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Latest Social Business News & Articles

Harmon.ie Makes It Easier to Track Activity in the Cloud

Harmon.ie today addressed one of the biggest issues in cloud computing: how to track everything that happens in the services you are using. It's solution, Collage, pulls together enterprise cloud services onto a single screen and lets users know what’s happening across the cloud ecosystem in which they operate.

The result is a 360-degree view across enterprise cloud services providing workers with a contextual, single-screen activity stream or what Harmon.ie calls a work stream.

Wrike's Work Management Platform Wrinkle: Customization

Wrike claims it got the tricky part of enterprise project management and collaboration right with its release this week.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based provider revealed its Dynamic Platform, which it describes as a major update that adds the key function of customization "at every level of the product for every user."

"Before today, customers usually had one of two choices — go for a user-friendly product that also wasn’t customizable and was really cookie-cutter," said Wrike CEO Andrew Filev, whose seven-year-old startup now has 150 employees. "Or you could go with an enterprise project management tool that will cost you an arm and a leg but then leaves the customization in the hands of IT. So there's a big lag there."

A Look at Product Management Tools [Infographic]

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Like their sales and marketing colleagues, product managers are searching for new tools to help them use data better, particularly in order to create more customer-focused products, states a new field guide and infographic by SiriusDecisions.

The infographic – Product Management Tools and Technology Study 2015 – gives a snapshot of the tools and technologies product managers are using today, while the field guide – Product Planning, Prioritization and Roadmapping 2015 – provides businesses with criteria they should consider when evaluating product management tools, as well as profiles 11 leading vendors against those criteria. 

“Product managers see their colleagues in sales and marketing becoming much more automated,” said Lisa Singer, research director for SiriusDecisions.

“They’re keeping their ears to the ground for tools that are going to help them understand the data, too. These tools allow them to grab hold of the data like their colleagues to better understand their customers, better understand their users, and better understand the ecosystems their products are working in.” 

How to Use Twitter to Influence People and Make Sales

Ever wonder what top sales people tweet about? Is it all business all the time — or do they spice up the conversations with tidbits about their personal lives? What information do they share — and why?

If you're eager to know the answers to those questions and more, you can reference a new report called, appropriately enough, How Sales Leaders Engage on Twitter (registration required), a collaboration between Leadtail and Hoovers.

Bob Zukis Out as CEO of Bloomfire After 'Short Stint'

Bob Zukis is no longer the CEO of Bloomfire, the new CEO confirmed for CMSWire tonight.

Zukis, the social business author and Forbes contributor, took the job as leader of the social collaboration provider just eight months ago.

His first day on the job was April 8. His last day was sometime in September, according to his LinkedIn profile. That gives him six months at Bloomfire — compared to nearly 29 years at his preceding job as a partner at PwC.

Huddle: Has It Crossed the Hurdle or Still Have More to Prove?

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Zouk Capital led a Series D round of funding of $51 million for London-based enterprise collaboration platform provider Huddle last week because of its "content-centric collaboration" platform and focus on secure external collaboration rather than cloud storage, sync and share.

Nathan Medlock, partner at London-based Zouk Capital, told CMSWire that Huddle "combines our investment thesis of resource efficiency with best in class technology, a government and enterprise customer base, strong and proven management team and exceptional growth trajectory."

"What we like about the platform itself," Medlock added, "is its focus on secure external collaboration rather than cloud storage, sync and share — collaboration is where the true value now lies."

8 Components of a Truly Integrated Digital Workplace

We are living through an age in which the digital environment of work is becoming much more important than the physical workplace. The digital workplace has the potential to transform how companies operate on the front line, how employees communicate and collaborate internally, and even what it means to be an employee.

Yet most organizations have digital workplaces that are equivalent to boxes of junk. Employees have to stumble through heaps of applications, each with a different interface and security protocol.

4 Ways SharePoint Navigation Breaks Usability Best Practices

2014-10-December-Broken.jpgThere's been a lot of interest lately from business users and SharePoint site owners in SharePoint's usability (or lack thereof), but the issue doesn't seem to receive as much attention as other topics. When experts talk about SharePoint, they focus on migration, administration, governance, development, cloud, and mobile. Any mentions of usability take a backseat and are only brought up by usability enthusiasts. It's time to bring this subject to the forefront.

What a Digital Workplace Is and What It Isn't

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There are as many definitions of the digital workplace as there are organizations. But in light of this month's focus on the digital workplace, it could be useful to look at what a digital workplace is, and clarify some of the things that it is not.

Skype-Lync Video Calling Available (For Some)

2014-09-December-Chatting.jpgMicrosoft announced it's rebranding of Lync to Skype for Business to much fanfare last month. This went beyond a rebranding exercise, and involved joining the Lync infrastructure with Skype. The timing of when this would be completed was unclear, aside from a vague promise of sometime in 2015. 

At the end of last week, Microsoft took a major step forward in this project. Users of both platforms can now hold video calls with each other — provided they have the latest version of Skype for Windows and Lync 2013. But not everyone is happy.

TigerText Expands Its Secure Texting for the Enterprise

2014-09-December-BradBrooks-quote.jpgLike it or not, your coworkers probably share sensitive corporate information in texts. For them, it's a matter of convenience that helps them to collaborate with coworkers. For many businesses, that represents a nightmarish brew of security concerns, compliance violations, data loss and policy breaches.

Today, TigerText expanded its enterprise-grade texting service, hoping to add to the 5,000 healthcare facilities that already use its secure cloud-based network. The five-year-old company also has its eye on expansion into the financial services and government sectors, which face comparable challenges in controlling the information shared by workers.

If IT leaders have learned nothing else during the BYOD era, they learned that resistance is futile. Workers will use their own smartphones at work and the best strategy is to help them to do so safely. In healthcare, for example, doctors and other caregivers form shadow networks to share updates on patient status and other factors, often in violation of government privacy regulations and employer information governance policies.

How Will Employees Work in the Future? [Infographic]

2014-09-December-Remote-Work.jpgSome people believe that, in the future, most employees will work virtually. Others believe that managers will be no more. And still others share the vision of organizations as flat as pancakes.

But what does the future of work really look like? Jacob Morgan should know. As a Future of Work consultant, speaker and author, he’s just published a book about it. 

IDC's Look at the Future of Social Technologies

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It’s that time of year when everyone is looking back to see how they've done and looking forward to see how much more they can do. And according to Framingham, Mass.-based IDC (International Data Corporation), social technologies can be a major driver of organizational transformation in 2015.

Here's a Way to Pull Your Project Data Together in Office 365

Although Microsoft has been developing Office 365 at a ferocious rate recently, it still remains a suite of individual applications designed to accomplish specific tasks. To enhance user navigation, harmon.ie has developed a single screen view of those applications and what’s happening in them.

This week, it took that a step further with the launch of its new Project Management Solution, an extension of its harmon.ie email that enables users to pull together all the information that is passing through Office 365, OneDrive, Lync and Yammer on a given project for easy access on either mobile or desktop.

Discussion Point: Helping Employees with Targeted Content

Thumbnail image for Discussion-Point-640x480.jpgIt's a double edged sword, this glut of information that companies have at their disposal.

It's a source of revenue and potential driver of innovation. It's also a source of frustration, lost time, lost productivity and lost revenue. The problem isn't new, though it grows in complexity as more sources of information are introduced.

To mitigate the information chaos, companies have turned to targeted content delivery, which presents relevant information for an employee's context. While evidence of this tactic can be seen in the targeted messages marketers deliver to customers, the practice isn't as evident behind the firewall. In theory it's possible, but in practice? It's a different story.

The SharePoint Landscape from 30,000 Feet

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If SharePoint were a character in a movie, it would be Rocky Balboa, or maybe Mark Twain (“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”). With the end of the year around the corner, it's a good time to take a 30,000-foot view of the lay of the SharePoint land and see what's in store for 2015. While SharePoint may not be perfect, the technology is something many enterprises count on. We've seen great growth and energy in SharePoint over the past year and there are some events and developments that will be driving the technology next year.

How a Mobile Social Network Connected a Start-Up's Employees

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Do enterprise social networks (ESNs) have the ability to influence or change company culture or identity? They do, although the experience will vary dramatically from organization to organization, and may be quite subtle or slow.

Does Enterprise Communication Need Yet Another Player?

We need to change the way we communicate and collaborate around work. Email is dead. Ditto for never-ending meetings and conference calls that force you to be in a particular place and at a particular time for way too long.

The future of work is mobile, social, open, collaborative and agile. How many times have we heard that said? And how many products claim that they can deliver on that?

Where Enterprise Mobile Fits in the Digital Workplace

“Let’s just make the intranet accessible on mobile devices. It looks fine on my smartphone, I just have to zoom in a little.”

Nope. No, no, no. That is not a good enterprise mobile strategy. It misunderstands the role of mobile devices in employees’ work lives and the transformative power of well-designed mobile tools.

For those looking to develop strategic, integrated digital workplaces that deliver high business value, understanding the role of mobile devices is critical.

Did Microsoft Buy Acompli?

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UPDATE: It’s now official. Acompli confirms Microsoft has acquired it. Sources say that it sold for around $200 million, though no one we have approached is willing to go on record with a number. While we’re waiting for Microsoft to spell out its reasoning for making the purchase, it’s safe to assume that it’s yet another step up CEO Satya Nadella’s ladder to a mobile first, cloud first world.

Not just that, but it also gives the enterprise yet another reason to move to and stick with the Office 365 platform, with which Acompli is already integrated. It also offers “amazing” support for email and file services from Apple, Dropbox, Google and Box, the company boasts.

In a blog post, Acompli co-founder and CEO Javier Soltero explains that his team sought to create a mobile e-mail product for enterprises that is “Loved by users and trusted  for IT," which is pretty much what every enterprise collaboration vendor promises to do. But based on our quick look at the solution, it has hit the mark and is destined to keep raising the stakes with Microsoft’s ample resources to fuel its growth.

Current Accompli users should note that, according to Soltero, their “app and accounts will continue to work and the team will continue on our fast pace of improving and adding new functionality every couple of weeks.”