Category Archives: Uncategorized

IBM WolfPack Live Sessions coming to Seattle starting Jan 30


IBM will be offering a series of training sessions around the country including at the IBM building downtown Seattle starting Jan 30th.  See the summary below.  Similar sessions are being held in cities across the U.S. and Canada.  For details and registration visit

IBM WolfPack Live – Seattle

Innovators desire more. They want to build solutions that don’t just solve challenges, they change the world. The IBM WolfPack is the technical innovation team dedicated to making it easy for you to find the right platform, tools, and education so you can change the world.

The WolfPack Live series is your chance for you to work hands-on with our experts, and IBM’s platform and tools to help drive your own innovative solutions forward. Microservices, ML and AI, Blockchain, and IoT sessions are all in the schedule with multiple events and dates to choose from throughout the year. You can choose the schedule that makes the most sense for you. Explore new areas, focus on your immediate need, or simply learn with others about innovative ways to solve your toughest challenges and apply the latest technology to your own projects.

All skill levels are welcome at these hands-on events; you only need to bring a fundamental knowledge of computing, a desire to learn more, and your own laptop for the lab materials.

Upcoming events for Seattle:

Round 1:

  • January 30th – 1PM to 4PM – Cloud Fundamentals and Architecture – Building better solutions in the cloud
  • January 31st – 1PM to 4PM – Building a cognitive assistant using Watson Speech processing and NLP
  • February 1st – 1PM to 4PM– Exploratory analytics with IBM Watson Analytics

Round 2:

  • February 27th – 1PM to 4PM – Cloud Fundamentals and Architecture – Building better solutions in the cloud
  • February 28th – 1PM to 4PM – Building better insights with Watson Personality Insights
  • March 1st – 1PM to 4PM – Hands-on with Docker, Kubernetes, and Helm

Meet your speakers:

Carly Kizorek:

Mark Yingling:



2018 IBM Champion for ICS

2018 IBM Champion awards have been announced.  Congratulations to all of the new and repeating champions.  I know the contributions you make for the community and I am honored and humbled to once again be recognized with you.  I also want to thank those who nominated me. And special thanks to IBMer Libby Ingrassia for all the work you do supporting the champions and the champion program.

There were some 1200+ nominations this year.  The full list of 2018 IBM Champions across all IBM disciplines will be posted HERE on the if not today, very soon.

For those not familiar with the IBM Champion program, this is a program where IBM recognizes people who are NOT IBM employees for demonstrating both expertise in and extraordinary support and advocacy for IBM technology, communities, and solutions.

The IBM Champion program recognizes these innovative thought leaders in the technical community and rewards these contributions by amplifying their voice and increasing their sphere of influence. IBM Champions are enthusiasts and advocates: IT professionals, business leaders, developers, executives, educators, and influencers who support and mentor others to help them get the most out of IBM software, solutions, and services.  You can read more about it here on the IBM developerWorks website.

If you see someone displaying one of theses badges, be sure to congratulate them on being an IBM Champion.

ibm champion 2017 analyticsibm champion 2017 cloudibm champion 2017 collaborationibm champion 2017 power

IBM Analytics
IBM Cloud
IBM Collaboration Solutions
IBM Power Systems


Free Coursera course: IBM Blockchain for Developers

Coursera just started a class on IBM Blockchain.  The course is being taught by two IBMers, Ant Cole and Dave Gorman.  If you are a developer interested in learning about Blockchain, check out this free 6 week course being offered by Coursera.  Here is the complete course description:

“About this course: If you’re a software developer and new to blockchain, this is the course for you. Several experienced IBM blockchain developer advocates will lead you through a series of videos that describe high-level concepts, components, and strategies on building blockchain business networks. You’ll also get hands-on experience modeling and building blockchain networks as well as create your first blockchain application.

The first part of this course covers basic concepts of blockchain, and no programming skills are required. However, to complete three of the four labs, you must understand basic software object-oriented programming and how to use the command line. It’s also helpful, but not required, that you can write code in JavaScript.

When you complete the course, you should understand what a blockchain business network is, how to build and model a simple blockchain solution, and the role of the developer in creating blockchain applications.

If you successfully complete the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion and an Acclaim badge. You’ll need to pass several end-of-section quizzes and a final exam that include multiple choice, true and false, and fill in the blank questions.
This course does not cover Bitcoin or cryptocurrency in detail.

Who is this class for: Software developers who are new to blockchain.”

Enrollment is free or you can seek a certificate for a small fee.

IBM Domino 10 – HCL Edition


The big news stories around Domino today.  First I want to honor Antoine “Fats” Domino who passed away October 25th.  Fats was an amazing Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Famer, performing for nearly 60 years.  He had 35 records on the Billboard Top 40 with songs like “Blueberry Hill.” Fats Domino had an amazing list of achievements in his lifetime.

On this same day, as if keeping his name alive like the Olympic flame, IBM announced that the Domino product line has been energized with what I believe is unprecedented financial backing not seen since IBM acquired Lotus. IBM announced several key things around the brand including a partnership HCL to provide an infusion of product development.  The product list includes:

  • IBM Notes and Domino
  • IBM SmartCloud Notes
  • IBM Notes Traveler
  • IBM Mobile Connect
  • IBM Verse
  • IBM Mail Support for Microsoft Outlook (IMSMO)
  • IBM Enterprise Integrator (LEI)
  • IBM Sametime portfolio
  • IBM Connections Chat/Meetings
  • IBM Client Access (ICAA)

Along with this announcement is the next major release Domino 10, scheduled for 2018.
You can register to participate in the community input on the product roadmap with #Domino2025 Jam.  And version FP10 for Version 9.0.1 is on track to be released by end of year.

IBM already established the success of the IBM-HCL partnership with their Tivoli and Rational Software brands, so this will be a natural extension of that partnership.

IBM Domino, like its musical namesake, already has legendary longevity of success.  I would not be surprised to see IBM Notes/Domino portfolio rival the career of the Great “Fats” Domino.

By the way, IBM, thanks for using Yellow in your announcement.

2017 IBM Champion Nominations are being accepted

It is that time of year again.  If you know someone who has stood out in the IBM world, go here and nominate them so they get the recognition they deserve.


Here are the criteria taken from the nomination page:

Demonstrate both expertise in and extraordinary support and advocacy for IBM technology, communities, and solutions.
Share advocacy and influence both within and outside their organizations or customer engagements.
Influence and mentor to help others make the most of investments in IBM software, solutions and services.

You want to nominate (or renominate) those who have offered significant contributions over the past 12 months. Consider what you (or they) have done that is regular, significant, impactful. Contributions should be above and beyond a nominee’s job duties, but may be internal or external. The list below is just a few example

– Regularly blogging or creating other technical content
– Tweeting regularly (on topics relevant to our industry, but not necessarily IBM-specific tweets)
– Speaking at multiple events in a calendar year
– User Group Conference Committee member (involves the planning and execution of one or more conferences, events, or meetups)
– President, Leader, or Board member of a worldwide or local user group
– Providing regular customer reference engagements
– Regularly being an advocate for IBM products inside your organization, making connections, and educating users

Cognitive Collaboration is here with IBM Watson Workspace

IBM has extended the power of artificial intelligence to business persistent chats.  The software is called IBM Watson Workspace and it was just released last week.  The power is not just in its ability to interpret content and context, but also that it can be integrated with so many other platforms via the APIs.  Rather than write my interpretation of it, I will let you start by reading and watching what IBM has put together here.

Free version of Domino for development/testing

Yes, non-production IBM Domino servers can be run for free now.  You can set up a server for development or testing.  It must be installed as a utility server, not enterprise.
Read the official European IBM post here and the US post is here.

Find the software on DeveloperWorks.  Details on getting the FPs are still being worked out.


Engage 2018 User Group location: on a cruise ship!

This may be a first for user group meetings.  Engage will be held May 22-23 on the Holland America cruise ship SS Rotterdam.  How cool is that?  When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.  No need to search for the evening venues, etc.  It is all in one location.  And there is no worry about people arriving late or leaving early to catch a plane.  Awesome.  Start planning on it.  The hardest part is convincing your boss that this is a work-related professional development event.
Kudos to fellow IBM Champion Theo Heselmans!

How to fix sync issues after upgrading to Traveler or higher

A recent technote on the IBM support website was published that more clearly explains a new default value that may catch you by surprise.  It allows Traveler to access the mail file as the user rather than as the Traveler server.  This can be impacted by security settings in the server documents of the mail server and the Traveler server.  So if users are having issues with synchronizing their mail after the upgrade, this is a good article to start with for troubleshooting.

Hot off the press: Join me at Watson Workspace!

IBM Watson Workspace logo

Watson Workspace desktop clients are now available HERE.  Watson Workspace is a community collaboration tool that also uses Watson to filter and categorize the content.   The product is still in beta, but if you are already in a workspace with me, you can access the desktop app now.  (mobile apps are already available)

If you are not in the beta program and would like to be, post a comment and we will communicate separately to get you added.

New Hybrid Mailbox Preview. I did NOT see this coming!

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
–> home. The profile of an eagle's head adjoining the words United States Postal Service are the two elements that are combined to form the corporate signature.

My USPS® Free Upgrade Offers Preview of Incoming Mail

Example of Informed Delivery on desktop and mobile device

We are excited to announce that the My USPS application will soon be upgraded to offer you more benefits and convenience.

No action is required from you – you will retain your My USPS benefits, but will also have access to Informed Delivery® notifications, a new, free feature that gives you the ability to see a digital preview of your incoming mail. Informed Delivery allows you to view grayscale images of the exterior, address side of your household’s letter-sized mailpieces* on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. This new feature offers the convenience of seeing what is coming to your mailbox – anytime, anywhere.

Now when you log in to your My USPS account, you will be able to track packages and view a preview of your letter-sized mailpieces in one, integrated dashboard. Your dashboard will display mailpiece images for a seven-day period; you can also opt to receive these images via email notification.

To learn more about Informed Delivery notifications, please visit the Informed Delivery FAQs. We are proud to offer you more insight into your mail delivery, and thank you for being a valued USPS customer.

Your United States Postal Service®


Attention current and former IBM Champions: Prominic is offering you free hosting!

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:


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