Monday, April 20, 2015

Getting Started with IBM Connections Sametime Cloud (Chat) - PART 1

One of the best reasons to move to the new IBM Connections Cloud is IBM Sametime. 

Until recently, we were using the "free" bundled IBM Sametime 7 offering. This was a useful feature but of course, some of us were spoiled by the chat options available in other software (Google Hangouts particularly). The version 7 feature has not aged well.  

We looked at upgrading the functionality some time ago, only to be told by many people that "the new SameTime is too complex to set up". It also required considerably more investment in hardware and software. Essentially it wasn't going to be economical to use and we had ditched the product. 

The plan was to eventually install a replacement, but in the meantime, we were learning to live without it - after 6 months, our users had stopped complaining.

Then along came the IBM Connections version of Sametime.... and it's good. Very Good. 


Cloud: The Fastest Way to Get up and Running
The fastest way to get up and running with the connections version of Sametime is to get some people to connect in the cloud. To do this;

Essentially, this is the new user account process

  1. Login to your IBM Connections Cloud Page.
  2. In the top Right, click Admin then Manage Organization
  3. Click Add User Account
  4. Provide a First and Last Name, a Language and a Department.
  5. Choose a Role (Generally User is appropriate).
  6. Click Next.
  7. On the Subscriptions tab, choose;
  8. IBM Connections Cloud S2 (under collaboration).
  9. Leave the mail alone unless you're using mail/hybrid settings -- that's a whole other post. 
  10. In the Subscription Add-ons, tick [x] IBM Connections Docs Cloud.
  11. Click Next
  12. Ensure that the email address is correct and then click Finish. 
The system will send your new user an email telling them that they now have an IBM Connections account. There's a clickable link in the email and this will enable them to reset their password. Once they're logged in, they'll automatically be available in Sametime.

Note: it's the web version of SameTime, so it will be "gone" when your users navigate away from the page but that's okay. There's some better sametime options which I'll discuss in part 2. 

You may also find that your sametime system doesn't automatically have the names of everyone in your organisation.  The old version used to. I believe that once you connect your Notes/Domino environment to the cloud as a hybrid environment, you'll have that functionality though at the moment, I can't confirm. 


Adding a Colleague to the Chat
If your new user wants to add a colleague who is also on sametime, then these are the steps to follow;
  1. Click on the Cog (top right)
  2. Choose New Contact
  3. Type part of the name (ie: first or last name only) and press Enter.
  4. Your person's name should appear.
  5. Click on it and then Click Add. 

Next Time
In my next post, I'll go over how to get the Connections-based Sametime working in the Notes client, as a Windows app and on mobiles and tablets.

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