Successful 3rd Meetup for HCL Connections Ambassador/Super user program exchange!

As you might know we (Joerg Rafflenbeul and I) have been trying to kickstart an initiative to get people from various organizations running HCL Connections together to talk about their initiatives and challenges with running adoption programs and local ambassadors/guides programs. Last week (21st of January) was the third meetup and we had quite a nice turn out of people!

We started with two short intro’s by Luis Suarez on the value of ambassador programs and Adam Gartenberg on HCL’s vision and available resources for user support to kick off the discussion.

The topic then quickly shifted to the challenges and experiences of how to involve and stimulate CxO and management levels to participate in using HCL Connections.

“They think: Knowledge is power and you keep that close to your vest. So, how can we have Senior Management ‘unlearn’ everything that brought them to power?

It was interesting to hear the various experiences and approaches. From CEO’s who blog actively and lead the way for fellow management. To organizations where the fear of being ‘called out’ on what they’ve said or posted previously on the platform is making some management hesitant to post at all. About initiatives like one-to-one mentoring by ‘senior ambassadors’ and reverse mentoring by local super users to get management to participate and about the effects that Covid has had on the usage of the platform by management levels this last year.

In short, it was a great exchange of thoughts and we literally had to end it as we were running out of time. The next meetup will be on February 11th and is open to all. Whether you are an adoption program organizer, local platform ambassador, super user or just an enthusiastic HCL Connections user and want to learn. Scan the below QR code with your phone to add the invite to your calendar or use the following meeting link: https://ht-group.zoom.us/j/95794941629

A big thank you to all who participated and we look forward to seeing you all (and more!) next time!

Also… We would love to hear from you! So if you would like to be a lead-in speaker for one of our next sessions and willing to talk for about 5min about your organizations adoption, super user/ ambassador initiatives and experiences, contact me or Joerg and we can discuss.

Resources:

Two book suggestions that were mentioned during the discussion:

Connecting the dots, global super users program for HCL Connections (3rd Meeting)

There are lots of initiatives to connect people who work with HCL Connections. User groups, virtual events, blogs, websites. But what they do is usually connect those at the top. The admins, organizers, community managers, architects. There are so many more who use the product and never go to one of these events. Not because they can’t, but because they think it’s not for them or too technical or just not in their job role. But many of them, and especially those that act as champions, super users, ambassadors or guides would really benefit from hearing how others are doing things.
And that’s what we’re trying to organize. From our experience with running a ‘guide’ (super user) program at Heitkamp & Thumann we would like to explore what options there are to bring together our guides with guides, champions, super users from other programs. Maybe to just have someone sit in on one of our (virtual) meetings to have some exchange of thoughts or to talk about the challenges they run into when trying to get their colleagues to expand their usage of the platform and maybe just to exchange some tips & tricks. All ideas are open and welcome.

So if you are a guide, internal Connections champion, super user, ambassador for HCL Connections within your company (named as such or just because you do it) or run an adoption program and have them, or would simply like to start one; join us for the session where we try to come up with ways to set this up. The session is in English and open to all and will be held on January 21st at 4PM CET.

Scan the below code to have the meeting added to your calendar with the appropriate meeting link:

HCL Connections super user / ambassadors call follow up!

On November 5th we (Joerg Rafflenbeul and me) did an open call for anyone in, or running a super user / ambassador program for their HCL Connections environment. Aim was to see if there were other organizations interested in exploring the options to broaden their ambassadors knowledge and confidence by doing exchanges or sharing experiences at the levels of ambassadors/super users themselves.

It is always nerve wrecking when you start something like this as you don’t know how many people will attend or will be interested but it turned out great. With people attending from both the business, education and government realm as well as representatives from DNUG (German User Group) and Let’s Connect (HCL Connections User Group).

So what are the outcomes? Well this first meeting was mostly to see if there was interest in doing something in this realm at all. It also highlighted that there are already initiatives under way where businesses running HCL Connections are connecting on the adoption /community management level. Making connections at the level of ambassadors / super users themselves though is still very much a new territory.

Each participant in the meeting explained from which organization they were and what kind of program they run. Which was quite diverse. From programs with mostly formal ‘teachers’, to programs with thousands of super users who get trained to support digital business at various levels, to the guides program at Heitkamp & Thumann that sparked the original initiative for this meeting.

All participants indicated that they enjoyed hearing how others do this and a new meeting date was set for December 3rd at 16:00 CET to continue the conversation and see if we can get even more people to participate.

So note it down and join us if you are interested in participating in this initiative! The call is open to all (so also if you are still setting up a program or even just thinking of one) and let’s see what we can accomplish with this.

Meeting details in QRCode. Scan it with your phone to add to calendar:

MEETING URL:

https://ht-group.zoom.us/j/99154472558

HCL Connections Superusers/ambassadors exchange

Three weeks ago I was able to speak at the virtual DNUG event with Joerg Rafflenbeul on the topic of a program that is very close to my heart. The adoption & guides program at Heitkamp & Thumann. For the last two years I’ve been working one day week with the ‘H&T Connect Guides’ (local superusers/ambassadors) at Heitkamp & Thumann to help them support their colleagues and expand the usage of the HCL Connections platform. Our session is about how this program is set up, what it’s strengths are and also were we feel we still can improve.

Today (2PM CDT/8PM CET) we will doing this session again, this time in English at the online Collabsphere conference. If you are interested then please register for the event. It is free of charge!

Getting to know other programs:

As part of the session we did for DNUG, Joerg and I also talked about our hopes to perhaps connect with other organizations and superuser/guide programs to see if we can build up some sort of exchange. For that reason we have set up an open call on November 5th from 10:00-10:45 CET for anyone working in, with, or simply aspiring to set up a superuser/guides program for HCL Connections. The more the merrier so if you fit this category, are interested or have ideas then please join us! The idea is to discuss options to connect with other programs and perhaps do informal exchanges or other initiatives so that our guides can learn first hand how the platform is used in other organizations and vice versa.

The below QR code will add the invite to your calendar with all the relevant details:

or use the following link to join: Meeting link (Meeting starts at 10 CET)

ps. We realize that this is not an ideal time for other time zones but if you are interested but can’t attend then let me know and we can perhaps schedule another call.

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).

Social Connections Munich – People power your business HCL Connections powers your People!

Back home for a few days now after a great Social Connections in Munich and still recovering from a very nasty cold (so my apologies for this one being a bit after the fact..).

This was the first real conference dedicated fully to HCL Connections since the takeover earlier this summer. Much anticipated by both customers as well as partners. So how was it?

Continue reading Social Connections Munich – People power your business HCL Connections powers your People!

Social Connections Munich: To Dirndl or not to Dirndl…

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 about Social 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….

Continue reading Social Connections Munich: To Dirndl or not to Dirndl…

SocialNow a new approach to presenting…

Social Now letteringTwo weeks ago I was at SocialNow conference in Lisbon and was honored to have a short session on ‘social analytics’. The conference has quite a unique setup in that it is completely based around a fictitious company called Cablinc which is thinking of implementing an Enterprise Social Network. All speakers address the conference as if they are presenting to the company trying to either instill knowledge as a ‘consultant’ or get them to buy their product as ‘vendor’. Several speakers and vendors are invited around various topics and they are provided with information about the Cablink company as well as specific use cases they could use in their presentation.

As this is quite a different approach to what I would normally do I decided to really go ‘analytics’ on this challenge of talking social analytics as one of the ‘Consultants’ and build Cablinc a dashboard around the theme “What does Cablincs current usage of mail & file storage facilities say about the need for implementation of an ESN?“…

Continue reading SocialNow a new approach to presenting…

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…!

Continue reading Think 2018 – A new format

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. Continue reading Upcoming events & the IBM Champions program