Hide groups synced by Azure AD Connect (O365)

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Hide groups synced by Azure AD Connect (O365)

When you are syncing local Active Directory groups to Microsoft Office365 using Azure AD Connect, you can hide groups from Outlook’s Global Address List (GAL) by setting “Hide group from Exchange address lists”. This is the same as setting the attribute msExchHideFromAddressLists to True.

 

group synced by Azure      group synced by Azure

 

This method works, but it requires that the Exchange schema is added to your Active Directory. Without the Exchange schema, the msExchHideFromAddressLists attribute will not be available.

If you migrated all your mail servers out to O365, you probably prefer an Active Directory without the Exchange schema. If that’s your situation, you are stuck; you either install the Exchange schema, or accept that synced groups can’t be hidden in the GAL.
I recently came across this situation at a customer, but was able to solve this with some “Azure AD Connect trickery”:

  • This customer named its groups according to best practices, allowing me to filter visibility based on the group name. The client wanted its Global-Groups (GG_*) to be synced to O365, but they should not be visible in address lists.
  • The solution was to add an additional transformation-expression to the inbound synchronization rule in Azure AD Connect. This expression sets the msExchHideFromAddressLists attribute, if the name of the group starts with “GG_”.

group synced by Azure

Expression: CBool(Left([cn],3)=”GG_”)

You can use other expressions as well and be as creative as you can. An extensive description of the available functions can be found here.

IBM Brings native Notes/Domino apps to iPad and more in Domino 10

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In October 2017 IBM announced that it initiated a strategic partnership with HCL Technologies for the Lotus portfolio (Notes, Domino, Verse and Sametime). As business partners we were hesitant what to think of this. The promises of this partnership looked good, but as typical Dutch we choose for a wait-and-see approach.

We did not have to wait long. Within two months IBM/HCL held some 25 Jam sessions worldwide and got a lot of feedback from over 2000 customers. A significant request that resonated trough all sessions was to bring modern development tools/frameworks to Domino and to deliver existing Lotus Notes applications to mobile devices / web without any major investments.

This is understandable given the situation most customers face. Lots of companies use Notes applications, of which some where build decade(s) ago. Building apps with Notes as Rapid Application Development (RAD) platform was quick and easy. Thanks to the great backward compatibility of Notes/Domino, these apps are never touched again by a developer and their user interface aged year by year. These Notes applications need a Notes client to run, and for years this client has received lots of aversion from its users (partly due to some decade old company applications).

IBM domino

Currently Lotus Notes is often labeled “legacy” and mail and agenda are simply migrated to some other (cloud) platform. A common company strategy is to leave the Notes applications to be handled “in a later stage”. This leaves the company with their Domino servers and the requirement to keep the Lotus Notes client to the desktops. Nothing changed, only the mail is now in another application.
On one hand, the Domino server provides a web-server trough which Notes applications can be made accessible from a web-browser. On the other hand, most apps will require some major rework because web-browsers do not support the client-side LotusScript / @Formula’s. Often this redesign has not been done, because the Notes client is installed anyway on the desktops. This method only postpones the problem.

Actually it’s a shame that good functioning applications should die-out like this. Some major company-value can reside in these applications and often rebuilding these apps will cost too much.
Besides this, the Domino server is an unrivaled database and application platform. It even was the genesis of ‘modern’ NoSQL databases like CouchDB and MongoDb. It is not surprising that the founder of CouchDB (Damien Katz) actually worked in the IBM Notes/Domino development team on the @Formula language. It’s a small world…

In fact, CouchDB has lots of parallels with Domino. But there is more; Domino works with self-contained single database files, views, documents. Out of the box Domino does: transactional logging, full-text indexing (incl. attachments), attachment-viewer/converter, database-security, database encryption, document-security, field encryption, signing, certificate security, versioning, replication, clustering, Java, JavaScript, LotusScript and @Formula language.

By enabling DAOS on a database, attachments can be stored (normalized, compressed and encrypted) outside the actual database file, completely transparent for the clients/developer saving storage. And besides all of this, Domino can do your e-mail and calendaring as well. You may use a Notes-client, Outlook-client, mobile mail apps (Apple / Android), ActiveSync-clients, pop3, imap, iNotes web-client and a new fresh web-client called “Verse”. So, Domino is an application-sever that does your mail as well (or a mail-server that does applications as well).

After few months after the IBM and HCL partnership was announced, they were able to showcase some fascinating things that we can expect in Domino 10 that is to be released this year. They presented a roadmap tagged #Domino2025 and aimed for a “Wow!” factor.

I will name my favorite three:

1. Run existing Domino apps (nsf) on your mobile
This certainly will appease customers with existing native Lotus Notes apps. On “Engage 2018 in Rotterdam” we could try the ‘Domino for iPad’ app that is able to run native Notes applications without major modifications. It supports client-side code like @Formula and LotusScript, and even will support filtered database-replication. Making the app available on Android is on the plan as well. After that, there are plans to provide this app as a browser app (WebAssembly).

Because the UI (forms) of existing Lotus Notes apps are optimized for desktop users (landscape + mouse) a new ‘design-target’ will be added to the Notes Designer for mobile devices (portrait + touch). With this, developers can copy a complex form, re-arrange fields to make it suitable for portrait /phone use and present it to the phone users. Basically no redesign of code is needed here.

New functions will be provided to give access to the device camera, compass and accelerometer.

2. Domino & Node.js opens up a plethora of web apps (and developers)
The Domino server will get some major modernization. Domino 10 will run Nodes.js. Nodes.js is a server-side JavaScript runtime engine based on Google’s V8 JavaScript engine (used in Chrome). It is lightning fast because the programmer is forced to send off slow i/o operations as asynchronously events that prevent blocking the overall code-flow. Web-browsers will connect to the internal HTTP/2 webserver of Node.js, while the backend traffic from Node.js engine to Domino databases will use the native (fast) NRPC. This allows high data-transfer-rates and clustering /failover.

JavasScript is the core programming language in web-browsers and in the popular Node.js. Any Knowledgeable web-developer will be able to build and maintain modern web applications on a Domino server. This will open up access to a larger community of web-developers and web-applications.

3. Enhance existing functionality
In Domino 10 several enhancements will be provided. To name a few: Databases and full-text indexes will get more self-healing capabilities; Additional tooling will be provided to maintain Domino clusters; Support for NewRelic monitoring will be added; The maximum single-database-size (excl. attachments and indexes) will be increased from 64 GB to 256 GB; LotusScript will get its own web-request function; Elasticsearch will compliment Domino’s own full-text indexing; Support for native Outlook / Apple mail clients; Ability to schedule e-mails; Apply mail-rules to existing mails. Forward multiple e-mails as attachments; etc.
The baseline is, that in a couple of months IBM and HCL certainly did earn my “Wow!”

4 Steps to Change your Company Culture

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 Change a company culture is the most difficult decision for managers and leaders. Indeed, as Tom Peters affirmed:

“It is easier to kill an organization than it is to change it.”

However, nothing is impossible in the business world. For this reason, here there are some tips and tricks that everybody can use as a guideline, in the process of changing company culture and management. Four steps are almost mandatory:

Assess your Company CultureAssess company culture

The best way to start the change, is to understand where your company culture exactly is. This means understanding which specific characteristics shape it, the mission, the values and the vision. In this challenge, online surveys can help to highlight qualities, pitfalls, challenges and allergies. They also offer specific advice for running an implementation project within the organization and tips for the required change management. Don’t you know how to do it? The Company Culture Assessment will definitely help you.

 

Start with Why

start with why

Simon Sinek champions the philosophy of “Starting with Why”. This is a simple yet profound message that motivates leaders and employees to change. There is a strong need to communicate to all employees the reasons for a project and what the consequences of this migration will be for them. And motivation means people want to change, rather than must change. This will drastically reduce employees’ retention towards the change.

Productivity scenarios: Find the right tools

productivity scenarios

Productivity scenarios provide a structured way of exploring the effects of a new company culture. Scenarios paint a picture of a possible near-term future where new tools, combined with better practices, can create more efficient ways of working. Finding the right tools for the change, having as a base the features of the company culture and the behavior of its employees, is one of the most decisive task in the process.

Tiny Habit

Change HabitsA “Tiny Habit” is a simple behaviour or action you do at least once a day, that takes you less than 30 seconds and that requires little effort. Every time you success in doing or embracing the new habit, you must celebrate. The stronger you feel a positive emotion after your Tiny Habit, the faster it will become automatic. Yet, with little actions repeated regularly, we can easily transform our attitude at work. If you are thinking to change a company culture and employees’ behaviour in only one day, we can ensure you this is not going to happen. The process requires time and efforts, but at the end, the result will be successful.  

 

Altogether, these four steps make leaders understand that the change is never immediate, nor simple. Remember, what you need is: awareness, team collaboration, motivation and hard work, it is possible to change the company culture, without neglecting the core values at the base.

 

Be Productive by Choosing Productivity Scenarios

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Most experts agree on benefits that collaboration can bring to business and claim that effective collaboration enhances the work productivity. The combined brainpower of intelligent people can solve complex problems and successfully work on achieving wonderful results.

Without talking too much about the clear benefits of a good collaboration Silverside presents more concrete information and shares the knowledge on productivity scenarios. It provides a structured way of exploring the effects of a new collaboration platform on how teams work. Scenarios paint a picture of a possible near-term future where new tools combined with better practices can create more effective and efficient ways of working. Scenarios specific to an organization are the most impactful—and this process of discovery is something Silverside can help you with—but there are also generic scenarios that apply across most teams at many organizations.

 

Silverside

 

  • Smarter Meetings. Hold better meetings that save time and drive an outcomes-focus, by preparing appropriately for meetings beforehand and spending the actual meeting time on making well-informed decisions. Use new meeting technologies that enable remote participants to join, and shared repositories for distributing meeting materials, documenting decisions, and tracking next actions.
  • Finding Expertise. Make your experience accessible to benefit yourself and others by maintaining an online profile of your expertise, knowledge, projects, education, and interests. Identify other people with common interests, and learn from their experiences. Your up-to-date profile helps other people find you for new projects and assignments that will grow your career and also enhance organization’s productivity.
  • Running a Project. Run effective action-oriented projects to create something new, by pulling together the right team members based on their expertise and knowledge, and using a shared project space for project documents, discussions, decisions, and deadlines. Shared project visibility enables everyone to pull in the same direction.

 

Silverside

 

  • Co-authoring Documents. Create valuable and validated content together with other people, by embracing new generation online document authoring and editing tools. Be productive and stop emailing documents to other people for review and input, and instead work together on a shared collection of documents that alert on changes and enable seamless online/offline synchronisation.
  • Onboarding People. Introduce people to new processes and information they need to be across, both when they initially join your organisation and when they move into new projects, departments, and areas of contribution. Helping people more quickly get up-to-speed enables them to make a better contribution faster.
  • Collaborate as a Team. Create teams with a strong identity, clear objectives, and members with well-defined roles and responsibilities. Hold open discussions, smart meetings, and inspire out-of-the-box thinking. Use a common digital place to store the team’s current work, and keep task lists real and relevant.
  • Smarter Decisions. Make informed and intelligent decisions at the right time, integrating both thinking and feeling into decision-making processes. Be clear on decision criteria, evaluate the options, get input from the right people, and make a strong decision to guide future action.
  • Sharing Information. Create collective intelligence to grow shared knowledge by using open documentation and discussion systems rather than private document collections that hide knowledge from everyone else. Discovering other people with similar interests and shared expertise enables deeper learning.

 

Take the new approach and evaluate the power of collaboration.By choosing right productivity scenarios you can bring your business to the new level. More about collaboration and why it is necessary for our business How to Put Collaboration at the Center of your Business.

How to put Collaboration at the centre of your Business

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In the hyper-modern era where we are living, new technologies and social media are affecting our way of working and living. Now, everyone worldwide, needs to be 24h connected, 100% efficient and productive. The key to survive in this business environment, is collaboration.

Living in a transforming environment

Transforming business environment

The face of work is rapidly changing and it is affecting organizations in many aspects. Firstly, team work has been modified: from an individualistic way of working to a more collaborative one. Secondly, decision-making processes are transforming, due to the more than ever limited time available. Lastly, the legal and regulatory demands are revolutionizing with tightening mandates on data protection and data sovereignty. In response to these multi-faceted changes, organizations should   choose for modern approaches that enable people to connect, communicate and collaborate.

The key is Collaboration

 

collaboration is the key

There are many reasons why this collaborative change in organizations is necessary today. On one hand, current enterprise tools are outdated, while now the need is for fluid tools that enable connection from anywhere. Therefore, the challenge is how to introduce new technological capabilities in enterprise communication. On the other hand, consumer-oriented tools have outpaced enterprise capabilities. With the widespread adoption of new technologies and platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and LinkedIn, consumers have limitless connectivity to communities, ideas, and expertise. As a consequence, the idea of both contribution and consumption media channels is becoming more and more real. Companies and organizations should think about how to manage these changes in the consumer landscape to benefit business. Furthermore, we should take into consideration the huge amount of availability of new technologies. Vendors are releasing a torrent of new technologies. Business leaders should determine which one has the greatest potential for improving their business.

What is needed to reach Collaboration?

 

Collaboration Silverside

 

A successful collaborative strategy requires several conditions, such as:

  • Clear linkage and alignment between the collaboration intent, business vision and strategy.
  • An organizational culture that encourages key collaborative behaviors to drive innovation and performance. On the contrary, employees in a hierarchical organization with strict processes will find it more difficult to collaborate.
  • Leadership that can drive the adoption of new ways of working by setting a good example.
  • Recognition that collaboration is a human activity, and that face-to-face meetings have an important place in the collaboration repertoire.
  • Availability of a collaboration platform and set of tools that support business needs

 

Follow the right methodology

 

Pace methodology Silverside

The PACE methodology can provide a concrete help for organizations that wants to become collaborative businesses. In particular, four phases are essential in this process:

Plan

Start with a consultancy-led engagement to understand your organization and define the opportunity for becoming a collaborative business. By working with key stakeholders, using assessments, interviews, workshops, company-wide surveys and illustrative productivity scenarios, the vision will be defined. Then, with a well-balanced 3-year goal/3-month plan, the road to achieve your vision is set.

Acquire

Acquire the new collaboration resources required to execute the plan: new technology to support collaborative working strategies, a business framework and an adoption strategy to instill change and transformation across your organization.

Change

Inspire, equip and motivate your people to embrace the transformation journey in their sphere of work in the newly emerging collaborative business.

Enhance

Optimize and increase the value of your change for a collaborative company. Address key challenges that threaten the output of the process and ensure ongoing alignment with the business goals.

 

Putting collaboration at the center of your business is crucial nowadays, if you want to be competitive in the market and optimize your efficiency and productivity. In other words, be the leader, by reaching the best results, in the easiest, smartest and most collaborative way.

SKG – The digital workplace with IBM Connections

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A few years ago Stichting Kerkelijk Geldbeheer started using IBM Connections to share knowledge, documents and updates. Improving collaboration between colleagues. However, adoption of the platform was not automatic.

Stichting Kerkelijk Geldbeheer (SKG) provides financial services, in particular to Protestant churches and related organizations in the Netherlands. Operating from their offices in Gouda. The team is busy every day to provide their customers with the best service possible. Until a few years ago, collaboration and knowledge sharing took place almost entirely ‘offline’ or in separate digital documents. “Minutes were worked out on paper”, says IT Manager Dick Veenstra. But even information relevant to the client, such as the current interest rates, were updated manually in Excel files.

Many versions of the same files

This often led to chaos. Especially when, for example, different versions of the interest rates were in circulation. “With a great impact on the services. You definitely want to communicate the correct, current rates to the customers. That should not depend on which letter or version of the document the employees happen to have open at that moment”.

In recent years, the work pressure has increased. In order to guarantee the quality of the service, and to improve collaboration, Veenstra went in search of a digital solution. “At an IBM event, I was introduced to IBM Connections. The platform enables efficient sharing of files and streamlines mutual communication. As far as I am concerned, the right solution for SKG”.

Veenstra immediatly saved the interest rates in IBM Connections, to eliminate the misunderstandings they had experienced previously. Everyone immediately had access to the right, up-to-date rates.

Resistance

Nevertheless, the introduction of IBM Connections within SKG was not an easy task. It was not welcomed with open arms. Veenstra: ”We have always done it that way’ or ‘we communicate face-to-face’ is what I often hear. It’s not so strange: people are naturally reluctant to change. Management was also not immediately enthusiastic”.

Nevertheless, management gradually began to appreciate the value and started using the platform for meetings. “Paper minutes became a thing of the past. During the meeting, they could immediately set out action points in IBM Connections. Working out the minutes later was no longer necessary, and everyone immediately had the right information”.

Workshops

Veenstra called in Silverside to help increase the adoption of IBM Connections for the rest of the team. “During workshops and training sessions Silverside presented the value of using the platform in practise and that opened eyes for many colleagues. The Credit and Payments department in particular, started seeing the added value and started adapting the tools slowly but surely”.

In practice the Credit and Payments department quickly began using the platform. They created a variety of Wikis for describing business processes in IBM Connections. As a result, everyone always had access to the right procedures. Once that happened, the platform spread within the organization. Now SKG uses the digital tool for all kinds of processes, the platform is especially popular for distributing internal updates.

Solid basis

Veenstra is not yet done with his task to deploy IBM Connections more broadly, but the foundation is now established within the whole organization. “At the moment, the platform is used for internal updates as well as recording meetings and storing central overviews. A number of colleagues even uses the platform on a smartphone”.

According to Veenstra, the adoption process is primarily a matter of patience and trust. “People must start to see what the platform offers them. When a number of people become enthusiastic, the rest automatically follow. I am pleased that Silverside gave us a push in the right direction”.

IBM Watson: is it the next step?

At the moment, SKG is busy implementing the platform: SKG Online. After the launch, we will continue to work on ‘collaboration’. Also – partly due to the introduction of IBM Watson – there is interest in the next step: accelerating complex processes. Currently financing takes a lot of time and demands a lot of resources from the organization. However, in the future the deployment of bots may provide a solution.There is a need for the rapid processing of information on permits, laws and regulations drawn up by the government, among others”.

We are very satisfied with IBM Connections. It has allowed us to grow as an organization and to deal more effectively with processing information. ”

Read more about the success story of IBM Connections at Kawasaki Motors Europe.