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The Difference Between IBM and Microsoft's Social Systems - An Analogy
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We're currently in the process of trying to set up a Microsoft cloud environment. No, we're not giving up on Connections. We're straddling a couple of environments.

The Microsoft experience hasn't been overwhelming so far but that's for another post. Right now, I want to talk about some of the fundamental differences between IBM and Microsoft’s attempts to conquer the social business market.

...and what better way to tell it than an allegorical tale?

Two houses

So let's assume that instead of cloud collaboration platforms, we're talking about “houses”.

Both fulfill the same basic functions; being a "house" for your data and a place where the people that live there (and invited guests) can access that data.

The real difference is in the way that the two companies have gone about preparing their homes.

The Engineer's House


One company, let's call them the engineers, have focused on infrastructure. They've added rooms, strengthened foundations and rewired the building. Sure, not everything works and they're forever fixing things but it's a pretty capable house with lots and lots of rooms.

Unfortunately, while the foundations are excellent, the general look of the house leaves a lot to be desired. It's not comfortable to live in because there's been very little work on the visible parts of the house.

The Designer House


The other house is being built by designers. They've found a nice “square tile” theme to go with and they've been spreading it to every room.

Living in this house is easy and comfortable. Once you get used to the look, it's pretty easy to get around.

Of course, there's not enough bedrooms for everyone and there are plenty of things that look like doors but turn out to be just paintings of doors in places where future rooms might one day be.

Two Different Approaches

These two approaches are both valid in today's software world. After all, nobody can build everything at once.

Modern software operates on the principle of partial deployment followed by constant incremental upgrades (thanks for that Google!!)

It's now considered okay to ship incomplete and/or buggy software and keep patching and upgrading it as you find time to work on it.

The question is, if your software is going to be incomplete, what bits would you prefer to be incomplete (and constantly changing)? The foundations or the user interface?

IT and Shadow IT.

In our house analogy, the IT department are like the surveyors who go into the house and hammer at the walls testing the strength of the house. They also have to test the appliances to determine what works and what doesn't.

Most IT departments are trained to see the big picture, so they'll especially be looking out for stability, versatility, security and recovery. Usability is important too but it's traditionally an area where IT, partly because it's staffed by techies, tends to be less diligent.

Shadow IT are the other departments who want to make IT decisions without involving the proper IT resources.  Shadow IT aren’t qualified and they aren't experienced in these matters. As a result, they are more concerned with appearances and apparent functionality than they are with safety, security and stability.

It's fine to let shadow IT help look for new systems but it's important to make sure that no major business decisions are made without proper qualified IT involvement. The best houses are not always the prettiest ones. 

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http://dominogavin.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-difference-between-ibm-and.html
Sep 19, 2016
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Recent Blog Posts
36
Fixing up those Pesky # Filenames for Importing into OneDrive and SharePoint
Tue, Oct 17th 2017 6:41a   Gavin Bollard
Once you're used to the new way of working, OneDrive and SharePoint are great file storage systems. The biggest problem is getting your files into them. Sure, it's usually just a case of drag and drop but the real problems are related to some tighter controls on the file names. The worst offenders are the ampersand and the hashtag. In fact, it seems to be really common for people to name their files with a hashtag in financial circles. For example: "Invoice No #675853.pdf" OneDrive and Sha
11
SharePoint works if you start working the NEW way
Wed, Oct 4th 2017 11:02p   Gavin Bollard
It's been a long road from drive letters to SharePoint but I feel quite comfortable in this space now. It's all a matter of perspective -- and of course, resisting the urge to rebuild the old world in the new space. SharePoint works extremely well with files but there's a disturbing trend that I've seen amongst my users. They use Sync to create a local replica of the entire of their SharePoint file libraries on their computers. Apart from being extremely dangerous, this also introduces a
4
Thoughts on the Microsoft Surface Book 4
Mon, Jun 19th 2017 9:40p   Gavin Bollard
I've spent the last couple of months on Microsoft's Surface Book 4 (i7) and I've had enough time to form an opinion. I generally hate laptops but I've found the Surface Book to be fast enough and easy enough to do the majority of my work on. The touchscreen is very responsive and I love being able to detach the tablet from the base - though admittedly, I rarely have a good business reason to do it. We ordered around 45 of the devices all at once. One was DOA and another had batteries in th
7
How to Split SharePoint Document Libraries to Simplify Synching
Sun, Apr 30th 2017 10:54p   Gavin Bollard
In my last post, I talked about how you need to split your SharePoint document libraries into smaller chunks in order to synch them. In this post, I'm going to assume that you made the same mistake that I made and put too many documents into the one document library. In my case, I have an IT Team SharePoint site which holds all of our IT documents. It makes sense to keep all our IT documents together. For the most part, the site doesn't need to be synched anywhere because it's mostly a stora
9
Using SharePoint with OneDrive as a File Server (for Ex-Domino Admins and Traditionalists)
Mon, Apr 24th 2017 6:33a   Gavin Bollard
Over the past few months, I've been looking at a whole range of options to do with file storage on the basis that Microsoft's OneDrive simply doesn't do what we need. The whole time of course, I've been unable to shake the feeling that Microsoft should be offering something that already covers this space. After all, file sharing is one of the major "tentpoles" in most Windows networks. As it turns out, SharePoint is the answer to this - and it works well if it's playing nicely with OneD
7
Migrating Mail from IBM Notes and Verse to Microsoft Outlook on Office 365 - Part 2
Tue, Apr 4th 2017 6:14a   Gavin Bollard
Last time on Real World Computing, I talked about migrating mail from IBM Notes and Verse to Microsoft Office 365. Now it's time for Part 2. Mail RoutingWe did routing in two parts. Initially we had MX records for both IBM and Microsoft with Microsoft having the higher number (which means lower priority). After the cutover date we switched the priorities so that Microsoft Office 365 had the higher priority. One of the cool things about Microsoft’s setup is that they give you two domains, o
3
Migrating Mail from IBM Notes and Verse to Microsoft Outlook on Office 365 - Part 1
Fri, Mar 31st 2017 11:05p   Gavin Bollard
It was always just a matter of time. Eventually we were going to have to make the jump from IBM to Microsoft. It's not that IBMs software isn't good. It's very good. It's simply that IBM is the Beta to Microsoft's VHS. Technically the IBM product line is far superior but on the surface, IBMs poor UI will never match the incredible pull of Microsoft's polished Office 365 offerings. We're just finishing a mail migration from IBM Notes/Verse to Microsoft Outlook, which we did entirely in-ho
3
How to Set up Rooms Properly in Office 365 - Part 2 (Extending Booking Time)
Tue, Mar 21st 2017 4:01p   Gavin Bollard
Following on from Part 1 where I talked about how to get rooms to show up in the room list, here's the next step where we extend the booking time from the default of 180 days. Why is there a limit?In most circumstances, a limit makes perfect sense. It stops employees from booking meeting rooms for years in advance and then leaving the company. In our case, it's actually fairly common to book the meeting schedule up to about 18 months into the future - so the 180 day (6 month) limit is quite r
9
How to use PowerShell to Change the Email Address of Office 365 Groups
Fri, Mar 10th 2017 9:34p   Gavin Bollard
One of the odd things about Office 365 is how much you have to resort to PowerShell to get things done. That's currently the case with the Office365 Groups, a recently introduced type of group that works particularly well across all of the Office365 applications. I've been setting a few things up with Office365 groups lately and I've had two instances where I needed to do some renames. Once was when the people who asked for the group changed their mind about the name and the other was when
9
How to Set up Rooms Properly in Office 365
Tue, Feb 21st 2017 7:53a   Gavin Bollard
You'd think that setting rooms up in Office 365 would be a simple matter of going to the Office 365 Admin console, expanding Resources, clicking on Rooms and Equipment and then using the Add Button This works but it doesn't do everything. If you want your rooms to appear in the Room List (and to show available times), you'll have to use PowerShell to put them there. Finding AnswersSo... I spent a while trying to find the answers without a whole lot of luck. I think that coming from the No




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