Category Archives: Events

Any Organization, Any Industry – The Vegas Casino Story

Every industry has it’s own unique issues within their collaboration story. And the story doesn’t end when your organization buys an enterprise collaboration platform like IBM Connections.

Why? Because, no doubt, you use many tools in your work day to organize and share data, keep track of clients and leads, manage issues or a git repository, etc. Think about it – all these tools to get things done and collaborate with data, processes, and people in your organization, and all of it in different systems that don’t talk with each other. Collaboration? Hmm – more like two steps forward, one step backward given all those silo’d systems!

Maybe you have a fragmented email culture as well – which creates churn, politics, and other linear work models and inefficiencies. Perhaps all your silo’d tools prevent cross-enterprise engagement and lead to miscommunications and confusions?

IBM Connections “Integrated” by AppFusions – a platform to bring all your systems together in unlimited contextual communities – is the solution to your problems.  It’s time to stop wasting time, bouncing all over the place! It’s time to work smarter and faster, drive attention to key content in context, and reduce data and process duplication efforts. It’s time to streamline your workflow. Finally, a collaboration solution that “just works” – 24/7 for you.

In the spirit of this month’s IBM InterConnect in Las Vegas (see you there!), let’s think about IBM Connections “Integrated” – in a real-life scenario … Meet Vincent, a Las Vegas native.

Photo: www.westgatedestinations.com
Photo: www.westgatedestinations.com

Hello, I am Vincent.

I run a large Vegas casino hotel with high rotating traffic, which results in a very high volume of documentation – from employee data to guest information to incident reporting to housekeeping management records… yeah, it’s A LOT.

For years, given the diversity of our workforce, data was tracked via our central Facilities office that doubled as HR. They use a number of systems to get their job done. Over time, however, Facilities began to balk at the enormous amount of documentation, the many incident and record tracking systems, and the different levels of expertise required for HR.

HR was spun-out as a separate department, but we decided to move all our data records into Dropbox, categorized by different types. We also deployed JIRA ServiceDesk for incident tracking, and records associated with incidents were attached to the logged incidents. This helped a great deal, but still, it’s a never ending chase.

The HR spin-out was a good thing, but it brought to light other issues, of lacking real-time community communications, relationship development, and ongoing collaboration. While the data tracking and records issues were solved partly, we ended up with more systems and no central place for the many types of communities the casino needed (internally and externally)…

Enter IBM Connections integrated with Dropbox and JIRA ServiceDesk. We are thrilled with the new system since now everyone is looking at other ways to improve our work processes via integrations into the IBM Connections system. The good thing is everyone is aligned, in one home – the silo’d system is gone.  

The journey is just beginning – we hope to also build communities within Connections for our external customers that are regulars. By connecting with those customers closer, we can grow our relationships and they will come back more often. We are also excited about the IBM Connections integration with Salesforce – it’s about time we had access to our CRM within our HR and Account Management communities!

Thanks for reading! Vincent’s Vegas casino story is one of hundreds … unsure how your industry or organization would benefit from IBM Connections “Integrated?” Contact us at info@appfusions.com, and we’ll help you connect the dots!

Related links:

Again, if you like what you find here, please join the conversation through our comment fields!

Rock on,

The AppFusions team

Post by Rosalie Plofchan, Marketing Manager of AppFusions

Bringing the team together at IBM Connect 2017 in San Francisco!

Last week, the AppFusions team met in the city by the bay for the annual IBM Connect 2017 conference at Moscone West in San Francisco. Our diverse team came together from the Rocky Mountains, East Coast, SF Bay area, and the UK to meet with IBMers, partners, and our wonderful customers to discuss our latest integrations into IBM Connections.

What a trip! It was a promising, memorable, and inspiring experience on so many levels. We were proud to be a Silver Sponsor of the event this year.

"There's always one unruly student in the back!" ... Some of the team at the EXPO
“There’s always one unruly student in the back!” … Some of the team at the EXPO (where’s Handly, Ross, Justin, Colin?)

Thank you, thank you IBM for your support and for an exciting opportunity forward; the game has only just begun! And thank you to everyone who stopped by our EXPO booth or came to listen to our team’s break-out sessions.  There was great energy from all who came to meet us at the booth – we love that our solutions really do address the work issues that frustrate our customers. Let’s work smarter together!

We laughed...
We laughed…
IMG_7838
AppFusions booth at the bustling EXPO – great to walk around to learn about new innovations by other IBM partners too!

Some highlights from the week include:

  • Learning more about the plans for IBM Connections Pink! Looks like the demand for integrations is key to the strategy :) Love that!Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 12.13.15 PM

    Presenting IBM Connections "Pink" Extensibility Vision
    IBM’s Baan Slavens and Jason Gary speak on the future of IBM Connections on #PinkWednesday
  • Talking to our customers, gaining new leads and a many new requests for integrations into IBM Connections Cloud and On-prem. Demand for our Salesforce, Atlassian JIRA and Confluence, and SharePoint Online/Server integrations was especially HOT. Yay :)
  • Watching AppFusions Senior Architect David Simpson demo Watson IOT, Speech, Cognitive, Node-RED, and Alexa in IBM Connections – cool! The integrated future of connections is finally inevitable in so many ways.

    Go David! Go AppFusions! Go Cognitive Integrations!
    Go David! Go AppFusions! Go Integrations!
  • An absolutely brilliant evening out at the SF Exploratorium with the conference attendees for an evening of great food including sushi, rockin’ band and more laughs..
  • The amazing opening and closing keynote speakers!
    Sheena Iyengar gives a captivating speech at the Opening General Session on how cognitive technology can help us make choices
    Sheena Iyengar gives a captivating speech at the Opening General Session on how cognitive technology can help us make choices

    Closing General Ceremony speaker Eric Whitacre conducts "Deep Field" ... "Art tells us who we are. #Technology tells us who we want to be." -Eric Whitacre
    Closing General Ceremony speaker Eric Whitacre conducts “Deep Field” … “Art tells us who we are. #Technology tells us who we want to be.” -Eric Whitacre

Overall, the week has been deemed a success, with customers on our backs following up with us already, and it’s only Tuesday!

Again, thanks for a great opportunity to network with customers and partners and get the team together. We’re excited for what 2017 will bring and look forward to next month’s IBM InterConnect… see you in Vegas, baby!

Again, if you like what you find here, please join the conversation through our comment fields.

Gratefully,

The AppFusions team!

 

AppFusions is proud to be part of 4th Annual SF Future Graduates Summer Tech Internships Program

SFciti_SFPD_FutureGrads_KickoffYesterday (June 3, 2015), San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr and sf.citi Chairman Ron Conway announced the 4th annual Future Graduates summer tech internships program, a partnership between the San Francisco Police Foundation and San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation (sf.citi).

The Future Graduates program enhances youth access to 21st Century work experience, placing local high school students in paid summer internships at innovative, San Francisco-based technology companies. – Read the full Press Release here.

AppFusions is proud to host 8 of the future graduates this summer, to make up our “AppFusions’ Future Grads Leadership Camp“. During the camp, we will be facilitating, encouraging, training, and empowering the future grads in many typical tasks found in a startup.

They will work with us on numerous efforts, learning and performing tasks such as product testing, product management reviews and inputs, marketing collateral development (printed / PDF briefs), demo video development, CRM enhancements and analysis, code analysis and reviews, and possibly other contributions depending on skills.

While we will provide positive guidance, tools and objectives, a big part of our program is about them developing their skills independently over the summer, while growing confidence through tangible results. We expect each of the future grads to come away from the program with solid skills for their “evolving resume” in life, and who knows, maybe we will hire them in the future too one day.

Read more (and watch video) about the program at KTVU’s story segment on the Future Graduates program. Also some Facebook photos.

==thankYou

Our sincere thanks goes out to SFciti.org, the SF Police Department, Chief Suhr, and the future grads that will be working with us on this shared opportunity.

While perhaps this is an opportunity for the future grads, honestly, AppFusions sees this as an incredible opportunity for our corporation as well, and super excited for the summer journey together!

 

 

AppFusions is excited for IBM ConnectED 2015 – Orlando

440x220_2z_11-12For our fourth consecutive year at this IBM social business conference, AppFusions is pleased to be digging in deeper as a Silver Sponsor, further cementing our belief in connected systems and reduced silos given the social business/collaboration movement sweeping enterprises across the world.

9 of us from the AppFusions team will be attending the IBM ConnectED 2015 conference in Orlando, on January 25th-28th. We can’t wait to share our new and updated product releases with customers and IBMers alike.

IBMConnectED2015_AppFusionsThis year, we’ll be demo’ing both new and updated packaged integrations for IBM Connections V5 and Sametime V9. You can find us at Booth S4.

Cloud File Management Integrations with IBM Connections

Video here – yet development continues too! :) 

These integrations allow you to seamlessly authenticate, access, preview, download, upload, display all your cloud files, directly from within IBM Connections.

IBM-Integrations-Graphic-Connections-Wordpress-AtlassianWordPress with IBM Connections

Video here – yet development continues too! :) 

  • WordPress in IBM Connections V5 Extended!

This integration allows you to post your WordPress blogs directly to your IBM Connections community. Further, activity streams are logged, and IBM Connections business cards are displayed for the WordPress authors.

Atlassian Integrations with IBM Connections

Video here – yet development continues too! :) 

  • Immersive for Atlassian JIRA, in IBM Connections V5 Extended!
  • Immersive for Atlassian Confluence, in IBM Connections V5 • Extended!
  • Immersive for Atlassian Stash, in IBM Connections V5 • New!
  • Immersive for Atlassian Bamboo, in IBM Connections V5 • New!

These integrations bring your Atlassian systems into IBM Connections. All from within IBM Connections, you have powerful advanced search capabilities into all the different Atlassian applications, native IBM business cards in Atlassian applications, you can create a JIRA issue directly or share it, access and interact with Atlassian applications’ live activity streams, and more. AppFusions have been developing these integrations since 2013.

Atlassian Integrations with IBM Sametime

  • IBM Sametime V9 in Atlassian JIRA • Updated!
  • IBM Sametime V9 in Atlassian Confluence • Updated!
  • IBM Sametime V9 in Atlassian Stash • Updated!
  • IBM Sametime V9 in Atlassian Bamboo • Updated!
  • IBM Sametime V9 in Atlassian FishEye • Updated!

These integrations allow you to run rich IBM Sametime chat sessions, with context, from inside your Atlassian systems. These integrations have been supported since 2012.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AppFusions will have two demo pods, so we hope you will stop by to check these out and/or to discuss with us your use cases or other possibilities for IBM Connections integrations.

Note: All AppFusions’ integrations are for sale as packaged supported solutions. As you grow and evolve, as well as your systems, so also do your AppFusions’ integrations. We’re right there with you on your integrated social business/collaboration journey.


GoldenGateBridgeSmallAppFusions senior integrations experts build supported use-case driven integrations between some of the most popular collaboration tools in the industry. Our integrations are not just web-links. AppFusions’ solutions bridge systems with enhanced user experiences so you can work faster and better.

With over 50 packaged integrations, and counting, AppFusions solutions quickly solve common yet tough pain point integration challenges by bridging together Atlassian Software, IBM Connections and Sametime, Jive software, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Egnyte, Alfresco, Microsoft OneDrive, Yammer and Parature, Lingotek (translations), single sign-on solutions (SAML2, Kerberos, OAuth2), UserVoice, and more.

Announcing Social Business Open Standards Workshop, Organized by OpenSocial Foundation and W3C, and Hosted by AppFusions

SAN FRANCISCO, June 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The W3C and OpenSocial Foundation will be conducting a Workshop on Social Standards: The Future of Business on August 7-8, 2013 in San Francisco, CA.

The event, sponsored by IBM and hosted by AppFusions, is designed to bring together social business and platform technology development experts to discuss new strategies for standardizing technologies in support of the burgeoning adoption of social business tools. The workshop will be at Casa de la Vista on Treasure Island.

The lack of adequate standards makes it difficult to create platform bridging or application integration software that comprehensively serves mainstream social business needs of both users and organizations. The workshop will address the growing demand for interoperable social standards to solve mixed-technology challenges caused by today’s fragmented specification and technology landscape.

Workshop discussion topics include:

  • Key use cases and requirements driving social business
  • Technologies that can be standardized to solve the problems facing social business
  • Overall architecture of social business interoperability needs
  • The difference between standards inside the enterprise and across enterprises
  • Organic approaches that are evolving without standardization, such as user engagement and custom integration designs
  • Next steps for evolved social specifications, ranging from OpenSocial to the Federated Social Web

The Workshop event is free to attend, and open to social business leaders and strategists, federated and decentralized social Web technologists, security experts and developers. To register either as an attendee or as a presenter, visit the Workshop information site for instructions.

==

“For a long time, the W3C has thought that social standards need to be a first-class citizen on the Web. By partnering with the OpenSocial Foundation, we will lay the groundwork for this next step in the evolution of the Web, at our joint workshop in August,” said Harry Halpin, a W3C team member. “We expect that social standards will eventually have as huge an impact as HTML5 has had, both across the enterprise and for users.”

“There is a tremendous need for a standardized component model for delivery of cloud applications into the enterprise, and across many platforms. OpenSocial is the only community-led initiative working in this space to define a standard,” said Mark Weitzel, President of the OpenSocial Foundation. “In working with the W3C, we believe that we can accomplish more and reach a broader audience of developers to proliferate and optimize solutions across enterprises. We are excited to progress our objectives with these upcoming discussions in San Francisco.”

Boeing, Cisco, Dachis Group, Ford, Google, IBM, Jive Software, MIT, Mozilla, Oracle, SAP, SugarCRM, Salesforce, Telecom Italia, Tibco, UCF, W3C and many other industry leaders and social business platform corporations are anticipated at the workshop. Learn more here.

About AppFusions

AppFusions is a leader in packaged platform-to-platform integration solutions bridging information silos, and streamlining enterprise process and data redundancies. As early development adopters, AppFusions is already deploying OpenSocial-compliant integrations with Jive Software or IBM Connections on one side, and Atlassian JIRA,ConfluenceStashFishEyeCrucible, and/or Bamboo on the other side.

Overall, the company’s achievements include packaged solutions with Atlassian JIRA, Confluence, Crowd, IBM Connections, IBM Sametime, Jive, BoxDropboxGoogle DriveAlfrescoGoogle AnalyticsLingoTekUserVoice,ParatureiRise, and more. AppFusions’ customers include Fortune 10s to SMBs. Learn more athttp://appfusions.com.

Names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For Media & Business Inquiries:
Jill Schmidt
SS|PR
847-415-9311

Complete Listing of IBM Connect 2013 Notes

Here is the complete listing of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. I was very pleased to be back again after the last two years thanks to IBM’s support. Here are my notes from 2011 and 2012 and Ellen’s preview post, AppFusions is Fired Up for IBM Connect 2013 – Bring.It.On.AGAIN.

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Opening Session

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Monday Morning Press Q&A

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Four Major Trends Shaping Social Business in 2013

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Creating a Smarter Workforce – Panel

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Tuesday Opening Session

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Reinventing the Inbox – Ed Brill

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Wednesday Opening Session

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Getting Social in the Cloud – Rebecca Bulsan

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Social Business Goes to School

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Innovation Lab

Here also are several recent posts on IBM that have appeared on this blog.

Social Business – What Works and How: Highlights of IBM 2012 Social Technologies Study

IBM Connections 4.0 Expands Its Social, Integration, and Analytic Capabilities

 

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Innovation Lab

This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. here are my notes from 2011 and 2012. These notes cover the Innovation Lab Tour showing work by IBM Research.  There were a number of interesting applications in varying states of development from proof of concepts to working apps in pilot with active users. I have cover the wrk of IBM Research in Cambridge for some time and was pleased to see what they are up to now (see for example, IBM’s Social Software Initiatives: Part Three – Internal Applications and More IBM Research on Enterprise 2.0 – Activities and Other Tools).  I looked at the following on this tour

Best Fit Expertise – with Dan Gruen

It helps find matches for expertise requirements by refining the request. There is a tree diagram that asks clarifying questions as you enter information. Such questions as availability, recent experience with required task or company are examples. Once the questions are made final, candidates get ranked and other factors are applied. You can also track requests to see where requests are coming from and what types of requests are being made to anticipate growing needs. Dan said that the model within it is being used as a framework for the related applications in the expertise area on display in the lab including the Social Media-based Expertise Locator and the Expediting Expertise discussed below.

It was great to see Dan again. I wrote about his work in 2005 and said the following. Dan Gruen presented Unified Activity Management. It looks at work from an activity perspective and lets you chart business process (e.g. responding to an RFP) and associated best practices. You drag in documented sub-steps from other processes to improve your process. You can find work process related documents and people. I wish we had this application in 1993 when we created the insurance underwriting KM system that was very process-centric. A key concept in Unified Activity Management is that you do not have document processes as a separate activity. The application records the process in the context of supporting it. Then you can access this recorded process and mix and match past processes to create new ones. This was the illusive goal of some of our early KM efforts. Just do it and the system will document the useful stuff without you having to do the extra work that often interfered with documentation. Kudos to Dan.”

Social Media-based Expertise Locator – Uri Avarham

You can use the Social Media-based Expertise Locator to find experts on any topic base don social media data such as: tags, communities, wikis, blogs, forums, bookmarks, etc. Then you can view evidence to learn what makes them an expert in the field. Next you can find out how to connect with the expert. You can also find people similar to the given expert. It was developed by the IBM Research Group in Haifa. Here is a screen shot on how it works.

Here is a pop-up on an individual.

Expediting Expertise – Jie Lu

This tool combines analytics and social software to concretely measure the user’s current expertise level for a given topic. Then it can facilitate improvement with learning recommendations. It allows you to rapidly identify and grow expertise within the organization. Here are two screen shots to show you how it looks. First there is your score.

Then there are recommendations for how to improve your score.

Social Knowledge Management – Hiro Takagi

This tool uses information sources to uncover knowledge assets. Then employees can “like,” “mention,” and/or share their discoveries. People can also post requests for documents on certain topics and others can find them. Then the documents get placed into Connections for greater accessibility and further enhancements.  It employs “cardification” by which a report card is created for each document where it can be rated and ranked. It will get elevated in Connections if people find it valuable. To get started the tool uses gamification to help useful documents go viral. Here is an image on how it works.

Work Marketplace – Steve Dill

This tool allows people to post work assignments and have others bid on doing them. This work exchange allows request to be shared within a community or across and organization. Colleagues can select, bid, or compete for work. It is especially useful for people between projects. After a project is completed the person’s participation is evaluated. A digital reputation can be earned based on the work performed. Teams can self-organize to bid on projects.

IBMers Who Tweet – Casey Dugan

This tool first takes input from employees on possible IBMers who are tweeting. They look at anyone how mentions IBM in their twitter profile or in other ways. Then possible matches are found in IBM Connections profiles. Matches are contacted to verify accuracy and asked if they want to be included in the directory that gets analyzed. No one is required to participate. Over 500 IBMers have helped classify 7,000 Twitter accounts. Then the Twitter activity is made visible and analytics are applied including sentiment analysis and topic identification augmented by demographics and interactive data visualization. Below is a sample screen shot.

IBM Social Business Clinic

Kate Ehlich provided a demonstration of a survey that IBM is offering their clients on how effective their current social business is functioning. Below is a sample set of results. You can compare the results you gave your company (red) with the global averages (green) and those for your industry sector (gray).

 

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Social Business Goes to School

This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. Here are my notes from 2011 and 2012. These notes cover the session: Social Business Goes to School: Leaders in Academia Share Insights with Michael Brito, SVP Social Business Planning, Edelman & Adjunct Professor SJSU; UC Berkeley; Peter Cardon, Associate Professor, Marshall School of Business University of Southern California; and Simon Vaughan, Deputy IT Director, IS, Cardiff University, UK.  Here are their Twitter handles: @SimplyS1mon, @petercardon, and @Britopian.

Michael Brito opened the session. He works for Edelman and teaches at several universities. Peter is a management communication professor at USC. They traditionally cover things like live presentations, writing, etc. Now they also cover social media. Simon is the IT Director at his institution.

Michael asked Peter why social media is not covered in many business schools. Peter said that in the past they taught one-to-many and one-to-one communication. Now they need to cover the many-to-many communication that social media brings. Many business schools only think of Web tools like Facebook and do not see the broader range of social media.

Simon added that schools assume that if they are using Twitter and Facebook they know social media. This is far from the case as there are so many uses of social media. You need to define social media and social business and be aware of all the possibilities.

Michael asked about using social media for learning, not just as a course subject. Peter said he has known for some time that collaborative learning is more effective. He tends to use public social media to support his classes. Peter just published a book, Business Communication: Developing Leaders for a Networked World.

Michael said he decided to get into teaching as he found that many people did not understand social business. He asked Simon to talk about barriers to adoption. Simon said there are both more formal uses connected to teaching and also informal communication across courses. You need to make sure the tools are being used for their proper purposes and enhance the learning experience. You need to get the faculty to consistently use social media in their classes so the students receive the same support across courses.

Simon said that gamification can help reward participation. They are using it at his university and it has helped. Michael said that he also incorporates gamification tools in his classes.  Some tools require coaching such as blogs and wikis, even for digital natives.  Students do not like to have to use multiple platforms. Michael also has a recent book, Smart Business, Social Business: A Playbook for Social Media in Your Organization. Peter said that last summer he tried a home-grown collaboration tool and it was challenging.

Simon said there is a real need to set up communities of practice around such topics as a green project or some other popular topic.  Their new COO is very much into social media. He is setting a good example. People also go into the tools to see what he is saying. Peter and Michael see differences in the way different types of students use the tools. Older students see the benefit of the tools more easily. The younger ones are more likely to use IM and form Facebook groups. Simon talked about the use of massive online courses that are becoming popular as a teaching channel.

Michael said the social business is seen in several places: business, IT, communication and asked what departments it should be in schools. Simon said it should be in all three of them and more. These tools are so important that they will be needed in many ways. Peter agreed and said you should compare it to where you teach writing. It should be everywhere. The slant will differ in each. Simon talked about social mentoring. Alumni can share experiences. Businesses can connect with students.

It was asked by an audience member how can they leverage their established online communication and learning track and introduce social elements?

Simon said if you can inject alerts from established apps into an activity tool you can get conversations started that will allow people to see the benefits of social tools. He added that students in the same course could collaborate better. They could ask students who already took the course, what it was like before they decide to take it or how best to benefit from it.  Simon said another benefit is accessing the social tools from mobile devices that all students carry all the time. It will be very beneficial if you can bring in mobile. I have seen this in a number of schools.

It was asked if professors are collaborating on research through social media.

Peter said that the internal social tools are useful in certain areas by staff. However, among professors they see little use. In most US institutions there is a lot of hierarchy and this slows down use. Simon said that you can lose control of content once it gets into public spaces. People are looking for more secure platforms for collaboration from trusted partners.

It was asked if the use of social tools raises performance.

Peter said yes. Students get to know each other and they more together more easily. He added that the level of higher order thinking has risen. It was ironic that once his school banned Facebook, students started to be late to class because they were doing Facebook before class, instead of while waiting for the professor to begin.

It was asked how students collaborate in online classes vs. in-person classes.

Simon said that the physical meeting is a necessary foundation to establish connection that can be carried over to virtual collaboration.  I would certainly agree.

 

 

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Getting Social in the Cloud – Rebecca Bulsan

This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. I am very pleased to be back again after the last two years thanks to IBM’s support. Here is a summary of my notes for 2012 and 2011. These notes cover the Monday Press Session: Getting Social in the Cloud with Rebecca Buisan, Director of Product Management, IBM.

Rebecca began by saying that IBM’s large cloud presence is a well-kept secret. Forrester recently named IBM as number 1 in cloud collaboration, messaging, social, and file sharing. In the past year IBM’s cloud solutions grew by 80%. They have Saas, PaaS, and IaaS offerings. Kenexa is a cloud platform. All of this makes IBM one of the top ten cloud providers in terms of number of solutions (60) and customers. They are continuing to develop a portfolio of products and services.

There are many considerations to the cloud, including cost savings. It is as much a new business model as a technology that enables this business model. The main difference between a private cloud and on-premise apps is the business model of rent vs. own. It is very flexible as you can rent or own the hardware as well as the software.

IBM is developing many apps in a multi-tenant model. IBM Docs was developed a cloud app first. I discussed it in my notes on Ed Brill’s session. Eventually everything will be in some form of the cloud and this is why IBM has invested so heavily in it.

IBM can provide pre-built cloud based environments so deployments can happen almost instantly. It is committed to standards like OpenSocial. I have covered Open Social before on this blog (see OpenSocial Provides Standards to Help Put Social Software to Work). Wikipedia defines the OpenSocial Platform as a “public specification that defines a component hosting environment (container) and a set of common application programming interfaces (APIs) for web-based applications.” This effort is designed to give social tools the ability to work together, a wise move.

I also spoke earlier with IBM’s Suzanne Livingston, Senior Product Manager for Connections. She said that the common underlying theme in the recent moves for Connections is the movement from providing a suite of applications to having Connections becoming a comprehensive social business platform with tighter integration. One of the enablers of this tighter integration is the use of Connections with OpenSocial.

IBM recently did a study on the cloud and found that organizations – both big and small, across geographies and in virtually every industry – are embracing cloud as a way to reduce the complexity and costs associated with traditional IT approaches. Almost three-fourths of the leaders in their survey indicated their companies had piloted, adopted or substantially implemented cloud in their organizations – and 90 percent expect to have done so in three years. And the number of respondents whose companies have substantially implemented cloud is expected to grow from 13 percent today to 41 percent in three years.

IBM is also tying the cloud to mobile. The cloud and mobile can be very co-dependent.  This connection has an impact on user experience design. High expectations are set for mobile apps by those on the consumer web.

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Weds Opening Session – AppThrowdown and Jane McGonigal (@avantgame)

 Updated Feb 2, 2013: Added full video of this session at the end of this post – enjoy, especially the rockstars – at the beginning and throughout! :)

(@jonathancoulton ‘s Code Monkey playback, the demos, and @avantgame ‘s VERY inspiring and insightful “gaming” talk are a “Don’t Miss” – see video below!)


This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. Here are my notes from 2011 and 2012I am very pleased to be back again after the last two years.  Kevin Cavanaugh, VP Strategy, Social Business and Nigel Beck, VP Business Development led the opening session.

Jonathan Coulton played a rockin’ session of “Code Monkey” to get us awake after last’s night events. (IBMConnect live play at bottom of post!)

Nigel said there will be five demos from IBM partners. These firms just did the work without having to talk to IBM. You can just go to the IBM site and get started.

There were 27 initial entries into the AppThrowdown. From those, 14 challengers presented at Monday’s throwdown sessions. Of those, five were voted in, to do a repeat performance at today’s Keynote event.

SugarCRMThe first demo was from SugarCRM. It provides CRM solutions. Clint Oram CTO and Co-Founder did the demo. Kevin mentioned that Clint has read every Stars Wars book.

SugarCRM is the currently fastest growing CRM app. It can turn every employee into a salesperson. Sugar CRM links to IBM Connections to use its capabilities to help with collaboration around sales. Activity streams, and OpenSocial embedded experiences support remote management of SugarCRM transactions, directly from IBM Connections, providing users with the easy and convenience of progressing the lead transaction right from within Connections. Or, Connections mobile!

WrikeAndrew Filev from Wrike did the next demo. Wrike does social project management. Wrike integrates with IBM Connections to become more social. I have covered them before (see for example Wrike Takes Project Management Mobile). Emails can be integrated into Wrike and Connections to become social objects with version control. So the team can become more efficient.

You can reach out to team members and assign tasks. Wrike is mobile enabled to extend its reach. The tasks get pushed into the activity stream in Connections to better monitor progress. Wrike is very scalable. One client has over 2,000 tasks on a project. You can look at resource availability to help fill the team.

Colin Goudie and David Simpson, Senior Developers at AppFusions led the next demo. Being part of the AppFusions team, I was very pleased to see this portion. AppFusions builds packaged software integrations that bring enterprise systems together.

AppFusionsColin and David showed integrations between Atlassian JIRA and IBM Connections. It uses OpenSocial gadgets, OAuth2 support for seamless interactions, real-time live-link activity streams, and embedded experiences. This integration is especially great in bridging the gap between business personnel and engineering/product management in a corporation.

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With the Immersive for Atlassian JIRA, for IBM Connections, ANY user of IBM Connections can quickly log JIRA tickets from any part of the company, whether they have a JIRA account or not! (AppFusions also has integrations with Confluence and Stash, with IBM Connections – which they did not have time to demo!) These integrations are also supported by IBM Connections mobile, so you can also interact with JIRA, Confluence, etc. from your mobile device.

Next Colin and David showed a quick demo of IBM SameTime integrated with JIRA (issue tracker), Bamboo (continuous integration server), Fisheye (SVN source code manager), Stash (git repository manager), and Confluence (enterprise wiki). Directly from the Atlassian applications, Sametime presence is live for any user, any place a users name is shown. By right-clicking, users can launch a basic chat or even video chat, if your Sametime subscription supports this.

TrilogJohn Tripp from Trilog did the next demo. He is also an opera singer. He showed a demo integrating their project management app and Connections. You can start in Connections and go to their project app. You can use the Connections activity stream and have your project work get aggregated into a Connections community.

He showed a social gantt chart.  The work in their app appears in Connections to make use of its capabilities. You can update status in Connections and it will appear in their project app.

Russ Fradin from Dynamic Signal was next up. He does marathons. The tool does social CRM. He said that your employees can be your greatest advocates with Dynamic Signal. Their solution can manage the whole process giving employees some freedom and the company some level of control to strike a balance.

Dynamic SignalActivities in Dynamic Signal appear in the Connections activity stream. The company can present messages that it would like its employees to share on their Twitter and Facebook pages and other means. Employees can earn points for this activity. Others can see this and also share it.  Employees can share content that their company wants shared and get rewarded for it.

Kevin said there is an open app dev challenge coming up with $5,000 in prizes and there is another contest with same prize money. These are in OpenNTF.org. Jane McGonigal next spoke. Her recent book is, Reality is Broken, and it covers her topic in more depth. She said there are 1 billion gamers in the world who spend over an hour a day gaming online. She said this is good news. Over three hundred million minutes are spent each day on Angry Birds. The average Call of Duty player spends a work month a year playing. Many players called in sick when a new release came out.

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the WorldIn contrast 71% of workers are not engaged in their work. This costs companies 300 million annually as well as lack of innovation. Gaming can be used to get the right engagement. The engagement economy is about unlocking the energy put into gaming. For example 100 million hours went into Wikipedia. This is only 7 days of the time spent on Call to Duty playing. If you can put this time to work on world problems or company challenges much can be done.  You want mass participation. Girls are catching up to boys in gaming hours and 92% of two year olds are playing games on their parents’ devices.

She showed ten positive emotions that people get from gaming. They are in order: creativity, contentment, awe and wonder, excitement, curiosity, pride, surprise, love, relief, and joy. These positive emotions have a great impact on how we solve problems. These positive emotions can overcome stress. There is science backing this up. She has a site – show me the science – to give access to the studies. For example, children who play games score higher on tests of creativity.

Gamers spend 80% of their time failing but they are willing to hang in there to succeed. Studies show that ADHD symptoms seen to disappear when people are gaming. Also cooperation is enhanced through collaborative gamers. Gamers with autism show higher social awareness when doing multi-player gamers. Gamers can outperform drugs on the treatment of depression. Games make us resilient and more likely to get going until you succeed.  She showed some great pictures of gamers in action and focused on their tasks.

She said that the opposite of play is not work but depression. If you can put play into work people will perform much better. She showed brain images of active gamers vs those watching them. The active players have much more active brain images.  This is especially true for the area, hippocampus, where new learning takes place. These changes are lasting.

One project turned to the game, Farmville, to transfer the participation in an actual city garden. They got a 400% increase in participation. I certainly agree that making work into play gets better results. People doing their passions do not retire. When I was developing training programs for businesses in the 80s, including IBM, I always tried to introduce a game aspect with simulation. This could occur in a computer-based game or a classroom situation.  It shortened the required training time and increased perform at the end of the experience and then again on the job.  This was especially true if you could bring the learning tools back to job to help with the work.


 Updated Feb 2, 2013: Added full video of this session below – enjoy, especially the rockstars – at the beginning and throughout! :)

Watch live streaming video from ibmsoftware at livestream.com