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.

Engage 2020 – The event you should attend

In less than a month a large group of HCL Domino and HCL Connections experts and enthusiasts will be descending on Arnhem in The Netherlands for the annual Benelux Usergroup event: Engage.

Traditionally this is one, if not THE largest, most popular usergroups in the World and for a good reason. Theo Heselmans and his wife Hilde do a terrific job organizing the event. Making sure that the organization is seamless, the location is excellent (and always surprising!) , the food and entertainment are outstanding but most importantly: The speakers and sessions are the best. And that of course is why you should attend.

Sure, having a conference in the middle of an active Zoo is an experience but being able to learn from the best out there is what these conferences are all about. And Theo & Hilde make sure that that is well covered. With over a 100 speakers as well as attendees from all over the world there is an agenda that will appeal to nearly all. From business management to admins and developers.

So why is it that this local Benelux usergroup stands out so much? Well apart from the excellent organization as mentioned above, it is also unique because it is all in English. Normally a user group in a small country like The Netherlands or Belgium would not get this much attention as Dutch/Flemish is not exactly a widely spoken language. But therein also lays the problem as even within the Benelux not all speak Dutch/Flemish. So to truly make it a Benelux usergroup a communal language had to be chosen and naturally that became English. Opening it up not just for the Benelux participants but also to anyone else. Combine that with Theo’s organizing skills and you have a recipe for success.

In past years people as far as Russia, Australia and the Middle East attended, together with many from the USA and all across Europe. The perfect place therefor to not just learn from the great speakers but also to meet other attendees and exchange ideas and information.

So are you stil in doubt if you should come? Hesitate no more! This is THE event you should attend if you want to learn or know more about HCL collaboration products!

Engage website: http://engage.ug

Info about the venue, hotels, and transportation can be found here. Dutch public transport is safe, fast and easy to navigate so take a train from Schiphol Airport and you’re there in 1:10 (English train planner).