October 2021 Super users Meetup: Benefits of absence!

This months super users / guide call for HCL Connections will be all about how to use HCL Connections ‘in the light of things absent’.

For instance, there could be things absent or missing from:

  • The product itself (e.g. features that get taken out or not complete enough…)
  • From needed functionalities not covered by other tools (e.g. “Our organization doesn’t have an intranet!”)
  • Or by organizational elements (“I changed roles and now I have no Connections anymore!”)

The absence of solutions usually makes people inventive and come up with their own. And often HCL Connections can play a role there. So, how do you and your users adept, invent or deal with the absence of things and how does ‘absence’ and the subsequent needs for being creative benefit the user experience in HCL Connections?

Our guest to kick off the discussion this time will be Dr.-Ing. Carsten Rose. Carsten is a manager for digital solutions at Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG and will tell us all about his experiences and challenges.

Want to join? Do! The meeting/discussion is open to anyone with an affinity or opinion on HCL Connections. Whether you are experienced or not.

Meeting details

October 28th 2021 16:00 CEDT
Location (online):
https://ht-group.zoom.us/j/95794941629
Meeting ID: 957 9494 1629
Find your local number: https://ht-group.zoom.us/u/abHYEL9b2w

Or scan the below QR code to add it to your calendar immediately:

For whom is this call?

The Global Ambassador / Super User call started as an initiative by Joerg Rafflenbeul and Femke Goedhart to bring together people who within their own organizations are (or consider themselves) advocates, super users or ambassadors for the HCL Connections platform. To discuss and exchange information around the platform and challenges encountered while getting it to be adopted by your organizations. It is open to all who are interested, work with it or are interested in the user enablement/adoption topic. Meetings take place once every 4-5 weeks via an online meeting.

Got a story to share? We always like to kick off our calls with a 5 min intro by one of the participants explaining about their situation and challenges. So reach out to one of us if you would like to do that in one of our next meetings!

Getting back together!

Summer is drawing to an end and therefore it’s time again to get back to the realities of work. Not that that is a bad thing! As it is also the time to start exploring new ideas and new inspirations with a fresh attitude. So what better than to start that off with a conversation with like minded people!

source: https://undraw.co/illustrations

Our regular HCL Connections super users chat is on again. An hour of exchanging ideas, listening to others and (if you want) sharing your own ideas, frustrations, questions and solutions around HCL Connections.

We’re easing into it easy so no fixed topic this time although we would love to hear what inspirations you got from stepping back for a few weeks and how you are planning on taking your HCL Connections platform further this year.

So join us! Next Thursday from 4-5PM CET for the HCL Connections Super users chat.

Meeting details

June 10th 2021 16:00 CEDT
Location (online):
https://ht-group.zoom.us/j/95794941629
Meeting ID: 957 9494 1629
Find your local number: https://ht-group.zoom.us/u/abHYEL9b2w

Or scan the below QR code to add it to your calendar immediately:

For whom is this call?

The Global Ambassador / Super User call started as an initiative by Joerg Rafflenbeul and Femke Goedhart to bring together people who within their own organizations are (or consider themselves) advocates, super users or ambassadors for the HCL Connections platform. To discuss and exchange information around the platform and challenges encountered while getting it to be adopted by your organizations. It is open to all who are interested, work with it or are interested in the user enablement/adoption topic. Meetings take place once every 4-5 weeks via an online meeting.

Got a story to share? We always like to kick off our calls with a 5 min intro by one of the participants explaining about their situation and challenges. So reach out to one of us if you would like to do that in one of our next meetings!

HCL Connections Super Users meetup June – The one about Hidden gemstones

HCL Connections is a fast platform with many features and even more ways in which you can use them.  It’s hard to know them all so in this meetup we hope to discuss the ‘hidden gemstones’. Tips, tricks and ideas of how to use HCL Connections and its features. 

From interface feature tips like knowing that the business card shows links to directly go to the users personal files, forum, blog and community interactions. To ways in which you might have implemented a feature to obtain a goal totally different from what it was originally intended for. This session is about creative uses, nifty tricks and anything else that comes up in the conversation!

As a kickoff speaker this time we have Andreas Weinbrecht. IBM Champion, HCL Ambassador and Account Manager at Beck et al. GmbH. 

 

So join in and hear what Andreas and others see as their biggest win and share your own if you have any.

Meeting details

June 10th 2021 16:00 CEDT
Location (online):
https://ht-group.zoom.us/j/95794941629
Meeting ID: 957 9494 1629
Find your local number: https://ht-group.zoom.us/u/abHYEL9b2w

Or scan the below QR code to add it to your calendar immediately:

For whom is this call?

The Global Ambassador / Super User call started as an initiative by Joerg Rafflenbeul and Femke Goedhart to bring together people who within their own organizations are (or consider themselves) advocates, super users or ambassadors for the HCL Connections platform. To discuss and exchange information around the platform and challenges encountered while getting it to be adopted by your organizations. It is open to all who are interested, work with it or are interested in the user enablement/adoption topic. Meetings take place once every 3-4 weeks via an online meeting.

Got a story to share? We always like to kick off our calls with a 5 min intro by one of the participants explaining about their situation and challenges. So reach out to one of us if you would like to do that in one of our next meetings!



What does ‘connecting’ mean in HCL Connections? Meetup MAy 6th

What challenges do you encounter using HCL Connections as a Guide / Super User / Ambassador … ? Every 4 weeks we come together to discuss a topic and the challenges we face. Topics come from previous discussions or from suggestions from participants. Rarely do we stay on topic but the calls are always interesting! This times the topic is:

“What does ‘connecting’ mean in HCL Connections?”

Which came from a discussion about how people connect in HCL Connections and what is leading: Someone’s profile, their content, the communities they are a member of…? So what do you think? It doesn’t matter if you want to actively participate or just listen to what other say, you’re welcome!

Join the Zoom Meeting on May 6th at 16:00 CEDT
https://ht-group.zoom.us/j/95794941629

Meeting ID: 957 9494 1629
Find your local number: https://ht-group.zoom.us/u/abHYEL9b2w

Or scan the below QR Code to add the meeting to your calendar!

For whom is this call?

The Global Ambassador / Super User call started as an initiative by Joerg Rafflenbeul and Femke Goedhart to bring together people who within their own organizations are (or consider themselves) advocates, super users or ambassadors for the HCL Connections platform. To discuss and exchange information around the platform and challenges encountered while getting it to be adopted by your organizations. It is open to all who are interested, work with it or are interested in the user enablement/adoption topic. Meetings take place once every 3-4 weeks via an online meeting.

Got a story to share? We always like to kick off our calls with a 5 min intro by one of the participants explaining about their situation and challenges. So reach out to one of us if you would like to do that in one of our next meetings!

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:

Desktop Plug-in setting to show MAX 500 files can be changed to show all

One of the more confusing features of the desktop plug-in for HCL Connections is that it limits the number of files it shows for any given folder or file location to a maximum of 500 files. The system doesn’t warn the user of this or tell the users that they can show all items by right clicking somewhere in the folder (not on a file!) and selecting [Get All] (see picture below). So this is easily overlooked by users who then get frustrated as they are not finding the files they expect there.

On searching for another option I stumbled upon the following documentation that includes a setting to change this behavior: Preferences and policies for the HCL Connections Desktop Plug-ins for Microsoft Windows

Solution:

To force the desktop plugin to show all items (files/folders) add a string key in the policies section:

Windows 64-bit systems: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\IBM\Social Connectors\Settings

Windows 32-bit systems: KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\IBM\Social Connectors\Settings

With the name: ReadAllAlways

And the value: 1 (= All items within a folder are displayed, even if the amount of child files and/or folders exceed 500)

Note: The 500 max was apparently set to allow for better performance on opening a folder. However, folders containing more then 500 files/folders are generally not that common and the benefit of eliminating support calls by confused users who can’t find files they know are there, would generally outweigh the slight delay one might get when opening a big folder.

Desktop plug-in for Windows fails on large uploads

At one of my customers we ran into the problem that users were not able to upload files larger than 50MB within the HCL Connections Desktop plug-in for Windows but were able to upload files of up to 1GB (server setting) in the browser. The error users got in the desktop connector was “Server returned bad request (400)” when uploading these larger files. I will post the solution they found (and that I can’t seem to find online) here for others to use in case they run into similar problems.

Solution:

It is possible to change the size at which the Plug-in begins using the large file upload functionality. This can be overridden using a policy set in the registry.

Add a string key in the policies section: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\IBM\Social Connectors\Settings

with the name: LargeFileSize

The value is in megabytes and the default is 100MB. Set it to the size your system allows, for instance: 1024

The solution was tested and works for 64-bit systems.

Note: For 32-bit Windows you could try using: KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\IBM\Social Connectors\Settings instead but this wasn’t tested. If you do, feel free to comment below if that worked.

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.