IBM, affectionately known as Big Blue, is turning their flagship collaboration software platform IBM Connections, Pink! At least as its internal project name.
This is far more than a re-branding or new color scheme for the logo, it is a monumental paradigm shift for an IBM software product. IBM Connections Pink will be a complete code rewrite, in which none of the existing code will be reused. But more than that, it will be built on open source technology, and written with not for customers. Keep in mind that while the foundation will be open source, IBM Connections will still be a proprietary IBM product that requires purchase and maintenance through IBM.
On the Road to Utopia?
IBM Connections has long been an excellent collaboration platform with a plethora of options to satisfy your specific needs and wants.
While the base environment was vendor defined and driven, they did open up some API interfaces to allow for branding, integration and even the ability to add in your own custom features. But you were still tied to IBM's way of doing things including lengthy release cycles.
Connections Pink is going to change this!
Steps on the Journey
Connections 6.0 will be available on March 28th (read the press release here: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/51824.wss), and is the base starting point for Connections Pink. IBM are envisioning by September 2017 simultaneous Cloud and On-Premises updates will be in place paving the way for Connections Pink.
Apart from positioning you to be ready for Connections Pink, Connections 6.0 is a compelling upgrade on it's own, offering several strong new features such as:
- Orient Me – An enhanced cognitive one-stop home page
- Enhanced communities – change the layout and create templates
- New easy user on-boarding experience
Journey to Utopia
Part of the paradigm shift is that Connections Pink will be more about the "how", less about the "what"...more about the journey, less about the destination.
It is being described as cognitive, seamless, open and flexible, and built entirely with open source components. No WebSphere, Java, DB2 etc., but rather things like MongoDB, Docker, Ngnx and Redis just to name a few.
With virtually everything being API enabled, Connections Pink is ready for continuous updates and endless integration with third-party apps. The code remains the same, but you are in control of where your data and components reside - Cloud, On-Premises (which IBM refer to as private cloud), or a mixture (hybrid) - you decide what goes where!
A short list of some key features of Connections Pink as provided by IBM:
- New singular code base offers continuous delivery across deployments – same features and applications regardless of where Connections is deployed – there will be no more versions, CRs, etc.
- Micro-service based architecture and new technology stack provide more flexibility. No more long release cycles or costly side by side upgrades.
- Separate presentation and services layers – making it easy to customize and stay current.
- Expandable - Everything will be an API– enables seamless expansion with partner and third-party apps.
IBM's Key Takeaways
- How – “We are not going to build software for our customers and partners, we are going to build software with them.”
- Omnipresent – “You choose your deployment model and where your data goes. You can integrate in, and out, with other systems.”
- Disruption – “Now is the time to change everything, integrate with today and define tomorrow.”
Connections Pink is going to enable companies to collaborate in ways never before imagined with a flexible and customizable software platform. Use it as a differentiator to set your business apart and become a market leader in your industry!
Need help with getting ready for Connections 6? Let’s Talk!