Category Archives: Technologies

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

Why IBM Connections + “Pink” + AppSpokes are perfect for each other

One of the biggest stories at last week’s IBM Connect is IBM Connections Pink. According to its creator at IBM, Pink is not an IBM Connections’ release, but a vision.

There were several sessions on Pink. I went to one led by CTO and Director of IBM Collaborations Solutions Software Development, Jason Gary, and another by Pink’s lead architect and developer, Andre Hagemeier.

Here is why I think Pink and AppSpokes are made for each other. (AppSpokes in AppFusions’ growing family of deep integration solutions for IBM Connections cloud and on-premise systems – PDF brief here).

First of all both emphasize an exceptional user experience as the #1 objective.

People are at the heart of the digital workplace – past, current and future.

IBM Connections “Pink” promises to provide a customizable UI for IBM Connections using “Muse” (another technology built for IBM Connections) for customer experiences, which allows for tenant-specific javascript code to be injected into IBM Connections. UI customization can be added to the App Registry, a central repository for all types of IBM Connections’ platform extensions (including IBM Verse extensions).

AppSpokes’ extensibility solutions, by AppFusions, also have been created with an end-to-end emphasis of the user experience in mind. Though the AppFusions’ team are firm believers of the API economy, we are also pragmatic.

AppFusions’ CEO, Ellen Feaheny, said it very simply: “APIs are not enough!” in her IBM Connect 2017 session, “Confront the Madness! All Your Tools and Systems of Record Integrated Natively in IBM Connections“. AppSpokes integrations provide a natively integrated user experience – and all the underlying integration “connectivity” technology – so everything “Just works!” in cloud or on-premise IBM Connections environments.

IBMConnectionsIntegrated


Second, both the Pink and AppSpokes teams realize that HOW YOU BUILD software is at least as important as WHAT YOU BUILD.
IBMConnectionsPinkTechnologiesAgain, AppSpokes is aligned with Pink: rapid agile development, open source technology, micro-service based architecture, multi-tenant services, single code base for cloud and on-premise environments, and containerized deployments are just a few examples of our shared vision and practices.

If you listened to the Pink sessions and the AppFusions’ sessions at IBM Connect 2017, you will agree that the people behind the visions and the work efforts too are risk-takers that are leading the tribes (as Seth Godin so poignantly describes!)


Last but not least, both Pink and AppSpokes are ultimately about strategy. That is, the customer platform experience strategy, not just IBM’s or AppFusions’ strategy.

PinkHow
Strategy – people first. Build the HOW with the WHO.

Both believe extensibility is a core part of a lasting strategy for digital collaboration in the enterprises. Both embrace open ecosystems with partners in mind.


IBMConnectionsPinkAtAglance
It’s a foundational strategy with “the people’s experience” at the heart.

With the motto of “Everything is an API”, Pink will allow both “Integrate In” and “Integrate Out” between your external applications and your enterprise social network.

The goal of AppSpokes is to power your IBM Connections environment, enabling powerful enterprise collaboration desktop with ready solutions, packaged yet extensible for easy deployments and enablement,UI-rich integrations, SSO, and capabilities through community and profile apps, activity streams, embedded experiences, menu items, macros and much more in IBM Connections (and soon IBM Verse).

AppSpokes implements “integrate in and out” designs – bringing your external applications inside IBM Connections so you can work from one platform, with unlimited contextual communities. For example, in the JIRA in IBM Connections integration, not only can you create, comment, and transition a JIRA issue in-context within your IBM Connections community, you can also link back to IBM Connections from your JIRA issue or task, among other.


At the closing session of IBM Connect 2017, composer Eric Whitacre showed us how the collaboration of thousands of singers across the globe can create the most beautiful music that lifts our spirit, touches our heart, and changes our view.

Like that! Let’s apply that viral tribe building joyful notion to IBM Connections’ extensibility, growth, and delight!

IBM Connect was a fabulous conference – the beginning of a new era – this year. The AppFusions’ team greatly looks forward to our continued work with the IBM Connections’ team, IBM partners, and of course and NOT least: IBM customers, to bring the richest and best experiences – IBM Connections (Pink) “Integrated” – to you!

EricWhitacre
Eric Whitacre conducting his virtual choir – a bold, unique, and beautiful “tribe” that he and his team created.

 

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!

 

Social Connections 8, AppSpokes, Atlassian Confluence in IBM Connections

Last week, 4 of us from the AppFusions team traveled to Boston to participate in the IBM Connections user group called Social Connections 8.

Here’s a “storify” slideshow that captures some of the essence, as well as this quote by Simon Vaughan:

It was a great conference that I would highly recommend, if interested in getting up front, close, and personal with “who’s who” in the IBM Connections’ ecosystem. This includes the many folks that work daily to make IBM Connections’ customers successful: IBM developers, PMs, and IBM Collaboration Services’ (ICS) management — they were all there!

In addition, the conference was attended by a passionate group of customer end users and administrators, and dozens of expert consulting implementors from across the globe.

With a packed schedule, it was an exciting two days and we are grateful for attending!

Boston Science Museum Dragon – Gala Reception 4/16/2015

For our part, on Thursday afternoon, AppFusions’ Patrick Li and Ellen Feaheny presented about our new AppSpokes Framework for faster development and deployment of single code-based integration applications for cloud, on-premise, hosted, or hybrid IBM Connections environments. We’ll be sharing more on that soon enough; just getting going with some initial deployments.

Already from the conference, David Simpson, a full-on dragon slayer AppFusions’ developer, was inspired, and quickly integrated the IBM Connections functional header with Atlassian Confluence, bringing a native IBM Connections Cloud feel to Atlassian Confluence.

Here’s some of his results:

ConfluenceInIBMConnections1


David then took it another level and added the header integration into AppFusions’ Immersive for Atlassian Confluence, in IBM Connections, and with a bit of additional theming, he morphed the Confluence theme to mirror the currently applied IBM Connections look and feel/theme.

For example, this:

ConfluenceInIBMConnections


… which looks a whole lot like the default IBM Connections theme, as shown here:

ConfluenceNativeInIBMConnections

Power10Men
Harvard or MIT Crew doing a “Power10” on Charles River – 4/16/2015

AppFusions’ Technical PM and overall great human Danielle Zhu was also with us, and AppFusions’ “Boston-camp”spin-off wouldn’t have been the same without her!

AppFusions left the conference with more knowledge than we arrived with or brought too, which to me means success. Our plate runneth over on great IBM Connections’ integrations plans and fired-up-ness — going to be a great rest of the year! THANKS to the Social Connections planning team!

The “Next” Social Connections event is planned for October, 2015 in Stuttgart! If interested, email info@socialconnections.info.



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.

Webinar – Translating your Documentation into 100+ Languages, Inside Atlassian Confluence

UPDATE – Featuring Voice of the Customer: CA Technologies. A project with 100s of documents in Confluence wiki, translated into 11 languages (i.e., English, Simplified Chinese, Finnish, Russian, Swedish, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Japanese)! 😎

Enterprise Translations Hub for Atlassian ConfluenceUsing Atlassian Confluence to serve up your Product Documentation is one of the wisest strategic moves a CEO, CTO, or Information Developer can make. There are countless advantages: collaborative info development environment, flexible SEO-friendly platform, shared access tools, and now – over 100+ languages to be able to translate to and from.

Please join us for a live demo on Tues, Jan 07, 2014 at 11 am EST, to see Enterprise Translations Hub for Atlassian Confluence in action.

Enterprise Translations Hub for Atlassian Confluence is a joint development and solution by Lingotek – leaders in translation content technologies, and AppFusions – a top-tier Atlassian expert team with over 40 mixed platform integrations to their credit.

Larry Furr, Lingotek’s VP of Product Management, and Ellen Feaheny, Appfusions’ CEO, will show you how to translate your Atlassian Confluence product documentation into multiple languages, all from Atlassian Confluence. No content exporting, importing and translation vendor management – everything is created, translated and published in one place: Atlassian Confluence.

Bring us your hardest Atlassian Confluence and Translation services challenges or questions. We’re ready for them!

Enterprise Translations Hub for Atlassian Confluence

Sibling Tabs User Macro for Atlassian Confluence

The sibling tabs user macro for Confluence gives a simple way to create a horizontal tabbed navigation system between sibling pages in a Confluence space.

Here’s a video demo:

Here’s the code and how to apply it to your Confluence system:

In Confluence Admin | User Macros, create a new user macro and paste in:

Simply add the Sibling Tabs user macro whenever you want horizontal tabs — don’t forget to att the macro to each of the pages 😉

 


The AppFusions team provides tough-problem expert-level product development and consulting servicesOur portfolio of solutions is a prime example of our expertise, aside from much other community involvement. Nonetheless, we are only at the beginning of our journey.

Please reach out any time. We know we can help you – it is our relentless obsession and passion!

Gister for Confluence – Effortlessly embed gists into Atlassian Confluence

Announcing Gister for Confluence, a new Confluence add-on that does just one thing. Effortlessly.

Gist is a simple way to share snippets and pastes with others. All gists are Git repositories, so they are automatically versionedforkable and usable from Git.

Got a gist on Github?

Want to embed it in Confluence?

Paste the gist URL into the Confluence editor and your gist will automatically be embedded using the Gist macro.

 

Here’s how it works:

What does it cost? Nothing at all. Have this one on me.

Get Gister for Confluence for free

Works with Confluence 5.2 and up.

 


The AppFusions team provides tough-problem expert-level product development and consulting servicesOur portfolio of solutions is a prime example of our expertise, aside from much other community involvement. Nonetheless, we are only at the beginning of our journey.

Please reach out any time. We know we can help you – it is our relentless obsession and passion!

Searching Atlassian JIRA from an external website

Following on from a previous post about searching Confluence from an external website, I’ve forked the code to search JIRA instead.

Atlassian JIRAThis very simple PHP code searches a remote JIRA server by querying the JIRA search REST API, the formats the results into a neat list.

Here’s a walk through video demonstration of the code and the resulting web page:

The source code in available on Bitbucket here.

Fork it. Adapt it. Secure it.

Let me know how you’ve used it 😉

 


The AppFusions team provides tough-problem expert-level product development and consulting servicesOur portfolio of solutions is a prime example of our expertise, aside from much other community involvement. Nonetheless, we are only at the beginning of our journey.

Please reach out any time. We know we can help you – it is our relentless obsession and passion!

How to disable the Popular tab on the dashboard page in Atlassian Confluence

Dalai Lama
..sprecken of “popular” .. Dalai Lama

 

The Popular tab on the dashboard of Atlassian Confluence displays:

  • Pages, blog posts and comments that people have recently liked.
  • Pages and blog posts that people have recently commented on, and threaded comments that people have recently replied to.
  • Pages and blog posts that have recently been created.

A fresh installation will display a helpful “Welcome, looks like you’re new here” section – as shown below.

Some companies do not want this functionality and want to know how it can be turned off.

It’s very easy to remove this functionality, as it is based on an add-on module that can simply be disabled.

Here’s how:

  • Browse to Confluence Admin | Atlassian Marketplace | Manage Add-ons
  • Filter for “dash” in “System” add-ons
  • Expand the Dashboard Macros add-on
  • Expand the 14 of 14 modules enabled link
  • Disable the Popular Tab (popular-tab) module

Having stepped through this process, the Popular tab will no longer be displayed. Simple.

 


The AppFusions team provides tough-problem expert-level product development and consulting servicesOur portfolio of solutions is a prime example of our expertise, aside from much other community involvement.

Nonetheless, we are only at the beginning of our journey. Please reach out any time. We know we can help you – it is our relentless obsession and passion!