A number of experts helped us kick off our enterprise collaboration theme with advice on everything from where to start to how to manage in 2011. It's going to be a month-long extravaganza, but in case you blinked and missed a second of blastoff, here's a quick recap: 

  • Enterprise Collaboration: Moving from Need-to-Know to Need-to-Share. Enterprise collaboration is about tapping the latent knowledge and information of the enterprise to connect people, processes and content. In the Web 2.0 world, you may recognize this as “Crowdsourcing”. In the Enterprise 2.0 world, this is the heart of enterprise collaboration. However, buzzwords and abstract concepts are better understood if illustrated. So, let’s take a look at two project collaboration scenarios involving the same manager.

  • Collaboration Opportunities and Challenges for the Mobile Workforce. With the explosion of newly-available mobile computing options, many companies now support their employees’ smartphones and tablet computers. With employees increasingly ‘always on,’ new opportunities abound for better and more efficient collaboration. But this requires a shift in how people work together, and the ways we support people on-the-go.

  • Enterprise Collaboration: Get Past the Blogs & Wikis Requests. A lot of organizations immediately think about tools when the topic of enterprise collaboration comes up. But not all enterprise collaboration tools are the same, and an overemphasis on the products, without looking at the underlying processes, is unlikely to change the way people work.

  • Document Collaboration and Metadata: An Unholy Alliance. Metadata is ‘data about data’, and is particularly useful in document management systems, as it allows us to store more information about individual documents than is included in the file itself. This information can then be used to better understand the document, what it can and can’t be used for and to help search for the document more easily.

  • SharePoint Collaboration: If You Build It, Will They Come? As anyone who has lived through such a misguided SharePoint implementation knows, the real truth is that users will avoid a solution that’s simply better than nothing and fall back on the ways they work today, turning your SharePoint collaboration environment into shelf-ware overnight.

  • Enterprise Collaboration: What Does It Mean to You?. I thought I would open up this month's major theme by asking what the topic in question, Enterprise Collaboration, means to you in your particular organizational context? In this article, we will take a look at the human angle — the why's and the wherefore's — and then finish with a look at procuring and using the technology that is available.

  • Three Keys to Make Your Intranet a Collaborative Success in 2011. There are three key areas which can assist in transforming your intranet from a barren land of little use in the day to day lives of your employees to a vibrant resource for information delivery and corporate communication as well as a platform for collaboration.

  • Collaboration Starts Offline: Know How You Work, Then Bring in the Tools. Every enterprise wants to be seen as encouraging collaboration, every company would like its staff to be working together more closely and sharing ideas more effectively. Very quickly these goals lead in one direction — a new IT platform, some form of enterprise collaboration platform.
  • Before they know it, staff have a fancy new eRoom to work in, a SharePoint workspace to document meetings or some similar technology solution to a problem they weren’t sure they even had.

    This is a common issue with IT projects, often the fix arrives before anyone is really sure what they are trying to achieve. Collaboration is a special case in point, so particular and personal is this activity. Companies really need to take a step back before they take a step forward.