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Digital Transformation

IBM Connect: Social Next What’s Coming to Social

Jeff Schick is the VP of Social Software at IBM and he led us through where social is going.

Jeff's mug shot

Jeff’s mug shot






The first thing to know is that Connections is now rebranded.  It’s all an integrated solution.  Mail, meetings, docs, etc.  It’s all part of the Connections brand.  Given what we just saw from a new social mail, this makes sense.  It also sets up IBM to better compete with Google Apps and with Office 365 as Jeff noted.


Here’s 2014

  • Enhanced offerings
    • New web mail
    • meetins and chat with enhanced audio
    • Enhanced guest model
    • continuous delivery
  • Enhanced delivery options
    • PaaS with Domino on Softlayer
    • Dedicated options
    • SaaS gives better economies of scale
    • Enhanced migration and onboarding
  • GRC Compliance
    • Solutions of social content

Domino on the Cloud

Yes, you can put Domino apps on dedicated Softlayer images.  Also allows ISV to deliver Domino based solutions from IBM’s Cloud.

Mail Next

This is a brand new COMPLETE revamp of mail.  It’s built on the assumption that a lot of people waste a lot of time at work and mail has a lot to do with that.


  • $1,250 per user in annual productivity lost with spam
  • $1,800 per user on unnecessary emails

Beta will be coming out in the first half with a launch in the second half of 2014.

Quote: Will be cloud based. Will support off line replication.  This is predicated on the Domino Server infrastructure.

They may be changing the experience but it’s built on the known infrastructure those in the IBM ecosystem already support

Mail Next - possible designs

Mail Next – possible designsa












  • uses the concept of personal debt. IT’s the things I’m owed and the things I owe others. Makes you more productive within email
  • Can interact with people via email in the picture above.  Mouseover on a user will open up ways to interact with that person
  • You still have the traditional inbox view
  • UI allows for click to flip and see more info without losing context on the other views
  • Calendar view is more of a gannt chart
  • This will support tablets and the gestures approach to interaction.  It’s not just another site. Want to make a great experience with tablet.  As a matter of fact, they started designing for mobile and tablet
  • What’s New let’s you see new updates but still captures the thread
    • You can mute a thread if it’s no longer relevant
  • Team analytics lets you see how you are connected to the people in a meeting. Click on a person to see the org chart and where they stand.  It does it in a context of how they relate to you.
  • Search
    • Faceted search improves the experience.  Jeff doesn’t see this as just faceted search.
    • “it’s true findability”  It was a major design point.
  • It’s completely integrated with your social network.
    • One click adding email or files to a community
  • Inline attachment preview let’s see the files
    • cool design is the idea that you seem to see all files within the entire thread of a conversation

Sametime Next

Saw a release of Sametime 9 in fall of 2013. That included:

  • Modern UX
  • Enhanced audio to bring them up to parity with Webex
  • Practical desktop video
  • surfaced social much better
  • Fully mobile supported
  • Ready for the cloud – e.g. Meetings had the same changes, not just the messaging meetings.

Social Document Strategy

Light weight web editing.  Have public or private cloud options.

  • Lets’ you comment on content
  • Attention management
  • Author awareness features
  • Of course it allows for concurrent editing
  • Supports mobile for the review, online and offline viewing, etc.
  • Desktop is still supported with the open office foundation
  • Connectors still there to access and sync to Connections Files
  • Will integrate to Filenet via the Connections Content Manager (CCM)
  • They are also spending a lot of time working on the API’s






Connections Next

Over 50,000 companies have Connections.  It’s embedded in many portals and reporting tools like Cognos.

  • Internal and External collaboration
    • Collaborate securely with just one invite via an email address
    • Has a variety of admin controls
    • been doing this in the cloud but now it will be available on premise
    • but the security enhancement go to both cloud and on premise
    • Makes it easier to put one single instance and support both internal and external collaboration
    • This gets past a huge issue they had before so kudos to IBM for this
  • User Engagement
    • Completely customize the activity stream. This is a key enhancement because you define the experience and filters.
    • The filter is also a navigation model to return to something in your stream and to return to a community or task for example.
    • Supports inline view of rich media, documents, etc.
  • Notification Center
    • Puts laser sharp focus on that which is most important. Setup notifications on that which you want to see.
    • It will be real time.
  • Mobile
    • Mark favorite content
    • Personalize your navigation bar












  • Rich Media
    • Now has galleries
    • snap a picture and upload
    • put it in any gallery (community, personal files, etc.
    • This is a part of Files but just enhances it.
    • It’s also part of the Files sync capabilities
  • Connections Content Manager (CCM)
    • Desktop integration is coming
    • Connectors will finally be unified.  One set of connectors not a bunch of individual functions
    • You can have a grid view of thumbnail images
    • Note: every Quickr customer is entitled to full connections and CCM)
    • You can see usage metrics.  Part of the Cognos reporting tool like the social analytics

Client Success Program

It’s a new program that spans the entire customer base.  It’s a cloud program. IBM wants to make sure that as you move to the cloud, you have access to the right experts and tools. They want to make it a seamless experience in moving to the cloud.

Open API’s

Connections supports LTI compliance (easy integration to learning management systems.)  Also supports Open Social and a whole list of apis.  This open standards and api support should make it easy to integrate to a variety of things.

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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