Competitor tried to stop new book about IBM Connections!

This is the book that a competitor of IBM tried to stop by buying off the writer.

As a Collaboration Strategist, well renowned writer, business consultant and specialist on adoption of social business technologies in companies and organizations, Michael Sampson travels around the world helping organizations make collaboration work.

When Michael Sampson started his latest book project – Doing Business With IBM Connections 4.5 – he was offered money by one of IBM’s competitor to lay down the project and not publish the book. Here is what Michael Sampson writes about this in the foreword of the book:

« Finally, this is the first book for which I have been offered money to not finish writing the book. That is, to stop writing it and receive a payout. Receiving that offer from one of IBM’s competitors – who reasoned that the lack of this book would hurt IBM’s prospects in the market – was «interesting». I have heard about such underhand tactics in this market space before, but never been directly on the receiving end of them. I guess you can figure out I declined the offer since the book is here. I do hope this book makes a positive contribution to organizations using IBM Connections, as well as to organizations using products from both IBM and the unnamed competitor».

This is not the first book Michael Sampson has written. He is a specialist on adoption of both Microsoft SharePoint and IBM Connections and has written many books on the matter:

  • User Adoption Strategies: Shifting Second Wave People to New Collaboration Technology
  • SharePoint Roadmap for Collaboration: Using SharePoint to Enhance Business Collaboration
  • Seamless Teamwork: Using Microsoft SharePoint Technologies to Collaborate, Innovate, and Drive Business in New Ways
  • Collaboration Roadmap: You’ve Got the Technology – Now What?
  • Doing Business with IBM Connections: Opportunities for Improving Processes, Driving Results, and Achieving Great Outcomes with IBM Connections 4.4

Being a collaboration and social business evangelist and advisor myself, I have quite a good idea on who this competitor is. And I guess my readers do too!

The book is well worth reading and is full of smart ideas and practical examples on how you can make your employees and organization in total more productive, more engaged and more competitive. I will come back with a more detailed review of the book in a later blog post – it takes a while to digest all the good stuff.

I am so glad Michael Sampson had the guts and the ethics to say NO to the IBM competitor that wanted to buy him off. And I wish all my readers go ahead and order the book just to show that freedom of speech is not for sale!

Buy the book here! 


  1. Arne,
    Thanks for reviewing my book, and I appreciate what you wrote. I do love your line – “freedom of speech is not for sale” (absolutely not)! Someone asked why I hadn’t taken the money. My wife replied before I could – “because he didn’t want to lose his soul.”

    My great hope re the paragraph above is that while we acknowledge it is there, we don’t let it become the focal point of the book. Let’s get out there and help customers using IBM’s products to improve the way they work, do really cool / forward-thinking stuff, and make that the 99.9999% reaction to reading the strategies in the book for contributing towards all of that. I will kick myself forever if the paragraph above becomes the focal point, rather than what’s on the other 399.8 pages.


    1. Michael,
      I totally agree with you that we should focus on helping companies and people in working smarter, become more productive, share their knowledge and collaborate better. Writing a book is one way to do it. Writing a blog is another way to do it. And using the best collaborative tools available as smart and efficient as possible is also a way to do it.
      It was the old news hunter (I used to be a reporter for many years) that made me pick up on the story on “the forbidden book”. It was a story too important not to be published by journalistic criteria. But the best story is found in your book. That is what creates real value both for readers and the organizations that implement true social collaboration!


    2. Michael,

      Having read two of your previous books (“Collaboration Roadmap” and “User Adoption Strategies”), I’m quite sure focus will be on the subject, not on this story.

      But from a customer point of view, hearing a story like this is important. We live in a world were brand management is just about as important (in some cases more) as having a good product. We are working under not only trade _laws_ but also ethical trade principles, corporate social responsibilities etc.
      We don’t want to be associated with companies that ‘cheat’ or ‘lie’, mistreat their employees or violate the morale codes of our business.

      So it’s extremely important that these like this is put out in the open, for us all to see, and to understand, what principles are being applied by potential vendors.

      I’m glad to know, that you have the integrity needed to resist such offers, and the guts to ‘spill the beans’, just as I consider it a strength, that you are able to write quality material about multiple platforms from different vendors. It makes me confident that your books are objective and not just sales pitches.

      So … Good job. Thanks for sharing.


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