Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, step aside. USPS has entered the room. Sort of. Just when you thought ‘snail mail’ was going down, the U.S. Postal Service has created a new hybrid mail system. Informed Delivery® They will take a picture of the outside of each piece of mail that gets delivered to you and send it to you in an email or allow you to view the images online. At first I had this vision of a postal worker taking a selfie of themselves putting mail into my mailbox. And that gave me a chuckle.
But this actually makes sense. Like when using an ATM, I can get an image of the checks I deposit. Now I can get images of my mail being put into my mailbox. Not only do you know what got delivered when, but you can know if mail was stolen from your mailbox. (in my case, the box is locked, so that isn’t an issue.) I can tell you, for all the future-watching I do, I should have seen this coming. I never would have expected this from the USPS.
This means no more wasted trips to the mailbox. It’s almost as good as the alerts I get from the library when the book or movie I put on hold is available for pickup. They only take an image of the address side of the letter. I wonder how this will alter the junk mail industry.
So there you have it. The latest in hybrid mail systems! Now if it just had a way to mark that junk mail as spam and have the postal worker remove it from my mailbox before I went to get the mail…
Here is the official announcement from USPS:
My USPS® Free Upgrade Offers Preview of Incoming Mail<!–Notes ACF
–> <!–Notes ACF
If you are a current or former IBM Champion, you are eligible for free hosting of a Domino server at Prominic. Prominic is a great hosting service and it’s cool that they are offering such a benefit to IBM Champions. It’s great to see other organizations in the IBM community recognize the value that IBM Champions bring to the professional community. This applies to both current and former champions. You can read more about it here:
I have blogged this topic before, but once again I am reminded just how important customer service is for building relationships.
To keep happy customers, you must keep customers happy.
I recently switched from Verizon to T-Mobile One plan to get unlimited everything for 2 lines for $100. No additional fees or add-ons saving me about $45/month and increasing my plan to unlimited voice/text/data. But the real difference became obvious after switching.
Here is my customer experience with Verizon…
My daughter got a new phone, but they didn’t have the case she wanted, so we went to the Verizon store close by to see their selection. There were 5 employees wandering around with tablets and 3 other customers in the store. “What is your phone number?” one asked me.
“Oh, I don’t need help with my phone or service. I’m just buying a case for my phone.”
She walked away as I started searching for the case the would fit my phone. After several minutes of searching (with no help from the employee), I found what I needed and proceeded to the cashier desk. Employees kept walking past me with their tablets, avoiding all eye contact. I stopped one asked him to ring up my purchase.
“Did you check in?” he says.
“No, I’m just buying a case for my phone.”
“I need to add you to the waiting list. What is your phone number?”
He takes my number down and then walks away. After 10 more minutes someone finally came and sold me the case. Yes, I was in the store for 20 minutes to buy a phone case. You might be asking “why didn’t you just leave?” I stayed because I wanted closure. Yep. I made a great choice.
Here is my customer experience with T-Mobile…
A few days earlier I switched my service to T-mobile. My daughter got a new phone, but I’m using my Verizon-branded Galaxy S5 while I wait for my new S8 that arrives later this month. My phone can work on both networks, but it doesn’t get a good T-Mobile signal at home. No problem. They sent me a signal booster. (My daughter’s phone works fine.) Then 3 days later I got another call asking how service is and if everything is OK. This is what good customer service sounds like.
So what kind of follow up did I get from Verizon after switching? This email:
Yes, that is an unbelievable price. $80 PLUS TAXES AND FEES for a SINGLE line.
Wondering what that little asterisk means in “When you enroll in Auto Pay*”?
Here it is at the bottom of the email:
$30 activation fee
17.4% telecom charges
Others by area
Gov’t taxes & our surcharges add 7% – 46%
Come back today? I don’t think so.
Apparently quality customer service is not an option.
As T-Mobile CEO John Legere clearly understands from the video above,
listening to the customer makes all the difference.
At IBM Connect 2017, the message from IBM was “Notes/Domino 9.0 support will not end for at least 4 more years”. Which to me sounded a bit like simply a stay of execution. Not so much a positive message as just a non-negative one. But Ed Brill has published a blog post on the IBM Social Business blog that gives more clarity to the message and I think this helps.
In whitewater kayaking we say “look at the line, not at the rock”, meaning look where you want to go, not at what you are trying to avoid. If you watch the rock, you’re probably going to hit it. But if you focus on the line through the rapid that you want to take, you will likely do well.
With that in mind, Ed’s blog post does a better job of looking at the line. There is talk of should there be a Notes/Domino 10. Currently the plan is to stick with the version format 9.0.1 FPx where FP now means Feature Pack instead of Fix Pack. In this way we will get frequent releases that include new features as well as fixes, mirroring the cloud releases. On the other hand, it seems to leave Notes/Domino stuck on version 9 forevermore. Wouldn’t this be a great time to update the versioning altogether to align more with the steady stream of feature packs? Other software does this, like Firefox, which is now on version 52.0. N/D FP 8 was just released and FP 9 is already under development. So perhaps it could start with FP 10 being simply Notes/Domino 10?
This was a lot of fun to produce. I hope to see you at IBM Connect in San Francisco. The event is just 2 weeks away!
As an IBM Champion I can provide you with a discount code for $100 off the full registration to IBM Connect 2017. All you have to do is ask for it. Just post a comment here. When you do, it will prompt you for an email address that won’t be visible to anyone. I will connect with you and get you the discount code. See you in San Francisco!
Verse is the new way to work with email communications. It was first made available in IBM Connections Cloud and is now available for your Domino mail server on premises. To save you some time searching at Passport Advantage for the download, the part number is CNGD8ML
More later when I have a chance to install it.
There are many online resources for connecting with administrators, developers, and IBMers to get your questions answered, find resources for hire, discover integrated products to extend your software environment, and learn about what new software or the next version will bring. IBM customers tend to be very collaborative, so you can find them in just about any social media forum. Being connected to them is invaluable. Knowing where to find them is the hard part. Here is a list of top resources. There are many more out there. Start with the aggregators. Please post your own contributions in the comments and I will add them to this list.
Facebook Groups & Pages
IBM Collaboration Solutions Support Page
Watson Workspaces (under development. Soon will replace Skype chats)
(to make Skype URIs work, copy the link and paste it in your browser address bar. It will then prompt to open Skype)
IBM Notes & Domino (pending getting the group open)
IBM Linux (pending getting the group open)
IBM Connections Cloud Community: skype:?chat&blob=9a8owk7xhR_Sp0aIiXWhGKH_zPVztRPIEgXmCVkqiatYXR9-_-8MO4WYvLSp2MpSqw_dnzqGmM0CpCNoMZCq3QigAvVJgpUALOld4V60nFENf6DF_8kSXgrScDLBmhLUEsdcRJQVQxfhAhARjb9cG8fP0LqFPA
IBM Sametime Community:
IBM Connections Community:
Docker and ICS:
xpages.slack.com (register here)
IBM just announced the list of people who have earned the title of 2017 IBM Champion for ICS (IBM Collaborative Solutions).
What is an IBM Champion? To quote the champion of the Champions, Amanda Bauman:
These individuals are non-IBMers who evangelize IBM solutions, share their knowledge and help grow the community of professionals who are focused on social business and IBM’s Social Solutions. IBM Champions spend a considerable amount of their own time, energy and resources on community efforts — organizing and leading user group events, answering questions in forums, contributing wiki articles and applications, publishing podcasts, sharing instructional videos and more!
Congratulations to all of you IBM Champions on your achievements. I am honored and humbled to be included again this year in such great company. I believe your achievements as IBM Champions is just an indicator of the kind of leaders and top performing individuals you are. You all set a very high standard to live by! I also want to make a shout out to my friend and neighbor to the North (Vancouver, BC), Graham Acres of Brytek Systems who as also been recognized as an IBM Champion for ICS 2017.
Here is the complete list:
*Frank Van der Linden
Per Henrik Lausten
Robert van den Breemen
* = New IBM Champions for 2017
You can find links to many of their blogs at PlanetLotus.org You can view more details about the Champion program at the IBM Social Business User Community. And if you aren’t a member, consider joining the conversations in this user group community. Also, we have a local user group for IBM technology here in the Pacific Northwest.
Visit our meetup page for more information. See you at IBM Connect 2017!
A raw footage, behind-the-scene glimpse into what is in store when CYSO hosts the TSMA in concert November 19, 2016, 2pm at Benaroya Hall, Seattle. This is what happens when dedicated young musicians intersect with gifted Gospel vocalists. The recording on my phone does not do it justice by any means. You’ve got to experience this in person. The voices of the Townsend School of Music and Arts Choir were so powerful, I felt they almost drowned out the orchestra. And in concert they will be mic’ed! The impact of this combination is going to bring tears of joy to your eyes.
OK, I might be a bit bias because my daughter is playing cello, but this orchestra is the real deal. While she is first chair in her high school orchestra, there are 5 cellists ahead of her in this orchestra. Talent runs deep in this group!
This concert will be performed in one of the most amazing music auditoriums in the world: Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony. If you live around the Seattle area, please come and support these young musicians. Nothing would please them more than to get to play to a sold out crowd. Tickets are only $22 at http://www.benaroyahall.org If you reach out to me, I can connect you with one of the students who can sell the tickets at a discount and it helps them out.
Thanks for listening to this public service announcement.
–The Notes Guy in Seattle
There is plenty going on this month including:
Nov 10 -11 – SUTOL Technical Conference in Prague (wish I could be there!)
Nov 17 – Cross Canada Collaboration User Group event with – you guessed it – multiple sites across Canada as well as live streaming.
Nov 17 – The usual monthly online meeting of IBM Social Business User Community (log into developerWorks)
Nov 24 – DNUG “Domino Day”in Dusseldorf
Nov 30 – ISBG in Oslo
Support your user group communities and see how they can empower you and your organization. Collaboration is what makes us so successful!
The IBM Champions for Social Business have been included in the beta (alpha?) of IBM Watson Workspace. I am able to invite friends to join too. I just need your IBM ID. It should be an email address. If you still have the old-school ID that was whatever username you wanted, you need to create one that is an email address.
Once logged in, you can follow the new features that are getting added here.
Looking forward to exploring the new technology driven by Watson. I will share more about features after I get familiar with it.