Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Connections vs. Quickr

Someone on Twitter posed an excellent question today, when should one use Quickr or Connections. This is not the first, or last time someone posts on this topic, so do your research too, or contact me. This is meant to be seen as a basic overview.

There are numerous answers to this and the fact that someone asked implies IBM and we Business Partners have not done a great job of explaining the difference. Most likely I will not do it service, and some will have better answers than I and if so, please comment.

While there is overlap between parts of Lotus Quickr and Lotus Connections there are also some fundamental differences about them.

Quickr, for example comes in a Domino format and a Websphere J2EE format.
Connections on the other hand ONLY comes in a Websphere J2EE format. Previously I used the term Mostly because Domino could be running the mail side.

Both come ready to work on multiple Operating systems.

Quickr is more likely to be used by a group or project of people within an organization, sometimes with external users. Their needs revolve around secure file sharing, some workflow perhaps, management of details and deadlines and of course the ability to let others know when something has been posted or changed with an alert via email. Security is the primary benefit, sharing of data and being selective about who can see or edit that data is of importance.This is like having your typical silo business unit where what goes inside it, stays inside it.

Connections is more about the individual, but within the enterprise as the whole, profiles are important, sharing of documents or grouping them and making them freely accessible is a by product, creating communities that will thrive about a product or idea that are more social and open by nature, although still within a secure and security minded infrastructure. Connections can maintain one's personal contacts list as well as some more details on people than usually found in most PIM solutions. This is like taking your typical silo of a business unit(or in my language a Microsoft thinking business) and letting it share its knowledge and experience across the platform for everyone.

There are overlaps, both:
  • Handle file sharing, but in different secure ways
  • Provide RSS feeds for their places or data to be viewed
  • Allow for external users to gain access to data files through invitations
  • Provide for Single Sign On integration
  • Provide security levels as to be expected
  • Have Blog and Wiki options
  • Provide for some form of management of activities and items to be done for projects
  • Integrate with Lotus Notes, Symphony and Sametime

It is not my intention to provide a full detail explanation of each product, for that you could go their respective websites, Quickr and Connections for more details.

There is a pdf you may wish to review that outlines some guidelines of roles that would suit each of them best, and includes Lotus Sametime as well. You can find it here.$FILE/Experience%20Lotus5.pdf

One can also find a rather longer pdf from the R8 Quickr time frame about Quickr here.


  1. Thanks Albert. I may end up making this post a more permanent one as updates come from various sources.

  2. Why do you say that Connections "mostly" runs on WebSphere? Connections only runs on WebSphere and does not require Domino. Is that what you were getting at?

  3. @Luis, I edited it as you are correct, Connections on it's own is Websphere.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Nice post. Within my company I took the perhaps over-simplistic view that Connections was inside the firewall collaboration and QuickR outside. We have a successful Connections implementation which replaced our intranet front-end but I wouldn't want any external people (e.g. clients or anonymous) seeing that content. Now we have the desire to bring in some external users into the party in a controlled way (e.g. per project) so I'd planned to deploy quickr for an external access point and use the connections plugins with a community so internal people can still see updates from one place. Dunno if that'll work but was an idea.
    The recent LotusLive improvements though gives more food for thought as it's tempting to ditch our own connections environment (we're a small company) and go with the cloud option instead as it already has a neat way to invite external people in. It would need to catch up on functionality first though before it's a viable option (e.g. blogs & wiki's) but I'm sure that'll happen one day.
    Choices choices.

  6. This is a great blog - but somehow I get the feeling that this piece belongs in the middle (if not towards the end) of the discussion of difference/similarities of the two products.

    If the question is when to use Quickr vs. Connections - the answer should be fairly simple - Team vs. Social. Unfortunately I think the question when posed is often times misleading (and definitely shortsighted in most cases) - don't pick a product - first define what business problem you are trying to target and solve. Once that is defined, the products you bring to bear to help your organization are just an exercise.

    You did a great job pointing out some of the differences between Quickr and Connections - but I think, at least for now, both have their place in a deployment as they are targeted at solving different problems. Connections I would think is more disruptive in nature - disruptive in a good and excellent way - but one that requires a long term plan of how you nurture openness within the organization. It's not just simply about letting users find each other and answer question quickly - its the collaborations and relationships that this will build that have to be protected and fostered. Quickr on the other hand is a pure team play - every organization needs this - even a social product needs this - that is why facebook has groups, and connections has communities. The problem of course is when all of us start looking at one tool and saying 'if only it could do the next 10 things that my other tool did' then I would have to manage only 1 thing, or sell only 1 thing. Yes its neat and tidy from a presentation perspective but...

    I may not be doing a great job here at getting my point across, and this comment may just come across as a non-answer. But my bottom line point might be - don't try to force fit 1 product into doing things it does not (yet - and may not ever) do. Comparing products by feature/function leads to a bunch of checkmarks and x's but that's it - does not give you a sense of the whole story.

  7. I had a VERY late return last night and was on site all day at a client, but will comment or make a new post to discuss the last few comments given size and scope.

  8. This is a novice comment from an outsider who just searched for why in the world does IBM confuse the user copmmunity with two partly overlapping solutions? Why do they both exist? Why not combine them into one social collaborative platform. Is part of the answer here that Big IBM still has multiple worlds and the WebSphere team and Domino team compete and create overlapping solutions?

  9. @roii2, your question has multiple levels.
    1) Quickr is a team/project oriented solution, connections is a corporate wide solution. Both of course work with people outside the org as well easily enough.
    2) Websphere is the base for Q for J and Connections and the future is these 2 will merge, Quickr for Domino will stay as it is.
    But IBM does what it does and watch this space from them over the next few weeks.