"TeamRoom is used by virtually all of the 300,000+ IBM employees worldwide."
Once upon a time, a couple of us helped IBM with something called TeamRoom. 60,000 teams later, IBM still seems to like the idea.
Around the time Lotus joined IBM in the mid-nineties, a group called the Lotus Institute existed as a think tank of social scientists, behaviorists, and software architects inside Lotus. Among other things, they were thinking about new ways to support the work of high-performing teams by using group-based collaboration software. What they came up with was built in Lotus Notes. They called it "TeamRoom."
Though TeamSpace didn't exist at the time (consider it just a twinkle in the eye), two of our principals -- Chris Brennan and Mike Johnston -- helped the Lotus Institute create TeamRoom and find an audience for it.
That first audience was IBM.
Together with IBM Human Resources, we devised a strategy to completely alter the way IBMers shared information. We started by building a very simple work space called "WorkRoom" -- a simplified cousin of the original TeamRoom. Then we did something to make it popular: we gave it away for free. It spread wildly, introducing global professionals to the concept of sharing and discussing work with their teammates –- any time and any place.
It caused a mini-revolution. Demand soared, and as more people wanted it, they wanted it to do more. So we built a robust and richer version of TeamRoom... and once again gave it away for free. When we had deployed 10,000 TeamRooms to teams around the world, used by over 75,000 employees, well... we knew we were on to something (and so did IBM).
As we learned more about how great teams work, we further evolved TeamRoom to help all teams become great. And with the arrival of the new millennium, TeamRoom saw a new leap forward. "IBM TeamRoom Plus" brought bold new capabilities designed to drive richer team collaboration. Additional features were also added to provide powerful enablement and support offerings.
At its peek, we saw deployments swell to over 60,000 TeamRooms deployed. Until recently, TeamRoom was used by virtually all of the 300,000+ IBM employees worldwide. While IBM Connections usage has been growing inside IBM, many teams continue to use their TeamRooms for its flexible sub-team privacy and offline capabilities.
We are still a part of the TeamRoom story. We are proud to be supporting the global IBM TeamRoom user population with a single headcount. We offer a set of enablement classes to help IBMers continue to realize value from their TeamRooms. And we continue to evolve the feature set for interested clients who have licensed the platform from IBM.
It's a story with a future. Like thousands of companies who have invested in IBM solutions, IBM itself is in the midst of a strategic shift to its the newest version of IBM Connections. We are there with them along the way. Helping to evolve the pervasive TeamRoom collaboration platform, we enable IBMers to move toward the future -- without interrupting business in the present.
Sales pitch! So, after reading about TeamRoom, you find yourself harboring a secret hope that you too might be able to get it for free? Sorry, you have to be an employee of IBM for that! But don't despair: IBM TeamRoom Plus has been made available as an IBM corporate asset available for license by IBM
customers. So if you'd like to learn more about leveraging the power of a collaborative solution that supports 300,000 IBMers worldwide, contact us.