ISBG is Now NCUG – A Report From Stockholm

Converse shoes

The very first Nordic Collaboration User Group (NCUG) meeting took place in Stockholm on June 11th and 12th and it was a rousing success. And ISBG is no more.

Now that IBM has sold the entire collaboration portfolio to HCL, we could no longer call ourselves IBM Collaboration User Group (ISBG in Norwegian). And since we now have set ourselves the goal of becoming a user group for the entire Nordic region, it was time for a new name, a new strategy and a new logo.

Changes slowly coming

This was announced by our leader, Hogne, during his opening presentation (yup, that’s his awesome new Converse shoe at the top of the article). And considering we had people from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland in the room, we had a great start! Next year we want to have people from Iceland, Ferry Islands and Aaland as well. And we want to have board members or helpers from all of these countries as well.

We have some quirks to fix, like the new domain name for this blog, translating all pages and menus into English and some legal issues when it comes to changing the name and letting in members from all over the Nordic countries. But everything will be fixed, no worries!

Our Facebook page has finally had the name change approved, though! So now you can follow us there. The same goes for our Twitter account.

News from HCL

Richard JeftsAs for the conference itself, the feedback was great. Both the agenda, location, food and Tuesday dinner with Go-Kart or Bowling and Shuffleboard were very well received. A lot of messages with words of encouragement and thanks have been pouring in for the past week. But it’s we who should be thanking everyone who turned up or supported us in any way!

We will be sharing all the presentations on this page as they come in. But here is a summary of some of the most important stuff:

The headman himself, Richard Jefts, Vice President and General Manager of HCL’s Collaborative Workflow Platform business told us what he could about HCL’s plans for the future of our beloved products. Highlights:

  • IBM’s collaboration products were built by engineers for engineers. Expect a HUGE improvement in the design of the user interface
  • Several companies that had left, or were planning to leave, Notes/Domino reinstated their licences in Q4 of 2018
  • Everything HCL builds will be simple, but secure. Quote: “If it’s safe enough for the military and security agencies, it’s safe enough for your business”
  • Connections 7.0 will be released next year and will receive a complete overhaul and be a, quote: “Massive release”
  • All the collaboration products will be much easier to integrate with each other. As Richard said: – Standalone they are valuable, but it’s together they really thrive
  • IBM Champions will get access to the V11 beta to do testing
  • Domino will be the platform for Sametime and Connections in future releases
  • HCL Masters (HCL’s answer to IBM Champions) will have direct Level 3 support!
  • There will be an app store which will also be inside Connections

Uffe Sørensen then took the podium and talked about Notes and Domino V11. There was not much news that we haven’t heard, but for those not in the know, here are some highlights:

  • The focus on V11 will be on apps, new platforms, new experiences and lower T(otal) C(ost of) O(wnership)
  • Domino directory can be populated with Microsoft ADFS synchronisation
  • They will simplify access using http authentication using the Notes password and get rid of Internet password (confusing for users to have two passwords)
  • Moving to open JVM8 and OpenSSL
  • All languages for V11 will go out at the same time

When it comes to the last point, we found out that the only Nordic language will be Swedish. Read all about it here and give your vote to fix this!


AttendeesThe rest of the days were filled with various customers, IBM partners, IBM Champions and  people from other user groups and a whole bunch of people sharing their knowledge and expertise. You can download the presentations here, and that folder will be updated as the presentations are coming in. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to receive notifications about when we update with more presentations.

Some highlights from the sessions:

  • Jens from OnTime gave us a very interesting walkthrough of the OnTime group calendar, which incidentally also turned into a nice history lesson about the development of the Domino platform. He praised HCL’s openness and the lab advocacy program
  • Keith Brooks had wonderful tips about the setup and administration of both Notes and Domino. Some tips were decades old, and still people in the audience didn’t know about them!
  • Infoware told us what it’s like to be an IBM partner when a lot of customers are moving to Office 365, but still need Domino in their organisation
  • Theo showed his wine app, specially made for touch screen, and he had a surprise: The wine app now can also be run on an iPhone! You can download the app here.
  • Emmar from IBM gave us a great talk on how to get two factor authentication for Notes/Domino and Connection
  • Roberto and Frank van der Linden both gave some excellent demos for development. The former demoed how to install Domino on Docker, so that presentation won’t be available
  • Tim Clark told us about the HCL Masters program, which is HCL’s replacement for IBM Champions. The Masters will be made much more visible in the future, and have their own brand store and badges
  • Adam Garten and Martti Garden told us what they could about IBM Connections. They showed us the new user interface and demoed the email plugin. There will be more virtual jams.
  • Jimmy Eriksson did a great talk about the fact that if you need user adoption, you’ve built your system wrong. I highly recommend this one!
  • Kris de Bischop talked about something a lot of customers experience: Moving to the cloud, but still having to have on premise solutions
  • Wannes Rams showed us IBM Connections Custmoizer for dummies. It’s for modifying the user interface and design of Connections. I was surprised how easy it was to get going on that one
  • And I talked about my company’s amazing solution which keep Norwegian roads safe with Domino.

There were also other sessions, but since we had split sessions I couldn’t attend them. Please check out the slides as they come in.

Go Kart and Raspberry PI’s

Go KartOn Tuesday night we met up for Go Kart or bowling and shuffleboard at O’Learys in Kista Galleria. I’m telling you, there are some seriously dangerous…err… I mean excellent drivers among these geeks! We had great fun. After this, we had dinner, which I think most people liked.

All the speakers were given Raspberry PI’s, which we were told were the coolest speaker gifts ever! We also gave out prizes for the fastest drivers in the Go Kart  competition, to three randomly picked attendees and for the people who had registered before April 1st. We also threw out a lot of Domino cups which IBM wanted to get rid of.

During the breaks and lunch people connected, made deals, exchanged contact information and generally  got to know each other. Among the great feedback was that people felt they had talked to more people at this conference than at conferences with hundreds or thousands of people.

Come Wednesday night the NCUG board members travelled home, very tired, but very happy.

Thank you to all the speakers. To the master of ceremonies, Tony Holder, HCL for their support and help, IBM for all the support, promotion and help, the speakers for giving their time and knowledge and to everyone who attended. Here we all are, aren’t we beautiful?

We are


So, spread the word, bring your colleagues and please join us next year in Copenhagen! It will be awesome!

Check out our photo album from the event, to either relive the memories, or see what you missed (click on the photo to open the album in a new window):

NCUG Spring Seminar 2019

4 thoughts on “ISBG is Now NCUG – A Report From Stockholm”

  1. Awesome! Congrats and all the best for your new path! I know you will continue your great work! See you next time! 🙂


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