Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Manager Functionality In Queue Manager V4

Queue Manager V4 is receiving excellent customer adoption and deployments.  In response to recent customer feedback, we are pleased to announce that we have extended the way that queue managers can add, remove, and adjust queue staffing levels. 

Our new 'Manager' module offers queue managers a real time dashboard that displays queue activity (both historical and real time) as well as current staffing levels. 

Managers can see how many people are waiting for an expert, how many experts are available, and which experts are provisioned to help within the queue.

This updated functionality is supported in the V1B67 build of the database (October 28, 2010). 

Friday, October 1, 2010

What's new in Instant Archive Viewer build 3.0.49 - 3.0.55 for Microsoft OCS

Instant Archive Viewer for Microsoft OCS
Instant's Archive Viewer for Microsoft OCS is a very useful tool to search, retrieve, and report on conversations and content within the Microsoft OCS system. Visit our website for more detail:

What's New in Build 3.0.49 for Instant Archive Viewer for Microsoft OCS?

Instant Archive Viewer for OCS Version 3.0.49 is now available and comes with a gamut of helpful enancements and fixes. Here are five new items that have been introduced.

1. Charting and Reporting

Instant Charting and Reporting for Microsoft OCS will create animated, interactive charts quickly and easily in order to measure traffic in your Microsoft OCS system. Display high level information organized by year or drilled down to the hour; Quickly filter usage by users and export them to Excel; View browser based reports from LCSLOG, LCSCDR, QOEMETRICS, ACDDYN and RTCCONFIG OCS database tables hosted from SQL server. For more information visit our Instant Charting and reporting for Microsoft OCS Web page at

View Live Live Demo
Download Instant Charting & Reporting for OCS Datasheet

2. Improved Active directory browsing

We've made some small changes to the Active Directory picker. The Active Directory picker is available on the Extended Search and Discovery tab of the Admin page for browsing users and groups to access the Extended Search and Search and Discovery Page. It is also available for searching users/groups in active directory to search key words in conversations.We now allow administrators to choose how you would like to find the users in Active Directory via a drop down menu. The drop down menu has three choices: First name, Last Name or login name/samacount name.

3. Time zone differences between server and local machine

This small updated feature allows the Instant Charting for Microsoft OCS module to compensate for the local time zone of the local machine viewing Charts when there is a difference in time zone between the Server and local machine. It is a setting located in the Basic Settings tab of the Administrator options page.

4. Enhanced debugging

Debug will now capture all information including read-write access and connection information. This is very helpful for configuration of Instant Archive Viewer for Microsoft OCS.

5. New look and easy navigation

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Instant Charing and Reporting for Lotus Sametime

We are proud to announce that we have started shipping our Instant Charting and Reporting application for Lotus Sametime.  The applications combines our experience developing a great charting and reporting system for our Queue Manager, as well as our experience developing a robust and scalable archiving application for Lotus Sametime.

The charting and reporting application provides 3 main components:
1 - Charting information and statistics captured by our IMtegrity database and archiving application
2 - Charting information provided by the Sametime ST Logs. This is mainly for historical purposes and displays a variety of useful Sametime statistics against a historical period
3 - Live usage metrics and data: This information is provided using the Sametime Statistics Servlet and displayed in real time using some excellent charting tools.

A live demonstration of the application is available on our web site.  Please direct any questions, or inquiries, to

A broader overview of the application, with screen shots, data sheets, and other information is available at:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Charting and Reporting for OCS

Charting and Reporting for OCS is an XML based charting engine rendering statistics from your Office Communications Server in a cool flash bar graph or pie chart. The information is retrieved using SQL queries inside XML pages and viewed on pages hosted from the IIS webserver.  The databases we are retrieving the information from are the LcsLog and lcsCDR, QoEMetrics, ACDDYN and RTCCONFIG.  For more information on these databases visit the following links:

Users may add, delete or modify all charts manually and may optionally apply an intuitive filter to customize the data into more usable, focused information using the interface built into the charting and reporting page. Here are some examples of charts we have been working on for a help desk call center, which we have applied said filter to access the Inbound/outbound queue data from a PBX calling system for a help desk:

Inbound Calls by Hour of Day

Inbound Calls by Day of Week

Average Duration of All Calls by Day of the Week

Calls by Hour of Day

For more charts and information visit:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

IQM V4 Feature Update – Inviting any user from the Sametime Directory to a Queue conversation

This has been one of the most prominent feature request by our existing Queue users and evaluators. This allows the expert to quickly send invite to any Sametime user who would be subject matter specialist into a Queue conversation with a visitor.

The feature is available to experts via a Sametime plug-in. While in a chat conversation expert can quickly use the invite option as highlighted in the following screenshot:

Using the invite option will display the following dialog which allows expert to quickly search and pick any user from the Sametime Directory:


Once the users have been selected an invite to Multi party chat conversation is sent to the users


After the users accept the invite they are able to assist the visitor via the NWay chat window.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Amazon Cloud

Amazon EC2 cloud computing has been very interesting and useful. I and others at Instant Technologies use these Amazon instances for testing and they have been very helpful to us in many ways. One pretty obvious advantage is that the server doesn't shut down every time a snow storm hits the area and knocks the power out. Another is that you don't have to maintain the server in a physical space, be it office or home and keep upgrading the machine or buy new machines each time our customers need testing on new software. For example, Microsoft now has a requirement for 64 bit machines for hosting their OCS software. If you are stuck with 32 bit machines in the office, then your machines quickly becomes obsolete. Another great feature is how I can stop and start these Amazon instances, and only pay (well...Instant Technologies pays), when there is a need to use them. I can take snapshots of drives and attach /detach them to any instance from any previous snapshot state using the very handy AWS Management Console, which once you get the hang of it can be very easy to use.

Also, please correct me, if I am wrong but there seems to be one very large disadvantage with Amazon. The problem is the tiny C drive you receive, when launching a large instance (64 bit machine). 10 gigs! Unless you are good at remapping things or moving space between drives and so on, which I am not, this is something that you have to live with. These large images are extremely expensive and are almost the cost of renting your own office, if you keep it running 24/7, so it really is a shame we only get this amount of hard drive space.

I am still learning and a lot of it, mostly learned through trial and error, unfortunately. There is one very important issue that came up, which may have been solved had I actually read the instructions. It's to make sure that before you bundle your images, to uncheck the "Use hexadecimal name for each instance after bundling". This setting is located in the Program files of the C drive. If you do not, your computer name will change after bundling and when you are ready to run the new instance, some references in your software will remain pointing to the original computer name. This can really mix-up some software configurations, namely the Microsoft Office Communications Server. Another thing, I've learned, is to take snapshots of drives. This became important due to having many important files that our Sql server had stored on two other drives. When you bundle an instance, it only copies the C drive, which means you must copy your D, E, etc. drives to a volume before bundling. There is probably a better way but I did this by just copying and pasting all files from each drive to a volume after attaching them and taking a snapshot of each. I then, have these drives as backup for the next instance I would like to launch.

Now, there are even more features, just introduced and a lot of things I've mentioned above may have changed or improved. There have been new tabs that include better handling of buckets and just a gamut of new stuff  in the AWS management console that I have not played with yet and have no idea about...time to play catch-up once again but hopefully after reading some instructions first.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sending messages to off-line users of Microsoft Communicator

We are working on a solution to capture messages to off-line users of Microsoft Office Communicator. We would like to capture these lost off-line messages that are never sent to the intended recipient and store them in a Sql database before they become lost or are sent to email. When an offline user of these messages become active, we would then alert the user, similar to IM tools such as Yahoo Messenger.

We are working with MSPL (Microsoft Sip Processing Language), which is a scripting language used for filtering or routing SIP messages combined with C# to capture the message. For delivering messages, the UCMA API is used.

We have bumped into some hurdles for capturing the messages, for instance, we were able to capture the message and the user initiating the message to the recipient but the message seemed to be encrypted in a UTF-8 format. We found a way to decrypt this message using the Class library in C# called system.text.coding and is now readable in a plain text file.

Now that the hardest part is over, or so it may seem, we can concentrate on sending them to the recipient when he/she becomes online. We will need to monitor who becomes online and send these messages using a windows service. The good news is, we already have an application that monitors offline users and sends an alert to these users, when they become active. It is called Instant Alert Manager for OCS so this is not entirely new territory for us and has given us a head-start.

There is still quite a lot of work to do. For example, storing data in a Sql Database and creating tables to store the data and deleting the data after the information has been sent. Also, capturing messages sent to users in various states, ie., busy, do not disturb, be right back. What if, users are a way on vacation, what to do with these messages, should there be an expiration time and then have the messages sent to an email, etc., etc. Nevertheless, much progress has been made in a short time and we will continue to find the best solutions. We will continue to update our latest findings and possibly give more details as we progress.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Queue Manage V4 Updates -

This week, we have been extremely busy adding additional enhancements to Queue Manager V4.  All of the enhancements are a direct result of customer feedback and customer requests. 

By default, the system has been enabled to notify experts when a person is waiting in the queue. The broadcast options for the queue will determine the expert notification settings.  We know that the notification system for experts is very important and we will continue to invest time, and design ideas, on this area. 

In addition to sending IM alerts on Sametime, Microsoft OCS, and XMPP, we now also support the ability to alert experts using Twitter.  If the expert is not online in an IM system, then we can send the expert a tweet and let them know that someone is waiting in the queue and needs help.  Our directory system now supports some additional fields necessary for the Twitter support.

Updated web client so that it can be easily configured by the installation process.  Now all files use relative path and settings are saved in a single file.  This should dramatically improve the ability to quickly customize and deploy the web client

Updated the plug-in to support Sametime Connect 8.5.  The updated plugin also supports server based text replies, the ability to accept multiple chat conversations, and the embedded monitoring panel.  The monitoring panel has also been updated to show the high level queue activity as well as a drill down details level view of each queue.

In order to help provide experts with standard replies, we have added the ability to store, and manage, server based text replies within the administrative system.  These server based text resources are integrated into the Sametime plugin.

The Sametime plugin retrieves the list of server based replies and provides the list to the expert using a custom icon:

Updated ITF so that newly created Queue comes online without restarting Apache.

Updating LDAP browser code to support sorting of entries

Added support for $surveyURL

More information on surveys will be available next week. 


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Updates to Archive Viewer for Microsoft OCS

We have recently made several updates to our Archive Viewer for Microsoft OCS.  Most of these updates are based on customer feedback. 

Within our scheduling and mailing system, we now support authentication via public AD groups.  Several of our customers required keyword searches within groups and then schedule those keyword searches on a daily or weekly basis.  Prior to this update, pubilc group queries were not supported.  We now support scheduled keyword inspection against public groups defined in Active Directory.

Here is the initial search criteria


We then save the query to a project and have the ability to schedule the query:


We have also added a central landing page to help provide a more centralized user experience.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Instant Updates for week of May 28, 2010

This has been a very busy, and successful week at Instant. As usual, we are working on multiple products - but all with an extreme focus on enabling our customers with improved enterprise IM applications.

IMtegrity, our high performance archiving and compliance product for Lotus Sametime, now support installations on Sametime 8.5 servers. Right now, this installation involves a very easy modification to the standard IMtegrity installation workflow. Keith has been busy with customer installations and so far all of our customers, and evaluators, are very happy. IMtegrity continues to successfully handle the Sametime archiving requirements for some of the largest financial service institutions in the world. Thanks Keith for a terrific job with these installations.

Instant Queue Manager V4 has experienced a series of updates this week. We have recently added a very nice installation process for the Apache server component and this has dramatically reduced the installation complexiy and overhead. This update is a direct result of numerous installation and our desire to save time - for both our customers and our internal engineers. We have also streamlined the Notes installation process. Our goal is to provide our customers with an installation process that can be completed in less than 30 minutes. Thanks to some exceptional patience, and assistance, from several wonderful people within a large financial company in Toronto, our installation process has dramatically improved this week. Thank you Chris and Fred!

We have also updated our Team Sessions Sametime plugin to support Sametime 8.5. We are starting to see an uptick in the Sametime 8.5 installations.

We are also seeing steady growth in the Microsoft OCS server deployments. We continue to improve our Archive Viewer for OCS and have recently added a much improved landing page, improved support for group level ACLs, as well as continued performance improvements. This week, we are pleased to welcome several new customers to our Archive Viewer community. We are currently working on a new charting and reporting module for Microsoft OCS and some screen shots will be posted shortly.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some sample web based queues and bots

Instant Technologies has been developing and deploying web based IM solutions since 2004. Our Queue Manager V4 supports a newly designed Ajax based web client that removes the earlier dependendcy on Sametime's ST Links toolkit.

The following examples demonstrate our new Ajax based web client interacting with a variety of prodcuts, such as:
  • IM help desk queues
  • Custom IM bots
These examples of Instant Technologies Bots show how they can be integrated with IBM Instant Messaging ("Lotus Sametime") awareness directly onto a webpage.

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Queue Manager Template Released

We have released an updated version of the Queue Manager V4 template.  This latest template supports all of the work that we have done in order to provide more detailed information on web based visitors.  Information on web based visitors will now be available to experts, the framework applications, as well as the queue logs database. 

We have also updated the charting and reporting system based on feedback from one of our favorite customers in South Carolina. 

Here is the list of updates in this latest release:
QueueMgr Template Ver 2.20 May 03, 2010

1. Form 'ITAgentLogEntry' will have the following new fields






2. Added new view 'by Customer ID & Date'

Instant Queue Connections V1B32 May 03, 2010

1. Startup type property added to queue and interviews

2. Monitoring Panel update Version 1.0.12 26 APR 2010

3. Control Panel update Version 1.0.3 26 APR 2010

4. Added Public group support

5. New Monitoring Panel URL for experts

6. New URL for watched Queues

7. URL to Sync Public Groups

10. Support for new line in the text resources for Queue Properties XML

11. Added page to display the supported text variables

12. Passwords are encrypted in the UI XMLs

13. Added Support for LDAP based directories

14. UI related bug fixes

Instant Measurement Suite Template v1.14 Apr 21, 2010

1. Charts 'All Chat Logs\Open Conversations' and 'Customer\This Week' has drill down functionality

2. By Month charts have been sorted in calender order

3. Default chart for IQM will be 'Today By Queue'

Friday, April 30, 2010


On a lighter note...As a fan of both the University of Georgia, and REM, this is a fun video - totally not related to enterprise IM, Sametime, or OCS.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

IMtegrity Connector for Legato - Transfer Sametime Chat Conversations to Legato

We have recently released our IMtegrity Connector for EMC's Legato application.  The IMtegrity Connector for Legato provides the ability to automatically move Sametime chats, captured and stored in IMtegrity, to the exjournal.nsf database where they are imported by Legato.

For customers with Sametime and EMC's Legato, IMtegrity makes an ideal Sametime chat archiving application. 

Many thanks to out joint IMtegrity and Legato customers who helped with the development, testing, and deployment.  Specific thanks to Tim Browne and Jeff Lontz

Jeff worked with us during our initial implementation and Tim Browne provided an excellent design and feature list.

Here is a brief case study on the deployment. 

A shot of the Connector's configuration :

After the IMtegrity Connector is configured and turn on, the Lotus Sametime chat conversations are automatically moved, or copied, to exjournal.nsf

The following screen shot shows how the Legato based searching UI appears - after the Sametime conversations are migrated.  Notice how the chat conversations are now searchable - just like email:


Friday, April 16, 2010

Build V. Buy - Be Careful What you Wish For

We develop software all day, every day, and it is generally pretty difficult.  Therefore, I'm always surprised when I encounter a potential customer in a build v. buy mode. 

On the surface, and at the white board, the build decision looks somewhat 'easy'. 

The scenario typically unfolds in the following way:

A manager has articulated a requirement.  A local developer, or team, has a few 'extra cycles' and should be able to create some specific base functionality in a few days or weeks.  I call this 'the first 80% is easy'.

It can't be that difficult, since it just involves (pick one):
  • Capturing every chat conversation on a server - it's just some C++ and Notes API code
  • Routing inbound IM conversations to an expert - ti's just some Java and Sametime API
  • Creating a reporting system to search, report, export, and manage thousands of IM conversations - it's just SQL reporting
The developer has all of the necessary skills and it doesn't involve a 'real project', bug tracking, project maintenance, QA resources, extra hardware, or any other additional tools.  Of will - but that is 'downstream'. 

In my experience, it's the final 20% of any project that consumes most of the time/money/effort....and the final 5% is really, really difficult.
Putting on my 'manager' hat, I would ask the following types of questions:

Can you achieve?
  • A proven, solution that doesn’t degrade the performance of the Sametime, or OCS server
  • A scalable application that can handle thousands, or tens of thousands, of concurrent conversations
  • Can the features match the core features of the commercial off the shelf offerings
  • What will be done in the future when we move to a new version of Sametime/OCS (i.e. in 12 months when we move to ST 8.5 who will update, test, and rebuild the application)?
Assuming that these things can be achieved, what is the size of the project team (with time estimates) that will be required to deliver this application?  How will it be tested?  How will bugs be found, tracked, and fixed?  Who will maintain the application?  For how long will it be maintained? 

Ultimately: Why do we want to be in the business of recreating a product that is already available in the market, is already tested, and has the benefit of other customers, feedback loops, and multiple deployments?


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Instant is now a Certified Microsoft Partner

We are happy to announce that Instant Technologies is now a certified Microsoft partner.  We recently submitted our primary OCS based application - Instant Archive Viewer for OCS - to a certfication program.  Instant Archive Viewer for Microsoft OCS passed the certification review and we are pleased to be an official partner. 

Microsoft was excellent to work with during this entire process and the benefits of becoming certified are immediate and tangible.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Video Overview of Lotus Sametime Based IM Queues

Instant Queue Manager supports both broadcast and monitored based queues.  In terms of product feedback, the ability for experts and help desk managers to monitor IM queues was one of the most requested features of our earlier Queue Manager. 

In Queue Manager V4, monitored queues are a key component of the overall application.  Here is a brief video covering the expert's perspective of the monitoring panel and the inbound queue traffic across multiple queues.  The following video displays an expert using Lotus Sametime to retrieve a customer from a help desk queue. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Monitored Queues Make Debut in Queue Manager V4

Monitored queues are one of the major features of the latest Instant Queue Manager V4 for Lotus Sametime.  Our monitored queues provide a central point where experts (CSRs), manager, and administrators can monitor, and act on, any inbound IM queue request.  For our customers running internal help desks, IT support centers, and sales enablement centers, the ability to expose Lotus Sametime click to chat functionality is seamless and scalable.

Customers start a conversation with a monitored queue either through a web based chat client (our new Ajax based chat client is fantastic), via an Instant Interview, or by starting a conversation with a queue in their Sametime buddy list.  

However, instead of broadcasting the incoming customer request to a list of experts, the inbound queue request is managed, and exposed, using a nicely designed queue monitoring panel.
Using the queue monitoring panel, requests can be viewed, accepted by an expert using the experts Sametime client, or transferred to another queue.

Columns within the monitoring panel display the name of the inbound customer, their question, their wait time, and whether they are connected with an expert (CSR) or awaiting a connection.

A summary panel for all queue information provides administrators with summary statistics on total queue activity - including how many inbound requests are waiting for a connection, how many customers are connected with an expert, and the maximum wait time within a queue.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Queue Manager V4 - Measurements and Reporting

Based on customer feedbackwe  have completely redesigned the charting component for Queue Manager V4.

We now support 26 base charts which are dynamically presented.  5 of the charts support drill down displays.

Charts have been designed to present data on such items as queues, agents (experts), time periods, unresolved requests, and system load.  Our high level goal is to enable executives, and design makers, with useful information queue activity, load, trends, and that the information immediately add value to the day to day operations of IM help desk queues.

Here is a brief (90 second) overview of the measurements and reporting area of Queue Manager V4:

Load by agent for today:

Queue Manager 4 - On the Way

After a very long development road, we are getting very excited to announce our newest release of Queue Manager V4.  Queue Manager has a very loyal following and we have done a massive amount of work to include most of the enhancement requests in this latest version.

Here is a quick overview:
Charting and Reporting:
We have completely rewritten the entire charting and reporting system.  With 26 charts (out of the box) and 5 enabled for multi level drill down, we think the charting system should be a huge improvement

Monitored Queues:
Our broadcast queues are useful, but based on early customer feedback, the monitored queues will be extremely helpful in help desk environments and large organizations.  Monitored queues include a real time flex based dashboard showing all queue traffic.

Interviews enable a decision support tree to be provided to inbound customers before they interact with a queue.  These IM based trees are customizable, extensible, and very easy to create.  With our Groovy integration, customer can easily shift conversations from an interview to custom Groovy extensions.

Browser Based Configuration:
Our number one request.  Queues, interviews, and all administrative tasks are now available from our browser based interface. 

Supports Popular Enterprise IM Systems:
Built on Instant's enterprise IM abstraction layer, Queue Manager V4 supports Lotus Sametime, Microsoft OCS, and XMPP based systems. 

Here is a screen shot of the charting system:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Queue Manager 4 Overview

This FAQ will provide useful pointers to various entries on Instant Queue Manager 4.

The following are the high level areas:

  • Installation
  • Broadcast Queues
  • Monitored Queues
  • Charting and Reporting
  • Administration
  • Interviews
  • Bot Development

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Groovy Templates in our IM Framework

As part of our instant messaging abstraction layer, we are making extensive use of Groovy and some Groovy constructs.

While our 'connectors' to the various IM platforms (Lotus Sametime, Microsoft OCS, XMPP) are all built using Java, our business logic and higher level applications are generally constructed using Groovy. For example, our Interviews and Monitored Queues were all developed in Groovy using our Java based API to the various IM systems.

Since we are now completing the monitored queue area of our latest version of
Instant Queue Manager, we are adding some finishing touches to the text portion of the application.

Luckily, Groovy templates are making this very easy. Here is a background article from IBM on Groovy templates:

Our idea is that we will enable Groovy based template syntax in our our queue definitions and then simple route the text resource through the Groovy template engine in order to provide real time text substitutions.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Working on a 35,000 user vpuserinfo.nsf conversion

For the last several months, we have been using our Buddy List Administrator, and our vpuserinfo.nsf conversion routines, to migrate 35,000 users within a large Sametime environment.

This conversion has been a bit more complicated than some of our earlier conversions since:
We are remapping all 35,000 people from one network ID to another
We are dealing with multiple Sametime clients
The Sametime buddy lists are stored in both the field 0 (zero) and field 8193

As with most projects, there are some new paths to cross. For example, we have recently discovered some differences in the header for the 8193 field that created some issues in our earlier 'dry runs'. We have now resolved those issues (after an all morning byte by byte analysis session) and we are waiting for the actual cut over.

Our goal on these conversions is 99.9999% success rate. Ideally, when a person logs into their Sametime client on Monday (following a weekend conversion) they will see their exact buddy list - but with new user IDs and display names (both of which are changing on this conversion).

The most difficult part of this project has been the consolidation of the various mapping tables into one coherent lookup table. The customer is provided us with various (7) directories - all of which we are normalizing in order to provide a master lookup table.

Lotus Notes has been an excellent data repository and has provided a very quick, and easy, storage device for all of this data. Our import routines also leverage Lotus Notes and the ability (using some Lotus Notes agents) to read data from Microsoft Excel (XLS) files.

This has been a challenging project, but we continue to add more knowledge to our Sametime buddy list conversion process and our code base for these conversions continues to grow.

Seeing some problems with Sametime 8.5

We are running one of our development environments on Sametime 8.5. We use both Domino HTTP, a very nice Domino based web application, and Sametime. Unfortunately, we are seeing a rather large number of crashes on our Sametime 8.5 server. Are other customers or developers seeing this behavior?

We are thinking about backing down our Sametime 8.5 server to Sametime 8.02 in order to help with stability.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Instant Queue Manager - Best Unified Communication and Collaboration Solution at IBM Lotusphere 2010

Instant Queue Manager was honored by IBM for the second consecutive year! It won 'Best in Lotusphere Showcase' at Lotusphere 2009; this year it won Best Unified Communication and Collaboration Solution.

Read our press release on winning this prestigious award....or read it directly from IBM.

If you want to increase employee productivity, improve your customer service, or shorten your sales cycles, you need Instant Queue Manager.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Balsamiq Mockups - Better Than Paper

I frequently want to quickly 'mockup' a sample page, dialog, or even application. Typically, I start with a pencil and pencil. However, with teams distributed around the country, and world, pencil and paper mockups are just too difficult to share.

I've tried Visio, paintbrush, bamboo pen pads, taking pictures of my mockups, and snagit. However, no matter how much I try other tools, I keep coming back to paper.

Balsamiq Mockups has the potential to offer the best of both worlds. It's a very clean, easy to use, flex/air application that enables very quick mockups. Typically, in a mockup, I'm striving for placement, layout,and broad concepts. This is where Balsamiq shines. The images are 'simple' enough to leave enough room for imagination.

Cool tool...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Looking forward to Lotusphere and 2010

2010 should be an exciting year. There are signs that the economy has finally turned a corner, our customers are very busy, and we have some new software that we are very excited about showcasing.

Lotusphere is a great kickoff to 2010 - and we are looking forward to meeting with our customers, seeing friends, and taking a pulse of the Lotus/IBM community.

If you are at Lotusphere, please stop by our booth and say hi. In many cases, Lotusphere is the one time during the year where we physically meet with, and talk in person, to our partners and customers. It's also a great place to share stories and renew friendships.

See you in Orlando