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:


How Customer Service Matters

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
$0.21 regulatory
$1.23 Administrative/line/mo
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.

Notes / Domino 10

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?

IBM Connect 2017 Ad that didn’t quite make the Superbowl

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!

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