Connections 7 is coming and it’s taking us off the island!

So for those not knowing yet, HCL is shortly before launching it’s newest release of HCL Connections version 7 and it is looking promising! The main keys of this release are to create a better collaborative experience in Communities, connect the platform to the Microsoft eco-system so you’re no longer working in disparate systems that act as islands but can integrate all the collaborative work you do. Whether it’s in Connections or Teams. And lastly to export content in an easy and comprehensive way to take with you, archive or print.

So lets go through a few of these new features:

Community/ Tailored experience:

Tailored Experience: When creating a new community you now get a step by step wizard that leads you through all the steps needed to set up a new community

Community templates: Part of this new community wizard is that you can now also select a community template to base that new community on! Each organization can set up their own preferred communities templates. These templates don’t only work in regards to allowing you to copy over the activated apps and config of a community but also can include content like pre-populated files, wiki pages, community image, blogs etc.

Community homepage/Highlights improvements: the old ‘overview’ page will be replaced by the highlights page. For that purpose, Highlights has received a redesign and has been extended, allowing it to be much more intuitive to set up and use.

Microsoft eco system integration:

Outlook integration: Redesign of the whole integration means that it is now easier to add files, link to content and generally work more efficient from within Outlook.

SharePoint integration: Allows you to use a SharePoint repository within your community and even replace your community files app with that if your organization prefers using SharePoint for files.

Teams integration: A exiting feature that forms a good basis for the further integration of Connections with the Microsoft world that allows you to show Connections content (Blogs, Files, Forums, Highlights or Recent Updates) in your Teams channel tabs, share content to your community directly from your Team (and vice versa!) and start a chat with a user directly from your profile. E.g. a two way integration option that really allows you to work across both platforms.

Print & Export

Last but not least and one I’m stupidly excited about… It is now standard part of Connections that you can Export activity, blog, wiki, or forum content to PDF. Per entry or per selection (for instance all forum posts after a certain date…).

Print of a 3-page community wiki. It allows you to select the pages and the content (comments, author info, etc) to be included. Making it very customizable as to how you want your output to look

Seeing it for yourself

This presentation from Let’s Connect’s recent online conference goes through the main features and shows screen captures of the main features to give you an idea.

However, if that isn’t enough, you can actually see it live already! HCL has provided an online preview version of Connections 7.0 which allows you to test and see all that is new. Including the Microsoft Teams integration. To request an account go here: HCL 7 Preview

And if that isn’t enough, sign up for HCL’s Digital Week event and get the latest ad greatest directly from the guys themselves.

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