Monday, September 14, 2009

Collaboration University 2009 Day 1

Today I started my sophomore year at Collaboration University in Chicago. This is a conference focused on the advanced collaboration products from Lotus, including Sametime, Quickr, and Connections.

We started the day with a keynote from Louis Richardson, Worldwide Sales Executive for Lotus. Louis is an excellent presenter and covered the reasons why companies need better collaboration tools.

Some key questions:
  • How much time can you save with accurate information? (Do you have the current version of the file?)
  • Who wrote this, and why should you care - are you using credible resources?
  • Accurate, credible, instantaneous - it's about time. Are you waiting & wasting?
You can watch the full keynote right here!
Live video by Ustream
For the most rest of the day, I attended a series of sessions on Sametime 8.5 with Gabriella Davis. We reviewed the new infrastructure, new meeting center, and the new web based 'zero-download' client.

Key points for Sametime 8.5 are:
  • Key components are now based on WebSphere, including the all new Meeting Center and the web client proxy.
  • The standard IM components are still the traditional Domino based server, including the legacy Meeting Center.
  • Full meeting capabilities will now require the Sametime Connect client or the embedded version in the Notes 8.5.1 client.
  • Meetings are now persistent and can be used as ongoing team collaboration spaces, with documents, chat, and meeting minutes.
  • There is also a Sametime Media Center coming (just released into beta this week) that will provide audio and video capabilities.
  • The zero-download client is an AJAX based web client that provides a chat experience very close to the Sametime Connect client.
  • Sametime 8.5 is due to ship in Q4, 2009.
I also attended a session with Louis Richardson on Quickr integration with Enterprise Content Management systems such as FileNet or IBM Content Manager. Unlike Sharepoint, where ECM integration is based on using ECM as a one way archiving mechanism, Quickr (for Portal) can be used with ECM documents live in the team places. This feature will be brought to Quickr for Domino next may with Quickr 8.5. Perhaps most exciting is that the Quickr Connectors can be used directly with the ECM system to provide a much cleaner interface for end users to manage their documents, as compared to the native ECM web clients.

Finally, I wrapped up the day with Mitch Cohen covering the install and configuration of Lotus Connections 2.5. Mitch did a great job going through the details you need to follow to install Connections. See his blog for ongoing pointers and details.

Day 1 is ending with a welcome reception and a few beers before diving into the 7 sessions on deck for Day 2. Follow us on Twitter for live updates.

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