A Tip For Submitting A Best Practices Session

If you go to submit a session for Connect 2017 (which you can do here )- you’ll notice there is no specific Best Practices track like we’ve had in the past.   In fact all the tracks have changed and been grouped under themes

Emerging Technologies
Strategy & Business
Development, Design & Tools etc

So how do you submit what you consider a Best Practices session and more importantly how do attendees find those sessions on the agenda considering they have always been the most popular by far at any conference.  Well the way to do it is to use a session tag.

On the session submission form you have a field for “New Tag” where you can categorise your own session.

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In that field make sure you enter the word “BestPractices” (all one word) and your session will appear as a Best Practices session in the agenda so everyone can find it easily.

 

MWLUG Presentations & Wrap Up

After serveral weeks travelling around the US doing work and visiting friends we ended up in  Austin for MWLUG.  Another great event organised by Richard Moy and the team with lots of great sessions including Scott Souder’s session on IBM Verse, more on Project Toscana and Ben Langhinrichs’ on Data Visualisation which is an area I’m working a lot in right now.

I had three presentations during the conference and ended up doing four to fill in for a session that was cancelled at the last minute.  The Adminblast session I gave was one I hadn’t looked at in over a year until 20 minutes before I started so we all went on a magical journey discovering what I meant to say on each slide as it appeared.

Austin was a great town which I didn’t get to see enough of but luckily we arrived early on the Saturday before the rains started and walked around enjoying the bars and the music. Of all the amazing food on offer I will miss the Vegan Nom taco truck the most. Now to try and reproduce those flavours at home…

IBM Traveler, Management and Security

 

The SSL Problem and How To Deploy SHA2 (with Mark Myers from LDC Via)

 

Adminblast Emergency MWLUG Session (original co-authored with Paul Mooney)

 

Deploying Instant Messaging For Mobile Devices

 

Sametime For Mobile Users – #NWTL

My final New Way To Learn session today was looking at the Sametime mobile clients, Connections Chat and Sametime Meetings.  I hope you find it useful and as always the full recorded session is available in the #NWTL Community.

The slides by themselves are below

In this session we looked at the architecture behind the Sametime mobile applications for chat and meetings. What do you need to deploy to support mobile users and what features are available to them on the different mobile platforms. We also looked at potential bottlenecks, security and troubleshooting for the mobile clients.

Sametime Audio and Video For External Users – NWTL

Today I did the second in my series of Sametime presentations for IBM’s New Way To Learn (NWTL) initiative.    The session was recorded with audio and is available by joining the Community here http://bit.ly/1t7e0LE . The session slides by themselves are on slideshare and shown below.

If your Sametime environment is going to include Audio and Video you will probably want to be able to talk to people outside your own company, or at least to your own users on their mobile devices who aren’t connected via VPN. In this recorded online session as part of IBM’s New Way To Work initiative we reviewed the infrastructure behind the Audio and Video elements of Sametime and how best to extend those features beyond your firewall.

 

Upgrading Sametime 9.0.1 – NWTL

I have been participating in IBM’s New Way To Learn (NWTL) initiative with presentations around Sametime 9.0.1.  The presentations are done online and recorded so they can be viewed later and are available with the audio recordings to anyone who joins the NWTL IBM Community.  If you want to watch the presentation and see other great NWTL presentations you can join the community here http://bit.ly/1XXakab

My  first presentation which was last week was on how to upgrade your Sametime 8.5.2 or 9.0 environment to Sametime 9.0.1.  The slides without the audio are on Slideshare and shown below.

In this recorded online session we looked at all the options to upgrade your existing Sametime environment to Sametime 9.0.1. Whether you have only a single Community server on an early Sametime version or an entire infrastructure including audio and video on 9.0 we outlined how to plan for an upgrade and the pros and cons of doing the work side by side vs in place.

Connections and Traveler At ISBG

I was delighted to be invited to speak at the ISBG (http://isbg.org) conference in Norway which this year was held in Oslo.  I’d like to thank the organisers for being so accommodating to the fact that I could only stay 1 day !

I presented on two topics , Upgrading Connections and Managing Traveler.  The content for both is on slideshare and linked below.  My upgrading Connections session had a lot of new content about 5.5 and 5.5 CR1 and I hadn’t written a Traveler management session from scratch in several years.  I’m not sure how well the audience received them but I am pleased with the content at least.  I hope you find them useful.

So you have IBM Connections installed, but now you need to decide what and when to update. It could be a WebSphere fix or a DB2 fixpack, a new application, a database schema or an entirely new version. Some updates are for security, some for performance and some for new features. In this session we’ll discuss how you can decide when and what to upgrade, how to plan for and perform a safe upgrade regardless of its size, and test when it’s complete. We’ll also discuss what things can trip you up along the way.

 

Traveler is a core component of most companies’ mail infrastructure, but its maintenance and security goes far beyond Domino server management. In this session we’ll look at a Traveler environment from daily tasks to enforcing TLS and starting with understanding how Traveler behaves. We’ll review both standalone and high availability configurations and discuss common problems, as well how best to plan and design a secure and stable infrastructure.

Last week in Eindhoven…

We were in Eindhoven last week at the Engage conference.. over 400 attendees, speakers and IBM’ers gathered for two days of learning, talking and cleaning out the hotel bar of tonic water.. I’ve been to several of the past Engage conferences and Theo always puts on a great event but this was bigger and better than ever.  So why?

IBM sent a lot of executives to Engage with the Opening General Session being given by the new ICS general manager (appointed at Connect in January) Inhi Cho Suh and with product strategy presented by Suzanne Livingston , Sara Gibbons and Chris Crummey.  The first thing Inhi announced was that things are going to change – starting with the Orlando conference which moves to February 22nd at Moscone West in San Francisco.  That’s a big decision and commitment – serious tech companies have conferences in SF and that’s where ICS (IBM Collaboration Services) need to be if they are going to innovate, lead and grow as opposed to maintain.   Inhi also let us know that she has asked the product team to work on a 2020 strategy and that it will include IBM Verse on premise.

Then we got the demo of Verse , Toscana and the thinking behind ICS design.  It’s a shame the OGS wasn’t recorded as Suzanne’s background to their design thinking and Sara & Chris’ demo were both much more detailed (and further advanced) than at Connect in January.  However if you want some idea of what we saw take a look at the OGS video from January (from about 90 seconds in to 20 mins in) here

Aside from the OGS the entire IBM team (of which there were more than 30 in attendance) were everywhere wanting to hear about problems, wanting to listen, wanting to change their relationship with partners, with customers with development for the better.   It’s hard not to be taken up with the positivity and enthusiasm.  I’m an optimistic person but I don’t consider myself naive – I feel that I recognise honesty and intent when people talk to me and I what I heard that ICS was important, investable and part of the core IBM development strategy.

In short I choose to believe until I’m proved wrong.

There were of course plenty of great sessions to attend and, as usual, I missed many of the ones I wanted.  Partly because there were also lots of round table discussions too which I found very interesting.  Apparently I’m still the 8 year old in class first to put her hand up with a question.

My session on SHA2 and SSL vulnerabilities was against Mat Newman’s User Blast and Sara Gibbons’ with Toscana.   We were all along the same corridor and I watched person after person go past my room on their way to Mat or Sara’s , so thank you to everyone who chose to hear about security instead and filled out my room.  I hope you found it useful  (and the hand puppets helpful).  For anyone who wasn’t there I have added it to slideshare 

On the final evening of the event Theo invited speakers to a dinner preceded by a surprise.  The surprise was that 32 of us were sent into the Escape Rooms.. you are locked in a themed room for an hour and have to decode lots of puzzles to find the code to get out.  I’ve always wanted to try an Escape Room and I chose the “Tomb” which was an Egyptian tomb and went in with a team including Tim and Mike, Sue Smith, Bill Malchisky, Mat Newman, Rene Winkelmeyer and Carl Tyler.  We didn’t make it out in time – we were soooooo close.. but a few things to bear in mind

  • The tomb was entirely dark except for a small flashlight Tim found hidden in a basket in a corner and some candles.  My night vision varies from “bad” to “crappy”
  • Having multiple alpha males in a small space all shouting instructions at each other may not be the best way to get out quickly
  • There was sand everywhere.  Everywhere.  My shoes may never recover
  • Tim is great at puzzles but apparently in the dark, without his glasses (which he forgot to bring in) and with 7 people shouting at him to hurry up – not so much
  • There was a really cool effect where we completed a puzzle and lasers appeared out of the eyes of a skull on the wall and we had to position 7 different mirrors around the room to bounce the lasers around to hit a small hole on the wall.  We got so excited doing that we didn’t notice we had completed the puzzle and a new “door” had opened for about 10 mins.
  • I was given a cryptex to decode and open.  I broke it by pulling the end off.
  • With only 1 light source we could only do one thing at a time so some of us spent a lot of time kneeling in the sand feeling around fake skeletons for clues

In the end it was great fun and I’d definitely want to do it again.

All of that plus a chance to talk to lots of customers and see lots of friends – some of which came along just to meet up.

I hope you’re recovered Theo – because we’re all up to do it again next year.