Changes to the Social Connections organisation

Over the past year, the team behind Social Connections have been working hard to put the organisation onto a firm footing for the future.

As a thriving user group that had delivered 7 successful events between 2011-2014, and a growing leadership team featuring a number of IBM Champions from around the community, it was felt that it was time to cement the great work that had been done to get this far, and to build an organisation that would support and withstand the efforts of organising regular events across the world.

As part of this effort, I’ve been delighted to work with Wannes and Simon in particular, to transition the ownership of the events from my own company, Social 365, to a brand new entity (registered as a company in the UK).  This company is solely responsible for planning and delivering the Social Connections events, and has been set up from day one with the right frameworks to enable it to manage the demands of worldwide events, including the complexities of tax and VAT across national boundaries, a team based in more than half a dozen countries, and that is capable of working with sponsors that range in size from independent ISVs to multinational corporations!

Back in November, we delivered Social Connections 9 in Stuttgart – the biggest and (from your feedback) the best event so far.  This event was run by Soccnx Limited, and with the vast majority of the planning work done by others on the Social Connections team.  Whilst I was incredibly happy to attend and to speak at the event, the plaudits for that event should go to the rest of the team – they did an incredible job!

So it is with this in mind, that I was ready to step away from the Social Connections effort at the end of 2015, and leave it in the very capable (and indeed, talented) hands of Wannes and Simon, and their brilliant team (Christoph, Doug, Femke, Jan, Lars, Maria and Martin).

I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved with Social Connections, and can’t wait to see and hear from the team as they plan for the events in 2016 and beyond.

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.
Social Connections
- 7 months ago