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Want to Move SharePoint Data to Office 365? Find a Vendor #SPC14

As Microsoft unraveled its long-tangled plans to integrate Office365 and SharePoint this week, one big question remains: How will legacy data move from existing on premises files into the cloud?

Data migration vendors once feared the folks in Redmond would develop an in-house solution.  But now it appears Microsoft will encourage its customers to choose a third-party vendor — and the vendors are poised to reap the harvest.

At this week's SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft executives spent almost the entire first day singing the praises of the marriage of Office365 and SharePoint. Soon, you'll be able to add maps in Outlook messages, collaborate on files in Yammer groups and switch seamlessly between Office apps, finding the documents you want in a flash on any computer where you sign into your Microsoft account. As Jared Spataro, general manager for Microsoft's Office division, noted, Office365 has grown into a $1.5 billion business for the software giant, and its growth is accelerating with this announcement.

Bill Clinton Calls for Free Ukraine in Speech to Technologists

Bill Clinton Calls for Free Ukraine in Speech to TechnologistsFormer President Bill Clinton today called for a free Ukraine and called the former government there "clearly corrupt and ineffective." He also called on technologists in the audience to help resolve global economic inequality.

Speaking to an audience of thousands of software specialists gathered in Las Vegas for Microsoft's SharePoint Conference 2014, he told the audience the two leading obstacles to stability in the world today are political violence and financial inequality, and he called on technologists to help ease them through investment by government, innovation in the private sector and programs by nonprofit foundations like the Gates Foundation and his own foundation.

SharePoint Conference Keynote: Releases and Roadmap #SPC14

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There's anticipation about the keynote at every SharePoint Conference. Will there be news related to releases? Will there be a change in direction in how things are done today? The expectation for today’s keynote was no different. There was the usual questions about what would be covered, but I wish I had a $1 for every time I heard “What does Bill Clinton have to do with SharePoint?”

Clinton started the keynote with a message focused on the impact and transformational possibilities of technology, including how it is expanding the voices of people worldwide.

Jared Spataro, general manager of product marketing for Microsoft Office, followed Clinton. He focused on the vision and goals shaping the future of Microsoft.

Social Business Software: 2 Sides of Disruption

Social Business Software: 2 Sides of DisruptionDisruption can be seen as a force for good or evil. On the one hand the business world celebrates the disruptive effects new social business technologies are having on the status quo — in everything from marketing and customer service to recruitment and sales. On the other, when it comes to internal collaboration and communication, social business software (SBS) is seen as disruptive in that other sense of the word — a distraction from the job at hand.

Do Too Many Cooks Spoil the Collaboration Tweet Jam Broth?

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Last week's Tweet Jam showed that interest in Enterprise Collaboration is live and well. Now if we could just agree on what it is ….

The Future of Collaboration Isn't What It Used to Be

The Future of Collaboration Isn't What It Used To BeCollaboration is not just a word, or tool, or outcome. It is a value system, a mindset that we choose to live and work by. It determines whether we see ourselves as the center of our universe, around which everything revolves, or whether We the People are the universe, an interdependent, networked ecosystem.

Looking for Bigfoot: Opportunities in Enterprise Collaboration

Looking for Bigfoot: Opportunities in Enterprise CollaborationFollowing up on my last post about collaboration in the enterprise, it makes sense to explore collaboration technologies in depth. With the SharePoint conference in Las Vegas soon upon us, SharePoint sits at the top of mind — a powerful solution that for some reason clings to the poor reputation it has had since its birth in 2001, some deserved, others not.

Harness Your Social Platforms for Innovation: 4 Essential Principles

It’s been said that no man (or woman) is an island, and this is as true in innovation as it is anywhere else. Communication and the ability to collectively brainstorm has proven to be a great benefit to the corporations that engage in it, and social platforms like Jive, Telligent, Chatter and internal wikis have allowed this process to be faster and more inclusive than ever before.

But most companies with social platforms use them primarily for knowledge sharing. Innovation goes beyond knowledge sharing and requires breakthrough thinking. Implementing a social platform within an enterprise has its challenges, but companies who fail to use them to spur innovation miss out on a significant growth opportunity.

Volerro Launches Free Collaborative Screen Sharing

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Hoping to attract customers to its new marketing collaboration tools, Volerro today launched a free interactive tool called ReVu.Me that allows business teams to discuss and annotate print documents, videos, photos and more in real time in the cloud.

ReVu.Me is available to anyone as a stand-alone service. It is also integrated into Volerro's marketing collaboration suite, which has attracted 1,100 paying customers during the beta phase, the company claims. The collaboration suite also was formally launched today.

Together, they offer a broad set of low-cost document management capabilities for smaller companies that have outgrown Basecamp, but lack the financial cost and technical complexity of SharePoint.

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.