SNoUG-SR – 10 years and going strong

Yesterday we had the annual gathering of the SNoUG Suisse Romand, an event I always look forward to. This time it was together with LSCY, sponsored by IBM, Avnet and TechData. SNoUG-SR events are always free, BTW. It would be too expensive to take money.
First things first. Those who have been there last time at Givaudan, still remember lunch. This time it wasn’t up to the standard we are used to. The beef was hard and the fish overcooked. But probably we are just spoiled.
As expected, the presentations in the morning – the SNoUG part – were very interesting.
First we had a small celebration 10 years SNoUG-SR. Actually it was founded together as SNoUG 1992 in Zürich, together with the Swiss German guys, when Notes V2.1 came out. In 2002 the SR group formed and in 2009 it became independent from the Swiss Germans (… somehow the term „kicked us out“ springs to mind …). At least this year, they sponsored big chocolate coins with 10 years SNoUG SR written on it. Something to bring home for the kids.

Next came HSCB. Marius Schmid talked about how HSCB implemented ID Vault. They had a Notes app before for handling ID’s, but that involved a lot of manual work. By implementing ID Vault, a lot of things got easier, but still no walk in the park apparently.

NovaTeam’s Christophe Pathod presented a side bar app, for handling mail archives. It does makes the live of users a lot easier. I would really like to get my hand on this, weren’t it for the fact, that my archive is broken and I can’t get it to work again.

Flavien Boucher of Sogeti presented how they introduced IBM Connections. Now that was my highlight of the day.
A few years ago, Sogeti was looking for a solution to interconnect the different branches worldwide. The usual problem.
They looked at 4 different products and in the end choose IBM Connections over Sharepoint, because Connections is people centric.
It is called Teampark and there should be a book about it somewhere but I can’t find it.
Now how they implemented it, is an interesting story.
It’s everything else, culture change, change management, HR, marketing but not a pure IT project. I met somebody of another company that has Connections, but nobody uses it. Why? Wrong project lead. IT can provide the infrastructure, but can not influence the culture change which is absolutely necessary.
Sogeti used what they called Catalysts in an early phase. They contacted people who used Facebook and other social platforms and talked about Sogeti. They just asked them to rather use it in-house. Pretty clever idea.
The first community that formed when Connections went live was Pizza Party and since then Connetions is going strong. Today about 14’000 of the 20’000 users have logged in at least once but usage is growing. Target is, that 84% of all employees to use Connections. The last 16% are probably those, no admin really wants to touch anything anyway.
The whole system is self serve and they are setting up a gamification – hey, new buzzword for bullshit bingo – system, because Sogeti has 3000 new users every year. Here I began to wonder, do they really have a fluctuation of employees of 15%? What’s wrong in this picture?

That was it for the morning. After lunch came the LSCY part.
I don’t have to go into the details, because everybody should know by now, what was announced this year. Yes, we go mobile and social.
As always Louis Richardson was a pleasure to listen to and some of his examples about companies not willing to be social, could help me in the future.
The demo part was a bit an anticlimax. There was a room full of Notes gurus and the demo was about live text, how to make widgets from websites, the collaboration history and so on. Things we have known for a while. The Connections 4 part was a bit more interesting but the iNotes Social Edition was slides only, due to network problems. All in all not bad, but while „networking“, we missed something new and exciting to talk about and more discussions than ever were about which direction should we go, when the Notes business dries out.

Last but not least, thanks to the committee for organising the event. Thank you Gerald Mengisen for your work as a president and a warm welcome to the once again president Pierre Fevrier-Vincent.
There is still a position vacant in the organisation of SNoUG. Volunteers please!

PS: I would, but my ability to write in french would make me a laughing stock. It’s even worse than my English (now I spoiled your punch line).