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If you viewed my previous post, I asked HCL leadership the question: “Will you skip V13.0?” at the HCL Factory Tour. The conversation quickly went down a rabbit hole and I never got a clear answer. But the answer is quietly revealed on this website listing the fixes. You will notice there are already entries posted for V14.0.
While I’m here, I was looking at the historical data to see any trends or other noteworthy facts. HCL purged the data before 9.0.1 FP7, but I happen to have the original Notes database taken from when we could use Lotus Notes to access the Notes.net website and from that view you can see the following data going back to version 7 and earlier:
There is also a view of the number of fixes for each release and it becomes evident the number of fixes per year has dramatically increased since HCL took over. As I look back at the history, it also tells the approximate release dates for major releases. Can you tell where HCL Software took over?
In the beginning, Lotus was in control and putting out a major release about every 3 years. IBM maintained this pace until 8.0 was released in 2007. After that, IBM all but shut down feature development, taking nearly 11 years to produce the next two releases before development was taken over by HCL. With HCL, the development team was let loose and the results have been a new major release in a bit over once per year. Major versions are where the new features are introduced. What I find most impressive is that HCL also had to deal with the transition of taking over the business in those first 2 years and then COVID hit in January of 2020, right after the release of 11.0. The software development aspects have clearly improved with the transition to HCL. It looks like there will be no V13, but I expect we will see V14.0 sometime in 2023.
Coming soon, I will address Question #2 from Ask HCL Anything session: Why doesn’t HCL host a centralized location for this community to congregate and collaborate, using HCL software to drive it?
What does it take to earn this badge? In a nutshell, build an app that works on mobile & web and performs a set of minimum requirements.
Learn more at https://hclsw.co/vmxcert
and see the table of minimum features here: HCL Volt MX Certified Associate Developer Rubric
What? You don’t have the software? Contact an HCL business partner, like Divergent Solutions to get a license.
Hot Press: HCL Announces Dates for End of Support for older versions of Notes/Domino. v12.0.2 coming soon.
HCL just announced the dates that v9.0.x and v10.0.x of HCL Notes and Domino (Lotus Notes) will no longer be available for download and the date when HCL will no longer offer technical support for them.
Dec 1, 2022 – End of Marketing (EOM) – HCL will remove the software downloads from Flexnet. If you want a copy of this software, you have just 5 months to download it.
Jun 1, 2024 – End of Support – HCL will not provide customer support after this date and there will be no option for extended support on it. But seriously, why are you running a 12-year-old version of software for mission critical apps anyway?
While we’re talking about software versions, HCL continues the hot pace of prolific software development. You can see the progress of version 12.0.2 right here. It also shows progress on the maintenance release 11.0.1 FP6.
This is great news as it will push the laggards along on the Innovation Adoption curve. When organizations cling to an older version of software (imagine if you were still using Windows 8?), their employees develop an inaccurate, bad opinion of the software. That inaccurate publicity hurts the success of the software which feeds upon itself, causing the company leadership to think the problem is the software rather than their failed maintenance of it. So Kudos to HCL for driving customers to do the right thing and upgrade.
Lotus Notes certifications were first started with R3 as I recall. There was a test series for developers and for administrators. In later versions they added a harder test for Principal level of certification. The title was Certified Lotus Professional Developer and Certified Lotus Professional Administrator ( Some of us dedicated professionals earned the distinction of Dual Principal Certified Lotus Professional.
Certification exams were abandoned by IBM after R9, but HCL has had certification exams on their list of action items since they acquired the Lotus portfolio of software, along with other education materials to further professional growth and expertise in their software. It looks like the first version of testing will come with V12. There will be the usual admin and dev tracks, there are plans for Security and Volt MX as well. You can find the slide deck that was presented by HCL at the 2022 Engage User Group Conference.
It has been 2 years since many of us have been able to give a speech to a live audience in person. Some of you may have NEVER given a speech anywhere except via your webcam. I’m going to tell you 20 fundamentally important things you have forgotten (or never knew) about giving a speech to a live audience. Also check out my video and article on The Worst (and Best) Practices for Giving Online Speeches.
The list below is just the bones. The video above contains the meat.
- Never leave an empty stage.
Like a relay racer handing off the baton, always shake hands to hand off the stage to the next speaker.
- Take your name tag off before walking on stage.
- The clock doesn’t start until you do. Take a moment. Gather thoughts. Study the room.
- You don’t have to pin the timer. They will be sitting in an obvious place in the room.
Also, there is no gallery view when in person.
- This one is for the audience: There’s no recording when it’s in person, so Take good notes.
You will get a printed agenda. Write on the back.
- Stand up. You shouldn’t be sitting when you speak anyway.
- Body Language. Use your whole body from Head to Toe. (and dress appropriately from head to toe too)
- You’ll have a stage. Use all of it.
- Passage of time in our culture goes from audience Left to Right. That is Speaker’s Right to Left.
- Positional reference. You can refer to something by the place you talked about it on the stage.
(ex: at home, went to TM, realized I forgot something back at home)
Can be a person, place, time, mood, etc
- As you speak, Look around the audience naturally, deliberately, equally (front/back/left/right)
- Hold eye contact with individuals in the audience for about one sentence at a time. Not too long/short
- Keep your eyes off the ground (unless it is intentional)
- Don’t turn your back on the Audience.
- There’s no virtual background, no screen to share, don’t ask “Can you see my screen?” and you can’t turn your camera off.
- Project so the person in the back can always hear you without straining.
- Live voice is always more dynamic than listening through computer speakers. Use it!
- If you have a PowerPoint presentation – talk to the audience, not your slides.
- There is no mic to unmute. (unless you are using a microphone)
- Know your speech (doesn’t mean memorize), notes are OK, teleprompters aren’t.
BONUS 21. Unless you are deaf, waving your hands in the air is NOT applause. Please clap. That is what you will hear at the end of every speech. and if it’s an icebreaker it will be a standing ovation.
Always shake hands before leaving the stage
Take your name tag off before going on stage
Pause before you start speaking
Get familiar with how the timing works
Be prepared to take notes
Use your whole body and dress appropriately from head to toe
Use the whole stage
As you use the stage, time should flow from Audience’s Left to Right
Take advantage of Positional Reference
Make eye contact naturally, deliberately, equally Front/back/left/right
Hold eye contact for one sentence with any one person
Don’t look at the ground
Don’t turn your back
There’s no screen to hide or share and no virtual backgrounds
Project your voice so the person at the back can hear you without straining
Take advantage of the dynamic possibilities of live voice
Talk to the audience, not the PPT
There is no forgetting to unmute the mic
Know your speech.
See you On Stage!
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.
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.