Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Clarity - Roadmap Update

I've received several well-meaning and helpful comments of late that make me think it's time for another update on timing and availability along the near-term Sametime roadmap.  And since many of you are probably fairly new to reading this blog (or at least Google Analytics seems to think so), this may be the first time you are seeing this.

I do have one comment to get out of the way up front, though.  At least for right now, there will always be more information that you probably want to hear than I can share.  For example, I would love to be able to give you a definitive date for when the Real-Time Collaboration Gateway will be available, but I can't share that right now.  And it doesn't seem to be IBM practice to share tentative dates, either (as much as I understand how that would be helpful, especially for Business Partners.  And I'm trying to see what we can do about that).  

So, having said that, here's what I can share (and if my friends on IBM's legal team were looking over my shoulder, they'd want me to remind you that all of this is subject to change, not a promise, etc. etc. etc.):

  • Real-Time Collaboration Gateway:  We are looking to ship the Real-Time Collaboration Gateway early this quarter.  I know there are a lot of people looking for this and the public IM connectivity it will bring with it.  We want to get it to you.  It will be here soon.  Really.
  • MSN Interoperability:  I actually don't have anything new to share on this, but am sure I'd get at least a few comments asking about it, so thought it best to say so right up front.
  • Mac Client:  Look for it 1Q 2007
  • Microsoft Office/Outlook Integration:  Look for it 1Q 2007
  • Linux Server:  Look for it 1H 2007
  • Instant Messaging Limited Use:  For those not familiar with it, this is the package of Sametime that provides the IM entitlement for Lotus Notes/Domino users.  At this time we do not have plans to repackage Notes/Domino to include a Sametime 7.5 server instead of a Sametime 7.0 server for this entitlement.  The primary reason for this is that the vast majority of server enhancements with Sametime 7.5 have to do with elements that Notes/Domino users aren't entitled to (e.g., Web Conferencing, Sametime 7.5 client policies).  Note that I said "we don't have plans to" do this, not that we never would.  If you think we're being shortsighted here, please leave a comment or drop me a note - feedback is always welcome.  (And an update to this FAQ should be posted soon so that this is reflected somewhere other than just here in the blogosphere.)
  • Sametime 7.5 enhancements for WebSphere Portal customers: While a Sametime 7.5 server can be used with WebSphere Portal 6.0, the Sametime 7.5 release did not include any enhancements in the embedded IM experience or in the browser IM client.  This is an area we are actively looking into, though, and I'll provide more on this when we have updates to share.
  • Social Networking capabilities  You can certainly expect to hear more from us on this in the coming months, but I don't have specifics I can share right now on when to expect these capabilities in market, or how they will be packaged and made available.  As above, stay tuned.

So, like I said at the top, hopefully this will be helpful in setting expectations for when new features and capabilities will be available, even if in a perfect world you would have hoped to have seen even more details from me.  And if there is anything that I'm missing or you want more details on, ask away, and I'll respond to the best of my abilities to do so.


    Chris Whisonant | Website: | 10/5/2006 3:11:35 PM GMT

    Any news on porting the attachment conversion service to run native so that a Windows box isn't needed? :)

    Thanks for the info - looking forward to the RTG.

    Greg Walrath | Website: | 10/5/2006 5:29:19 PM GMT

    On that Linux server - will that be Linux x86 only, or Linux on zSeries as well?

    John Head | Website: | 10/5/2006 6:31:42 PM GMT

    Adam, how about some comments on the plugin catalog, the ibm plugins that you guys have been showing off, and the stuff like skilltap and the other ICT type tools. Info on those would be great.

    Charles Robinson | Website: | 10/5/2006 10:03:05 PM GMT

    Thanks for consolidating all this, Adam. Regarding the LU server, if there aren't any additional features that would be delivered what's the point in upgrading the server code? The following are listed as instant messaging chat ehancements for Sametime 7.5:

    # Real-time spell check of messages as they are being typed

    # Time stamps

    # Rich fonts (select font size, color)

    # Screen capture that can be embedded in an IM message

    # Chat history automatically saved on user's PC (optional)

    # Privacy enhancements and additional do not disturb settings

    # Emoticons

    # Display of contact information and user photos

    # Automatic status change when a user enters a Web conference

    I know chat history saves in the mail file already, and timestamps were added in Notes 7.0. Thanks a bunch for those. :) The big ones I keep getting asked about are sharing screen captures, richtext, spellchecking, and emoticons (sigh... users). I wish I could get management to invest in the enterprise edition of Sametime (and hire someone else to implement, deploy, support and train on it).

    Adam Gartenberg | Website: | 10/5/2006 10:54:31 PM GMT

    @1 - Non-windows attachment conversion is something we're looking at for the 1Q update, but the plan isn't finalized to the stage where I can commit to it just yet.

    @2 - I'm getting confirmation on the Linux server environments right now - will post an update when I have it.

    @3 - I knew there was something else I had wanted to include. Here is a link to the plugin catalog: { Link } As you can see, we are still working to get the plugins from partners finalized and validated, and this list will certainly be growing. SkillTap and the other similar tools are what I was refering to above under the "Social Networking" category - we'll have more to share on those (and other IBM-developed plugins) shortly.

    @4 - You'll see many of the features you listed with the Hannover release of Lotus Notes. (And if you would like some help talking to your management about the value of a full license of Sametime, just let us know :)

    Stu Downes | Website: | 10/6/2006 1:11:59 AM GMT

    Thanks for this update Adam.

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