PACKT Publishing reached out to me recently to see if I'd be interested in reviewing their new book 'IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User's Guide.' Given my history with the product (and having answered no small number of questions about how it works), I was interested to take a look. (Disclosure: PACKT Publishing provided me with a complimentary electronic copy of the book for review purposes.)
I found the book to be a very thorough and well-organized look at how to use Sametime instant messaging and Web conference features, running from the basic embedded capabilities in Lotus Notes all the way through Sametime Advanced and Sametime Unified Telephony. For users new to using Sametime, or even those moving up to a "modern" version from Sametime 3.1 or its ilk, this would be an excellent "how-to" guide as well as a reference companion. While the concept of "instant messaging" is something most people are familiar with these days, Sametime is packed with enough features and capabilities that it's helpful to have a resource that walks through all of the capabilities, explains the preference settings, and highlights some of the more advanced (and less-than-obvious) features.
Authored by Marie Scott and Thomas Duff, who should be no strangers to those in the Lotus community, the book is very well laid out and walks through topics including using Sametime in Lotus Notes, setting up and using the Sametime Connect client (from setting up your the contact list up through transferring files and screenshots, and everything in between), scheduling and leading a Web conference, using chat rooms, broadcast communities and instant share in Sametime Advanced, and using Sametime Unified Telephony. The Appendices cover new features in Sametime 8.5 and 8.5.1, as well as using Sametime in other applications such as Lotus Connections or Microsoft products... and even contain a link to the Sametime song.
The books is structured in a way that covers the basics before moving on to more advanced features, something novices should appreciate, as they should the use of accompanying visuals, preference setting descriptions and index in the back.
Having been involved in books like this before, I know there is often more material that could be included than there is room for. That said, there are a few things that I wished had been called out - features that I used to get a lot of questions on or that I discovered even veteran Sametime users weren't aware of (and my apologies if I just missed it in the book). For example:
You can drag and drop a file into the chat area to initiate a file transfer, instead of using the paperclip icon
Clicking the "search directory" option when typing name will find that person even if they're not in your contact list (I've discovered colleagues who had been using Sametime 7.5 for over a year and still thought the only way to chat with someone was to first add them to their contact list.)
You have the option to have separate chat windows or a single tabbed chat window (and can start a chat with a new user directly from within the chat window).
Those are all minor points, though. To re-iterate what I said earlier, I'd highly recommend this book to anyone starting to deploy Sametime or upgrading to Sametime 8.x, and it's certainly a worthwhile reference to stick on the office shelf for new hires using Sametime for the first time. Well done, Marie and Tom!
What happens when Big Data meets human resources
Mon, Nov 25th 2013 10:14a Adam Gartenberg The Atlantic has a fascinating cover story (They're Watching You at Work) on the way companies are now applying analytics to the recruiting and hiring process. Think of it like Moneyball meets talent management. (And while not mentioned in the article, this is the type of work focused on by Kenexa. You can learn more about the solutions they are offering here.) Why is this going to be such a big deal? The application of predictive analytics to peopleâs careersâan emerging field [read] Keywords: atlantic
Social Business in Action: Client Testimonials
Fri, Nov 22nd 2013 8:14a Adam Gartenberg A quick look at how two companies - AMD and Bosch - are putting social business into action. An innovative technology company implements a new platform for sales enablement, providing training elements, content management and collaboration tools all in one platform. Bosch improved business processes and reduced cycle time from 40 to 6 days and implemented IBM's Social Business Platform in four months. [read] Keywords: collaboration
IOD Day 3 General Session
Thu, Nov 14th 2013 8:21a Adam Gartenberg Rounding out my IOD 2013 General Session coverage, here are my notes from Wednesday's General Session. The General Session began with a panel discussion of four IBMers whose work with clients across various aspects of the Big Data and Analytics spectrum, and wrapped up with Mark Jeffries interviewing Serena Williams about a variety of topics. Panel: Gigi Yuen-Reed - Healthcare Consulting Services Vijay Dheap - Security Intelligence with Big Data Chris O'Connor - Cloud and Smarter Infras [read] Keywords: ibm
Two Analytics webinars this week
Tue, Nov 12th 2013 12:11p Adam Gartenberg We've got two webinars coming up this week that should be quite interesting. The first is on Wednesday, 11/13, and will focus on the results from IBM's Global Analytics Study. Join this webcast to hear how the top global companies have translated analytics insights into real-world results, and how you can extract value out of your analytics investments. The second, which will be on Thursday, 11/14, will focus on how you can analyze the big data being generated by social media ("Socialyt [read] Keywords: ibm
IOD 2013 Day 2 General Session
Tue, Nov 5th 2013 2:13p Adam Gartenberg The focus for the IOD Day 2 general session was on highlighting practical ways people are drawing new insights from data to make better decisions. Below are my notes from today's general session. (And in case you missed it, today's session ended with the announcement that going forward this conference will be known as IBM Insight, held next year Oct 26-31.) Mike Rhodin, SVP IBM Software Solutions Group Competing today requires infusing intelligence into the fabric of your enterprise. [read] Keywords: collaboration
IOD 2013: ECM Keynote
Mon, Nov 4th 2013 6:11p Adam Gartenberg Here are my notes from today's IOD 2013 ECM Keynote. My key takeaways: This is about moving beyond the old way of thinking about content management (store, secure, retrieve content. ) and move to focus on how you can discover, recognize and act on insights from your content. It's about moving to a spectrum of services that extend beyond the repository, giving you the ability to do analytics, collaborate and understand all of your content. Doug Hunt, ECM Business Leader Content is at [read] Keywords: ibm
Fighting Crime with Analytics
Mon, Oct 21st 2013 12:12p Adam Gartenberg "It's the most exciting change that's happened in the past 21 years for law enforcement." -- Tony Landato, Sgt, Mesa Police Department The Mesa Arizona Police Department has made great strides in reducing crime rates. As you can see first-hand in the video above, they are using the IBM i2 COPLINK system to put data into the hands of officers on the street and analysts at headquarters. Over on the Smarter Planet blog ('Bringing Big Data to Bear on Crime'), Robert Griffin, Vice P [read] Keywords: ibm