Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing


I just got off the phone with a very large Sametime customer who is going to upgrade their Sametime servers this weekend.  They jokingly invited us to join them in their data center at midnight, which is when they'll be doing the upgrade.

In their words, they started five years ago with a perception in the company that "IM is a toy," and now have to schedule upgrades not only for the weekend, but at midnight on the weekend, in order to minimize disruption to their business.

It reminds me of a quote from GE's Doug Amsler in their case study: "Instant messaging is as ubiquitous as the dial tone," says Amsler. "People now communicate more frequently through Lotus Sametime than through e-mail. And when the network goes down, people don't care about anything else. All they know is that Lotus Sametime is unavailable."


    Luis Guirigay | Website: | 1/4/2008 1:44:56 PM GMT

    I deployed Sametime for a Bank (not in the US) a few years ago, and they love it so much that sometimes when the branch offices can't connect to the main iSeries (for Banking transactions) they almost make transactions using Sametime.

    I also did a Sametime Cluster upgrade 2 weeks ago, it had to be done during the weekend and after work hours. and I am talking about just Chat servers. The EMS Cluster is next.

    Chris Pepin | Website: | 1/4/2008 7:23:20 PM GMT

    Inside IBM, we also perform upgrades/maintenance at midnight on the weekends to minimize disruption. That said, IBM is a global company with working going on 24x7 and having Sametime unavailable even for a few minutes is viewed as a negative - even if an upgrade is being performed to provide new features/capabilites. I agree with Doug's comments - IM is ubiquitous

    NeilJ Davis | Website: | 1/7/2008 2:19:03 AM GMT

    We also struggle to find a decent upgrade window. Our other infrastructure teams find Sametime invaluable to communicate during the weekend/nightime when they are carrying out their own upgrades and maintenance. With many working remotely from home it would be difficult for them to operate effectively without it. We utilise an IP sprayer so that we can 'remove' a server from the virtual IP at a time to minimise downtime.

    Darren | Website: | 1/7/2008 5:35:45 AM GMT

    I've had a couple of customers say that they can handle e-mail being down for a few hours, but Sametime...? No way.

    I rarely hear people call real-time collaboration 'a toy' any more. I believe most people are realising the benefits.

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