Looking for free training materials, guides and labs?

Mat Newman  July 28 2015 19:02:40
Figure 1: a Book

I get asked a lot about free training resources for the IBM Collaboration Solutions portfolio. Over on IBM's Greenhouse demonstration site there is a fantastic collection of resources for Users, Administrators and Developers that you can download for free ... yes ... FREE!

If you already have a Greenhouse account, all you need to do is sign in. If you don't already have an account, there's a simple sign-up process and then you get access to the entire site, where you can trial all of IBM's Collaboration Solutions (iNotes, Connections, Sametime, Traveler) free of charge.

Here's a snippet from the site:

Education - Available Workshops


  • Here's an RSS feed for all of the IBM Collaboration Solutions online self-paced workshops.
  • Looking to enroll in a self-paced workshop? Visit the Enroll link for the workshop.
  • Looking for workshop materials?  Visit the Materials link for the workshop.
  • Looking for workshop support?  Visit the Support link at the bottom of this page.
 Note:  You should Follow the folders listed below so that you receive updates if the files are updated or new ones are added!

 Category  Title
Application Development  IBM Connections Cloud Application Development (Q4 2014)
 Social Business Application Development (2014)
Digital Experience

 IBM Forms V8 & IBM Forms Experience Builder
 IBM Web Content Manager 8.5
 IBM WebSphere Portal V8.5: Digital Experience platform
Social Collaboration  IBM Connections 5.0
 IBM Connections 5.0 Customization
Social Communication
 IBM Sametime 9: Communications for the Social Business
Social Mail  IBM Notes and Domino 9.0
 IBM XPages 9.0

 So, as you can see, there's a great collection of resources available. And did I mention it's FREE!

LINK HERE (!/wiki/Wb180e2074fa8_4f84_aa3b_ee006786065a/page/Available%20Workshops)


The Alternate Reality, Episode 7: Our 5 year Mission

Mat Newman  July 27 2015 17:42:39
The past couple of days have seen a little milestone pass: 5 years working with the "Alternate Reality" that I first wrote about back in 2010.

FIGURE 1: My Desktop Today

Figure 1: The Alternate Reality - 5 Years on

This started as an experiment to determine whether it was truly possible to move completely away from the "Standard" Microsoft Operating System and Document Editors used by so many in corporate life.  For me, the whole experience has been liberating, enlightening, and extremely fun.

Liberating, from the point of view that I've been able to experience a whole range of applications that don't require Windows as their operating system.  Need some software? Open the Software Centre, do a search for your requirements, click, and there it is.

Initially I was sceptical about the possible quality of the software available from the open-source community.  What I have learned is that not only are open source solutions for many applications comparable in capabilities to their commercial counterparts, the quality of the applications, the level of functionality, and most importantly their stability is something that no longer surprises me.

Enlightening. Most certainly. When I began, my experience with Linux extended to basic server installations capable of supporting a Domino server infrastructure. Working with Linux as my personal platform - along with a personal tendency to "pull things apart" to see how they work - has dramatically increased my understanding, knowledge of and respect for Linux as a platform.  I no longer have any hesitation recommending it to customers as a server platform for their Applications, nor as a true alternative on the desktop.  Customers in this region are extremely cost-sensitive, and I now know a few of them who are rolling out Linux on desktop to take better advantage of lower-speced hardware and to reduce their licensing costs.

Fun! How can an operating system be fun? Those who work on Mac know how useful multiple workspaces are for organising and switching focus between applications. The ability to completely customise the interface beyond just a visual theme that changes colours and icon sizes is awesome. Want a Mac-style launcher, just go to the Software Centre. Want window icons to do different things, or be in a different location, just change a preference. Want multiple locations visible in your file manager, just press F3. The flexibility to have an interface do what you want, and the ability to modify the way almost everything works to fulfil your own personal preferences is just wonderful.

Of course, things aren't always perfect. I do find myself messing about with printer settings to get them to work properly, and there are sometimes issues with external monitors, and while those issues aren't limited to just Linux it can be frustrating when things don't "just work". Overall though, each new version of Ubuntu for the past couple of years has addressed hardware compatibility issues to the point that the instances where something doesn't work is extremely rare. When I first started with Ubuntu 10.04 I was constantly hacking configuration files to get things running properly. The past couple of versions I find myself rarely having to do that.

Thankfully the single application that I use the most does "just work" on Linux, as you can see from figure 1, IBM Notes on a Linux desktop with Connections Files, Updates and Activities, Sametime Chat, Meetings and Unified Telephony works just perfectly.

And that's why I started "testing" an alternate reality 5 years ago ... and I haven't looked back.

Thank you Iris, Lotus and IBM ... 20 Years ...

Mat Newman  July 3 2015 22:45:07
That first moment - back in 1992, when I imported my first 1-2-3 spreadsheet into a Notes database and created a form and some views - I knew I was working with something special.

As I mentioned a couple of years ago, my journey with IBM software - and in particular Lotus Notes - has been one for me that has been both personally and professionally fulfilling.

This year is particularly poignant. Today, I celebrate 20 years as an IT professional.

20 years ago today - as a young guy with a passion for IT - I started my own business. And the first cash I earned was consulting for (what was then) Lotus Notes.

The past 2 years have seen that early enthusiasm for IBM/Lotus software evolve.  Yes, July has become significant for me from an IBM perspective as:
  • July 1995 is the month IBM bought Lotus, and
  • July 2013 is the month I officially became an IBMer.

So 20 years ago Lotus became part of IBM, and 2 years ago, so did I ;-)

There now are too many places, too many faces, too many events and too many fantastic memories during that 20 year journey for me to single out specific names and moments.

You know who you are. You know what we did and what it meant. And I thank you for the great time we had together.

Thank you Iris/Lotus/IBM ... and YOU! Here's to another 20 years!


Inform 2015 (brought to you by AusLUG) - what I’m looking forward to

Mat Newman  June 9 2015 12:44:19
Figure 1: AusLUG keynote from 2012 featuring Ed Brill

In case you've missed all the announcements, this week is INFORM2015 (brought to you by the wonderful people at AusLUG).

As with past events, I'm really looking forward to 2 days packed full of fantastic sessions conducted by speakers from around the globe. High on my list of must-not-miss sessions is the keynote on Thursday morning to be delivered by two legends of the IBM ESS (nee: ICS, nee:Lotus) community in Ed Brill (Vice President, Social Business Cloud Services, IBM Office of the CIO, responsible for driving IBM's social business transformation) and Jack Welch (IBM's Global Director, Social Collaboration Sales, which includes IBM Notes & Domino and the SmartCloud for Social Business suite of solutions).  I'm really looking forward to hearing how IBM is transforming it's business through the use of (it's OWN) technology, and the future direction for IBM's Collaboration Suite of applications.

I've been lucky enough to have two sessions accepted for this event, #AdminBlast: where I'm going to share as many Administrator tips in the allotted time as I possibly can (many thanks to Paul Mooney and Gabriella Davis for graciously allowing me to use some of their content!), and #UserBLAST: Yes, my favourite topic - sharing the love for all the good stuff that users can do with IBM's collaboration solutions portfolio.

You can download the entire INFORM agenda HERE:

Of course, the other major highlight of this event includes the networking and social (do not miss #InformBeers! aspects of the conference, where there will be loads of opportunity to catch up with some old friends - and new - from around the #YellowVerse. Many life-long friendships have been forged at events such as #Inform, where some amazing people come together through a common interest to Meet, Share, Learn.

Figure 2: AusLUG 2013 Social Event & Speed-Geeking

There will be (HUG)'s. Lots of (HUG)'s.

I look forward to seeing you there!  


WEBINAR: App.Next - The Future of Domino Application Development

Mat Newman  May 4 2015 19:25:35
Join hosts Teamstudio and TLCC along with IBM's Application Development Guru's to explore the future of Domino Application Development.


Thursday, May 14, 2015


10:30 am to noon (New York)
3:30 pm to 5:00 pm (London)
10:30 pm to Midnight (Singapore)

Learn IBM's product directions for Domino and XPages application development from 3 speakers from the IBM development team: Pete Janzen, Martin Donnelly, and Brian Gleeson.

The Domino application development landscape is about to get a whole lot richer. Not only is IBM giving developers new features that will enhance their on-premises platform, XPages runtime and Domino Designer, but they will show how they are bringing the value of Domino to the cloud with new services for IBM Bluemix. New responsive design features, RDBMS data sources, document encryption on the Web, and Bluemix: there's a lot to pack in!
Figure 1: Pete Janzen Pete Janzen

Pete is part of the IBM Collaboration Solutions product management team and has responsibilities for IBM Domino Designer, Domino, XWork Server application development, and enterprise integration for the Domino platform. His focus is on XPages technology delivered in Domino Designer for building Domino and XWork Server applications.
Figure 1: Martin Donnelly Martin Donnelly

Martin is a software architect and technical lead for the Domino Designer and XPages teams in IBM Ireland. He has worked on all XPages releases to date and also on a precursor technology known as XFaces. Martin was also a development contributor to such products as the IBM Java Visual editor and IBM Rational Application Developer. In the 1990s while living and working in Massachusetts, Martin was a lead developer on Domino Designer; this has now gone full circle as he rejoined the Domino Designer team in 2013 to head up the 9.0.1 release.
Figure 1: Brian Gleeson Brian Gleeson

Brian is a software engineer for IBM Ireland. He joined IBM in 2009 and has contributed to the XPages Extension Library, XPages Templates, and is also an OpenNTF contributor.


Well worth the wait ... it’s finally HERE ... IBM Connections Activities support on Mobile

Mat Newman  April 28 2015 20:30:37
It's no secret that I'm in love with IBM Connections Activities. In fact, if there was any single reason to purchase a step-up from the basic IBM Connections Profiles, Files and Status updates entitlements included with your IBM Notes CAL's ... this would be it!

And it just ... got ... BETTER!

Figure 1: IBM Connections Activities on Mobile
FIGURE 1: IBM Connections Activities on Mobile

Activities are now Mobile on iOS and Android connected to IBM Connections Cloud with the inclusion of the Activities app.

I literally live in Activities, there's no better way to keep track of anything from a complex Work-Breakdown-Structure to a simple task list, to be able to share those details with your colleagues and cut down on all those email messages asking for status updates on a Project or Engagement that you are collaborating on with your team:
  • Need to co-ordinate effort with your team? - Create an Activity,
  • Want to differentiate between planning, engagement and follow-up? - Add Some Sections,
  • Allocate Follow-up Actions to team members? - Create some To-Do's,
  • What is the status at any point in time? - Create some Entries!

These are the elements of an Activity that make this feature of Connections such a fabulous way to coordinate effort, track progress and Get Things Done!

Of course, the flexibility of Activities to create a Stand-Alone Activity, or to create an Activity within a Community, or even associate a stand-alone Activity with an individual or multiple communities is one of the aspects of the Feature that clearly demonstrates the evolution of a traditional "silioed" approach to organising information, with the People-Centric, Meta-Data-Enabled, Community Integrated, Security-Rich environment that is IBM Connections.

Now available with the latest update to IBM Connections Cloud subscribers (Both S1 and S2) and an addition to the Mobile Application on iOS and Android, the inclusion of Activities is an AWESOME enhancement.

Well worth the wait ... it's finally HERE ... IBM Connections Activities support on Mobile.


If you’re not using what you already have, how can something else be ’better’

Mat Newman  April 22 2015 02:13:29
A constant theme in customer meetings recently has been educating our users about the entitlements they already have, the capabilities that are already available to them, and the tools that they have at their disposal.

Figure 1: Shiny, BETTER? REAllY?

Too often we have engaged with customers where the competition has demonstrated something "shiny" (for want of a better word), which the customer has gleefully latched onto as their reason for purporting to switch to another platform, without consulting their existing vendor to see if something equivalent - dare I say "Better" - is already available to them.

Here is a short list of items that have featured heavily in those discussions:
  • ID Vault: The ability to easily reset passwords and sync security credentials with mobile apps,
  • Managed Replica's: Turns the Notes client into a "push-mail" app, effectively removing the requirement for mail replication schedules,
  • Managed Replica's: Enables the Notes client to send mail "in the background", alleviating delays in "Sending" email,
  • Full Text Index's: Want awesome search, on mail content, and attachments? it's been in Notes for years,
  • User policies: Control virtually every setting in the Notes client, enabling consistent configuration and enables many of the features that are not turned on in Notes "by default",
  • TDI/SAML: Single-Sign-On, for Notes, for external applications, and for browser based access, neat-O,
  • Live-Text: The ability to recognise almost any content within ANY Notes application (Not just the Email database, ANY Notes document),
  • Actions: What happens when Live-Text is recognised within a document? Configure an Action to perform the "Next Step" with that recognised text,
  • Widgets: Funky little gadgets which can be surfaced from any web-based application, linked with Live-Text and Actions to radically empower a user and dramatically increase their productivity,
  • Plug-Ins: Those add-ons that can totally transform the Notes client experience and interface,
  • Embedded Experiences: Going beyond Live-Text, Actions and Widgets to surface actionable content directly within an email message,
  • Connections Profiles: The ability to see who a person is within your organisation, their contact details, and access the CONTENT that person has created,
  • Connections Files: Send an attachment? Create 6 copies of a file in a simple exchange "Can you please update...", Really?
  • Presence: Is someone in the office, in a meeting, working on mobile, who knows?
  • Chat: You're online and I have a simple question ...

As I mentioned ... it's a short list (only 15 items), and if you're currently running IBM Notes 9, everything listed above is available to you NOW, FREE-OF-CHARGE with your existing IBM Notes client entitlements.

And that's even before we start talking about the amazing development platform that is IBM Domino, with the ability to create truly transformational business applications that integrate with virtually any external system. Oh, and did I mention those applications can run natively in Notes, a Desktop Web-Browser or a Mobile device with very little effort?

Got any questions about the items on the list?

I would be happy to speak with you on how your organisation can get a "better", using what you already have.

A New Way to Work Signature Moment Event at CeBIT 2015

Mat Newman  March 13 2015 12:05:57
IBM is taking center stage with a number of amazing activities at CeBIT 2015 in Hannover, Germany 16 – 20 March 2015. CeBIT is "the" information technology conference known to define the latest IT trends, thought leadership by industry leaders and forward thinking panel discussions, and the latest product innovations from around the world. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to experience IBM's technology first hand and network around a "New Way to Work."

IBM will host a New Way to Work Signature Moment Event on March 18 from 3:30PM - 7:30PM CET, featuring Bob Picciano, Jeff Schick and Alistair Rennie, clients, industry leaders and more. This "event within an event" features a series of short talks focused on the ways people must think, innovate and engage differently, hands on demonstrations of IBM Verse and IBM Watson Analytics and opportunities to experience IBM Design Thinking.

IBM will also have a significant presence at CeBIT 2015 throughout the week, including keynotes on the main stage, client presentations, analyst and press briefings, demonstrations and more. Some of the exciting activities include:
  • “New Way to Work” keynote on center stage at CeBIT on Wednesday March 18 (1:00PM - 1:30PM CET), featuring Jeff Schick and Bob Picciano.
  • Social Business & Web Experience Arena with 6 talks featuring Collaboration, IBM Verse, Digital Experience in Hall 4 and a trilogy of Social Presentations within the IBM Conference Program 
  • Live demonstrations of IBM Verse in the Social Booth and IBM Watson Analytics in IBM Analytics Booth Hall 2, booth A10 that include guided tours for clients, mobile device bar and more – Hall 2, booth A10
  • Design Boot Camp (March 16, 2:30-5:30pm CET), for social influencers, analysts and more, featuring 30 Analysts and 20 social influencers
  • Analyst Day featuring two talks: “IBM Verse and the Future of Mail” and “Big Data and Analytics”

The New Way to Work Signature Moment event will be live-streamed for those who cannot attend:

Figure 1: Register for the Livestream event

Sunway Group Moves to the IBM Cloud in Five-year IT Modernisation Plan

Mat Newman  March 5 2015 22:00:00
Today was an exciting day as Sunway Group announced their plans to modernise their IT environment and expand their IBM Collaboration Solutions investment throughout the group.

For the IBM Collaboration Solutions team here in Malaysia and across the region, the official announcement is a culmination of over a years work to successfully demonstrate the value of IBM's Collaboration platform in an extremely competitive evaluation of Sunway's existing systems and future requirements. Needless to say, the usual suspects were heavily involved in their attempts to lure away one of IBM Malaysia's marquee customers. The IBM team triumphed by showing IBM's superior vision, capabilities and deployment flexibility.

Figure 1: Sunway Group President Dato Chew Chee Kin

Figure 1: Sunway Group President Dato Chew Chee Kin

Figure 2:  Cheah Kok Hoong, Group CEO & Director of Hitachi Sunway

Figure 2: Sunway Cheah Kok Hoong, Group CEO & Director of Hitachi Sunway with Mat Newman

Below is the joint press release issued by Sunway and IBM:
"Kuala Lumpur, 5 March 2015 — The Sunway Group (listed as “Sunway Berhad” on Bursa Malaysia) today announced that it is working with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to deploy IBM Connections Cloud to transform its IT and business infrastructure.

IBM Connections Cloud provides an intuitive set of cloud-delivered online technologies for businesses that combine social networking and online collaboration, messaging, and web conference tools to support Sunway Group’s 12 business divisions across 50 locations worldwide.

Sunway Group’s President, Dato' Chew Chee Kin said that the key driver for the Group’s multi-million ringgit investment decision is to support its 13,000 employees via an ICT business transformation endeavour.

“In order to single-mindedly drive continual high level of satisfaction amongst our customers, suppliers and partners in the ecosystem, we made a deliberate decision to invest in Cloud-based solutions to immediately facilitate greater work efficiencies and collaborations across our businesses in Property, Construction, Hospitality, Retail, Leisure, Commercial, Trading & Manufacturing, Building Materials, Quarrying, Healthcare, Education and Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).”

Sunway’s deployment of IBM Connections Cloud will be implemented by Hitachi Sunway Information Systems Sdn. Bhd (“Hitachi Sunway”), a joint venture (JV) company of Hitachi Systems, Ltd. and Sunway Technology Sdn Bhd. Hitachi Sunway is a leading IT services and solutions provider in Southeast Asia.

Sunway Group will enjoy greater innovationwith IBM Connections Cloud as it is designed to give companies the ability to collaborate and easily work with others inside and outside the firewall. Furthermore, IBM collaboration solutions combine social networking, messaging and web conference tools that help simplify sharing of content in daily business interactions among its employees worldwide.

“As our employees and customers become more mobile- and social-driven, this major ICT upgrade will ensure that Sunway is at par with technology advancements for rapid business growth support, and to transform Sunway to be a social-savvy digital enterprise.” said Dato' Chew Chee Kin.

Cheah Kok Hoong, Group CEO & Director of Hitachi Sunway said: “Excellence in customer experience is a crucial component for the continued success of Sunway, and Hitachi Sunway looks forward to playing a key role to help Sunway achieve its IT business transformation, which among others, include turning it (the Group) into a truly ‘social enterprise’.”

“The IBM Connections Cloud facilitates the conglomerate with an extensive productivity platform to be more ‘in-tune’ with business dynamism, as well as social requirements in the daily interactions with customers, partners and colleagues,” he said.

“In short, this Cloud investment by Sunway will enable it to more seamlessly integrate ICT to effectively support and expedite Big Data interactions with its thousands of connections within its large business ecosystem,” said Cheah.

“Enterprises see the value of cloud but face a unique set of challenges around reliability, standards, security, and control in truly extending the use of cloud beyond IT. IBM Connections Cloud, with its enterprise grade security and control; deepens customer relationships, increases effectiveness, and optimize workforces. We are excited to work with the Sunway Group and help them achieve their business goals and aspirations,” said Paul Moung, Managing Director, IBM Malaysia.

About Sunway Group

Since its inception in 1974, Sunway Group has grown exponentially from a tiny tin-mining company to become one of Malaysia’s largest and most respected conglomerates with the establishment of 12 businesses in 50 locations worldwide. Community building, enriching lives, and entrepreneurship remain Sunway’s principal tenets as the group continues to transform lives through its core businesses of Property, Construction, and synergistic businesses of Hospitality, Retail, Leisure, Commercial, Trading & Manufacturing, Building Materials, Quarrying, Healthcare, Education and Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). Underscoring its deep commitment to sustain the communities it builds, Sunway Group supports its communities with its social responsibility endeavours of far-reaching impact championed by Education, Healthcare and Community Aid, Reach-out and Enrichment (C.A.R.E.) programmes.

About Hitachi Sunway Information Systems Sdn Bhd

Established in April 2013, Hitachi Sunway Information Systems is a joint venture (JV) company of Hitachi Systems, Ltd. and Sunway Technology - to provide IT services in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.  Its core offerings include applications (ERP, Supply Chain Optimization), engineering solutions (PLM) and infrastructure & managed services (Systems & Storage, End-to-End Virtualization Solutions, Data Management/Storage, High Availability/Disaster Recovery, ITO Managed Services, Infra/Data/Cloud Security, Wireless Network Infra, Data Center Outsourcing & Cloud Services).  The company has established partnerships with leading global technologies provider such as Siemens, Autodesk, Spring Technologies, Oracle, Ariba, Netsuite, VMware, Trend Micro, NetApp, Symantec, Dell, Commvault, Citrix, Hitachi Data Systems, e-Lock, HP and IBM.  Our list of clientele come from various industries, namely Insurance & Financial Services, Automotive, Manufacturing & Distribution, and Construction & Engineering.  Headquarter in Malaysia, we also have offices in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines & Vietnam. For more information, visit "

Some of the media reaction to the event can be found HERE and HERE

I am extremely grateful that the Sunway team tasked with evaluating in detail their current and future requirements looked beyond the check-boxes in the competing specification sheets and exhaustively compared the actual form and function of the solutions on offer. When an organisation goes to the lengths that Sunway did in comparing the possible, it becomes clear that IBM is the leader in providing a totally integrated and flexible solution.

If your organisation is in a similar situation, we would love to discuss the possibilities with you.

On days like today ... I really LOVE my job.

Proud to be an IBMer!

IBM SolutionsConnect ASEAN 2015

Mat Newman  March 2 2015 12:34:38
It's going to be a busy couple of weeks as IBM rolls out our IBM SolutionsConnect events across ASEAN:

Figure 1: IBM SolutionsConnect 2015 Banner

Seize the moment with fast, flexible fluid IT to:
  •  Innovate rapidly and continually across the business
  •  Understand in time to gain competitive advantage
  •  Engage at the point of greatest contact
  • and back it with comprehensive Security and seamless Integration

IBM delivers the capabilities to seize the moment through Cloud, Big Data & Analytics, Mobile, Social, Digital, Security, Development & Integration, IT Infrastructure & Operations.

 how IBM technology can help you to influence business decisions in your organisation
Experience demos and use cases of technology in action
Hear transformation stories from IBM customers and their journey to become industry leaders

We have a packed agenda that demonstrates the entire IBM portfolio including:

Creating a secure hybrid environment: Unlock greater value in your business and in the technology you already have with Cloud. Collaborate with IBM to integrate enterprise-grade services in a secure environment and help speed up the way you innovate.
Connected Intelligence: Discover how analytics can help you make decisions and provide a competitive advantage that is so critical in this always-connected operating environment and earn you a seat at the table like it did for the Australian Open Tennis IT team.
Digital Experience: Provide an exceptional digital experience to your mobile users by giving them instant access to what they need, when they need it – with engaging content based on who they are. Learn to deliver tailored experiences to customers and employees to increase their propensity to engage with your organisation.
Creating an agile enterprise: Discover new ways to create an agile organisation by reinventing core business processes and consistently delivering high-quality software faster across hybrid environments

Kuala Lumpur
March 10
March 12
March 4
March 17
March 19
March 24
8:30 AM
- 2:30 PM
8:30 AM
- 3:00 PM
8:30 AM
- 3:00 PM
8:30 AM
- 1:00 PM
8:30 AM
- 3:00 PM
8:30 AM
- 1:00 PM
Intercontinental Midplaza
Sime Darby Convention Centre
Makati Shangri-la
Fort Canning Hotel
Dusit Thani Hotel
Daewoo Hotel

We look forward to seeing you there!

Mat Newman

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

#GetProductive #GetLotusNotes

Mat Newman

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