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IBM Lotus Connections 2.5 from IBM Press: First Impressions

IBM Lotus Connections 2.5: Planning and Implementing 
Social Software for Your Enterprise IBM Lotus Connections 2.5: Planning and Implementing Social Software for Your Enterprise from IBM Press states it's the first book to cover the newest version of the breakthrough product from IBM: Lotus Connections 2.5. The authors -- an eight-member team of IBM Lotus Connections experts -- look to cover not only the Connections product but also give you an understanding of social networking in the workplace.

A foreword from John C. P. Allessio (Vice President, WW Software Services, Lotus Collaboration and WebSphere Portal Software) that discusses the fundamental ideas behind Lotus Connections (and social networking as a whole) at IBM creates a nice transition to the first chapter...

Chapter 1: Social Networking Concepts

This chapter kicks off with a definition of social software, social networking, and all of the other now common IT professional vocabulary words that you'll need to understand the goal of IBM Lotus Connections: bringing the power of social networking into the organization.

Understanding it's target audience is both technical and will eventually have to explain this to non-technical (read: pointy-haired) decision makers, this chapter discusses the value to the organization, and the value to the individual. It also outlines (in great detail) the enablers and blockers, corporate culture and social networking, and finally the need to understand your organization to ensure that social software will succeed and enable.

We conclude with an Organizational Culture Inventory, which you can use (with slight revision) for corporate culture discovery specific to social software adoption.

Chapter 2: Introducing Lotus Connections 2.5

This chapter establishes IBM Lotus Connections as a fully-integrated Software Suite of social networking tools and services, and outlines both the module products and the inherent services and capabilities of the platform.

Here they briefly outline IBM Lotus Connections Profiles, Blogs, Communities, Bookmarks, Activities, Files, Wikis, customized Home Pages, federated Searches, the deployment and client environments, and more.

The rest of the chapter is a deep-dive into each module of Connections: Profiles, Blogs, Communities, et al. Excellent information for those new to the product.

Chapter 3: Lotus Connections Architecture

This chapter gives an excellent overview of the standard IBM Lotus Connections environment, so no big surprises here. The authors cover Tivoli Directory Integrator, and we're given an idea as to why you can't change your registered email address on IBM Lotus Greenhouse: the Globally Unique Identifier is nonmutable, or at least the architecture hinges on that GUID not changing.

We cover a lot here, specifically in the Back-End Data Services section, and addresses many of the questions I had about the Lotus Connections product.

The chapter continues as it covers Pilot Deployment scenarios, the SOA Architecture of IBM Lotus Connections, to IBM Lotus Quickr integration.

Some great content here!

Chapter 4: Deployment Planning

You got Project Management in my Connections book...

This chapter is a must-have for anyone that's actually planning a Lotus Connections deployment. It gives you the questions you'll need to ask (and answer) for a successful deployment. It outlines governance needs, communications, and training planning. It discusses detailed deployment architectures, environments, services integration, and more.

Analytics planning is also covered at length (you need to tell the pointy-hairs something!).

The authors conclude with something that I thought was an absolute must for not only a successful IBM Lotus Connections implementation, but a successful social community: The need for Advocates and SME participation.

First Impressions Conclusion

So far it's an excellent read, and I'm very thankful that IBM Press has offered to send out an additional review copy to the winner of (you guessed it) another giveaway here at dominoGuru.com. It means I can keep my copy for repeat readings!

Details on that upcoming giveaway (and how you can enter to win your own copy of IBM Lotus Connections 2.5: Planning and Implementing Social Software for Your Enterprise from IBM Press) will be in the full review (which should be online by the end of this week).

If you can't wait for more, check out the Chapter 6: Using Lotus Connections example chapter (in PDF).

And while you're waiting, I'm open for suggestions on the type of contest/entry for the upcoming review copy giveaway. If you remember, the last giveaway was based on an easter egg hidden in one of my development screencasts. If you liked the scavenger hunt-style contest vs. a random giveaway, or if you have an even better idea, please let me know via comment on this post or email/IM/etc.!


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