Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Now Available - IBM and Cisco Integration

Yesterday marked the general availability for the integrated solutions combining IBM's collaboration offerings with Cisco's communication capabilities.  These solutions, which were first announced last year and have been undergoing early adopter testing for the past several months, provide organizations with single sign-on for Cisco collaboration capabilities and the ability to launch them from within IBM Connections Cloud and IBM Verse.

As we have been discussing since the we first announced the partnership, we are focused on providing organizations with the ability to choose the real-time collaboration solutions that best meet their needs, while still offering all of the advantages of a seamless, integrated experience.

As noted in the solution brief, highlights of the integrated capabilities include:


  • Launch Cisco WebEx from Connections Cloud
  • Leverage my Cisco WebEx Personal Room as the default
  • meeting in my IBM VerseTM calendar invites
  • Launch or join a Cisco WebEx meeting from Verse

Share content from Connections Cloud or Verse within Cisco WebEx and Cisco Spark on your iOS device:
  • In the Cisco WebEx Meetings app, share a file from Connections Files Cloud mobile client
  • From the Connections mobile client, choose a file to be opened in the Cisco WebEx Meetings app or Cisco Spark app
  • From the Cisco Spark app, share a file from Connections Cloud mobile client
  • Share an email attachment in the Verse mobile client to the Cisco WebEx Meetings app or Cisco Spark app

  • Click to launch Cisco Spark from Connection Cloud Navigation bar
  • Click to Chat from Connections Cloud business card to Cisco Spark
  • Click to launch Cisco Jabber from Connections Cloud Navigation bar
  • Click to Chat from Connections Cloud business card to Cisco Jabber

IBM VP Marcy Pearson, writing on the Social Business blog, highlights the benefits that organizations can see:

Collaboration Solutions with IBM and Cisco allows your organization to re-think end-to-end collaboration. IBM’s Connections Cloud redefines enterprise engagement by helping workers make better-informed decisions, speeding up access to the right information and expertise inside a connected enterprise. The new Cisco Spark platform redefines real-time communications by changing the way teams work together before, during, and after meetings. Meetings can become simpler, easier, and more effective – all while the technology seems to disappear. Together, this solution joins knowledge and decision-making, in the cloud, to change the way enterprises get things done.
The solutions are integrated not only through single sign-on, but through cross-platform launch, use, and share of capabilities, making users’ each and every workday lighter, simpler, faster and more effective. We accomplish this by providing both real-time and asynchronous collaboration functionality through a single, integrated solution offering. The offering is cloud-based, subscription model, with automatic updates and improvements over time.

The integrated solution can be purchased from IBM sellers and IBM Business Partners.


Connections 6.0 now available for download

IBM Connections 6.0 is now available for download!  Congratulations to the entire team involved in developing and bringing these new capabilities to market.

In addition to the core offering, add-on packages for Orient Me, Touchpoint, the Ephox editor and type-ahead search are available for download from Fix Central or the Business Solutions Catalog.


IBM Connections Compliance for Social now available

It's been a busy month.  In addition to Connections 6 shipping today, IBM is also announcing the availability of the new IBM Connections Compliance for Social solution.

Connections Compliance for Social is provided by Actiance and offers monitoring and compliance for the cloud-based social and chat capabilities of IBM Connections Cloud Social and Connections Cloud S1.

IBM® Connections™ Compliance for Social helps protect your brand image, and supports communications governance and regulatory compliance. The platform actively monitors and provides alerts, as well as captures and stores information in an easy to view format. IBM Connections Compliance for Social is provided by Actiance, an IBM Business Partner and industry leader in security, management, and compliance solutions for unified communications, collaboration, and social networking systems. This offering requires an existing subscription to IBM Connections Cloud Social or IBM Connections Cloud S1.

More details and pricing/ordering information can be found here:  IBM Connections Compliance for Social.  (And for those interested, here is the announcement letter.)

IBM Connections 6 - Availability Announcement and Orient Me

It was great to see the official availability announcement for IBM Connections 6 come out yesterday, with general availability coming at the end of this week.  (Sorry for any confusion on the GA date from the press release the other week - the ship date is in fact 3/31.)

Rene Schimmer does a great job summarizing the new features that will be introduced with this release, and over the next few days I'll dive into a few in particular, starting with Orient Me.  

Orient Me is important both for the features it offers (more on that below) and because it represents the first step towards the Connections "Pink" vision that is the future for the offering.

For those that didn't catch the details from Connect, Pink is not so much an individual product or a specific release of a product, but rather an evolution in the approach that IBM will be using to build and deliver software in our social collaboration portfolio.  The Pink vision includes being designed for extensibility with APIs throughout, flexibility in deployment and data residency across on-premise and cloud environments, a micro-service architecture where every small capability is isolated in its own small service, and cognitive capabilities integrated throughout the offering.

The easiest first step you can take - and one you can take now (well, soon) - to get a taste for what's coming in "Pink" is to deploy Connections 6, and in particular Orient Me.  The Orient Me capabilities are the first features built on the Pink principles, and like Pink, Orient Me is built on modern opensource technologies and deployed as individual Docker containers.  If you're not yet familiar with Docker deployments, now's the perfect time to start. (And for those interested in more technical details, on the front-end, Orient Me uses Bootstrap, React and Redux.  The backend is built on Nodejs and Loopback and separated into various microservices communicating with PubSub via Redis.)  

So, now that I've discussed the strategic importance of Orient Me, what does it actually do?  In a nutshell, it creates a personalized and prioritized home page, using advanced analytics to bring forward the information that is most relevant to you.  

Orient Me allows you to:

  • See, at a glance, the updates and information most relevant to you, displayed in a new visual layout and prioritized based on their interaction with content and people.
  • Apply new content and people filters to better control what you see.
  • Easily view updates grouped by a person, a Community, or content
  • Receive suggestions about the people most likely to be important and relevant to your work
  • See a snapshot of your day in the Action Center, accessible throughout Connections.

Please take a look for it when available on the 31st, and let me know what you think!


All you need to know is…

I was introduced to a story shared by Larry and Ann McDuff about the lessons they learned long-distance hiking by Seth Godin a while back, and it immediately resonated with me.  I went to share it with my son’s FIRST Robotics coach recently and was dismayed to discover that the original link no longer worked.  Fortunately, the Wayback Machine didn’t disappoint.

Five years ago we started the Appalachian Trail with nearly three times our starting pack weight this year. Two weeks into that hike we met Keith, trail name Wolf, a legendary long-distance hiker.

On the trail, the most respected hikers are the ones with the fewest possessions. Wolf was carrying a super-small pack which weighed 14 pounds including food and water. When asked how he got his pack weight so low, Wolf would reply, "All you need to know is that it's possible."

Think about that last line for a minute. Can you think about a time where simply knowing that something was possible allowed you to rise to an occasion, to solve a problem you might have otherwise have given up on?  

And now, what if you take it one step further.  What if you assumed that the task you were tackling was solvable... does that present a different set of options for you than if you had gone into it not knowing whether or not it can be solved?

 Lightweight Living

Recent Announcements (Cisco, Feature Pack 8, Connections 6)

I wanted to make sure that I posted on some recent announcements, as they do (and will) offer some significant improvements in our offerings.

Cisco Integration: Chapter 2

At the Connect conference, IBM announced the April General Availability of our first set of integrated collaboration solutions between Cisco and IBM Collaboration Solutions.  Expected integration for phase 1 includes the following:

  • Launch a Cisco WebEx meeting, or host your own WebEx meeting, directly from Connections Cloud and Verse.
  • Click to Chat from Connections Cloud or Verse navigation bar and business card to Cisco Spark or Jabber.
  • Use WebEx meetings as your Verse calendar default e-meeting.
  • Easily share content from Connections or Verse within your Cisco Spark or WebEx iOS app.
More details on our progress and plans can be found here.

Notes/Domino Feature Pack 8

Earlier this month we released the first enhancements to come out of the Feature Pack approach to updates for Notes/Domino.

Highlights include:
  1. Optionally move views outside of NSF for increased data store in NSF
  2. Java Upgrade to 1.8 runtime.
  3. Increase document summary limit from 64k to 16mb  
  4. Add support for ADFS 3.0
  5. Document encryption for XPages
  6. Optionally enable displaying internet addresses in mail and calendar documents
  7. Mail template update
  8. Improvements in rendering forwarded MIME messages
  9. Optionally add "Group By Date" And "Beginning Of Message" to desktop policy settings

A full list of updates and download information can be found here: Notes/Domino Extended Support
While on the topic of Notes/Domino, I want to call attention to a blog post from Ed Brill regarding product updates from the Connect conference.  Among other important highlights, I want to call out this line in particular (emphasis mine):

"For IBM Notes/Domino 9.0, we have announced that product support will be extended through at least 2021, and extended support through at least 2024. There is no end of life planned for Notes and Domino, and we will continue to update the timeline for support as appropriate based on future releases and market requirements."

IBM Connections 6

Last week IBM announced that we plan to release Connections 6 at the end of the month.  This is a very exciting release, both for the enhancements it brings to creating and managing communities and folder/file sync, and importantly for the new Orient Me capabilities that are being introduced.  

The Orient Me capability in Connections 6 applies advanced analytics to create a personalized and prioritized Home page that surfaces the information that is most relevant to each individual user.  Orient Me is also important because it represents the first release built on the principles that are central to the Connections Pink model we will be employing going forward. Like Connections Pink, Orient Me is built on modern opensource technologies and is deployed as individual Docker containers, the new industry standard for agile, continuous development.  On the front-end, Orient Me uses Bootstrap, React and Redux.  The backend is built on Nodejs and Loopback and separated into various microservices communicating with PubSub via Redis.

I'll be writing about Connections 6 a lot more as we approach the availability date.

Connect 2017 - The Future of Domino Application Development

Here are my live notes from the Future of Domino Application Development session. Nate mentioned getting a video of the demos and integration out on YouTube in the near future.

Update:  Here are the slides used in the session.

Refresh and extend your Domino apps

Barry Rosen, Adam Kesner, Nathan Barry, Ed Brill

Barry Rosen

Forrester did a study.  Employees find business apps to be complicated, inefficient, un-intuitive, too divided and difficult to learn.  Because of the need for multiple apps, 65% of employees said data is often ignored.

Technologies are disrupting the way people work and resetting their expectations.

Domino Is a 27 year old product, but still being used today because of things it does that no one else in market can do.  (Security, Replication, Customization, Workflow, etc.)

What do employees want?
74% want personalized, relevant data
69% want a mobile-first experience
62% delay completing tasks because of multiple systems
61% want consumer-like features in applications (Notifications, Anywhere access, ability to work in real-time, personalization)

A path to refresh and extend domino applications

  • Update user experience, look and feel
  • Legacy apps running on a variety of access models

Why it matters – Thousands of custom Domino applications are business critical.
  • Enabling modern access to that data extends your investment
  • Updating your apps helps employees get work done.

Path to refresh your applicationss:
  • Analyze what applicationss are most valuable to your business
  • Use enhanced APIs and/or partner tools to simplify and refresh Domino apps
  • Notes/Domino will be continuously updated so applications run smoothly and are easy to maintain (Start in Feature Pack 8 with Java 8)

Demo’d Sapho at OGS, will show details on the other partner offerings we're highlighting this week.  

Analyze your applications
How much are they used?  Who uses them?  How complex are they?  Are there mail dependencies?  Which views are used in applications.

IBM and panagenda introduce ApplicationInsights.  Intend to make available to all Domino customers active on S&S.  

Determine which applications are used most, determine which are most complex, analyze your most complex applications with code analysis.  Drill down in those applications to see where complexity (e.g., hard-coded server names).

Will show 50 most used and most complex applications.  Will have part number can purchase to unlock additional instances in 500 instance increments.  Will help you find diamonds and pearls in environment – allow you to show business value in the applications in your environment.

[Screen shots of ApplicationInsights]  Shows total number of database instances, Focus databases are all mail-in and application instances.  Total number of unique designs for focus dbs.  Application list – will let you drill into exactly where in the code you need help.

Refresh and extend portion of roadmap.
We’re doing things at IBM, and also working with partners.

Nate Barry

Intend to enhance API framework to extend capabilities and enable the use of modern application development tools.

What have today:  “DAS” services that expose Domino data vai REST APIs to web and mobile applications.
Mail Service, Calendar service, Freebusy service, Data service.  (Some ship with Domino, all available on OpenNTF).   Will continue investment in these 4.  Taking feedback and see where extend.  Each need additional enhancement, and will do over course of next year.

Additional services intended to be added over coming year:
Directory service:  Browse or search directory over HTTP
Contacts service:  Manage personal contacts in your mailfile
Mail Search service:  Search your mailfile
Subscription service:  Poll for changes or register for push (long poll) in an application
Management service: Register users and manage groups.

Define all services via the OpenAPI Specification.  IBM intends to publish YAML definitions according to the OpenAPI specification for all REST services (formally known as Swagger specification; enables integration with a number of 3rd party tools, including Swagger tools.

Freebusy definition is available and in process of pushing to OpenNTF page.  Calendar will be coming soon, followed by updates as enhance and get to new services.

[Demo with Swagger Tools]

Will have YouTube videos showing integrations.  Will post to openNTF.

Another project – SmartNSF.  On OpenNTF right now (thank you to Christian and Alex).  Access Notes application logic via RESET APIs
Allows you to expose embedded business logic for apps to web and mobile via REST APIs, the same way you can with your Mail.  Developer defines a microservice for the application with domain-specific language.  Build your UI based on the technology you want.

Allows developer to define the API.  Map what you want to expose and how you want to expose it.  Can also expose your agents, create document with a form and will look just like you created it in the Notes client.  New, open source, on OpenNTF.

Some things coming next to make it even more powerful – auto-generate Swagger definitions for your application’s APIs.  Dialog-based wizard for generation of REST APIs for your applications.

Adam Kesner

Three partners that can help modernize apps.  There are more, but these are three highlighting right now.

Sapho – Create micro apps with Sapho builder that can surface notifications and micro-apps and take actions.
Aveedo – Wizard to convert whole application
Darwino – Build own mobile/Web UI into Domino data, bidirectional replication

[See slides for details on each and when use - sorry, was too hard to capture what was in the slides here.]

Ed Brill

Candidly, a year ago this story was pretty inconceivable. It was your vocalization and encouragement and clear message that this product and platform continues to be important to you and your organization that led to these announcements this week.  It shows the importance of this community and relationship we’ve had for decades.  We know you have done amazing things with this product and can continue to do so and want to give you the options to continue to go forward.

Some things we won’t do organically – true to how we’ve leveraged partners and groups like OpenNTF in past.

We wanted to show you that we’re going to put actual investment in, putting team to work developing new capabilities.  There’s some great stuff in the feature packs, and we couldn’t cover all of it in OGS.  

Thank you for your continued support of the platform and hopefully this message to continue support for at least next 5 years and probably beyond that is coming across, continuing to add value to your subscription (things like Verse on Premises).  

Mike Gotta (Gartner) – Workstream Collaboration

Mike Gotta, VP Research at Gartner, opened the IBM Watson Workspace and Watson Work Services Strategy and Roadmap session with his perspective on the dynamics we’re seeing today around the emerging workstream collaboration market.  

A couple of things that stood out for me (my comments in italics):

  • Conversation is the new binding fabric for teams.  (This idea of conversation vs. collaboration is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, so it was good to hear this from him, too.)
  • Work is becoming more and more non-routine, and non-routine work requires conversational insight (and a different set of tooling than we’ve had in previous generations of tools).  (Also points to need to automate as much of the routine work as possible, leaving only the non-routine for manual handling.)
  • There is no shortage of vendors approaching this space, and they’re mostly coming at it from the angle of their existing solutions (e.g., when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.)  (My view: Bridging the old and the new – or more to the point, integrating the old and the new – is going to be important both to ease the adoption pain, but also to allow people to naturally figure out which tool is right for which situation.)
  • Importance of not just making this “another inbox.”

Live notes:

Still trying to untangle team coordination and performance

The basic core dynamics on what makes for better team dynamics and performance is something still trying to get hands around.

Work is becoming more and more nonroutine.  More squishy, dynamic, situational.  And that requires different way of thinking, different set of tooling than we had in previous generation of tools.  

Two attributes – situational awareness and self-synchronization.  (Came out of military.).  Workstream collaboration – allow one team-member to self-synchronize without impacting others.

Can we find a way to replicate the dynamics and practices of high performing teams to create network effects?

Conversation as the new binding fabric for teams.

How did we get here?

Starting in 1990s – influenced by Productivity suites (document workspaces) --> influenced by market convergence (real-time collab workspace) --> influenced by consumer social media (community & professional networking workspace) --> influenced by consumer mobile messaging (conversational workspace)

Focus on productivity --> Focus on relationships --> Focus on performance

Routine work --> Non-Routine Work

What collaborative activities work best?
  • DevOps
  • Cross-functional work
  • Rapid & Incident Response
  • Exception Handling
  • Innovation Groups

Gartner Findings:  The Optimist
  • Conversation models are broken across collaboration & unified communication tools.
  • Vendors entering market from different “heritages” emphasizing different core features.
  • Nonroutine work requires conversational insight.
  • Conversational insight occurs between people & between people & conversational AI platforms (CAP)
  • Workstream collaboration can improve team coordination and performance in ways that delivers compelling business results.

Garter Findings:  The Pessimist
  • Early stage market with evolving collection of vendors.  New entrants still to come.
  • Technical maturity varies.
  • Focus on business use cases weak.
  • Conversation overload (“another inbox”).
  • Solves some work styles but not all.
  • Better support needed for collaborative work management.
  • Employee learning curve as well as the digital dexterity needed for effective use.

  • Assess how the market is delivering workstream collaboration solutions to understand your options
  • Expect to manage a small, diverse portfolio of workstream solutions (early stage market, avoid standardization)
  • Apply workstram collaboration for team activities similar in behavior and team dynamics as found in the use cases presented
  • Act in a bottoms-up manner but manage as a portfolio and program.
  • Assess deployments to gauge effectiveness and make necessary adjustments.

Connect 2017 – Opening General Session (Part 2)

Best-effort live notes from the session.  Synthesis/take-aways to follow.

Ed Brill

History of bringing community together over past several decades.  Glad to be back part of it.

[Buzzword Bingo card shared]

Refreshed and streamlined our portfolio, and laid foundation for Watson Work.

Today’s tools can’t handle the constant influx of information.  They add to the noise.  Notifications, alerts, etc.  Tools push people away from business outcomes and feel overwhelmed rather than productive.

Solve user problems with tools that are open, seamless and cognitive.

Imagine an inbox that does half the work for you.  

What was introduced in 2016:
·        Verse:  Over 30 new features, calendar inbox.  
·        Notes/Domino.  Announced product support through at least 2021 (over 30 years since first released).  Feature packs – bundles features and fixes on regular basis.  Shipped Verse on Premises.  (And there is more coming this afternoon.)
·        Sametime 9.0.1 .Formally announcing support and feature packs through at least 2021
·        Cloud:  All data centers in multi-active environment.  New certifications like privacy shield.  Pan-Asian data center.  3rd party marketplaces.  US Federal Data Center
·        Cisco and Box:  In June, announced new partnership with Cisco.  Expect to see available in April.  Integration with Box, plan to do more in 2017.   Offering with Actiance, and in next few months similar solution for Cloud.  GENBAND – integration for voice/video calling on desktop and mobile devices.
·        Connections Cloud:  Smart Search.  Community Metrics.
·        Microsoft Integration IMSMO integration, Connections integration into Outlook sidebar expected to come this year.

Rishi Vaish
Cognitive should be available to everyone to embed in their own solutions.

Watson Work Services:  Platform is cognitive because it understands business conversation and translate into actions.

Understand business conversation:
1.        Detecting intent of individual message
2.        Identify topics from part of a conversation
3.        Summarizing conversation
4.        Learning business dialect for specific industry or domain

Translate into actions for applications:
1.        Integrating with applications
2.        Enrich streaming with that info
3.        Interact with application to clarify intent
4.        Take action right from conversation stream

Watson Workspace:  Open conversational collaboration environment built on Watson Work Services platform.

Ecosystem is critical part of what we do, designed to bring you choice.

Box on stage.
Box has had APIs for a time – have more traffic from 3rd party apps than native interface.  Customers building own applications on Box.  Especially in regulated industries.

Doing a lot of work with IoT, working with BlueMix.  Showed how can add sensors to shipping containers, feed through IBM IoT to pull content in from Box (Manifests, etc.)

Worked with IBM MobileFirst team to build field sales resource tool to make sure they always have up to date info.

Box Relay – Embodiment of partnership between Box and IBM.  Collaborative workflow tool, designed by Box team with IBM’s workflow engine under hood.  Will be coming to market this year.

Box working with Watson.  Store docs and content for thousands of organizations.  Making platform more intelligent is key part of strategy.  Working with Watson Workspace to surface there.

Chris Crummey
Three-part demo of how we use this technology at IBM.  Everything is deployed at IBM or is beta or preview.

Start with mobile device.  Connections App.  Filter by content type.  At bottom is tabbed navigation to quickly go through different types.

Smart search – organized all files I’ve navigated to in past few days.  

Swipe out mobile action center – important to me, calendar, recent updates.  Pivot on community or person.

Document provider extension.  All the apps on your mobile devices can take better advantage of Connections Files.  (e.g., can open and do round trip editing in PPT on mobile device.)  (No longer have to say “I have to wait to get back to my desktop to do that.”)

Back to laptop – talk about communities.  Make them more flexible and customizable.

Looking at World of Watson 2016 community page.  Want to make it look more like web page, and want to copy forward for WoW 2017.  Move navigation to top like traditional websites do.  Also choose to copy community.

My Drive – has all folders, files and nested folders that sync to desktop. Can synchronize files and folders shared with me.  See all nested folders and files that synchronized in Finder.  

How cognitive cut time down by 1/3. cognitive editor from Ephox.  Reading page, parsing, adding tags.  Have suggestions for external news articles, YouTube videos, internal content, experts.  Drag/drop suggestions into wiki.  Can turn on tone analyzer to figure out tone.

Time to Act – XCC digital workplace tool.  Both cloud and native on-prem.

Weave social into fabric of user experience.  Can weave both internal and external content into framework.  Leverage fact that personalized and rule-based.  E.g., if new hire, show one thing, otherwise show something else.

Laura Rodriguez
Think about typical workday.  Are you in control of that day, or is that day controlling you?  Are the things important to you a few clicks away?

Configurations could be GENBAND, Watson Workspace, etc.  In this example, launch Jabber chat.  From the same business card, trigger Watson Workspace.  In business card, see consolidated business card with social tools.

Go to message Chris sent.  Customized, 3rd party integrated live text.  E.g., part number in part number database goes right there.  Click on name to bring up LinkedIn.

Tone analyzer – cognitive coach to read tone of note.

To field is active… click brings up custom directory search for people associated with an account number that happens to be listed in the email.  Tried to send to someone not on account and before send, was presented with warning message saying sending to someone not on account.

Verse calendar inbox – Ghosted draft of invitation not sent yet.  When composing meeting, see calendar list on right for that day.  Same when accept/decline other people’s meetings.

Click to block time on calendar, click and drag to reschedule, change length.

Default meeting can be WebEx, Spark, Oblong, etc.

Switch to Mobile - Click to join WebEx meeting.

Unlimited mail sync.  Can search until the beginning of time.

Tools that meet me on my terms and not the other way around.  Feel in control of day.

Ann-Marie Darrough
Share how using Watson Workspace preview has helped focus, understand intent and take action.

Green dot shows content haven’t seen.  Expand resource view to see files shared.   Can jump to where file referenced in conversation and where discussed.  

Help navigate noise to help prioritize what’s important to me and simply get work done.  Click on moments to trigger Watson Work Services and summarize, pull out key actions.  Can include entries from other applications like Slack.

Sentence that mentions opportunities highlighted and associated with action to bring in sales opportunities from CRM.  Firstrain Insights brings in details about customer account that’s mentioned.  Connections Expert Locator app brings back top results for experts in that area into space.  Can invite them in to discuss opportunity without leaving the space.

Phone has all same capabilities and is synced.

Example – Watson Workspace trained for healthcare… recognizes conversation that talks about follow-up appointment and links to open appointment search.

Recognize importance of continued care and feeding for Domino environment that you have spent decades building. Notes/Domino is lifeblood of many organizations and will continue to be well into the future.

Thrilled to report we have created a path forward.

First – Announcing a plan for new REST APIs to supply extensibility for the platform.  Continuing to work with OpenNTF community around new ways to access Notes logic.

Help understand domino environment on deeper level – which apps used most and most valuable to employees.  AppicationInsight powered by panagenda.  Builds on partnership had with them for last several years around Domino Doublecheck.  

Lot of you want to invest in exposing applications to users in new ways.  Highlighting 3 partners – Darwino, Aveedo by We4IT and Sapho.  While no truly magic box that anyone’s come up with, these tools will definitely help you leverage your investment.

Let’s look at a Nifty Fifty app – One of the original Notes applications built over 20 years ago, to demonstrate one way to protect investment.

Peter Yared – Founder and CTO, Sapho
Make it quick and easy to deliver microapps to deliver apps like Notes/Domino.
Microapp shows all Domino data.  Can click through to Salesforce data, or contract info from Box.  Can go back and approve because she has all the context she needs.

When travel request approved on phone, submitter can see response in Watson Workspace. See details there, or deep link directly back to Notes.

Built the app in under an hour.

What’s coming next for some of the products you’ve seen today.
IBM Verse:  Delegation for Calendar and mailbox – will come in next 2 quarters.  Other extensibility enhancements.  Verse on Prem to catch up with capabilities in Cloud.  Plan to update Verse editor with cognitive insights.

New - Cognitive Inbox.  Sort through noise so you don’t have to.  Learns your habits and keep you organized.  See at glance if need to upload file or intelligently organize incoming mail to highlight email that needs response.  Highlights tasks that need response.  

Will add additional certifications.  Updating antispam capabilities for users and admin.  Added departmental admin to cloud last week.  Will bring more datacenters online.

IBM Connections – biggest year since introduced.  Next version of Connections.  New onboarding experience, Orient Me, new Connections community experience.

Formally announcing Connections Pink, a modern approach to employee engagement, designed to benefit admins, developers and end users.  Pink is a platform for innovation.  New projects like Project LiveGrid will help surface data, and new ideas around content creation.  

Everything in Pink is an API.  It’s a journey that will lead to single converged codebase for on premises, cloud and hybrid.  With Docker, can make updates continuously.

Rishi – Everyone in conference invited to preview of Watson Workspace and Watson Web Services.  (And if not attending in person, find a friend who attended and they can add you.)

Ann-Marie - What working on in Labs:
Without leaving space, can launch meeting.  Adds URL in room so rest of team can join in.  Can share items in Box with just a few clicks. Speech to text… and recognize that there is an action associated with that.  (e.g., imagine virtual assistant listening in on meetings to recognize actions.)

Chris Crummey:
Training Verse to recognize common actions.  Verse logs into Watson Work in cloud. Using passive learning, so gets better over time.  Customers can train for their dialect, their business.  Customize industry domain classifiers.  (Biggest opportunity for BPs in room.)

Pink architecture – built for future of where we’re heading.  Based on modern, open microservices architecture.  Orient Me and Important to Me bar are examples of those microservices.  Have custom ITM icons.  Drive awareness of LOB initiatives with these capabilities.

Create applications without programming.  Project LiveGrid.  Edit content, add new content, take advantage of social business card built into it.  Started as spreadsheet.  Can see/change fields, @ fields.  Can apply stencils and launch grid.  Simply by building grid, have created data-driven application that can be queried in real time and is available as REST API.

Connect 2017 - Opening General Session (Part 1)

Best-effort live notes from the session.  Synthesis/take-aways to follow.

Connect 2017 Opening General Session - Part I

Cognitive interactive musical opening (featuring lifetime IBM Collaboration Champions - Theo Heselmans, Gab Davis, Julien Robichaux)

We’re here in the heart of San Francisco, heart of tech world.  Always about the people in this very room.  Coming together, with our passions, creating a better way to work.

Honored to be part of a movement started 30 years ago.

At core, how does technology empower people.

These technologies enlighten us as well as enhance our lives at work.  Help focus on people we want to work with and work we want to get done.

Thank you to BPs, customers, developers, millions of users on our applications today.  Story of how tech extends human capabilities.

Hope we can start a new tradition – how we can work together with tech to build something greater than could do individually.  Be part of something bigger than ourselves.  At work, at home, in community.  Last 2 decades focused on personal productivity – work almost anywhere anytime.  Next 2 decades about working together collaboratively in teams.  Teaming inside and outside organization.  Teaming with cognitive services built into applications that we use.

“Work requiring collaboration has increased over 50% over the past decade.”  Harvard Business Review.

Proliferation of tools - work left to user or IT team to stitch together tools.  Cognitive overload, alerts that notify when you don’t need it, or alerts that you do need that you didn’t get.

Average employee interrupted every 11 min, and need 25 min. to get back on task.

Don’t get engaged at level want at work.

Tools remind me of kudzu – growing out of control.  

The average org. now uses:
1,427 cloud services (including dozens of distinct collab and content services)
In average work week, people lose 2 days searching for people/information:  People search:  8.14 hours.  Information search:  7.3

Go from culture of typing and texting to one of conversations and talking
Curating collective insights from teams
Apply machine learning to more complex tasks
Get out of inbox and calendar notifications and into flow of where work actually gets done.  Create new microservices that allows us to create own individual workflows.

Believe these workplaces can be built today – built in open cloud with integrated cognitive capabilities.

We’re applying Watson to enhance everyday work.

Announce Watson Talent and Watson Work.  Solutions from IBM along with partners in open ecosystem.  Watson Talent transforms talent acquisition, development, transform HR processes.  Watson Work is about applying cognitive capabilities to everyday tools around communication, networks.

Watson Work.
Start with Cloud first.  Need to target right workload to right cloud.  We want to create open cloud platform that allows you to rapidly design, deploy services.  Make apps truly modular and flexible.  Co-create with broader dev ecosystem.

Data – You own rich set of data.  Help curate private ent. Data with public data you may license or publicly available to take advantage of for your business.  Help you apply machine learning to enable those systems to learn and automatically take action.

Allow us to process at rate and scale.  Can learn at capacity we could never do on own.

Security and privacy needs that are important for your organization.  Security built into very fabric of solution – has been since the earliest days of Domino.

Applying cognitive to al aspects of capabilities and tools.  Help focus people – human attention – on most important thing in business – delivering higher value.

Augmenting human potential in every day work.

Augmented reality can change how work (e.g., field technicians).

See it in action – Chris Crummey:  5 ways cognitive has changed the way I work

1.        Automatically prioritizes what’s important to me.
2.        Connect to flow of work
3.        Engage cognitive bots and virtual assistants
4.        Engage physical world and Internet of Things
5.        Provides focus and intent when need it the most

Everything you’re about to see is deployed in IBM, in beta, or in preview

Start day in Orient Me homepage.  Can scan the way can a corporate newspaper.  As smart as the experts, but 5 min. later.  Using cognitive and analytics to surface what’s important to me (vs. date/time).  Helps reduce the noise.  Stacks related information, so very easy to get up to speed quickly.  Can switch to date/time view if wanted to.

Go to action center – when have precious 5 min. before next meeting, where should I spend my time.

Go to IBM Verse.  Do same thing here.  Don’t do email by date/time, do by what’s important to me.  Move people on/off Important To Me bar based on projects.  Have email that want to move off thread and into diff. collab model.  Share to blog or Workspace or Salesforce.  Share to Workspace.  Switch over to Workspace, and there’s email that just landed.

Workspace is set of conversations have with team.  Team is collaborating around responding to RFIs.  Ask cognitive bot for help.  Types in question, gets back response from forum.

Integrated Cisco Spark, Salesrforce, Twitter, Slack all into this one space. Connecting flow of my work in and out of applications with just a few clicks.

Another bot – Watson Career Coach.  From Watson Talent portfolio.  Trained it on success profile based on top 10% performers at IBM.  

CHIP – Cognitive Human Interface Program.  Deployed to 85,000 new hires.  Trained on HR, IT, anything a new hire needs.  Ask it best community for new hires?  Responds back with New2Blue Community.

Move over to Sametime, where have a Chip bot.    Asks it who is expert in Verse in London. Upcoming – book travel and send in expense reports via bot.

Google Home.  Sending update to Watson Workspace (via IFTTT).  

Use Apple Watch – Activate coffee maker, which then updates team via Workspace that coffee will be ready in 5 min.

Cognitive moments – understanding intent – question vs. commitment vs. action.  Watson Work Services – available now for developers to work with.  Provide focus and action when need it the most.

Working with company named Oblong.  Full, immersible experiences.  Deployed across IBM.

Turns presentation into fully immersive customer experiences.  Least favorite experience is meetings – apply immersive experience to meetings.

Live streams, files, move from screen to screen.  Allow remote participants to participate in real time.  Mix physical and virtual together.

Use Watson Workspace and turn on cognitive moments to summarize it.  Capture questions, slide over, and use as agenda.  Grab screenshot of portion of live stream video and drop it into Workspace to capture as part of stream and Connections File library at same time.

Box Relay – everyone has access, can do his part, and then go to next step in process.

Collaborate with customer over Workspace with Docusign integration.  Triggers Docusign bot to have them sign.

Everything saw was powered by 3 things:  Open, Seamless, Cognitive

Inhi - Customer stories:

Jennifer Griffith – Director of Employee Communications, UPS

Over 440,000 employees.  About 70% are not desk employees.

Started collab journey over 2 years ago with IBM Connections to connect geo dispersed workforce, access info anytime, anywhere.  Help with faster decision making.

Took controlled and deliberate approach of deployment.  Started with one community based on peak season.  Asked for ideas for what worked with peak seasons.  Over 1,800 comments.  700 deemed to have business value and 40 deployed by following peak season.  After that – people appreciated being asked about input.

Started community for top 150 leaders.  They subsequently recommended platform to their teams.  

About 6 months ago upgraded to 5.5 and ripped bandaid off – gave everyone full access to create public communities.  (Up to that, had to come through Communications group.)  Since then, grown to over 600 communities.  Mostly organic growth, over 1M visits to Connections.

Unexpected advantages?  Know we were focused on business outcomes and help make better decisions, connect experts.  People expect ability to collaborate, not just send email back and forth.  Expect to see each other’s faces.  Used connections to handle voting for cake contest on UPS birthday.  Regional voting via ideation blog.

Sustainable ambassador community – over 7000 UPSers interested in improving impact on environment.  CIO hosted hackathon via connections at corporate campus.  

What’s next:  Bringing external non-employees into community to collaborate (e.g., retirees, interns, external vendors).  Growing use of mobile.  Notifications feature has been real win for people.  Looking at how integrated Workspace and cognitive.  Signed small deal with Box around collab and file sharing.

Next Client – Adam Hunt.  CIO of Mears Group.

Mears founded in 1988, UK based, specialize in home care and care for people living in homes (provide breakfast, medicine, etc.) 20,000 employees (up from 1000 in 2004).

16,000 of employees hardly ever go into office.  Not traditional IT users.  Put central services out using Connections product.  Use video conferencing in Connections to reduce travel time.  

Wanted to go Cloud first – didn’t want to maintain new systems.  Wanted BYO device (used to need company-owned device to access Connections).  Wanted soft landing for new employees, so spent a lot of time on onboarding, pointing in right direction on platform.

When think about future of collab for Mears group:  What can Watson Workspace do for us – shut down some other systems out in business and bring back to IBM Connections.  How use machine learning to automate environment.  When request for repair comes in, have it look through unstructured data in Connections to make suggestion before someone goes to house.

Sneak preview of what share after lunch:  Rishi Vaish, VP Watson Workspace and Work Services and Ed Brill, VP Offering Management and Design.

Core Principles:
1.         Redefine everyday work with cognitive – common cognitive platform
2.        2.  New apps that embrace what you have –
3.        Open collaboration platforms and APIs
4.        Security and privacy –

Open APIs – see that from us in all offerings.  Give ISVs an opportunity for new channel, and for developers, can make solutions their own and tune to own business processes.

Embracing that in our own strategy – microservices – build through agile and update several times a day.

Common Cognitive Platform – same cognitive capabilities

Reinvigorating existing offerings – major updates for Connections, Cognitive in Verse, Notes/Domino.

Enables choice – you get to pick tools that you want to use in your daily work and maintain flow

Dr. Sheena Iyengar, Professor of Business, Columbia Business School.

Research on our ability to make decisions and choices  

Comparison of Watson and Bram Stoker (final jeopardy question during Watson’s match).

How artificial intelligence allows us to create undying life… but also a little scary because talks about entities out there that might subjugate us for their own use.  Might make us redundant, our lives purposeless.

Watson’s the kind of thing that gives us hope but also makes us a little nervous.

Watson not doing job of human – doesn’t know how to imagine fictional world, how to create that fictional world.  What’s interesting about humans is that we can imagine that future, and it’s because of that imagination that we can manifest and make new choices – that imagining and choosing is what makes us human.

Studying choice – how do better, understand it better.  Explain two kinds of things we do as choosers.

Three important outcomes of choice
1.        The more choices we have, the morel likely we are to delay (choose not to choose)
2.        The more choices we have, the more errors we make and the less consistent we are
3.        The more choices we have, the more dissatisfied we are with our choice, no matter whether small (chocolate) or big (career choice).

Maybe Watson can give us a helping hand (or brain).  Help us become better choosers.

80% of day spent doing email, texting, in meetings.  A lot of activity that doesn’t allow us to just think, get thoughts together, mind wandering time.  We’re actually pretty good at focusing and attention – just not when it keeps coming at us.  Multitasking reduces our IQ by an average of 8 points.  Watson can help remind us where left off, quick summary of what just did.  Favorite vision for what want to do with Watson as professor – take picture of where left off discussion, drop in Dropbox, email to entire class, and ask Watson for other articles on topics discussed in class.  Then by next class, not only reminding where left off, but sent new articles that might not have thought of or remembered.

Think about Watson as Holmesian Watson (as in Sherlock) – helps us not just make us more efficient or make more connections, but also help improve lives, help save lives.  70% of problems that happen in hospitals are because of communication – problems that could have been solved if had Watson as sidekick.

Our humanity might require us to embrace a non-human face.  To work together to imagine a better tomorrow and build it choice by choice.

Introduce a couple new leaders on the team in addition to Ed and Rishi.  One just joined 6 weeks ago, and the other joined at the beginning of last year.  Shawn Flynn, VP of enterprise sales and Rich Jefts, VP Customer Success, Services and Support.