IBM and Cisco Transform the Way People Work

by Volker Weber

As part of the transformation, the highly secure Cisco Spark and WebEx collaborative workspace platforms will be integrated with IBM’s leading cloud collaboration solutions, including Verse and Connections, and underpinned by IBM’s cognitive computing capabilities.

Transforming The Way People Work. Once again. I think I heard this before. A few thoughts:

  1. With WebEx and Spark coming to Connections and Verse, there is an obvious overlap with Sametime. Something will have to give. Eventually.
  2. There is another overlap between Spark and Project Toscana. Both do messaging. Don't know what that means.
  3. Notes and Sametime took the wrong detour with the Eclipse Framework. Which increasingly looks like a dead end.
  4. This partnership was announced by Inhi Cho Suh, who is famous for opening up IBM with partnerships and acquisitions. However, there is an obvious connection to Cisco with former GM Hernandez who's tenure at IBM lasted less than a year.

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"Notes and Sametime took the wrong detour with the Eclipse Framework. Which increasingly looks like a dead end."

Eclipse certainly didn't help Sametime, but the thing that has killed Sametime quicker than any competitor could was the move to Websphere. It took years to get the six Websphere server configuration to match the functionality of a single Sametime Domino server, customers got impatient waiting and many mid size customers couldn't justify the cost of the additional OS licenses, hardware costs and trianing their admins to be Websphere experts. I was a very loyal Sametime ambassador, but I struggle to recommend it to clients over the alternatives now.

Carl Tyler, 2016-06-30

Maybe in a future upgrade of vowe's site, he will include "like" buttons. In the meantime, all I can say is +1 to what Carl said.

Gregg Eldred, 2016-06-30

Another +1

Bill Brown, 2016-06-30

There is no messaging software that competes with SameTime on the same level ;-)

Felix Binsack, 2016-06-30

There "was" no messaging software that competes with SameTime on the same level

Carl Tyler, 2016-06-30

Thank you, Carl. You are of course right. I never had to look at a Sametime server after they moved to Websphere. I only experienced the client side drama.

In the cloud it does not really matter how IBM delivers the capability. There is just no incentive to advance the Sametime platform anymore. How does that affect Connections on premises?

Volker Weber, 2016-06-30

@Volker, most customers do not use IBM Connections On Prem with Sametime anyhow, unless they use Sametime in the browser only. It is far too easy oversee a Sametime message alert in a browser tab when you are used an application alerting you.

Any messaging system needs, to my opinion, at least a small listening client / notifier that makes you aware of a new message when you are not working in the browser. There is not Sametime notifier, there is only the full blown Sametime client.

Felix Binsack, 2016-06-30

@Felix Binsack. I think it is no problem to build such a small notification client for sametime, but the much bigger problem is, that it is much more difficult to extend the sametime web client with additional functionality then to extend the Eclipse based Sametime client. The same is true for the notes client. I have no idea how we can provide such a deep integration of our ERP, CTI, CRM System with a cloud solution. In the Notes client this is absolutly easy to do. So our company will stay on the notes client as long it is possible or till we see a solution where we can do the same things in a browser environment. When someone wants to have a look at what we are doing in the notes client and want to show that his cloud solution can provide similiar functionality please contact me.

Ralf M Petter, 2016-07-01

@Ralf - Extending the Eclipse based Sametime Client isn't too difficult. You can access the raw HTML files on the server and modify away. I've done it in the past for a few clients to add functionality such as LiveSupport/CRM integration and translation services. The issue comes when you install an update on the server, and you need to go back and reapply your changes again.

In most cases though you don't modify the source HTML, you use the SDK and put the components of the sametime mobile into your application, and hook into the Sametime events and handle accordingly. The richness of the Sametime web clients SDK is what makes it so powerful.

Now the Sametime Mobile client, that's a different matter, that thing is closed up like a swans arse.

Carl Tyler, 2016-07-01

Changing the HTML code of the Sametimeserver is no viable solution for me. You have already mentioned the update problem, but i am pretty sure IBM will not support your changes to the Sametime code and i think you can only make this changes on Premise, but not in the IBM cloud. On the other side the Rich client have well defined extension points where you can hook your code into the Sametime application. So upgrades are no problem and as you are not changing the IBM code base you have no headaches when you open a PMR for a software issue

Ralf M Petter, 2016-07-01

Over here Sametime has not had one new client after they move to Websphere. plus 80 % of Notes users are moving or have moved to O365. Maybe Iceland will be first country in Europe to be Notes free in few years.

Palmi lord, 2016-07-04

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