response •New employee •Best Practices •Product launch •Annual report •Event planning resource center •Budget preparation planning •Bid •Competition management room •Shared sites with vendors 22
  23. 23. Quickr Services and Templates Libraries Quickly manage documents, forms, images, or other media in content libraries that you can manage and share with others. Team Discussions / Forums Keep a journal or blog of your meetings or creating discussions on different topics effecting your team. WIKIs (Shared Editable Pages) A shared editing space that team members can use to create and manage content such as designs, presentations, or other group material. Team Calendar Manage a community view of important events and activities that effect your team. Lists Lists are simple “databases” of information such as tasks, vacation days, team members, … that can be used to manage information simply and quickly. RSS / ATOM Feeds Quickr provides the ability to integrate and render feeds from your favorite ATOM or RSS site as well as to produce a feed into your favorite feed reader. … Templates can be customized and extended … and its easy to add new ones 23
  24. 24. Work from your favorite applications Web Browser Windows Explorer / “My Documents” Lotus Sametime Lotus Notes client Microsoft Outlook Microsoft Office / IBM Symphony 24
  25. 25. Presence Awareness • Extends the power of presence to online applications, e.g. Quickr and Connections • Important aspect of ‘Person Card’ and within Connections Profiles • Key element in building trust between individuals, especially across organisational or geographic boundaries. Helps to flatten hierarchical structures by allowing connections directly between managers and staff. • Click to chat and click to talk from within the context of business and social applications 25
  26. 26. Persistent Conversations • Keep a continuous discussion running on a specific topic with an interested community of people — in the atmosphere of an informal conversation. • Monitor the chat rooms to which you have subscribed, see how many people/ unread messages are in each, the number of unread messages or the number of active participants. • Keep yourself in the loop with alerts so you'll be notified when a group is discussing keywords in which you're interested. • Chat history makes it easy for you to get caught up with what the group has been discussing if you've been away. • Save a transcript of the discussion so that others can search for and see what you were discussing, your group's insight and expertise. • Save into Lotus Connections Communities • Part of Lotus Sametime Advanced 26
  27. 27. That’s the technology... ... how do I make it work? 27
  28. 28. Lotus Connections Functional Topology Lotus Connections Service Corporate LDAP Directory IBM WebSphere Application Server IBM Tivoli Directory Server 6 6.1 ® (including IBM HTTP Server) IBM Lotus Domino 7.0.2 + running on Microsoft Active Directory 2003 Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES v4 ® Sun Java™ System Directory Server 5.2® Windows® 2003 Server® Novell eDirectory 8.8 (Standard or Enterprise) SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 ® AIX and later Browser Microsoft® Internet Explorer 6.0 + One or more Mozilla Firefox 2.0+ on Windows, Linux, & Mac services… IBM WebSphere Portal Homepage Rich Clients Activities IBM Lotus Notes Profiles IBM Lotus Sametime RDMS Dogear Microsoft Office plug-ins IBM DB2 9.1 ® FP4 Blogs Feed support Oracle 10g ® Communities Atom based Readers MS SQL Server Custom Applications 2005 Enterprise Web and Rich Clients Edition ® 28
  29. 29. Lotus Connections Self-Contained Pilot • Supports only Windows 2003. • Installation installs WAS and DB2 Express. • No LDAP is installed, and no integration with existing LDAP. • Registered users are imported into the Self Contained Pilot via a text file. • Maximum of 100 concurrent / 1000 registered users. • Support for migrating data from this pilot to a production deployment. 29
  30. 30. Small System/Pilot Deployment • Appropriate for deployment to workgroup, small business, small deployment (to ~1,000 users) • Add discrete HTTP Server for additional scalability (to ~3,000 users) 30
  31. 31. Clustered System • Appropriate for enterprise deployments (~3,000+ users) 31
  32. 32. Some Connections deployment tips • Ensure that OS patch level meet minimum requirements for: • Application Server • Database Server • IBM Tivoli Directory Integrator • LDAP Server • (Check and check again!) • Use DB2 as the RDBMS if possible. Oracle and SQL Server are supported, but DB2 much easier to diagnose problems and resolve issues - think “Black Box” • Both Domino and Active Directory work well as LDAP. Choose a globally unique identifier you can maintain (usually uid on Domino, sAMAccountName on AD). Must be single valued, unique and non-mutable. • For large environments (> ~3,000 users) clustering/load balancing will be required, but don’t let that put you off. Start small for Pilot purposes and scale from there. • If your organisation already has RDBMS and/or J2EE/Websphere skills, embrace them early - they can really help from day 1. But don’t panic - it can be thought of as just one Lotus product. 32
  33. 33. Some Connections deployment tips • Don’t assume you need to deploy (or launch) all Connections features immediately. If finding people is your main concern, install all the features but only enable Profiles. Then bring the other features on-stream later. • Pre-load as many of the Profile fields as possible, including photos & add custom fields to suit your organisational need. Do this BEFORE loading pilot/production users • Integrate Connections data into your other applications/environments ASAP - particularly Notes and Sametime. • ‘Educate’ your users - don’t just ‘train’ them in how to use the Connections tools. Instead, inform them why social software can help, how to use the features to improve the organisation’s information sharing. Explain tagging and why that’s important. • Give the users some tasks/projects that must be completed in Connections (especially Activities) to get them involved. • Reward those that embrace the technology best and evangelise to others in the organisation. 33
  34. 34. Lotus Quickr 34
  35. 35. Quickr Topology (using Domino Services) Dispatcher Deployment HTTP server HTTP server Manager Lotus Quickr 8.1 on Lotus Domino Lotus Connections Domino Domino 7.0/8.0 WAS 6.1 Directory server 35
  36. 36. Quickr Topology (using J2EE services) Dispatcher HTTP server HTTP server Deployment Deployment Deployment Manager Manager Manager Lotus Quickr 8.1 on WebSphere Portal 5.1 or 6.x Lotus Connections Portal WAS 5.x or 6.x WAS WAS 6.1 Directory server Database server 36
  37. 37. Lotus Quickr ECM Integration • Fills a big gap around Basic content and collaboration services in your ECM infrastructure • Leverage the Simple & Intuitive Lotus Quickr Web 2.0 UI (often easier than existing many ECM UIs) • Single set of connectors that access both Lotus Quickr and ECM back-ends (simplifying use and reducing costs) • Leverages an open standards (promotes easy integration and extensibility) • Works with your existing infrastructure • Unlike some competitors, we don’t force upgrades to desktop OS, desktop productivity tools, server OS, database, or directory • Integrates tightly with Lotus Notes and Lotus Sametime • When paired with IBM’s Content Manager or FileNet, provides the most complete single-vendor end-to-end content management solution in the industry 37
  38. 38. Lotus Quickr 8.1.1: Lotus Connections Integration • Add a wiki or team place to a community • Membership integration between a community and its linked wikis and/or team places • New feeds to show wiki updates on the community's home page • New links on a community's home page to open the wiki or team place • New links in a team place or wiki to open the community's home page • Add a Lotus Quickr document library to a Lotus Connections activity • Publish a document from an activity into a Lotus Quickr document library 38
  39. 39. Some Quickr deployment tips • Typically most large organisations will look to deploy J2EE version - unless they already have significant investment in Quickplace • Quickr/J2EE uses same component parts as Connections, integrates well and the two products are coming even closer in Connections 2.5 & Quickr 9 • Quickr ECM integration is a must-have for any organisations using Filenet or Content Manager - brings those products into the Collaborative Organisation • Start with a number of key projects and use Quickr Team Places to help manage them - integrate Connections Activities (if available) to manage the sub-tasks • Theme the Places from day one to match your organisation’s standards - make it easy for users to adopt • Deploy the plug-ins - particularly as part of your Notes 8.x and Sametime 8.x roll- outs. However, watch for version compatibility - can be tricky. Mac/Linux connectors to come later • Integrate Sametime - the presence awareness immediately adds value • Use Quickr Wikis carefully - great in J2EE, less so in Domino, new Wiki functionality coming in Quickr 8.2 • If using Domino release, use SNAPPS templates! 39
  40. 40. Lotus Sametime 40
  41. 41. Lotus Sametime: IBM's UC2 Software Platform 41
  42. 42. Lotus Sametime Advanced - Topology • Don’t panic - the same WAS, DB and LDAP components as in Connections and Quickr/J2EE 42
  43. 43. Lotus Sametime Community Integration Remote Workers Sametime Clients Integrate with server and Extensive gateway customizable clients Management Sametime Server Sametime Gateway Federated Businesses Integrate with Databases Enterprise Presence, Rules, Conferencing, applications Text, Data, Audio, Video Integrate SIP Quickr Connections Notes/Domino with PBX PBX Network systems LDAP Directory PSTN and Mobile Phones Unified Access Social Unified SIP/PSTN Telephony Resources Software Messaging Gateway 43
  44. 44. Some Sametime deployment tips • Firstly, if not using Sametime in your environment today, why not?! No extra cost for Sametime Entry if under Notes/Domino maintenance • Feeling the economic squeeze? Sametime Standard/Advanced ROI is very easy to demonstrate - reduction in calls (IM), reduction in travel (Web Conferencing) and improvement in speed of access to individuals (IM) • Web conferencing and VOIP in Sametime is great over LAN, and does work over WAN links, but careful management is required (QoS VPN links for example). Cross-platform web conferences can be problematic. Should be much improved in Sametime 8.5! • Step up in architecture for Sametime Advanced is worth it - persistent chat and broadcasts are massive features 44
  45. 45. What do you need to do? • People-centric to Community-centric Collaboration • People Centric = One to One • Communities = One to Many, Many to One • Ability to capture tacit knowledge • Leverage unstructured data • Benefit from user generated content • Ad hoc collaboration Reference: Muller et al: Return on Contribution: measuring the Benefits from Enterprise Social Software 45
  46. 46. What will be the hurdles? • Adoption • WebSphere/RDBMS/MQ skills • Cost/ROI 46
  47. 47. Adoption in the Enterprise • Not a new problem (ref. Lotus Notes, circa 1990) • Today - Viral Effort - Consumer-driven • Benefits include: • Greater agility • Accelerates development cycles • Sales team enablement • Enabling collaborative business processes • Human to human sharing of knowledge • “Before implementing a community platform, over 3% of a company's daily internet traffic was to sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace” Reported at the Office2.0 conference (Sept 2008) 47
  48. 48. ummary • Social and Collaboration software helps to 'flatten the grid' and encourage participation from all directions • Helps the best ideas emerge • Improves transparency • Drives innovation • The infrastructure can be daunting compared to traditional Lotus environments, but it doesn’t need to be. • It's here to stay! 48