Faced with a constantly shifting and increasingly competitive collaboration technology market, IBM is completely overhauling its established IBM Connections technology to make it more flexible, scalable, and ready for the next generation of customer needs.
A much-needed revamp for IBM Connections
Last week we heard IBM’s plans for the future of IBM Connections, its enterprise collaboration and social networking platform. The product has been an important part of the company’s portfolio since its launch in 2007. It became the fastest-growing product in IBM’s history, achieving a million deployed seats in just over a year. Today, IBM has tens of millions of users of Connections across tens of thousands of businesses.
However, over the last few years, the cracks have been starting to show; Connections was still based on the same core technology stack it was created on 10 years ago (including IBM Websphere, Java, DB2), making keeping up with the new and more agile competition more challenging. Despite upgrades, the UI has been starting to feel dated and a little clunky. Something needed to change, and change in a big way. And – thankfully – it really has.
Introducing IBM Connections “Pink”
At its IBM Connect event in San Francisco a few weeks back, IBM introduced its vision and strategy for Connections – and the shift that it hopes will help the product not just stay relevant in the enterprise collaboration technology marketplace, but reinvigorate the momentum that Connections had in its first few years, taking an unusually innovative role for a large software company.
What’s interesting, first of all, is that Connections Pink is not the next version of IBM Connections per se. You’ll never see Pink hit the market as a “big bang” product version in the way that has historically been the case for on-premise versions of the product, such as IBM Connections 6.0, which is set to become generally available next week. And that’s not because IBM is ending its support for organisations that want to deploy Connections in an on-premise scenario. The company will continue to support customers deploying on the IBM cloud, on a partner cloud, or on-premise in their own, private cloud, or in a mixture of these, through a hybrid deployment.
A new containerised architecture
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