Thursday, April 30, 2009

Instant Search and Discovery for OCS R2


We have recently celebrated several successful customer deployments against OCS R2 of Instant Archive Viewer for OCS. We have been working on the updates to support OCS R2 and we are pleased to have real, successful, deployments of our search and discovery (and archive viewing) application for OCS.

Of course, we continue to learn about new table structures, settings, and behaviors of OCS R2, but so far, we have been able to quickly adapt to every situation that we have encountered with a customer deployment.

We will continue to post FAQs about our deployments.

IMtegrity 4.08 is now available

We have recently posted an updated build of IMtegrity to our web site. The updated build is 4.08 and includes several updates for some large evaluations and customers. Generally, this update continues to enhance our support for 3rd party email archiving platforms (such as Legato) as well as extend support for animated emoticons.

As always, the updated features are a direct result of customer input and we appreciate the great ideas and input.

We believe that we have an fantastic chat archiving and discovery application for Lotus Sametime and our experience with customers, evaluators, and resellers continues to reinforce our outstanding product. Information is available from: http://www.instant-tech.com/IMtegrity_Archives.cfm

Friday, April 24, 2009

AdminP Integration with Buddy List Administrator for Sametime

We are currently working on 2 features for our next point release of our Buddy List Administrator for Lotus Sametime.

First, we are adding AdminP integration. This is a direct custom request. We expect to have the initial build working next week. Of course, it will connect our Buddy List Administrator (BLA) database and engine with AdminP. This will allow our Sametime Buddy List Administrator to automatically process a variety of AdminP request - such as rename requests.

Secondly, we are adding the ability to add a public group to every one's buddy list within a public group. So, this will enable our customer to quickly push a public group to 'all employees' and then stage bots, help desk queues, or other IM agents within this public group.

Informaton on our Buddy List Administrator for Lotus Sametime is available here:
http://www.instant-tech.com/Buddy_List_Admin.cfm

New Features for Team Sessions V3.1

We are currently working on some updates to Team Sessions. In addition to some minor tweaks to the plugins, we are developing the ability to store (and copy) the archive history and room content to an external discussion databse.

The ability to essentially synchonize both the Sametime persistent room chat (and content) with an external Notes dicussion database makes a lot of sense - and it is the latest customer based requirement.

Screen shots should be available next week.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Team Sessions V3 - Selective Replication of Rooms

Team Sessions V3 provides native support for Lotus Domino as the data storage system for both the storage of the persistent chat rooms as well as the configuration of the Sametime persistent chat environment.
From the early days of the Team Sessions design, we wanted to develop a Sametime persistent chat environment and platform that leveraged the replication and security systems of Lotus Notes/Domino with the presence and chat functionality of Lotus Sametime. Over the years, leveraging Lotus Domino as the storage, configuration, and security system infrastructure has been a tremendous advantage.

One of our larger deployments of Team Sessions (also known as IPWar) has over 500 rooms hosted on multiple Sametime servers. Typically, our ITSessions.nsf database (which provides the web UI and storage system) is replicated across the various Sametime servers. However, our customer requested a way to have certain rooms not replicate - and therefore create rooms that just stay hosted on one of the two servers.

Fortunately, since Team Sessions uses Domino as our storage and configuration environment, this was a fairly trivial item to implement. We simply created a custom replication formula for the database.
Suppose for example we have 2 servers Server1 and Server2 and ITS database on each server have chat room names prefixed with sr1 and sr2 respectively like
sr1: IT Help Desk, sr1: UK Suport
sr2: Logistics and sr2: Centrix Review...etc.

Now the goal is that when both databases gets replicated then we should not see the room prefixed with sr1 on Server2 and vice versa. The selective replication formula for Server1 will be SELECT !(@Begins(txtChatPlaceDisplayName; "sr2"))

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Good Background Article on AdminP

Here is a nice background article on AdminP. We are currently updating the Instant Buddy List Administrator to support AdminP - so there might be other useful background links appearing...
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus/library/ls-AllAboutAdminP_1/

More information on building a custom request handler:
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus/library/ls-Custom_AdminP_Handler/index.html

The Buddy List Administrator handles a host of Sametime buddy lists tasks - such as

  • Pushing Sametime public groups to users
  • Renaming people and updating all buddy lists
  • Deleting users from all buddy lists
  • Pushing buddy list fragments (public and private groups) to people
  • Migrating buddy lists to OCS
AdminP integration has always been requested - and now we are connecting them.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Instant Team Sessions V3 is Gold

For the last 8 months, we have been working on a major update to Instant Team Sessions (our persistent chat platform for Lotus Sametime). In addition to completely updating the web user interface, we have added some very slick Sametime plug-ins, a rich server based alerting system, tons of other enhancements, bug fixes, and UI tweaks.

One of our initial benchmarks was to reduce the installation time from approximately 4 hours to under 1 hour. During the development cycle, we modified the installation target to under 30 minutes. Three weeks ago, I was at a customer in San Diego and assisted a partner with a Team Sessions installation. We were able to install Team Sessions - including downloading from our site, in 26 minutes. It was a rewarding experience - and one that belies all of the work, simulated installations, group installation reviews, and team effort that went into streamlining the entire process.

The entire Team Sessions V3 has this level of attention and focus. So, I'm thrilled that we have resolved the last known customer issue (an HTTPS issue for a large defense organization) and I'm looking forward to sharing the Team Sessions V3 experience with new customers, evaluators, and partners.

Peyton

Thursday, April 9, 2009

IMtegrity 4.08 Now Available

Based on some recent customer feedback, we are proud to announce our latest set of new features for Instant IMtegrity Archives (our Lotus Sametime server based archiving and search and discovery application). These latest features are included in our IMtegrity 4.08 release. All of the features are a direct result of customer or evaluator requests - so we know they are important.

Here is the list of new features:
GIF animations are now shown animated when chat log documents are viewed in a Lotus Notes Client and/or web browser.
Added support for PNG files
Action Rules: Custom subject, header and footer text in notification emails can now include log field values by using {%fieldname%}, {$fieldname$} or {#fieldname#}
New Rule Criteria option: You can now perform Directory lookups to search chat participants person records.
New Action Rule option: You can now copy arbitrary fields from the chat log document into notification emails.
New Action Rule option: You can now attach the source XML log file to notification emails.


Information on IMtegrity is available at: http://www.instant-tech.com/IMtegrity_Archives.cfm

Masters iPhone Application is Great

The Masters is a always an exciting event, with a beautiful course, great shots, and lots of drama (always positive). This year, with the addition of the Masters App for the iPhone, it will be easier to follow all of the action, see live feeds from selected holes, view the leaderboard, and preview each hole with a recorded flyover.

The iPhone application points to the future of television. It incorporates live video feeds (you pick which of 3 holes to watch), immediate access the leader board - as well as the course layout and great looking flyovers.

After reading about the application in the NY Times, I had the app installed on my phone in less than 3 minutes. The live feeds were the initial reason I downloaded, but after looking at the leader board (with pairings and tee times), highlights from the par 3 competition, and the course overview I was impressed.

Live video, course context and hole previews, and a live leader board (and I can select what I want to see).

Nice job IBM and the tech team at the Masters. This will be a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sametime Moderated Chat for Large Meetings

This week we will announce a Sametime moderated chat offering. The Sametime moderated chat application is designed to host large (200 to 4,000 person) meetings where executives and experts reply in real time (with the help of moderators) to questions from participants.

For example, the CEO of a 4,000 person government agency would like to host quarterly 'all hands' meetings. All employees join the online meeting and any person may submit a question. A moderator reviews the questions and submits (in real time) questions and issues to the CEO - who replies to the entire audience.

The Sametime moderated chat application is designed to host large scale, moderated meetings such as investor discussions and company meetings.

Our Instant Team Sessions will continue to fill the requirements around persistent chat rooms that host 5-40 people on a daily basis - without the need for moderation.

Informaton on the Instant Moderated Chat Room application is now available at:
http://www.instant-tech.com/Moderated_Chat.cfm

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Receiving an alert in the Microsoft Office Communicator client

Today we had an excellent meeting with a customer looking to provide OCS R2 based alerts to 5000 workstations. Our Instant Alert Manager for Microsoft OCS includes the necessary features and it was a pleasure providing the demo.
The Alert Manager provides a server based alerting system to quickly deliver alerts, or message, to users online with Office Communicator. The alerts may also be scheduled to be delivered at a certain time and date.
The Instant Alert Manager is a nice complement to many Microsoft OCS deployments. With the recent release of Microsoft OCS R2, we are seeing a fairly significant increase in OCS inquiries. Here is a quick overview demo of the server interface.
Information on Alert Manager is available here:
http://www.instant-tech.com/Alert_Manager.cfm

Sametime Server Based Disclaimers - Even When Server Based Archiving is Not Enabled

We recently had a conversation with an existing Instant customer. They are large manufacturing company with plants throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

They have Lotus Sametime servers placed around the world and use Instant Queue Manager to connect employees with instant IT help desk support. Their queues are in multiple languages and they have been a consistent partner with great Queue Manager feedback and ideas.

As part of our Sametime 'disclaimer promotion', they contacted us to discuss how to provide server based disclaimers to all of their employees. To our surprise, they do not have any server based archiving enabled (ala IMtegrity). However, since Lotus Sametime can now capture and store conversations using the Samtime client, they need to notify all employees that it is possible that their chat conversation may be recorded. This is especially important for EU based employees where safe harbor provisions may apply.

It now appears that our Instant Disclaimer application has traction in environments where any type of archiving (server based or client based) is active. In addition, we received some excellent ideas for providing the disclaimer text in multiple languages (based on the language of the user) and we are looking at providing this enhancement.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Instant welcomes a new customer - and some new updates to IMtegrity

It's always pleasure working with new customers, prospects, and and evaluators. As we continue to expand, our reach becomes a bit broader and we encounter new organizations, teams, and people, Each and every relationship is a bit different, but they are all centered on trust and providing real value. We are happy to have the Asian Development Bank as a new customer and I look forward to their ideas, enhancement requests, and feedback.

We have also recently completed a set of enhancements to IMtegrity (our Lotus Sametime chat archiving application) in order to support some requests from a current evaluation. These enhancements include some extensions to the IMtegrity action rules to support customized subject messages, the ability to easily attach the XML transcript to a e-mail notifications, and several other features to support advanced integration with the EMC Legato system.

Instant Disclaimer for Lotus Sametime Install Overview



We are in the early, but very successful, stages of a promotion around our Instant Disclaimer Service for Lotus Sametime. We have recently been including the disclaimer application as part some recent IMtegrity deployments, and Monique wanted to provide the product to a broader Lotus Sametime audience.

The application makes a nice addition to most Sametime deployments - especially if there is server based archiving enabled (ala Instant IMtegrity). Quite simply, the application runs as a server application and monitors all logins to the Sametime server. When a user logs into the Sametime server, our application provides a text based disclaimer message (customized by the admin) to each user. It's very useful and has seen strong interest with IMtegrity customers.

Here is a brief overview of the installation steps - which should give Sametime admins a good idea of just how easy this will be to deploy.

We have also posted to Youtube...which allows for a slightly longer video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHNtS6rEMEo

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good move to Salesforce

Several months ago, we moved from Entellium to Salesforce. So far, the move has been very positive. The core Salesforce functionality is excellent, the user interface is well designed, and the support has been great. There were some bumps moving our data from Entellium to Salesforce, but the Salesforce data loader was very helpful.

We are looking for ways to integrate our applications (Queue Manager, Agent Framework bots) with Salesforce as well as other ideas related to the integration of Salesforce with Lotus Sametime and Microsoft OCS.

The Salesforce platform is very compelling - as is cloud computing. We are a small company, but we continue to leverage external, outsourced, providers for core (maybe commodity) applications such as email, CRM, and collaboration portals.

I'm curious how other people see the 'mashup' of internally hosted enterprise applications (i.e. Lotus Sametime, SAP) with external applications such as Salesforce.

Can/will everything move external?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lotus Museum

A fun blast from the past for all of the Lotus folks. This link:
http://www.lotusmuseum.com/pages/AmiPro
has a bunch of fun stuff from the early 90's when Ami Pro (Samna) was a new Lotus acquisition.

As a product manager for Ami Pro, Word Pro, and a bunch of other stuff, the Ami Pro pages hold a lot of fond memories.

Peyton

Integrating Sametime STLinks with LPTA tokens

We are preparing a short guide, based on a recent customer deployment, of some tips related to integrating Sametime STLinks with a portal using LPTA.

We learned a few useful tips and we will be sharing these later today.

Sametime Wiki

Another nice resource for Sametime developers and admins.
http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/stwiki.nsf/