Digital Experience

IBM ConnectED 2015: What’s New in IBM Connections

IBM’s ConnectED 2015 conference is off to a great start with many great speakers and sessions lined up. Today I attended David Brooks’ session “What’s New in IBM Connections and IBM Connections Mobile.” What I find most impressive is how much effort and has gone into the user experience making the tools much richer, easier to use and overall much more useful. Some of the key new features include:

Usability improvements

  • Personalized navigation – End users can now customize how they see content
  • One tap access to content that matters to and individual
  • View and manage Community events
  • Recent history quick view

Community Owner Customization Capabilities

  • Community owners have complete control over layouts and content
  • Community navigation is streamlined in the left column so widgets can be rendered on the left
  • Widgets (such as Members) can be moved through drag and drop
  • Widgets are all responsive
  • Widgets titles can be renamed
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Other features

  • New quick find is available, searches are returned via type ahead
  • An end user can choose to rank their own content higher so that when searching, that content will float to the top
  • Widgets created by business partners will be available to Connections in the cloud
  • Thumbnail view of files was brought to the mobile view
  • There are some mobile configuration settings available to administrators now, e.g. disable iTunes sharing, printing, push notifications etc.
  • The rich text editor has been extended with capabilities such as sorting data in a table

Files

  • Files now include a sync and share to bring files offline to a desktop or mobile device
  • Files can be locked for offline editing so others you share with can’t update them while locked
  • No plugins are required
  • File sharing can be done right from a local desktop
  • File sync can be controlled by end user to disable if needed
  • Multiple files can now be uploaded at once
  • Comments can be included right inline when reviewing documents
  • Files can be uploaded via drag and drop
  • On the cloud, storage size has been increased to 1 terabyte
  • Integration in Office is deeper, a Connections toolbar is available to share, lock, check in/out, etc

Connections 5.0 CR2 will be released in Q1 2015

  • External user support in CCM
  • File thumbnail view in CCM
  • File viewing in CCM
  • Mac file sync plug-in for on-premises

We also got a sneak peak at a few upcoming features.

  • Files will support nested folders
  • End users can customize their own profiles to focus on what matters, e.g. pin communities
  • Additional richer layouts will be added

Again, the focus on usability is huge and makes Connections a great digital experience on any channel.  These innovations are largely driven by input from Connections users.   If you have thoughts or suggestions, use the Ideation blog on Greenhouse to contribute ideas.

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Technical Director, Portal

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