Project Toscana named IBM Workspace


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Last year at IBM Connect, they announced a new revolutionary project, called Project Toscana. Now, a few months later at World of Watson they announced the progress they made in the project and since it is now in a closed pilot phase, they renamed it to IBM Watson Workspace as the official brand name of the product.

IBM Watson Workspace is an environment where you can create spaces, within a space you can invite team members and start having conversations around a certain topic/project.
The cool thing about those spaces is that conversations can continue when you leave. When you come back in, you can pick up the conversations where you left off.
You can work on files and other content. Share files in a space, paste images or animated gifs.
Recently they’ve added the “Launch moments” feature into spaces. This feature allows you summarize the conversations in condensed moments so that you can easily have an overview of the ongoing discussions during the period you left off.


Now, why has it Watson in it’s name ? Well, IBM Watson Workspace is an application built on top of a new platform, IBM Watson Work Services. This platform offers the possibility to use cognitive API’s and cognitive services that understand conversations.

With its cognitive features and the ability to interact with a bunch of other apps, you can work more easily and work the way you want.
There are a lot of integrations with apps possible but you can extend this by integrating your own developed apps.
This platform allows you to create bots, webhooks,….written in the language of your preference, whether it is Node.js, Python or Javascript.


Interested to know more about this new product ? Go and have a look at and look at the Help & Forums link you find at the right side.

Are you interested to know more about the integration of apps or about the development of apps, then you can go to the Developer section of Watson Work Services at

There are already a set of examples available to download and to reuse so that you can integrate them into your own spaces and play around with them. Hereby an overview

Interested to know how you can start developing and integrating the apps into your workspace, go and have a look at this replay where the process is very well explained.


Evolution of Cisco in IBM Products

It’s been a while now that IBM and Cisco announced their partnership under the theme “Partnering to Redefine Work”.

In the meantime, messages have been passed and some online meetings were held in WebEX to get used to the products.

The message here is that, you as a customer, will have the choice to integrate Jabber and WebEX in your IBM Connections Cloud environment or go further with IBM Sametime chat and meetings.

As of December 2016, some of the first integrations of the Cisco Products will be available

  • One click to get from Connections Cloud to WebEx dashboard
  • Add a WebEx meeting as a default meeting in my IBM Verse calendar invites
  • Easily join a WebEx meeting from Verse
  • Join a Jabber chat from Connections Cloud or Verse Navigation bar, or the Connections Cloud Business Card
  • Share a Connections Files Cloud document from a WebEx mobile meeting

Here a screenshot of Jabber chat in IBM Connections


Share a Connections Cloud file from WebEX Mobile



Engage 2017 – A Room with a Zoo

During the latest Engage event, October 27th, we were happily surprised at the end with the announcement of the venue of the next major event that will take place the 8th and 9th May 2017.

The event will take place in the completely renovated Elisabeth Center in Antwerp, next to the zoo and the Central Station.

It’s a brilliant location, easily reachable from anywhere and there are a lot of hotels in the neighbourhood.

It promises to be an awesome event with sessions around the following topics:

Business & Strategy – Development – Administration & Deployment – Emerging Technologies – Big Data & Analytics.


More information about the venue, the event itself and the registration form, can be found at the site

If you missed the last Engage event, then you still have the possibility to view the U-Stream recording that was made during the session.

IMSMO ? IBM mail support for MS Outlook aka Outlook native access to a Domino Server

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, it’s IBM’s vision to provide an open Client strategy, one of those clients is certainly MS Outlook.


A lot of the customers are moving to O365 because they like the Outlook client, unfortunately they don’t think about the effort to migrate and not to mention the financial effort.

In a lot of cases I’m wondering if the juice is worth the effort of squeezing   🙂 They think by moving away they will save money, but with all struggles they encounter during the project, it results in more money being spent or wasted then being saved.

IBM mail support for MS Outlook helps IBM Notes/Domino customers create more engaged employees, avoid rip-and-replace costs and preserves value of existing IT, by allowing users to decide which email client works best for them, Outlook or Notes and this against their existing, powerful and reliable Domino Server.

Who’s entitled to use IMSMO ?

This is a rather simple question, every customer who has valid Domino CAL’s or Collaboration Express licenses.Dual Entitlement customers and Connections Cloud S1 or SmartCloud Notes customers have also the right to connect with MS Outlook to a Domino Server.

Supported versions of Outlook are 2010, 2013 and 2016. Currently there is only support for the Windows versions but Outlook for Mac and Apple Mail are under investigation.

The most current version is IMSMO 2.0 Fix Pack 2, you can find the information here:

What are the capabilities of the client ?

Outlook capabilities that are available in an Outlook/Exchange world are also possible in an Outlook/Domino world. Hereby a summary of the capabilities:

Mail Calendar Client-wide
–  Compose

–  Send/Receive

–  Draft sync

–  Quota indication

–  Summary Sync

–  Folder support

– Notes encryption

– Free/busy lookup

– Room finder

–  Search

–  Automatic client updates

–  Automatic Send/Receive on network connection

–  Offline support

–  OoO Support

If you install IMSMO on premise, you need to think about the following guidelines before you get started with the installation:

  • Domino 9.0.1 or higher and ID Vault are required
  • Outlook users must have a replica on the IMSMO servers or you can install IMSMO on the mail server in a small deployment
  • You can’t mix Notes Traveler and IMSMO on the same Domino Server
  • Use DB2 to store the sync data or when you want to provide HA, in a small environment you can use the internal derby database
  • Use a proper SSL Certificate instead of self-signed one

As you can see on this slide, IBM decided to use SyncML instead of Exchange ActiveSync because it gives more control over the connection and functionality.


Here you can find some extra IMSMO slides

If you want to know more about the administration, check this guide


ICON UK 2016 – A small review

Last week I was at ICON UK 2016, it was again an amazing event and I had the opportunity to meet some new people.

During the opening session, Uffe Sorensen and Barry Rosen presented the roadmap for the upcoming 12 to 18 months.

They had lots of interesting stuff to tell and also shared the next 2 roadmaps with us


The most interesting part of those events is having the possibility to chat with IBM in an informal way. They listen and give feedback internally to IBM so that they know what’s happening in the community.

For those who attended my session or those who didn’t make it to my session, you can download the slides here: traveler-uk.

The organisation of ICON UK deserves a big round of applause for a well organised event ! We had a chance to see London by night during a sightseeing tour on the Thames. We even had an execellent firework on the Thames to conclude our evening…..or was this not intended only for us 🙂


Also this year, the organisation wanted to help a charity organisation. This year, 4000£ has been raised for Whizz-Kidz

It’s amazing what you can do when a community shows his heart and collects some money for charity.


Again, well done and see you next year !

Future of Notes/Domino

Hello, it’s a long time that I did an update on my blog but with Q4 knocking on the frontdoor, I thought it is a good time to send out some information.

I get a lot of questions about the future of Notes/Domino, is there any new version coming up ? Is Verse the new client ? Do we need to go to the cloud ? What about the competition ? Is O365 better ?

During a recent roundtable with IBM and other business partners, I noticed that I’m not the only one getting those questions and remarks. This means that IBM didn’t communicate well to their customers about where they are going with the products.

Some interesting stuff has been discussed during the roundtable that I’m more than happy to share with you.

First of all, we received an answer that the following technote has been published on the 13th of september. In this technote IBM communicated that they continue to support Notes/Domino 9 till at LEAST 2021.

Does this mean that afterwards support will stop ? No, it is a message that they still invest in the product and keep on putting in new features.

They will not deliver a new major version but you will get updates and new features in the format of ” feature packs “, this is a more agile way of introducing new stuff into the product.

As a result of the above, you will need to have an active entitlement to continue to download those feature packs.

Don’t interpret this as a dead end, everybody is doing this like Windows 10 will be the last version of their OS, you will get updates en new features in it but it will last as Windows 10.

On the 18th of november they will release IBM Verse on premise, this means that you will be able to use an IBM Verse client to connect to your on premise Domino Server.

The installation of Verse on premise will be as simple as unzip a zip file on your Domino Server.

Make sure that your IBM Connections Files & Profiles is on Release 5.5.CR1 to get all social features in your IBM Verse client.

What about the Domino applications ? If we shift to a #newwaytowork where everything is browser-based, we need to have a solution for the Domino applications.

Customers who migrate to O365 get the answer from the competition to recreate them in another technology.

In most cases this is a big investment, just because they invested in the past in the development of Domino applications.

xPages can be a low cost answer  so that you can modernize the applications and bring them to the browser.

The ICAA or IBM Client Application Access can be an alternative if you don’t care about mobile/browser access to your Domino applications. It can be nicely integrated in Verse or even Outlook when you are forced to migrate to O365.

More news on what to do with your Domino applications will be communicated in december where they will announce ” App Modernization ” tool. When we may expect this communication is not clear but as soon as I know more, I’ll post it on my blog.

SugarCRM Taps IBM Cloud for Enhanced Security, Privacy and Control

sugar-ibmSugarCRM, a CRM solution that offers customers the choice of installing on premise or in the Cloud, has chosen IBM’s Cloud environment to host their software to be able to offer their SaaS model.

As you can read in this article, they’ve chosen IBM’s Cloud because of the possibility to choose a bare metal server and because of the fact that you can clearly see in which datacentre your data is running. IBM is unique in the world to offer those abilities and for many customers it is crucial to have those possibilities.

More about this can be read in this article

Engage 2016


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Last week we had, again, an amazing Engage event. This time the venue was the Evoluon building in Eindhoven. A former science museum that now can be used for events like Engage.

There was a real good atmosphere present and nice to see a lot of familiar faces back since Connect 2016.

The event started with some keynote sessions of outstanding IBM speakers. The first keynote was done by Inhi Cho Suh, the new General Manager of IBM Collaboration Solutions. She revealed that we will have a Connect2017 from the 19th till the 22nd february in the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Inhi was the whole day present at the event and there were possibilities to discuss with her during several roundtables.

With over 60 sessions and over 400 attendees, Theo did again an amazing job and got suprised by the raffle we offered to him and his lovely wife Hilde.

I had a session about IBM Traveler on the first day, the rooms was fully packed with around 40 attendees and we had a lot of interaction, which makes it always interesting when you have a session.

You can download the slides here engage-ADM08

See you at the next Engage in 2017


IBM & VMWare provide seemless hybrid cloud engagement


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At the OGS of #ibminterconnect, IBM and VMware announced their strategic partnership. They have jointly designed an architecture and cloud offering that will enable customers to automatically provision pre-configured VMware SDDC (Software Defined Data Center) environments, consisting of VMware vSphere, NSX and Virtual SAN on the IBM Cloud.

With this SDDC environment in place, customers will be able to deploy workloads in this hybrid cloud environment without modification, due to common security and networking models based on VMware.

The strategic partnership between IBM and VMware will enable clients to easily embrace the cloud while preserving their existing investments and creating new business opportunities.

You will have the possibility to manage your servers in the Cloud as if they were on premises, through vMotion you will get the ability to move servers from On Premise to the Cloud, or from one DataCenter in the Cloud to another one, without your users noticing it.

Additional key benefits for customers when the new offerings are available will include:

  • IBM and VMware will provide the expertise, solutions, and cloud infrastructure to help customers manage and scale their IT resources running in private and public clouds, utilizing the tools, processes and APIs with which customers are already familiar,
  • Through sophisticated workload automation, clients will have the ability to quickly provision new or scale existing workloads to the IBM Cloud,
  • Companies will have additional reach and scale to more easily start locally and scale globally with cloud capabilities, and also comply with data residency and other regulatory mandates,
  • VMware customers will be able to use a flexible, monthly-based consumption pricing model that makes it more cost effective for users by enabling a simple pay-as-you-go option,
  • The IBM Cloud will be a showcase platform in the VMware vCloud Air Network cloud provider ecosystem.

Looking back on Connect 2016


I must say that, with the experience of ConnectED 2015, I had a double feeling on going to Connect 2016. Of course, there’s a good atmosphere within the community, but last year a lot of the attendees had the feeling to be kind of pushed into a small box because of the event was held only in the Swan.

When arriving in Orlando at the Hilton hotel, I was surprised to see such a large building. I picked up my conference badge and went down to the surprising welcome reception.

On Sunday, I noticed the real size of the venue and, very practical, a beautiful terrace in the immediate area with chairs , umbrellas and tables.

This year I felt again the energy like in the days of LotuSphere, the positive vibes are back and we reloaded our batteries again with lots of positive messages around the products.

I heard a lot like “we listened to your comments and changed……” or “we heard you and we adapted…..”

We will get an IBM Verse on premise version in the second half of 2016 together with a Domino Next version.

The project Hawthorn, better known now as using your MS Outlook client to connect to Domino, will be GA in the first half of 2016.

So, all those that want so badly to use MS Outlook, don’t need to spend an incredible large budget to migrate to that other platform, just to send mail….They can use MS Outlook to connect to Domino. In addition to that, they can use xPages to connect to their applications or through the IBM Client Application Access client, formerly known as Notes Browser plugin for those applications that are not already enabled with a nice & fancy xPages frontend.

About xPages there was a lot of great news like the ability to develop xPages in BlueMix. This allows customers to use xPages for their applications without thinking about installing the correct stuff on their Domino Server. The data remains in the application on your Domino Server, while the Xpage is running in BlueMix.

During the OGS they announced a new product, called project Toscana. For those who are familiar with Slack, they will see directly the link.

Project Toscana will allow to have persistent chat rooms , file libraries, real-time conferencing, and cross-device / mobile-first design center. This new product will be available in the 1st half of 2016.

I’m loaded with lots of energy and ready to attack 2016 !