“For as long as I have been running my own business, I have advised clients who were using various IBM technologies as part of their collaboration technology portfolio. In recent years, some of these clients have started using IBM Connections. I wanted a book to give to my clients who were investigating the possibilities of IBM Connections in their work, but since there is only one book available on Connections, and that a more technical treatise on Lotus Connections 2.5 (from over three years ago), I obviously could not find one. Therefore, as you do, I wrote for my clients the book I had been hoping to find.“
Thus begins the Acknowledgements section in my next book – Doing Business with IBM Connections – which I’m almost 2/3 of the way through, and am working to get finished in time for IBM Connect 2013 at the end of January. It’s a book for business users, not the technical folks in IT. It’s very hands-on (step-by-step on how to use particular features for a particular outcome), and it’s written with the background of both Collaboration Roadmap (2011) and User Adoption Strategies 2nd Ed. (2012). I have written it in a considered way; I’m not a wild-eyed raving technologist trying to sell you the latest kit.
The core concept of the book is to take the Collaboration Scenarios approach I lay out in chapter 2 of Collaboration Roadmap (2011), and show how business people can use IBM Connections 4 to improve the way they do business. The book has 10 core chapters, each focused on one of the major collaboration scenarios. In each of these chapters there is the theory of the scenario (eg., why document co-authoring doesn’t work today using email and attachments, in Chapter 3), a real-to-life scenario (like I used in Seamless Teamwork for SharePoint 2007), step-by-step instructions on how to make the scenario work in Connections 4 (sometimes in a couple of different ways), two case studies of real organizations already using Connections for the particular scenario, and three or four advanced concepts to keep in mind to make the scenario work.
I will be self-publishing this book. To be clear, IBM did not ask me to write it. They are not going to be publishing it – it will not be an imprint of IBM Press. And while I am giving some people at IBM the opportunity to see the contents before it is published, I’m not asking for “approval” to publish the book as such. The book is written to help business users get their work done better using Connections, and I’ve written it independently of the vendor – as I do with all of my research and consulting.
How Can You Help?
If you are using IBM Connections at your organization, there are two ways you could help me get the book done.
1. I’d love to talk to you about your experiences with Connections for doing business. What’s working? What’s not?
2. I’m still looking for some case studies for various chapters. I have some great ones, but I need some more. If you are doing particularly great things with Connections in line with one of my ten scenarios, let’s have a more indepth conversation about what’s going on. Perhaps your story could become one of the 20 featured case studies in the book.
At one of the conferences I spoke at in London earlier this month I said that my blog goes quiet when I’m writing a book. My blog has been quiet for the past few months. Now you know why.