Mail reimagined for a NewWayToWork

Mat Newman  November 18 2014 17:09:52
In just a few short hours, IBM will be launching the evolution of Mail; reimagined for a new way to work.

Stream “A New Way to Work” live
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Talks will stream live 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. USA: Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Replay will be available on demand approximately 3 hours after the live event.

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Mail Reimagined

It's a #NewWayToWork

Where does Mail.Next come from

Mat Newman  November 17 2014 09:00:00
In the past few weeks I've been asked a lot of questions as we approach the signature event launch of IBM Mail Next this week on November 18th.

If you haven't registered yet for the event on the 18th, do yourself a favour, the link is HERE (

The key to understanding IBM Mail Next is very simple; Mail.Next is NOT a new mail client, Mail.Next is a new way of working!

So where does IBM Mail Next come from?

I've put together the following infographic that I've been using in discussions with customers to enable them to understand the history behind this vision.

Figure 1: IBM Messaging & Collaboration Evolution

The evolution of IBM Mail.Next

The timeline at the bottom of the graphic is explained here:
Note:   Timeline:
1 1989

Lotus Development Corporation release the first version of the Lotus Notes Client and the Lotus Notes Server on the 27th of November
2 1996

To recognise the expanding capabilities of the Lotus Notes Server with it's ability to host applications accessed by a growing number of clients and protocols, Lotus rename the server component "Lotus Domino".
3 1998

The convergence between Messaging, Chat and Presence begins with the introduction of Lotus Sametime
4 2002

The first version of Notes/Domino and Sametime to officially carry the IBM brand "IBM Lotus Notes", "IBM Lotus Domino" and "IBM Lotus Sametime"
5 2003

Introduction of the Domino based iNotes browser client, a new way to access Domino hosted mail through a Browser
6 2007

IBM launches Lotus Connections, an enterprise social platform that would begin to dramatically transform interaction and communication within the enterprise.
7 2008

The launch of IBM's hosted cloud service for Messaging and Collaboration - LotusLive
8 2009

IBM acquires 'Outblaze' a web based SAAS offering providing mail, calendar and contacts
9 2010

Outblaze is incorporated into LotusLive and offered as "LotusLive iNotes" as an entry level cloud based messaging system which should not to be confused with Domino based iNotes, which on IBM's cloud is called "Notes Web Access"
10 2011

IBM announces the re-branding of LotusLive to IBM Smartcloud
11 2011

Rebranding of Lotus Connections to IBM Connections
12 2013

IBM begins removing individual 'brand' names from all of it's offerings, releasing IBM Notes, IBM iNotes and IBM Domino, version 9: "Social Edition" signifying the closer integration of IBM's Messaging & Collaboration and Social Business platforms.
13 2014

IBM's entry level SAAS mail offering (originally Outblaze) is renamed under the IBM Connections Cloud portfolio
14 2014

IBM Smartcloud rebranded as IBM Connections Cloud
15 2015

The convergence of Messaging & Collaboration and Enterprise Social platforms, backed by powerful Analytics capabilities, and tightly integrated Search, IBM's Mail.Next interface is released for General Availability.

What this history demonstrates is an evolution of capabilities, beginning with the software that revolutionised the messaging and collaboration space in Notes/Domino, the inclusion of realtime voice/video/meeting capabilities with Sametime, the extension of those features to the browser with (Domino based) iNotes, the introduction of a new more productive method of sharing information through an enterprise social platform in Connections, the importance of locating and analysing all of that collective intelligence and finally, bringing all of those capabilities together with a #NewWayToWork which is the vision for IBM Mail.Next.

It's an exciting time within IBM as we realise and implement one of our core values: Innovation that matters - for our company and for the world.

And of course, these capabilities are all built on your existing foundation of IBM's legendary Notes/Domino portfolio, which has meant an upgrade and an enhancement of capabilities, and no data migration, not once, not in 25 years! Investment protection is one of the hallmarks of the platform.

I look forward to discussing these developments with you as they unfold.

A hidden GEM - Creating links from IBM Connections that will open in the MOBILE APP rather than a browser!

Mat Newman  October 30 2014 00:24:42
Remember the absolutely awesome Google Chrome Extension for IBM Connections that I wrote about a little while ago? No? Ok - go refresh yourself on it HERE (Link: )

You're back.  Now for the good stuff. Did you know that this extension has a hidden feature that will create a link for you from an IBM Connections site THAT WILL OPEN IN THE CONNECTIONS MOBILE APP and not a browser?

Yep! A link you can email or share, that will open in the CONNECTIONS MOBILE APP :-)

What I didn't know at the time, but have now been enlightened to it's inclusion by the developer - Romain Lienard - is that the extension contains a VERY neat hidden feature that will enable you to create a link from the currently open IBM Connections page in a browser, which you can then share.  

This is especially useful for calendar entries and including file resources that will subsequently end up on a mobile users IBM Notes Traveler Calendar or Email (or any other Mobile email client), but of course, can be used to link to anything in Connections,  and will then provide a mobile user the ability to open the link in the IBM Connections mobile app - COOL!

There are a couple of steps to set it up, which are pretty easy:
1.        Right-Click the IBM Connections extension icon, then choose "Manage"
Figure 1: Manage Settings

2.        Click the "Options" link in the IBM Connections extension section
Figure 2: Click Options

3.        Click the link "Manage Short-cuts"
Figure 3: Manage

4.        Add a Short-Cut keyboard combination to "Add the current URL to the Mobilizer Queue" (Note: I used "Ctrl+M")

5.        Add a Short-Cut keyboard combination to "Open the URL Mobilizer assistant to help you turn connections links into mobile links" (Note: I used "Ctrl+Shift+M")

6.        Click OK
Figure 4: Set short cuts

7.        Click "Save Settings"

That's it, ready? Let's use it ....

1.        Use the keyboard Short-cut you specified at step 5 in the previous section (I used Ctrl+Shift+M) to launch the Extension page in it's own Tab,
2.        Go back to IBM Connections, navigate to the Connections resource you want to link to (eg: File, Wiki, Forum, Activity, Profile, etc),
3.        Now use the keyboard short-cut from step 4 in the previous section to capture that URL (Ctrl+M)
4.        Go back to the extension tab and VOILA! The mobile link you can now copy and paste anywhere which includes both a BROWSER and IBM Connections MOBILE APPLICATION link!

You can keep the Extension Tab open while you keep on pressing (In my case "Ctrl+M") to capture additional links in the same session, in case you want to create something like your own newletter with both Mobile and App friendly links!

Thanks Romain, an AWESOME tip!


A quiet farewell Lotus 1-2-3, Organizer and Smartsuite

Mat Newman  October 6 2014 15:33:21
Last week a fairly significant date passed without much fanfare: The Withdrawal From Support (WFS) for some of the best desktop software ever created in Lotus 1-2-3, Lotus Organizer and the Lotus Smartsuite office package.

This - of course - followed on from the announcement that these iconic products would be withdrawn from marketing effective the 11th of June, 2013.  WFM is the term used to signify that a product will no longer be available for purchase by customers.  WFS means that a product will no longer receive any updates, nor will customers be able to request assistance for these products. The announcement's were made HERE.

Many would already have been aware that - in reality - none of these products had received any significant updates for over a decade, so the announcement made last year was merely a formal indication that their time really was up, and customers using these products should move on.

In the intervening years, IBM had forked it's own version of OpenOffice to create Lotus Symphony, before making a significant donation back to the Apache Foundation of the code behind it.  The Side-bar in OpenOffice 4.* is the most visible indicator of IBM's contributions included from the Symphony code-base.

Although the retired software products will still work (and will continue to do so as long as the operating systems for which they were designed are still available) it was with a wistful grin that I remembered back to when I first started using PC's, when almost everyone of my vintage at one time was familiar with the "/" (slash) menus from 1-2-3, the spreadsheet that really proved the power of the PC in the workplace and began the PC revolution.

Then there was Organizer, the PC based Planner and Contact manager that defined what Personal Information Mangement (PIM) was all about.  Over 20 years ago Organizer introduced most of the functionality required for effective personal and group co-ordination, along with tight integration into one's contact list it was possible to do anything, from planning a call, to making a call, and then recording it back into the event. Even features like "calendar overlays" and group calendars had their roots back in Organizer, a personal favourite feature of mine was the "Include" option, that enabled one to see the "tabs" from any colleague within your own Organizer folio.

Figure 1: Lotus Organizer

Interestingly, while opening any of these applications it's clear that anyone familiar with modern desktop software will see that actual functionality available today isn't that far advanced from what we had all those years ago with these leading applications from the Lotus Development Corporation software portfolio.

Farewell, old friends, I thank you for your many years of service.

IBM Notes Traveler now available on the Play Store - more new features and a fix

Mat Newman  September 29 2014 22:51:17
Really pleased to advise that the latest update for IBM Notes Traveler client is available NOW on the Play Store

There's a couple of great new features that now enable you to reply without history, and choose whether to include attachments (even those you haven't downloaded!) in your reply email messages.

Great to see the development team is including new features with almost every new release of the IBM Notes Traveler client!

Importantly: For those of you who have reported 'latency' issues with earlier IBM Notes Traveler 9.* client versions, there is anecdotal evidence that the latest update has gone a long way way to improving the performance of Traveler on the affected devices

Check it out now:



Introducing IBM Connections Cloud, the new name for IBM Smartcloud

Mat Newman  September 24 2014 13:46:33
Earlier this morning IBM announced a rebanding of IBM Smartcloud, the new consolidated cloud offering from IBM will be "IBM Connections Cloud", and introduced new Audio-Video and Instant Messaging capabilities:

"IBM® Connections Cloud, formerly IBM SmartCloud® for Social Business, provides one-click access to business-grade file sharing, social networking, communities, online meetings, instant messaging, email, and calendar. The power of IBM Connections Cloud is that it is designed to help companies collaborate and work with anyone inside or outside their company's firewall. You can purchase these capabilities in bundles or purchase individual services so you can adopt cloud in a way that matches your business needs.
New capabilities
Audio-video in instant messaging
IBM Connections Chat Cloud delivering instant messaging capabilities as a cloud service"

Read all about it: HERE

IBM Connect evolves to meet the needs of our technical clients and partners

Mat Newman  July 24 2014 16:02:01
Earlier today IBM announced new details on IBM Connect 2015:

IBM Connected 2015

"We are excited to announce that in 2015, IBM Connect will transform into an even more in-depth technical event -- IBM ConnectED.  This event targets our heritage Collaboration Solutions clients and partners, providing a look at the future -- as well as the "nuts and bolts" details that feedback shows is so important to our long-standing technical community.

IBM ConnectED 2015 will take place January 25-28, 2015 at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort in Orlando, Florida. This event is specifically designed for technologists of all levels -- including CIOs, IT managers and practitioners -- and offers deep-dive technical sessions, demos, labs and roundtables, access to IBM technical experts, and more.  

This unique technical conference reaffirms IBM's commitment to our industry-leading solutions --- IBM Notes and Domino, the IBM Connections platform, and Digital Experience solutions -- equipping IT practitioners and technical leaders with the technical knowledge they need to maximize their investment with IBM.  In line with the 2015 SWG event strategy, we will invite IBM Collaboration Solutions and Smarter Workforce clients in business roles to join us at both IBM-led and industry events that deliver content specific to the needs of line-of-business (LOB) roles --  more on this to come. IBM Collaboration Solutions will also have a large presence at Insight 2014 and InterConnect 2015.

In addition, our seventh annual Leadership Alliance event will be held on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at the Walt Disney World Swan hotel to coincide with IBM ConnectED.  During this invitation-only, single day event, key clients and partners will engage in a two-way dialog with our leadership and product teams, preview and provide feedback on our product strategies and roadmaps, and take part in personalized roundtables and one on one interactions with the ICS leadership team and technical experts.

We are thrilled that early feedback from key clients and partners has been extremely enthusiastic. We will open registration and Call for Abstracts in mid-August, along with details regarding tracks and sessions. Please make sure your clients and partners save the date and check the ConnectED website, which will be updated as information becomes available."

I look forward to joining you there in January :-)

IBM Notes Traveler - Fix available now for Contacts lookup

Mat Newman  July 11 2014 11:01:33
A couple of people mentioned yesterday that the build IBM released on the Play Store yesterday had some missing functionality with regard the new Contacts lookup and the amount of information being returned.

The awesome dev team got onto this straight away.  You will find an updated version (build 201407101343) now available on the Play Store which returns the lookup functionality to Traveler Contacts that returns all contact details from your corporate directory.

Great work Rick, Lee and crew!

IBM Notes Traveler don’t be fooled, this ain’t just a simple point release

Mat Newman  July 10 2014 13:39:26
Don't be fooled, IBM Notes Traveler is more than a simple point release, a completely overhauled interface, new gesture based navigation and tight integration with IBM Connections and Sametime make this release a huge productivity enabler for Android users of Traveler.

I've been lucky enough to have had this version installed on my device for the past few weeks and I simply cannot understate how much my productivity has skyrocketed due to the tight integration of IBM Connections and Sametime into the entire interface.  Couple that with the awesome new contacts app, the ability to overlay device calendars in your Traveler calendar and the simplified navigation with new gestures and IBM Notes Traveler is - I believe - worthy of an entire new version number.

Here's a summary of the new features:

Available NOW on the Android App Store, download it HERE:


IBM Connections search plugin for Chrome Browser

Mat Newman  July 1 2014 17:57:51
Every now and again one comes across an awesome plugin that demonstrates some fantastic integration between day-to-day applications and IBM's Connections collaboration platform.  This one is a Connections search plugin for Chrome, and it's awesome.

From the description:

"This extension let you search content within IBM Connections.

The IBM Connections QuickSearch plugin let you quickly search for users or content within IBM Connections and update your profile picture using your webcam or an existing picture.

Use the popup window in the upper right corner of chrome in order to search within Profiles (with type-ahead feature), Files, Forums and so on.

You can also use it directly from the URL navigation bar, by typing "ic" (without any quotes) following by a space then your query. Then press enter for a global search or arrow keys to reduce the scope."

Figure 1: Chrome Connections Search Plugin

Figure 1: IBM Connections Plugin for Chrome

As in Figure 1 - above - just type "ic" to activate the Connections search in the type-ahead bar, and then type your search string; OR click on the Connections icon to limit your search to specific features of Connections.

The first time you activate the plugin you will be asked to enter your Connections server settings, including:

Your server,
Your username, and
Your password

Pretty simple.

Get it here:


Mat Newman

THE Lotus Notes Guy. Productivity Guru. Social Evangelist. IBM Champion for IBM Collaboration Solutions, 2011/2012/2013. IBMer. Views are my own.

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