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Collaboration Isn't Just for Knowledge Workers

Any discussion about collaboration that focuses entirely on the "knowledge worker" risks leaving a lot of employees out of the conversation. 

The Yin and Yang of Collaboration: Engagement and Analytics

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Let's face it: Getting people's attention, getting time on their calendar, getting them on the phone, getting people to collaborate on anything is like herding cats. Competing demands personally and professionally, increasing amount of information in an increasing variety of forms from an increasing number of channels — that’s why the future of collaboration will focus on engagement and the underlying analytics that drive human behavior, productivity, efficiencies, satisfaction, revenue opportunities or other metrics impacting your organization.

Musings from Social Media Week #SMW14

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I am not an objective writer about Social Media Week. I attended the first two years of this six-year-old worldwide event in New York City when it was free, largely grassroots and spread throughout the city. 

The last two or three years, SMW has become inevitably more corporate, expensive, polished and streamlined, though many of the events are still free and available on a first come, first serve basis.

That being said, however, I wanted to share some thoughts. For instance, one of my favorite tools to chart conversations around social media is Crimson Hexagon, which quickly helped me create a “topic wave” of the major topics and when they peaked at the event. Most of the buzz around #SMWNYC happened last Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 18 and 19.

Phone Calls Add Value to Facebook's WhatsApp Deal

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Facebook's $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp looked a bit smarter today after the fast-growing messaging service announced at the World Mobile Congress that it will add phone calls within the next few months.

The WhatsApp announcement came as a surprise to those attending the mobile conference, where Nokia, Samsung, HTC and other key players also made news. WhatsApp already has 465 million monthly text and voicemail users, but wanted to add a live call service.

"We want to make sure people always have the ability to stay in touch with their friends and loved ones really affordably," WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said at the conference, according to a CNN report from the scene. Koum said the company will roll out the service on Apple and Android phones during the first half of the year, then add the service for Blackberry and Windows phones. 

Working Seamlessly Together: Collaboration Lessons from Email

Working Seamlessly Together: Collaboration Lessons from EmailA couple of months ago, I shared a vision where all information was at our fingertips. It's a nice vision for the future of work but we have a more immediate problem:

How do I collaborate with Jed in Toledo?

There have been a lot of solutions proposed. Historically they have involved software solutions that require me to work on a document on my computer, upload it to a collaboration system and wait for Jed. He will then add comments, upload a new version or do both.

The likely answer if Jed and I don’t work for the same company is that we'll use email. After all this time, email is still the most used collaboration tool. Maybe instead of declaring email as dead, we should examine why email works and apply that to our efforts to improve collaboration.

Making BYOD Work: Are New Technologies the Solution?

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It's no secret that bringing your own device to work – colloquially known as BYOD – is on the rise, with employees increasingly preferring to work on their own familiar devices than those provided by their loving employers. A Forrester study commissioned by Cisco and released last September found that employees access a variety of work-related mobile applications on their personal smartphones and tablets, including email, calendar, web browsers and company portals. 

This trend has its benefits, to be sure, but there’s also a slightly sinister side to it that has companies scrambling for solutions.

This Week: Collaboration's Future Is Here + Who Holds the Purse Strings in Tech?

Customer Experience Gets a Boost
Customer experience remains a priority for companies, and they are investing more money and more resources to follow through on the promise. This spells a win for the customer and a win for business's bottom line. 

Marketing's Arch-Nemesis: Gmail Tabs
Marketers collectively cringed when Google introduced the tabbed interface to Gmail, but emerging solutions help keep marketing messages out of the dreaded "promotions" tab.

Collaboration's Future is Already Here
Companies struggling to find the best collaboration tools could take a few tips from the consumer world. Remember, familiarity breeds usability. 

Chasing  Work-Life Balance
Studies agree: time away from your desk makes you more productive, focused and happy. What steps can companies take to help employees find their balance?

Big Data Market Leaders
The companies reeling in the big bucks in the big data world probably aren't who you think. A recent report proved the old adage that to make money, you need to have money. 

Who Holds the Technology Purse Strings?
The CIO still holds the purse strings when it comes to tech purchases, with business-controlled purchases lagging far behind. 

25 Ways to do Real Time Website Personalization
Turn more visits into conversions with these personalization tips.
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The Future of Collaboration Lies in Human Resources' Hands

The Future of Collaboration Lies in Human Resources' HandsHere we are, 2014 and still wondering what the future of collaboration is — as if we didn't know already.

Despite all efforts to trump it or get rid of it altogether in favor of other noble concepts like cooperation, the hard truth is that collaboration has always been here. And it will continue to be here for many years to come. It's a human trait. It's our capability of getting work done together. Effectively.

It's a Big World: Collaboration Tools Need Global Reach

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Our most used communication and collaboration apps have little understanding of today’s multilingual, multicultural, multinational businesses. They don’t reflect the nature of the modern workforce or the nature of globalization.

Internationalism in software is equated with localization, end of story. So what can we do about it?

Office Online Sends Google Another Punch

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Microsoft Office has just dealt another blow in the ingoing slugfest with Google Drive. But it's far from a killer punch.

In a post on the Office blog , Office Online product marketing manager Amanda Lefebvre outlined a number of changes to Office Web Apps, including a name change and the addition of some new features.

'Just Say No' to Native Social Features

Native Social Features, the Gateway Drug to Enterprise Information SilosThe gateway drug to enterprise information silos

We were all warned about the danger of gateway drugs. Just one moment of indiscretion using Bad Thing X would undoubtedly lead you into a lifetime of abuse of Bad Thing Y, which would eventually ruin your life. After that, you might start skipping school, join a rock band, get a tattoo or drive off in a Volkswagen Beetle for the summer with no distinct purpose.

The same rule applies in enterprise software, where lightweight native social features inside purpose-built business applications are Bad Thing X. Today, there is a real problem threatening companies attempting to become a truly social business: lightweight social features baked into purpose-built software are the gateway drug to collaboration failure.

Managing Work-Life Balance in an Always On Enterprise

Managing Work-Life Balance in an With the amazing technological advances of the past two decades, pervasive connectivity has become commonplace for the majority of employees. Thinking back even just 20 years ago, who could have imagined the access to information we carry around every day in our pockets and purses?

Microsoft Transplants Social Listening, Smart Marketing into Dynamics CRM

Just two weeks away from its 2014 Convergence Conference, Microsoft has started releasing details of the forthcoming upgrades to its customer relationship management (CRM) offerings. This year’s upgrades include smarter marketing capabilities, acute social listening and enhanced customer care based on the recent Parature acquisition.

The Future of Collaboration is Right Under Our Noses

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What's the future of collaboration, exactly? More to the point, what's the future of collaboration in the enterprise?

You might be tempted to think there are no easy answers, but on the contrary, it might be closer to the truth to say the answers are right in front of us. It might be a hoary old cliché, but the future really is — wait for it — here today. In consumer products. The consumerization of IT is far from over, and there's a few key currents in consumer usage patterns that we really should pay attention to.

CMSWire Tweet Jam: The Future of Collaboration #SocBizChat

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Collaboration comes up frequently in discussions of workplace productivity, but are we all on the same page on what it means? Have the tools introduced in the digital workplace aid collaboration or complicate it? What next steps do businesses need to take to move forward with collaboration? Find out tomorrow during our Future of Collaboration Tweet Jam!

Separating Collaboration from the Collaboration Tools

Separating Collaboration from the Collaboration ToolsSearch for the term “collaboration” in Google or Bing and you get more than 90 million hits. Wikipedia lists more than 120 software products claiming to support collaboration in one way or another. Have we become collaboration, or more specifically, collaboration technology obsessed?

Collaboration has been around for millennia. Webster tells us that to collaborate is merely to “to work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something.” What could be simpler or more straightforward than that? Why should it be so much in today’s spotlight?

On the surface it seems we’re making collaboration into something very complex and tightly bound up with the latest technology trends. Our view of what collaboration should be and how we should enable and support it appears to be increasingly shaped by the technology tools available to us.

Think, Listen, Respond, Repeat: 7 Social Media Week Strategies You Shouldn't Miss #SMW14

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If the phrase "always on, always connected" doesn't give you anxiety, then it just might give you inspiration. At least that's what the organizers of Social Media Week (SMW) are hoping.

The theme of this year's global event, happening right now in eight cities on four continents, is The Future of Now … and yes, you guessed it. Now is defined as constant, pervasive, unstoppable hyper-connectivity. Think about it, from the perspective of the SMW organizers:

Communication technology unites us, relays news equally with opinion, transports us to worldwide events and shrinks distances between our relationships. We’re tuning into events that we’ve never before been able to access and witnessing other people’s experiences unfold in real time.

It's enough to make your head swim … or your heart sink. What's it all about? Can I create infinite connections without burning out?

Collaboration is Broken and We Need to Fix It (Soon)

Collaboration is Broken and We Need to Fix It (Soon)According to McKinsey, knowledge workers spend a whopping 19 percent of their day searching for information and expertise. Why?

Take any one task and look at all the applications you use to get it done. Look at all the people you need to involve to do it. Look at all the time you waste switching between apps, foraging for information, searching for expertise. Think about when the process you're following was created (hint: probably in a bygone time when business moved slower).

Frustrating, irritating and demoralizing, isn't it?

The 6 Changes Needed to Overcome Collaboration Skepticism

The 6 Changes Needed to Overcome Collaboration SkepticismFacebook celebrated its 10th birthday last week. It, along with other social networks like Twitter, have transformed our personal lives, especially over the last five years. This has only sped up with the constant access our mobile devices give, which allow us to instantly and effortlessly connect with friends. 

What's holding enterprises back from reaping the same benefits?  

Microsoft Loves Yammer: Boosts Integration with Office 365 for Education

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If Microsoft’s strategy for Yammer and its integration into the wider portfolio got off to a shaky start after the acquisition in 2012, it now appears rock solid. Over the past few months, the company has announced tight integration with a number of apps, with special Yammer love for Office 365.

This week, Microsoft officials noted that Yammer Enterprise will ship with all Office 365 Education plans for no additional cost, as of April 1. Currently, education customers can use free Yammer Basic.