Monday, December 19, 2016

Mission Worries: Lotus Quickr to IBM Connections Cloud


Who knew so many people still had Lotus Quickr? See IBM I told you people love it still.

There are many things to think about during a migration of data, most of which you as the client will not think about, or even know about, until you have moved and find it out. Do you know why? Because not very many companies, people, or Business Partners have done these migrations like I have over 20+ years. 

These "Mission" posts are meant to help you in this process.

Last post I gave some basic information, now we can dig into some details.

The client uses a plain and out of the box Lotus Quickr so we did not have to worry about meta data or odd forms or whatever else dreamed up by some developers or over eager Admins. I know because I am their Admin.

We did worry about some things and here are some of those items:
  • My name for the most part is tagged to all the files and folders NOW which is how IBM Connections and IBM Connections Cloud works since I am the one uploading the files.That is the down side, however, once you get into the folders and find the files, you can see all the document details and it shows all the past information. Not a bad thing, but not perfect. Client accepted this as a good monetary trade off.
  • MACs lack of a Notes sidebar plugin. No comment. I am not a MAC user so I am not justified in arguing this point but the Windows Notes plugin is helpful....BUT not for the migration itself. Afterwards it acts like the Quickr Places sidebar app and drag and drop and such is fine plus you get Files, Activities and Status Updates in your sidebar to better leverage the rest of Connections.
  • Training users. Actual training is minimal, updating the Notes clients on machines and then the plugin installs and configurations takes about an hour a person on average. If you leverage SmartUpgrade or my friends at Panagenda's Marvel Client you may just need the plugins updated and that is quick.
  • Where is the ROI? Mobility! iPad access in front of a client meeting or potential client meeting is crucial and even better, IBM handles the backup of our data. 
  • Which brings me to backups. IBM doesn't really backup the data, this is an issue to be addressed by me going forward, but IBM does synch data between their data centers and in IBM we trust, so again a trade off. Not to worry the Quickr server running on VM will just be sitting here if we need data prior to January 1, 2017. Just like the Domino.Doc VM server sits waiting for something we lost from the previous migration. For those keeping score, I have NEVER run that VM to find any files that went "missing". 
  • Multiple Folder levels. It is this one item which has prevented the client from moving until now. Promised by IBM over a year ago, and it was delivered, just not the way the client wanted it to work(it also only now lets you edit and create folders from the plugins and mobile which also did not come out last year). We had patience in IBM and since I am an IBM Champion and part of various beta teams for IBM and advisory councils, I pushed for it all to get done, as did quite a few fellow Champions. So if this is what you have been waiting for, you have no reason not to move forward now. January is free for me, let me know when you need your migration done by and I am here for you.
  • Timing. Start testing as early as possible as you need a lot of testing scenarios. Keep in mind that uploading speeds are usually MUCH slower than downloading speeds. So that Terabyte of data will not get uploaded overnight, I don't care who you use or what they promise you.
  • What if they hate using the Cloud? Said, no. one. ever...who knows what they are doing.
Are there more issues? Sure, every environment is different and I am happy to discuss them if you comment or tweet, call, skype or email me.

I forgot to mention this was a Windows server customer, and I could complete the migration no matter what operating system platform you are running Lotus Quickr.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

HUGE Change Coming for non SSL Traveler Customers

This was to go into effect on January 1, 2017 but IBM has relented, edit is from yesterday, so you have 3 months, and not a nightmare on January 2nd to return to from vacation.

IBM published this Technote which lays it all out in black and white: 

IMPORTANT: You must ensure that your IBM Verse Mobile and Traveler connections are secure and compliant with these requirements by March 15, 2017

This is not about IBM Connections Cloud users but is about on-premises installations of IBM Notes Traveler.

As the Technote states:
In the coming months, IBM will be enhancing the IBM Verse for iOS, IBM Verse for Android, IBM Notes Traveler Companion and IBM Notes Traveler To Do mobile apps to require that a secure connection be used between the mobile app and the endpoint used for connecting to the IBM Traveler server. 

The gist of it is, without HTTPS and valid SSL certificates you will lose your connectivity.

Please read the Technote for all the details and plan accordingly if you have yet to setup your SSL certificates.

If you need help, just ask. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Looking Back on 5 Years and Forward as an IBM Champion


"We've got five years, what a surprise
We've got five years, my brain hurts a lot"..David Bowie, Five Years

IBM has granted me another year as their ambassador. Well, me and 122 other friends and colleagues. You can read the announcement here. Congratulations everyone!

This will be my 5th year as an ICS Champion and I was a Websphere Champion for 3 years.

I was not part of the first class. A friend told me at the time, "the people elected in the 2nd year are the ones to watch, so stick with it, your time may come". He was right, in time I was elected.

The people from that first year, 16 are still Champions today, are the pillars of this community. When someone asks me how to become a Champion I point to some of the 16 or any of the 100s of past and current Champions as guides.

It is interesting to note that IBM said there were over 630 nominations for over 170 unique nominees. Think about that for a minute. On average each nominee had just over 3 nominations, no doubt many had more, as well as some who had only one.

Looking at this from a world view, we represent many countries, see this post.. I think I am p[art of EMEA so we make up 52% of this year's Champions. In some cases, IBM Business Partners have multiple IBM Champions on their team and there are also many customers represented as well.

To be upfront and honest, I am still in disbelief I was reelected. I appreciate it and hopefully, some clients wrote me in and said some nice things. I felt this year was a weak year for me. I need to get cracking on 2017.

I get asked by many friends and family what is an IBM Champion? How does one get to be one?

Here for your review is my "maybe don't follow my lead entirely" examples and my thoughts in the hope it gives people some insights. Keep in mind much of this is the same no matter what vendor you have in mind to reach such status. I have no idea what really determines the judging and if you read the post referenced above, many IBMers voted so it was not just "knowing some people".

So here we go:
My blog posting last year was all of 4 posts. 4! Although I have over 1,000 posts, so if you search for me, a long tail of posts travels well I guess. Hint, blog more than 4 times a year especially if few people know you.

Speaking events, I was limited in travel so had to make do with attending only one IBM event ICON UK. Although I did speak at various other business events, mostly here in Israel, not sure this won it for me this year. However, I did speak at several IBM related events in Q4 in 2015 which counts to this year. Moral of the story is to get out there and speak and you shall be found(and post slide decks to Slideshare, your blog, on SocMed).

I did help IBM with some webinars, internal ones and for Business Partners on messaging migrations and Cloud Migrations for the #newwaytolearn sessions. So if you are a Business Partner, help IBM, it goes a long way. Here is a hint, DeveloperWorks has a search and I found numerous references to things I have posted, like my Sametime 9 Spreadsheet for documenting your environment referenced by other people. This post did get updated in 2016. So IBMers read things we post online and it helps to get your name seen inside.

No tests, for the 2nd year in a row I did not get to create any tests for certification. But this, I felt, always helped.

Social Media. I cut back on retweeting every IBM message and focused on what was important for me and my clients. Whatever SocMed you use, keep in mind there are gripes and there are legitimate complaints. Choose wisely how you do it is all I will say, as I have over the years said and posted a few things that bit me and hurt some people, which I apologized for afterward. However, over 10 years of it has 98% of the time gone well, and brought me quite a few clients, so think about your posting.

User Experiences, Beta codes, Council Memberships, Advisory Meetings. If you don't participate then the people who need to know you, never will. IBM is huge and time is precious for them so if you are not on one of these, if not all of them like I am and other Champions, you are missing out on another angle.You do not need to be a Champion to be part of these, all you need to do is ask and watch for announcements about them. User experience labs used to be at Lotusphere IBM Connect.

But Keith, isn't being an IBM Champion about public displays of affection for IBM? No, it is about PR yes, but we don't have to love all their choices and as I said at ICON UK, Domino is cooler than Pokemon Go to me. Laugh all you want, but in the room at the time it made sense.IBM, like any other company, need all the help they can get on the public side, so while internal things are helpful, external are many multiples more important.

Take a "public" stand. I don't care which, but love Connections or Cloud or Watson or whatever development coolness and make it your own. I spend my time fighting off Microsoft, Gmail, Jive and numerous "messaging systems" ESN and also do the same for CRMs. Some people think I am Don Quixote but it is what I love and enjoy. I think it works for me and if you look at many Champions they have their stake in the ground. What's yours?

Help everyone. Skype, Twitter, Hangout, Forums, Slack chats and posts are there to ask and to help. Do I help everyone? No, I know what I know and offer help where possible. As do almost every Champion I know. We all give our time, for free, to help everyone else. It is called Collaboration, among other words, and if you are not in the discussions, you are not helping IBM nor your clients.

Podcasts, Webinars, Live support tips and other similar things always get you noticed. Why? Easy, IBMers, and anyone else, can take those and reuse them in front of potential clients and existing customers. You don't have to be prolific, but you do need to be consistent. If you think the rest of us cover everything, then you have no place as an IBM Champion. There are so many things to cover, find your niche and just do it! Hint, if you can do it in your native language other than English that goes pretty far as well. Just make sure your local country sales and execs know about your efforts. I posted this in 2015 it has over 800 hits, in Hebrew for the Israel market where IBM Domino is not so strong but IBM Connections is recognized.

Clients. Help your clients, renew their licenses, expand their worlds, make them IBM references. And maybe, get nominated by them. My gut instinct says IBM prefers to see non-related nominations like a client submission, but again, just my thinking. It helps if you ask for the referral once you delivered your project on time, under budget and without a hitch.

Start and run a User Group, known as LUGs (Lotus User Groups) but nowadays go by many names. if you can run an event and bring in clients and speakers and it goes well, you are way above me in credit to being a Champion. I help a group or two in minor ways. Every bit helps. Start volunteering if you are part of one and again, put a stake in the ground.

If you are in sales or a customer then IBM knows you and probably loves you more than you can imagine. BUT that doesn't guarantee you to be an IBM Champion. You have to do all the stuff above, but inside your organization. You can do it. Others have, and it is much easier than you may think.

If you read this far you may say, but I was a Champion, I did all of that, and now I am not one, what went wrong?

I can not tell you anything except the bar, especially this year, is raised pretty high! People I have known for years finally are Champions and although I nominated some, others I really need to apologize to when I see them for not thinking of them.

If you travel frequently, you may see one of us, Champion luggage or backpack or shoulder bag or jacket. We are free billboards for IBM, but if we didn't love what we do, we wouldn't be Champions and we are proud to be out there. Introvert, extrovert, ambivert we are all of you, and more, so no matter what you think is holding you back, it is only in your mind.

So in 5 years it has been fun and filled with great memories and a few failings on my own which in retrospect I should have gone after the lost chances. It happens. Keep doing the public side whenever possible because that is what helps you the most.

At times our discussions, which are verbose, get geekly technical even when not discussing IBM things. As a non-developer I glaze over much of the dev talks but knowing even in general terms how or what to do with the tools and code is worth the feeling like a kindergartener in a University lecture.

And you need a strong sense of humor and not take yourself too seriously, once you are a Champion. We all have our hobbies and preferences of culture and country and generally have a great time when all together.

Don't be afraid to come to talk to us, we are just normal people(very loud normal people when together) and it never fails to warm our hearts to know someone read a post of ours or we helped solve some issue for you because of our efforts.

One pro tip for you, no time to blog or video or social media? Book your own time in your calendar. It works.

So what does the future hold? How will I see 2017 when it comes time for nominations?

I want to be a part of an organization that understands all of the above, is not afraid to try something new or work on ways to make IBM products easier for users to adapt and manage and let me be that front line of engagement. As a non-developer I have the luxury of knowing or at least understanding security, mobility, analytics, CRM, user psychology, executives psychology, architecture and watching the next generation of collaboration come to fruition. And it is cheaper for me to go to Europe, even the US, than some of the places people live in Europe.

If I can find this, then my nomination for next year will be so much more rewarding, and easier to believe I can get reelected because when you are doing great work, it shows in all your efforts.

Thank you, IBM, Amanda and Libby and the Champion program for another year of great opportunities!

See you all next year and hopefully in San Francisco at IBM Connect 2017.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mission Accepted: Lotus Quickr to IBM Connections Cloud

My last Lotus Quickr customer is moving off of Quickr by December 31st.

I love Quickr, still do, but time marches on and maybe you found yourself looking at Quickr wondering:

  • How do I secure this box? You have options, and hopefully have used them, but the server is trapped on an 8.5 server which is basically an unsafe server to run at t his point especially if it has access to/from the outside world.
  • Accessing your data is getting harder as browsers advance but the code on the server does not recognize all the updates of course.
  • Mobile needs, never really got a working Mobile client for Quickr
  • Java, yeah well it was good while it lasted
The thing is, if you are solely using it internally it can just sit there for years on end, some of you out there know exactly what i am talking about too.

IBM does not provide a tool to migrate data from Quickr to Connections. IBM Global Services relies on a tool from a Business Partner and you can go that route. It is priced accordingly.

However, in this case my client is not that large and only has about 300GB of data in Quickr so we decided to move it using the tools available to us.

I did many tests before it was agreed to move to IBM Connections Cloud, the client already owns and uses Mail and Sametime there so the move to it would not involve new licensing. 

In fact, we saved money by not needing to renew our Lotus Quickr, now called IBM Connections licenses and support.

Once it was shown we had viable functionality, which basically meant many tiers of FOLDERS that could be created and edited via Notes, Plugins to Windows and MACs, we were ready to go. 

Sorry taxonomy and search people, but when you need many files quickly, search is not your friend especially if you have no idea what the file is called. This is a religious argument to have at the next LUG or IBM Connect event.

So if I didn't go with IBM, how did I do it? Same way I have done migrations for over 20 years, ask around and build and leverage what you have to work with and it should save the client about 40% of the Global services price. 

Your mileage may vary, but if you are in need of this, my January is free now so call, email, tweet, skype me to help move you to IBM Connections Cloud from Quickr.

Next post will be about the process involved, for those interested let me know so I can provide more details to help you.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

How to Create Multiple Communities in IBM Connections or Connections Cloud?

As a non developer, this was easier than I imagined it would be, once help arrived from my friends.

I have a Lotus IBM Quickr customer, my last one, so any Quickr sites, contact me I am available! Anyway, I am moving them from Quickr to the IBM Connections Cloud environment.

This post is not about the move itself, but about how one can create over 200 new communities(200+ Places and 220GB of data) without having to hire an intern to do it manually.

I posted to the chat for IBM Connections people and my friends Christoph and Ben pointed me to the Connections API documentation. Yes, it looks and reads like gibberish so I asked if there was an easier way and one of them found a blog post by Julius.

Julius, as it turned out, was also in the chat and I asked if this post would work for Connections Cloud, no one knew. So we tried. And failed. Christoph said we needed a header, which as it turns out was the correct answer, an atom+xml header.

Confused yet? Well you could review Julius's blog post where he covers almost everything, but here is what you need to know.

Using Firefox and the RESTClient plugin you get a nice little UI that lets you create your request in pretty simple XML terms. Thanks Julius for coding something simple enough for me to figure out how to swap in the information to make it work.

These are the steps:
1) Set the header. I did not even see the little menu on top of the screen with a drop down to create headers.
Click on Headers to see the choices and select Custom Header.










When the next window comes up, enter the text as in my screen shot. To remember this for future need, click on  the Save to favorite box then say ok.








2) For the Method drop down box, select POST
3) For the URL, you need to use: https://apps.na.collabserv.com/communities/service/atom/communities/my
4) The body field, this is where the fun starts.

This is what my code looked like in basic form.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<entry
xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom"
xmlns:app="http://www.w3.org/2007/app"
xmlns:snx="http://www.ibm.com/xmlns/prod/sn">
<id>ignored</id>

<title type="text">Jefferson Airplane</title>

<summary type="text">ignored</summary>
<content type="html">Music group in san francisco</content>
<published>ignored</published>

<author>
<name>Keith Brooks</name>
<email>keith@keithbrooks.com</email>
<snx:userid>18675309</snx:userid>
<snx:userState>active</snx:userState>
</author>

<updated>ignored</updated>

<category term="community" scheme="http://www.ibm.com/xmlns/prod/sn/type"></category>
<snx:membercount>ignored</snx:membercount>
<snx:communityType>private</snx:communityType>
</entry>

 5) Once run you should get a 201 Created reply and when you go to the communities you will see it.


Next step is to include members and format the communities. Will post an edit or a new post with that code for those in need.

Thank you again Julius, Christoph and Ben!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

See the Future You Want to See

IBM recently announced the continued support for Notes and Domino through the year 2021. As we transition to the Cloud, and Verse becomes more prominent, it is not surprising that we reach this apex.

Remember cc:mail? What about the IBM Notes Server? How about Microsoft Mail? Windows for Workgroups? Palm Pilot? Apple Newton? Yes, the technology landscape is filled with artifacts that were stepping stones to the great products we have today. Every generation leads to newer, faster, leaner (physical disk space size, ok, in this case quite the opposite!) improved products.

While it is still in beta, Verse on Premises is that next giant step forward. Does it include Domino? Just as much as Windows clients and servers rely on DOS commands. Built for the future it is the direction IBM is leading us. It is an exciting adventure filled with unknowns. Remember how Domino, the beta Web server, became THE Domino server and brought us into the Internet realm? 

Well Verse is doing exactly this and bringing IBM and its customers to the Cloud realm. So we drop a name or two and stop point releases, outside of your admins and devs, who need to know to support the system, does any user care what version they use? It is all about the Pokemon Go integration! Seriously speaking, it is about being up to date with security and integration points with tools everyone needs to get their daily lives and jobs accomplished.

Ok, maybe some older products will fall by the wayside, just like Domino.Doc led to Quickr which led in some ways to IBM Connections. Will Toscana replace Sametime? Will the new deals IBM made with Box, Cisco and Genband bring an end to the Sametime product line which I have been playing with since it was in beta back in the mid 90’s? I can’t say for sure, but I can see where the next generation needs to break free.

But life carries on, and so do we, as IBM customers, Business Partners, and IBM Champions eagerly await the next generation of products. Will they be based on SoftLayer and Bluemix? Maybe a new platform not yet announced? Will Watson really know all about your projects and needs and take care of them before you get to the office? I don’t know, but it sure is fun guessing isn’t it? It would be nice to know that when you start a new job your favorite candy is waiting for you? (Watson, remember, Candy Corn for me, thanks!)

I am currently attending, and speaking, at the ICON UK event in London held at IBM Southbank. Here, surrounded by the Big Blue Lovefest crossed with the Yellowverse of Lotus fans we are producing that green with envy feeling from people who wrote off IBM and Notes, to their sometimes regret. Haters got to hate, and as an Enterprise your choices are few, is it really in your interest to NOT look at what IBM has on offer today?

Box integration is nice, I am a DropBox user, but it is just storage in the Cloud. I see no difference between them for my purpose. I prefer to think that online storage will have a specific guideline so everyone can universally use it, similar to how SMTP works across all servers. Many people say “mail is ubiquitous”. If so, then why not use IBM Verse? Is it so against your mindset to be open to the fact that the IBM fresh out of school whiz kids are creating some future mail clients? In return people ask me why I don’t use O365. I answer, I have, and on a personal level, I may one of these days, but as a business, I don’t want an app that “just” does email and nothing else. I prefer not to have the chaos of 20 mini apps to do what I could get from one client and one solution. Now with the Cloud side this is getting harder than when everything was on premises. This is the conundrum the developers and futurists think about, how we achieve the full client experience, from a browser. Indeed we will come full circle and that new generation of client and integration is just starting to see the light.


My crystal ball is cloudy and the next few years, as the last few, are steeped in random acts of genius crossed with WTF theories. The end result will be smart, practical and integrated and anyone’s guess which product or solution will be the winner. I hope it is IBM. As I watch the IBM of old get younger and younger, they are working towards a better future for everyone and not just a Smarter Planet.

Monday, March 14, 2016

At Last

‘Cause after a while and a thousand miles, it all becomes the same... - Bill Joel
Once upon a time in his song The Entertainer about life on the road as a musician.

This is my 1,000th blog post under the LotusEvangelist brand/title/moniker/aura. I had planned to write this one December 31st or when the latest IBM Champion announcement came out, but I was a few blog posts short.

The early days, 2007 or so, I was blogging quite frequently but over the years that slowed down considerably. Last year I had barely a post a month. I could blame G+, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or just face a reality that one cannot write forever. It is not writer’s block but more likely I have said all I wanted to say on this topic. This of course is not true, but it would seem this way based on the data.

Many of my posts were about technical peculiarities and things I, and hopefully you, learned along the way. The ecosystem of Lotus, now IBM Notes and Domino, thrived because we all worked together to help it grow, collaboration at its best. The original belief I had that we, the experienced ones, needed to help the new admins and people who were not getting training anymore was what led me to continue writing once I found my muse for this blog.

The Muse was a lack of evangelism around the Lotus brand. Many Lotus, now IBM, technical blogs exist, but few theory or business related ones. In particular no one really wanted to engage the enemies of our livelihood. It was a role I had when I worked for Lotus and one which I desperately wanted to see the Tiger team and SWAT teams perform, but that never happened. Internally I know they published but it was the lack of external information which pushed me further down this blog of a rabbit hole.

There were 70 FUD Buster Friday posts which were way too much fun to write until there was not enough to really write about further. As Paul Simon once said, “I could see the writing on the wall”. Plus, to be honest, I don’t like the serial, “I have to write another Friday” post feeling, it goes against my free spirited view of life.  However, it is the best way to create a following, by being consistent.

Of course the other vendors also stopped publishing the hard core stuff against us. A few people, not many, asked me to stop wasting my time on these posts and yet many others ask if I will write more for posts and the upstarts they come across. Being an IBM Champion has caused me to respond to these maybe too often. I don’t apologize, they were written because I wanted to write them, not because I thought I needed to do so, or because IBM or anyone else pushed me to do so. The life of an evangelist is a double edged sword at times.

My blog also was used to help promote events. I tried to promote not just the many conferences and training events I was a part of, but some of the ones I never could get to as well. I tried to average 4 events a year to be a part of, and help, where, and when I could with other ones. My blog also helped me speak on 3 different occasions at SugarCon, the SugarCRM annual event.

Sometimes I wrote things I regretted, sometimes I wrote the most amazing posts and no one read them. What encourages readership is beyond me at times but I do know that timing is everything. My iNotes posts from years ago are still hit every.single.day, go figure.

I had some fun posts, various holidays and quirks of pop culture and even discussions about the opera and live tweeting it. Yes, it has been quite a bit of fun over the years. The blog helped me become an IBM Redbooks Thought Leader with a Social Residency. I wish I could be a part of these further for IBM and help train the new people and also protect them from the zombieness of canned social media. Be yourself, some of you out there get it and you should be encouraged further.

Speaking of IBM Redbooks, there were various Redbooks I wrote or took part in writing. There were articles written for The View and Exams that I wrote. I would be remiss if I did not mention the Quickr Administrator book. All of these great things, and people, may not have come about if I had not been blogging and getting my name out there in some way shape or form. And almost all of this was before I was an IBM Champion too.

And now, now I believe it is time to admit that much of what I wanted to say has been said. Are there still things I’d like to post, yes. Will I? That is a good question and only time will tell.

My next project is taking shape and as it grows I will keep you informed but I believe it will take much of my free time and so I am not going to say this is the end, but I do not expect to post often and given the last year or so, I think I am being pretty open and honest on this point.

The friends, places and events which I have been a part of over the years are what give me hope for the future endeavors we all embark upon to shine the light of collaboration, trust, friendship and experience no matter what business, or where, we end up.

For the first time in my life I feel old. I go to events and realize I am not the average attendee age, I am the old guy in the room. I wasn’t expecting this to happen, not yet at least. The interesting thing is my peers and friends, and readers, are in the same boat. We see the new people coming up the ranks and some of them really are as good, if not better, than we were and are today. Some of us also only get better with age.

Blogging is not a young or old thing to do. It is an expression of creativity, or sanity check, which I have enjoyed. I cannot express my appreciation enough to all the people who commented, liked a post, met me at an event and shook my hand, bought me a drink or thanked me for being there and helping them out, or just encouraging them to go for broke, but keep their day job too.

It was, and is, worth it and I don’t regret more than 2-3 posts over all that time which I think is a pretty good ratio.

Last second words of Wisdom:
Don’t post Shit(but do write some fun posts), think about how people will react when you are being provocative, don’t dump on the hand that feeds you, be it IBM or any vendor, or your customers. Try to give credit to others when it is due, if you get great help from support please blog about it for their managers benefit(Yes, I know it is about the survey but I also know it lets the support people know we care).

I’d like to think I will write another 1,000 posts in time, just not wait 9 years again to reach the milestone.


No idea when I will see you next, maybe at the next conference, maybe in an airport passing through, but we will see each other again soon my friends.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Dog Ate My Translation Homework and other stories from the ITA Conference

Yesterday I had the pleasure of addressing the ITA, Israel Translator Association, in Jerusalem at their 2016 conference.
ITA conference, keith brooks, jerusalemIt was my first formal speaking engagement in Israel since we moved here.

I had only submitted one abstract, but after reading my background was asked by the powers that be to do a second session about disaster recovery and planning for it. Given where we are right now, it seemed appropriate although I felt it was something everyone already knew. Little did I know.

My opening session went well in a packed room where more than half the attendees were in there listening to my Worst Practices session. The information gleaned over the years but much of the impetus from my experiences managing an SEO team of translators that filled our requests for about 15 languages.

I was trying to get across to everyone the nature of the professional world we live in, but may not always be understandable to them. While I hit on some basic issues, I also covered what we expect from them in return, and what they could offer us so they do not miss any opportunities with us.

The truth is, some of this is perfect for Business Partners, consultants and self-employed people in general. You can see it or download from http://www.slideshare.net/kbmsg/what-were-you-thinking-worst-translation-practices



The Disaster Recovery session was almost too real. Slides are here:
http://www.slideshare.net/kbmsg/my-dog-ate-my-translation-assignment?related=1



The 2 weeks prior saw the following happen to me:
Primary laptop motherboard died (oddly enough came back to life, but that is another post)
USB drive stopped working or got corrupted
A client had a bad virus attack them (different one had a DDoS, yeah busy times)
My cell phone is constantly restarting

At the session first we had wifi issues, then we had video connector issues, then we had microphone issues, but it all ended quite well given the previous days.

I had more people come up to me after it and thank me for putting it all in simple terms and an easy process to follow. I provided a simple, and FREE, option for automating their data backups. Fbackup is very simple to use, works very well, is FREE, and is for personal and business usage PLUS automatically backs up to Google Drive. Love or hate Google, Google by the way was a sponsor of the event, no one will deny that a fail safe option for extreme data recovery is a bad thing. We talked about Cloud, USB, External Drives, Tapes, sharing systems, viruses, dead batteries, UPSs etc..

But here is the interesting thing. Many of the people in the room really do not know that much about technology. I thank Sara one of the event organizers for asking me to do the session. Something I take for granted, to be fair I was doing DR and Business Continuity since 1993 including 2 inside the World Trade Centers, I figured people knew the basics.

It goes to show and remind us that however far ahead we may be, we still have a long way to go to bring everyone with us and that is what started me writing this blog, 998 posts ago. This being number 999. I wanted to write for people coming into the industry, people who did not have the benefit of proper training or even mentoring. Based on the feedback yesterday, I am still doing a good job of doing this.

I also had an article published in their magazine that was handed out and hope that was just as well received.