Hot on the heels of our social survey analysis post indicating a desire for more information on accessing things like downloads and connecting the dots through IBM.com systems, I give you the following two updates recently released by our IBM eSupport team!
First and foremost is a change to FixCentral which you may have already encountered in part. At the end of January, IBM made changes to IBM Fix Central with improvements to make this worldwide one-stop site for updates for all IBM products even more effective and useful for you.
The key highlight:
An IBM ID will be required to download fixes for a majority of IBM products
- Starting on January 31, clients accessing Fix Central will require an IBM ID to download fixes for all products (except selected Networking, SAN and System x products). This extends the requirement beyond the November 13, 2011 announcement which included AIX and VIOS.
More details on the IBM Fix Central Sign-In Updates are available in the eSupport blog article here: http://ibm.co/w1lJwN
Secondly, we are happy to announce that the IBM Support Portal Advisor Beta was recently released for a limited set of IBM products.
What is the IBM Support Portal Advisor? The IBM Support Portal Advisor (SPA) is a new, truly interactive way to search IBM support content. It provides a more human-like interaction, with more information and guidance throughout the problem description process plus enhanced search capabilities.
Some of the key features
- The IBM Support Portal Advisor interprets statements posed in natural language, clarifying and/or enhancing the user's input, asking for missing information.
- It searches through multiple databases inside and outside IBM, cross-ranking search results from four search engines.
- If a service request is opened after using the IBM Support Portal Advisor, the client's SPA search history is attached to the service request record, providing IBM Support a log of what the client has already attempted to find prior to opening up that service request.
To try the IBM Support Portal Advisor, please follow these steps. (Click on the image to the right for a full-size version of the associated screen captures)
- Got to the IBM Support Portal - http://ibm.com/support
Select an IBM product that is part of this beta:
1. If it is your first time to the IBM Support Portal, you will be presented with a "Quick Start" page. Choose at least one product from the list above and click "Continue."
2. If you are returning to the IBM Support Portal, make sure you have at least one of the products listed above set to "Active" in the left side's "Choose a product" module. You may use the left side's "Quick find" search to add the needed product(s) to your active list.
Once a beta product is active, a new "Support Portal Advisor beta" module will automatically appear on the "Support home" page in the center left column, 4 modules down.
1. The "Support Portal Advisor beta" module will also be visible on the"Troubleshoot" page, in the center right column, 4 modules down.
- Click on "1-2-3 Guided problem determination" to begin your trial of this application.
As above, more details on this beta release of the the IBM Support Portal Advisor can be found in the eSupport blog article here: http://ibm.co/xS1RuG
Well, your intrepid adventurers have 3 days of Working Outside the Inbox
under our belts and I thought this a would be a good time to discuss in
a little more depth about how we are doing this.
start with Step 1: Stop replying to email. This step would really be more
accurately described as Mindful Processing of Email but that doesn't sound nearly as provocative and attention-grabbing, and wouldn't make nearly so many people's heads explode, which wouldn't be nearly as much fun.
So listen: this is what we are really doing.
of this as stopping the reflexive knee-jerk reaction of working in your
inbox, simply reading and replying. We've all become very well trained by our inboxes: receive an email, send an email. Read your incoming email and
Stop. Think. Ask yourself a few questions along these lines:
- is someone else likely to ask the same question?
- would this exchange, or the bit of knowledge/information shared, be of use to anyone else?
- what is the best way to share this information or conduct this transaction?
- is there a smarter, more efficient, more collaborative, open and transparent way to work?
Change begins with us (and you!)
Here are some wild and crazy ideas on how you can work effectively and openly and without being chained to your inbox:
Use the content repository or content management system of your choice as long
as it's NOT YOUR MACHINE. Don't become the bottleneck, or the
single point of failure. Put your stuff where people can find it and get it. When people email and ask you for that information, give them a link to the information where you've posted it.
Use wiki pages for knowledge
capture and on-demand access. One example, instead of keeping your
project status or metrics in a spreadsheet on your machine, think open
and transparent and provide that data on a wiki page. if your manager
expects a weekly status report, put it there.
discussion forums for collaboration, idea sharing and brainstorming.....or collecting a quick temperature check from your community. Don't conduct a lengthy email exchange with one or more people about it. Be the first to suggest there is a better way to conduct this conversation.
Use the community blog for news, announcements, and community-wide
communications. Why blog? To take advantage of all the technology that allows us to
share knowledge more widely ... tags, RSS feeds, aggregators, search....
the list goes on. Rather than sending an 800mg email that immediately
plunges 20% of your unsuspecting audience into "mail jail", try blogging your news. Oh, the
80% who aren't in mail jail? I posit that 40% will not read it anyway, either deliberately or by
accident when it scrolls "below the fold" amidst a barrage of other
people sending news, asking questions, and, worst of all, sharing files.
Besides, I bet a couple of weeks from now, someone's
going to ask you for the information again anyway.
Speaking of sharing files.... There are better ways. Instead
of mailing a slide deck to 10 people for review and comments, use Connections and if you MUST send an email, send a link to where you have
posted the file (or the wiki page from which you are working) so that
it can benefit the greatest number of people, who can then bookmark it / subscribe to it / grab the RSS feed, or otherwise self-serve
when they need the information. Which means the doc owner doesn't need to send the updated
file out to a cast of thousands either.
Oh, it all just makes so much SENSE.
no, we're not giving up email entirely, and there will be times that we
will (gasp!) send an email. We're just going to be mindful in our work
and aim to get the maximum value from each interaction.
So, stop and think.
Just because a conversation starts in email doesn't mean it belongs there.
The long awaited results from our 2011 End of Year survey on Rational Client Support's Social Business efforts are in. You may recall back in December that we ran the survey over the course of the month, ending Dec 31st . Well, we've run it all through our trusty Megatronhydromatic-5000, twisted knobs, pushed buttons, and switched toggles to get some results (don't ask if we used Watson, they won't even let Jason in the same state... something to do with protecting the system from data "corruption", whatever that means ...), which is really all to say: we've finally collated all the responses we received and done the analysis on the data. In the spirit of social transparency, authenticity, honesty, and knowledge sharing, we are sharing out our results below...
But first, a quick reminder of the mission, scope, and intent: IBM Rational support's Social Business mission is to improve visibility of support content, helping to solve problems and get the right answers at the right time to the people who need them, to set ourselves as thought leaders, and to improve satisfaction with all aspects of Rational software. The survey's intent was to elicit feedback from you, our direct audience base, to identify who you are and whether or not you are seeing value from our efforts. The scope of the survey was specific to only our followers/fans (direct audience) who consume our content and may interact with us. While open to all, the survey was not intended for a general audience as it is specific to our efforts in the social business space with questions only our fans and followers would be equipped to answer.
So, with the scope and intent in mind, here's our analysis of responses to each of the six questions we posed:
Question 1: Which of the following best identifies you?
55.6% of respondents indicated they were IBMers, while 32.5% noted they were clients. The high 55.6% indicates that we have a large internal following, though it can possibly indicate that IBMers are simply more likely to leave feedback when requested. In terms of social business success, this spread of clients to IBMers shows us value as it indicates a large network of connected IBM SMEs, providing the structure to leverage skills to assist clients ad hoc.
Question 2: Why do you follow Rational Support on any of our channels? (multiple choices were selectable)
Predominantly, 68.5% of respondents follow us to stay up to date with support in a general sense, indicating that a wide scope of support related content is appropriate for this audience. Second to general content, 61.1% noted they follow for self assist material. Taken in conjunction with the desire for general content as well, this indicates that a good balance of technical and non-technical content is both desired and appropriate. With 33.3% noting they follow to feel a connection to support, this shows that retaining individual voice and personality is appropriate and appreciated.
Question 3: Please rate each of our channels.
Not surprisingly the top rated channel is our NFRS blog, with 61.1% indicating it was “Very useful” or better. Facebook and Twitter both show a gap between “not following” and “somewhat useful” which indicates those who follow find some value. While there is nothing to indicate why our audience doesn't follow one or both of these channels, it is likely due to personal preferences or corporate blocks of those channels. Across the spread of Facebook and Twitter, Facebook does come out ahead in terms of being seen as more useful with 66% of responses indicating value was seen there as opposed to 51.8% indicating the same for Twitter. In general, the results indicate retaining a heavier focus on the blog is the right course of action for us.
Question 4: Has content from Rational Support's social channels helped you solve an issue without calling support?
42.6% of all respondents have avoided at least one support call, with the majority of responses indicating they have avoided creating PMRs at least twice. Of the 24.1% 'other' responses, all but two were IBMers, for whom the question was irrelevant. The two 'other' responses indicated that specific content is tough to find and that using Google to locate specific answers was more effective. Generally speaking, these results show our efforts in amplification of high value content and improving search result efficiencies (socially shared content tends to bubble up in search results now) reflect more value.
Question 5: On which social channel would you be more inclined to interact with us?
Surprisingly, 53.7% indicated they are more inclined to interact with us on Facebook than any other channel. Second to Facebook was the NFRS blog at 40.7% with Twitter and G+ showing an equal level around 25%. This indicates we're in the right place on Facebook. With the number of responses for GooglePlus we will continue to investigate the benefits of a page in that space and how we may be able to bring our audience even more value there. The 'other' responses highlighted LinkedIn as a requested channel, a XING group, on developerWorks forums, as well as direct email. All these responses indicate that investigating these various channel solutions in the next year and adopting those which make business sense will be a target goal, as well as retaining the more traditional forms of communication already in play.
Question 6: Optional, Free text entry. Please let us know what you would like to see from these channels, or provide any additional comments to help us serve you more effectively.
There were some great call-outs here. The most actionable was a request for info on general Support how-tos and entry points. I am happy to say we are currently working on building out some solid posts to address these areas. Another request was to focus on our 'Google juice' to ensure hits via search engines. This actually plays directly into our model showing more value in social amplification and effectiveness via search result improvements. We also got a few comments noting that we had “Too many posts in a short time”. This resulted in an immediate adjustment of our channel feeds to reduce the potential for content floods even before the survey was closed. (In full transparency, the same content floods that caused the comments in the survey were also pain points for me in my own channels.)
In general it seems you, our audience, do find value in our social business efforts. Our blog appears to be the most highly valued of our efforts and as such we should retain our main focus, using the other channels as aggregates to amplify visibility. A focus on helpful support items like 'how to contact' and clarifications of various support concepts like STCs, various IDs, and other how-to type posts will show higher value for our channels. With slightly over 55% of our followers as IBMers, a focus on leveraging our present network to function in a distributed method connecting the right clients with the right SMEs should help us provide even more effective and efficient value across the board. We need to continue targeting and pushing the right content through our social channels at the right times to enable clients like you more direct and ready access to the information you need.
And lastly we owe a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to provide responses via the survey. Without that kind of direct feedback, we'd just be shooting in the dark and hoping we hit our targets... helping us to identify the targets means even better accuracy in the future, and better accuracy in the support world means you spend less time and resources finding good solutions to issues when they crop up.
image credit: (cc) Some rights reserved by jurvetson (The image is of IBM's Sage system, built in 1954 and deployed in 1958 and weighed in at 300 tons.)
... A reminder to register for Innovate 2012! We've already spoken about Rational's involvement at Pulse 2012 earlier this week, so why not plug in the reminder to get in on the Early Bird registration for Rational's own Innovate 2012!
Need more reasons to register before March 14th's Early Bird deadline to get a $200 discount?
Of course we know you like the deeper technical content too, so here's the articles that went live on developerWorks Rational this week:
Design message and service definitions based energy industry CIM standards
By Darrell R. Schrag, Jr. (firstname.lastname@example.org), Senior Consulting Specialist, IBM
There is little guidance for adapting an energy industry information model to message and service definitions for SOA messaging. This process uses Rational Software Architect extensions to guide definitions, based on the International Electrotechnical Commission's Common Information Model (IEC CIM).
Product: Rational Software Architect
Improve portfolio management with new IBM Rational Focal Point integrations
By Karthikeyan Dakshinamurthy (email@example.com), Senior Software Engineer, IBM
IBM Rational Focal Point 6.5.1 and later integrate with Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) applications to give you many more capabilities for decision-making throughout software development and project lifecycles. This article covers what, why, and how to take advantage of CLM applications.
Product: Rational Focal Point
Synchronize CMVC and Rational Team Concert data to get benefits of both
By Megha Mittal (firstname.lastname@example.org), Staff Software Engineer, IBM and Ankur Sharma (email@example.com), Staff Software Engineer, IBM
IBM Configuration Management Version Control (CMVC) has been superseded by newer Rational software, including Rational Team Concert. The tutorial explains how to integrate the two repositories in mainframe systems. It includes sample code to make syncing periodically even easier.
Product: Rational Team Concert
This week developerWorks Rational is also highlighting the following items on our home page that you may find of interest.
Jason, Matthew, and I are on a mission ... a mission to take our lives and our work back from the inbox.
Email is a great tool ... for a few things. It is NOT a great tool for many things that we currently use it for today: discussions, decision-making, file sharing, file repositories, questions & answers, newsletters, announcements.
We have the collaborative technology. We have the skilz. It's just a matter of "walking the talk", and persevering. A whole lot of persevering.
So we start today, with the Luis Suarez Magical 3 Step Pattern:
- Stop replying to email
- Identify conversations/tasks (use cases) that can be accomplished more easily, more transparently, more efficiently, or with less cost with another social tool.
- Start moving those conversations/tasks to their appropriate home. Slowly and surely.
Honestly, I've been such a collaborative harpy for so long, we are doing a lot of this already. But now we're going to do it mindfully and consciously, and track our results like Luis did.
We'll also be providing updates on our progress here, along with the technical content you've come to rely on.
Did you know IBM Rational will be at Pulse 2012 showcasing solutions from across our portfolio that can help you improve quality and accelerate the delivery of innovative applications?
If you are a client or business partner attending Pulse 2012 from March 4 - March 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada go ahead and swing by the Cloud and Collaborative Development and Operations exhibits and sessions to learn how your development and operations teams can work together to improve quality, accelerate service delivery, and reduce system downtime...
Rational subject matter experts will not only be available at the exhibits, but are also set to present best practices and success stories for collaborating across development and operations in 12 regular sessions, 2 Birds of a Feather Sessions, and 2 Meet the Expert Sessions in the Solution Center. If you attend, you will gain critical insights for transforming your business performance by unlocking the hidden value and agility in your existing organizational and technology investments.
Check out this excellent list of key topics covered in the Collaborative Development and Operations track:
- Keynote - Collaborative Development and Operations Track Kickoff, Monday 2:00- 3:00pm:
- Harish Grama, VP Rational Development co-presented with Jamie Thomas, VP Tivoli Development.
Collaboration and communication strategy
Process integration and automation
Pre-release to production application performance optimization
Cooperative problem lifecycle management
- Real World Dev/Ops case studies & lessons learned
And of course no blog post would be complete without links to more information!
Don't forget to say "Hi" to all the Rational SMEs when you see them... tell them "Notes from Rational Support" sent you... it likely won't get you anything other than a a business card and a smile, but sometimes that's all you need
Have you seen some of the content coming out of IBM that isn't housed within the Support Portal? IBMers have long recognized the value of sharing knowledge, and as a result many of us have been blogging and/or writing whitepapers and other articles in addition to our regular day jobs... here's a quick glance at some of the great posts, articles, and videos which make IBM (and Rational specifically) a thought leader in so many different industries!
From Kevin Grigorenko's IBM WebSphere SWAT Blog comes this outstanding post providing a quick reference on native eye catchers: Native (C/C++) Eye-catcher
Get an overview of the IBM Rational ClearCase and Rational Team Concert integration setup in this article from the Jazz.net library: Integrate Rational ClearCase with Rational Team Concert 3.0
From the JazzPractices blog comes the following post providing some great insight and guidance on using Extensions with Rational Team Concert: Extending Rational Team Concert – First Look
What's new with Rational Developer for Power 8.0.3 - Although this is a service release, it contains some significant new functions. Check out the improvements described in the IBM i enhancements section, which are a direct result of many Requests for Enhancement (RFEs) of the IBM® i operating system support in Rational Developer for Power.
Video! What's new in Rational Asset Manager 22.214.171.124 M1 - Watch an overview demo of new and noteworthy features and support added to Rational Asset Manager 126.96.36.199 M1:
Due to an abundance of great content this week, we're combining two of our normal 'series' posts to make sure you get all the info you need just in time!
The following are downloads posted since January 18th:
In addition to the above downloads, the following items went live on developerWorks Rational this week as well:
How using Rational Rhapsody UML models helps determine which code to reuse
By Joanne L. Scouler (firstname.lastname@example.org), Curriculum Architect, IBM and Martin R. Bakal (email@example.com), Rational Electronics Industry Offering Manager, IBM
Modeling while analyzing existing code helps systems developers make decisions about what code to reuse. This article explains the keys to successful reuse and how to reuse code by combining code-centric development with modeling.
Product: IBM Rational Rhapsody
Using Rational Change and ClearCase together for changes and configuration
By Prajna Dutt (firstname.lastname@example.org), Associate Software Engineer, IBM
By configuring the Rational Change for ClearCase Interface, you can use Rational Change and Rational ClearCase together for change and configuration management. Learn how these tools integrate to track implementation of change requests. (Requires intermediate-level knowledge of both tools.)
Products: IBM Rational Change, IBM Rational ClearCase
We are pleased to feature Contributing Author Jean-Louis Maréchaux
Jean-Louis Maréchaux is a Rational software engineer at the IBM Canada Lab, focusing on software architecture, Java EE technologies, service-oriented architecture (SOA), and agile software development practices. His involvement with software development projects began in 1997. He has been developing applications first, and then has been acting as a coding architect. As an IBM Rational field practitioner, Jean-Louis helped many customers define the best development environments for their collocated and distributed teams. He is now responsible for the development of training material for some of the IBM architecture, design, and development products and technologies. Jean-Louis is the author of several articles on technologies and practices. He also contributed to A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum (IBM Press, 2010), and he started his Pragmatic Architecture blog in 2011 to share his thoughts on software engineering.
Visit Jean-Louis' developerWorks profile
Read all of Jean-Louis' developerWorks content
Learn about the Author achievement recognition program
This week we are also highlighting the following item on our Rational Performance Tester product page that you may find of interest.
image credit: (cc) Some rights reserved by mcclanahoochie
The first IBM Education Assistant Rational demonstration of 2012 has arrived! Rational Rhapsody support would like to show you how to use the reverse engineer feature. Check it out:
is IBM Education Assistant? IBM Education Assistant is a collection of multimedia educational modules designed to help you gain a better
understanding of IBM software products and use them more effectively to meet your business requirements. Take a tour of IBM Education Assistant
Find more great education modules here
Last week, a colleague pointed me to a great article that appeared on Wired Enterprise:
Many of us have been following Luis' adventures in collaborating "outside the inbox" for 4 years now, ever since he first announced his radical plan on the internal blogosphere. Those of us passionate about the power of open, transparent and collaborative communication over "mail jail" have been cheering him on, all the while wondering how we could do the same.
Luis wrote a great blog post
on the experience here, and I encourage you to go read it. Now.
I've taken many of the principles to heart, and have moved as much of my work as possible to collaborative technologies like Rational Team Concert and Lotus Connections.
I don't WANT to be the sole owner and disseminator of the information and content I produce.
I don't WANT my manager to have to ping me every time he wants to know the status of something.
I don't WANT to hoard information on MY machine and pass that information around every time someone asks for it.
SHARED knowledge is power.
As Luis stated so eloquently, we're probably not going to get rid of email entirely. But we CAN work smarter, more openly and transparently, one transaction/email/deliverable at a time.
spreadsheets -> wikis
status updates, news, announcements -> blog posts
To dos -> Connections Activities.
Next time you are working on something, think before you file it away on your computer. I bet there's a better way.
I KNOW there is.
Have you checked out the EGL blog recently? If not you may be missing some good stuff here...
EGL ShoppingCart from JSF to Rich UI- Customers that have developed JSF applications have asked me few times how to develop similar Rich UI applications. Some of the how-to questions are: How to display pages? How to access business logic? How to deal with internationalization? You maybe familiar...
Differences between Rational Business Developer and EGL Development Tools (EDT) 0.7.0- As you may have seen in a previous post , the EGL development team recently released the first version (0.7) of EGL Development Tools, an open source project on Eclipse.org. For those that are interested in the differences between Rational Business Developer...
Using the VSE Build Server- Did you know that there is now a better way to generate COBOL programs to VSE? Rational Business Developer (RBD) version 8 includes the new VSE Build Server, which has the following advantages over the existing FTP-based generation: The success of the VSE build...
As a bonus, if you're a System X or BladeCenter client you won't want to miss this helpful eSupport video just released:
Finding downloads for System x and BladeCenter products: This video demonstrates how to quickly find software downloads, including product fixes, device drivers, firmware, and other downloadable code for IBM BladeCenter and System x products. Visit the IBM Support Portal at:http://ibm.co/IBMPortalYouTube
Last Thursday I hosted my last Knowledge Champion Consortium session, an internal group of passionate individuals focused on knowledge sharing and content curation. I've grown quite a bit since I started co-leading this call, and am a better leader for the experience and lessons the group has taught me, not to mention the side benefit of listening in to all the great information which has been shared out through this group of passionate knowledge leaders. Truly, I feel like I've benefited more from the KCC than anyone else!
Of course, after 3 years of running this 20-40 person bi-weekly conference call, I can't help but to have learned a few things about what I believe makes conference calls work, and what helps them fail. Make no mistake, most of these I learned the hard way: through trial and error, by failing on my own before figuring out my mistakes.
The biggest tip & trick I can provide is this:
Prepare: Give yourself 5 or 10 minutes before hand to get the meeting logistics set up and relax for a moment. Taking a few moments before everyone dials in will allow you to move past most technical or logistic issues and allow you to host a smooth sailing session for your attendees. Take this time to upload your slide deck (Lotus Live Meetings has a great feature allowing you to share your deck without sharing your screen, and yes we do use our own products in-house!), get the web-session dialed in, and any other necessary logistics squared away (like clarifying staging cues with co-hosts for switching off presenter control etc.). A little preparation now will go a long ways in making the call run as well as possible. I can't stress enough how much benefit as little as five minutes of prep time immediately before the call will impact the next sixty minutes.
Second to the above is... take steps to prevent unintentional disruptions. There's two ways to do this: Mute all and turn off chime in/out notifications (you know, those dings you hear when people join or leave the call? Yep, you can turn them off in most conference call systems). Most interruptions which cause breaks in the flow of the calls come from late dial-ins and attendees forgetting to mute their lines. All conference call systems provide the tools to prevent these interruptions, we just need to remember to use them. Some small preventative measures like this will have huge returns on the investment during the presentations.
To help exemplify what I am talking about here, my own honed and tested process goes a bit something like this:
- Between 5 and 15 minutes before the call, I'll launch my Lotus Live session and dial-in to the line.
Once logged in to Lotus Live, I set the check box to email me a list of attendees, then I start the web-session in host mode.
When the session has started, I publish my slide deck to the session (this allows me to present the slides in host mode without having to share my desktop, a secondary benefit is a smaller file size of the recording). Publishing now also means that there will be content shared in the session when people begin joining and as you continue setting everything up.
After the deck is published, I'll then jump into the recording settings and dial the session into the conference call line to bridge the audio into the recording.
When the session is connected to the conference call, I leave my mouse cursor on this screen and wait to start the recording, which allows me to talk and not focus on getting back to start the recording when I begin the call. This helps me to fill the gaps of silence while people join in, which in turn helps to alleviate any confusion about the call and also begins to build the cadence and rhythm moving forward.
At this point I've kept the conference call line open and notifications enabled so I can hear everyone and get a sense of how many people have joined the call.
Once we've got a quorum, and its about 3 or 4 after the hour, I'll mute all lines, turn off chime in/out notifications, hit record and dig into the introduction and agenda...
From here on out any accidental interruptions should be wholly mitigated to "intentional" interruptions.
During the call be a good 'radio host', by which I mean, maintain the rhythm and don't allow for too much dead air space. Obviously you want to allow time for attendees to speak up and ask questions, but be smart about when you break cadence to do this.
Keep an eye on the clock. Know when to help move things along or get back on topic, and know when you're coming up on the end of the call to wrap things up in a timely fashion.
Some last words of found "wisdom" from my experiences hosting these calls...
If you can swing it, find a co-host... or at least someone to handle chat questions and other logistics while you are presenting. Knowing you can rely on someone who has your back is a god-send. Perhaps you can multi-task better than I can, and if so, go forth without a co-host. I know I'm not that good and am ever grateful for my colleague Beth McCawley's co-leadership, as well as Kelly Smith for filling in for Beth and providing the support needed to run the calls effectively and build out great content behind the scenes. I can assure you that any call I host in the future (with 10+ attendees) will have one other person helping me out.
And almost as important as everything above: don't sweat the small screw ups or interruptions. They happen, but don't let them distract you or cause more breaks in the flow of the meeting. The idea in all of this isn't to be perfect, but rather to hold an enjoyable and effective meeting. Stuff will happen to cause problems, but the key is to take those initial steps to mitigate the problems when they do arise or prevent them all together if possible. Doing so will help make a better meeting for all involved.
I hope you find the lessons I've learned and shown above helpful. Have you learned lessons for leading good conference calls as well? Why not share them in the comments and help me learn even more (as I am sure the KCC isn't the last call I'm ever going to host)!
image credit: (cc) Some rights reserved by DanDeChiaro
Some very useful articles have gone live this week on developerWorks Rational, along with another new video on the Jazz.net Youtube channel! Don't waste a single moment, go check it all out below!
Evaluate FileNet Content Engine with Rational Performance Tester load tests
By: Venumadhav Vanagondi (email@example.com), Software Performance Analyst, IBM, Sanjay Singh (firstname.lastname@example.org), Senior Software Architect, IBM, Sandeep Vedula (email@example.com), Associate Software Engineer, IBM
Evaluate IBM FileNet Content Engine performance by configuring Rational Performance Tester to load test the document editing functionality. This approach is based on what the authors learned from a customer benchmark project that involved large volumes of content.
Product: Rational Performance Tester
What's new in the Rational Developer for Power 8.0.3 release
By: David Dykstal (firstname.lastname@example.org), Senior Software Engineer, IBM
IBM Rational Developer for Power Systems Software provides integrated analysis, development, and debugging tools for IBM AIX, IBM i, and Linux operating systems. Although this is a service release, it contains some significant new functions, which the developer describes in this article.
Product: Rational Developer for Power Systems Software
Diagnose and debug with IBM Rational Synergy tools and techniques
By: Venkata Ramarao Kota (email@example.com), System Software Engineer, IBM
Debugging tools included in Rational Synergy change and configuration management software can be switched on and off. This article explains the tools and techniques that can help in analyzing critical issues. Using them to gather information helps support technicians resolve the issue faster.
Product: Rational Synergy
Video! Using Rational Team Concert with Rational ClearTeam Explorer- This video demonstrates how to use Rational Team Concert with Rational ClearTeam Explorer:
This week we are also highlighting the following items on the developerWorks Rational home page and product pages that you may find of interest.
IBM Champion nominations for Rational are open!
Submit your nominations by January 27, 2012!
Whether through developerWorks, jazz.net or social media, peer-to-peer participation helps you obtain the skills you need to be successful with Rational solutions. In some communities, you might have noticed colleagues or business partners who actively evangelize Rational tools and practices by running user groups, managing websites, speaking at conferences, writing books or blogs, or sharing their knowledge through relevant social media, and online forums. All of these activities bring value to our user communities.
The IBM Champion program recognizes these innovative thought leaders in the technical community — and rewards these contributors by amplifying their voice and increasing their sphere of influence. An IBM Champion is an IT professional, business leader, developer, or educator who influences and mentors others to help them make best use of IBM software, solutions, and services. Even more notably, IBM Champions are not employees of IBM.
But what's that all really mean? What do IBM Champions get out of this?
Special visibility, recognition and networking opportunities at IBM events and conferences
Select access to product development teams
Invitations and discounts to events and conferences
Online recognition via their Lotus Connections profile on developerWorks, with a special designation of "IBM Champion" and a listing of notable achievements
Merchandise customized with the IBM Champion logo.
With only a week to go, we encourage you to pause for a moment and identify those colleagues or partners whom you feel make significant contributions and nominate them to the IBM Champion program before its too late!
Following are the latest in downloads released by Rational last week between January 5th and today (and check out the 'tags' above to find other downloads you may have missed):
image credit: (cc) Some rights reserved by mcclanahoochie
In case you haven't heard, Lotusphere 2012 is well underway down in Orlando, Florida this week. If you're like me and couldn't make it, you can always watch Lotusphere and IBMconnect sessions online at http://ow.ly/8jwN7 this week and catch the replays afterwards.
With social collaboration being a key component to everything we do today, here are some resources to keep you involved, informed, and on the cutting edge! Staying up to date and informed is the best way to ensure your business stays relevant and efficient... check out all we have to offer below to see how IBM is drinking our own champagne and pushing forward in social business and building networks for collaborations that benefit everyone involved!
Following are two new IBM Rational Team Concert video demonstrations from our friends at Jazz.net, plus an extra video highlighting IBM Champion Julian Holmes, Co-Founder of Unified Process Mentors, interviewed by developerWorks' very own Scott Laningham...
Rational Team Concert- Using the ISPF client with z/OS UNIX System Services: Beginning with version 3.0.1, the ISPF client functions are expanded to work with directories and files on z/OS UNIX System Services (USS). Projects that contain non-z/OS resources can now be loaded in the USS file system space on System z. The ISPF client now supports: Specifying where to load non-z/OS resources;Editing non-z/OS resources using an ASCII editor; Performing other SCM operations on loaded non-z/OS resources
Rational Team Concert- Simplifying Local Developments for zComponent Projects: This demonstration illustrates how you can leverage the enhancements in Rational Developer for System z 8.0.3 and Rational Team Concert 3.0.1 to simplify off-host (i.e. local) development for COBOL and PL/1 applications.
IBM Champions: Julian Holmes, Co-Founder of Unified Process Mentors: developerWorks' Scott Laningham interviews Julian Holmes, Co-Founder of UPMentors, a company that helps transform the capability of an organization to achieve the successful Agile delivery of complex IT projects. The IBM Champion program recognizes innovative thought leaders in the technical community and helps to amplify their voice and increase their sphere of influence, Find out more at ibm.com/developerworks/champion
Are you an an IT professional, business leader, developer, or educator who influences and mentors others to help them make best use of IBM software, solutions, and services? Do you know someone who is? Nominate an IBM Champion today!
In the first dW Rational update of the new year, here are the new items that went live on developerWorks Rational this past week:
Integrate a Rational ClearCase UCM stream with Rational Team Concert 3.0
By: Murali Dhandapani (firstname.lastname@example.org), IT Specialist, IBM
Learn how to synchronize an IBM Rational ClearCase client with a Rational Team Concert Eclipse client. This article explains how to use the ClearCase Importer to import files or folders from a ClearCase UCM stream to Rational Team Concert, as well as how to use the Change Flow Target feature.
Products: IBM Rational ClearCase, IBM Rational Team Concert
Combine Rational ClearCase with Cadence Design Framework for more flexibility
By: Alok K. Singh (email@example.com), Senior Staff Software Engineer, IBM Ragini A. Ravishankar (firstname.lastname@example.org), Associate Software Engineer, IBM Vishal Anand (email@example.com), Advisory Software Engineer, IBM
After integrating Rational ClearCase with Cadence Design Framework II, custom chip designers can perform ClearCase configuration actions while in the Cadence toolset. This article describes several other advantages and the important features of the ClearCase-Cadence integration.
Product: IBM Rational ClearCase
Save time with this reusable Rational Functional Tester automation framework
By: Varun Ojha (firstname.lastname@example.org), Systems Software Engineer, IBM
With this design, you can develop a reusable automation test framework that is independent of the objects in the application under test. You can import it into any Rational Functional Tester environment. As a bonus, it also drastically reduces the development and execution time of test scripts.
Product: IBM Rational Functional Tester
We are pleased to feature Contributing Author Fariz Saracevic (email@example.com):
Fariz Saracevic is a member of Offering Strategy and Delivery team, and he is leading the IBM Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM). He is working closely with other IBM Rational leads to define and advancing CLM capabilities.
This week we are also highlighting the following items on the developerWorks Rational
page and product pages that you may find of interest:
Have you heard the announcement over on Jazz.net? No? Well, check it out:
Announcing a new Virtual Rational User Group for Jazz and CLM- The Global Rational User Group is proud to announce three new Virtual Rational User Groups (VRUGs) to promote information exchange between customers and Rational staff. The purpose of these groups is to facilitate group discussions and provide a platform for users to share their experiences and learn from peers.
You can Visit the new groups on the Rational User Groups web site.
Already connected to the new groups? Looking for some product tips? Here are a few new items from the Jazz.net library:
How about some other great blog resources for you? Over on the "Thoughts from Information Management Support" blog, the team has shared their 2011 Tech Tip Summary! Here are some of the bits which apply to any IBM Support client beyond the Information Management specific topics:
Resources: Videos, Portal Updates, and more!
And don't forget, The Innovate 2012 team is keen to get the most compelling stories and best practices, so they’ve extended the call for papers deadline to January 16! Submit your speaker application today!
Recycle, reuse! Presented here are the top reused docs in December 2011 across all product sets. These are the docs which were used most often to helped solve your reported cases (PMRs) over the year. We figure if our TSEs are using these docs to help you, then it stands to reason that more of you who aren't calling in can also use these to help solve your issues as well!
1250403 & 1250433: How to obtain your Rational license keys 1294762: System Requirements for ClearQuest 7.1.x 1308308: How to move licenses to a new server 1131335: Utility to collect ClearCase logs and diagnostic data on Windows 1324456: License Troubleshooting Guide 1298482: Create and Manage Your Enhancement Requests in the Rational RFE Community 1302974: System Requirements for ClearCase 7.1.x 1324457: How to reset a lost DOORS Administrator password 1474620: How to install Rational License Key Server 8.1.x on Microsoft Windows 1208895: Utility to collect ClearCase logs and diagnostic data on Linux, AIX, HP-UX and Solaris 7019698: List of supported domains for functional testing by releases of Rational Functional Tester version 8.2 1410649: Stay connected to IBM Rational Client Support 7016566: About the Rational System Architect Information Center 1425572: Specifying Rational Focal Point users or hosts in the option file results in User / host not found error 1315781: Available releases and iFixes for Rational PurifyPlus 1409007: Unable to apply maintenance to the licenses using Rational License Key Center 1474621: How to install Rational License Server 8.1.1 on UNIX 1144624: System Requirements for ClearQuest 7.0.x 1254371: Enabling a permanent license key over a temporary one in Rational Software Delivery Platform - desktop products 1258203: Finding IBM Installation Manager troubleshooting logs 1265239: Rational License Server Delivery and Support 1317594: How to optimize job and scan configurations for large sites 1497844: Rational Directory Server (Tivoli) Certificate expires on 28 April 2011 1133205: FLEXlm Error -96, Server node is down or not responding, when working behind Firewalls 1143292: About ClearCase permissions on Windows 1239315: System Requirements for ClearCase 7.0.x.x 1265307: Available iFixes and Fix Packs for ClearCase Family 7.x 1358566: Uninstalling ClearCase 7.1 on Windows 1366509: MustGather: ClearQuest Web 7.1 Server 1122368: Exporting and importing ClearQuest schemas 1177467: Troubleshooting ALBD startup failures on Windows 1358628: MustGather: Enable debugging for ClearCase and ClearQuest installs using Installation Manager 1406285: Terminal server remote client not allowed 1420620: Starting IBM Rational DOORS Web Access at bootup on Linux and UNIX 1574170: "License not available" error while logging into Rational AppScan Source 8.5 7007823: Updates to Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software 7014067: ClearCase 7.1.x Hardware and Software requirements 7017067: Rational Rhapsody Software Version 7.5.x Releases: New Features and Enhancements
Big news here, as the Innovate 2012 call for papers deadline has been extended to January 16! Why not take this opportunity now to get that speaker application built and submitted today. You won't want to miss the new deadline, would you?
The Innovate team is keen to get the most compelling stories and best practices, so we’ve extended the call for papers deadline to January 16! We invite you to tell the world how solutions from IBM Rational have improved your business outcomes by helping you innovate and transform your software and systems delivery processes.
Innovate 2012, sponsored by Rational, is the industry event that recognizes, celebrates, and enables the development and delivery of software and systems. You don’t want to miss this exclusive opportunity to share your successes with industry leaders and peers! Submit your speaker application today!
Still need convincing? How about three reasons why you should present at Innovate 2012?
1. Gain recognition among your industry peers as a thought leader
2. Network with 4,000+ of your fellow industry experts
3. Receive a FREE conference pass, valued at $1995. (One confirmed client primary speaker per company, per session, qualifies.)
To help even more, here's five ways to increase the chance that your paper will be accepted:
1. Include measurable results
2. Share real-life examples
3. Avoid the sales pitch
4. Explain the big picture -- how did the organization collaborate?
5. Speak to your industry
In the mean time, check out the line-up of Innovate 2012 streams, tracks, and topics. The Innovate agenda will feature over 400 technical sessions in 24 tracks. Review this year's streams, tracks, and suggested speaker topics, and see how you might contribute your expertise!
And don't forget: Registration for Innovate 2012 is now open! Register before March 14, 2012 (see link below) and take advantage of our Early Bird Discount. You and your team members can save $200 on conference registration fees. Innovate 2012 is shaping up to be our very best event yet, so mark your calendars and invite your colleagues to do the same!
And if I'm lucky this year, I may even see you in Orlando in June!
Following are the downloads posted in Rational over the course of December, 2011.
There's a plethora of downloads so we wanted to expose them again here since many were likely missed over the course of the holidays and any time off you all may have deservedly taken.
Lastly, thank you all who responded to our social business survey. We are currently collating and analyzing the data, and will expose our findings here in blog post for you soon.... stay tuned!
image credit: (cc) Some rights reserved by mcclanahoochie
Here is a recently published white paper on the use of Rational Publishing Engine with Rational System Architect:
Title: Integration of Rational System Architect and Rational Publishing Engine
Author: Priya S.
Abstract: You can use the integration between Rational System Architect and Rational Publishing Engine as a reporting tool to create composite reports from multiple data sources. This white paper includes topics like how the integration works, how to setup up the integration, and how to publish a report using this integration.
Released: December 16, 2011
Coming off of the holidays is always a bit rough... so to make it a bit easier on us, and still provide you with quality content, we're taking a trip in the way-back machine to re-run a blog post from February of 2009... we think you'll find it is still relevant and useful today!
Situation, Environment, Urgency (original posting here)
A guest posting from Christian Glockner, Rational Client Support, EMEA...
Help us help you!
While we do our best to prevent problems from happening in the first place, sometimes there's just no way around opening a PMR in order to get support from us.
Whether you open your PMR through SR, by e-mail or over the phone, one of our Technical Support Engineers (TSEs) should contact you within two business hours of opening the PMR.
Most of the time, this first contact consists of the TSE asking for more details, be it regarding your setup, the exact circumstances of the problem, or other details that are required for us to efficiently resolve your concern. And it's only after we've received these details that we can actually start to investigate.
We'd love to change that, because we know that time is money and that you want the solution as soon as possible - and rightfully so. But we need your help to make that happen.
So what can YOU do to help us help you? It's a few simple things:
Tell us what you're using!
Which Rational products are involved and what versions are they at?
What Operating System are you running on, which database vendor are you using, etc?
Providing this information right at the start of the PMR allows the TSE working on it to have a clearer picture of the environment at hand. The details we need obviously depend on the products involved, but in general: the more detail the better.
Tell us what's going on!
When you open the PMR, describe the situation you're running into.
Why are you contacting us, what concerns you?
Are you getting error messages (if so, which exact error message)?
Include all details that you deem helpful, such as screen shots, even viewlets help.
If you have steps to reproduce the problem, include them.
By the way, Rational Client Support has implemented the Kepner-Tregoe Resolve methodology to achieve a systematic and logical process in problem determination and resolution. So if you are familiar with the methodology, simply provide us with the Problem Analysis and we'll take it from there.
Tell us how urgent it is for you!
We want to make sure we set the priorities right on your issues, and in fact only YOU can tell us how urgent things are for YOU. If you have any deadlines you need to meet, tell us.
What's at stake for you? Let us know!
Keep these three things in mind (Environment, Situation, Urgency) when opening a PMR, and you can be sure that we can get started on your request right away.
You see: It's a win-win for both of us.
Christian Glockner is a Technical Support Engineer in Rational Client Support, based in our Amsterdam office. He rocks.
image credit: (cc) Some rights reserved by Kr. B.
Happy New Year to one and all!
Our survey is now closed as of 11:45pm PST last night. Thank you all who responded for providing your honest feedback and insight!
Once back in the office (after January 3rd) we will begin collating and analyzing all the fabulous feedback we received over the past month and will share our findings with you as soon as we have results to share!
For now, enjoy the remainder of your holidays and try not to think too much about anything or turn the lights up too bright... we're sure the headaches will subside soon enough
image credit (cc) Some rights reserved by Sarah_Ackerman
It's almost here... New Year's eve is just around the corner, and many of you have likely already closed out the day, week, month, and year by this point. But before we get on with the merriment, we have one last bit of business...
Today is the last 'business' day before we close our social business survey. While we are close to our goal for the amount of feedback we wanted, we are still a few short. To that end we'd really appreciate it if you could take 3 minutes and answer 5 or 6 questions ... which will be used to mold and guide our strategies for the next year.
And stay tuned in the coming weeks, as we will collect, collate, analyze and present the data you've given us to highlight what you've said and how we'll be using it in 2012 to guide our business!
Wow, I can't believe that 2011 is almost over. It's been quite a year, and continuing the theme, I'd like to share my own subjective look at some of the highlights - the Year in Review on Notes from Rational Support.
Kellypuffs' 2011 Best of NFRS List
I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords
Watson links galore, and some profound food for thought on social learning
On community and connections
Five Imperatives for Application Lifecycle Management
Introducing our newest blog author: Matt Quimby
CLM 2011 is live on Jazz.net
Happy Birthday, IBM!
All the usual caveats apply, blah, blah, blah.
- This is not an inclusive
list of all the best content on NFRS in 2011. In order to get that, you
might as well sit back and read the whole year. Or maybe you just want the IEA (IBM Education Assistant) stuff. Or posts on ClearCase. Or Jazz. You can explore our content by tags.
And, of course, this is my own opinion as to some of the best, most useful, informative,
or just plain fun posts on this blog. Your opinion can and probably
does differ. So what did I miss? Is there a particular bit that made
your day in 2011? Let us know in the comments!
Yes, if there has been one unending refrain this year on this blog, it has been:
By now, you know why. We've shared with you what we do with the feedback we receive - we use it to make our support content even better so you don't HAVE to call and open a support ticket just to find out if X is supported, or how to do Y.
So all year long, we make sure we address your comments and continually improve our content.
Sometimes, we get it right, and sometimes, you let us know that we've gotten it right. I'm not going to lie ... those are my favorite pieces of feedback to read and share.
And today, as we wrap up the year, I'd love to highlight some of the positive Document Level Feedback comments we've received this year:
"Es exactamente la respuesta al problema. Perfecto.'
"Very helpful and clear"
"Solution exposée claire et précise. Merci"
"This is a very useful page, thank you."
"Wish this was a built-in feature of the Analysis Wizard, but this a good workaround. Thanks for posting."
"This is very valuable technote. Please give it high priority to display it in search results."
"The answer was on the money"
"Finally I could resolve my problem. Thanks! "
"The solution worked perfectly."
"Very useful, thank you."'
As you might imagine, this feedback from clients makes our day.
So, as we wrap up the year, a heartfelt thank you goes out to those who, having gotten the answer
they were looking for, took the extra step and let us know about it.