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Latest Social Business News & Articles

The Fall of Collaboration, The Rise of Cooperation

oldtools,newtricks.jpgIt’s the year 2014, and we are trying to do today's jobs with yesterday's tools.

As we move into a new way of work — one based on more fluid and looser connections, grounded in freethinking, humanist and scientific approaches to the social contract — it's becoming clear that the traditional model of "collaboration tools" is based around outmoded structures of control rather than the shape of our work today, or the nature of networked sociality. We need a different take on the tools we are using to get work done, one based on open cooperation at the core of our work instead of closed collaboration running alongside it.

Working in Pajamas: The Downside of Telecommuting

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Working from home is the best job ever … as long as you're willing to tether yourself to technology, produce twice as much as you would in an office, blur every possible work-life boundary and have the discipline to bite your tongue when someone asks you if you ever plan to get a "real" job.

Telecommuting is a disaster for anyone who is unmotivated, disorganized, thin-skinned or has fantasies about working in pajamas. Trust me. I'm speaking from experience.

And remember this: it's the wrong choice if you expect to have regular lunch or coffee breaks (a blessing in disguise, actually, because you often won't have time to avail yourself of the restroom, either.) Your boss will call the minute you step away from your desk, creating suspicion about whether you're working at all. Differences in time zones mean calls at almost any hour of the day (or night).

No wonder those spoiled, entitled, forever-whining tech-obsessed millennials (aka Gen Y) are just so over this whole telecommuting thing. And guess what? They aren't alone.

Five Things About Potential New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

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So who placed bets with us on the next Microsoft CEO? These were the odds we posted back in November:

  • Stephen Elop 1/7
  • Alan Mulally 6/1
  • Satya Nadella 7/1
  • Tony Bates 10/1
  • Mike Lawrie 20/1
  • Sheryl Sandberg 25/1
  • Bill Gates 50/1

Anyone go with Nadella? Seven times your investment isn't so shabby.

IBM Looks Forward to Next Generation Computing #IBMConnect

Each year, the IBM faithful gather in Orlando Florida for IBM Connect, previously Lotusphere. This year, IBM combined it with the Kenexa World Conference as well, leading to an interesting mélange of IBM Notes administrators, Domino developers, human resources practitioners and social business strategists. The program was a similar gumbo of topics cutting across several IBM initiatives and product lines. It would be fair to say that, if you wanted to stretch beyond your usual topics, it would be easy at IBM Connect 2014. 

4 Ways to Follow Through on Business Goals

4 Ways to Follow Through on Business GoalsSetting goals is a common undertaking, but it can be useless unless you understand action steps. As a recruiter I usually ask my clients two questions: “What are your goals for this position? What are the actions you are going to take to achieve your goals?” Most of my clients can easily describe their goals but many have trouble articulating the action steps necessary for achieving those goals.

Raising the Bar for the Enterprise Software User Experience

Raising the Bar for the Enterprise Software User ExperienceIn December, The Wall Street Journal reported that Avon Products, Inc. had spent 4 years and $125 million with SAP on a major software project that was being terminated. Apparently, Avon discovered that “users — the company’s sales force — found the new system so burdensome and disruptive to their daily routine that many left Avon.” Avon paid dearly in money and time, as well as employees, for a poor user experience. In this case, that cost has been quantified.

Social Business: The Next Big Thing is Already Inside #IBMConnect

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The smart business of today (and tomorrow) will use technology to make better decisions by leveraging the cloud, big data analytics, mobile and social.

As these four forces converge, businesses will be empowered to scale one-to-one, personalized experiences both inside and outside the walls of the company, hire the right people, capture knowledge across the organization and innovate quicker. These are the central themes emerging at IBM Connect 2014.

But I want to discuss another topic that (thankfully) has been given visibility, prominence and significance at this conference. Today, let’s look at the massive role that the employee plays in the development of a social business. But first …

Is IBM's 'Mail Next' Just Google Plus for Enterprise Email? #IBMConnect

social business, Is IBM's 'Mail Next' Another Google+ for Enterprise Email? #IBMConnect

IBM’s new social business enterprise email collaboration software “Mail Next” is a “great idea” and “represents the natural convergence of social and email.”

While he's a fan, however, the platform announced at this week IBM Connect 2014 in Orlando, Fla., is not all that original, said Tom Petrocelli of Neuralytix, a New York City-based IT market research and consulting firm. “It’s basically what Google has already done with Gmail, Google Plus and Hangouts,” Petrocelli told CMSWire. “We are seeing this type of convergence in other places: Microsoft also has the pieces and similar functionality in its outlook.com platform or Office 365 plus SharePoint and the Yammer offering.”

Comindware Integrates Project Management, Social Collaboration

Attention, project managers. A new platform called the Comindware Project, integrated with social collaboration, is being released this week. The integration makes you wonder why more PM tools are not fully integrated with social capabilities. 

IBM's Mail Next: Original in the Social Business Enterprise? #IBMConnect

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IBM's new next generation web mail experience is creating the most buzz among attendees at the IBM Connect 2014 conference in Orlando, Fla. today.

The new solution — called "Mail Next" — is being hailed by many on Twitter today as an innovative, exceptional mail experience and a new way to consume and manage email through social-like capabilities.

Some are even calling it the death of Lotus Notes, and one conference attendee and IBM itself confirmed with CMSWire that IBM is, in fact, rebranding toward its IBM Connections brand.

New Patterns of Collaboration in SharePoint

New Patterns of Collaboration in SharePointSharePoint has come a long way in the past decade. In this, the final installment of my three part series, we'll be looking at the new capabilities introduced in SharePoint 2013 that change how companies can collaborate — remember, if you’re still treating SharePoint like the Web-based file share it was in 2003, it's time for a reappraisal.

A Look at Social Media and the Law

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Social media can be a boon for a company, but the complexities of liability and compliance can transform it to a bane. To help firms navigate unsettled waters, an international law firm created a free online webinar on social media legal policies.

Actiance Captures Enterprise Social Media Data in Alcatraz

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Social business is the norm for most companies these days. But those enterprise social conversations can be hard to track and re-assemble if a company has compliance or other legal requirements.

This week, governance platform provider Actiance revealed a cloud-based archive designed to accommodate the context of social media, a new product that goes by the catchy name of Alcatraz. 

A Square Peg in Round Holes: Using SharePoint for Multiple Solutions

SharePointSquarePeg.jpgWhen I discuss SharePoint's value with various decision makers one thing always comes up: the value of using it as a single platform to fill multiple needs within an organization. Companies may have initially implemented SharePoint as a way to collaborate and share data, but then find they also have the tools needed for a corporate intranet or public website. An initial investment provides a path for multiple solutions. This, for many reasons, can be a very appealing approach.

Designing Beautiful Organizations is Within Our Reach

Designing Organizations to Awaken Beauty is the Call of Our Time"The human soul is hungry for beauty: we seek it everywhere – in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion and in ourselves. When we desire the Beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming. Some of our most wonderful memories are of beautiful places where we felt immediately at home. We feel most alive in the presence of the Beautiful for it meets the needs of our soul … to awaken beauty is the call of our time."  — John O’Donohue

“The human soul is hungry for beauty.”

Not just in music, art or clothes. We yearn for beauty at work, in our communities and in the products and services we buy.

Don't Let 2014 Be the Year of the Ostrich: Stop Ignoring Rogue IT

Don't Let 2014 Be the Year of the Ostrich: Take Action on Rogue ITWhat do global warming, international terrorism and rogue IT have in common? More than you might think. All three have the potential to cause serious damage, and all three are ticking time bombs that will go off if we ignore them. But despite concerted efforts to deal with the first two, nothing is being done to deal with the third.

Brainshark Adds Dashboard, Cloud Packages to On-the-Fly Presentations

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Waltham, Mass.-based Brainshark, a cloud-based presentation solutions company, is releasing several enhancements to its service. They include a new Analytics Dashboard for tracking who saw what, as well as packaged clouds for sales, marketing and learning presentations.

Brainshark “enables companies to improve productivity with cloud-based business presentation solutions for sales, marketing and training," according to the company website. It's products help customers transform static documents such as PowerPoints into dynamic, mobile-ready content that can be viewed as on-demand video presentations or presented live.

My Recipe for a Perfect Intranet

How to Build the Perfect IntranetIs it possible to build the perfect intranet? Like any project, there will be a unique set of requirements that dictate the exact nature of the solution — things like integrating with line of business systems or mimicking a corporate website look and feel. But intranet design is now a mature enough discipline that I think it is possible to break down the "perfect" intranet into a number of key areas.

NewsGator Bids Farewell to Its Name, Becomes Sitrion

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Shakespeare may have understood the true nature of roses, but he didn’t understand branding. Brand names can tell a lot about a company, but when a company’s focus changes, sometimes its name still points in the old direction. That’s what happened with NewsGator, which has now changed its name to Sitrion.

How Nat Geo Built One of the World's Best Intranets

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All told, it was a 30-month project that began with a request: Improve the intranet. So National Geographic did just that for its employees — and got some international recognition in the process.

Nielsen Norman Group named the 126-year scientific and educational institution as the creator of one of the world's 10 best intranets in its 14th Annual Intranet Design Contest earlier this month.

This year's winning teams and their intranets are showcased in Nielsen Norman Group’s new 319-page report “Intranet Design Annual 2014: The Year’s 10 Best Intranets” (it costs $248 to download).

This week, CMSWire talked to Keelin Vaccaro, internal communications director at the National Geographic Society. Vaccaro led National Geographic’s complete redesign of its intranet, transforming the site from a static communications vehicle to an interactive, social site.