Posts Tagged 'sametime'

Social media ROI – IT4 Business Event

Tomorrow will be my last lecture as an IBMer, at the 2009 Israel Chamber of Information System Analysts, at Ramat Gan. Similar to last week’s lecture, I’ll be speaking about social media ROI’s, why should a company consider deploying social media solutions, present some customer references and wrap up with IBM’s own deployment story – all in 30min.. :-))
The presentation (in Hebrew) is already available over at slideshare.
My slot is at 12:30 – see you at the event.

During the presentation I referred to Nielsen’s recent report (March 2009) Global Faces and Networked Places (PDF, 2.1MB), pointing out some of the facts about social media in 2008 and beyond. Definitely worth the read.

Lotus mobile solutions

Alan found this great 90 sec video outlining the various mobile solutions Lotus offers todaymessaging for iPhone, messaging for Symbian and WM5/6, social software for Blackberry, rich application access for mobile and instant messaging for mobile. The product/solution names could have been mentioned more, but still – very cool video.
Update: Ed also linked this – the birth of a viral video has began.. 😉

Extending Lotus Sametime – Telephony Integration

This past week at Brussels, Belgium gave me the opportunity to try out my latest Lotus Sametime 7.5.1 plugin – Dial Out. This plugin, part of IBM unified communication and collaboration solution gives the ability to dial out to any number, domestic or international. In the picture here you can see my top bar of Lotus Sametime Client. A quick overview of the different icons, from left to right: start a chat, start a voice chat (or video, if you have a camera), dial out (1st telephone icon), send a file, send an announcement to a group, share application or screen, add to buddy list, click to call (2nd telephone icon – will explain at the next paragraph). The dial out feature, which is connected to my Cisco VoIP extension at the office, enables me to dial out to any number and make a call with the other side, using my default speakers and mic. The person receiving the call sees my office extension on his caller id display. Pretty cool!

I made some calls during my stay at Brussels, and got excellent feedback from the other party. I did use the hotel’s Wi-Fi connection, which was relatively high band-width (although the hotel was fully booked), but still – it was an excellent way of staying in touch with co-workers, BPs and family, at a minimum cost. Much cheaper than using my mobile phone or any other service.

Now a word (maybe a paragraph) about the other telephone icon – click-to-call.
The click-to-call is another plugin that simply connects 2 parties over regular phone lines, either mobile or land line. The method is similar to the ‘call-back’ option most carriers offer: you choose which number you want to dial, the system dials to you (lower rates for incoming call), then dials the other party – and connects you both. The picture should make it more clearer. If you have a low-band network connection, using click-to-call option is preferred.

Both features (Dial out and Click-to-call) are an excellent example of how you can integrate communication with collaboration, on a single platform. I (and others) have commented in the past about the benefits of Lotus Sametime, and its open platform that allows for various 3rd party extensions, and integrates seamlessly with leading telephony providers such as Cisco, Avaya, Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent, 3Com and Nortel.

Speaking of personal impressions of Lotus Sametime, I thought it would be relevant to mention some of our customer references. I choose these 2, as they reflect 2 very different companies, particularly highlighting the various applications of Lotus Sametime, and its high extendability.
The first is GE, one of the largest companies in the world, and one of the largest installation of
Lotus Sametime in the world (234,000 active users and 120,000 concurrent users).
Just some quotes from the case study [PDF, 140Kb]:

  • People now communicate more frequently through Lotus Sametime than through e-mail. And when the network goes down, people don’t care about anything else. All they know is that Lotus Sametime is unavailable.
  • This real-time communication facilitates faster decision-making and helps build relationships faster. When I look at my team, I see that it’s a way of making the whole team more productive.

The second case study is of Celina Insurance [PDF, 144Kb], a company with 175 employees, that actually uses Lotus Sametime to communicate with its independent insurance agents, via the company external portal. Using Lotus Sametime, the agents have direct and immediate access to Celina Insurance stuff, to get answers or address various issues. Again, some quotes:

  • The agents appreciate that they can instantly connect with their Celina underwriter – or anyone else in the company – at the click of a button. We have even had a competitor call us to find out how we do that.
  • As an alternative to drawn out e-mail chains and phone tag, it has proven to be a huge time saver, actually raising productivity while reducing phone calls (and associated costs) by 50 percent.

Here are the links to both case studies:
GE and Celina Insurance.

Would you be my friend?

A very strange thing happened to my Lotus Sametime buddy list the other day – I lost all my friends!!! If I was really into all that “the more friends I have on facebook the happier I am” mantra, the fact of “losing” all my buddies on Sametime could be a possible reason to take my own life. Thank god I’m not that weak… and still haven’t figured out what’s the actual benefit of facebook, other than a virtual Ivy-league sorority, that everyone wants in…

If you think about my empty buddy list, it’s quite funny actually – I have 2 dozen personal groups, but no friends. None what so ever. It’s like I’m living in this imaginary world, creating personal groups to foster my fantasy of colleagues, but I don’t anyone, it’s only groups. Communities I want to feel part of – SWG US, SWG IL, FSS, etc.

So, if you want to know what it feels like when no-one wants to be your friend, take a look at my buddy list.

Oh, as for my buddy list problem:
I’m troubleshooting this right now – so no need to dial 911. I do have friends, lots of them actually, they’re on “online but invisible” mode… 😉

IM is a business necessity

Among the customers I met this week, there were 2 companies, very different in size and operation model. The one thing they had in common was their understanding that IM (instant messaging), and particularly EIM (enterprise IM) – is a viable business tool that improves employees’ productivity and promotes collaboration across the business. Those customers’ view on EIM is not so common is Israel, as most companies are considering IM as a “good to have” other than business necessity. But the trend is changing, as more and more companies are realizing the benefits of collaboration tools, including IM. Both companies are ISVs (Independent Software Vendor), with Hi-Tech orientation, handled by IBM’s Global Technology Unit (GTU). The buzz around Lotus Sametime is gaining momentum, with recent announcements from Lotus, Lotusphere 2008 and more than 16 million corporate users.

When talking to customers about collaboration, one must makes the connections between the different conversation technologies out there (chat, voice, video) and the benefit of a single platform to manage all of those technologies. Both customers are using VoIP, one is using Cisco while the other uses Asterisk open source solution. The world is headed towards convergence, unified communications and collaboration, that would allow us, employees, more freedom, and improve dramatically the collaboration within our company. Gartner even predicts that “Instant messaging will be de facto tool for voice, video and chat by 2011”. No need to wait that long – the technology is already here, and companies, specifically geographically dispersed companies, are making use of it right now.

Both customers I met will benefit from Lotus Sametime, and I think it’s worth mentioning that they are running on different messaging and application platform: one is using Outlook/Exchange while the second uses a combination of Notes/Domino for composite application and Outlook/Exchange for messaging. One of Lotus Sametime great virtues is that there’s no confinement to a single platform. Lotus Sametime will run on either platform, with the same features and ease of use. You can even run Lotus Sametime on Linux, and Sametime 8 will also support Mac’s Leopard. Over at you can find an interesting brochure on Lotus Sametime integration with Microsoft applications [PDF].

Related articles:
Lotus Sametime tops corporate IM platform review
IBM Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions
The Future of Lotus Sametime, with Mike Rhodin, Lotus GM (webcast, registration required)
IBM to integrate UC into Lotus Symphony
Lotus Sametime Installation Webcast [12 min + slides]

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Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at]



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.