Making IBM Connections actionable

One of my biggest frustrations with being an adoption consultant for IBM Connections is that apart from it being very hard to get good insights into what’s happening in the platform, it is even harder to set up corrective measures or actions based on that information.

Cleaning up inactive communities for instance. Every environment has them and every user gets annoyed by it when they keep finding communities that have no relevance anymore. At the same time, IBM Connections itself puts no pressure on community owners to clean up so they forget or simply ignore and the situation continues. After only a few years, most organizations will have dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of such inactive communities.

There is no easy way for administrators or consultants to address the problem….

Partly because knowing which communities are inactive is not something IBM Connections itself will tell you and requires administrators having to get into data tables to get. But also that even when you do get hold of such an overview, taking action on it is far from easy. You can’t simply delete these communities as the whole idea of Connections is that users themselves are responsible for determining and controlling the information they share. So ideally you want to activate those owners and ask them to take action. Monitoring all the while whether or not they do that.

In the past I’ve had those kind of exercises asking administrators for exports of tables, limiting it down to the relevant communities and then manually addressing each community owner to alert them to their inactive communities. Tedious, laborious and irritating work. Especially when it’s hundreds of communities and as it is something that needs to be repeated at regular intervals to keep up to date.

ConnectionsExpert – making IBM Connections actionable

The good thing about working for a company developing analytics products in the collaboration realm though is that you can help define the tools that will help you save a lot of headache, which is exactly what we did in this case 🙂 With panagenda ConnectionsExpert it is now possible to not only have insight into whats happening by giving you analytics and data. It also allows you to use that data to then set up automatic notifications to managers, administrators, users or community owners. Scheduling notifications to repeat at your required interval without you ever having to worry about it again. In a way, making your analytics on IBM Connections actionable!

And this doesn’t only apply to inactive communities, you could also use this for:

  • Alerting community owners that they need to add a second (backup) community owner to their community when a community only has only one owner (to prevent orphaned communities when the owner leaves the company or falls sick);
  • Sending an automated info/welcome mail to users that haven’t logged in to the platform yet;
  • Regularly prompting users without a profile picture or job description to update their profiles;
  • Alerting managers when their employees create external communities;
  • Alerting administrators when communities or users are nearing their file library quota limitations;
  • … etc. etc. whatever event in IBM Connections you would want to set up notifications for, the sky is the limit

You decide the criteria for which to send the notification, input the recipients (which can be dynamically set to for instance the community owners or a users’ manager), specify an interval (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, etc) and format the mail. Which can be fully HTML formatted and can include data directly from the platform like the community name, the number of members, the last time a community was accessed, etc. After that you activate it and it will run itself.

…as simple as that…

And that’s why I am very excited about this. And yes, I know, I’m biased here as I work for panagenda and I helped develop ConnectionsExpert and it’s notification option. However, I wouldn’t put this on my personal blog if I wasn’t truly enthusiastic about this. It will save me as a business consultant and others a lot of work and headaches!

If you want to see more of how this would work you can watch this instruction video that performs the setting up of such a notification start to finish:

 

Want to try it yourself? Check our site and request a free fully functioning trial at https://www.panagenda.com/products/connectionsexpert/

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