Think 2018 – A new format

Two weeks ago I returned from Las Vegas and due to personal circumstances I wasn’t able to post my opinion on the event sooner. So a bit late but here are my two cents on a few days in Las Vegas!

This was the first time for IBM to combine the former Connect event, focused on IBM Collaboration solutions, with all the other events of other IBM brands into one massive 4 day event. With thousands of visitors (estimated numbers ranging from 23.000 to well over 30.000 according to various people I spoke), hundreds of sessions on a wide variety of topics, two impressive conference locations (MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay) and a showcase floor that could easily encompass several football pitches, it was indeed massive. Granted, that scale also caused some challenges and problems but overall I must say I really loved it!

Truth is that it was time for a change. After more then two decades of Lotusphere/Connect events the format was clearly due a refresh. Attendee numbers were dwindling and with the ‘how and why people attend events’ shifting it was simply no longer relevant. For decades large events like Lotusphere/Connect were used to announce the next big releases and developments as well as a way to quickly get educated on a variety of topics by technique & software experts. But with the shift to cloud in recent years most software is no longer released in large point releases but continuously being updated or fixed. New features come out and are announced all the time which means that “large” once a year release announcements are no longer there. In the educational corner large shifts have been taking place as well. With standards in documentation and online resources becoming higher and more training resources becoming available online (no longer requiring classroom attendance), the need for events that concentrate lots of training resources in one event is getting less too. And that was noticeable….

A shift was needed and a shift was made

IBM Think is clearly an event aimed at the strategic level. Instead of admins and developers forming the main body of attendees it’s now CxO level management, strategic architects and business representatives that make up the bulk of attendees. Many of the sessions no longer focus on the nitty gritty of installing, extending or maintaining the software, instead focussing on the how, why and what of building a future ready IT strategy. With a strong focus on vision, usability and applicability of new and revolutionary concepts. Ok, yes. This also means that the buzzword bingo is rife but still… These are the people who tend to make the end decision on where their organizations will go moving forward and who need the strategic information provided at a conference like IBM Think to do so. After all it is they that control the budgets.

Getting the big(ger) picture

The other big advantage of the large scale of this event is that it allows you to really expand your knowledge and expertise into areas you are normally not focused on. Following sessions on topics and having discussions about concepts that might be out of the scope of your daily work but can greatly help you in supporting your organizations and also your own future development.

So all in all I really look back at a valuable event and look forward to next year when IBM Think will be held in San Francisco on February 12-15.

 

Note: Please find below the slidedeck for my short 20min talk on: User engagement and how to communicate to – and engage your users, that  I delivered at IBM Think:

Upcoming events & the IBM Champions program

My blog has been really quiet the last few months for which my apologies. It’s one of those times where I simply don’t have time to blog nor the topics to blog about. But as there were a few things noteworthy lately I figured it’s time to do an update blog now.

IBM Champions:

Yep, the elections came and went and this year a whopping 650 Champions across 6 business Areas were elected to be honored and taken up into the IBM Champion program, 155 of them in the Collaboration & Talent solutions area.

The IBM Champions program recognizes innovative thought leaders in the technical community and rewards these contributors by amplifying their voice and increasing their sphere of influence.

I’ve been an IBM Champion since the start of the program back in 2011 and feel honored to be selected once more. Over the years being a champion has helped me become more outspoken about the work I do and to connect with many others in our area of expertise. People I respect highly. I look forward continuing to do that the coming year! Thank you to all who have taken the trouble to nominate me.

Event Season:

As every year there seems to be a peak of events coming up in the next few months and so far I’ve been confirmed to go to at least three:

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor ibm think logoFirst of all I will be attending Think in Las Vegas on March 19-22. I’m really excited about the new setup which is taking out the individual events for all the different brands and combining them into one new big event. A great opportunity to learn from all what other IBM brands have to offer, as well as an opportunity to mix and mingle with people from different technological areas. panagenda will be a sponsor again so come visit our booth (752)!

For those arriving early: There will be a community day event on the Sunday in the MGM where I will also be speaking so if you are interested in how to engage and inspire users please join me in MGM room 104 on Sunday at 10:15

Social Now lettering On May 16th & 17th I will be visiting Lisbon for the SocialNow conference. A conference completely focused on social tools, adoption and digital transformation. I’ve been to this conference before and really love the setup of having short sessions with large breaks for direct interaction and discussion between the audience and the speakers. I’m honored to be asked to be part of the consultants panel and to present on social analytics and how they can help drive digital transformation.

 Last but by no means least I will be attending Engage in Rotterdam May 22-23. With Rotterdam being only 20min from my house this will practically be a home-game and I can’t wait! As usual Engage has a fantastic location (a luxury cruise ship!) and is shaping up to becoming one of the biggest user group events held in The Netherlands for IBM Collaborative and analytics software.

So if you are planning on attending any of these please feel free to contact me as I would love to connect!

Other conferences…

The above conferences only represent a part of what there is to do in the IBM collaboration area this spring and early summer and there are many more. SNoUG on April 18th in Zurich, Switzerland, Social Connections on April 26-27 in Philadelphia, USADNUG on June 20-21 in Darmstadt, Germany and CollabSphere 2018 in Ann Arbor,MI, USA to name a few. All of these are worth visiting so check them if you are interested in learning more about IBM social, collaborative and analytics portfolio’s.

 

Session slides for my Engage & SNOUG sessions

It has been a while since I posted and it’s time to catch up. Times have been rather busy so this post is mostly to just distribute my slides from Snoug & engage. Both wonderful events that really do deserve a big round of applause for setting up great events for people to come together and learn about all there is to know about IBM ICS’s products!

SNoUG

At SNoUG, the Swiss User group for IBM Notes & Connections users On March 22nd I did a session on the “Ten things every Connections User should know”

 

Engage

At Engage in Antwerp on May 9th I was able to do two sessions: One with my coworker Franz Walder on Watson Analytics (which was a repeat of our Connect session) and one sponsor session on panagenda ConnectionsExpert. As that session mostly consisted of demo’s I will not upload slides for that one as without the demo they don’t make much sense. If you would like a demo of panagenda ConnectionsExpert though please don’t hesitate to contact me!

It's conference season!

With IBM Connect just out of the way, SNoUG (The awesome Swiss usergroup event in zurich) coming up in just a few weeks, followed by Engage in May and then being part of the organization for Social Connections in early June my agenda is happily buzzing with event prep and travel plans.

I love this! The ability to be a part of a community of people who share, learn and exchange knowledge at conferences is awesome and each of these conferences offer ample opportunity to collaborate, learn and meet new people.

IBM Connect – Feb 20-24th San Francisco, USA

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor ibm connect 2017 logoI probably should have done this blog before it but as it is you get the “after” view on this event as I simply was too busy to write a blog about it before the event itself. So what did IBM Connect bring for me? Well I have to admit that I unfortunately didn’t get to see a whole lot of sessions this time due to meetings, being a presenter myself and other obligations so I won’t do any recaps of the most important announcements here. If you are interested in those please go to blogs like those of Adam or Gab (#1, #2, #3) who give excellent summaries of that. The one main thing that stood out for me personally though and that I find really exciting is that with it’s whole PINK strategy IBM is doing something that I think will set them apart. And that is that it is committing to both a cloud AND on premises future for IBM Connections. Better yet… by streamlining and uniforming the code streams for cloud & on premises it is offering ways to go fully hybrid where organizations will be able to select where data lives per application.

In a world where all the big providers seem to focus solely or mostly on cloud solutions that is setting IBM apart and making it a player in a very significant market of customers who, for various reason, can’t or won’t go cloud. For them this news is absolutely crucial and it also means that IBM Connections will appeal to a potentially larger group of customers who were waiting to see which direction IBM would take in this.

The whole PINK redesign with a focus on integration and dedicated API’s also means that for partners it will become much easier to develop third party applications for the platform.

That news was excited me most about this conference and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this is going to develop!

SNoUG – March 22 Zurich, Switzerland

https://i2.wp.com/pbs.twimg.com/media/C57UIw_WYAAcU9C.jpg?resize=285%2C135&ssl=1On March 22nd it will be time for my second SNoUG event. After having been there last year and seeing what a stellar organization is behind it I can’t wait to go back. I will be presenting a session on  Top tips for IBM Connections – “10 things every User should know”. Which is my play on the Swiss army knife session for IBM Connections users.  I’m very much looking forward to doing it as it is a lot of fun and there should be things in there that even the most seasoned users of IBM Connections aren’t familiar with. But even if that is not your cup of tea there should be more then enough other sessions there to keep you occupied. So do join me in Zurich for this great event!

Engage – May 8-9th Antwerp, Belgium

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor engage.ug logoWhich brings us to Engage. The largest user group event in Europe and traditionally one of the most spectacular. Theo’s ability to find the most extraordinary locations for his events has not betrayed him as far as I understand so I’m very much looking forward to this event that will take place in (or next to?)  the Antwerp zoo. Sessions haven’t been announced yet but the quality of sessions is sure to be high as there apparently have already been over 150 sessions abstracts submitted by experts from all across the globe! Definitely an event to put on your radar therefore if you want to really learn about Business & Strategy, Development, Administration & Deployment, Emerging Technologies and Big Data & Analytics this season.

Social Connections – June 1-2nd Chiago, USA

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor social connections logoAnd last, but by no means least Social Connections. The only dedicated IBM Connections user group event that organizes their events all over the world is landing in Chicago this June. Ok, I admit, as I’m partly organizing this one I’m probably a bit biased but seriously: If you want to learn about how Social Enterprise networking, IBM Connections, Watson Work Services or Analytics can help your organization thrive then this is the event to be. Better yet, if you have a story to tell about social collaboration yourself then don’t hesitate to submit an abstract and share your experiences with others just like you!

So that is most of my free time planned for the next few months. And it’s not even all conferences that are on the books. Other great conferences like DNUG can be found in the Social Business User Community Event list that lists all events relevant to the IBM ICS brand. Go check it out if you want to see more.

I hope to see many of you at one of these conferences!

ICONUK Slidedeck "IBM Connections Adoption Worst Practices"

During ICONUK last week (15-16 September 2016) I did a session on “IBM Connections Adoption Worst Practices“. Slides for this session are available on my slideshare and here:

Regardless if you’ve implemented IBM Connections, are considering it or in the middle of the planning stages – there are wrong (and right) turns to take at every step. Join Femke to learn about misconceptions and tribulations others have faced while striving to become a socially enabled company. Hear about real World examples and often funny anecdotes from the trenches of adoption to show you how NOT to do it and giving you tips on how to do it better along the way.
Walk away with a grasp on what to focus on to make a success out of your IBM Connections environment.

Webcast Dec 1st: Positioning IBM Connections & Document management

Update April 2016: As the SocialBiz.ug site has since been taken down this webcast cannot be viewed anymore. The slidedeck is still available however on my Slideshare account which you can find here: -LINK-

Quite often people ask me how they should position and integrate a Social Enterprise Network like IBM Connections in an existing landscape of applications and strategies for managing information and documents. Often they already have several tools, intranets, and applications and want to know what things to consider, how and when to migrate and how to get users to make the transition into using the new platform without getting confused. Or they might be totally new to the concept of working with ‘unstructured’ data and unsure of how to proceed. So being able to take a step back and analyze the relations, effects, impacts and requirements can be really important to making it into a successful project

This will be the topic of the webcast I will be hosting in conjunction with SocialBiz UG on Dec 1st from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EST (16:00-17:00 CET):

Learn to integrate and position IBM Connections with existing document management platforms

“There are a lot of benefits to your organization using IBM Connections, but equally important is knowing how to integrate your social software platform into your existing information management ecosystem and empowering your employees for successful adoption. Join Femke Goedhart for a real-world look at managing the entire integration cycle from evaluating your current environment to creating a migration strategy and handling adoption challenges. Get an understanding of why information management in a Social Enterprise is so critical and how IBM Connections fits into that framework.

Join this webinar for an in-depth look to learn how to:

  • Accurately review and categorize your current information management ecosystem
  • Understand IBM Connections in relation to your company’s current use of Legacy systems
  • Recognize common technical migration challenges
  • Identify what functionality your users may require to use IBM Connections
  • Create an implementation/migration strategy that will assist user adoption “

To register for the webinar go to the SocialBiz UG site

busy weeks! Zurich & Stuttgart

It has been a busy month all over but the last two weeks have been extremely busy. Both with a major project at a customer going live this weekend as well as with two conferences last week and this week. I had a great day on October 28th at the IBM Client center for SNoUG the Swiss Notes User Group and congratulate the SNoUG team on their effort of setting up a fantastic event. I really enjoyed it and found the sessions, connections I made and information I got from the sponsor booths extremely helpful.

I also want to give a big thanks to the team, speakers, sponsors and attendees of Social Connections in Stuttgart who helped make that a great event. After having left the SOCCNX team at the end of SOCCNX 5 due to work pressures and missing the last three events it felt like a warm bath to join the team back for SOCCNX 9. Organizing an event like that with 270 attendees, 65+ speakers and 22 sponsors in a remote location (ok for me) like Stuttgart always is a big challenge but I think we can say it was a big success and completely in line with all the other Social Connections events!

Below I’ve attached the slide decks I used for my presentations both at SNoUG in Zurich on October 28th 2015 and the one in Stuttgart for Social Connections. As the last one was only a short (15min) one the slide deck for that one is significantly shorter than the first one. Enjoy!

SNoUG:

Social Connections 9:

Fall user groups – busy times ahead!

After not having traveled much over the last few months it is promising to shape up to be quite a busy fall this year!

21st/22nd of September – London:

In little over a week I will be attending ICON UK, the UK user group for IBM software users where I will be co-hosting a session with ICON UK organizer Tim Clark on the art of requirements gathering as well as doing a session on my own about file & document management in IBM Connections. ICONUK is a great conference with a fantastic lineup of speakers and I’m really honored to be accepted to be among them. The conference is held at the IBM Client center in the heart of London which is a fabulous location right next to the London Eye. If you haven’t booked a ticket to go yet, do it now. This is one you don’t want to miss!

28th of October – Zürich:

Another user group which I will be attending and speaking at is SNoUG, the Swiss user group for users of IBM/Lotus Notes/Domino, Connections and WebSphere products which will be help in the IBM Client center in Zürich. The session I will be doing here will be focused on the question what to use when it comes to file management in IBM Connections and the differences between the different options like CCM and community files. Andrew Magerman is doing a great job making SNoUG into a a worldclass event and I’m definitely looking forward to going there!

Logo Social Connections

5th/6th of November – Stuttgart:

And last but certainly not least I will be attending Social Connections in Stuttgart. I’m hoping to get a session slot there too but more importantly I will be helping out around the conference. After not having had the time to be involved with the Social Connections team for the last three episodes of this great conference I’m very happy to report that I’m back on the team. It is humbling to see how much this team has done and achieved in the last two years and the conference in Stuttgart is definitely shaping up to be one of the biggest ones to date.

Apart from these three conference I will also be traveling for work so all in all it will be a busy and exciting couple of months for me and I hope to see many of you at one of these great conferences or during the other work related trips I will be taking this fall.

 

 

 

Speaking at IBM ConnectED 2015

https://i2.wp.com/www-01.ibm.com/software/collaboration/events/connected/images/connected_image_merged_980x300.png?resize=614%2C188After a year of absence I’m really looking forward to being able to attend Connect (or ConnectED as it is now called) in Orlando again this year. Based on the sessions schedule I’m convinced it will be another great event. I also look forward to having the honor of being able to speak on two topics – close to my heart – with two great cospeakers:

Together with Sasja Beerendonk I will be speaking on the topic of struggles and challenges in becoming a social business:

BP202 – Beyond Theory: Trials and Tribulations in Becoming a Successful Social Business

There are many theories and ideas around “how to become a social business” but what really does or doesn’t work? We wanted to know, and instead of just going blindly with the theory, we did the opposite and interviewed 32 companies in various stages of their journey to becoming a social business. Not just asking them about the big wins, but also talking about the struggles and small successes that really made the difference for them. Taking these experiences and real life examples of companies the likes of Dutch Railways, DAF, Saxion, Forbo Eurocol and Bavaria, and aligning them to the various theoretically relevant concepts, we were able to come up with some interesting concepts. In this session, we will take you through these concepts and theories and, using the examples provided by the companies, show you how these can help you identify the successes and avoid the pitfalls in becoming a social business

Date and Time: Tue, 27-Jan, 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM
Location: Dolphin – S. Hem 2

For the description and details on this session and other great sessions at ConnectED check out the session preview tool or the blog post Sasja did a few weeks back.

And together with Bill Malchisky I will be doing a Chalk Talk session on privacy:

CHALK403 – Personal Privacy Paradigm

In a world of ubiquitous information access, how does one maintain their privacy and avoid future forward situations that may be hard to extrapolate? People have a right to privacy, but through the combination of lawyers and technology what used to be an easy paperwork process can introduce significant gray areas with overreaching background check releases and agreements that can be unwise to sign as is. Additionally, customers need to protect their information, regulated data, and trade secrets, all while ensuring outside vendors can do their job even when working through multiple layers of contracting organizations. This BOF discusses trends in privacy protection and degradation while providing tips you can use to help you with that next gig while also protecting yourself, your family, or your company. Please bring your privacy challenges as Femke and Bill provide insight while fostering what should be a lively group discussion. See you at the Swan.

For more details and to register check out the IBM Connected website. Hope to see you there!

IBM Insights highlights

Last week I had the privilege of attending IBM Insight 2014 in Las Vegas. The largest Big Data conference in the world that focuses on Business Analytics, Information Management and Enterprise Content Management. As someone with a keen interest in both Analytics as well as ECM it was the perfect place to learn a bit more of the solutions IBM offers – or is planning to offer – in this space.

Out of the many highlights of this week three stood out for me personally:

1. IBM Watson Analytics: A cloud  based solution that allows you to upload a data set and get an in depth data quality & relationship analysis back in the form of graphs and infographics. Combining cognitive computing & analysis to deliver predictive business analytics.

I was a bit skeptical about all this but had the chance to play around a bit with it in one of the usability sessions and must say I really liked it. It’s currently in Beta status but I can’t wait to see the end result and to use it in my own environment.

2. IBM Navigator:  This one threw me a bit because of the name as there is also the IBM Content Navigator that I was familiar with already. Where Content Navigator is an on-prem user interface & toolkit that allows access into existing CMIS enabled ECM systems and offers a great level of integration with other systems -without being tied into any of them-, IBM Navigator (without the “content”) is a cloud implementation of that same interface but with a fully functional cloud ECM solution already behind it. Allowing organizations the ability to utilize the cloud ECM with user interfaces & mobile applications without having to install or maintain the heavy systems that are required for most enterprise ECM’s themselves. Now I have to admit I don’t know the full extent of what this product is going to offer and what its limitations will be as I’m currently still awaiting access into the IBM Navigator beta to try it all out but what I’ve seen and heard so far is promising. Especially for SMB customers who don’t have the knowledge or capacity to maintain an Enterprise level ECM but do require the functionality.

3. Case Management: This isn’t a new product but simply one I hadn’t been around yet and that really ticks a lot of boxes for me as someone with a strong interest into ECM related business processes.  “Case management is built around the concept of processing a case, which is a collection of information and coordinated activities by knowledge workers or case workers. […] It looks at repeatable business problems from the perspective of the knowledge workers, and empowers the knowledge worker to solve those problems. Bundling the case information, documents, rules, and all the tasks that might be required to solve the business problem into a flexible solution“.

I really enjoyed working with this one in one of the labs. It allows you to quickly create and adjust case oriented applications with workflow, task management and content management by easily configuring properties, forms and process flows. Currently this is not yet available in the cloud but I understand there are plans for it. If it does become available as a cloud solution (perhaps as extension to the IBM Navigator platform?) it will open up a lot of possibilities to the larger SMB market as it provides a single ECM framework that includes case management, content management, processes, records and analytics in a easy to manage way.

There were many more products and announcements there and I’m sure others would have probably named other highlights but for me these are the things that really peaked my interest. Some might have been around for a while now but were simply not on my radar before. Others were entirely new.

Currently I’m signed in and awaiting access to several of the beta’s and reading up on more documentation. I hope to post more about these as I continue learning!