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Latest Social Business News & Articles

Microsoft Pushes Yammer into SMBs

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Microsoft is pushing Yammer … again. The focus now is on small and midsize businesses (SMBs). 

Microsoft underlined its enterprise ambitions for Yammer in November by making it available with all Office 365 enterprise plans. Now it's also added Yammer to Office 365 Midsize Business and Office 365 Education plans.

The Solution to Custom Code in the Cloud

If you've been living under a rock for the past five years, let me get you caught up: There’s been a shift in how technology is being embraced. Not too long ago, businesses created and purchased technology. Then that technology trickled down to the consumer level and morphed into something we’d use. Think the ENIAC  evolving after many years into the PC, etc.

That process is reversed today. The consumer experience comes first and businesses play catch up to the consumer technology. The classic example of this is mobile: we've been living on our mobile phones for several years, but only now are enterprises making their systems mobile friendly for their workforce.

IBM Social Software Update Features File Sync On Premises

IBM's latest version of its social enterprise collaboration software suite IBM Connections is now available on the IBM cloud marketplace, a move IBM officials say makes the platform faster and easier to deploy.

The announcement today of IBM Connections 5 comes roughly 18 months after IBM's last update to the Connections platform. IBM officials boasted about the new offering's capability to bring secure file sync to on premises.

Blending Social Collaboration and Intranet Publishing

2014-02-July-Bicycle-Blender.jpgThe reports are in again — intranets are not dead — which is always a relief to hear. Part of the rumors of its potential demise stem from the many shapes and forms that intranets can take, which includes the rise of the social intranet over the past five years. Even this term means many things to many people and does not necessarily mean all elements are built on the same platform. On the other hand, some organizations try to build a full intranet out of a social collaboration platform such as Jive, which does not necessarily work very well.

You Could Telecommute from Montana, Too

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When I tell people I live and work in Montana, sometimes I get puzzled expressions or even jokes. The skiers and fly fisherman understand. But some people ask: Are there phones there?

Yes, there are phones in Montana! Even broadband, and sometimes fiber. We have laptops, airports and universities, too, though they might be scattered between spectacular mountain scenery and two National Parks. When I'm not biking, skiing, or chasing kids, I spend the rest of my of my day like the rest of you: digitally communicating using collaborative tools, email and social media.

This raises some questions, such as — has technology made telecommuting easier? And can you be productive telecommuting?  The connected worker is a hot topic these days. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer last year banned telecommuting, even though she has trouble waking up for meetings. Maybe if she worked at home she would have more time to catch up on sleep. 

And the debate took on new life today when a a new law went into effect in the United Kingdom. It gives every employee in the UK the right to work flexibly if they have been on the job for more than six months.

The Future is Open and Why You Should Care

2014-27-June-Hamster-Wheel.jpgThe recent move by Elon Musk to open thousands of Tesla’s patents to the public probably left you wondering, “What the heck is all this fuss about?” or “Why would people care so much about Tesla’s patents?”

Ultimately, it’s about what could be a great benefit for you (and me), the consumer — and by that, I don’t mean all the coverage around how this will be good for the electric automobile industry. Though that is certainly true, there’s a lot more to it than that.

By making this move, Musk has really set a precedent for why all technology companies should consider going down the same path. Why? Because “open” environments benefit the entire ecosystem — the companies, the consumers and the industry at large.

Guess Where Workers Have New Rights to Work from Home?

It's time for CEOs Marissa Mayer and Meg Whitman to eat their words — or at least rethink their strong stances on workplace inflexibility at Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard, respectively.

Telecommuting took a giant leap forward today — at least in the United Kingdom.

Just 16 months after Mayer sent shockwaves down the spines of telecommuters everywhere with her mandate to Yahoo workers to get back to the office and just eight months after Whitman followed with a slightly less strident request, it appears workplace flexibility is making a comeback. And that includes the right to work from home.

5 Steps for Building a SharePoint Migration Plan

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From all outward appearances, we seem to have turned a corner with SharePoint 2013 migrations. Compared to previous versions, SharePoint 2013 has experienced a relatively slow adoption cycle as organizations paused to understand the impacts of the new release — and to understand, in many cases, their cloud strategies.

Migrations to the latest version seem to now be increasing speed. Since the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas earlier this year, my own observation is that more companies are approving budgets and updating plans, and with that movement and more firm cloud strategies in place, we are also seeing an increased interest in SharePoint Online and Office 365.

Who Has the Best BYOD Management Services?

social business, Who's Got the Best BYOD Management Services?

Find a company that does not have a bring your own device (BYOD) management strategy, and you'd need to welcome them to enterprise life in the 2010s.

We all do work on our personal smartphones. 

The challenge for organizations is managing all these devices, systems, networks, operating systems, public and private cloud apps and other converging factors.

Forrester Research stresses the need for BYOD management services. It released today a Wave for Global BYOD Management Services, an analysis of 13 top BYOD integrators and specialists.

Collaboration in 2025: Separating the Signals from the Noise

2014-23-June-Traffic-Jam.jpgThe Talent 2025 conference that took place a few weeks back gathered an audience of high ranking HR people from a wide range of organizations. I presented to them my vision of collaboration in 2025 (which will be discussed in a later article). Bob Johansen, former president and board member of The Institute for the Future (IFTF, Palo Alto, Calif.) and current distinguished fellow gave the talk prior to mine, speculating what things will be like 10 years from now.

Let's look at what Johansen predicted and what I did, and where they overlapped.

TIBCO's tibbr Integrates with SharePoint, Microsoft Outlook

social business, TIBCO's tibbr Integrates with SharePoint, Microsoft Outlook

In the world of social software integration, officials at TIBCO Software Inc. say it’s a neutral country.

"We’ve always been seen as the Switzerland of technology,” Leandro Perez, director of product marketing at Palo Alto-based TIBCO, told CMSWire.

Why? Because officials at TIBCO are confident their platform integrates with any other.

And their latest integration comes with SharePoint, whose users can leverage TIBCO’s tibbr plug-in social software collaboration platform directly within SharePoint. TIBCO officials also announced integration with Microsoft Outlook software.

“Users of SharePoint use it as a document repository,” said Srini Vennakota, director of product management at TIBCO. “And it’s very important to be able to navigate those documents and be able to share comments and see context behind those documents.”

Are Intranets Dead? Jostle Doesn't Think So

Are intranets becoming obsolete? 

No way, say officials at Jostle, the 20-employee operation that offers what it calls turnkey intranet software in the cloud.

Some industry estimates cite employee intranet engagement at less than 50 percent. Jostle, however, claims some clients report 85 percent of its employees use the Jostle platform regularly.

Personify Explores a New Dimension in Collaboration

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Think about the worst part of the last online webinar you attended. Was it all those faceless slides?  Thought so.

And so did Sanjay Patel, CEO of Personify. Since 2009, he's been working on a way to enhance collaborative communications like webinars, chats and hangouts by adding depth-sensing, 3D cameras.

For most people, the mere mention of 3D conjures up visions of space monsters reaching out for them in a darkened movie theater. That's not what we're talking about here.

4 Ways to Kick Start Your SharePoint Implementation

2014-17-June-Motocross.jpgWe've discussed the importance of proper planning, change management strategies and providing end user training in order to ensure a successful SharePoint implementation. While it is definitely good to have a plan or strategy in place for any software project, with the fast pace of change you shouldn't wait until you have the entire project complete before rolling out anything. If you wait too long to deliver something, users will get impatient and the project will lose momentum.

What You Can Do About Your Failing Social Implementation

2014-16-June-Hurdles.jpgOrganizations looking to implement social solutions face common barriers to success: lack of defined purpose, absence of executive support, unsupportive work culture, poor implementation planning. And while the numbers may seem daunting — with Gartner estimating that 80 percent of social initiatives will fall short of expected goals through 2015 — the following guidelines can help set a social initiative on a path to maturity.

Why Social Implementations Fail

2014-13-June-Stalled.jpgIn early 2013 Gartner published a report indicating 80 percent of Social Business efforts will not achieve their intended benefits through 2015. That is a staggering number and a bold prediction to say the least. Gartner can back up  from the data unearthed during its extensive research into social business.

At the same time, the importance of social as an integrated business tool is mounting. In 2013 MIT Sloan Management Review released a report stating that 18 percent of respondents to their Social Business Survey in 2011 said social was “important today.” In 2012, that number increased to 36 percent and in 2016 this number is expected be 69 percent.

As social grows across industries and vertical markets, many companies are facing common implementation barriers. The interest in using the solution runs high at the start and then slowly drops off as organizations move to deploying it across the company, leaving many organizations wondering why this is happening and how it can be addressed.

5 Ways to Keep Employees Focused and Productive

2014-13-June-Trying-to-escape-by-Asa-Aarons.jpgWhether it's the World Cup soccer tournament or just beautiful weather, there's a world of distractions for employees struggling with work-life balance. And if you add "time to play" in with those increasingly co-mingled concepts of work and life, it really makes you wonder how any business gets work done. 

How do you maintain morale and productivity in The Era of Constant Distractions — and real or imagined ADHD?

"We used to ask employees to leave their mobile phones in a basket by the door to the conference room. But that just seemed to make them more anxious and distracted. So now they can bring their phones into the meetings. The only rules: They need to be on silent and they can't stare at their phones," explained one team leader at a digital marketing agency.

We have some other advice for keeping meetings on track, too. But first things first. There's a major sporting event in play, so let's figure out how managers can get the best out of their workforce in spite of it.

Why These 6 Enterprise Social Platforms Lead the Way

There are some new kids in town. And some old ones still on top.

Forrester released its first Wave for Enterprise Social Platforms in three years this month. In its second quarter  2014 report, it named IBM, Zimbra and Jive as leaders for the second time, and tossed Salesforce, Microsoft and Tibco in the top for the first time. Zimbra was formerly known as Telligent.

 IBM Connections, Salesforce Chatter and Communities, Microsoft Office 365, Zimbra Communities and Tibco tibbr were cited as leaders in the space.

Gartner had a similar take on leaders of social software.

Yammer Expands Support to 28 Languages

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Social business is only as good as the ability to communicate in the local language. 

To tackle that, Yammer is offering localized versions. The web client now supports 28 languages. In addition, its mobile apps come in 12 languages and both the iOS and Android apps have a message translator.

Invite the Right People for Enterprise Social Network Success

Launching an Enterprise Social Networking Tool (ESN) can be daunting. But if you invite the right people to the initial launch, it can make a difference in the adoption and success of your ESN across your organization. There are a few types of people you'll want to invite as they all play important, but different roles in the organization. And if you want to get them really involved? Play to the WIIFM mentality: if people know what’s in it for them, they are more likely to get involved.