Well not really of course, but lets face it, it’s an interesting way to start an article about a conference that will be held just short of German October Fest in the heart of Munich. Especially knowing that I might be Dutch but work for an Austrian/German company and just happen to have a dirndl (don’t ask, it was a dare)….
So what am I really talking about? I’m of course talking aboutSocial Connections. The user group for users working with Connections (what was formerly known as IBM Connections). This event is organized roughly every 6 months somewhere around the globe and brings together customers, partners and HCL to talk about and present about the platform. Most importantly though this time is special as it will be the first major event completely focused on the Connections platform since the announcement of the sale of the platform to HCL. It’s also being touted by HCL itself as a flagship event and THE place where they will be talking about the plans they have for the future. Some of which has already been discussed at the Factory Tours and other events as well of course….
My Drive was introduced to replace the previous sync options of IBM Connections. It offered some additional features like being able to sync not only files but also complete folders. Great! But working with My Drive also often causes a lot of confusion which might need some explaining….
The below is my private opinion and in no way reflects the opinion of either my company or the customers I work with…
anyone who has anything to do with IBM connections will have already heard this
and must be fully aware but yes, the sale of the IBM Collaboration portfolio
(including IBM Connections) was finalized
by the first of this month. This means that from now on IBM
Connections is…. Connections.
Ok, not completely on its own but yes, the Backspace contributed heavily to why, nowadays, you’ll find very few positions for ‘typists’ in any organizations.
Step back thirty years ago and most offices employed several typists who would type out letters, official documents and contracts. They were trained professionals that honed their skills over years and were respected for their accuracy and speed. After all, making even a single mistake required that a whole page had to be redone.
So why don’t we have typist in our offices anymore?
“That’s the whole problem with usability in a nutshell. What developers THINK is intuitive is not the same as what users perceive as intuitive. It’s not the developer that decides what is intuitive, it’s the user.“
What followed was a good humored banter between me (playing users advocate) and a bunch of hardcore developers. With replies like:
In IBM Connections one of the most used options is Activities. A great way to manage and organize information and to do’s around a common task. Especially when using in combination with the Kudos Boards Add-in from ISW which makes it one of the strongest and most used features of IBM Connections (yep a shameless plug, but seriously, it IS the best Add-in for IBM Connections and if your organization isn’t using it you should definitely take a look at it) .
However, Activities also has it’s challenges…
Working for a customer on creating some documentation I found the following.
In Community Activities you have the option to limit what community members can do and you can even assign specific rights to specific community members. Great! But…
Another login… yes seriously I now have well over 200 different logins for sites, for companies, for whatever…
It is hip to be connected and hip to give your customers that feeling of being appreciated by giving them a personalized and password protected 24/7 connection to your company. No need anymore to send letters, lets just get ourselves a portal and have our users look up their own information there, they will love it! and why we’re at it: why not add a form for users to submit their own tickets. Heck we can even eliminate that expensive helpdesk that way!
Yes, you get it, I am getting fed up by that whole ‘(exceptional) web experience’ thing. Okay, in a lot of situations having the options to get information directly and without having to call or wait for office hours is good but… I think we’re going overboard.
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. Continue reading Making IBM Connections actionable