Heitkamp & Thumann Group integrates OnTime GC in IBM Connections
Why does a mid-sized company decide to implement a group calendar like OnTime in addition to IBM Notes? This article describes the introduction of OnTime group calendar into a mid-size IBM Notes infrastructure.
The Heitkamp & Thumann Group (H&T Group) comprises more than twenty medium-sized companies. H&T Group is a leading global partner for the supply of world class precision formed components in both metal and plastic. International experience and exchange of knowledge create a decentralized and customer oriented corporate culture. The idea of innovation has always been at the very center of their corporate philosophy and entrepreneurial activities.
H&T Group implemented IMB Notes in 1997. IBM Notes is a versatile tool that enables effective group work. Group calendaring is indispensable for efficient time planning. Knowing when colleagues are available for appointments is as essential as knowing where they are. A Group calendar has to be up-to-date so that new or edited appointments are synched and can be seen by all users immediately.
The standard IBM Notes group calendar unfortunately did not meet all of H&T’s requirements for efficient planning and availability overview. The top criteria were:
- 100 % support of the Notes standard calendar as source of calendar entries
- control of the confidentiality of calendar entries
- no changes (customizing) of the Notes standard environment
- automatic administration through Domino directory
- multi-language support
- close to real time updating
- minimal server load
When H&T Group moved from managing appointments in the central CRM system to managing them in the standard Notes calendar it soon become obvious that OnTime, IntraVision’s group calendar, would fit these requirements. After a thorough evaluation, users and management were convinced of the functionality of OnTime group calendar. OnTime has been proving itself in the H&T Group for more than 8 years now and has become indispensable.
In 2011 the traditional Notes view based model of presenting group calendar data in OnTime was replaced with an API based model with new graphical interfaces. This has taken the OnTime Group Calendar to a new level. OnTime’s API has expanded the functions, increased the access speed and reduced the amount of data by 99%.
At the time when H&T group implemented IBM Connections, IntraVision had developed OnTime widgets for IBM connections profiles and communities. The OnTime for Connections integration meets H&T’s requirements for transparency, editing, privacy, and confidentiality for group calendaring in full. So all needed qualities are just as available in IBM Connections as in OnTime Notes
The users take it for granted that OnTime offers special filter options in the community too: whom am I following, whom am I linked to, who is available – it complements Notes perfectly. So it is complementing Notes perfectly. The IBM Notes application “events” is a pure list of appointments not linked to the Notes calendar. H&T does not use “events”.
iPhones and iPads caused a special calendaring problem as these lack standard support for private appointments. Currently H&T Group’s users tag subjects of appointments created on the “iDevices” with a special set of characters, to make them appear as private in the group calendar. Recently H&T Group invested in the OnTime Mobile add-on which among other features, allows appointments to be marked as private using a tick mark at the time of creation.
OnTime group calendar is the ideal supplement to IBM Notes and Connections. The personal calendars in Notes are extended to provide a fully flexible group calendar. The calendar is available in Connections without customization or synchronization. Entries can be made and filtered. After the initial configuration, no further administration is necessary for the user management.
„OnTime Group Calendar helps our users to work more efficiently on an everyday basis. From an IT operations perspective it is so resilient that we can almost forget about it in the daily operations.“ Jörg Rafflenbeul, Group Coordinator IT at Heitkamp & Thumann Group.
■ Jörg Rafflenbeul (Heitkamp & Thumann Group)
JHe has been IT Coordinator within the Heitkamp & Thumann Group since May 2001. He is responsible for IT strategy, global standards and security, groupware, support and service concepts. He has been dealing with IBM Notes/Domino since 1995 (Notes 3.1).
IntraVision is IBM Premium Partner in Denmark and developer of the OnTime group calendar. IntraVision focuses on extending IBM Domino Clients and IBM Connections by profound time planning and coordinated scheduling. OnTime products help more than 350 clients each ranging from 100 to 50.000 users worldwide day by day. OnTime has been awarded the Lotus Award for the “Best Messaging and Collaboration Solution“.