Thursday, March 21, 2013

iNotes Redirector in Domino 9 Cool Detail

There is a new version on the server. Time to replace the design and upgrade it.

You can find the file by name, iwaredir.ntf, which is called IBM iNotes Redirect.

I had to enable the show in advanced template list for the template for it to come up. 

The first thing I got when replacing the template was this awesome language window!

Very cool, this did not come up when I replaced any other templates yet, so I will presume it is special to this db, but not unique I am sure as the only time. You can set the default here or in the properties box for the db afterwards. 

I wonder if it reads your OS version and defines the language as my tests it only showed up in English. Or does it read the OS language default? I changed browser language and defaults and it didn't pick it up.
Anyone know?

Usual click, ok, let it do it's thing.

Test it all out and go on your way.

30 Minutes to Upgrade to IBM Notes & Domino 9

This morning, like so many others, I downloaded a few GB of code so we could install and upgrade our server and clients to IBM Notes and Domino 9.

Along the way, also had to grab Traveler, Swiftfile 4.2 (Oh I missed you during beta!), Install SHield tuner (No changes in it, but always like to have it), readme file, MAC client, 2 different Linux clients, Multiple server codes and the OpenSocial Extensions piece too.

This is a P4 with 2GB RAM and handles a bunch of websites, blog links, internal Sametime, Traveler plus multiple directories and at one time also Quickr, since moved to a different server.

First thing you realize is Notes is much faster than it appeared previously. Every version gets that much better.

Love the multiple color schemes for calendars and as posted previously, enjoy having secondary languages in my contacts list.

Speaking of contacts there is now a duplication option. Under the More toolbar option when you have Contacts open is a "Remove Duplicates" option.
Remove Duplicate Contacts and then  shows this window, because you may be worried...
Duplicate Contacts Backup
For you to safely maintain the duplicates, just in case, because you know, you don't trust these computers anyway.

For those that want newest mails on top, or on bottom, that preference setting is found in the Preferences-Mail-last option at the bottom of the page, you may need to scroll down to see it. Looks like this:

Domino side there is a warning to Upgrade your Directory, you have been warned. So if you do not say Yes or No, you will be waiting a while.

So many new things to look at and watch. I like the checks it ran against Domino during install. Nice little warnings I saw too, pays to watch your console, doesn't it?

03/21/2013 10:21:52 AM  Lotus Traveler: WARNING *system Status change from Green
 to Yellow: Disk space for C:\Lotus\Domino\data has 5 percent free.
iNotes Init: Credential Store Configuration not enabled, less secure mode. 
03/21/2013 10:26:36 AM  HTTP JVM: 14797 [Traveler-InitConfig-a24] WARN  - Notes
Traveler server will use which may not be the correct address for
your environment.
03/21/2013 10:26:36 AM  HTTP JVM: 14813 [Traveler-InitConfig-a24] WARN  - Please
 configure NTS_HOST_IP_ADDR in notes.ini to specify the correct host address to
Notes Browser Plugin works only with Windows (I believe) and is installed when you install the Notes client. Try it by typing notes:home in the browser. (NOTE: Notes client should NOT be running. also you will need to logout or close the browser to start notes again)
You get prompted for a login/password and poof, just like you would be in a notes client. EVEN YOUR WORKSPACE!

My home page links are there, click right to everything and within a browser, who needs a Notes client now? No doubt more will be written on this benefit from any angles.

I have not configured the Open Social Components yet, sorry, those too will be forthcoming in a post.

Some simple and great things to see, play with and that upgrading is not as bad as people say it is. Just remember to test it all first, before you do anything to break your environment and it's special needs.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Don't Game your Employees

I want to talk about a 12-letter word that really drives me crazy.  It’s the buzzword of the year: Gamification. Gamification was coined by Nick Pelling in 2002, according to Wikipedia.  What does this word mean, and is it really the way of the future? Or has it jumped the shark?

Gamification, as defined by Wikipedia as "Gamification is the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users and solve problems. Gamification is used in applications and processes to improve user engagement, ROI, data quality, timeliness, and learning."

How exactly does Gamification improve engagements? Sales teams have always used a form of Gamification—they call it sales incentives, but let’s not be nitpicky. Yes, sales incentives are a nice goal or target, but money, vacations, cars? At a certain point the incentive desire runs out. Staying employed however never goes out of style.

Picture yourself working for a large company that has offices around the world. You love your job and your company (stop laughing), and yet you find yourself going through the motions of your day-to-day work. You do your job well, and customers love you, and your blog is top notch. What does the company offer you to keep you interested? Maybe they promote you but there is no game in that (well, there is, but let’s not talk about politics).

What would you suggest they do to keep you engaged? And what if your company has 10,000 or 100,000 people in it? Do you think HR can keep up with the individual Gamification-type incentives for each person? Some companies have found a way to reward everyone along the way, but blanket “gifts” are not the same as ones deserved by individuals. But this is the crux: what if you don’t care? Gamification doesn’t necessarily succeed in improving this user's engagement.

Gamification: the way of the future?
I am not so sure that Gamification really works in other areas either. Martin Keen from the great IBM Redbooks organization recently wrote on this blog how his view of Gamification can make you do almost anything, but I take the opposite view.

My view is shared by Jane McGonigal, who recently spoke at the IBM Connect 2013 event in Orlando. McGonigal, according to Wikipedia, “has distanced her work from the label Gamification, listing rewards outside of gameplay as the central idea of Gamification and distinguishing game applications where the gameplay itself is the reward under the term ‘gameful design.’”

Playing a game, and doing so until you beat it, may make you feel great. We all do this at some point, but then what if we do not? It took my son three years to beat my high score on our pinball machine, but do I now have a need to beat his score? Not really, because maybe I am not that competitive. This is my point: Gamification may not work in the ways expected because your staff or your customers may not care about your Gamification. They may care only if there is a truly valuable prize at the end. PS - my son asks me daily when will I play again and beat his score.

Can Gamification work for someone who is not interested in winning or lacks a competitive drive? Klout tries to encourage people to be more active in social media. Their system is in my opinion not valid, let alone even based on a practical algorithm, because it measures your social ability. What if you just use LinkedIn, for instance, as much as others use Twitter or Facebook? You lose, or have a low Klout score, so there are no perks for you.  What if you take vacation for two weeks and do not login anywhere or anytime?

In business, I believe feedback is actually more important than Gamification in providing incentive for workers. Unlike say a sporting game, in the workplace you usually don’t have the option to do a task over or try again. If I win or lose it makes no difference in the grand scheme of the company or my bonus. While I enjoy some competitive situations, what I like to see from a company is better training and development of employees. Useful feedback trumps Gamification for me.

What if I am a Type A personality for only a few items in life instead of everything? Are you trying to use Ggamification to change habits or get check boxes ticked off on your goals for 2013? I made everyone write a blog post, do a youtube video and open a Linkedin account, there we got social. Check.
Gamification to develop skills

I don’t think gamification works well for skill development either. You can pay for training, set up an online learning system and watch everyone’s progress to completion. Hopefully the employees actually watch it and don’t just answer the questions at the end because they were written for easy passing. Certification tests can be cruel or they can be easy—but in either case what you get at the end if you pass is usually a digital certificate to print. Or, maybe a bonus if your company does that type of reward for the effort.  What should you get? I don’t know, but something more rewarding than that. (We should put this one up for crowdsourcing, I bet we could get some great ideas. If you think crowdsourcing works, this is possibly another blog post topic someday.)

Since most people are sheep and follow their leaders or do what they are told, we can’t fault the companies for trying to impose Gamification to incentivize them. However, for those of us who are on the fringe and are more vociferous and less easy to manage, we may need a stronger level of Gamification. Reining us in will cut against the grain, but letting us run amok may not work either. But as long as we are producing, bringing in more sales or views to our blog posts, the only game in town is our jobs, I guess.

Want to use gamification with better design to enhance your applications? Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner, predicts that by 2014, 80 per cent of current gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives primarily because of poor design:

“The challenge facing project managers and sponsors responsible for gamification initiatives is the lack of game design talent to apply to gamification projects. Poor game design is one of the key failings of many gamified applications today.”

And I agree wholeheartedly. If you run a sales game, are the only people that can win in sales? What about your customer support reps who keep those customers happy? What do you do to help them? A virtual badge? I don’t think so. Plan your games corporate wide, but be realistic, so anyone can win and be a part of it.

I do what I do because I enjoy it; no Gamification comes into play or likely would if I was exposed to it. If you need to incentivize me, the Gamification reward should include a free trip to IBM Connect in Orlando in January. For that I would be game to play.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

SugarCon is Coming to NY and I am Speaking Again

Hard to believe it has been a year since Sugarcon 2012 but here we are and this time we are going to be in Manhattan. Yes, New York City at the Waldorf Astoria.

You can find more information about the event, including the agenda, here.

IBM are the big Diamond sponsors, which means I did not have to do my pitch on IBM integration with SugarCRM like I did last year.

I will be speaking on Wen. the 10th at 3:40-4:15pm slot under Customer Engagement Strategy.

This year's session is an update from last year's successful session,
Business Anti-Social: Why the Boss Doesn't Get It

This year is:
Business Anti-Social: The Boss Needs SugarCRM, Give it To Them!
After the huge success you had following last year's session, your executive now uses SugarCRM right? Probably not all of you won that battle, ready for this year's? You need to be doing more, faster. Did you get messages out before and after the storms hit? What does this have to do with CRM? Everything! You need to help your CEO look good to the outside world, not just help the sales teams with business development. What other ways can you help your company look better to the outside world? Come listen as we revisit the mind of the executive and provide a few options to keep them even happier with your efforts. Leave the session with a new song list and a better understanding of how to help your executives, and yourselves, but most importantly your customers.

See you in New York. If you are coming, let me know, and if you are in town and want to meet up let me know as well.