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HCL Sametime

HCL Sametime
Formerly from IBM


What is HCL Sametime?

HCL Sametime (formerly IBM Lotus Sametime, acquired by HCL Technologies from IBM in 2018) is an enterprise-level unified communications and VoIP platform. It includes features such as instant messaging, web conferencing, voice and video integration, telephony capabilities, and presence information.

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Recent Reviews

TrustRadius Insights

Sametime is widely used for internal communication purposes within organizations, enabling seamless collaboration across different …
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Sametime review

9 out of 10
June 04, 2019
IBM Sametime is being used globally in almost all departments from down to top in our company. We use it as a instant messenger to …
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Popular Features

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  • Directory of employee names (7)
  • Message alerts (6)
  • Mobile app for iOS (8)
  • Mobile app for Android (7)
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What is HCL Sametime?

HCL Sametime (formerly IBM Lotus Sametime, acquired by HCL Technologies from IBM in 2018) is an enterprise-level unified communications and VoIP platform. It includes features such as instant messaging, web conferencing, voice and video integration, telephony capabilities, and presence information.

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Product Demos

HCL Sametime v12 Demo

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Cloud PBX

A cloud PBX system is based on cloud computing technology where data is stored and transferred over the intenet without any need for on-site PBX equipment

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VoIP system collaboration

Team collaboration via cloud phone system

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Mobile apps

Apps are compatible with mobile devices.

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Product Details

What is HCL Sametime?

HCL Sametime (formerly IBM Lotus Sametime, acquired by HCL Technologies from IBM in 2018) is an enterprise-level unified communications and VoIP platform. It includes features such as instant messaging, web conferencing, voice and video integration, telephony capabilities, and presence information.

HCL Sametime is ideal for cross-team chat in countries with strict data privacy and gravity laws, companies in regulated industries, and government entities who need to be able to ensure the security and auditability of their data.  ​ 

HCL Sametime Technical Details

Operating SystemsUnspecified
Mobile ApplicationNo

Frequently Asked Questions

HCL Sametime (formerly IBM Lotus Sametime, acquired by HCL Technologies from IBM in 2018) is an enterprise-level unified communications and VoIP platform. It includes features such as instant messaging, web conferencing, voice and video integration, telephony capabilities, and presence information.

Reviewers rate Directory of employee names and Answering rules and Message alerts highest, with a score of 8.

The most common users of HCL Sametime are from Enterprises (1,001+ employees).
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Reviews and Ratings


Attribute Ratings


(1-10 of 10)
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Bhawnish ㅤkumar | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
HCL Sametime is an instant messenger used in our environment. It has various features like instant meetings & persistent chat, Multiple screen-share, Video meeting options, audio, and video calls.

You can also record the meetings for further usage. This can be deployed flexibly: it can be on-prem, cloud or hybrid which gives the users an option to choose it according to their usage. If it's a small deployment customer can go for cloud deployment where servers are managed by HCL and don't require and extra hardware.
  • Instant meetings & persistent chat so you can do group chats in the office
  • Multiple screen-share, so users can share multiple screens in the same meeting windows
  • It is available on desktop, mobile and tablet PC so you can connect from anywhere
  • It has live streaming capabilities too, so a person can live stream and do a broadcast message
  • Inbound and outbound calls
  • Re-invite is needed if you get dropped from a group chat, there should be a feature of getting added automatically
  • File transfer option is not available, which can be seen in Jabber and Microsoft Teams
  • Can't send a message to a person if he/she is offline
  • USer interface of the webpage is not a clean one as it is for the other companies apps
If you don't require a lot of features and looking for a low price solution this is the best one. It gives a lot of basic features and is suited for small to medium environments. Although troubleshooting is a bit difficult.

An environment without Cisco or any other hardphones is suited for it as you don't require any hardware. You can go for cloud-based solution and save a lot of money.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
The use of HCL Sametime helps the teams to communicate in a fast way, especially when you have teams located in different cities and even countries. As the product is very user-friendly to all users, we are having no trouble using it around the world, since we use it in Latin America, EMEA, and East Asia region. All teams are using Sametime to communicate efficiently and with no limits.
  • Sharing files and screenshots is very easy with the screenshot feature.
  • Simple to use and with good chat history.
  • To perform better, it requires lots of configurations that are not default.
  • The app feature could be improved.

Overall, Sametime is a great feature for global teams to communicate, since you can chat quickly and efficiently with Sametime. Also, the file transfer is really fast and it downloads to any folder you choose. The chat history is easy to use and it is easy to find keywords.

The feature of creating "emoticons" sometimes can jeopardize the team's efficiency.

Mogana Tashiani | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
HCL Sametime is used across in my company for internal communication. Sametime is integrated with HCL Notes. We use Sametime to facilitate communications with other offices across regions without the need to send emails all the time. We also use Sametime to have a quick internal team meeting for project discussion and status updates.
  • Easy to track chat history
  • Can share files and screenshots easily
  • Can create user availability alerts to alert when the user is available
  • Facilitate team communications across regions effectively without being very formal and therefore strengthens our team relationships
  • Not convenient for a large group meeting.
  • Very basic tool for internal communication only not available for third party communication
  • Very basic and limited mobile app features.
  • High speed connection is needed to connect to Sametime
HCL Sametime is incredibly useful for internal meetings/communication only, and not very good for complex functions such as webinars and video conferencing.
June 04, 2019

Sametime review

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
IBM Sametime is being used globally in almost all departments from down to top in our company. We use it as a instant messenger to communicate with internal staff only in our day to day work. It is not the only instant messenger tool in our company but the most widely used one for sure.
  • The license cost is comparatively low so almost all staff have it installed in our company. We can use it to contact all internal staff.
  • It’s light and fast with almost no downtime. It also provides easy to use APIs for the user to build automation process on it. We have an internally built robot running on Sametime to answer frequently asked questions and do some repetitive tasks.
  • Chat history can be saved as per user’s preference and it is easy to be searched.
  • Whenever I drop Sametime and relogin, I have to ask somebody else to invite me to chat rooms. It would be great to have a function to show me which chat room(s) I was previously on and give me an option to rejoin by Sametime itself.
  • Not always able to see chat history in chat room. If the invitor forget to check allow to see chat history, or the history the invitor cannot be seen, I will not be able to see.
  • Can not send files via Sametime.
Sametime is good at day to day communication. It’s fast, simple and easy to use, especially good for text or even screen capture communications. However, it does not support attachments. If we need to discuss file content with other parties, we can either capture a screen or send the attachment via email which is not very efficient, especially during a crisis.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
IBM Sametime is the messaging app that many people at our company use on a daily basis. Not all departments use Sametime, but the ones that do, love it for regular communication between team members. It is not well suited for some of our other teams though so there is competition between Sametime, Slack, Google Hangouts and Skype.
  • IBM Sametime is incredibly simple to use. It is straightforward and offers an easy to use chat experience.
  • Being able to set up team chats is a great feature. This allows us to keep a chat room focused on a singular topic if required.
  • Sametime is available for our team members on PC as well as on Macs. There is also a mobile app to keep people in touch when they are away from the office.
  • The mobile app is not that great for anything outside of straight up messaging.
  • We tried video chatting within Sametime without any real success. There were connection issues and the app would crash quite often. We switched to another product and had no problems.
  • IBM Sametime just looks outdated. The menus and contact list are not up to date from a UX perspective compared to many other popular chat apps.
If you are looking to chat with other team members that also use IBM Sametime, share files and create team chat rooms then Sametime will work great for you. If you are looking to integrate tools from other products or use the video chat feature, then there are other chat apps that are much better suited for this.
Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
IBM Sametime is used as the standard for text-based chat across my entire organization. Our IT department has, in the past, tried to standardize on it for video teleconferencing as well, but it performed so poorly that the idea was quickly dropped. It is intended to serve as a solution for text-based conversations amongst colleagues, where the phone, or video might be inappropriate, say, for quick questions.

  • Sametime integrates well into my company's other text based communication software (IBM Notes). As a result, it is easy to begin a chat with another employee right from within Notes.
  • Sametime has been deployed across the organization, which means it's also the lowest common denominator for communication. It is almost always the case that I can get in touch with someone via Sametime.
  • Sametime CAN be (but not by default) configured to save conversations with others for later reference. This is particularly handy during technical conversations.
  • Sametime's audio and video chat features are horrendous, and years behind their competitors in usability, functionality, and reliability.
  • Sametime's default configuration is idiotic - stealing focus away from active windows, not saving chats for later reference, etc. If you plan to roll it out, make sure to get an administrator that knows what they're doing!
  • Despite the fact that it was rolled out organization wide - some people simply refuse to use it because they hate it so much. As a result, it even fails as being the lowest common denominator for communications - that common method still ends up being the phone in those instances.
Sametime is well suited for very quick conversations, where you know the person is an active Sametime user. It also serves as an easy way to reach out to someone you may not know when looking for an answer to a quick question, as they are likely to be a Sametime user. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to use Sametime for Audio or Video chat. The quality and reliability are horrendous.
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Sametime is used across the entire organization as our instant messaging tool which comes as a part of IBM Notes (e-mail platform). It's used to quickly message a coworker if you want to talk, remind them to jump in a meeting, ask a quick question, or send a file over to someone. It helps with productivity, collaboration, and communication. It's really critical to have an effective instant messaging tool because a lot of our employees work from home and need to be able to message other workers to get quick answers or communicate effectively when working on the same project.
  • Instant messaging
  • File sharing
  • Group chats
  • You are unable to message co-workers if they are offline
  • IBM Sametime frequently crashes
  • Once you leave a group chat you are unable to rejoin it
  • UI is not the cleanest and does take some getting used to
IBM Sametime is your basic instant messaging tool, it works well if you need to message people across the organization. My biggest pet peeve is that you are unable to send someone a message if they are offline which is really annoying. Sometimes people "sign-off" when they walk away from your computer, so they would see your message when they get back, but you can't even send them a message. This, along with the fact that IBM's UI looks very dated and is confusing, is actually why our company is in the midst of moving away from Sametime.
Victor Toal | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Sametime comes in many flavors - anything from simple chat and awareness all the way to full audio/video integration. For many IBM customers it might actually be a free entitlement (e.g. IBM Domino clients can get chat/awareness for free). Many of my clients use it as their main instant messaging platform as it integrates well with email and websites/web-based programs. It can also integrate with telephony systems and has a free mobile iOS and Android client.
  • Awareness and chat integration with different platforms.
  • Basic meetings and persistent chat rooms are not complicated to set up and support.
  • Runs on many different operating systems (Windows, various Linux distributions, etc.)
  • Audio/video setup can initially be tricky, requires checking and coordinating a lot of moving parts
  • The base install of chat/awareness is easy, but the more features you want the more complicated it gets and the more experience you need to planning ahead correctly
It is best suited for existing IBM customers (especially IBM Domino). Conversely, if you have no IBM software in the house, Sametime might not be the best fit.
Chris Whisonant | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Currently, due to the nature of our being a small company, our organization does not use Sametime for internal communication purposes. We do, however, recommend, install, and maintain Sametime for many of our customers. Generally we see that Sametime is used across entire organizations and often certain departments will use it differently than other departments. Sametime can address many business problems depending on how many Sametime options are deployed - it can serve the purpose of just IM, persistent chat rooms, meetings, and/or VOIP.
  • Sametime can be installed in any number of ways to provide as little or as much functionality and integration as you want.
  • The backend capabilities of the Video components are quite amazing for providing the streaming capabilities.
  • As a telephony client, being able to have it integrated out-of-the box with your primary mail and application platform (IBM Notes) for presence and communications is a great win.
  • IBM allows for this to be run either on-premises or in their IBM Cloud.
  • On-premises installation for anything beyond the basic chat functionality can get tricky quite fast. The requirements for hardware also grow exponentially.
  • Sometimes administration of users can be problematic when it comes to reliably pushing down policies.
  • The core IM UI goes through stages of years of stale look and feel. Though I believe a new UI may be coming with the next major release.
  • There are often times where the IBM Cloud implementation has features that take a while to make it back into the on-premises codebase.
Sometimes it may be overkill for small companies, however the IBM Cloud option definitely makes up for this. I wouldn't necessarily recommend that Sametime be used to fully replace or become the primary VOIP installation, however it is well-suited for being able to provide a quick and reliable way to reach out to others from IM and then take that from a text-only conversation to either a voice/video call or a full-blown meeting with additional people.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
IBM Sametime is a collection of real-time collaboration and communication tools. It solves several problems and fills various needs across our entire organization, which I'll summarize as bullet points.

We have not yet integrated IBM Sametime with our phone system.

First, a list of the features we use which may or may not be unique to IBM Sametime:

  • Presence Awareness: Quickly find someone who's available to help.
  • Chat: For quick questions, notifications, or file transfers, Chat is the go-to communication tool.
  • Web Meetings: For formal training, with people on-site or anywhere in the world.
  • Screen-Sharing: For cross-training, technical support, or co-creating content.
  • Audio & Video Conferencing: We've just started using this feature but we've got great feedback from traveling Sales and internals alike.
  • Mobile Apps: From an iOS device I can join or start a web meeting, see who's available for a chat, and make or take video calls.

Additional benefits we've found:

  • Savvy users log into a IBM Sametime Web Meeting to give a presentation, rather than search through thousands of files on a shared drive before a meeting.
  • If on-site with a customer, our sales person can get onto IBM Sametime via the mobile app and get quick responses to time-sensitive questions.
  • Chat on iOS can optionally show a logged-on user's GPS location (town & state). This has been really handy on multiple occasions and does not seem to impact the iOS device's battery life very much.
  • File transfer is faster via IBM Sametime than via email. Users love that!

Here are some specific aspects of Sametime that we really appreciate:

  • Integration with IBM Notes: Not just an add-on, but full integration means it's really quick and easy to book a web meeting with dozens of other people, or see if the person who just sent you an email is available to chat about it. Your chat status changes to "in a meeting" automatically if you've got something booked on your calendar.
    • We use Notes' SmartUpgrade feature to deploy updates to the embedded IBM Sametime components of Notes along with Notes FixPacks.
  • Centralized Settings / Preferences Management: It's an XML file, yes, but the amount of stuff we can tweak is extremely useful. This reduces the learning curve for users and keeps them from changing the wrong settings.
  • Rest API lets our developers easily integrate basic chat functionality into web apps, etc.
  • Sametime's web-based interfaces are "zero load", requiring no plug-ins to be installed to join a meeting, launch a meeting, or use chat in a browser. A plugin is required only if you want to share your screen.
  • Integration with IBM Notes is very tight. Sametime's chat status can change according to your Notes calendar. You can easily see if someone who just emailed you is available to chat. Your chat History is right inside Notes as well.
  • IBM's mobile apps are top notch. We automated the apps for our users thanks to IBM's work with third party MDMs. This made it very simple for us to deploy the Sametime mobile apps -- Chat and Meetings -- and get new capabilities such as Audio & Video mobilized quickly.
  • No down time, ever. The rock solid WebSphere back-end of Sametime means the environment is always up. Period.
  • In web meetings, even with audio & video enabled, we cannot stream pre-recorded video such as a training video in MOV format. It seems like this should be simple but I'm told only 1 or 2 competitors can do it.
  • The "WebPlayer" plugin that's required for screen-sharing, etc. is not easy to push out. IBM does not supply a typical .MSI file for easy deployment to Windows clients so we had to come up with our own work-around.
  • As is typical with most IBM software, the error messages -- though admittedly quite rare in Sametime -- are not helpful.
  • We do not have WebSphere experts on staff so there were considerable consulting costs to install and update the Sametime environment, which required 8 VM servers in our environment. Once up and running, though, the environment needs little or no "care and feeding" to operate.
IBM Sametime is extremely well suited in an environment where IBM Notes is used for collaboration, since this is what it was designed for. IBM Sametime is also designed to scale well to handle thousands of users (or more), so it is suitable for large to very large deployments.

IBM Sametime would probably not be well suited for environments smaller than, say, 500 users. This is primarily due to the high cost of consulting to get the environment installed and kept up to date. However, organizations that size are probably looking at cloud services anyway.
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