Last week, after my webinar on how I use Lotus Notes and MindManager, an IBM executive contacted me to point out that I was still using the Notes workspace and that it was "so last century." (My thoughts on that in another post)
I wrote to this executive and explained why I had found the workspace most productive for my work style. I invited him to show me his Notes setup with the bookmark bar and the new features in Notes 8. He graciously agreed and promptly setup a web meeting on the IBM corporate SameTime server. The plan was that we would both use SameTime to share our desktops and learn from one another. (Isn't that what collaboration and web tools are supposed to help us do?) SameTime 7.5 works great; it's a wonderful tool and I've rarely had any problems with it. Unless you are trying to use IBM's own corporate SameTime server. I use SameTime 7.5 web conferencing frequently, both at ICA and at The David Allen Company.
To make a long and frustrating story short, I logged into the IBM SameTime server, (which I now realize must have been either SameTime 3.1 or possibly a 6.x version), and acknowledged the certificate errors and allow it to install the plugins and VM stuff on my machine - even though I knew I was current on everything because I had just used it with my SameTime 7.5 server earlier.
I was prompted to reboot. Irritating, but OK.
5 minutes later, I log back into the IBM SameTime server to do a test meeting.
SameTime test meeting errors out, Microsoft VM throws errors, and no test meeting. What's worse, is now I can no longer run SameTime meetings against my own SameTime server or David Allen's server - both of which I need for my work.
It's my turn to feel what the user experience is like.
So much for the wonderful seamless elegance that I had come to enjoy with single-click SameTime meetings from my Notes client, SameTime client, or the web. No more demos to clients about how seamless this integration can be.
After experimenting for a few hours, I concluded that my Firefox browser can access my SameTime 7.5 server with no problem, but that my IE7 browser is now toast. (Who should I thank for that? Microsoft or IBM? or the IBM SameTime Team?).
I understand that these are terribly complex systems and that there are many interdependencies. As a technologist, I get that. As as user, trying to get his work done - which is what I am today - this is terribly unproductive. In fact, it's counter productive. The very technology that's supposed to make me more productive has severely impacted my systems and my day. Fortunately, I have a backup computer.
If we, the technical community, want to encourage wide spread adoption of our innovative solutions, we've got to find a way to do so without intruding or destroying the user's work experience.
If you've experienced this and know how to reverse this problem and would like to get in touch with me, I would appreciate it. meanwhile, I'll start searching the IBM knowledgebases. I have a SameTime meeting in 30 minutes and I'd really like to be able to attend from my main computer.
Invitation: Perhaps someone on the IBM SameTime team will take pity on me and contact me.