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All of our IT Central Station users agree when it comes to what qualities and features make virtual meeting software successful, that the speed and quality of a call are what make the difference between a good option and a bad one. Real time speed, audio clarity, and call reliability are all essential, and a quick setup process would also contribute to overall user satisfaction. With the basics accounted for, additional features can include the capability to share presentations with colleagues and to offer anywhere access to a call.
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Disclaimer: the new version of Lync Server 2013, Skype for Business (SfB) Server 2015, has been released a few weeks ago. Licensing model is the same you had for Lync Server, with companies paying only Front End servers (i.e. the ones hosting user accounts and the core services for your infrastructure). SfB contains some new features, including support for Back End availability based on AlwaysOn groups. I will write a dedicated post asap.
The costs related to Microsoft
Lync are something that I have talked about more than once but this is the
first time I try to summarize information in a single document. I will limit my
reflections to on-premises
organizations, because as I am writing, Lync
Online has no serious support for Enterprise
Voice (i.e. VOIP) and this...
I really like the files and the wikis, since we use that heavily in my department. Throughout the company, obviously there are different advantages for the different departments. Our sales staff is using the Activities to attract various implementation projects starting from the earliest phases in the sales process and all the way through to the delivery/final... more»
Actually, I'm seeing all the previews for the IBM Connections version 6 product and I think a lot of the stuff that we would like is coming out in that version itself. One of our VP of sales has asked for the ability to sync nested folders by using the drag and drop option, and that's going to be in there. There are some of the Community design elements, the top... more»
* Access to platform resources from all over the world * Blogs * Fast search of employees/groups/ communities/employees’ profiles * Each file entered into the system has a label with the time and the name of the person who uploaded the file *... more»
The most noticeable improvement was in the communication between the R&D department and the service department, who until now had no communication tools, despite having an email. Employees from these departments work on different shifts,... more»
We suggested over 40 improvement of the system in 2014, but nothing has changed in the 4.5 version. After a few months of using the solution, we have prepared document with the biggest failures and features to improve in the system. We have... more»
The ability to have all business owners own, author, and manage content and communications is very valuable. I can use Connections and eliminate use of other software/tools, and it greatly reduces my need for IT support for simple requests.... more»
Prior to our use of IBM Connections, any internal web info had to go through a help desk process. It was time consuming. And the business owner of that info had no control or say of how that info was displayed or organized.
I understand this is about IBM making money. But I want all the features/capabilities in the base package. For example, one thing I don’t have is the IBM Connections full-documentation solution. Or at least greatly reduce it.
Disclaimer - Time flies, and I received a message from IT Central Station to update my past reviews, including the one I wrote some months ago about Lync Server 2013. Honestly, it would have been easy to just update a few lines here and there and keeping the contents (that were still good) online. However, I have tried to use wisely the aforementioned period of time and my knowledge of Lync and of his potential is now deeper. So, I decided to throw away the previous review (including a good number of views it had) and to write a completely new post.
What is Lync Server 2013
Lync is a
Unified Communications (U.C.) product. It means that in a single product you have a native integration between many different communication tools (IM, conferencing,...
High availability is something that companies do not take for granted, they take it as given (especially when we talk about telephony). While Lync 2010 did a good work on this critical aspect there were still some weak points on the architecture when there was the need for a really continuous service. For example the mechanism behind the “backup registrar” implementation was really a limit and, for the Enterprise Front End deployments, the need for a clustered SQL server Back End was a restriction and did not match with the requirements related (also) to some kind of disaster recovery plan.
Front End Pairing and new rules on licensing
Lync 2013 makes a step forward, building on what was valid in the previous logics and using whole new solutions were they are necessary. The...
I very much like the stability and speed of TeamViewer. Teamviewer has never crashed, connects for 99.99% without delays in only a few seconds. When connected, it's like you work on the remote machine like you would locally, no delays, no sluggishness, just perfect. It has a lot of features (of which I only use about half). There are a lot of features which can... more»
This sounds really strange but, at the moment, we can't think of any improvements in the scope of this product for our company. It already has everything we need and it works like a dream. In the years I have used TeamViewer, everything that I missed was already added. So, over the last year, there was never a time that I wished for something more or different... more»
The platform allows in a very easy way to create community and start collaborating. This value has been easily recognized by the users, above all for managing cross-department projects. Some departments had a latent need of communication... more»
The platform is too dispersive and rigid. It should improve in usability and user interface customization by the user (personalized menu, communities to keep close at hand, always available files, and so on). There are too many applications... more»
The most valuable features of Connections would be that it opens up communication silos that previously existed in the company. Instead of everybody working in this little box, it opens it up across the enterprise so that people have the... more»
The benefits are, first and foremost, we get to find out exactly what other business units are doing in the company. You work for a company for a long time, but you don't know what everybody else does. You get to find out, "Oh, these are... more»
They seem to be implementing some of what we want in the upcoming versions, like an onboarding wizard. Having an easier way to integrate with other third-party tools would be really helpful. Right now, depending on the tool, it's easier or... more»
* Activity: Because this app offers a lot of possibilities. Our users use this a lot for meetings and do their work in it and in the communities to inform people about themes and work. * File sharing: There is no need to mail documents, but... more»
We collaborate in a different, more effective way, with less mail and less physical meeting time. It supports the new way of working a lot. This solution makes it possible to work in a different way. In other words, working in a more social... more»
I would like to see a better UI and more user-friendly user interfaces. I would like to see them make the tool easier and more intuitive. We hear complaints from our users that Connections, and other IBM products, are not intuitive. The users... more»
IBM Connections Profiles are the heart and soul of IBM Connections. It changes the way knowledge is shared and found by allowing users to identify subject matter experts in their organizations, from there they can either look at the knowledge... more»
Important information, like policies, procedures, and corporate templates, has become easy to find and has reduced wasted time and user frustration. Distribution of business reports by sharing them in IBM Connections has not only yielded the... more»
Various plugins are available for Microsoft Windows desktops and this adds tremendously to the user experience. Mac users currently only have File Sync support and no plugins are available for Linux desktop users, leaving these users heavily... more»
It is an excellent platform for teamwork. Its raison d'être is the collaboration between the members of a business network. It also enables work material from diverse devices. Here are some of the valuable features: * Ease of use with an... more»
The tools have made a positive impact on our organization. Here are some examples: * Some meetings no longer need to occur at the different venues of our company. They can use Skype for Business instead. * Many teams have formed groups... more»
I would like to see a little more native documentation in more frequently used languages, such as Spanish. There is very good documentation of the different modules and components, however, all are in English, and the product is widely... more»
Clipboard management could be better. As could the drag-and-drop file upload/download function, the clipboard is shared for everyone. So it’s very possible to copy a block of text and when pasting you end up pasting a completely different... more»
Office 365 is one of my most used applications. I love the way that I can leverage the Cloud capabilities of my Office applications to access from anywhere. I have access from my phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc., and it is always easy. Outlook is nice when I do not have access to laptop or phone (rare), and One Drive is my file collaboration solution. Although I like the functionality of One Drive, it can be frustrating if your IT team goes overboard on security. :) The single-sign-on we utilize at work keeps me signed in to all apps, and the applications load quickly and efficiently. Office 365 plus the 64-bit 2016 versions of the Office desktop applications is a great combination that I could not function without. I use Outlook, One Drive, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Yammer and...
I love this tool. I like the release planning feature and their notifications about upgrades; it makes me feel like an inside partner rather than just a customer. Some valuable features are * SharePoint * Yammer * Microsoft Planner * Office... more»
Yammer and SharePoint’s social collaboration features have transformed our work style and the way we collaborate with the clients. There’s less of emails tracking and more moving the conversations forward, with greater context in terms of... more»
Task management needs to improve. There still doesn’t seem to be a unified view of my tasks that follows me around from SharePoint to Groups to Yammer to Planner. Planner seems the best model in terms of functionality, but tracking my... more»
I think that the main tools, after file management, are Activities, Community and online documentation management with IBM DOC (embedded in the system). There are many other services such as Blog, Wiki, Forum, Survey, Chat and Conference,... more»
All files managed by my team are generated directly in Connections, initially as personal files but shared with each other. Ultimately, files are moved into the community for reference and so shared with all members of the team. All technical... more»
The improvement's are could be more flexibility to manage files and to have a sync file area more intuitive and which respects the characteristics of other similar solutions. That feature should be also only for personal files.
Search functionality and notifications: The search functionality is very well developed and can be easily filtered. All search results take data security into consideration and users will only find data they actually have access to. This... more»
It has improved collaboration between users. The ability to have a definitive location for data to collaborate around. The search and incidental discovery of content (not a function, but a main feature in my mind) are really key, as is the... more»
Connections is a social business platform whose key value is the richness of the environment, all accessed in one place, including: * Email * Files * Communities * Forums * Instant messaging * Activity Stream * Blogs * Bookmarks * To-dos and... more»
The directors of the company no longer use email for communication with each other. Instead, we use the Activity Stream and @mentions to collaborate and interact (plus old-school phone calls and face-to-face meetings).
I would recommend the following areas for improvement: * The UI can always be improved. The UI for Verse is fine but some of the rest of Connections still looks a bit dated. * Admin functions need to be enhanced so that community managers... more»
The integration of all tools delivered by the platform itself is the most valuable feature of this product, in addition to its ability to integrate with already available default infrastructure tools within the company (like central... more»
The administration part of the product could be increased. There are, for instance, lots of statistics available for the platform, but you really have to harvest them, as they are available on so many different parts of the product. It lacks... more»
It provides very potent document sharing with very good integration with the Microsoft desktop and smart phones. It includes a good feature set with Facebook-like features. It provides a very complete feature set if used together with IBM... more»
The product has a pretty flat structure for communities; they are in principle a long list. This gets easily overcrowded and lacks structure/guidance. Tagging is strong, but this may deserve a little bit more. The platform allows to create... more»
Project Manager | Business Consultant | Learning & Development | Managing Partner
Roland Driesen is the founder of Silverside and Connecting Colours and works for both companies hands-on for approximately 120 different organisations throughout EMEA.
With Silverside Roland has more than 18 years of experience in the Enterprise Collaboration market. He has worked as the... more>>
André Horak is an established speaker, consultant and thought leader on Social Business, Social Collaboration and Enterprise Social Networking. He is also an IBM Champion for Social Business - a program which recognises and rewards innovative thought leaders in the IBM community.
André has... more>>
I am an experienced consultant focusing with strengths in IBM Collaboration Solutions. I work for an IBM business partner which allows me to work for varying size customers in different industries.
My work consists of 4th line support and on-site customer consulting engagements which includes... more>>
Corporate Generalist on IBM Lotus Software Products
Christoph is a IT Consultant at Fritz & Macziol GmbH, an IBM Business Partner in Germany and lives in Bavaria.
He has 14 years experience with the IBM Lotus portfolio (mainly IBM Domino, IBM Connections). He started the OpenNTF... more>>
Otto Foerg is a Lotus/IBM collaboration and messaging expert with more than 25 years of professional experience as an architect, administrator, consultant, developer and certified instructor.
In 2000 he extended his professional experience to the web application platform IBM WebSphere... more>>