Live @ Lotusphere 2010, Day Two: Making Lotus Connections
Another session I attended earlier today (and a debrief promised from an earlier post) revolved around the Lotus Connections platform.
Sure, I’m biased, I work for Big Blue, but let me just say that before I get into the specifics, I’m a regular user of the Lotus Connections product by design.
IBM is definitely walking its own talk in this particular arena, and I can personally attest to the way it has changed the way I (and my extended global team) work.
For example, I run a weekly Web team call that has been continuous for going on six years now. Every Friday, 10 AM CST, sharp (except when I’m on a jet plane to nowhere).
I used to manage the communications for the call entirely through Lotus Notes, and while I’m a Notes fan as well, Connections has helped ease the pain of managing that call.
For example, I’ve asked all 70+ regular participants to go and “Join” the community I set up for the call in Connections, so now instead of having to manage an access control list, I’m crowdsourcing the subscription list.
You want to have access to information about the call (including call-in #s and the weekly Symphony presentation), then you simply join and you’re automagically emailed the info as soon as I send it out.
Talk about a time saver and productivity enhancer.
I’ve also used the Connections community for this particular call to share important industry news, and embedded several helpful RSS feeds so the group can follow some other important info threads.
We also have a discussion group there to discuss issues of importance to our global Software Web community, and the email function lets me easily send out dispatches to the global team no matter where in the world I am.
The SWG Web Marketing Community also allows me to take advantage of the blogging feature, so that I can share info about coming calls and anecdotes worthy of the community’s attention.
Finally, I share all my presentations from each week in the “Files” service, so that anybody can go back in time and download an earlier presentation should they be interested in reading more about that week’s given topic/call.
All of this in a single community, and all powered by Lotus Connections.
Testify, Turbo, testify!
In terms of today’s informative update, Suzanne Livingston and team shared insights about IBM’s own wider adoption of Connections, which will ultimately replace the IBM Bluepages directory.
She explained that social collaboration’s mission is simple: Lotus Connections is social software for business that is focused on people based collaboration that empowers you with the collective knowledge of your organization, your partners and your customers, and helps people build better outcomes.
Got that? Good, ’cause there will be a quiz later.
For organizations needing to cut costs and provide for workforce flexibility, all while helping leverage collective organizational expertise and communicating with employees as individuals, Lotus Connections 2.5 fits the bill.
Need more insight? The right info at the right time in the right context, and all while magnifying the value of your content?
Lotus Connections 2.5 fits the bill.
Need an advantage by leveraging your innovation across your full value chain, all while improving the strength and speed of making connections and depth of relationships?
All together now.
Okay, enough Kum Ba Ya and instead some details about the new version of Lotus Connections:
Improvements to Communities
Communities can be enhanced with additional tools: communitiy activities, blogs, files, and wikis. Community discussion forums have a new look and now show the number of replies for each topic; community owners can customize the look of their community and move widgets around on the community’s home page.
Wikis let you create sites to collaboratively author and share documents. Built-in revision history makes it a snap to roll back to previous versions.
Files makes sharing files with other people a snap, and reduces inbox bloat.
Support for mobile browser to Lotus Connections Profiles from Apple iPhones or Nokia s60 devices.
The Connections home page has a new Updates tab that lets you see news items relevant to you from across your social network. Use the “discover” tab to easily browse content from across all of connections.
Profiles now features status updates and a profile “board” that lets you easily post messages to other users’ profiles. Go to the profiles home page to see a list of status updates for all the people in your social network. Discover profiles by expertise with the organization-wide tag cloud.
Easily search all connections applications, and filter by tags, person, or time range.
Activities & Blogs feature Community Integration
Tired of adding the same people to an activity or blog in order to share it with them? Use a community to start group-centric activities or blogs.
Visit here to learn how you can better connect your organization with Lotus Connections 2.5.