Wednesday, December 12, 2018

CollabSphere 2019 - Boston MA July/August 2019

I am please to announce that CollabSphere 2019 will be in Boston, MA.  We are still working on finalizing which hotel.  The dates will be either the last week of July or first week of August 2019. We were down to Nashville and Boston, but there were no hotels in Nashville available to even consider. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Sign up for the CollabSphere 2018 Workshops

Our two CollabSphere 2018 Platinum Sponsors, panagenda and Red Pill Now will have free workshops on Monday July 23, 2018 from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM.  Take this opportunity to learn, engage and contribute.  There is still time to sign up for these two wonderful workshops.


Plotting a path forward for your IBM Collaboration landscape can be challenging!

Join us to learn how the brand new version of ApplicationInsights, DataMiner and other panagenda solutions can provide a cohesive way to get start your collaboration landscape transformation!

Find out how your very own data gets turned into easy-to-understand dashboards that show current application usage, business value and transformation roadblocks so you can decide on what should be archived, migrated, rewritten or modernized.

Learn about our new OfficeExpert solution and what you need to do to get ready for Notes 10!

Red Pill Now

Red Pill Now Take 5 Modernization Workshop

Interested in modernizing your Notes applications but fresh out of silver bullets and magic buttons? If so, join us for an action-packed fun-filled workshop in which we will explore together some of the key ideas and processes needed for a successful modernization project at your company. We will be making use of Design Thinking throughout the workshop, starting with a conversation about the importance of establishing a modernization strategy. We will then look at how tools such as Application insights and TeamWorkr Analytics can be used to build a distinct strategy for each application. Next we look at options for reducing the cost of the modernization using tools such as aveedo, PickAform, Red Pill DIG, Sapho, SWING Seascape, TeamWorkr, and Webinizer. The workshop will conclude with an important discussion about the things every company should already be doing to prepare for a modernization project before we give away a number of great prizes to attendees.

Monday, June 25, 2018

MWLUG/CollabSphere 2018 Agenda is Now Online

We are pleased to announce the agenda for MWLUG/CollabSphere 2018 is now online. It is going to be one of the best conferences we will ever had. All great sessions from our entire community including IBM Customers, IBM Business Partners, and IBMers not just from ICS but from many other parts of IBM. This is collaboration at its finest.

MWLUG/CollabSphere 2018 consist of:
  • 54 Business and Technical Sessions
  • 7 Roundtables
  • 6 Chat Sessions
  • 3 Workshops
  • Opening General Session
  • Opening General Session - Domino
  • Closing General Session

So get registered,

Monday, June 18, 2018

Security and Compliance is NOT an Option! - MWLUG/CollabSphere 2018

Time and time again developers create cool applications that users love.  Whether it is a web or mobile application their primary focus is on the UI and user interaction.  From the design and user-ability perspective that it is important.  However, majority of these applications are designed and built  without the consideration of data security or whether it compiles to government compliance and regulations.  Including security and following government dictated regulations seems to be an after thought. 

Data security and compliance should not be an after thought, but part of your core design.  So as part of MWLUG/CollabSphere 2018, we have an entire track focused to Security and Compliance.  

We hope to see everyone there at CollabSphere 2018 at the Sheraton Hotel in Ann Arbor, MI from July 23 to 25, 2018. To register go to

Here is a list of Security and Compliance sessions at MWLUG/CollabSphere 2018

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Node.js Comes to MWLUG/CollabSphere 2018

As I said in my previous blog, Node.js with Domino v10 brings significant opportunities to the ICS community whether you are an IBMers, IBM Customer, IBM Business Partner, ISV, developer or administrators.

I have talked to a number of individuals and they feel there is a lot of potential for them.  IBM will be releasing two different betas.  The second beta will include the Node.js integration with Domino.  I wished it was included in the first beta. I would have love to test the Node integration earlier.  We have been waiting for the Node integration to extend the power of our iPhora platform.

In preparation for the up and coming Node/Domino launch, we are providing an entire series of Node/Domino sessions and discussions at MWLUG/CollabSphere 2018 starting from the basics to the more advanced use of Node in Node-Red along with JavaScript sessions which will be critical for the development of applications with Node.js.

We hope to see everyone there at CollabSphere 2018 at the Sheraton Hotel in Ann Arbor, MI from July 23 to 25, 2018. To register go to

Here is a list of Node and JavaScript sessions with Domino at MWLUG/CollabSphere 2018

Monday, June 11, 2018

Announcing the CollabSphere 2018 Sessions

I am please to announce the CollabSphere 2018 sessions are now available on the CollaSphere web site at  We have great speakers coming from all over the world including close to two dozen IBM Champions. With the renew focus on the Domino 10 family of products plus IBM Watson Workspace and IBM Connections, CollabSphere 2018 will be celebrating our tenth anniversary with one of the best lineup of sessions we have ever had.

  • 53 Business and Technical Sessions
  • 8 Roundtables
  • 6 Chat Sessions
  • 3 Workshops
  • Opening General Session
  • Opening General Session - Domino
  • Closing General Session

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Do You Node Why it Matters? - The Importance of Domino 10 and Node

With IBM Domino v10 coming this fall, it brings one critical new feature to Domino, the integration of Node with Domino. IBM Domino v10 brings the most popular application development environment to the most secure application platform. Some are asking why does this matter.

There are literally 10 tens of thousands of applications and NPM modules that have been developed  from of all sources, some professional and well trained developers and some home grown self taught developers. How many of these modules have been vetted by security experts is an important question to ask. What IBM Domino brings to the table is 30 years of security design and approaches. This is why it is important that IBM with HCL has carefully chosen the right modules to use.  Yes, they were behind on the TLS implementations, but the basic Domino architecture has capabilities still to this day have never been surpassed by others.

DominoDB (as some now call it) with Node now brings Domino to a level where you can compare it with MongoDB and Cloudant. Yes, these other NoSQL platforms are extremely fast but this is achieved at a price of no security. You have to create your own security framework or rely on a third party solution. For new developers that don't have the appropriate experience the lack of data security vastly increases the chances of a data breach. Meanwhile, DominoDB comes with built-in security automatically.

So why is Node important to you if your company is running IBM Domino,  a Domino/XPages developer, a Domino administrator or a Notes/Domino ISV?

Organizations with IBM Domino
For companies running Domino applications or using Domino for mail, the integration of Node is critical. Regardless of whether you are thinking about switching to .NET or other platform or creating more applications with Domino, Node is the great normalizer.  Node provides a common application interface to integrate and surface data from all sources regardless of the platform.  Currently, most application platforms have integration to Node.  There is no need to migrate your data or create complex integrations.  Node allows your organization to have the most appropriate platform for the task and bring everything together.  Incorporating 2 factor authentication into your Domino application now becomes possible with Node without a major effort.  Integrating text messaging into your application or utilizing cloud services into your application can now be easily done. Most third party services already provide Node ready APIs. No longer can they said that Domino is an old platform that they can not find developers for.

IBM Domino/XPages Developers
Domino developers who plan to continue using XPages and Java, the integration of Node brings another tool that you can utilize to extend your application. By creating REST APIs using Node there are a vast library of available modules for your application.  If you are still using traditional Domino Web applications or Notes Applications, the new extended LotusScript capabilities with network connectivity and JSON parsing will allow you to access the vase library of NPM modules or connect to other services via their Node accessible APIs.  For Domino developers who are consultants, Node is an new opportunity to expand your skill set and portfolio while still utilizing your existing Domino skills. It also provides to your customers a modern and secure application platform to build their applications.

IBM Domino Administrators
As a Domino administrator, Node with Domino bring new opportunity for you to learn new skills and include them as part of your portfolio which you not only can use with Domino but other platforms.  Domino v10 incorporates the follow technologies and more:
  • Nginx
  • Loopback
  • Node
  • Docker
IBM Notes/Domino ISVs
For Domino ISVs that provide tools to IBM Domino customers, the addition of Node creates new opportunity for products and services to track, manage and monitor processes and activities that Node brings.  Imagine new tools to manage not just the normal Domino data but now JSON data stored in a Domino document.  New discovery tools or data management tools that work on JSON data will be needed.  Even if you are not using Node with Domino the new LotusScript JSON extensions will transform Domino is a JSON NoSQL platform.

Phora Group's Perspective
One of our biggest concerns with Node and databases like MongoDB has been the lack of built-in data security and any fidelity regarding document ACLs.  Author and readers fields, well they do not exist. With Domino v10, IBM and HCL has spent the time to scale Domino to new levels while providing the same security that we have known and expect from Domino.

For Phora Group, the built-in data security of Domino provides us a basic building block to create additional levels of security to meet the requirements dictated by iPhora.  This security building block has now been extend to Node for us to take advantage of.

When we were building ReCor our training company in the mid-90s, the development team consisted of many students whom we later hired full-time or they became very successful in their fields. They worked at that time on a new technology called Java and created our learning management system (LMS) called SkillSpace.  The projects allowed them to learn how to build enterprise level solutions while we received the benefit of a lower cost labor force.

When IBM moved Domino Web development to XPages, there was not much desire by university students to learn XPages. However, with the integration of Node with Domino, we see another opportunity to work with college students interested in data security, IoT and Node development.  We are in discussions with a local university here in the Chicagoland area to help further develop the iPhora platform.  Teams of 2 to 3 students will be building different components using the framework and design patterns that we have created over the past few years. But rather than using LotusScript and unusual web design tools of Domino, they will be using Node and the Node ecosystem.  This will provide students real world experience while for us the benefit of a lower cost labor force.

So as an ISV that utilizes the Domino platform, Domino v10 brings new opportunities and great potential. We are excited about Node with Domino and so should you.

Friday, April 6, 2018

CollabSphere-Chicago (GRANITE) - Spring 2018 Meeting Agenda, April 25th, 2018

We are happy to announce that we are having a Spring 2018 GRANITE meeting.  We have renamed GRANITE to become CollabSphere-Chicago.  Our Spring 2018 meeting is packed with sessions.  We are fortunate enough to have a number of great speakers from IBM, IBM Customer, and IBM Partners.

If you are interested in attending this meeting either in person or remotely, you will need to register for the meeting. There is no cost to attend.

CollabSphere-Chicago (GRANITE) - Spring 2018 Meeting Agenda

IBM Technical Exploration Center
(Hyatt Center, West Loop)
71 S. Wacker Dr. 6th floor
Chicago, IL 60606

If you are attending in person, you must have your ID and have registered to enter the building and attend the meeting.  Remote attendees will receive a link to the video conference after it is made available.

08:30 - 09:00 AM 
Continental breakfast provided by GRANITE - ONSITE ONLY WE DO NOT DELIVER

09:00 AM -10:30 AM
Presentation: Domino V10 - #domino2025, Notes on iPad
Presented By: Andrew Manby and Luis Guirigary, IBM

10:30 AM - 10:45 AM

10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Presentation: Customer Experience - Domino on Docker
Presented By: Slobodan Lohja, Canal Barge

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Presentation: Watson Workspace Plus,
Presented By: Darren Cacy, IBM

01:30 PM -02:30 PM
Presentation: Introduction to TypeScript for Domino Developers,
Presented By: Richard Moy , Phora Group

02:30 PM -02:45 PM
Collabsphere/MWLUG Update

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

IBM Think and Beyond and More

I originally did not plan to go to IBM Think 2018. However, at the last minute I decided to go and I am glad that I went. Though my heart is in the ICS collaboration space, I spent the majority of my time attending sessions related to IoT, GDPR, Watson, and security. This is our focus with our IBM Domino-based iPhora platform. I attended all the Domino sessions of course.

I am excited and energized by the renew focus on Domino with the IBM/HCL partnership and all the new capabilities that Domino has always had. It is the best application platform around. Regardless of what other vendors say, there is nothing like it. With the new capabilities coming with Domino v10 and beyond, my head in spinning with numerous product ideas some of which are coming out sooner than you Think.

The User Community Day was great. It allowed me to not only see everyone in the ICS community, but also other non-ICS champions and users. I had a chance to talk to others that I would probably not have done if it was not for this User Community Day. Hats off to the entire IBM Community team.

The community generated I AM viral campaign is great and we need more of that.

My favor image from IBM Think

My contribution to the community generated I AM campaign.

IBM has indicated that they have a renew commitment in the marketing of IBM Domino. Andrew Manby of IBM is hosting Ask Andrew and Destination Domino: Our Journey Continues. . More information about Domino v10 and the future will be coming from IBM/HCL as the year progress.

For me, the next stop is Engage 2018 which is being hosted on SS Rotterdam from May 22 -23. Hopefully, I will be selected to speak at Engage 2018. Regardless, I will be attending Engage 2018. So sign up for Engage 2018 and submit your abstract.

And of course there is CollabSphere 2018 formerly know are MWLUG, July 23-25, 2018 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Not only have we changed the name but expected some new and exciting things to come.  Registration and abstract submission for CollabSphere 2018 starts April 2, 2018. So see everyone in Ann Arbor Michigan.  Our theme for CollabSphere 2018, X and Beyond.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Domino in Action - Domino V10 - iPhora Touch

With the announcement of IBM Domino V10 and all of its new capabilities and power, we at Phora Group are excited about all the new possibilities that its has to offer for our iPhora family of products. At IBM Think, all the IBM Domino session have been packed.  On the show floor Think Tank session there was over 400 attendee just in one session.

Even without all the new features of IBM Domino V10, we have one of the most powerful application platform on the market.  So here is a quick video of what we have created with IBM Domino for the past 5 years.  Secure collaboration sharing platform and business process management.

So only your imagination limits you with what you can do with IBM Domino.

Friday, February 23, 2018

What is Collaboration and Why I AM Attending IBM Think

As members of the IBM Collaboration Solutions community, we tend to focus on the IBM solutions like Domino and Connections portfolios.  Many of us have been working and supporting Domino applications and mail, workflows, IBM Connections and etc.

However, collaboration is more than just mail, chat, workflow, and sharing information.  Collaboration is everything that connects us.  This includes not only people but devices and processes.  Anything that touch us directly and indirectly.

Originally, I was not planning to attend IBM Think this year, but as we have been moving forward with our iPhora technology during the past year it made sense since we are going beyond human collaboration.

I will be attending numerous ICS sessions especially on Domino, but I will be also attending many sessions outside of what we as a community call collaboration including IoT, security, compliance and more.  If you have not registered, and would like to get a discount ping me.

PS: Real reason (Beer and everyone in ICS community)

See everyone at IBM Think

and don't forget

X and Beyond

CollabSphere 2018, July 23-25th, 2018, Sheraton Hotel - Ann Arbor, Michigan

Monday, February 5, 2018

CollabSphere 2018

CollabSphere 2018

X and Beyond

July 23-25, 2018
Sheraton Hotel - Ann Arbor

See you there