You may be on an unsupported version (8.0.x, 8.5.x customers, we are looking at you!) or wish to simplify the deployment (get rid of Db2 and WebSphere). To make all this super-simple, here are the top three reasons to upgrade:

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Sametime 8.x is no longer supported. To be on the latest and greatest Sametime version, Sametime v11 should be your new friend. It is HCL-branded, has no more IBM dependencies (no Db2, no WebSphere) and fully supports 64-bit operating systems — both Windows and Linux (including Domino). Sametime v11 is embedded in Notes v11 and comes with a lot of UX modernization, simplified installation of servers and clients, and now supported on Docker.
It also offers persistent chat, with the ability to receive messages immediately and on all clients (desktop, mobile, and browser) concurrently, as well as third-party conferencing integration with products such as Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, and Jitsi. You’ll also get a brand-new web client: Built from scratch on React, the new Sametime web client is modern, lightweight, and fast. Currently, it is designed to work on its own and will include in the soon-to-come thin client. This new web client is consistent with the new HCL product design guidelines, so the UX is simple and uncluttered.

Getting started
Two words: Deploy and migrate.

Deploy: Deploy HCL Sametime v11 as described in the Sametime v11 installation and administration documentation (provided with the product release), re-create environment settings, and any custom policies and configuration for the Sametime Community Server.

Use the Sametime v11 client builds provided with Sametime v11 GA, to upgrade users from Sametime 8.x and any older clients to the new V11 release.

Migrate: Due to the core architecture and design changes in Sametime v11 compared to Sametime 8.x release, it is not possible to perform an in-place upgrade of the Sametime servers. Instead, deploy Sametime v11 separately so that users can continue working in Sametime 8.x while you manage policies and recreate environment settings and product customizations. When the Sametime v11 deployment is ready for production use, you can redirect clients to Sametime v11 and shut down the Sametime 8.x deployment.

For best results, use different computers to host Sametime v11 servers. Deploying separate computers prevents port conflicts, reduces resource requirements on each server, and allows you to maintain the Sametime 8.x servers as backups in case you encounter problems with the Sametime v11 deployment.

Planning your migration
Now it would be an excellent time to look at any updates required for operating systems. Update your hardware if needed, look at the two different directory types (LDAP and Domino) – move to either one if required for your environment (you should consider buddy list management and migration).

We recommend that you follow some best practices for migration. You should build the new system in parallel if you created the new system as part of the same community, block via firewall 1516 to prevent confusion as to which server users are on for testing of new feature set. Point test users to the new system and make sure that vpuserinfo.nsf is replicating, or plan for a copy at a cutover time. Once satisfied that V11 is working for the test users, do a DNS flip so that existing users silently move over to the new system at the next login. If something goes awry – use DNS to flip back.

Contact list migration:  Sametime v8.x and v9.x Contact Lists stored in the vpuserinfo.nsf database which can be replicated or moved to the new Sametime v11 environment thereby ensuring users will not have to rebuild their existing Contact Lists on Sametime v11.

Policy migration:  If desired, you’ll be able to use policy.user.xml files from v8.x and v9.x deployments and copy your current policies to the new v11 environment policy XML file.

Making the switch
When switching over to the Sametime v11 deployment for production, change the Sametime DNS settings to direct users to the new deployment.

The switch from the Sametime 8.x deployment to the Sametime v11 deployment should be done in sequence so that all users are accessing only the preferred deployment at any time. Once you have removed the DNS setting for the Sametime 8.x deployment, you should immediately set it in the Sametime v11 deployment to minimize down-time for users.
In the Sametime v11 deployment, change the DNS setting to the value used by Sametime 8.x so that users will automatically access the new implementation.

Shut down the Sametime 8.x servers; do not recycle the equipment until you are satisfied that the Sametime v11 deployment is functioning correctly.

What’s coming in 2020?
We have exciting things on the roadmap for 2020. One such item is seamless integration with HCL Connections to allow users to invite “guests” outside the organization to participate in the secure collaboration. We are also considering enhanced federation between Sametime communities as well as enhanced integration with Connections, Verse, and more. There’s a brand-new HCL Sametime Meetings offering (including audio-video) planned for mid-2020. We are also looking into community-based chat channels, file sharing and more, via seamless integration with Connections along with ongoing modernization of user experience.

Important resources:

  1. guide to getting started with HCL Sametime 11.
  2. We value your feedback. Please share your ideas in our product Ideas portal.
  3. Visit our support community forum.
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Further Reading
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Digital Solutions | May 1, 2022
Announcing HCL Sametime Premium v12: Secure Video Meetings & Persistent Chat
HCL Software is pleased to announce the general availability of our latest release, HCL Sametime Premium v12
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Digital Solutions | March 16, 2022
 HCL Sametime 11.6 IF2
HCL is pleased to announce the general availability of HCL Sametime 11.6 IF2, our latest interim fix release for Sametime Proxy. It is now available for download on FlexNet, HCL’s License & Delivery Portal.
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Digital Solutions | August 26, 2021
Announcing HCL Sametime Meetings’ support for Chrome WebRTC Unified Plan
HCL is pleased to announce the general availability of HCL Sametime 11.6 IF1, our latest interim fix release for Meetings. It is now available for download on FlexNet, HCL’s License & Delivery Portal.  Why is this IF release important to all Sametime v11.X customers using Meetings? Chrome M93 support and a lot of other critical fixes, including UX enhancements, UI improvements and multiple bug fixes to improve your overall Sametime Meetings and Chat experience. For more details, please check out the full fix list published here. Support for Chrome WebRTC Unified Plan:  Google has completely transitioned Chrome's WebRTC implementation from the Plan B SDP format to the Unified Plan, starting with Chrome M93 version. See Google’s announcement here.  What does this mean for Sametime Premium customers using Meetings? Prior to HCL Sametime 11.6 IF1, Chrome browser support (for Meetings) is based on the Plan B SDP format.   By upgrading Sametime to 11.6 IF1, Meetings now uses the WebRTC Unified Plan SDP format.   For information on how this impacts HCL Sametime 11.5 and 11.6 deployments, please read this article. Therefore, HCL strongly encourages all Sametime v11.X customers and business partners using Meetings to upgrade their Sametime Meeting servers to continue to enjoy a great Video Meetings and Chat experience on the latest Chrome browser. The details of how to upgrade your HCL Sametime environments to our latest release can be found here. Ginni Saini, Sametime Product Manager, HCL Software  Disclaimer – HCL’s statements regarding its plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice at HCL’s sole discretion. Information regarding potential future products is intended to outline our general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision. The information mentioned regarding potential future products is not a commitment, promise, or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality. Information about potential future products may not be incorporated into any contract. The development, release, and timing of any future features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion. Performance is based on measurements and projections using...
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