So with just a few days to go until the annual Connect conference (Aka Lotusphere) that takes place in Orlando, I have been staring into the Connect 2016 crystal ball to try and envisage what announcements will be made at the event that takes place in Orlando in a few weeks time…
So here are some of the things that I hope I get to hear at the conference this year…..
1) The dreaded ‘you need to install the sametime webplayer plugin’ bites the dust forever – I lose count at the number of meetings or chat sessions I try to launch to get told that I need to install / re-install the dreaded plugin. It would help if the plugin was supported across all browsers and worked time and time again… But this is not the case and most meetings or video / audio chat sessions I launch, I get asked to once again install the plugin.
A ‘Plugin’ free experience has got to be coming, if not I have a hammer ready to meet my crystal ball the next time in February I get asked to install the plugin…..
2) Integration / integration/ integration – At last, the Connections eco -system gets the boost it has been looking for and an ISV comes along and provides a toolkit that enables Connections to integrate with other systems. Believe me, this is really needed and WHEN it comes, I for one will be the first to stand up and do a happy dance!
3) Watson integration – This year my crystal ball is showing that the integration of Watson into Connections Cloud to enable the personal ‘assistance’ experience will be delivered. I really think this will be a great step forward, if only for me to remember where I posted my last blog post…
4) Full Outlook support – Yes it is needed (hopefully delivered via project Hawthorn)……
5) Persistance / persistance / persistance – All I am asking for is persistent chat (via sametime or similar embeded into a community experience) within a community….
6) Improvements to Activities – Please, please can Activities get some attention. This is surely the most powerful but so far neglected (in terms of feature improvements) part of the product. I am seeing lots of requests for improvements to activites, my crystal ball is showing that someone is at last listening….
7) Textbox.io in Conections Cloud – My hope is that we see some editor enhancements coming to Connections Cloud – following on from the great announcement that Textbox.io is now available as a free entitlement in Connections 5.5, the cloud version must follow soon….
8) Improvements to the guest / visitor model in Connections cloud – This is something that has been requested for quite a while. Right now, Connections offers a great guest / visitor model, but what is needed is the ability for an organisation to mange these guest users acounts (resend invite, revoke access etc).
and last (but not least), but perhaps my biggest hope…..
9) A dashboard which allows me to pin my favourite communities – My biggest happy dance will come when someone announces the ability for me to ‘Pin my favourite communities’. The answer to date has been for me to follow and look in my activity stream for updates – but myself (and many clients) want the ability to move away from community overload and pin (as you can with files) your communities…. Please, please can someone announce and deliver this ‘Pin Communities’ feature either before or at Connect….
One thing you will notice is that this year, I am not calling out for lots of feature improvements in the product. I truely believe that these are being addressed by the team at IBM (Thank you Luis and team!!!) and we now have a platform that is way ahead of its competitors. Sure, their are enhancements that have been requested (check out the ideas in the Connections user community), but it is good to see that these are being taken on by the team.
What have I missed – let me know what you are hoping to hear from this years conference and let me into what your crystal ball is showing you!
The last thing to note is that I do not have any inside info into what is coming – let’s see how many I get right and what is announced at Connect!