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Digital Transformation

What’s new in IBM Connections


What’s coming in IBM Connections?  At Lotusphere 2012 IBM laid its plans for Connections in a general session. Of course, they had a disclaimer that the product is still under development, so these features may change by the time the final product is released.

The theme for the new version include:
  • Social platform evolution
    • Need to streamline work
    • Anytime, anywhere access
    • Prioritize what’s important
    • Consistent integrated experience
  • Enhanced communities for teams
    • Share across group of people
    • Support different groups
    • Share and manage across teams
  • Business to consumer
New features list:
  • Integrate 3rd party applications more easily using open social gadgets and a new content aggregator.  Here you can use applications directly from the stream, such as update a task, view a SAP service report and update it, etc.  Also supports hash tags in the stream.
  • You can take actions directly from the activity stream without switching context.
  • Streamlined and consistent user experience for navigation and tools
    • You can share content wherever you are in the system using a share link.  This can include sharing files too.
  • Email integration let’s me view and respond to email right inside Connections. Calendar access is there too.
  • Reports now show user analytics in each community, not just at an overall level.
    • You can also creat custom reports
  • Enhancements for community teams:
    • Community can have an activity stream
    • Includes a calendar for central planning of team events
    • The calendar is available from Notes and Outlook
    • You can email into a new discussion forum
    • Files can now be locked for editing and you can upload/download multiple files
    • Groups can now be assigned to communities so you don’t have to add individual members
    • You can catalog all team based collaboration sites you use so you can go to one place – Connections – to keep track of everything.
  • Business to consumer features:
    • Supports targeted collaboration between suppliers, customers or employees
    • Say there is a discussion on the web about your company, you can bring that discussion into Connections.  This is done though a browser plugin.
  • Advanced Portal Integration includes community pages in portal.
    • Community content can be included with other portlets
    • The page on portal scopes Connections down to a specific community
    • Improved SEO
    • Provides consistent tagging and rating between Porttal and Connections
  • Mobile now includes a hybrid application that can take advantage of native features like camera, location based checkin, profiles into address book.
    • The microbrowser now includes a rich text editor on mobile devices
  • Advanced file integration with windows like WebDAV, but better.
    • Social aspects of the file is included so you can comment, see who’s using it etc.
    • You can edit files right in line, so you don’t have to download it first and then upload it.

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Mark Polly

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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