Notes on CCS105 Bayer MaterialScience – Integrating IBM Connections and Microsoft Technologies

Bert Oberholz and Cindy Schlebusch from BMS are talking about BMS’s implementation of Connections, and the integration with Microsoft technologies.

My notes on the session:
– Bayer – three main business areas: crop science, health care, and material science. Global organization – 113,000 employees, in 291 subsidiaries. Have companies in almost every country.
– History – in 2009, a discussion started between R&D people. Found that different teams were working on similar topics across the world. Could not share information, or make things visible.
– … started with Connections 2.5 in 4Q 2009, with 50 R&D researchers, but it was available more widely. Had fast organic growth – quickly went to 500 global users. Then opened it to all 14,000 BMS staff.
– … in 2010, more focused approach – to introduce Connections with the new personalized work place (a new standard laptop image).
– … in 2011, implementing Connections 3.x, and an plug-in with Outlook (to give you a view into Connections from Outlook). In Q3, the platform was opened to Bayer globally. In Q4, had an adoption and positioning strategy around Connections. Also had plug-ins for Office and Windows Explorer.
– … plan for 2012 – Bayer-wide availability, integration with SharePoint, and Connections 4 late in 2012.

– adoption strategies:
– … the new standard working operating system – was Windows 7, Office 2010, Exchange/Outlook 2010, SharePoint 2010, and Lync 2010. SharePoint was supposed to be the collaboration platform, but BMS found that SharePoint couldn’t deliver what BMS needed. There were also 2500 people on Yammer, so CIOs decided to go for a common social collaboration environment. Opened Connections up for the whole of Bayer.
– … adoption strategy:
– … … (1) CIO as frequent blogger and commentor.
– … … (2) one-hour of training on Connections, as part of the workplace training.
– … … (3) evangelists providing departments and teams with teams, presentations, and positioning help. “We found that after talking with a group for two-hours, they were ready to go with using Connections.
– … … (4) regional caretakers.
– … … (5) central support organization.
– When looking at Connections vs. SharePoint, Documentum, and BMS’s KM tool, Connections supported most of the requirements. Some things that SharePoint, Documentum, or the KM tool were particularly strong in, Connections could do in a “lite” way, and this was often enough for most people.
– … if Bayer didn’t choose Connections, they would have had to wait until SharePoint next, purchase NewsGator (or other third party tool), or build the extensions in-house.
– … draw a distinction between social cooperation and enterprise collaboration. Social = profile and networking, communities, and activities. Enterprise = projects, and project management. Also document management. The social cooperation is handled by Connections; SharePoint does the Enterprise Collaboration.

– integration challenges:
– … we want to make it easy for users.
– … eg., integrating Profiles. Connections profile will be the master. My Site will have some things.
– … eg., the business card – in Lync, in SharePoint, in Outlook, in Connections. Will modify the Connections business card to show what the Microsoft one shows. If you click the picture, it will go to Connections.
– … eg., difficulties in making IBM’s plug-in working within a SharePoint Farm environment.
– … eg., authentication between Connections and SharePoint. Need some changes from IBM.
– … eg., Fast Search – for Connections data as well.

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