Our slides from Engage

The last two days at Engage were very busy and the event went very well. Theo and Hilde set once more the bar of how events should be run and were the perfect hosts. The two days were filled with sessions, roundtables and meetings around the IBM ICS stack as well as a analytics related track.

Here are the slides from the session I held together with Roberto Mazzoni from the University of Zurich regarding the IBM Connections environment that is now also used from the students.

I enjoyed the days in Rotterdam, it was great to meet so many great people from all over the world. Save trip home everyone!

Out of my comfort zone

I had a very busy year so far. We started with different new projects, mostly IBM Connections related, but we also worked on development projects and did consulting around security topics. A very interesting and inspiring IBM Think event followed in March. Just after being back from Las Vegas we organized our annual customer event and presented the good news about #Domino2025 to a very eager audience. Should anyone have missed the great news, here are the most recent slides from IBM and HCL as presented during #SocialConnections in Philadelphia.

 

So far so good and nothing out of the ordinary, right? But after months or years doing our business like it was “business as usual” we wanted to step outside our comfort zone and approached totally new customers (prospects) and introduced them to the collaboration solutions and offerings from IBM.

Talking to new companies and contacts, that we’ve had no ties nor common ground with, was totally outside my comfort zone and I felt unsure and somehow out of place. But, it was worth it! The experience was totally eye-opening.

The eye-opener was that those Swiss companies (not small ones) from different industries never had heard of IBM Connections and were not aware that IBM even had a solution that could help fulfill their business needs around collaboration sites and know-how sharing. To look at solutions from IBM never crossed their minds.

Those customers never assumed they had a choice besides the offering from Microsoft. So after very busy weeks and a lot of conversations with different companies I can confirm there is a huge opportunity to talk to new faces and going outside the comfort zone.

In only a few days, I will be at Engage in Rotterdam and will have a session with Roberto Mazzoni from the University of Zurich. We will talk about how the University works with IBM Connections and made the solution popular amongst students as well. I will also share my insights from outside my comfort zone and what I’ve learned over the last few weeks.

A glimpse back to a Pink Wednesday

Sitting at the airport in San Francisco to head home, I finally found some time to write the blogpost I wanted to write since Wednesday. Wednesday was the busiest day for me at IBM Connect and I attended session after session and had a broad grin on my face by the end of the day. The sessions that I attended were around IBM Connections and the colour pink was not only a eye catcher on the podium, but is nothing less than the future of IBM Connections.

As both Jason Gary and Baan Slavens mentioned several times, Pink is a journey and this journey just started, I was nevertheless amazed that a first “Pink” part will already be delivered with IBM Connections 6 that is more or less just around the corner. Orient Me (the new homepage) is the first pink infused part that will be introduced to Connections with the next (On Prem) version and will help the users to get a much better overview of the content and will be a big step regarding ease of use.

What got me really excited is the technical concept of “Pink” and the fact that there will be only one code stream in the future and it’s absolutely up to the customers where they want to run IBM Connections. It will run on premises, in the IBM cloud or also as a hybrid setup (like profiles need to be in the own data center, blogs can run in the cloud). What that means is that on-premises customer do not need to wait for a version to be published after a few months that the functions were introduced to the cloud environment. All customers can immediately benefit from the new stuff.

During technical and design sessions we learned that the now existing middleware for IBM Connections will be totally dismissed. So no more IBM Websphere, DB2 or Cognos. Instead all admins should be ready and happy to learn new things like Docker or React.js

The connections pink future is fueled with Watson (AI) capabilities and the development team in charge confirmed that this will also work on-premises. But not only the technical message was well received, the Business Partners and customers should be happy that Jason Gary don’t want to develop “Pink” for us, but with us. And one more thing that will make the developers happy: “will we ship without API’s? “without API’s we will not ship it”.

Regarding the header picture featuring Jason Gary and Baan Slavens: I’ve asked for permission to make it public and permission was granted. Thank you Baan 😉