Domino in the Back, Party in the Front

This is my presentation from Icon UK in September which discusses making client decisions whilst keeping Domino, the best mail server in the world, as your underlying architecture

How often do you hear that the business is discussing moving mail platforms because “our users want X” where X is nothing to do with the server and everything to do with the client UI. Domino remains the best mail server available but often user dissatisfaction drives a move and that comes from being asked to use the wrong client or from a bad deployment. If you’re using Domino you have an ever expanding range of clients to choose from browsers, iNotes, Verse, Traveler with iOS integration, Android applications, POP3 and IMAP. 


The full presentation is here

Introducing Penumbra Briefings

On today’s Community Call we were able to share a new initiative being started by The Penumbra Group called Penumbra Briefings.  Penumbra is a worldwide networking group of Business Partners that we have been part of for over 20 years and has as its members many partner companies and people you already know very well.

So what’s a Penumbra briefing?  At our regular meetings one of the things we all enjoy are the open discussions about IBM news and technologies as well as what we are individually working on.  Our idea was to bring that approach to a wider audience in the hopes that others will find it useful and interesting too. These are intended to take two formats:

  1. Monthly webcasts with published topics and with an audience Q&A at the end.
  2. Daily briefings during Connect 2017 in  San Francisco.  Independently from IBM (and not part of any official agenda) we will be holding briefings about the days’ events, sessions and news which will be both live for people attending and broadcast for those not.

If you have 2 minutes to give your feedback on today’s briefing or even the briefing idea,  it would help us identify topics of interest and the best format moving forwards.  We have a very brief survey here

Thank you to Tony Holder, Mike Smith, Lance Spellman, Nigel Cheshire, Wannes Rams and Julian Robichaux for being panelists and moderators today.

More information about the briefings in the presentation below and here is a REPLAY of today’s call.  Details of our next briefing in November will be available soon and we hope you can attend.


Connect 2017 Registration – Same Name But Something Very Different

Today registration has opened for the conference known as Connect 2017.  Connect in Orlando wasn’t anything more than a rename of Lotusphere but although this bears the same name it’s very far from being the same event. Connect 2017 is taking place in Moscone West in San Francisco at the end of February but that’s not the biggest change – the content,  structure and even pricing is drastically different too.

Let’s start with the title and tagline.  No more vague marketing phrases about what the conference is about (“pool of knowledge”) instead we have “Redefine work with Watson”. You may not know what Watson can do for you or your business yet but the conference very clearly is planning to focus on that


Then we have the tracks

Emerging Technologies

Explore the promise of technologies like augmented reality, Internet of Things, blockchain, artificial intelligence and Watson, and their potential to change our work and life challenges.

So if you want to understand new technologies, things your customers are only aware of on the peripheries , if you want to understand how to position your skills and what opportunities are out there this is for you.  This is definitely for me.

Strategy and Business

Discover how pioneers are addressing current trends and issues in the evolving domain of strategy and business. Led by industry speakers and leveraging case method, the track explores business challenges, approaches, and outcomes across engagement, expertise, productivity and work.

I have no idea what will appear in this track but i’m encouraged by the terms ‘industry speakers” which suggests we’ll be hearing from outside IBM

Development, Design and Tools

Delve deep into product, design and code. Build a deep understanding of products and solutions that help us redefine everyday work including Verse, Connections, Notes, Domino, Bluemix, WebEx, Toscana, Spark, Box and more.

.. I’m calling that “Best Practices” in my head.

On top of the tracks there will be “lightning talks” which sounds like pop up Ted type short sessions appearing around the conference.  But what do I know.

Now we come to registration pricing and some nice new offerings

Full Conference Pass @ 1695 USD (or 100 USD less if you are an alumni) this gets you access to everything including receptions, breakfast and lunch. A Daily Conference Pass is also available at 895 USD.

Experience registration at 995 USD includes everything except the hands on labs and breakout sessions. For 995 USD you can still attend keynotes the expo and lightning sessions but if you don’t usually go to regular breakout sessions, if the conference is more of a networking than direct learning event for you, maybe the Experience registration is better.

Finally if all you want to do is visit the Expo and network you could opt for Discover Connect at only 89 USD per day.

Take a look at the registration options here. I’m hoping IBM will allow upgrades from one level to the next but I can’t find any confirmation of that right now.

Connect 2017 – All Change & Call for Speakers

The website for IBM Connect 2017 is now up and giving us more detail about the event next year. It’s all change from Orlando to San Francisco but actually the only thing that hasn’t changed is the name – from the looks of the event and tracks this seems to be a very different kind of conference.

Taking place in San Francisco at Moscone West from 20-23 February there seems to be a bigger focus on new technologies than in the past and certainly ones that step further towards the edges of traditional ICS products.  Today many of us work cross-product and with hybrid infrastructures so its welcoming to see IBM recognising that and offering a conference that gives us both present and future topics to learn.

Registration for the conference isn’t open yet, but you can submit a session as a speaker here  only until Nov 4th and the topics listed give an insight – an exciting one I think – into what the conference will contain.  I plan to submit a session myself and hope to be there in San Francisco next February even if I’m not speaking.

Sessions can be submitted in the following categories:

Emerging Technologies: Join experts discussing technologies that are shaping our world. The Emerging Technologies track explores our work/life challenges and investigates the promise that technologies like Augmented Reality, Internet of Things, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and Watson will bring.

Strategy and Business: Discover how pioneers are addressing current trends and issues in our constantly evolving domain of strategy and business. Led by industry speakers and leveraging case method, the track explores business challenges, approaches, and outcomes across engagement, expertise, productivity, and work.

Development, Design and Tools: Delve deep into product, design and code with the experts. Discover a deep understanding of products and solutions that help us redefine everyday work including Verse, Connections, Notes Domino, Bluemix, Cisco WebEx TM, Toscana, Spark, Box and more.


It’s Cham-peen Time

The IBM Champion program is once more open for nominations for 2017 Champions.  For those of you that don’t know, the Champion program has been set up by IBM to reward and thank people who have established a voice in their community.  To become a Champion first IBM need to know what you do and there is a nomination form which can be used by others to nominate you or by you to nominate yourself.  All the nominations are then reviewed by an internal IBM team who choose the Champions each year.  Before going any further you can nominate people here until Nov 4th.

Last year Theo Heselmans and I were selected as the first IBM Lifetime Champions which means we don’t need to be nominated (I will still be nominating others) and last week I participated in a web conference with IBM on the Champion program, what it’s about, what the value is to you and how to become one.  You can watch and download that event here and I recommend you do if you’re interested in becoming or nominating a Champion.

For me being a Champion means that the work I do, writing, speaking, feeding back to product development, has been valuable to someone , that they wanted to say thank you and that IBM recognise my work.  It doesn’t change what I do or make me more beholden to IBM but it does expand my audience and makes me feel good🙂  So that said, if there is anyone who makes a difference to your work, answering questions via forums, twitter, on their blogs, who speaks or organises a conference or whose contribution you’d miss if they were to stop – NOMINATE THEM here.

I have heard plenty of people say (and said it myself once) “well if no-one nominates me I guess I don’t do enough” and that simply isn’t true.  No-one knows what you do as well as you.  Other people may not nominate you because they don’t know everything you do or simply because they think you have already been nominated.  I’ve been guilty in the past of not nominating someone I thought was a shoe-in only to find out no-one else did either.  Nominating someone else is also a huge compliment to them and a way of saying thank you even if they don’t end up becoming a Champion.

Now go out there and get nominating !

Heads Up For UK Amazon Echo Buyers

After spending far too long (i.e. more than 10 mins) on tech support with my Amazon Echo today I finally rang them.  My problem was that it refused to acknowledge I had Amazon Prime and that TuneIn radio didn’t work so I couldn’t say “Alexa, play BBC Radio 4” for instance.

Calling Amazon UK support and I’m told they entirely messed up the UK Echo devices which ship to auto register with  Apparently tech support have to manually change your Echo registration on their end to force it to connect to the UK site instead of the US and they are “rushed off their feet” doing that as each person calls.  It should be sorted by tomorrow.

  1. The setup was a pain and far too confusing for anyone not technically savvy (say my mother in law)
  2. There is no remote control supplied although one exists they are just too cheap to supply it with the device
  3. They shipped it with the wrong configuration assuming there is no other country other than the US.
  4. You have to call them to get it manually fixed

Amazon is definitely no Apple …

Mac OS Sierra and VPN Problems

I upgraded my Mac at the weekend to Sierra, which went beautifully.  Fast and no problems at all.  Until this morning.  This morning I went to connect to a customer VPN and it has disappeared from my list of VPNs on my Mac.  On further checking I realised that customer ran their VPN as PPTP and PPTP is no longer supported as a VPN option on Mac OS.


I can use 3rd party VPN software and I guess removing it was Apple’s best option – leaving it in place but disabling it would have just led me into trying to make it work not realising it was no longer supported.  Still a warning pre-install of “if you upgrade the following services and applications will no longer work” would have been nice if a bit much to ask for.

Consider this your warning*

*And yes I know PPTP isn’t secure and the customer shouldn’t be using it but that one isn’t my decision.