On November 9 at 15.00 BST (16.00 CET, 10am EST), ICON UK will host a special edition of their “Around The Table” webinar series focusing on the recently announced strategic partnership between IBM and HCL. The partnership, which covers the Notes, Domino, Verse and Sametime product families, will deliver a multi-year roadmap for the products, and Notes/Domino 10 has already been announced for a 2018 release.
It this time of the year again: nominations for IBM Champions!
Do you know someone in the community that deserves the title of IBM Champion? Someone who demonstrates both expertise and extraordinary support and advocacy for IBM products, solutions and communities. Perhaps someone who arranges user conferences, create videos to show different concepts, blog and share code. Or someone who speaks at conferences and thus promotes IBM products.
Nominate that person. Or if you are that person, nominate yourself! You are the one that knows the best what you have done. Nominations are open for another week, until November 13, and the URL is https://developer.ibm.com/champions/nominate/.
Finally, here is a video where Libby Ingrassia, IBM Champion Program Manager, explains what the IBM Champion program is, who the Champions are and how to nominate.
We have heard people claiming for years that Notes and Domino is dead. Today IBM announced a move that hopefully should put those statements to a stop.
IBM is partnering with HCL Technologies on the future development of IBM Notes and Domino, as well as SameTime, Verse, Traveler and the other associated products. The products will still belong to IBM, and they continue to manage the product strategy, marketing and licensing using the current offering management teams. The existing IBM development teams will be moving under HCL, where the actual development will happen.
From a customer standpoint nothing will change, except for an increase in investment and development. Support will still go through IBM, using the same PMS system as today. But it will allow IBM to get more developers and resources towards the development of new versions, using the finite budget they after all have. It is a commitment to a sustained long-term roadmap and increased engineering ability.
The big news is that IBM is committing to releasing Notes and Domino 10 in 2018, and also announced that there is no end-of-live date for Domino. Not even an “at least until…” date like before. IBM are even discussing the next version after Domino 10.
What can we expect to see in Domino 10? Inhi Suh, General Manager for IBM Collaboration Solutions, said that application modernization is one of the big focus points. IBM will hold several “jams”, sessions where customers and business partners can give input on what they want to see in upcoming version. You can already register for the first one, called Domino 2025.
Inhi says that not all functions will be in Domino 10, that is not even possible. But there is an increased commitment to the platform, and I expect that we will see many new and exiting features.
In addition, IBM will focus more on small and medium size businesses, not just large organizations. Domino is a great platform even for smaller organizations, so this is a welcome change in strategy.
Anyone who knows their Notes and Domino history knows that the original product, Lotus Notes, was actually not developed by Lotus. It was Iris Associates who created it, under a contract with Lotus Software. many of the developers eventually went from Iris to Lotus, and then to IBM, as IBM took over Lotus. I truly hope that the amazing developers who have been working on the products for decades will be able to move over to HCL and their expertise will be utilized. In my mind that Is crucial for the future success of the products.
If you are a Domino user today, you should be very excited about this news! As more news are made available, I will post them here on my blog.
Yesterday IBM formally launched Watson Workspace as a general availability product. Anyone can now sign up for the free version, previously you needed an invitation. But the interesting part is the enterprise version Workspace Essentials, with features for security and control needed in that kind of environment. There you can also create and manage guest accounts, and you get 20 GB storage per user, compared with 1 GB for the free version. Another difference is the access to support. The free version uses online forums while Workspace Essentials has support and offers SLA. The cost for Workspace Essentials is $6 per user and month, somewhat less for large number of users.
There are a number of ways you can use Watson Workspace. Access through a browser (except Internet Explorer) or on your phone (Android, iOS). There are also native clients, both for Mac and Windows, built using Electron, just like Slack. The desktop app is fast and the user interface is nice and clean.
So what makes IBM Watson Workspace different from other group messaging software like Slack or Microsoft Teams? The answer is Watson and cognative technology. I have been using Watson Workspace for several months, and one of the features I like the most is called Moments, the ability to get a summary of all the messages I missed while I was away so I can catch up quicker. It has been working really well for me. Watson analyzes the messages, group them together by subject and decides what the most important parts are, and display that to me. I can then expand and see more if I like.
Just like in Slack you can add apps to Watson Workspace. The number of apps available now at the launch is very limited, but I would expect many more to be available in the future. Among the apps available are IFTTT and a connection to Slack. In Workspace Essentials there are also apps for IBM Connections and Microsoft Outlook email.
As you expect there is file and image sharing as well as presence indicators. But there is also one (or two, depending on how you see it) missing function. As of now you can’t edit or delete a message. This is however something IBM says is at the top of the list for the next iteration, in the near future.
Watson Workspace has a public API, and if you are a developer you can write your own bots or other tools that integrates with the software. You use Watson Work Services for this.
So will I replace Slack with Watson Workspace? Not fully, as I use Slack to communicate with a number of people today. But I will continue to run Watson Workspace, and probably expand my use. The Moment function is addicting, I really miss it when I use Slack and need to catch up on perhaps hundreds of messages in some channels.
Well done, IBM.
Yesterday I presented at MWLUG, and I want to share my presentation with both the ones attending and anyone who was not able to be there. I am posting two version, one with just the slides, and one with speaker notes, where I tried to capture the content, if not the exact verbiage of the session.
I hope to be able to post the demo database with the code later this week or early next week.
Tomorrow, August 8, you are welcome to attend my presentation “Elementary!” at MWLUG 2017. In about 45 minutes I will show how to easily incorporate Watson functionality in your own applications, both on the web and in your Notes client applications.
I will be using Node-RED and IBM BlueMix to do this, and I think many will be surprised how easy it is, and how little code is needed. For example I will implement translation from English to Spanish with two (2) lines of server side code. To call this from the web you just need another handful of lines.
I hope to see you tomorrow at 5pm!
It is less than 2 weeks left to MWLUG 2017, an outstanding Conference that I will be attending for the third year. This will also be the third year I will be speaking, and this time it will be a brand new presentation. My session, AD103, will be on Tuesday, August 8 at 5pm.
I hear that there are still a couple of openings left. If you have attended a previous MWLUG conference you are entitled to 25% off the registration fee of $100. But even at $100 this is a great deal, with over 50 sessions and much more.
There are a a few openings available for MWLUG in a couple of weeks. The conference is taking place August 8-10 in Alexandria, VA. It is shaping up to be a great experience, with over 50 sessions, two free workshops as well as social events and two round table discussions with IBM on the future of development. Among the many great presenters you will find 20 IBM Champions, as well as several IBMers.
The early bird registration has expired, but if you are a previous attendee, you get $25 off the regular price of $100. If you haven’t registered yet, don’t miss out on this great conference!
I hope to see you at MWLUG. My session Elementary – Incorporating BlueMix, Node-RED and Watson in Domino applications will be Tuesday, August 8 at 5pm.
This year the conference starts a day earlier than usual, on a Tuesday. But everything you are used to from the previous years will be there. Keynotes, sessions, workshops, breakfast and lunch, receptions, networking events, access to experts, and much more. A new even for this year is Linuxfest, known from Lotusphere/IBM Connect. It is again hosted by Bill Malchisky together with a (as of now) secret guest speaker.
You can register for MWLUG 2017 here.