Kind of IBM to announce Sametime 9 on the very week when I”m moving to a new blog, so let’ start there. Several people have asked me in the past 48hrs “what’s new” and there’s a lot more than I want to cover in one blog but let’s start with the simple stuff
The Sametime product licensing has changed and that’s great news for those that wanted some of those extra Sametime Advanced features for instance or those that want full featured Instant Messaging but not Meeting functionality. Let me try and sum up as simply as possible (if you hear an explosion it’s someone on the IBM ST Product team’s head exploding but I think this is right)
Firstly Sametime Entry is being withdrawn, that was the simple restricted IM only server license for a single Community. It is not the limited use entitlement you get with a Notes license, that’s still unchanged. For those of you that wanted Sametime Entry what you’ll now be buying is Sametime Communicate which gives you everything Entry entitled you to and more. You want more. If you’re using Instant Messaging your users want more features and the ability to use multiple clients.
Sametime Communicate is what I’m thinking of as the IM license. If you aren’t doing meetings at all , in any way, but you want to use instant messaging on mobile devices, embedded clients, standalone and web with the addition of persistent chat, screen sharing, file transfer and full voice and video - then the Communicate license gives you all the IM related features that used to come with a combination of ST Standard and Advanced but without the use of meetings. The license allows you to use all the features that were previously available in the Advanced licensing including skill tap and the redesigned rich client as well.
Sametime Conference is the license for using meetings including completely re-engineered continuous video and a new redesigned meeting client. There’s a lot more to say on the work done on voice and video on Sametime 9 and what’s coming in the future but I’m leaving that for a later blog however if your only experience of ST Voice and Video is in 8.5x then you are in for a very pleasant surprise with the work that has been done. The Sametime Conference license allows you to attend meetings via a browser , not via the rich meeting client and you don’t have the IM features that come with Sametime Communicate. Think of it like Webex (but obviously much better and with more features).
Sametime Complete is the combination Communicate/Conference license allowing you to do everything that comes with both of those licenses, full featured IM and Meetings both with Audio and Video plus the use of the new Rich Client for both IM and Meetings. I would expect most of my existing Sametime customers to be on Sametime Complete however those new to Sametime and with limited requirements for Meetings may prefer to opt for Sametime Communicate.
For me the most exciting things in Sametime 9 are
- Improved UIs for meeting and client
- Overhauled voice and video to enable multipoint conversations with persistent video (no more looking at a video of me when i’m speaking or switching to the person talking)
- Faster web based meetings supported on more browsers
- All the cool stuff that came with Advanced including skill tap and broadcast tools, persistent chat rooms, offline messaging and screen sharing - as part of the Communicate and Complete licensing. Those are some of the best features that Sametime offers and historically customers were reluctant to take up because of additional licensing.
- As always the integration with other ICS products such as Connections, Notes and iNotes takes a big step forward (more on that later too)
Oh and yes, the Community Server component is still on Domino and it’s Domino 9.
I will be doing a Podcast with Chris Miller and others on September 26th talking about Sametime 9 and how to deploy it. See here
IBM are doing a webcast on what’s new in Sametime 9 you can register for here on September 19th
Making myself stop at this point. My next post is on the servers, system requirements and suggestions for new installs and upgrades.
.. and today’s view from my holiday here in Lake Como