I did not start the day with a workout. I was actually very tired and you have to keep your strength up if you are to hang on during a session with Mat Newman. So I slept as long as I could and headed off to the conference hotel.
Mat Newman is a character that everybody in the community, and at the conference, knows. He’s impossible to miss in his yellow suit, with matching shoes and wrist watch. Newman is also a born showman, and he loves the technologies IBM provides. I’ve written and said this before, but Mat has been a huge source of inspiration for me when it comes to both user training, as well as preaching about Notes/Domino and Connections (and other tools and technologies that I like for that matter).
Mat presented a user case scenario where a user went from having dozens of copies of the same file, which were emailed all over the place, to taking control over the work process so that she only had to contend with one copy, which she then shared across with those who wanted it.
We didn’t exactly learn something new here, but Mat’s conviction made a lot of us feel that this is what we should go home and tell our boss, our colleagues, our competitors, our friends, their grandmothers and their dogs.
I spoke to several people after the session, and we all concurred that if IBM had more Mat Newmans, people would not be moving to other platforms. And I got a great idea (at least I think it’s great) on what to do with the Norwegian IBM Users Group’s spring seminar in May. Stay tuned!
How the Salvation Army Doubled the Number of Active IBM Connections Users Worldwide in One Day
The title of this presentation was a bit misleading, because we are talking about Sweden only. But if their claims are true, it’s still pretty impressive to get a 100% adoption rate from their users. But that was their point: They didn’t adapt their users. They adapted the technology to fit their users need. So they took IBM Connections and put their own product on top to skin Connections to become more of a web page (intranet) where users find what they are looking for, instead of wading through things they don’t understand (wikis, blogs, forums and so on).
This seems to be a predominating theme: To achieve user participation, you need to skin Connections. Hopefully the new design of Connections 5.5 will make this need smaller.
I will definitely check out this product, and during the Nordic dinner, I spoke to one of the product managers from the Swedish company.
IBM has a big user community with developers who are really the ones driving the technology and solutions forward. IBM acknowledge this and both reward people with the IBM Champions price, as well as giving them the possibility to speak at the conference. Even though we have lost a lot of the old timers among the gurus, there still are a lot of them, and they are all willing to share what they know.
There was a pretty big turnout, but I do get the feeling that those who don’t come to this session stay away because they feel this is a club, where everybody knows each other, so they feel left out. Personally I was welcomed with open arms in to this community back in 2006 (thanks to Bruce Elgort who saw me at an OpenNTF session and wanted to know who the new guy was). I think maybe the gurus should think a little bit about that, especially with the internal jokes going on.
It’s also a bit hard for some people to know the difference between this session and the ASK the developers anbd Product Managers session.
Even so, the session was fun. I started the question round, and you can see that moment if you click on the video below:
The most important thing that came out of this session was that we turned the focus on the user groups. Some don’t exist any more, some are thriving and others are struggling. I hope more people came out of the session and were ready for start turning up at the user group meetings. Or even engage themselves in organising them.
ASK the Developers and Product Managers
This is a session where you can ask the developers and managers of the various IBM products and solutions questions, to their face. Sometimes you really do get an answer (and that answer might very well be “no that will not work” or “no, we do not have that on our roadmap for the foreseeable future”), but a lot of the time the session ends up with “we’ll take that back with us.”
This year someone made a list of all the questions that had been promised a follow up on last year, which hadn’t been followed up on…
I asked a question about the Files plugin in IBM Notes and I was told that, yes, it will be developed on more. So that’s good news!
Closing General Session: Discover your Inner Artist
Liz Urheim, Vice Precident of Collaboration and Smarter Workforce, summerised the week and promised us that, yes, there will be a conference again next year!
Inhi Cho Suh then took the stage. She is the General Manager of collaboration solutions for IBM and her words on their commitment to developing all the platforms of IBM is still strong. I liked her talk. It was short and to the point.
Erik Wahl then took the stage. He is an artist who has made a career of letting go of traditional thought patterns. During the presentation he painted pictures and talked about encouraging people to use disruptive strategies. Let the kids colour outside the lines. And he asked: “Why is it that when I ask pre school children if they can draw, they all say ‘yes,’ but when I ask adults, almost all of them say ‘no.'” When do we lose that? Food for thought.
And that was it. In the evening IBM Norway treated us to dinner at Kimonos, which is a at the Swan and Dolphin hotel where this conference used to be held. Sushi, beer, nostalgia, karaoke with Mat Newman made the whole evening in to very enjoyable event.
And that’s how I feel about the entire conference! Last year it was all doom and gloom. This year the vibe was much more positive. IBM seems determined to deliver what they promise, features that have been requested, both in Notes/Domino and Connections are coming fast, the plugins (which I love) are getting more and more love and there were some really good sessions this year.
For me personally I got to meet friends again, but most importantly: I got to have meetings that will probably result in my employer saving time and money, as well as becoming a more effective and collaborative organisation. I’ve also received loads of great feedback, both about my blogging from the conference, and my contributions to the community.
Oh yeah, the weather was great too. Thanks to IBM for buying that weather company!
Using IBM Verse (and Notes) to Keep Track of My Traveling Plans
Mon, Feb 6th 2017 11:54a Hogne B. Pettersen Don’t let the headline fool you. I also show you how you can do this in Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo and other email and calendar clients as well!
I’m a pretty disorganized person who had to force myself to become organized. And I have succeeded pretty well with it, even if I do have a few relapses now and then.
In the past keeping track of my traveling plans, tickets and hotel reservations was pure hell. Especially in the days with printed tickets. For the past 5 years I’ve been using my cell ph
I Became an IBM Champion
Thu, Dec 15th 2016 12:57p Hogne B. Pettersen Yesterday I was told that I’m among those in the IBM community who are named as an IBM Champion. The definition of an IBM Champion is this:
An IBM Champion is someone who makes exceptional contributions to the technical community. Contributions can come in a variety of forms, and popular contributions include blogging, speaking at conferences or events, moderating forums, leading user groups, and authoring books or magazines. Educators can also become IBM Champions; for example, academic f
Jean-Michel Jarre: – I Want to Surprise Myself, As Well As My Audience
Sat, Dec 10th 2016 11:54p Hogne B. Pettersen This is an English translation of a big interview I did for one of Norway’s largest newspapers, Dagbladet. In addition to translating the interview, I’ve also included all the content I had to cut out of the Norwegian version for space reasons. I’ve also included more photos, which you can click on to see in high res versions. Enjoy, and please, let me know what you think.
Jean-Michel Jarre was the first western artist to perform in China, four years before Wham did it. Here he
The Norwegian User Group ISBG’s autumn meeting 2016 – A Report
Fri, Dec 9th 2016 2:45p Hogne B. Pettersen The 2016 autumn meeting in the Norwegian IBM User group (ISBG) was held on November 30th at BI (Norwegian school of finance) in Oslo. Even if I wasn’t second in command for the user group I still would say this: It was a very strong and varied agenda! Here’s a summary:
Salesforce App Cloud and IBM Domino – same, same, but different
First one out was René Winkelmeyer from Salesforce.com. He’s a former star in the Domino environment, but left for Salesforce last spring. He works there as
7 Great Tips About IBM Notes
Fri, Nov 18th 2016 10:12a Hogne B. Pettersen The IBM Notes client is an important tool for a lot of IBM customers. It’s a powerful client (albeit a bit cranky at times), which has a lot of features that people don’t know about. So here are 7 quick tips to make your work day even more efficient.
1) Find a Notes application/database quickly
There’s no need to spend time looking for a Notes application or database on your workspace or in the bookmark menu. Simply use the search field under the Open-button (or the binocular
7 Quick Tips About IBM Connections
Fri, Nov 11th 2016 3:53p Hogne B. Pettersen IBM Connections is a great tool for collaboration. But there are some very quick and cool things you can do to make it work even more efficient for you. Here are 7 tips:
1) Filter your activity stream
A lot of people find the activity stream (news stream on the IBM Connections front page) to be overwhelming and confusing. Not to worry, you can filter out anything you want. There’s a pull down menu at the top of the activity stream, under the status field, that you can use to choose the spe
Whither IBM Part 2: Is Domino being silently killed?
Mon, Nov 7th 2016 11:39a Hogne B. Pettersen Last week there was an online presentation co-hosted by TeamStudio and TLCC where IBM presented their roadmap for IBM Notes/Domino.
I didn’t listen to the whole thing, I skipped some parts, because I could basically read the slides. In addition, they didn’t present anything new that they didn’t present at IBM Connect 2016. Nothing! Except one thing: You can now also use Outlook 2016 with Domino. Yay…
To paraphrase a friend of mine in the Domino community: “They are killing it, man.”
IBM Connections Tip #5: Make Your Wikis More Sexy
Fri, Oct 7th 2016 7:03a Hogne B. Pettersen Very often, the start page of a wiki in IBM Connections tends to look like this:
This looks very dull. It’s not very inviting for the users and the need for scrolling will make it harder for the users to find what they are looking for. Yes, you can tell the users to search the wiki, but believe me, they won’t!
I’ll admit it straight away: The wiki pictured above is made by yours truly, and it was made to document how to make wikis (am I meta or what?). The feedback from the us
IBM Connections Tip #5: Version Control of Wiki Articles
Fri, Sep 30th 2016 8:48a Hogne B. Pettersen Just like you have version control of files in IBM Connections, you also have complete version control of wiki articles inside a wiki. Every time someone edits an article, and save the changes, the last version of that wiki article will be kept.
The versions of the article are listed at the bottom of the wiki article. Click on the tab Versions, to the righ of the tab Comments:
Restore previous version
You can restore a previous version of a wiki article in the following way:
Find the version
IBM Connections Tip #4: Save Connections Posting for Later
Fri, Sep 23rd 2016 8:16a Hogne B. Pettersen In my previous blog posting I showed you how you can save a Facebook posting so that you can read it later without worrying about it disappearing. A lot of IBM Connections users don’t know that you can actually do this in the activity/news stream in Connections as well.
Let’s say you are at work. While you are looking through your activity stream in the morning, you see a posting that you feel the need to follow up on later. Unfortunately you know that because of the hight volume of