Lotus Connections 2.0 - A Deployment Portfolio


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What makes a company collaborative?
5 areas in which technology can assist your organisation become collaborative
What can Lotus Connections (and other integrated Lotus products) offer?
For each area I list a real-world deployment scenario showing the business drivers, technology solution chosen and benefits gained.
Lastly, I cover a little of the infrastructure behind the Connections solution and the obstacles that might be encountered.

Delevered to an audience of Systems Integrators at an IBM TechJam event, April 7th 2009.

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Lotus Connections 2.0 - A Deployment Portfolio

  1. 1. Lotus Connections 2.0 - A Deployment Portfolio Stuart McIntyre Collaboration Matters Limited stuart@collaborationmatters.com http://collaborationmatters.com Twitter: stuartmcintyre Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  2. 2. About me • Technical Director of Collaboration Matters Limited • Social Software Evangelist • Blogger (lotusconnectionsblog.com etc) • Connections/Quickr deployment specialist • Tweeter (stuartmcintyre) - are you really not on Twitter yet? ;-) Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  3. 3. Agenda • What is Collaboration? • What is a Collaborative Organisation? • What technologies are needed? • Where does Lotus Connections fit? • What will be the hurdles to overcome? • Summary Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaboration Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  5. 5. What makes a Collaborative Organisation? • A collaborative organisation 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 http://www2.physics.utoronto.ca/~logan/cqchin.doc Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  6. 6. What makes a Collaborative Organisation? • A collaborative organisation 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 http://www2.physics.utoronto.ca/~logan/cqchin.doc Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  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 • We’ll look at how they can be implemented in your organisation... Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  8. 8. Where does Lotus Connections fit? 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 Connections / Sametime integration Persistent Conversations - Lotus Sametime Advanced Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  9. 9. 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 Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  10. 10. 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. Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  11. 11. 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) Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  12. 12. 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. Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  13. 13. Social Profiles - An example • An 900-employee advertising agency looking for: • means to make it easier for employees to find others with specific skills • saving costs by employee profile self-service • faster time-to-value from meetings • ability to personalise internal and external website content • The solution? • Connections Profiles with data integrated from HR systems • Profiles business card integrated with Sametime, Notes and intranet • Plans to integrate 3rd party systems (Twitter etc) in business card in a later phase Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  14. 14. Communities of Practice communities of practice - an environment connecting people and encouraging the sharing of ideas and experiences Source: http://www.slideshare.net/stephendale/cop-conversations-to-collaboration-presentation Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  15. 15. 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 Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  16. 16. 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. Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  17. 17. 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) Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  18. 18. 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. Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  19. 19. Communities of Practice - An example • An 2000-user academic institution looking for: • method of sharing best practices amongst similar departments/job roles across geographies • creation of mailing lists/groups around areas of interest across departmental boundaries • discussion forums • The solution? • Connections Communities with planned wiki integration • Quickr integration featuring team places and customised workflow applications Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  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. Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  21. 21. 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 Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  22. 22. Collaboration ‘Places’ • Areas where users can collaborate on: • documents • events • tasks • projects Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  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 Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  24. 24. Ideas Sharing & Innovation Management - An example • A 10,000-user financial institution looking for: • means to develop new products at a much lower cost • including input from multiple departments and geographies • faster process from conception to delivery • review and approval in parallel rather than sequential process • The solution? • Connections Blogs with key R&D and product development teams/ individuals writing about their ideas and canvassing feedback • Popular ideas moved into Connections Activities for more rigid development/feedback process • Evaluating IdeaJam to assist with obtaining ideas from wider circle of employees (integrated into Connections homepage) Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  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 Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  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 Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  27. 27. Persistent Conversations - An example • A 400-user IT Services organisation looking for: • means to create ongoing informal conversations between all levels of staff • creation of dynamic knowledge base based on archive conversations • inclusion of off-site and mobile employees in office-based interactions • coverage of both general and interest-focused areas • The solution? • Lotus Sametime Advanced integrated with Lotus Connections Communities • Access via PCs and mobile devices Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  28. 28. That’s the technology... ... how do I make it work? Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  29. 29. 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 ® Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  30. 30. 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. Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  31. 31. 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) Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  32. 32. Clustered System • Appropriate for enterprise deployments (~3,000+ users) Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  33. 33. 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. Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  34. 34. 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 Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  35. 35. What will be the hurdles? • Driving Adoption • WebSphere/RDBMS/MQ skills • Cost & ROI Justification Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  36. 36. 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) Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  37. 37. Summary • Lotus Connections software helps to 'flatten the grid' and encourage participation from all directions • Helps the best ideas emerge • Improves transparency • Drives innovation • Companies of all shapes and sizes are deriving real business benefit from Lotus Connections today! • Lotus Connections 2.5 is coming soon (early 3Q09) - with massive enhancements • Social software is here to stay! Tuesday, 7 April 2009
  38. 38. Thank You! Stuart McIntyre Collaboration Matters Limited stuart@collaborationmatters.com http://collaborationmatters.com 08450 728628 Twitter: stuartmcintyre http://lotusconnectionsblog.com http://quickrblog.com http://lotussymphonyblog.com http://lotusliveblog.com http://lotusphereblog.com http://planetlotus.org http://synch.rono.us Tuesday, 7 April 2009