Monday, May 26, 2014

Fix my printer or why remote management..

Doesn't work for every situation. There is nothing worse than a client agreeing to let you work for them remotely and then demanding someone be onsite every week.

So how do you do it? Will this break the deal? Cost you too much?

There are always possibilities but planning is key. Few issues really require onsite visits as remote connections to clients, servers and routers is common. So why do you need to be onsite?

Executives and their assistants usually are primary reasons. But unless a failure of their PC is involved, almost anything else can and should be resolved remotely.

Printer failure? Print to another printer and someone will get there to fix the printer, but when?

In this day of instant servitude(thank you Twitter and IM programs)how long can you make someone wait? Should a client of ours in Canada wait for me to catch a flight there? Of course not, but some will insist on it.

Why is it business people can partner together, but our clients refuse to accept anyone but us doing the work? Is it fear of shoddy workmanship? Is it fear of the unknown? If we do not have any other way to help service them as clients, as far as onsite efforts, what should we do then?

Remote service does bring excellent help to many outer areas and out of the way locations, sometimes war zones. Yet so few businesses accept that it can be more productive, less expensive and even provide excellent service. Yes, sometimes you get some problems, but would you rather have Wally around all the time? Or Dilbert?

The reality is you just want things you don't care how, who or what does it...until it's your turn with the problem.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Did That A-ha Moment Pass You By?

No matter your age, location, job status or religion you always have an opportunity.

Sometimes we do not see a light at the end of tunnel.

But it is really no different than trying to install a piece of software that is giving you a hard time and you just need that one little extra push or tweak to make it work.

Your life is the same.

While it's true, you regret the choices not selected, you always have time to make them.

Maybe not today or tomorrow, but this week, next weekend.

Your friends and family want to help you, no matter how weird an idea or plan, but you have to have one.

What if you don't have one? Not to worry, one will come to you.

Maybe you:
Have an application idea, there are people that can help you with it.
Want to write a book or play or movie, editors are standing by
Should spend more time with your kids, ask them what they want to do
Should also spend more time with your spouse or significant other, let them know

No matter what it is, you can do it.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Got all your DUCS in a Row?

This was a draft of a post which for whatever reason I never published. Might be useful to someone out there. DUCS was discontinued but if anyone needs some legacy help....

Don't know what DUCS is?

Domino Unified Communication Services (DUCS)

This has dragged on for 3 days now while I wait on the Cisco BP to figure out what Lotus Domino and Sametime are all about.

Poor guy never seen one before, Domino server that is. Wish clients would ask us before doing these silly things, we could have pointed them to the new Lotus Foundations Reach solution.

So I set up LDAP and Sametime Standard for him and figure my work is done.

Well, 3 days later I had to do it all over again since we couldn't get Cisco's Call Manager to work.

Suddenly all starts working. In either event it has been an education to me on something which is rarely seen or used in the open.

What have we learned? Plugins require extra work upfront, but no work afterwards, except when updating them of course.

Haven't installed plugins? Can't see the Install? Follow this Wiki:
Learning Plug-In for IBM Lotus Notes - New and improved installation! Oh and the Lotus Learning pieces are great stuff too!

WebSites for your benefit because this stuff is hard to find:
You may have to register at Cisco's website to download some of this.
Unfortunately the plugin files are not free to download unless you have a contract with Cisco. So much for planning ahead.

Release Notes for Cisco Unified Messaging with IBM Lotus Sametime Release 7.1(1)

Install and Upgrade Guides of PDF's (Note: This really about the plugins and NOT Call Manager but helpful anyway)

Securing LDAP Directory Integration with Cisco Unified CallManager 4.x

Troubleshooting DUCS (this may be the older version)

Configuration Guides

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

10 Things Silo Organizations and Management Will Never Understand

The next time you are cruising at 10,000 feet or roaming around some conference exhibition floor or just trolling the web, think about your company.

I want you to think about how you share information today, and what you would change about it for tomorrow. If you could see yourself through the eyes of your customers as well, even more helpful.

If you find yourself thinking along the ideas below, you may be a silo organization and in that case...
silos suck
Your organization may profess to "getting social" or "being open" or using collaboration tools or providing everyone access or using the latest version of   but there is more to this discussion.
  1. It's in an Email - Most common denominator of collaboration, famously said but many long time email users. A person's email inbox is a huge silo and bottomless pit. Hopefully you are above this level, even if only slightly. Delete is the enemy, guess where your email may have gone at some point.
  2. I sent an IM - Whatever system you use, unless you are posting the IM as a status update or message that is open for everyone to see, your IM is another bottomless pit but at least it does Emoticons :-P
  3. Everything is on the NAS/Network/Cloud - This is NOT the same equivalent as "everything is in a Notes database or a community or a place or a site". This is a file server which may or may not be indexed for others to find in your chaotic directory structure. Ever ask new employees to find something? Their replies might surprise you. Then again, you may bask in their ignorance and laugh like Cruella DeVille at them.
  4. Management doesn't use  - Use what? They drive Porsches or you? Since when do you need to follow management's lead? If you did this you would be using yellow legal pads rather than any computers. Management wants outcomes, bring them something that will help everyone get together and complete tasks properly.
  5. Many Clients - But which one should you use? Browsers alone you have 4 common ones on the average desktop which may, or may not, work with your existing solution. Your cocoon is not open for business if you need people to revert to older models. Standards are important.
  6. We know what people want - Maybe, maybe not. if you are not talking up, down and outside your organization, how will you know? Anyone can build an app, but if you want one that works outside your organization, how do you get the feedback? How do you store it? How do you analyze it.
  7. Where is everyone - The need to have your staff in front of you at the office, all the time, may be helpful, but it also limits production for some people. Cubicles do not stop the loud talkers or speakerphone conference call makers. Open plans provide more interaction of course, but not always more production. If you find you need to grow your empire, you just might be a silo king or queen.
  8. Never use your tools - You ask for the tools, you paid for them, but you never believe in them. Do you find yourself always questioning more details, verifying information, harping on some piece of the puzzle, yet still not completed the framework yet? If so, then you need to use new tools. Gone are the monolithic databases and in place you have tools with unlimited analytics sources. One example BuzzSumo 
  9. You never see customers - Different from #6 because YOU have to get out and speak to customers. The real people that pay you money today. Do you reach out to them, personally, in some way during the year...if ever? Don't leave it to sales. Don't leave it to marketing. You are the executive, if you are not thanking the customers you have regularly, someone else will. Hint: Many of the clients have some form of social media account, even if it is only Linkedin, you should be their friend. Stop saying it is the other people's jobs.
  10. Always eat alone? - If you always find your self eating alone, even when in your own kitchen area or cafeteria either your food smells horrible or you are too far removed from your staff. Get up, get out, buy soda or juice for everyone or at least hang out where they eat. if you have no idea what I am talking about here, never mind, move along.
Extreme? Some of them others just basic ideas which for whatever reason escapes even the most well meaning people.

Think about your daily work habits and reflect on what could be better.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

Do Something Utterly Meaningless

When was the last time you did something utterly meaningless and it made you so happy you have no idea why you don't continue to do it more often?

Some of you may know about my recent excursion before leaving IBM's Impact conference last Thursday. I
have been trying to do this for a few years and finally got to do it.

I took a cab out to the Pinball Hall of Fame/Museum as it is billed in Las Vegas.

One of the best pinball machines, The Addams FamilyDo you remember what it was like as a kid going to an arcade or miniature golf or whatever kid fun place and playing the newest pinball machines? The size of the machines, the noise, the depression when your ball drained or knowing your best friend beat your high score was all you thought of while playing. For you younger readers, think of your first game console or hand held game, but it really is not quite the same.

Why isn't it the same?

Because we never got bored by the pinball machines. And in my case I REALLY wanted to know how they were built, worked, basically everything about them. I loved the craftsmanship, the wood, the ideas behind the games. And along the way, I realized a few things that proved playing was not just meaningless time.

Don't do anything for the money
Well I hoped they had some ideas beyond "we need a new game this year". We know now that this happened at times, just like any industry. But at the end of the day, you need earnings, revenue, profits but that did not always correlate with the imaginative side of the business. No one likes games lacking in skill or some new enhancements.

Failure is one more step, okay many steps, to success
Do I sound old? Probably, but walking into the museum it was just like being 10 again, the age
my son is now. His interest in our pinball machine has waned since he beat my score. I need to beat his now because in each of us there is a fighting spirit.

Imagination has no limitations
Imagine walking up and down over 6 aisles of pinball machines from the 50's wood rails and white boxes to today's strobes, mirrors, black and digital. Pinball back glass that holds Pop Art rarely seen these days from days of old. The single player solid wood mechanical games with rollers for numbers from the early days up to the LED based units. Each game had a designer and an artist to come together and provide a finished product. The artistry in older machines at times is lacking in modern ones, but the modern ones make up for it by being infinitely more elaborate, energetic than their early days brethren. Multiple ramps, strobe lighting,
motions and levels of complexity usually only found in video games.
Star Wars Pinball Machine

Perseverance in the face of antagonism
Originally just sight and bells or bangs was all you heard but along the way we started getting digital sound and if you remember Gorgar, the first talking, and taunting, machine? "Gorgar beat you!" was all I heard for weeks while I tried to defeat it as a kid. You can listen to the voice from a promotional 45 record that someone uploaded here.

Find your inner peace
So why am I extolling on the virtues of pinball? Because I spent 2 hours playing numerous games and letting my mind clear itself of conferences, meetings, work and other entanglements of life. Just playing
and watching and listening to the games was mesmerizing.

Love what you do, but love having fun too. While you were growing up you may have forgotten what it was like to be a kid and see the world in a different way. Go do something utterly meaningless and maybe you too will find that it isn't as meaningless as you remember.

Friday, May 2, 2014

You can make your own Knowledge Accidents

Are Knowledge Accidents your business goal? Why not? Don't you want to help your teams perform better? Don't you want your customers to help you provide them with better products or services?

In looking into where this term came from I found this article from past CEO of Lotus, Al Zollar.

In the article, Lotus Development CEO Al Zollar says that knowledge management is simply to do with as applying technology to "knowledge accidents".
According to Zollar, "Knowledge accidents happen when people run into each other at places like this or at the water cooler, exchange information, and realise an opportunity for collaboration and a synergy between the projects they’re working on. We need to make knowledge accidents happen on purpose, regularly and, most importantly, with intent." 
This document, from a lotus ftp site, also has a introduction on this topic from Mike Zisman, then Executive Vice President of Strategy, Lotus Development Corporation.

The other day I bumped into a colleague who I hadn’t seen in ages. We were both on our
way to the Lotus cafeteria, so we took a few minutes to catch up on things. As she
described her most recent project, it occurred to me that I knew a few people at IBM who
were involved with a similar effort. I thought they’d make a perfect match, so I gave her
their names and wished her luck.
I like to call this type of unplanned meeting a “knowledge accident.” If you think about
it, this kind of thing happens all the time. People bump into each other at the water
cooler, or in the hallway, and they get to talking, and all of a sudden a valuable nugget of
information emerges. Maybe it’s a lead, or an insight, but either way it’s something that
can potentially improve the efficiency and effectiveness of any given business process.
There’s no doubt about it, knowledge accidents are a wonderful thing. The only problem
is that they’re random, so it wouldn’t make sense to use them for a serious growth strategy.
It would make sense, however, to turn the tables on knowledge accidents and make
them happen on demand in a controlled manner. This is what many companies are
currently doing, and it’s what Lotus and IBM consider the essence of knowledge management.
This was 15 years ago, KM was everywhere, and it has evolved though social and now seems to be rebounding back to collaboration. But that is not what this post is about.

After listening to Louis Richardson, Storyteller for IBM, today at IBM Impact it reminded me that what some say is luck, is just hard work paying off. If you put yourself in the right places, you will create your knowledge accidents.

The problem is, and Louis explained it well, is usually these accidents take place between 2 people, maybe 3 but not largely in mass proportions.

How do you change this pattern? How do you make what was found among friends, known among the masses?

For many years we had discussion threads, news threads, forums and numerous other places which we could discuss issues or ask questions and the Internet has not limited our reach. However, if you are working inside an organization that values proprietary knowledge, how do share that information?

Where is my Enterprise Twitter or Stack Overflow or x,y,z? Where is that open experience for anyone in your company to help you with your question? Is it truly open and proactively helping you create these Knowledge Accidents?

Or is just a bunch of disconnected services funneled through a portal that does not search across your whole network?

If you have set it all up, you would be part of only 36% of companies that have it already, based on a 2013 survey. For comparison, this CIO magazine article from 2008 claimed  69 percent of companies have less than half of their data discoverable by enterprise search tools.

We have a long way to go before your internal search is as good, let alone as great, as your external ones are from Google, Bing or whatever web crawler you prefer.

Over 15 years ago Lotus wanted to help you get to where the Internet has evolved. Sure the road was bumpy along the way, bandwidth, server processing, tools, apps, devices all had to catch up.

But we are here, now, and if you have not been on this road with us, where did your road take you? Did you reach the destination you hoped would be at the end of the journey?

I would like to help you on this journey because it is not about the technology, it is about your business goals.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Cube Interview from IBM Impact

One of the interviews I did at IBM Impact was with Paul and John from The Cube.
Paul and I did a Google hangout last year after Sugarcon around CRM, link here.

Keith bM Impact 2014 The Cube

I am #5 on the list found here:

My Video (below) and some highlights from our discussion can be read here:

This time we hit on many topics, the Opening keynote, collaboration, HR, etch a sketch, analytics, messaging, conference calls, meeting analytics and Unified Comunications.

The Silicon Angle team has some great software to slice and dice video around topics, people or whatever.

Thank you to the IBM Impact team for fitting me in among all the IBM executives links below.


Monday, April 28, 10:00 am Pacific through
Tuesday, April 29, 5:00 pm Pacific


IBM SocMed Residencies

At IBM Impact there was a fresh group of Social Media Residency people. All IBMers, unlike my group almost 2 years ago, so these people should really know what they are talking about.

The new recruits spent two days before Impact prepping and learning before they were left to go during the event to see what they could come up with on their own.

I give IBM a lot of credit for doing something like this in parallel to an event. It provides a sink or swim approach, perhaps, but really solves the biggest problem people face, namely, what am I going to write about.

While I have not blogged about every session I went to, hard to do so when you are in meetings or on calls most of the time, I do have some ideas from the sessions I did attend and no doubt so do the new recruits.

The process that Martin and his Redbooks crew have run people through is something that IBM could probably do for other companies and make some money to extend this project further. They should at least present the details at whatever conferences this could help others, maybe the Training 2015 Conference in February.

Aside from the basics like what is social media, they discuss the various ways to be social, they learn about the ways to influence and promote themselves and the products they represent. There are sessions on how to pick a topic or appropriate titles and why that is important. It is not just textual training like Twitter or blogging either, there are also podcasts, webinars and other ways for the "students" to express themselves.

In addition there is a team of editors that are managed by an excellent editor to ensure that what is published is up to IBM guidelines and standard grammar rules. Unlike my writing here and there, still not sure how they let me get away with this or this (the IBM site was unavailable for both posts at time of writing this post).

After the training there are follow up meetings, usually conference calls, where everyone gets to hash out ideas or present new topics. I miss these, aside from hearing everyone's voice, it was fun to throw around ideas and be creative.

Should you have the opportunity to be a part of these residencies, I strongly encourage you to apply and enjoy some of the most fun training IBM will ever give you.

To everyone finishing up the residency today, remember to always thank your editor for making your work better, that Martin loves doing videos so keep asking him to do them, and lastly have fun!