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The Problem With Yammer? People Don't Use It

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Yammer is being promoted as the new social layer of SharePoint. But Microsoft is also tying it tightly into Office 365. In the past two weeks, this has resulted in the packaging of Yammer with Office 365 small business plans, while the price of Office 365 is also about to be slashed.

There are problems with Yammer. But the problem lies not the product itself.

According to David Lavenda, vice president of product strategy at Harmon.ie, the real problem is that many people who have access to it just won’t use it — or any other social network for that matter.

Understand Your Customers with A/B Testing

2014-23-July-Choices.jpgImagine changing a flight or booking a hotel, comparing mortgage rates or researching healthcare providers. You’re probably thinking about specific websites that can help accomplish these tasks — or maybe a search that could start the process.

Now imagine doing any of these things on a smartphone. Chances are it would take several false starts and — if you were dedicated to the goal — a lot of struggle before the job was done. It has little if anything to do with the screen size. Instead, it’s a reflection of design and content that doesn't match the contextual needs of the user. And it doesn't take an extreme example to illustrate this point.

The Guy Who Believes in Disruption, Innovation and 'Memorable Stories'

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Jonathan Marks is a writer, broadcaster and researcher on a wide range of issues connected with the media.

And he has an interesting position: he "leads disruptive innovation" at Critical Distance, a creative guild of digital craftsmen and women based near Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In a more traditional sense, he is CEO.

But Marks just thinks differently. It's not quite clear what his objective was when he founded Critical Distance in 2003. But it doesn't really matter, because "last year, we rethought everything from the ground up. Why? Because routine is the enemy of change."

Today the company helps entrepreneurs "build, produce and keep really memorable stories."

"We inspire, guide and collaborate to build great companies. We specialize in digital strategy, cross-media productions, consultancy (at senior management level) and training the trainers," he explained.

Before founding the company, Marks was program director at Radio Netherlands. He led the development of online and mobile storytelling on projects in Latin America, South Asia and Africa.

Think Long-Term with ECM Strategy

2014-22-July-No-Heroes.jpgFixating on the cheapest and seemingly most user-friendly solutions can ruin your enterprise content management (ECM) strategy. What should IT departments do to resist the lure of cheap fixes and easy launches to ensure a successful, long-term ECM solution?

Information Architecture: The Engine that Drives Retail

2014-22-July-Steam-Locomotive.jpgUnder pressure from pure play e-Tailers such as Amazon and eBay, brick and mortar retailers are scrambling to defend their businesses. To stay competitive, most have now added an e-Commerce channel. The challenge for many legacy retailers is that e-Commerce has involved a long learning curve and now mobile and web channels have become part of core functionality rather than a cutting edge addition to the brand.  Add to this that many traditional retailers still lack a core competency in the technical nuances necessary to compete effectively with the Amazons and eBays.

Dusting Off Intranet Metadata and Search

2014-22-July-Antiques.jpgSome people assume that if a concept is old, it's no longer relevant. Since we looked at the continued relevancy of the quaint old fashioned concept of information publishing on intranets in last month's post, I thought we'd take on a few more of those dusty relics of days gone by today: metadata and intranet search. The concepts are interrelated in that the success of communicating content on a one to many basis — or an n to m basis, as you may have a small body of publishers or content creators putting out information to the company — relies on findability.

Why SaaS Saw Its Biggest Revenue Gain Since Recession

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Software companies led by entrepreneurs with experience in building successful software-as-a-service (SaaS) organizations are thriving. They as much as double revenue growth year-over-year, a new software industry report finds.

In other words, those in their second or third rodeos in SaaS software fare well.

The findings are reported in this month's 2014 Software & SaaS Financial Benchmarking Industry Report, the eighth annual study produced by Boston-based OPEXEngine in conjunction with the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

"Far more well-funded, venture-backed, companies are hitting their stride with growth rates of 50 percent to 100 percent year over year, than ever before," Lauren Kelley, CEO and founder of OPEXEngine, told CMSWire. "Many of these companies are being established by entrepreneurs who have already built one or two, sometimes three, SaaS companies before, and managed by executives with equivalent experience. These executives can get a new company up and running far faster than five or 10 years ago when SaaS was a new management discipline." 

Master Customer Experience in the New Age of Retail

2014-21-July-Sales.jpgProviding a high quality customer experience is critical for retailers, no matter the sector or audience. Delivering on this goal means more success in sales and more repeat business.

But our ideas around what constitutes a high level customer experience have changed in recent years. In the pre-internet days, it generally meant attentive sales people available to help with in store requests. But in today’s connected world, it’s more often associated with quick page loads, easily navigable sites and rich media.

How Free Puppy Syndrome Can Ruin Your ECM Strategy

2014-21-July-Bathtub-Full-Of-Puppies.jpgWhen it comes to selecting and deploying enterprise software solutions, including enterprise content management (ECM), many IT departments face pressure to control costs, decrease time-to-benefits and give end users what they want.

However, IT departments that fail to challenge this kind of short-term thinking are taking a risk — and that may be surprising news to many organizations. Conventional wisdom tells you to choose the software that produces the quickest win for the least amount of money that the end users like best and will quickly adopt. How could you go wrong with a choice like that?

Discussion Point: Where Does HR Go From Here?

Thumbnail image for discussion-pointAnother day, another disruption. 

Or at least that's how it must feel for most every department in organizations today. The repercussions of the combined digital, social, mobile trifecta radiate throughout the organization. But if you mix in economic factors, shifting skill requirements, distributed workforces and new expectations of those entering the workplace, then I think you know which department specifically we're talking about: Human Resources.

Deloitte's Global Human Capital Trends 2014 (pdf) report identified the most urgent trends that HR professionals face today. Number one? Leadership development. Number two? Seventy-nine percent answered retention and engagement. Yet only 16 percent felt ready to tackle these and the challenges they face. 

A fundamental rethinking of the HR department is required to meet these demands.

From Intranet to Net-Work: The Rise of the Digital Bridge Builder

As an intranet professional, your career is about collaboration: Of systems and processes, not just people. The web is a network and those who thrive on the web network, connect and collaborate. It’s the same with the intra-net, where the lines are increasingly blurred between what is "internal" and what is "external." 

Getting Comfortable with Google Analytics

Not everyone is destined to be a Google Analytics expert, but armed with a little knowledge and access to a few standard reports you can learn more about your audience, their interests and how they engage with your brand.

Mine Competitor's Data to Improve Your Online Marketing

2014-18-July-Eavesdropping.jpgIn the dynamic world of online marketing, it's important to have a solid and current understanding of your position in the competitive landscape. When you know your competitors' efforts in Pay Per Clicks (PPC) and SEO you can use that information to inform your online strategies. Let's take a look at the tools and strategies that can help improve your online marketing efforts with competitive intelligence.

Marketing Faces a Publishing Problem

2014-18-July-White-Water-Rafting.jpgThe only constant when customers move from one channel to the next, from their smartphone to their laptop, is the content — the way it is delivered, and the way it’s consumed. In essence, omnichannel experiences come down to a publishing problem.

Reinventing Digital Asset Management

Thumbnail image for 2014-17-July-Clone-Faucets.jpgWhen one compares the user experience of something like Mail Chimp to digital asset management software, it’s easy to see why people complain that DAM software can be cumbersome to use.

And while DAM vendors scramble to repaint their UIs and, in at least a few cases, turn their backs on their legacy apps in favor of flavor-of-the-month “DAM Lite” variants, it’s clear that DAM vendors might not really understand the problem. The issue isn’t that DAMs are ugly, the issue is that the very paradigm upon which we’ve built these systems has become obsolete and, therefore, cumbersome.

What Continuous Compliance Success Looks Like

2014-17-July-King-World.jpgThere is no specific, prescriptive path to guarantee your business will be covered for every eventuality and incident it may encounter. But by following three steps, you can get you — and your organization — in a proactive compliance and security mindset.

3 Barriers to Delivering Omnichannel Experiences

2014-17-July-Caught-a-Fish.jpgI was recently searching for fishing rods for my 5-year old son and his friends to use at our neighborhood pond. I know nothing about fishing, so I needed to get educated. First up, a Google search on my laptop at home. Then, I jostled between my phone, tablet and laptop visiting websites, reading descriptions, looking at photos and reading reviews. Offline, I talked to friends and visited local stores.

The product descriptions weren’t very helpful. What is a “practice casting plug”? Turns out, this was a great feature! Instead of a hook, the rod had a rubber fish to practice casting safely. What a missed opportunity for the retailers who didn’t share this information. I bought the fishing rods from the retailer that educated me with valuable product information and offered free three to five day shipping.

What does this mean for companies who sell products across multiple channels? 

AWS Message is Clear: Get Your Head Into Cloud for Agility

2014-16-July-Ostrich.jpgIt’s amazing that I still hear companies say cloud computing is not part of their strategy or they can't run the risk of storing secure data in the cloud. It's kind of like saying they still work by candlelight despite the invention of the light bulb. It’s time to come out of the dark ages!

The attendance at last week's AWS Summit 2014 held in New York City may be an indication that the tide is finally turning. The event drew a record attendance and claimed to have more than 10,000 registrations. The attendees clogged registration lines to the point where they actually ran out of badges. Thousands of others also watched the event remotely in real time. Maybe this is all a sign that people are finally getting their heads out of the sand and into the cloud!
 

Can Box Overcome Its Bad Timing?

Thumbnail image for 2014-16-July-Jump.jpgBox, once a clear-cut darling, has had a rough 2014. It delayed its IPO due to a softening SaaS stock market. This forced another financing round that was less than favorable for it. Add in Apple and Amazon entering the Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) world, and it's safe to say things are getting challenging for Box. Can Box weather these challenges and pull the entire EFSS market along with it?

Are You Up for the Omnichannel Challenge?

2014-16-July-Multi-Juggling.jpgIt’s no secret that we are living in an age of omnichannel engagement.  Customers today, empowered by a plethora of digital devices, can choose when, where and how they want to interact with brands. Millennials in particular expect their favorite brands to be easily accessible, all the time, via their channel of choice — SDL research indicates that 67 percent of millennials touch two different devices daily and 60 percent agree “it should feel the same when dealing with a company whether you’re online, in a store or on the phone."

Expectations are higher than ever for marketers to deliver.