Social Connections V – Keynote speakers announced!

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The Social Connections organising committee are delighted to be in a position to announce the two (yes, two!) keynote speakers for our next event in Zurich, Switzerland to be held on Friday, 28th June 2013.

Heidi AmblerOpening the event will be the fantastic Heidi Ambler, Director of Social Computing at IBM, presenting her perspective on the latest and greatest news on IBM Connections and the new Connections Content Manager solution.

Heidi is a long-time Loti (joining the organisation in 1991), and has previously been product manager for Smartsuite, Notes, Workplace and Connections.  Now Heidi is responsible for the product management team for IBM’s Social Business products, so has the challenge of managing such talents as Suzanne Livingston, Baan Slavens and Luis Benitez.  We are honoured and delighted that Heidi will be making the trip over from the USA to take part in the event.

Michael SampsonClosing the day will be someone who will have travelled even further to be with us, over 11,000 miles from New Zealand.  Industry analyst and collaboration strategy guru Michael Sampson will be wrapping up the event with a bang, delivering a second keynote on how to take Social Business solutions and ensure they truly add value to individuals and teams in your organisation.

Michael’s passion is helping organisations to make collaboration work, when their employees have to work together effectively while separated by distance and time. Michael advises end-user organizations in New Zealand, Australia, Europe, and the United States on making collaboration work.

And a very special bonus…

Given Michael is travelling so far to be with us, it would be madness not to make the most of his time in Europe.  Therefore we are thrilled to announce our first Social Connections +1 event.

On the day preceding Social Connections V, Thursday 27th June, Michael will be delivering a special workshop for Social Connections attendees.  Entitled ‘Doing Business with IBM Connections‘, Michael will be delivering a full day’s training on how to best use IBM Connections to solve your personal and organisational problems, to deliver enhanced productivity and to get the very best value from the investment you’ve made.  Unlike Social Connections itself, it will be a paid event but we have no doubt that attending the workshop will pay for itself many times over!  We’ll be announcing more details in the couple of weeks, but definitely keep the date free!

Call to action…

If you haven’t registered for Social Connections V yet, go do it now (see button below)  It is shaping up to be the biggest and best Connections user group ever!  We now have 9 amazing sponsors who are funding what will be an incredible day.

We are also looking for additional presentation abstracts for the event.  If you are a seasoned presentation veteran or someone who has never stepped on stage before, we would love to hear from you.  We plan to review the session abstracts on 1st May, so you have just a few weeks to get those sessions in!

Also, look out for more information on hotels and travel very soon…  In the meantime, get registered!!

Social Connections
Although IBM Connections has been in the marketplace since 2007 it is still a relatively new product by IBM/Lotus standards. The larger LUGs (Lotus User Groups – such as UKLUG and ILUG) tend to focus on traditional Lotus technologies – Notes, Domino, a little Sametime and TDI with lots of the newer XPages thrown in the mix. The WUGs (WebSphere User Groups) tend to concentrate on core WebSphere technologies such as the Application Server, Portal and Process Server. In addition, these events can be very technical in nature. Therefore we feel there is a definite space for a Connections user group with a strong focus on social collaboration technology, aimed at both existing and prospective customers and partners, and at individuals with both business and technical perspectives. We meet twice annually, in late Spring/early Summer and again in late Autumn/Fall, and from 2015 onwards we will be splitting the events between the USA and Europe. In addition, through the use of these great social tools, we aim to keep a dynamic and lively online community going all-year round! The events will be social in nature, with a strong desire for real face-to-face networking and knowledge sharing as well as delivery of useful content.