Category Archives: Lotus
Imagine you’re standing in a huddle with the Boston Celtics…
As I look at this list of peers, that is a bit like how I feel. This is the who’s who list of experts and advocates within the HCL brand software professional community. They are NOT HCL employees. Each of these people has earned the respect and recognition from HCL for their unsolicited contributions — whether it is publishing technical blogs, speaking at conferences, contributing to forums, providing feedback on things like HCL software ideas, customer engagement, or business process improvements — this collection of enthusiasts have overwhelmingly demonstrated their dedication to building and supporting this professional community of developers, administrators, business leaders, and product users.
They do not do these things because they are HCL Ambassadors.
They are HCL Ambassadors because they do these things.
There are many others in the community who are just a little nudge away from being part of this honored group. If you’re just a little curious of what it takes to earn the title, read all about the program here or ask anyone on the list. It feels self-serving to write a blog article praising this group when I’m one a part of it. But I am humbled and honored to to be recognized with such dedicated company. I do feel like I’m standing in a huddle with the Boston Celtics.
I have been very happy with the beta 1 and beta 2 releases I’ve been running for the past several months. The final release is now available and from what I understand, there is more that wasn’t even in the beta releases. Go download it now and get started. Don’t know what Notes and Domino is? Only the most advanced business application development environment ever crafted. Loved by early-adopters and feared by software giants. Feared so much so that it was the target of the second largest counter-marketing attack ever run by Microsoft (Only their attack on Apple Corporation was larger.)
Wondering what makes HCL Notes & Domino worthy of such devotion and fear? Ask anyone who has created a Notes application or managed a Domino server. Security, versatility, ease of rapid application development and deployment from prototype to production. If you want to see what HCL Domino and Notes can do for your tiny to medium to enterprise-sized business, just ask me. And if you’re already using it, go download V12.0.1 and get started on deploying those new features. What’s new? Visit
HCL Notes and Domino V12.0.1 is approved by @FreddytheBassett.
The Beta 1 version of Notes and Domino V12.0.1 is now available on Flexnet. If you are licensed for Notes & Domino, this video shows how to download the beta. It also shows how to get to the HCL blog post with lots of details including what is new and how to participate in the beta forum with the developers.
In case you’re not paying attention, HCL Software has a YouTube channel where they are posting an almost continuous stream of How-To videos. In fact, today alone they posted 10 videos. They are covering many varied topics that could turn a dedicated viewer into a Domino expert. It is especially useful because they are covering the new features in V12.
Is it possible they could make our user group conferences with all the How-To presentations obsolete? nah. Deep dive sessions are still important from a strategic perspective and a broader understanding of why you do things. But these short videos produced by HCL are very handy and remind me of days gone by when I would replicate the Knowledgebase database from Notes.net every morning and review the new technotes to start my day (easily identified thanks to unread marks and “show unread only” which you just can’t do with a web browser.)
If I were to offer HCL some advice, it would be to create an indexed website/table of contents with each of these videos embedded so they read like a help database with chapters and sections of related topics. I would also recommend paying more attention to the audio. In some videos, I have trouble understanding what is being said because the presenter has a thick accent. (That is my American-centric perspective and not everyone may agree.) In other videos, the recording seems to be made using a microphone of poor quality or low recording levels. Viewers will tolerate bad video quality, but bad audio will quickly lose viewers. Subtitles would be helpful too.
I would like to see content identified as intended for end users in a way that I could direct users to follow the channel and not be turned off by too much irrelevant information for that audience, though that may be partially addressed by the title labeling and playlists.
Speaking of title labeling, I do like that the titles are well thought out. The content of this channel covers a variety of products, so each title begins with the product; for example, “HCL Notes”, “HCL Accelerate”, “HCL Domino”, “HCL Sametime”, “Unica”, “HCL Commerce”. Viewers can focus on the labels of interest to them, yet still see what other topics and software is out there, which may peak their interest to broaden their understanding of the software portfolio (myself included). The playlists are also created for each of the products using the exact same name as the labels in the video titles — except for the ones that matter most to me, which are all put into a single playlist: HCL Digital Solutions, instead of having playlists called “HCL Notes”, “HCL Domino”, etc. This is not intuitive, especially for end users who have no idea what “digital solutions” is. They never call it that. It’s just Notes to them. So perhaps create additional playlists for those would be helpful.
Clearly, HCL is committed to filling the gaps created by the former product owners. It just keeps getting better.
If you haven’t already, click here to subscribe to the HCL Software YouTube Channel.
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.
I have been asking — begging — HCL that businesses don’t need platforms. They need solutions. Solutions to common business problems. Domino is an incredibly powerful platform on which businesses can build solutions. But businesses want more than just an email app out of the box. To make Domino more valuable on Day One, it should include a collection of apps for the most common business problems.
HCL came through. Check out these dozen sample apps that are included with the Domino Volt ecosystem just released with Domino V12. These can replace a dozen different applications, subscriptions, or services that I previously had to buy — and administer. That is 12 different apps I had to worry about managing users’ access, deploying, securing, and backing up. And there wasn’t a good way to integrate them with each other because they were each a standalone solution. HCL has (re)started something here that I hope is just the beginning. Domino provides the platform to quickly develop custom business apps, but now it can also provide these most common business solutions right out of the box with Domino Volt. I’m expecting they will continue to expand the list. They went with a dozen to fit the release of version 12. You can read their details published by HCL. Here is the list:
- Candidate Recruitment
- Vacation Request System
- Asset Tracking
- Expense Tracking and Reimbursement
- Employee Onboarding
- Order Entry and Procurement
- Basic CRM /Sales Tracker
- Visitor Registration
- FAQ Management
- Case Management
- Event Management
- Online Booking (Healthcare)
Footnote: for #12, check out a feature-rich solution for managing your bookings at https://clickbook.net
This is vastly more complete and yes, built on Domino.
There are so many activities going on these days in the HCL (Lotus) software community! The buzz is going strong as people rediscover the power of the software and it is being led by HCL’s huge investments and attention to the market. Here are some of the activities that are coming up as well as a few that just happened that you may want to go watch the replay. There are so many things going on, it’s easy to lose track. If you know of any I missed, please post in the comments directly on my blog (Not just on the social media sites where this is shared).
May 27, 11:00am ET – HCL Business Partner Academy (HCL BPs only) – Volt MX & Domino 12 Highlights (see below)
June 7th – HCL – Join Andrew Manby and the HCL Digital Solutions team for this monumental launch of their best ever releases of Domino and Sametime! Register here
June 10, 11:00 am ET – HCL Business Partner Academy (HCL BPs only) – Domino 12 Essentials for BPs (see below)
See all OpenNTF webinars upcoming and replays at https://openntf.org/webinars
Panagenda upcoming webinars and replays are at https://www.panagenda.com/webinars/
The most recent replay is on Notes & Domino Security
Here is the whole series being presented for North America HCL Business Partners:
This post sponsored by @FreddytheBassett
Short notice, but that doesn’t change the value. Tomorrow, 4 May, 2021 at 5:00am PDT (13:00CET) the Nordic Collaboration User Group (NCUG) will be hosting a 3 hour presentation that will include HCL Domino & Notes V12, HCL Volt and Volt MX for end user development tools, HCL Connections V7, HCL Sametime and DOMI.
DOMI is a new feature that integrates Sametime, Zoom, and Teams with Notes so you can schedule those online meetings entirely within your HCL Notes calendar.
Get all the details at ncug.org schedule and registration page.
[blog post update: The new software and documentation from Zoom can be found here.]
HCL Notes users: If you are using Zoom instead of HCL Sametime for your video meetings, you may have discovered that the Notes integration plugin provided by Zoom that made it easy to schedule Zoom meetings in your Notes calendar broke with Notes V11. Well I have good news. Zoom is finally releasing an update that works with Notes V11. See their response in the Zoom support forum. You can find the earlier release of the Zoom plugin for Notes V10 here. The update is scheduled for release on Monday. If that is at a different URL, I will add it here when it is available.
If you want to eliminate this problem altogether, your company should be using HCL Sametime for video conferencing. It is more secure; you have total control of the software; it allows you to keep all of your data inside your company with no harvesting of user data or chats; it is — and always will be — tightly integrated with your HCL Notes and Domino environment; and it’s less expensive.
This has been a challenging year for all of us. In the beginning of March, I was in Holland attending the Engage user group conference when the pandemic started and I returned home just 2 days before the border restrictions would have left me stranded in Europe. It turned out that was the last time that any HCL Ambassadors would gather this year.
What is an HCL Ambassador? As described at the HCL website:
“HCL Ambassador is a distinction that HCL awards select members of the community that are both experts in their field and are passionate about sharing their HCL knowledge with others.
HCL Ambassadors are exactly that, ambassadors. Importantly they are not employees, but their commitment to sharing their expertise has a huge impact on the HCL community. Whether they are blogging, writing books, speaking, running workshops, creating tutorials and classes, offering support in forums, or organizing and contributing to local events – they help make HCL’s mission of making technology play nice, possible.
HCL Ambassadors are eager to bring their technical expertise to new audiences both in person and online around the world.”
This year it has been exceptionally difficult to contribute in the typical ways, but this group of individuals managed to make the transition, holding several more user group conferences online, which actually made it possible for more people to attend than ever before. Certainly these heroes are the glue that keeps our software community together to make it possible for all of us and the companies we work for, to maximize our success. There is no stronger brand loyalty in the industry. See the entire list of HCL Ambassadors here. I am honored and humbled to be surrounded by such a team of positive, generous, innovative people dedicated to our profession and the HCL Digital Solutions community, I am! If you know or work with any of them, please take a moment to thank them.
I recently had the honor of playing the role of game show host of a Notes/Domino edition of Jeopardy! at CollabSphere User Group Conference. This was the Day 2 Lunchtime entertainment.
The contestants were Helen Mendoza, an HCL customer from Chicago, IL, USA; Roberto Boccadoro, an HCL business partner from Milan, Italy; and Luis Guirigay, an HCL employee from Boca Raton, FL, USA.
Hosted by me, HCL Ambassador David Hablewitz.
Many requested it, so here is the replay of that fun game.
It opens with the pre-game chat to relax the contestants and wait for the audience arrive. The actual game starts at timestamp 5:00 and ends around 38:00 followed by more conversation. Actual attendance was about 60 people. Event organizer Richard Moy (Donna) did have a gift certificate for the winner.
Sadly, on November 8, less than 2 weeks after this event, Alex Trebek, the host of the actual TV game show for 36 years, passed away from pancreatic cancer. It was a great honor and tribute to have the privilege to serve as moderator and will make this event so much more meaningful to me. While you’re watching, please take a moment to view the video in youtube and subscribe to my youtube channel or click the subscribe button at the end of the video.
A few logistical details for those interested:
The meeting was run as a webinar in Zoom, though it could have been done in any online conferencing software. Helen and Luis chose to use the virtual background feature in Zoom. Roberto used the IRL background feature (in real life). For my background, the introduction bumper, and some game controls and audio effects (which were muffled) were managed using Open Broadcaster Studio (OBS Studio) software. The website used to host the online game was https://www.playfactile.com/
The game website does provide for a method of using a buzzer, but I opted to keep this as simple as possible to avoid potential technical difficulties and it really was entertaining to hear the contestants’ voices when they buzz. This also switched the speaker view in Zoom to the person when they buzzed. The recording of the event only shows one camera at a time, but during the live event, the cameras of all 3 contestants and the host were visible at all times. This was really fun to do and it was a great success, especially considering I had only a week to pull it all together. Freddy The Bassett also made a cameo appearance at the very beginning.