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IBM Sametime (formerly IBM Lotus Sametime) 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. Prices start at $63.50 per user per year.Sametime? Maybe Some Other Time.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.,1,As I've mentioned throughout the review, it covers the majority of our employee base as a lowest common denominator communications method. That's handy. Sametime is pretty terrible, but as a result, when we switched to an open-office plan, people get up and talk to each other, rather than having to use Sametime to get a question answered. Sametime has also demonstrated how behind the times my organization is with IT infrastructure, and has helped drive the conversation towards modern tools.,Google Hangouts, Slack, Skype, Skype for Business and Apple iCloud,Apple iCloud, Jenkins, JIRA Software, Atlassian Confluence, CamtasiaAn Honest Review of IBM SametimeSametime 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,8,Licensing for existing IBM customers can be advantageous as they might actually already have a free entitlement (even if they do not know that yet) - so it can be quite cost-efficient. Small environments can be fit onto a single server and run quite well,Skype for Business and Jive Hosted VoIP,Skype, Skype for BusinessGets the Job done for Instant MessagingSametime 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,5,Increased productivity File sharing ability helps move projects along Easy to create group chats to communicate with key project members,Workplace by Facebook (Formerly Facebook at Work),Workplace by Facebook (Formerly Facebook at Work)IBM Sametime is an excellent office communicatorIBM sametime is an excellent platform to communicate across the globe within my organization. It is really easy to find the person's status (available, busy, do not disturb, away etc). IBM Sametime is really useful for instant message or chatting, file sharing, screen sharing.,Instant message File sharing Send screenshots, pictures without saving in my laptop/desktop Identify person's availability,Sometime I have faced log in issues. Big size file sharing also a big pain. But mostly I like the the features of IBM Sametime.,9,Using IBM Sametime, we can connect the people instantly. Instead of sending email and waiting for his/her reply, we can just ping him/her to get a quick response which helps us to save a lot of time.,Skype for BusinessIBM Sametime is a solid, reliable solution!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.,9,In general, customers of IBM Notes would be able to use the core IM components as part of their license. This is good in itself, but also can lead to further desire to have more of the Sametime options. On-premises installations have been good for our consulting business. For customers, being able to provide presence awareness with global resource has been a huge time-saver.,Microsoft Lync and Skype,IBM Notes, Skype, IBM Connections, Evernote, Dropbox,No,9,Yes,I have had some recent support calls with IBM about Sametime and with many of them I tend to work with the same technicians. This leads to some good relationships and the technicians are generally very helpful. Recently, I had a quite positive experience with a potentially complicated authenticated solution. IBM was able to gather their teams together and work with me and my large customer to come up with a workable solution.,Starting a conversation via chat, voice, video, and/or meetings. Finding out who is online and getting notified when certain people do come online. Updating your presence status. Integrating your presence status with your calendar.,Some of the default notification settings are a little "nagging" and can be a little deep in the settings for the users to change. We typically have to update a config file when rolling out the client to users. Browsers/Plugins/Java/Etc... requirements for web-based meeting rooms. Roll the dice and hope you pick a winner for the week...,Yes,9
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IBM Sametime
11 Ratings
Score 6.0 out of 101
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IBM Sametime Reviews

IBM Sametime
11 Ratings
Score 6.0 out of 101
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July 24, 2018

IBM Sametime Review: "Sametime? Maybe Some Other Time."

Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
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Victor Toal profile photo
April 06, 2018

"An Honest Review of IBM Sametime"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Read Victor Toal's full review
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April 11, 2018

IBM Sametime Review: "Gets the Job done for Instant Messaging"

Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
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March 14, 2017

Review: "IBM Sametime is an excellent office communicator"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
IBM sametime is an excellent platform to communicate across the globe within my organization. It is really easy to find the person's status (available, busy, do not disturb, away etc). IBM Sametime is really useful for instant message or chatting, file sharing, screen sharing.
  • Instant message
  • File sharing
  • Send screenshots, pictures without saving in my laptop/desktop
  • Identify person's availability
  • Sometime I have faced log in issues.
  • Big size file sharing also a big pain.
  • But mostly I like the the features of IBM Sametime.
IBM Sametime is really user friendly and good for business use. This can be used for meetings and screen sharing sessions.
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Chris Whisonant profile photo
February 26, 2016

Review: "IBM Sametime is a solid, reliable solution!"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
Review Source
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.
Read Chris Whisonant's full review
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February 12, 2016

IBM Sametime Review: "Sametime provides real value, a simple interface, and full mobility."

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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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Feature Scorecard Summary

Hosted PBX (1)
8
Multi-level Interactive Voice Response (IVR) (1)
8
User templates (1)
7
Call reports (1)
7
Directory of employee names (3)
8.7
Answering rules (3)
6.7
Call recording (2)
7.0
Call park (2)
7.5
Call screening (1)
6
Message alerts (4)
7.2
Video conferencing (5)
5.0
Audio conferencing (4)
5.4
Mobile app for iOS (5)
9.1
Mobile app for Android (4)
8.5

About IBM Sametime

IBM Sametime (formerly IBM Lotus Sametime) 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. Prices start at $63.50 per user per year.
Categories:  VoIP

IBM Sametime Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No