Of course, there are lots of great personal blogs out there too but I'll cover them in a different post.
The Three Big Questions for "Developing Products & Services"
IBM Connections (and specifically Connections.cloud) is a "developing product/service". As such there are always new holes, new fixes and new ideas. There's always just that little bit of functionality which either doesn't work as expected or doesn't go as far as it could.
That's not to say that IBM Connections is a bad product, simply that like all "developing products/services" (indeed, like all Modern Products & Services) the ground is constantly moving and sometimes you need to stop and figure out where you are.
The three big questions we're always asking about Connections are;
- How does it work?
- Why can't it do this?
- Why is isn't it working?
Note: Many of these sites require a login however if you're a paid connections user, all of the resources here are available to you. If you don't have a login for these sites, fill out the registration forms on the sites and get connected .
How does it Work?
- The Help System for IBM Connections (https://apps.collabservnext.com/help/index.jsp) is surprisingly full-featured. It's the first place that you should check if you're not sure how to do something.
- The IBM Connections.Cloud Wiki (https://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/bhwiki.nsf) has a lot of good links to documents and videos on it. It's worth visiting and bookmarking.
- If you find that Video is more aligned with the way you learn, check out the IBM Social Business Youtube page. Don't just rely on what you can see on the front page, click on Videos and "load more" to see the rest.
Why Can't it do this?
- The IBM Connections Forum (http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/lcforum.nsf) is very similar to the old Notes.Net forum and it's a great place to trawl through old discussions (and add a few new topics yourself). If you're having any problems with connections, this is a great place to post an exploratory question.
- I don't think that anyone is entirely sure what connections is and where the boundaries of the product lie. It's very like Notes/Domino in that respect. If you have an idea for a new feature or a great enhancement for an old feature (or even a tiny "fix") then be sure to let IBM know about it. The best way to float your ideas is via the IBM Connections Idea Jam (https://greenhouse.lotus.com/blogs/login?lang=en_us) on IBM Greenhouse.
While you're in the Idea Jam, have a look through other people's ideas and be sure to "vote up" the ones that are important to you too.
- What's new in IBM Connections. As previously mentioned, IBM Connections is a developing product and the connections you're using this week could well have a few features which weren't available last week. Be sure to keep up by reading What's new in IBM Connections.
Why isn't it Working?
- If something isn't working, the first thing to do is check that IBM Connections.Cloud isn't affected by any issues. To do this, check the Status and Maintenance Schedule (https://www.ibm.com/cloud-computing/social/us/en/maintenance/).
- Next, you should check to see if you're dealing with a known issue (https://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/bhwiki.nsf/dx/LotusLive_Known_Issues), If the issue is known, have a look at the status. You might also want to open a PMR to add your company's weight to getting the issue addressed.
- Speaking of PMRs or Problem Management Reports, IBM seems to have renamed them Service Requests (https://www-947.ibm.com/support/servicerequest/Home.action). These are a great way of getting IBM support on something that is broken or at least "not working for you". IBM have put a bit of effort into making these service requests easier to submit and update and you can now access them online. The key to a good service request is to keep on top of them and always read the last line which says where exactly the next action is coming from. If it's pointing at you, be sure to provide IBM with what they need because without your action, nothing will get done.
Finally, on PMRs, don't simply accept "No" for an answer.
All helpdesks exist to ultimately "close" calls - and IBM is no exception. If you discover something in connections which simply doesn't work, their helpdesk will often try to close it with a "working as intended" or "feature not available" message.
If you really think that connections should be doing something that it isn't, ask for your request to be submitted for consideration (or use the Idea Jam mentioned earlier).