Thursday, May 30, 2013

Backing Up IBM Sametime Buddy and SUT Phone Lists

Did you ever start to work on something only to be deeply involved when someone comes over and asks what you are doing?

You respond and they look quizzically at you and ask why did you not just do X?

X of course is right under your nose and would be obvious to anyone else, except you because you were so involved in your project.

So I found myself when someone screamed about losing their Sametime buddy list. Sure there is a menu item to import/export your lists but you know, how many people remember to do that? Or if they ever do it?

Wrote a batch file to copy the lists to my network server. I included in it both stand alone and embedded options. Why? Because along the way I also realized, as an SUT user, that the SUT phone list was not copied in this, in fact it is stored in a different directory.

Thought it might be easier for people to just have a batch file to back it up than a rather serpentine directory structure to remember.

If you would like the batch files, you can find them here in a zip file with both backup and restore files and an instruction guide.

Suggest adding them to your desktop, that way you will notice them and click on backup randomly which would still be used more often than the default menu option I would bet.

Built using a Windows7 laptop and running Notes9 Embedded Sametime and SUT and also a stand alone 853 Sametime client.

Will update this blog post and the files as necessary over time with tracking details below:
Version 1.1 Added SUT Phone Lists to be backed up as well
Version 1.0 Backup Buddy Lists to Network Drive

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Google Beats Microsoft, Yes but beat IBM Notes? No Way

Google, I love you guys, I really do, you do some amazing things and the Doodles are the best!
But sometimes your business partners really have no clue what they are talking about and should rethink their marketing.

Case in point, a company produced a 3 page document(link to my server, not giving them the traffic) on why Google trumps MS Exchange as an alternative to IBM Lotus Notes.

The opening salvo is hyperbole at the best of times. People move systems back and forth and, although I can not name names, I know of a few well known companies that are coming back or at least increasing their Notes usage.

The document discusses how cloud is the key driver for IT and Mobility is also a trend. Funny, we had mobile apps and mail back in 1999 or 2000 on GSM phones with native Lotus Notes apps. I know because I was there at Lotusphere Europe in Berlin and ran the wireless phone system for the CXO's that came, still have one of the phones we did it on.

What took the world so long to catch up? Just like that chiclet icon map your iPhone and Android uses, came from the Lotus Notes workspace Release 1, 20+ years ago. Say what you want about IBM Notes, it was way ahead of its time.

I do not know about you, but if the word "dope" shows up in someone's advertising it usually implies one thing. A poor choice of words, or genius, given how the Cloud is so enticing, you try a little and beg for more. What? That isn't how it works? I don't know either what they are thinking.

"Gmail is familiar to most work-force as a personal email solution." This may be true, but the Gmail UI SUCKS! Sorry, showing my age there. I mean I am not comfortable with it because it doesn't do ANYTHING except email. Ok, so where is my integrated calendar? How do I schedule meetings? How do we handle archiving and offline email when traveling? Where is my integration into Facebook CRM, SAP, Vacation requests even? Training is only easy does not do much of anything.

"Costing" is saved because "Migration costs, licensing costs and ongoing maintenance costs form a major point of decision. Google has a simpler, lighter cost structure." Yes and no, the basic license may be cheaper, in Year 1, but in Year 2, no way are you cheaper than IBM or MS on support licensing. Google is TWICE the price or more of a Lotus client license in Year 2-whenever. Migration costs are not free either and can become staggering when involved with vendors that are ill equipped to grasp the complexities of a Domino environment. One Google partner told me that Google has no advice for Lotus customers, they basically edited the Exchange checklist title!

"Google ecosystem has got built over time with millions of users adopting it and driving it based on their preferences on personal productivity and collaboration needs." And so few corporations. Personal productivity has nothing on corporate productivity. This is like saying my kindergartener edited my MBA thesis.

They do get two things perfect "MS Office has very powerful set of tools, but still not designed toward collaboration." and "In Lotus Notes alternative scenario, collaboration and groupware requirements trump individual productivity tool preference." WOW, didn't they just start off saying how great Google was for personal productivity? I know, splitting hairs, individual vs. personal, but this is just so much fun.

Notice they are discussing MS Office, not MS Exchange. So this is about Google Apps? Right, so there are Google Apps that handle international workflow processes? No? What about vacation requests? Conference room scheduling? No? And you want to play in the big leagues?

They must know or respect IBM Notes a bit, see this:
Then, there is a case of Business Applications. Large enterprises with an extensive Lotus Notes deployment typically have hundreds of Notes applications that play a key role in keeping the enterprise running smoothly. There could be hundreds of workflow Apps, and few very complex functional Apps (like CRM) built on Lotus over time.
Workflow apps by the way are complex usually, it is not just forward an email and click yes. They suggest the Google App Engine could replace these apps. If this were really true, IBM would not be spreading the news about XPages and the advances in the IBM Domino server that let it integrate into so much of that precious Cloud world they mentioned. IBM knows they have a product unlike anything else and it makes them quite a bit of money on an annual basis.

This was obviously another attempt by a vendor to portray their migration apps in a better light. But really, better subterfuges must exist than this SEO heavy document of theirs. If you are facing Google as competition, you have more than enough weapons about messaging and now you have some about applications too. No doubt other fellow bloggers and IBM Champions will give their input as well.

As an executive, your role is NOT to waste shareholder value or reduce your bonus by your stock dropping which is what happens to companies in the throws of a mail migration, no matter to/from whatever. Put those millions to better usage.

Monday, May 20, 2013

R.I.P. Lotus Organizer+

Sad to see and hear that the end of the line, officially, is coming to Lotus Organizer, Lotus 1-2-3 and Lotus Smartsuite itself on June 11, 2013 with support ending September 30, 2014.

Organizer was so far ahead of us when it came out, easy links to guide you directions, call from a contact and straight to a web site with one link, an awesome calendar and scheduling tool, and it connected with Lotus Notes and some people still leverage it that way.

All from one UI! I can't get anything to be that useful, without coding it somehow. Can you?
Love Lotus Organizer
Picture from

I still use it occasionally for various reasons and every time I think, if only we had a newer version. But no matter what we want, somethings must move on. The latest version does run on Windows7, I have not tried Windows8.

I still use SmartSuite sometimes because it still handles some web sites and various document translations better than MS Office. There is also some importing issues with a certain product that still only imports 1-2-3.

Me and Lotus 1-2-3 go back to 1.0 DOS version. I wrote some great macros back then, Wall Street banks asked for some, a Broadway Theatre ran their subscription database and nightly finances on spreadsheets I wrote and numerous other bits of work through the 80's and 90's.

If all good things must come to an end, then here is a list of Easter Eggs found in the products for those that never knew about them. See more eggs from almost everything here

Lotus organizer 2.0
1. Type the text "Flame" into any wordprocessor(e.g. Notepad) 
2. Highlight the text and copy it to the clipboard(CTRL+C) 
3. In Organizer 2.x, you will see that the clipboard icon(left of 
4. Drag this picture icon to the trashcan. 
5. A list of developers will replace the main Organizer book.

Word Pro (Lotus) Easter Egg - 3D World by Spelling "Possum"
1. Start WordPro
2. Go to the Help/About WordPro... Menu
3. On the yellow Lotus WordPro banner at the top, click on the P in WordPro
4. Then click on either O in WordPro
5. Then click on the S in Lotus
6. Then click on the S in Lotus again
7. Then click the U in Lotus
8. When the possum comes out and sits down, click on it's butt right next to it's tail
9. If you did it in the right spot, it will poop out an M&M.
10. Click on the M&M and a screen will pop up, use the arrow keys to move around

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Art of Troubleshooting...The Video

Live from IBM Impact in Las Vegas this was recorded April 30, 2013.

If you want the slides, they are here.

Thank you to Ryan for setting the Ignite talks up and Daphne for letting me know about it.

It was fun, 20 slides that automatically roll over every 15 seconds for a 5 minute talk.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

What if Darth Vader won?

May the Fourth Be with You!

Ever wonder what it would be like if Darth Vader won?

Could Darth Vader have won instead of the Rebels? Could it be that a strong network of Sith Lords could control the masses through social media efforts using The Force? These may be strong words, young Padawan.

There is an amusing Twitter account I follow called @DeathStarPR that brings my point forward. What if social media was used as an insidious effort to gain the upper hand against the Rebels? What would the Star Wars universe look like decked out in only black and white?

To read more hop over here to the IBM Social Business Insights Blog.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I'm an IBM Champion Video

The video from the IBM Impact keynote this morning that has all of the IBM Websphere Champions who could make it to the video shoot.

See me and my friends do a "I'm an IBMer" type commercial.

Thanks to Daphne and Justin for editing and making it all happen.

Day 2 of Impact 2013

So what did I do on Day 2 of Impact? Today was The World in Motion.

Business calls most of the morning, bad wifi upstairs, bad wifi in OGS and the exhibit hall. A frustrating problem because if you needed 30,000 IP addresses or so, what would you do?

Duh, grab a Z series! Okay not exactly but it is a problem which should have been addressed Sunday.

Which brings me to what I did Tuesday, meetings, interviews, an ignite speech and a session I did with 3 other IBM Champions and a night cap of Matchbox 20.

So the OGS had BMI, one of the music publishing and royalties companies, explaining what they do and how they leverage IBM products while dropping song snippets from numerous artists. As an ex-ASCAP person it was nice to see and hear the industry has come a long way since the paper trails I used to audit.

Westjet had a video that explained what they needed IBM for and how they accomplished so much in such a short time. Nicely done.

Today's 4 things to know are:
  1. 3.6B $ is spent on process reinvention
  2. 25% productivitry improvement due to social interactions and software
  3. 47% cloud process growth 
  4. $100B big data business
There was also a demo of what a mobile app could be doing in the near future around auto insurance and an accident of a viper.

I then ventured off to the Social Playground, great name given we are in Las Vegas, and powered up my now worn down laptop and phone. Caught up on some emails met some people, committed to do another Google+ hangout and prepared for my Ignite talk.

The Ignite talk was fun, for me, and was not supposed to be a sales thing, but others did do it that way. I think I had the best slide though (see the slides here):

Afterwards I spent the rest of the afternoon in meetings or doing interviews with the Redbooks team, GWC (Global Websphere Community), Websphere Socmed team all before heading to my session.

We had an open panel on mobile plans and services. Fellow IBM Websphere Champions Yuki Kurosawa, Andrew Paier, Ashraf Souleiman and myself were joined by Phil Kelly of IBM as the moderator. Hope no one took my "Buy Apple" as a forward looking announcement or stock tip. 

We left there and headed to the BP reception which preceded the Matchbox20 concert. We had great VIP seats upfront, thanks Daphne! The band played for about an hour and a half and I now have Matchbox20 Twitter groupies following me. No doubt they are also following the other 9,000 people that tweeted tonight.

And the day ends with me finding out The Venetian does not do late checkout. Really? In Las Vegas? Oh well what can you do. Tomorrow I head home on the red eye. A day of meetings and hopefully some sessions is ahead of me. 

PS - The video we shot on Sunday debuts at the OGS on Wen. morning.

My Impact Ignite Slides "The Art of Troubleshooting"

I gave my ignite talk today and when the video or you tube is released will post it as well.

Here are the slides from slideshare.