What is a BOF and why should I attend one?

A Lotusphere BOF – is a Birds of a Feather Session

“Ok” I hear you say “What is all that about”

Well, a birds of a feather session or BOF as they are most commonly referred to – are sessions that have no presentations, slides or hand outs.

These sessions are informal, interactive discussion groups for like-minded attendees to share ideas and experiences in a small group, open forum setting.

The usual tools involved (other than the attendees) is coffee, a white board / flip chart, some marker pens and some enthusiasm for the topic, for the early morning ones – there is even sometimes breakfast (if not some kind sole may scuttle up to the breakfast room and fetch some 😉 ).

The sessions run for an hour either early morning or early evening – and the early ones really are early (7 – 8am) but they will get you fired up and ready for the day. The evening ones tend to be one of the last sessions of the day and are a nice way to wind down with a bit of discussion before you have to force yourself to eat canapes, drink and socialize or have that dinner with your customer / supplier / business partner / IBM rep (delete not applicable)  🙂

Basically everyone should try to get to at least one BOF.

The BOF schedule is currently listed on the ideation blog on the Lotusphere greenhouse community – this is to allow you to vote on the ones you are most interested in, or would be likely to attend. All the BOFs listed are scheduled and the voting is purely to see how popular the topics are and there are a wide range of topics – take a look and see if there is something that you fancy having some input on.

You will need a greenhouse account to access the Lotusphere Community – it takes approximately 5 mins to sign up for one and it is well worth the effort – hope to see you either at Lotusphere or on the Community 🙂

Pre LS12 fun

No ICS / Lotus Community members were harmed during the production of this video 🙂


Although – Cole was reduced to tears


Thanks to all involved for being good sports .. enjoy 🙂


Well it is official … I am off to LS12

It’s official now – I am possibly to be the sole representative of Applicable at Lotusphere 2012 (watch this space for more news on that)  – so no pressure on gathering information then !!!

Hotel and Flight are all booked, just waiting for the session announcements coming  early December to see if I will be presenting or not.

I would love to present to give back some of the knowledge I have back to the community – but if I don’t get a session I think I will cope 🙂

I am planning on attending as many sessions as possible, to interview as many people as possible too as when I am back from LS12 I will be presenting to my colleges at Applicable  and later on in the month to customers in our own mini LS comes to you session.

If you would be happy for me to interview at LS12 can you let me know ?

I am very excited – Lotusphere was fantastic last year – and if the grape vine is to be believed this year is going to be awesome..

So if you see little ole Social shazza wandering around – come and say hi 🙂


Technology is not the problem

Ripping out a software or technology stack is not going to fix the issues of bad project management, lack of collaboration and user engagement.

The technology is not the problem – in a workshop run by world renown Collaboration expert Michael Sampson he explained to the audience that the technology – regardless of the vendor – is only 10% of any kind of user adoption hurdle.

10 % Tech Vs 90% People

Strangely enough 90% of the audience got it – the normal users, the power users the knowledge workers – the real people, the people who count.

The remaining 10% who made all the right noises and then promptly went back to “it’s my way or the highway” approach were what can be best described as “the management”. These are the same people who write articles and tweet about collaborating and being a “social business”.

Sorry Mr 10% but if you don’t listen to your 90% it doesn’t matter if you have a Lotus/IBM solution, Microsoft, Oracle, Jive, Social Text – the list goes on – put in whatever technology you like – if you do not communicate what your goals, strategy and success targets you will go round and around in a vicious circle of vendor bashing.

In turn this will alienate the 90%

Your users don’t resist change – they resist being told they HAVE to change. If the 90% aren’t involved or consulted they will resist. Engage your users, empower them to input ideas and suggestions.

Sell your solution – the magic 90% need to know how their working lives will be improved, how they can collaborate and work more efficiently – keep them in the loop.

Offer Help – training, workshops and sessions where the magic 90% can feedback – have a dynamic plan – things will change when you engage your users.

Discuss and Communicate – two way discussions, frequent (but relevant) communication, ensure you are receiving feedback and process it accordingly (do not ignore the negative feedback), collaborating is the key.

This is not rocket science it is common sense!

So why do so many organisations still blame the technology?

IBM Champion – honoured and humbled

I am deeply honoured and humbled to have been chosen as one of the 50 Worldwide Champions for IBM Collaboration Solutions.

I wanted to echo the thanks of all the other IBM Champions to the selection and organising committee, the wonderful people who nominated me and to the rest of the community for being generally awesome and inspiring me to follow in your footsteps.

The full list of champions can be found here : http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus/champions/

Thank you SO much – I will keep up the good work

IBM is 100 today

Today International Business Machines – IBM – is 100 years old …

There are some mile stones dear to me ..

1970 – when I was born – the database as we know it was invented

1988 – the AS400 was invented – anyone that knows me well knows of the love I have the AS400 (iSeries, System i, i5, i and now Power 7) machines most of my career in IT has been involved with these fantastic machines.

1997 – eBusiness .. I spent 7 years working with IBM’s e-business products (WebSphere Commerce) loved it loved it …

and now we are on to Smarter Planet, the IBM Dublin labs are working on Smarter Cities, IBM Watson  and now we are a Social Business …

I am looking forward to the next years of IBM … 🙂

Lotus Community Champions

On today’s LITE call Joyce Davis has announced that IBM have started a Champions Program and are going to include the Lotus Community

Details are still being sorted out and will be promoted shortly – but it’s IBM’s way of recognising the contribution that some of us make – Joyce was very specific to make sure that some of the unsung hero’s that fly under the radar that do a lot for the Lotus Community are recognised.

What a great way to recognise all the work that some of the Community do – I am sure that Joyce will promote is and the boys will announce it on This Week In Lotus once the details are available