At Collabsphere in Boston, October 28–30, 2019, those of you who attended the Connections strategy session learned what we have planned through the end of this year and heading into 2020. For those of you who couldn’t join us, here is what we shared about the upcoming Connections 6.5 release. To add, we are excited to give Connections the attention and investment it deserves and make this journey with you.

Just three months after joining HCL, we launched Connections CR6. And with the upcoming launch of Connections Release 6.5 this quarter, our first major release at HCL, our momentum is strong. We’ve been listening to you through the #LetsConnect design thinking jams, the ideas lab, through email, via social channels, and at events, and we’re rolling out new features to drive engagement and adoption. Furthermore, these new features are a direct result of your feedback. HCL Connections 6.5 is our lowest TCO version ever. It includes:

Sidebar: An always-on slide-out dashboard, which gives your users access to Connections from anywhere in your IT environment, a lifeline to your network. Employees spend 2.5 hours every day, searching for the information and expertise needed to do their jobs. Put a different way; if you hired 5 employees, only 4 would be doing actual work. Certainly, Connections Sidebar will help change this.

Touchpoint: A simple, onboarding wizard quickly connecting your new employees to the network and content they need to get started. 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. Connections Touchpoint simplifies new employee onboarding while helping you increase adoption for your Connections deployment.

Activities Plus: Connections now includes Activities Plus by Kudos to give lightweight activity and task management software to every employee. Any user can far easily and automatically organize tasks, teamwork, projects, and timelines directly from within their Connections environment. Above all it’s included for free when you install the Connections 6.5 Component Pack.

Elasticsearch: Connections now standardizes on Elasticsearch, reducing the server and administrator overhead required to maintain multiple search infrastructures.

Connections Customizer Lite: Connections 6.0 introduced the ability to easily personalize your Connections environment without the need to reproduce customizations when upgrading from version to version, furthermore, greatly reducing sunk costs and overall time spent personalizing deployments. Connections 6.5 introduces a Customizer Lite option that will let you deploy Customizer in a high availability environment with much less overhead – Kubernetes, Mongo and Redis are no longer required.

We hope you’ll take advantage of all the new features that will be made available to you in Connections 6.5.

Go to YouTube to see how-to and technical videos, and follow us on Twitter.

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Further Reading
Digital Solutions | July 21, 2020
Deliver Your Projects on Time with Kudos Activities Plus and HCL Connections
There are many reasons you should be planning an upgrade to the latest version of HCL Connections, since it drives greater adoption and creates a more engaged workforce within your organization. One of the key new features in Connections 6.5 is the integration at no charge of Kudos Activities Plus, a rapid, agile project management capability that gives your teams a way to reach their goals faster.   The redesigned Activities features in Connections 6.5 provide an intuitive, user-friendly interface and a lightweight project management tool that helps people align resources, tools, and knowledge to get work done. Assigning tasks and due dates are core to making sure projects get done on time and within budget. Kudos Activities Plus lets Connections customers manage tasks and projects on both mobile and desktop devices.  Any HCL Connections user can now easily and quickly organize tasks, teamwork, projects, and schedules directly from within their Connections environment. This new capability is free when you install the Connections 6.5 Component Pack.    Activities Plus is also fully integrated with Microsoft 365 (Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, Outlook) for users who want to combine the benefits of both Connections and Microsoft 365 — Kudos Activities Plus is accessible from within both environments. This advanced integration enables adding Activities to Microsoft Teams, sharing them via email, and adding files to OneDrive and directly to SharePoint as a Site Page as part of your SharePoint workspace.    Find out more here, and schedule a demo here.  
Digital Solutions | July 1, 2020
How to Create and Keep an Engaged Workforce
Making sure your teams are inspired and engaged in their work can be challenging — and with more teams working remotely around the world, this matters more than ever. A recent Gallup study1 indicated that only a third of employees are truly engaged in their work. Gallup went on to say that organizations with higher engagement levels are not only more productive, they achieve four times higher earnings per share growth. One of the reasons employees become disengaged is because they’re unable to find what they need to do their jobs — or because of a lack of information in general. It’s been estimated that employees can spend up to eight hours a week searching for information they require for their role (this means that 20% of the time, or one full day a week, work isn’t actually getting done!). HCL Connections has communication hubs to deliver relevant information more quickly and efficiently. Communities help connect people to the experts they need to get more work done. Not knowing where a file is, who sent it or how, and which version is the latest one also means that teams can waste crucial hours and weeks trying to find what it is they need just to do their job. The shared document repository that Connections is built on maintains one instance of the file — a single version of the truth. This means that the exact same version of the file is available in both your personal folder and in all the communities it has been shared to. Anyone accessing the file, no matter which community they are in, will always see the latest version. Fundamental to an organization’s success is creating a positive and productive work environment and culture. Employees who interact frequently with their teammates are more likely to share insights, willingly contribute to projects and take...
Digital Solutions | September 10, 2020
HCL Connections v7 Software Preview Now Live
We know you’re anxious to get your hands on the new Connections software release due out later this year. We are excited to share that our hosted Connections v7 preview site is now live. Sign up now and you’ll be able to try out pre-release software for our new tailored experience Community features, integration with Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, and more. You will also have a chance to provide feedback to the development team and get your questions answered. Our new capabilities featured in the Connections v7 preview include: Delivering a tailored Community experience Reusable templates to get teams up and running faster. Improved Community layout options for a more customized experience. Simplified Community creation to save time getting started. Enhanced Microsoft ecosystem support Link Microsoft Teams and your Communities for a more seamless experience. Access SharePoint files/folders without leaving your Connections application. Easily print Connections content or save as a PDF file Don’t miss your opportunity to test drive our new functionality in this software release preview. And remember to provide your feedback to us.  Our customers are an integral part of our product evolution, and your feedback is invaluable to our continued commitment of delivering the best collaborative solution in the market. Register Now for the Connections v7 preview:  https://hclsw.co/cxn-7-pre
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