Category Archives: Conferences
Ask HCL Anything Session at HCL Factory Tour Sept 2022
As a reminder that I’m not here to ask the easy questions. I am here to ask the tough questions. I consider myself as much an ambassador of the customers and business partners as an ambassador of HCL. Thank you HCL for the transparency to allow me to moderate this session.
2:52 Question #1: Will you skip V13?
8:34 Question #2: Can you give us Greenhouse again?
12:42 Question #3: Give us material to share your vision
16:07 Question #4: HCL Ambassadors deserve recognition
20:20 Question #5: Mac Notes client chronic problems
26:55 Question #6: How will you attract the next gen developers?
31:47 Question #7: What features do you wish would get more use?
37:36 Question #8: Where’s the app store?
39:52 Question #9: Adoption will not come from developers
Question 1 from David Hablewitz: Will you skip version number 13?
Meant to be a humorous question making light of superstitions, this went down a path I wasn’t expecting.
Question 2 from David Hablewitz: The community formerly known as Lotus has become fragmented and scattered, gathering online in many disconnected and hard-to-find places where we communicate, share knowledge, find resources, try out software, etc. For instance, there are groups on Skype, Slack, Discord, Facebook, and LinkedIn. There is the HCL support forum; there is a sandbox for Nomad web; there is a community for trying out and discussing the early release of Notes / Domino 12.0.2; OpenNTF; the HCL Academy and youtube channel; the HCL blogs; the software documentation website, not to mention an entirely separate website for downloading software. All of these are fragmented and difficult to find. Furthermore, HCL has is no community at all to bring business partners together or to support them. Why don’t you have this all in one place and use the products themselves to host it as a proving ground of its capabilities?
Response: To summarize, the answer wasn’t clear, but I think with more discussion and clarification of what I am looking for from HCL, we could get somewhere. I will pursue this further.
Question 3 from John Shultz, Prominic (off camera): How do you empower us to leave this event with tactical and tangible information to share with my team? Something I can share with people in my support and marketing teams so they can share your vision?
Response from Francois Naser, Go to Market Leader: You will be receiving an invitation to training for business partners within the next 3 weeks. 3 sessions: 1. Domino & Sametime; 2. Volt MX; 3. MX Go (I can confirm this happened. Video recordings are available.) This will also be presented in person at the Milan Factory Tour.
Question 4 from David Hablewitz: When are you going to start recognizing the HCL Ambassadors for the value they bring to the community with HCL Ambassador branded gear?
(Note: until I asked this question, the HCL Ambassadors had not been mentioned or recognized at all for the entire 3 days at the Factory Tour.)
Background: When IBM was involved, IBM Champions were given items such as a plaque to put on the wall recognizing their service, jackets, shirts, and other items with IBM Champion logos. At conferences like this Factory Tour They would get special lanyards for their name tags that clearly identified them as IBM Champions. HCL has had the Ambassador program for 4 years now without giving any recognition to these individuals. One of the dinners at the Factory Tour We were served Maine lobster. Surely if HCL truly valued the dedication of these people, they could find funds to support the program.
Response from Maria Nordin (off camera) “We might have a solution, but I do not want to promise anything because I know how that feels. Maybe in 2 or 3 months, we may have something. I am working on it very, very hard.” Richard Jefts added “we were able to get for T-shirts for the HCL staff at this event, so there may be something they can do.
In addition, Richard Jefts went on to say regarding marketing [paraphrasing] “Meanwhile, HCL Tech has signed on as one of the sponsors for the Metlife Stadium where the New York Jets and New York Giants football teams play. HCL Software plans to follow suit with branding on F1 racing and European Cricket and sponsorship for the World Cup in Qatar. There are discussions about having Domino branding in geo-specific airports in places like Frankfurt and Tokyo.”
While the brand awareness somewhat matters, I applaud the efforts to advertise the Domino product. IBM was infamous for making the mistake of building brand awareness and ignoring promoting products. Without product marketing, brand marketing is a waste.
In any case, if you can spend hundreds of thousands to put your name on a stadium or an F1 car, it only makes sense to invest in the most dedicated people who unselfishly support and promote your business. Research has proven a loyal fan base is an essential component of product success.
Question 5 from Bill Malchisky: [paraphrasing] While we appreciate all the new products and features, where is your commitment to making the existing Notes client software stable, in particular the latest problems with the Mac Notes client?
Response from Andrew Davis: Apple has introduced regression bugs and we’re working with them to resolve. Meanwhile, please create a support ticket so we can work to resolve them.
Response from John Paganetti of Client Advocacy group: You can also reach out to your client advocate if you have more.
In addition, if you are not already in the Client Advocacy Program, contact Deronza Sanders or John Immerman, or John Paganetti. Every customer should have a contact in this program.
Question 6 from Bob Ascott: Who will be filling in for the next generation of developers in this software?
Response from Luis Guirigay (off camera): The HCL Academy will be releasing 80 to 120 hours of education for new software developers. They will be releasing similar education program for administrators. Along with this are certification tests coming out soon which will further legitimize it.
Response from Jason Gary: This is why the development in the product to translate code
Question 7 from Carl Tyler: What features of the product do you wish were more widely understood and used by customers?
Response from Andrew Davis: Domino Domain Monitoring
Response from John Paganetti: ID Vault and Transaction logging
Response from (person off camera): Notes Stream and the stream class, a feature under used by developers
Response from Richard Jefts: Leap is not being used widely to build NEW apps. Also, Nomad is under-used.
Question 8 from David Hablewitz: Platforms are only as good as the ecosystem they support. When are we going to get an app store and make it accessible directly from within the Notes client?
Response from Andrew Manby: HCL is working on their next generation of SOFI. Their intent is to move it to become their full marketplace to have one location to handle apps for all products: DX, MX, Domino, They are working on it, though it is taking longer to develop than they expected.
Thomas Hampel: We have an internal prototype already running and it is already on the roadmap.
This is an awesome response!
Question/Comment 9 from Jamie Magee: Developers won’t be the ones picking and choosing to use Domino. It will be assigned to them. The marketing will determine the adoption by business owners which will lead to developers building apps in it.
Richard Jefts: We don’t have a true CSM (customer success manager). We call our inside sellers who handle renewals CSMs, but they are not CSMs. The only product we have a true CSM organization for is Volt MX. There should be a team at HCL ready so when a customer buys, for example, HCL Volt (Leap?), we have someone who will engage the customer and help them build their first apps. This where I see we have a gap. We still have that IBM mentality where after the sale, the next time they hear from us is when it is time to renew their software licenses. KK (VP at HCL) has just become aware of this gap and is onboard with creating this resource.
Final comment from David Hablewitz: My tap water comes from the Cascade mountains in Washington state where I get 100 cubic feet of water for $3.24. A local bottled water company takes that same water, packages it into bottles, and resells it for $15,000. What is the difference between my $3.24 of tap water and the bottled water that makes it worth $15,000? Marketing. THAT is the value of marketing.
CollabSphere 2021 is Taking Abstracts for Sessions Now
So many new things to talk about! So many products in the HCL Collaboration portfolio have all new versions with tons of totally new features (not just enhancements). There is a big need among the community to learn from each other how to best put the latest software to work. If you have any tips you have learned, this is the place to give back to the community as well as build your own credentials as an expert in your profession. If you had to figure something out, chances are high that others out there are looking for that same knowledge. CollabSphere is October 19 – 21 and it will be held online. The cost is free because the labor comes from us in the community along with generous sponsors, most notably is the organizer, Richard Moy of Phora Group.
Here is the link to the conference website where you can register and where you can post your abstract for a presentation idea that you are willing to give. You have through the month of August to submit your abstract. If you want to be considered for HCL Ambassador, presenting at user group conferences will certainly add to your case.
Blooper Reel for my CollabSphere 2020 intro
Just a little fun with @FreddyTheBassett as he joins me in creating our promo video for the upcoming conference.
I will be speaking at CollabSphere 2018!
My abstract has been accepted and I will be speaking at the CollabSphere 2018 conference in Ann Arbor, MI next month. This is the place to be if you want to learn about collaboration software and in particular IBM collaboration software. The conference is put on by a user group, NOT IBM. The sessions will focus on technical information targeting the I.T. professionals and decision-makers without sales stuff. I expect we will also see more insight into the upcoming release of Notes & Domino V10.
Details of my session:
Title: DIY: How to build your SmartCloud Notes Hybrid environment. Easy as 1-2-3.
This session will cover everything you need to know to build your SmartCloud Notes / Connections Cloud hybrid environment. Getting it right the first time will save headaches and lengthy rebuild time later. Also learn some of the pitfalls and best practices that will make your move the cloud smooth and seamless and how to implement it using the just-announced Domino Applications on Cloud service (DAC) and move ALL of your Domino infrastructure to the cloud.
The cost of the 3-day conference is only $75. Click to Register Now.
Recap of Ask IBM session (Ask the Developers and Ask the PMs) at IBM ConnectED / Lotusphere 2015
Each year I bring with me a large collection of questions and enhancement requests that I first vet in the Meet the Developers lab. Those questions which I either don’t get a satisfactory answer or get an answer that I think others would like to hear, I will bring them to the Ask the Product Managers or Ask the Developers sessions. Often questions would be asked in one session that really needed to be answered by someone in the other session. That wasted time. This year they combined the two sessions, which was great for streamlining the process and more people got to hear all the questions (and answers). One other change on my part: I tried to provide most of my questions in advance, so they could have time to research the answer or at least make sure the right person was on stage to answer it. (often the person who would have the answer wasn’t present.) Yes, it does mean IBM isn’t so much “in the hot seat”, but this got more complete answers as a result, which is what we really want.
The room was smaller too, with only one aisle and thus, only one microphone. I like this because it makes it easier for people to queue up to ask their questions. While I asked the first question, I made it a point to let others go ahead of me whenever they got in line. This worked well as I was able to keep the conversation going with questions while waiting for people to come to the microphone to ask a question. Here is a list of my questions from this year and the responses I got for them. (as best I remember, anyway)
1. Can we get a roadmap published for Connections Cloud? (See this article for a detailed explanation)
I was able to provide this article in advance and the response was that they definitely see the point to my request and the value it would provide. Expect to see this one addressed soon.
2. We need a migration path to Connections Cloud that removes all servers from on-site. This requires a solution to 3 items:
– Mail-in databases and Rooms & Resources
– Importing Holidays
– A Relay Host service to route mail from on-site applications to the Internet
RESPONSE: We have had these requests by others and are actively working to address them. The relay host presents additional challenges and may be more difficult to resolve.
3. The administrator console for Connections Cloud is fragmented and awkward to work with. Authentication occurs in three places. Can this be made more seamless and provide improved functionality for administrators, including such things as Message Tracking?
RESPONSE: The request for Message Tracking had not been seen before, but that should be possible and makes sense to have. We are going to work to improve the administration console too.
5. Once moved to Connections Cloud, the client version information is no longer maintained in the Domino Directory and there is no way to make Smart Upgrade work in SmartCloud Notes environment. Can these please be addressed?
RESPONSE: We should be able to capture and push back the client version information. As for the Smart Upgrade, they are using a new upgrade process with the browser plugin and expect to port that over so it will be available as a method for upgrading Notes clients in the future.
6. A fix is needed for overlaying Google calendars on the Notes calendar. This broke several months ago when Google pushed out their new process for accessing calendars. They had warned this was coming more than a year ago.
RESPONSE: We have a fix, but it did not make it into the next Fix Pack. We are in the process of determining how to make this available.
7. We need the ability to use groups from the Domino directory in the contact list in Connections Cloud Chat.
RESPONSE: Great recommendation. The developers will look into making that happen. (I also spoke with the developer on this and was already thinking of how to solve this issue)
(asked in the lab only) 8. Administrators need a way to change the mail/calendar delegates for users in Connections Cloud. Currently the process is very awkward and involves the admin logging in as the user to perform the delegation. The developer flagged this one as a critical item and we should see a fix soon, so I did not ask this in the session.)
9. We need a graphical user interface for administering Connections (Thank you Ray Bilyk for asking this question!)
RESPONSE: I forgot exactly what they said. If you remember, please post it in a comment.
10. When will it be possible to launch the video chat from the embedded Sametime client in Notes?
RESPONSE: I just don’t remember what was said here. I got to ask so many questions this year, I felt like I was co-hosting the session. That may be the closest I get to presenting at this conference. I thought the overall attitude in the room was warmer and IBM was more receptive of the feedback from the people asking questions than in years past. Next time I will be sure to record the audio of the session so I can give a more accurate recap. If anyone has a recording of the session, please let me know.
Here are a few more questions I didn’t get to ask.
10. Allow voting down ideas in Connections
11. Allow viewing all ideas posted by a particular person in Connections
12. Provide a Top Innovators list in Connections, similar to IdeaJam.net
If you like these ideas and want to see them implemented, be sure to log into Greenhouse.lotus.com and find them and vote them up. Also (and more importantly) open a PMR and ask that they add your company to the request for the SPR that I have already created for these.
Links for those who attended my session at IamLUG: Hunting the Gremlins in your Domino System
Here are some links I referenced in our best practices session Be a Domino Detective: Hunting the Gremlins at IamLUG:
MTBF 8.5.x – Mean Time Between Failures Sandbox app updated for Domino 8.x – Credit to John Paganetti
and the update of MTBF for Windows 64 bit OS
Details about my tips on client fault reports:
The Single biggest cause of Lotus Notes client crashes and how to avoid them
And some links for our Tuesday session:
What’s in it for me? How Your Life as an Administrator will Improve When Your Company Moves to the Cloud
SmartCloud leads IBM to dethrone Microsoft on CNN’s “Four Horsemen of Tech” list
Overview of roles & responsibilities for SmartCloud for Social Business
Wiki for administering SmartCloud Notes Hybrid environment
Wiki for administering SmartCloud Notes Service-only environment
If your company is considering moving their messaging to the cloud, especially if they are considering Office 365, or you are wondering what all the rush is to adopt Social Business, visit our company website for Divergent Solutions LLC at http://www.divergentnw.com/
or send an email to info@divergentNW.com
Important secret detail about upcoming IamLUG conference in St. Louis next month
Lotus IBM professionals, have you made plans to attend IamLUG? Perhaps you never get to attend Lotusphere / IBM Connect because it’s so expensive for the travel and the conference fee? This is your chance to get all of the meat of the Big conference without all of the fluff. You won’t get an evening trip to one of the theme parks. You won’t have all the hoopla and grandeur of the Opening General Session or the intellectual entertainment of the Closing Session. But you’ll get all the same great, useful insightful presentations from many of the same speakers. And the cost is…
You just have to get there. Costs would include travel to/from St Louis, a ride from the airport to the hotel, Room for 2 nights at $100/night. (Split it with someone else attending and that’s $50/night!) Eat cheap while you’re there and you can get 2 days of intense professional development for next to nothing. Throw in the extra day of TackItOn sessions for just $500 and you get a complete trip of 3 days of training for a fraction of the cost of IBM Connect. Do whatever it takes to be there. When it comes to conferences outside of Lotusphere/IBM Connect, it doesn’t get any better than this. Did I mention many of the same speakers who presented at IBM Connect this year will be at IamLUG sharing all the now-released version of Notes 9 Social Edition?
Actually, there will be at least one new presenter: me. Yes, for the first time I will officially have my own microphone. In the past, you may have seen me at a mic in the audience at Lotusphere/Connect, asking pointed questions during the “Ask the Product Managers” session or in the “Ask the Developers” session when I was made an honorary developer and brought on stage, handed a laptop, and put to work. Well I finally decided to put my mouth where my blog is, to step up to the podium and give back to the community live and in person. I’m diving in with both feet too. I submitted two abstracts and they were BOTH accepted. This will be a true test of my Toastmasters training. If you’re in the audience, be kind, please.
Both sessions are on system administrator topics. The first session, “Be a Domino Detective: Hunting the Gremlins” is all about finding the problems hiding in your systems. I am so lucky to be sharing the stage with Kim Greene, a seasoned presenter! She will be hunting the gremlins that are constantly at work gnawing at your system’s performance while I will be hunting the ones that are quietly lying in the shadows, waiting for the worst time to jump out and bite you. I’m hoping this session will be both fun AND educational.
The second session, “What’s in it for me? How Your Life as an Administrator will Improve When Your Company Moves to the Cloud” is intended to provide a bit of insight into what you can expect as a system administrator if you migrate to IBM SmartCloud for Social Business. Really, the cloud can be your friend, not the end of your career. Speaking of friends, I will be co-presenting this session with my longtime friend and administrator of a broad range of systems, Greg Walrath. I look forward to seeing you in the audience!
This user group conference has grown dramatically in just 4 years. Most of the speakers you have seen many times before and know them for their expertise. IBM will even be there presenting an entire track on Social Business. This one is truly becoming one of the biggest and best. I am humbled to get a chance to share time at the podium among such rock stars in our profession. It will be fun! See you in St. Louis!
Recap of PACLUG 2011
The first edition of the PACLUG user group conference was held this week at the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The two-day event was scheduled to piggy-back the View’s AdminDev2011 conference. They actually overlapped schedules a bit on Wednesday and PACLUG was invited to the keynote presentation of AdminDev2011. The Tuesday sessions of PACLUG were focused mostly on Domino-related topics while the second day was mostly related to Websphere Portal. Had I known this I might have been tempted to skip the Wednesday sessions, but after attending them I can say that to do so would have been a big mistake. I got some very valuable information in those sessions.
After all, as technology professionals, it is important to keep up with the changes in technology. Simply put, if you’re in IT, you had better be prepared for a lifetime of learning to follow the technology and stay employed. And for many of us, that’s great. If we aren’t learning something new, we’re quickly bored. If this isn’t you, you’re probably a really good COBOL programmer working or a bank or insurance company. If not, then you should be planning your next career.
The knowledge I gained in the sessions was useful, but as I find with all of these conferences, the meat of the value of the conference is in connecting with new friends and reconnecting with old ones. I don’t care how well connected you are via the Internet, nothing could ever match the rapport developed and connections made by face-to-face meetings, not to mention the “accidental meetings” with people you weren’t looking for. That said, it was disappointing to arrive early on Monday only to watch the tweet stream talk about how people were not coming in until late that night. It would have been good to put an informal pre-conference social gathering on the agenda for early arrivals. This is the REAL Social Business.
For comparison, take the phrase “computer dating.” It’s a terrible misnomer. All the computer does is get people connected. The dating part always takes place meeting face-to-face. This is equally true for developing business relationships, though you probably put less emphasis on what a business contact looks like.
Sponsorship for this conference was amazing! There was no fee to attend the user group portion of the conference. It was FREE. Thanks to GBS, Panagenda, Team Studio, IBM, Elguji, BCC, ExtraComm, The View, and all the other sponsors. ( http://www.paclug.org/sponsors ) Also thanks to the organizers, especially David Stephens.
The conference was lightly attended, but this was only the first time this event was held. From the positive feedback, I expect it will be more popular next year. (speaking of feedback, there was no opportunity to submit feedback formally. That would have been very useful to improve future events.) Perhaps joining it with AdminDev2011 detracted from the attendance of each? I don’t know about that, but I do know I had a chance to meet with people at PACLUG that probably would not have been there if it were not connected to The View’s AdminDev2011. I’m not so sure about Las Vegas in June either. The high temperature was 104F – 108F degrees for the 3 days I was there. Not being a gambler, the extra-curricular activities were limited. Personally, I went to this even in spite of it being in Vegas, not because of it.
Overall, it was a good first event for the west coast. I expect it will grow in the upcoming years. Maybe I could convince the organizers to hold it in Seattle in July next year? That time of year we have endless sunny skies with temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s. Lots of extracurricular activities to do. We even have Vegas-style casinos if you really want that, though there are so many things to see and do here that are unique to Seattle, I don’t think anyone would think of going to a casino. For more information about the conference, visit http://www.paclug.org/ http://lanyrd.com/2011/paclug/ and http://www.admin2011.com/