Monthly Archives: January 2010

So you want to speak at Lotusphere 2011?!

As a first time speaker at Lotusphere 2010 – here’s my insight.

Speaking at Lotusphere 2010 was a great, great experience.  Scary?  Yes! Was it a lot of work? Yes!  Anyone who even remotely thinks that speakers don’t put a lot of effort into preparation, please come talk to me.  The speakers who have been speaking for years in a row with many sessions, who are able to make it seem “easy” — are “repeaters” for several reasons.  They do their homework, they are knowledgeable in their field, and they are good at what they do (speaking included).  My co-speakers: Gabriella Davis, Tom Duff, and Francie Tanner are prime examples.

I was somewhat unprepared for the amount of time I would spend at Lotusphere on session related work rather than attending sessions.   For one, there’s an activity called Tek Check’s – the technical check to make sure your laptop and other AV equipment is working as it should the night before each session.  The AV teams in each room go out of their way to make sure speakers sound good and the presentations come across crystal clear.  Additionally there are rehearsals and final slide reviews.  All good things, but there are just not enough hours in the day! And I am in awe of how some of these folks are able to present, attend sessions, cultivate business relationships, and have fun all at the same time.  They are marathon runners in their own right.

Here are my suggestions for folks who want to speak next year.

·         Start some form of endurance training now.  You’ll be glad you did.  You want to do this anyway.

·         Start networking with existing speakers and stay in touch with other bloggers and peers.

·         Avoid vendor bashing.  Write about unique solutions. Start blogging about your ideas – get the word out.

·         Submit abstracts for local user groups and ask for feedback if your abstracts aren’t accepted.  Look at abstracts from previous Lotusphere’s.  Think about what drew you to a session?  It’s not always about a sexy title, but about content too!

·         Practice, practice, practice your public speaking skills!  This is always good to do, but being on the other side of the aisle at Lotusphere will take the wind of out your sails on the first go round!

·         Remember to have fun!

So, if you decide to submit an abstract(s) for Lotusphere 2011, I wish you the best of luck!  I hope to see you there!

Lotusphere 2010 – This Nerd Girl’s “Revenge” Experience

A gleaming highlight of the Lotusphere 2010 week was sitting on the Nerd Girl’s Revenge panel with the following panelists:

·         Sandy Carter, Vice President, IBM Software Group Channels

·         Akiba Saeedi,  Program Director, Unified Communications and Collaboration, IBM Software Group

·         Mary Beth Raven, IBM Senior Technical Staff Member, Lotus Product Design

·         Eileen Fitzgerald, Vice-President Product Management and Customer Delivery at GSX

·         Kristen Lauria, Vice President, Marketing and Channels, IBM Software Group

·         Moderator: Gabriella Davis, Technical Director, The Turtle Partnership

To sum it up – WOW! What an extraordinary group of women – each bringing a unique perspective to the panel.  I certainly gained a lot listening to the experiences shared amongst the panel and the audience.  There has been some chatter in the community about why such a panel or BOF is even necessary.  Do women really still have issues of equality in the IT industry?  Are women passed over for promotions or treated differently with regards to job performance than men?  Sadly – yes.  And not just in the Americas, but all over the world.  But the panel discussion wasn’t just about equality issues.  The topic of establishing mentoring relationships and the different types of mentors was discussed. The panel also touched on how women might become more effective leaders or managers and ensure that young girls might follow their interests and pursue careers in information technology, engineering or science. [See WITI – Women in Technology International.]  For a transcript see Lotus User Group for Celia Hamilton’s write up of the discussion.

I also attended the BOF Thursday morning.  Again the need for networking and the use of social network tools like Twitter, Facebook, Skype, or LinkedIn to establish informal or formal mentor relationships.  [A LinkedIn group – Nerd Girls – has been created as a follow-up.] Be sure to check out the group, contact me or the panel moderator if you have any suggestions for further discussion topics.

My Lotusphere 2010 Presentation Slides

Here are the pdf’s for my sessions at Lotusphere 2010:

BOOT103 Running with Scissors: Sharpen Your Skills for a Pain-Free IBM Lotus Domino 8.5 Upgrade:  Francie Tanner, Gabriella Davis, Marie Scott
BP103 “Top Chefs” Share Recipes for Avoiding Everyday Server Disasters:  Francie Tanner, Marie Scott
SHOW106 Configuring The Tivoli Directory Integrator for IBM Lotus Domino and Active Directory:  Tom Duff, Marie Scott

SAN – Not just a three letter word!

SANs or storage area networks, were a topic of discussion at this Lotusphere’s Gurupalooza.  See Paul Mooney’s post.

My comments included:

Educate yourself about SANs – you don’t have to be a hardware or a storage geek to learn the basics.  When you go into the next hardware meeting your eyes won’t glaze over when the SAN administrators start talking about controllers, and LUNs, etc., etc. 

Find out what Domino needs to run best on a SAN.  Here’s one IBM Technote 7002613.  The Storage Network Industry Association is a good source or contact your SAN vendor for advice.

Start keeping track of I/O statistics.  If you suspect that I/O is causing an issue with Dominoperformance begin recording statistics.  SAN architecture changes require planning, and can be expensive. Do your homework; have your statistics ready in order to justify your request.

You can run Domino on a SAN.  In our environment, we currently run everything, but the Notes data directory on our SAN.  This includes archive transaction logs.  So with careful planning and monitoring you can do this!

Reliability or CRASH_SENDTOIBM=1

Some final thoughts about Lotusphere 2010.  I am excited about Project Vulcan and the offerings for LotusLive.  The LotusKnows campaign was everywhere at Lotusphere and definitely seems to be making traction for the brand.  It was quite apparent that efforts are being made to stay competitive. 

However, I, as a customer, did not come away with the warm fuzzies.   In other words,  I did not hear much if anything said about improvement with regards to product quality assurance testing, and product reliability either in the 8.5.x code stream or in relation to Project Vulcan or Notes/Domino X. 

Granted, reliability is assumed.   But I can recall Lotusphere’s in the past where it was stated on stage — that an effort would be made to reduce the number of PMRs and that before code went out the door, it would be thoroughly tested.  Lip service?  Maybe.  But shouldn’t this be something we hear every year.

While I returned to the office this week energized by Lotusphere, I was also frustrated by having to face several back to back server crashes.  We as administrators act as the front line for IBM/Lotus to our users and more importantly to our senior staff.  Senior managers who for the most part don’t understand that servers can occasionally fail.  They just don’t want them to crash ever! 

So as I understand that it is next to impossible to eliminate failures entirely, can it not be a goal to reduce crashes to some extent.  Or perhaps we as customers need to send every crash up to support so that they understand the extent that servers do hang or fail?   Would IBM Support’s servers handle all the NSDs that are generated on a daily basis if we all added CRASH_SEND_TOIBM=1 to our servers?  Probably not! 

As a suggestion, perhaps more customers can be involved in the managed beta programs or as active partners in quality assurance programs as a means of reducing license fees.  We all have a lot to gain by actively providing feedback through such mechanisms.  Just a thought.

What do you hope to get out of Lotusphere 2010?

So you’re going to Lotusphere. You may have had to beg, borrow or pay the devil to get there this year due to the economy.  Maybe you’re a speaker, a vendor, an IBMer, a return Lotusphere attendee.  Whatever your role, you’re going back to the sunny spot in Florida for what has become in many ways a big family reunion.

What are you hoping to see and hear?  Is there any session you are hoping to attend? What’s your favorite party?  Where’s your favorite hangout when you’ve hit that period of the day when you’ve brain is fried and all you want to do is unplug and have a cold beverage with some new friends?

For me, this will be an entirely new Lotusphere experience, despite the fact that this will be my 12th Lotusphere.  I’m going to be a speaker for the first time (may the speaker gods be at my side) and I’m going to be meeting in person many of the folks I’ve come to count as friends via Twitter and Skype over the past year.  I’m sure there are not going to be enough hours in the day.  I’m also proud to have been invited to participate in the Nerd Girl discussion panel.  So it’s a year of firsts in so many ways.

And then there’s Lotusphere Spotto!  I’m not sure what to say about all that, but if you do find me, please introduce yourself.  I’ll be sure to chat you up about our upcoming Sametime user’s guide that will be published later this year.  And I may have some really cool buttons to give away!

So remember to pack your walking shoes, your various gadget chargers, and be prepared for a great week! See you there!

Bring your “BOOTS” to Lotusphere 2010!!

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope that you’re going to to be attending Lotusphere in a few weeks! 

In July 2009, I posted an article titled:  “These Boots are made for…Admin Boot Camp.”  It suggested a track targeting administators at Lotusphere 2010.  Well, as it turns out, people really do read this stuff, including Kristin Keene (Lotusphere Goddess) and Bob Balaban.   They approached several individuals about including their sessions to be featured in a new program at Lotusphere this year – ADMIN BOOT CAMP!!! 

So if you’re your new to administration, want to brush up on your skills, or think you’d like to try on a few pairs of ‘boots,’ come on down.  I’ve included a list (hopefully it includes most of the admin targeted sessions). 

BOOT101 IBM Lotus Domino 8.5 Administration 


BOOT102 The A-Z of Domino Security 


BOOT103 Running with Scissors: Sharpen Your Skills for a Pain-free IBM Lotus Domino 8.5 Upgrade 



BOOT104 IBM Lotus Sametime 8.5 Deployment Workshop 


SHOW102 Using IBM Lotus Domino 8.5 Policies to Manage Your Clients 


SHOW101 Step by Step: Install, Manage and configure DAOS and ID Vault 


SHOW106 Configuring the Tivoli Directory Integrator for IBM Lotus Domino and Active Directory 


SHOW201 Installation and Setup of IBM Lotus Sametime 8.5: From “Zero to Hero” in Just Two Hours 


SHOW103 Roaming in IBM Lotus Domino 8.5: Configure the Best Choice for You 


SHOW104Install, Configure and Deploy Lotus Traveler for Smartphones and Apple iPhone 


ID204 Getting the Most from IBM Lotus Domino Security 


ID102 Enterprise IBM Lotus Notes Client Deployments 


ID307 Deployment and Performance Considerations for IBM Lotus Quickr Domino Services 


ID615 Best Practices for Upgrading to IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5x 


BP108 Worst Practices 4.0: “Orlando, We Have a Problem” 


BP101 Admin for the Developer – Build and Secure Your Own IBM Lotus Domino Server Playground in One Hour! 


BP102 Adminblast 2010: Over 60 Tips in 60 Minutes! 


BP106 The Top 11 Tips for Keeping Your Servers Healthy 


BP204 “CSI Domino” – Diagnostic Collection and Analysis 


BP107 Real World Examples: Upgrading to IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5 


BP115 Performing Your Own IBM Lotus Domino Security Review