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
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Digital Solutions | March 30, 2021
Why Connections Communities Are Critical for Project Teams Success
Project teams are a critical component of getting work done, and their productivity is key for success. Since collaboration and communication are so important, how do you know if your current toolset tools support your needs? Eliminate roadblocks One of the biggest roadblocks to close collaboration is the lack of a fundamental framework that makes collaboration easier. In other words, collaboration is not just a personal skill, it’s a result of structure and tools that support content sharing, ideation, and interaction between team members. If you add virtual project teams into the mix, the challenges of effective collaboration are even more pronounced.  HCL Connections solves this dilemma by enabling organizational teams and project teams to create “Communities” to support a collaborative work experience. So, what is a Connections Community? It’s a flexible, digital workspace where people come together to communicate, collaborate, share information and expertise, and solve problems. Communities enable information flow and sharing across the entire collaborative ecosystem. Make success repeatable Connections Communities make collaboration an integral part of the work experience by organizing your productivity tools, apps, content and tasks all in one place. Virtually everything you need, focused on a particular project or important activity, is at your fingertips. Whether you need to view the status of assigned tasks or edit a shared document, your Connections Community provides the tools to get the job done efficiently. Connections also includes a setup wizard to simplify the creation of new Communities. Use our built-in, professionally designed templates or reuse proven and engaging templates built upon your own best practices. Creating a new community and getting a new project team up-and-running has never been faster or easier. Be more productive One of the biggest productivity losses for project teams is searching for information. Information is typically disconnected from projects and tasks, and therefore hard to find. Studies consistently demonstrate that employees spend needless hours...
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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.  
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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...
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