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Social Connections 11: A New Foundation for Collaboration

The week of Social Connections 2017 was a whirlwind of cool places and even cooler technology. Danielle Zhu, AppFusions’ Senior Product Manager, and myself arrived in Chicago early on Wednesday morning and headed straight to IBM’s Chicago Innovation Center to kick off 3 days of excitement.

Connections Pink Developer Briefing
We then spent the morning at the IBM Connections Pink Developer Briefing, learning about the technologies driving the new IBM Connections 6.0 OrientMe services and the upcoming “Connections Pink” – IBM’s next gen collaboration micro-services architecture.

Pink, among many other value propositions, takes benefit of Docker containers coordinated by Kubernetes orchestration for a highly scalable and robust platform. Services within Connections Pink will run on many smaller containers, which can be spun up and shut down as the workload changes. This allows for dynamic balancing of power to deliver the specific services in use at any given time. If any of the services run into operational or security issues, Kubernetes can easily kill off the related container and spin up a new version.

Heart of Business
After lunch, we headed over to Oblong Industries’s Chicago office to IBM’s Heart of Business event. We joined several other partners and got a chance to present to each other using Oblong’s Mezzanine meeting and collaboration system.

For those who were at IBM Connect 2017 this year likely also saw Oblong on stage during the opening keynote. Developed by the same people who designed the user interfaces seen in the film Minority Report, the room at Oblong contained one wall with a triple set of large monitors that could be used as one super-wide screen or to display multiple slides or other information sources. Another large panel on a second wall provided an additional display, with a third wall set up with a traditional whiteboard with a camera feed for remote user. A motion capture system in the room allowed participants (not just the speaker) to easily move content around and grab captures of the displayed experience, to save to another screen, or even to drop into an application like a file store or a Watson Workspace chat.

Our presentation was an overview of AppFusions’ integrations with IBM Connections. I found it very nice to be able to put up multiple slides and tell a story comparing content across the set. I then was able to easily download a small helper app, connect to Mezzanine from my laptop, and use the huge displays to give a live demo of our Sharepoint and JIRA integrations.

Check out this video to see Mezzanine in action!

Social Connections 11
The main event kicked off on Thursday morning with a keynote from Ed Brill and Luis Guirgay, discussing the next steps for Connections. We also learned from our friends at panagenda, Francie Tanner and Luis Suarez, how to leverage social analytics for better understanding of how your users collaborate and to drive user adoption.

Confront the Madness!
After lunch, Danielle and I were on stage, showing how you can use AppFusions’ integrations with IBM Connections to bring your file sharing, project management content, and ‘getting work done’ applications into a single workspace within IBM Connections communities. We had a fun time showing a live demo of Sharepoint, Office 365, Salesforce, and JIRA. If you want to see for yourself or even trial integrations in your own IBM Connections environment (cloud or on-prem!), contact us at info@appfusions.com and we’ll set you up!

Getting Work Done on an iPad
Following our live demo, I ran to the next room to deliver a quick 15 minute session on how I use my iPad Pro to get work done and automate a lot of tasks. Even though it was a short time, I considered it a success when I got a loud gasp from the audience after showing a workflow I wrote that scanned the QR code from the Social Connections badge, sent a templated email, and set up a follow up reminder, all in a few seconds. I’ll have the session slides and notes up soon with details on how to build your own version!

Speed-sponsoring
The last ‘session’ of the first day was Speedsponsoring, a fun event where everyone is divided into groups and rotates around to see high-energy 3 minute presentations from each vendor. Tony Holder did an awesome job as MC. Our CEO, Ellen Feaheny had been at the DNUG event in Berlin and arrived at Social Connections shortly before we started so we were able to offer chocolate “fresh from Germany”.

Ace Bounce
For the Social Connections Gala that evening, we all headed over to Ace Bounce, which is a bar filled with ping pong tables. Each table had several buckets of balls (and beer!) next to them, so you could play without chasing the many balls that went flying off into the crowd. Nice assistants patrolled around with special nets to pick up the balls and provide you with a never ending supply. Everyone had a great time!

A New Foundation
Our sessions were all done, so we got to spend more time joining other’s presentations and having great discussions with customers, IBMers, and other partners. Throughout both days of the conference, every session I went to was very informative and showed the excitement and energy that is being driven by Connections 6, the Pink architecture, and other efforts like the new app and integration catalog coming to Connections Cloud.

This is certainly a very exciting time to be involved in defining the next generation of collaboration! Please join our conversation in the comments below.

Rock on,

The AppFusions team

Post by Handly Cameron, Marketing Manager of AppFusions

Update – Mixpanel Engagement Analytics for Atlassian Confluence has been charged up

Mixpanel-confluence-Banner
Today we released version 2.6.0 of Mixpanel Engagement Analytics for Atlassian Confluence. Before I describe the update, let’s describe the add-on.

With Mixpanel Engagement Analytics installed on your Atlassian Confluence instance, you can measure all the content creation, edits, views and deletion you want – site-wide and space-wide. It’s a a real powerhouse of an analytics platform which enables you to see what was done where and by whom.

Here’s a quick video demo from a while back:

What’s in the new release?

With newer versions of Confluence, some customers were reporting a performance issue with the way this add-on sent events to Mixpanel. We have markedly improved performance of the analytics with an architectural re-design of the data collection event queue.

Whenever an event we wish to track is triggered, the event is added into an queue to be sent to Mixpanel. A Confluence Job then sends the events over to Mixpanel in batches of 50 (the maximum number which they allow in their API) which so far has met our customers needs.

mixpanel-in-confluence

If you’re using this add-on, please upgrade to the latest version:

Download Mixpanel Engagement Analytics for Atlassian Confluence

New release of Google Analytics for Atlassian Confluence kills off bots and spiders

Yesterday we released version 3.4 of the popular Google Analytics for Atlassian Confluence add-on. While this is the first release to actively support Confluence 5.7, there are some other features I’d like to share.

Automatic filtering of bots and spiders

If you’ve got an externally accessible Confluence instance, then this new feature is for you.

Bots and spiders are essentially automated programs that hit or crawl your site looking for new content, or worse trying to fill your comments up with spam. The most basic bots won’t be able to execute JavaScript on your site, so happily they won’t pollute your Google Analytics reports. Unfortunately more advanced bots and spiders can crawl your site executing the JavaScript on each page, potentially making a mess of your analytics reports and really skewing the results.

These bots massively increase your reported sessions, bounce rates, users and % new sessions, but at the same time driving down the average session times. It’s basically a corruption of your reporting with false data.

This update corrects all the reports by excluding bot traffic. It’s possible to exclude bot traffic on Google Analytics by flipping a switch, but that doesn’t affect historical data. This feature allows you to see historical data without the bot traffic.

The screenshot below shows a before and after screen. On the left you see reporting with the bot traffic present. On the right, you see the same data, but this time filtered to remove the bots.

bot-filter

“Who viewed this?” restricted to space admins

We introduced on page user tracking reports in version 3.1. While you can add Google Analytics reports on any page without restriction, on page reporting of actual users should be restricted to more powerful users.

Here’s an example report:

who-viewed-this

“Google Analytics” menu item in “Space Tools” menu

We’ve also made it easier to see space level Google Analytics reports by adding a menu item in the Space Tools menu.

google-analytics-space-tools

Try it out…

Download Google Analytics for Atlassian Confluence today.