Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

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!