IBM Connections Explained: all about files!

Ok, I admit, this one was a long time in coming but it’s finally here! The next video in my little series on IBM Connections usage questions. This time it’s all about files and especially about the difference between :

  • Attachments vs Files
  • Personal vs Community files

I hope it helps explain a little what the difference is between them and how to use each. Good luck!

 

Excited about data!

As a business consultant that focuses primarily on enabling organizations to collaborate better with their ecosystem of employees, partners and customers, a big question is always for me: “What are the numbers saying? How are our systems being used, what data is out there that I can use to analyze what is happening?”. So that I can track real activity and turn it into actionable content to use in my adoption strategies. As, let’s face it, what we think is happening and what really happens can be two totally different things.

But those are not easy questions to answer as they require insight into the data held in databases that most admins won’t let you even get close to. Simply because it requires too much security level access or could potentially cause performance issues by putting too much strain on a production environment. Plus: even if they did, making sense of it would be very difficult to most.

iDNA & ConnectionsExpert:

Joining panagenda earlier this year though opened up a whole new way into this data. panagenda products like iDNA (analytical reporting on IBM Domino Mail and application environments) and ConnectionsExpert (analytical reporting on IBM Connections) recognize the limitations specified above and selectively and in a controlled way (to prevent overload) retrieve relevant metric and analytical data from your production environment and store it in databases on its own appliance. Data that is then used to create instant reports, graphs and visualizations on how your production environment is doing without putting any strain on it and without having to take the data outside your firewall.

Working with the data:

Since joining I’ve felt like a kid in a candy store. With ConnectionsExpert I now have access to a wealth of information I can show and play with. Visualized and presented in the form of out of the box analytics, graphs, visualizations and exports that I can immediately use.

ConnectionsExpert vizualisation of Community usage
ConnectionsExpert – Community usage
ConnectionsExpert - Dashboard
ConnectionsExpert – Dashboard

But as always, we also get specific requests. Reports that customers want that are really only relevant to them. And that’s where the true beauty of what I’ve been able to do these last few weeks comes into play. Because both iDNA as well as ConnectionsExpert have their own data warehouse independent of the platform they are polling information from. Now why is this good? Well, it means that with the right access levels, the right tools and knowledge we can then work with raw data that for instance ConnectionsExpert collects and make specific analytical reports out of it without having to have direct access to any production databases.

The things you can do with what ConnectionsExpert is collecting are really mind boggling and this world of reporting and data mining is opening up a whole new exciting layer of knowledge and opportunity to me I never had before! Over the last few months I’ve been working hard on understanding the specifics of the database model and on using Tableau to get relevant reports out of that. And I love it 🙂

login trends vizualisation
Example of a custom report on login trends for a fictitious organization

It’s truly exciting and thrilling and I’m so happy to have all this opportunity to do this. Not just from a point of view of getting the tools and data but also in having a fantastic and very knowledgeable team behind me that can help me when I can’t figure things out myself. The combination of their technical knowledge and my own experience in the world of social adoption is creating some really interesting new perspectives and making me hungry for more!

To be continued….

 







 

 

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.

IBM Connections explained: Why a "Like" matters!

I often get asked about things in IBM Connections that need some explaining. One of them is the value of using the Like button in IBM Connections and whether people really should use it in a corporate environment. Let me be clear: You should! But in stead of writing another blog on why I decided to do it a little different this time and try my luck on explaining it in a video. I hope this will help!

 

I’ll try to do a few more like these over the coming weeks and in case you guys have questions you would like to get an answer to in regards of IBM Connections functionality let me know! who knows, I might do that one next then 🙂

Indexing support for Activity and Forum attachments in IBM Connections 5.5

Sometimes with large updates you miss the little things that make the difference… One I missed with the release of Connections 5.5 was that apparently the indexing on attachments has been added for Activities & Forums now:

in 5.5: “IBM Connections supports the indexing of file attachment content from the Files, Wikis, Library (Enterprise Content Manager files), Activities, and Forums applications. Content from file attachments in Blogs is not searched.source

Was: “IBM Connections supports the indexing of file attachment content from the Files and Wikis applications. Content from file attachments in Activities, Blogs, and Forums is not searched.source

For most people probably not a big thing but it means that now at least one will be able to search for content in the documents that were added as attachments to forums and activities. Something that was often causing headaches to users who couldn’t find back information they were sure they had added to IBM Connections.

It’s still wise to train your users to upload files to a community or personal files first and share them from there (as it allows things like locking, version management and commenting) but all in all still a very nice little feature of 5.5 that had slipped under my radar!

 

Launch of ConnectionsExpert, getting insight into your social platform

CE

I’ve only joined panagenda for a month now but I couldn’t have chosen a better time. With the launch of ConnectionsExpert (which was launched yesterday at Social Connections in Toronto), panagenda is taking a big new step into the world of building insights into the going on’s of your IBM Connections platform. With real time user simulations, analytics, historical monitoring and visually strong graphics of activity and interaction.

panagenda isn’t new to this area. Traditionally it has had a strong presence in the markets of server monitoring and client management. With it’s iDNA product it also build up a very strong foothold in the world of reporting and in depth insights into communication and collaboration patterns across multiple platforms like your mail environment, your collaboration platforms and even across file shares.

With ConnectionsExpert panagenda is taking the next step and providing a lot of that knowledge and expertise at the fingertips of those that make your IBM Connections platform run. Not just offering information relevant to the admins but also providing valuable management information and indicators for adoption programs. As a business consultant and someone with a strong tie to all topics related to social adoption and collaboration insight this of course thrills me to no end. Seeing what can be done with the data iDNA and ConnectionsExeprt are able to obtain and deliver is truly exciting!

I’m lucky that I got to join panagenda at such an exciting time and being able to work with and learn from this team of dedicated and passionate developers and experts. To be honest, I’m still pinching myself at times to see if it is really true!

So if you are interested go try it out the basic version is free indefinitely! No reason therefore not to benefit from this.

And if you want to know more about how analytics and collaboration insights can help drive your social adoption strategy or if you are curious about the possibilities of deriving meaningful insights from your platform don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to talk to you about the possibilities of social analytics, what you think is important, and what would or could help your organization!

Whirlwind, great teams and learning German or is it Austrian?!?

So one month into working with panangenda and the evening before flying out to Toronto for another exciting Social Connections event it is time for a little reflection on what has all happened this month.

To be honest, it has been a whirlwind. Of impressions, of meeting new people, of learning LOADS of new stuff, of getting really excited about the new product which is going to be launched next Monday (at Social Connections :)) and of getting my feet back on the ground.

Sometimes in life you need to take decisions without knowing where they will lead and when I did so a few months back in deciding to say goodbye to my old job I really wasn’t sure yet what the future would bring. I think I can now safely say I made the right decision.

panagenda

It is amazing to work with passionate people and somehow I’ve always had luck in landing in really good teams. In that respect the panagenda crew is definitely not an exception! On top of that, working with a company that not only does consultancy but is very strong in delivering software products is a totally new and thrilling experience to me. Seeing how fast ideas and concepts get transferred by the development team from thought to real live, operational products is mind boggling and stirs all the creative impulses I have.

So yes, I am really enjoying working with panagenda. My German is improving rapidly (as is my previously non-existing knowledge of Austrian/Bavarian dialect) from all the chats flying across in the various online conversations and I’m starting to find my place in this new, mostly virtual work environment (my nearest coworker is a good 470km from here).

Social Connections

I’m also really happy about my ‘other team’: Social Connections, with which we will be organizing the 10th Social Connections user group event in Toronto this Monday & Tuesday. As we speak (Friday night) most of us are still finishing last minute arrangements and answering last minute requests from attendees before heading off to Toronto tomorrow. With panagenda being spotlight sponsor and ConnectionsExpert being launched there it truly will bring together two very important sides of my life so I can’t wait! Being able, on top of that to do a session with Francie Tanner about adoption & innovation is just the icing on the cake 🙂

twitter9Location: Calgary Room Date: June 7, 2016 Time: 3:10 pm – 3:55 pm

So, yes it has been an amazing month and I can’t wait for all the amazing things yet to come but for now it is time to get packing and get to bed. My train for the airport leaves in less then 9 hrs!

 

 

A new phase – I'm joining panagenda!

As many of you know I’ve been working for several years as a business consultant in the area of Social business, Collaboration and Document Management. However earlier this year I decided that I wanted to expand both my knowledge as well as my international reach beyond what I had been doing so far and decided to open up the door for new opportunities. It didn’t take long for an opportunity to show itself and I am happy to report that I will be joining the team at panagenda starting May 2nd.

https://i0.wp.com/www.panagenda.com/panagenda/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/panagenda-Logo297x55.png?w=640&ssl=1
For those unaware; panagenda offers solutions, expertise and consultancy in the areas of optimization and analysis of clients, servers and applications as well as provides expertise and solutions on areas like (big) data analysis, cloud services, communication, mobility and social business/collaboration.
The Headquarters is situated in Vienna, Austria but the panagenda group has offices and local representation in over 15 locations and customers in over 70 countries. One of which is the Netherlands / BENELUX area.

I’ve long known and respected panagenda and have come across them more then once through my work as an Collaboration/Social Business consultant and at conferences and feel honored to be allowed to become a part of this great company. My new role will involve consultancy in many of my favorite areas like data analysis, collaboration and social business but will also allow me to be more involved in other aspects like the market and solution development areas. Allowing me to use my curiosity, creativity and innovative skills in a broader spectrum then I have so far. I’m thrilled to start this new challenge and look forward to becoming a part of the great team at panagenda!