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Latest Social Business News & Articles

Why the Best Digital Workplace Teams Don't Get High on Tech

“Not another new system.” “I don’t have time.” “There are so many tools already.” If any of these is a common refrain in your organization, it may be a symptom that the digital workplace team is high on technology.

Part of the problem is that shiny new technology tends to make the headlines and attract eyeballs, but we don’t always get to hear the more human stories about what makes those technologies tick.

Discussion Point: Creating Long Distance Collaboration and Teams

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You may not like everyone who works in your physical office. But at least you know people well enough to have reasons to dislike them. After all, you spend eight or more hours together every day.

Not so in the virtual world, where the lack of serendipitous encounters and chance conversations make it all the more difficult to forge connections — and increase the ease of developing biased perceptions.

Sometimes even the warmest and most considerate people sound cold and abrasive on the phone. A shy person can be misconstrued as cool and aloof. And, curiously, someone suffering from massive insecurities can seem narcissistic and egotistical because he insists on hiding behind a wall of faux achievements.

So in the age of remote workforces, when employees are increasingly connected by technology rather than shared desk space, how do we make lofty concepts like collaboration and cooperation a daily reality?

Can we force people on opposite coasts to actually like each other? Or, failing that, can we just get everyone to respect each other enough to embrace a common culture?

How to Raise Daughters Who Are Leaders

How do we prepare our children — particularly our daughters — to thrive in the economy of tomorrow?

We need to provide the best education within our means, which includes a lot more than the official schooling they receive. The best education I've received has come through good relationships, strong mentors and leaders who took the time to give me sound advice.

Few Businesses Use Social and Mobile to Improve Productivity

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Enterprises are using social and mobile to improve customer engagement, but not using them to improve productivity. At least that is the conclusion of new research from UK-based Advanced Business Solutions (ABS).

The findings are somewhat surprising given that the uses of enterprise social networks are largely associated with internal collaboration. But that is a myth, at least in the mid-sized enterprises segment.

Lose the Fat, Embrace Lean Portals

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In its recently published Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals, Gartner identified a number of trends.

Among the most important: the convergence of web content management (WCM) customer demands with lean portal functionality and social technologies. The concept of lean (as opposed to bloated) portals has gained traction recently, with lean portal vendors starting to work their way further up the Magic Quadrant.

Large vendors claim they can offer all the functionality an enterprise could want and more — what smaller vendors describe as "bloat." Lean vendors claim they can respond rapidly to changing business conditions and have enough functionality for any office or mobile worker.

Jive Selects New President as CEO Retires

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What do you do after you are appointed as president of Jive Software?

“Pack for Disney,” certainly isn’t Elisa Steele’s answer. Instead she’s spending the day talking with investors, discussing the company’s better than expected third-quarter results and getting ready to lead its day-to-day operations come Monday.

There’s nothing but confidence and excitement in her voice. As executive vice president of marketing and products at the social business software provider that Gartner named a Leader in its Workplace Social Software Magic Quadrant earlier this year, Steele has overseen a number of innovations, updates and integrations such as Find Your WorkType,  Jive X (which is used for external collaboration), its integration with cloud-based productivity apps (Office 365 and Google) and more. In less than the year she’s been at Jive, Steele has been promoted twice.

Top 7 Characteristics of Great Digital Workplace Leaders

2014-04-November-Follow-the-Leader.jpgIn the 1980s, management theorists popularized a new term, “Management By Walking Around” (MBWA). This was a pithy way of describing one of the “arts of leadership” — strolling through the offices, warehouses and factories, and chatting to staff.

Iconic CEOs of the time, such as John Akers of IBM, could demonstrate their accessibility and connection to the day-to-day workings of their organizations purely by leaving the executive floors and touring the IBM locations in the US and worldwide.

The modern CEO and the leadership cadre of large organizations can only look back with nostalgia to such a time when the ideal methods of leading were so straightforward. Today, the C-suite has two large and unique challenges that have never before been faced by leaders (particularly CEOs).

Not only is there a physical workplace to lead (as there always has been) but now there is a digital workplace that requires constant attention as well. The workforce is working within both physical and virtual environments and, therefore, even MBWA leadership now means “walking around" in the digital as well as the physical world. 

Why Can't Enterprises Get User Experience Right?

A leading analyst recently said to me, “If enterprises cared about the user experience, SAP and Oracle might not still be in business.” Not to pick on those vendors — they produce technologies that drive value in the enterprise — but it’s no secret that the enterprise has lagged far behind the consumer world in terms of the user experience (UX). It’s bad. In enterprises we’re usually asking workers to accomplish tasks that are significantly more complicated than just booking an airline ticket. Arguably, those tasks drive greater revenue — or cost savings — than ticket booking for that travel website.

Each of us can chronicle bad experiences with the technology tools we use every day — and if you’re in the enterprise, your pain may be even more excruciating than consumers. Not only are the experiences worse for you, but they are often ones that you do repetitively, so that pain piles up into long-term frustration and general dread. (Are you familiar with the term “Sunday blues”?)

How Documize and ThreadKM Approach Knowledge Management

It's a good time to be in knowledge management. With the push to consumerization, new tools are released on a regular basis which simplify and help solve business problems, without negating the value of previous technological investments. Let's take a look at a couple newer releases that might fit nicely into your KM tool box.

Law firms and internal law departments have a well understood definition of the term "Knowledge Management." ThreadKM is a new legal focused KM tool that was launched earlier this month.

We've previously discussed the many intranet use cases that remain for simple web publishing of text based information. Good information sharing is the basis of a knowledge management strategy. Documize is a very different tool from ThreadKM, blending lightweight, templates-based structured authoring with a wiki based approach. Documize is in late beta and will be released soon.

SharePoint Shakeup: Private Investor Acquires Metalogix

Metalogix spent the latter half of 2013 buying out some SharePoint technology to boost its content infrastructure software suite.

Permira Funds is spending time a year later buying Metalogix.

The Menlo Park, Calif. international private equity firm announced today it acquired Metalogix, known for its suite of Microsoft management platforms that include SharePoint, Exchange and Office 365. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

7 Deadly Signs of Career Burnout [Infographic]

2014-29-October-career-burnout.jpgThank God it's Friday. Wait. It's not? It's what? Wednesday? Are you serious?

Fantasizing about the end of the workweek when you haven't even made it half way is a bad sign — about the state of your work life as well as your state of mind. Just ask executive coach and author Peter C. Diamond, the guy who came up with a list of seven signs of midlife career distress.

While premature evaporation of days or hours isn't included on Diamond's list, it should be. If you've ever glanced at a clock and wondered "Is it time to go yet?" then you'll understand. And you'll understand even more if your clock watching is accompanied by an even larger, harder to answer question.

What am I doing with my life?

When an Enterprise Social Network Gives More Tricks than Treats

2014-28-October-Groucho-Glasses.jpgIt’s that time of year when employees come to work dressed up in Halloween costumes of all types. On October 31, you’ll inevitably see zombie bosses, animals galore and a myriad of other getups meant to bring a bit of adult fun to a favorite childhood holiday.

But what if I told you that I knew the secret to changing your workplace identity the other 364 days of the year? What if I told you that I can help you create a costume so convincing that, even without doing much work, you will appear to be a Corporate Rockstar — Mr. Popular or Ms. Helpful? It’s time to share the secrets of gaming your enterprise social network this Halloween.

There are many social technology vendors who offer data and analytics tools (either native or add-on) that claim to measure meaningful activity inside your community. Legend has it that this data can be used to find influencers, popular topics, important details and even experts. So in the spirit of Halloween — and with a ghoulish grin — I’d like to offer three easy steps to building an enterprise disguise by manipulating your activity inside an enterprise social network.

Securing Social Business in Office 365

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Microsoft continues to weave the web around Office 365 tighter and tighter.

Over the past few months it has added more and more functionality to Office 365 and expanded its reach across and even beyond the enterprise. It is now adding additional security to keep enterprise data safe.

Microsoft introduced new compliance features last week. This week it is extending Data Loss Prevention functionality across the entire Office 365 product.

Mindjet Predictions Module Could Help You Execute Your Ideas

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The first major advancement in the Mindjet brand after its 2013 merger with Spigit is out.

The San Francisco-based enterprise innovation management software provider debuts this week a new module for the Engage innovation platform it acquired with Spigit. 

The module is called "Predictions," and officials at the social business provider say it essentially turns organizational ideas into execution by finding value through science.

Connecting Workers to Information in the Digital Workplace

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Two billion jobs will be lost by 2030 … and that’s a good thing?

So says Paul Miller, author of the newly released book "The Digital Renaissance of Work: Delivering Digital Workplace Fit for the Future." Miller is quick to point out those lost jobs are menial, routine jobs which will be eliminated through automation technology. At the same time, new, more satisfying jobs will replace the lost ones.

This is no far-off prediction. According to Gartner Research, 60 percent of today’s US jobs are non-routine, up from 40 percent in 1975. And automation of routine work is already changing the nature of how "stuff" gets done. For example, in the 2012 book "Race Against the Machine," MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee show how the automation of transportation provided by driverless cars will soon eliminate 4.5 million jobs.

New Feature from Redbooth Helps Employees Connect

The workplace is changing. By 2016, Forrester Research predicts nearly half of all US employees will log in to work from home or a decentralized location. That means companies need to find new ways for them to connect, quickly and securely.

To meet this growing need, Redbooth, a workplace collaboration and communication platform, has introduced new desktop and mobile business chat.

Workplace Lessons From a Beehive

2014-24-October-Beekeepers.jpgWhat could a company learn from a beehive? After my first three months as a beekeeper and seven years in the CMS industry, I've found out the answer — quite a bit.

Jive's Social Biz Software: You, Me, Community

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Collaboration software in the enterprise is a “must have." And many of the big software and service providers have integrated social workplace tools into their products. Microsoft has brought Yammer into Office, Salesforce provides Chatter in its cloud, VMWare has SocialCast and so on…

But Jive remains standing on its own and offers something that the aforementioned don’t — its solution centers around you, the end user, and your community, rather than a business process, document or task.

“Jive is the hub that brings it all together,” said Elissa Steele, the company’s executive vice president of marketing and products. “It breaks down silos, it’s built for collaboration and communications,” she adds.

And as such it improves the flow of information, it helps business solve problem faster and creates a competitive advantage.

Post Spigit Merger, Mindjet Works on 'Transformative' Offering

The merger between enterprise software providers Mindjet and Spigit a year ago has produced … well, you'll have to wait a little more for specifics.

The big reveal on what the merger will bring won't come until the company's conference next March. 

But it promises to be "transformative," according to San Francisco-based Mindjet's new chief marketing officer, Kevin Cochrane, who started last month after stints as CMO at OpenText and product vice president of digital marketing Adobe.

Mindjet is expected to serve up an appetizer of its product suite next week, but the full reveal doesn't come until the March conference, Cochrane told CMSWire. 

Unleash the Power of Captured Video at Work

2014-23-October-Filming.jpgWith a dispersed workforce in an increasingly competitive landscape, valuable data needs to be shared faster and knowledge sharing can no longer be contained to four walls. Experts need to be able to defy distance and address teams of employees that may not all be sitting in the same place. They need asynchronous communications. Some may be in cubicles or conference rooms, others in their homes or cars. It doesn't matter where they are, they need to connect.