Webcast Dec 1st: Positioning IBM Connections & Document management

Quite often people ask me how they should position and integrate a Social Enterprise Network like IBM Connections in an existing landscape of applications and strategies for managing information and documents. Often they already have several tools, intranets, and applications and want to know what things to consider, how and when to migrate and how to get users to make the transition into using the new platform without getting confused. Or they might be totally new to the concept of working with ‘unstructured’ data and unsure of how to proceed. So being able to take a step back and analyze the relations, effects, impacts and requirements can be really important to making it into a successful project

This will be the topic of the webcast I will be hosting in conjunction with SocialBiz UG on Dec 1st from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EST (16:00-17:00 CET):

Learn to integrate and position IBM Connections with existing document management platforms

“There are a lot of benefits to your organization using IBM Connections, but equally important is knowing how to integrate your social software platform into your existing information management ecosystem and empowering your employees for successful adoption. Join Femke Goedhart for a real-world look at managing the entire integration cycle from evaluating your current environment to creating a migration strategy and handling adoption challenges. Get an understanding of why information management in a Social Enterprise is so critical and how IBM Connections fits into that framework.

Join this webinar for an in-depth look to learn how to:

  • Accurately review and categorize your current information management ecosystem
  • Understand IBM Connections in relation to your company’s current use of Legacy systems
  • Recognize common technical migration challenges
  • Identify what functionality your users may require to use IBM Connections
  • Create an implementation/migration strategy that will assist user adoption “

To register for the webinar go to the SocialBiz UG site or press the button below:

Register Now!

busy weeks! Zurich & Stuttgart

It has been a busy month all over but the last two weeks have been extremely busy. Both with a major project at a customer going live this weekend as well as with two conferences last week and this week. I had a great day on October 28th at the IBM Client center for SNoUG the Swiss Notes User Group and congratulate the SNoUG team on their effort of setting up a fantastic event. I really enjoyed it and found the sessions, connections I made and information I got from the sponsor booths extremely helpful.

I also want to give a big thanks to the team, speakers, sponsors and attendees of Social Connections in Stuttgart who helped make that a great event. After having left the SOCCNX team at the end of SOCCNX 5 due to work pressures and missing the last three events it felt like a warm bath to join the team back for SOCCNX 9. Organizing an event like that with 270 attendees, 65+ speakers and 22 sponsors in a remote location (ok for me) like Stuttgart always is a big challenge but I think we can say it was a big success and completely in line with all the other Social Connections events!

Below I’ve attached the slide decks I used for my presentations both at SNoUG in Zurich on October 28th 2015 and the one in Stuttgart for Social Connections. As the last one was only a short (15min) one the slide deck for that one is significantly shorter than the first one. Enjoy!


Social Connections 9:

Slidedecks – ICONUK

Fall user groups – busy times ahead!

After not having traveled much over the last few months it is promising to shape up to be quite a busy fall this year!

21st/22nd of September – London:

In little over a week I will be attending ICON UK, the UK user group for IBM software users where I will be co-hosting a session with ICON UK organizer Tim Clark on the art of requirements gathering as well as doing a session on my own about file & document management in IBM Connections. ICONUK is a great conference with a fantastic lineup of speakers and I’m really honored to be accepted to be among them. The conference is held at the IBM Client center in the heart of London which is a fabulous location right next to the London Eye. If you haven’t booked a ticket to go yet, do it now. This is one you don’t want to miss!

28th of October – Zürich:

Another user group which I will be attending and speaking at is SNoUG, the Swiss user group for users of IBM/Lotus Notes/Domino, Connections and WebSphere products which will be help in the IBM Client center in Zürich. The session I will be doing here will be focused on the question what to use when it comes to file management in IBM Connections and the differences between the different options like CCM and community files. Andrew Magerman is doing a great job making SNoUG into a a worldclass event and I’m definitely looking forward to going there!

Logo Social Connections

5th/6th of November – Stuttgart:

And last but certainly not least I will be attending Social Connections in Stuttgart. I’m hoping to get a session slot there too but more importantly I will be helping out around the conference. After not having had the time to be involved with the Social Connections team for the last three episodes of this great conference I’m very happy to report that I’m back on the team. It is humbling to see how much this team has done and achieved in the last two years and the conference in Stuttgart is definitely shaping up to be one of the biggest ones to date.

Apart from these three conference I will also be traveling for work so all in all it will be a busy and exciting couple of months for me and I hope to see many of you at one of these great conferences or during the other work related trips I will be taking this fall.




Bringing your IBM Connections files to the user – desktop integration

As someone whit a special interest in both document management and social business anything that touches the both of them and improves the user experience of file management is of special interest to me.
Today was a great day for me in that respect as I got to see/try out some really good new features that help user work with their files in IBM Connections.

IBM Desktop & MS Office Connectors

IBM Connections as a platform is often host to many files. Files can be stored in communities, personal files, folders and / or CCM libraries. An important factor with these files is that users need to be able to work with them quickly and directly and therefore IBM offers not just the browser interface but also a desktop connector and MS Office add-in ribbons so users can access and edit their files directly from within their productivity tools.

MSWordRibbon_IBMDesktopConnectorThese connectors and the mobile apps are a great asset to any IBM Connections installation and help intertwine the IBM Connections environment with every level of the users day-to-day work. Unfortunately there were still a few points in which this was lacking though… With the release of version 15.7 of the Connectors that came out last week most of these have now been resolved:

1). It is now possible to store files from MS Office directly to the IBM Connections environment. Either by clicking on the “Files” or “Communities” icons in the IBM Connections ribbons while in the document or by using the “Save as” option under the [File] menu:

MSWordSaveAs_IBMDesktopConnectorUntil now you had to store the file locally first before you could upload it to IBM Connections as the system would not allow you to store a ‘new’ document directly to it. People who work with files a lot will probably recognize this and I for one am really happy with the fact that this is now resolved!

2). The second big improvement is the fact that it is now possible to store files not just to the community files section but to specific libraries & library folders within those communities as well:MSWordSaveAsDialog_IBMDesktopConnector

A seemingly simple thing but something that wasn’t possible in the previous release and  that will make live a lot easier for those of us working with libraries a lot.

3). Which brings us to the last big change with this latest version of the desktop connector: the fact that the system will now – on close of a document stored in the IBM Connections environment – prompt you to publish it to the environment. Before this update the document was stored in a local folder and the user would have to open the tray icon to upload/publish it, with the new version that is all handled directly and intuitively right at the moment of closing the file. Which means users are less likely to forget and which is a lot simpler.


File Jockey 2.0

Apart from the IBM Connections connectors there is however also another great product that can help you deliver a seamless integration between your IBM Connections environment and the users other applications: File Jockey. As a WebDav tool File Jockey already allows the bulk syncing of IBM Connections data to mobile devices but with version 2.0 that is about to be released it is now also possible to map a network drive to IBM Connections. Why is this relevant? Well, because it allows you to access your IBM Connections files & communities as if it was an ordinary network drive on both Mac as well as Windows and in doing so making it available for not just the MS Office suite applications but any application that needs to access and store files in the IBM Connections environment. Simply by using the [open] and [save as] options.


This might seem obvious but is something that is currently not possible outside of the MS Office suite. File Jockey therefore really opens up the file management experience to other applications like MS Visio, Project management tools, Acrobat reader, AutoCAD and even simple applications like Wordpad and Notepad. All in all a neat little addition to the IBM Connections experience!

 But…. which one should I use?

A good question…. There are a few things to keep in mind:

Cost/maintenance: The IBM Connectors are included with the product and therefore free whereas File Jockey is a third party product and might require you to purchase licenses and perform an install (although I understand that hosting is possible).

Application integration: File Jockey allows you to access your IBM Connections environment through the [Open]  and [Save as]  dialogs in any application that allows access to mapped network drives whereas the IBM Connectors only allow this type of access for the MS Office suite. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways to store files to IBM Connections from other applications but they usually require extra steps for the user.

Additional features: The IBM Connectors offer far more options then the File Jockey integrations. Where File Jockey really only offers access to the files, the IBM connectors offer additional options like Check-in/Check-out, viewing of the versions and storing content to wiki’s, activities and blogs as well. There level of integration is deeper but therefore also limited to the MS Office suite applications.

On prem/Cloud?: Both connectors work with on prem as well as cloud.

The beauty is that you do not need to make a choice but can use both. So instead of seeing the two as competitors I would strongly advise organizations who want to stimulate their users to utilize their IBM Connections environment for file management to look at implementing both.


All in all these new connectors really offer great new options for users to work with their IBM Connections files and are worth checking out. With these and the rumors around upcoming changes in file/folder management in the new release of IBM Connections I can’t wait to see where IBM will be taking IBM Connections file management from here!

  •  The IBM Connectors are available and can be tried out here
  • A description of File Jockey and an instruction on how to try it out against the Smartcloud environment can be found here. No account on Smartcloud? Try it on Greenhouse instead