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Latest Social Business News & Articles

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.”

Forget Email, Text and Chat - It's Time to Talk Again

2014-26-November-Call-Me.jpgLotus Notes creator Ray Ozzie thinks it’s time to pick up the phone and have conversations again. There’s nothing wrong with email and texts, he says, but sometimes a simple phone call with a co-worker or a call with a group is the best way of getting something done. Especially because it allows us to really connect via tone of voice and human emotion.

And yes, Ozzie knows that iChat exists and that the conference call has already been invented and is too often loathed by all.

Are Your Processes Customer-Focused?

2014-26-November-Nesting-Doll.jpgWhen business leaders turn their focus toward processes, they often do so with an eye on becoming more efficient in how they handle payroll, manage finances or generate and distribute reports.

While it’s true that these routine tasks need to run smoothly, companies that look at processes solely as a way to improve the quality of a project or improve lead time, are missing a golden opportunity to positively affect the customer experience and spark innovation within their company. So says David Hamme, author of the book "Customer Focused Process Innovation," and managing director of Ephesus Consulting.

Build Digital Workplaces Fit for the Future

That’s rather a tall order isn’t it? Building a digital workplace fit for a future that is unknown to us — and possibly even unknowable given the unpredictable and disruptive nature of digital progress.

The solution to this tall order lies in pulling out the enduring principles and themes we see operating in successful digital workplace programs, especially those that are not technology-specific. The nature of the organizations and the scope of the programs themselves may vary, but the nuts and bolts of the mechanism, such as clear strategic alignment, user-centered design, strong governance and rigorous measurement, are common to them all.

3 Year-End Planning Tips for Stressed-Out CEOs

2014-24-November-Stress.jpgAs 2014 comes to a close, many business leaders are feeling the familiar strain of evaluating the past year’s successes, while planning for the year ahead. Did we meet our performance goals? Did we come in at or under budget? How should this year’s results impact our planning and budgeting for the coming year?

IT Pros Warm Up to Open Source Collaboration Software

IT security professionals like the idea of open-source collaborating and messaging solutions. So where the heck are they?

Respondents in a Ponemon Institute study released this week are generally positive about commercial open source applications, especially because of the assurance of continuity. However, despite those benefits, companies are slow to adopt, Ponemon found. 

Zimbra, a provider of open source collaboration software, sponsored the survey of 723 IT and IT security practitioners in the United States and 675 IT and IT security practitioners in 18 Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Exercise Your Intranet Muscles

Buying an intranet platform is like buying gym equipment. You get very detailed instructions. You may even get a few slick videos and diagrams of sample exercises.

But what you won't get is advice what program you should follow. And why not? Because if you want to run a marathon, the way you use that equipment is entirely different than the way someone that aspires to be an Olympic shot-putter should use it.

Similarly, to get the most from an intranet platform, you need to follow a program specific to your needs.

7 Reasons Why Facebook at Work Will Fail

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Would you move your business data and team conversations to a platform run by Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook advertising machine? While the Facebook for Business brand is nothing new, focused on providing a more effective advertising platform for businesses based on the social connections and information consumption of its 1.3 billion members, rumor has it that a new offering will target team and project-based collaboration under the brand Facebook@Work.

According to a new Financial Times report and related Business Insider analysis, the platform has been in development for years but is being piloted at a number of companies, and it "will allow employees to collaborate, edit documents, collect professional contacts, and chat with colleagues."

What 5-Year-Olds Today Will Expect From the Workplace of 2029

Virtually every senior executive I meet is preoccupied with millennials. What does this strange “new species” want, think, feel and expect, they wonder.

This is because those in their early 20s represent the first generation ever to enter the workplace knowing more about a key aspect of the workplace than their more experienced colleagues — namely technology.

IBM: Our Verse Email Beats Anything from Microsoft, Google

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The big guns of software want to close out 2014 with an email splash.

Microsoft launched its email-improver offering last week. Google earlier released its beefed-up Gmail.

It's IBM's turn today. For months, Big Blue had been showing off a new email service under the code name of "Mail Next."

Today, the company takes the blindfold off and makes it official with IBM Verse — an offering officials say revolutionizes email by using analytics and social capabilities to simply make email more efficient. IBM Verse culminates a $100 million investment in design innovation and brings together cloud, analytics, social and security platforms "to transform the future of work."

Brad Szollose: Stop Running Your Business Like It's 1969

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Brad Szollose is a lot of things: a serial entrepreneur, former C-Level executive of a public company, a business adviser, millennial expert and an award-winning business author. So he knows a few things about which he speaks — and this is what he wants businesses to know.

Flatten your hierarchies, embrace innovation and stop expecting your employees to follow the rules, keep their mouths shut and listen. Those days are over, and they aren't coming back.

"The digital age requires a smarter worker. In today’s world, we make very sophisticated stuff that does not conform to simple rules. Responsibility, troubleshooting and decision-making have all moved to the frontline. This requires open-source style communication," he said.

Microsoft Tightens Yammer, Office 365 Integration

Isn’t it just great when vendors keep their promises?

That's just what Microsoft is doing with it's latest move towards deeper integration of Yammer and Office 365. Another step towards transforming Yammer to Microsoft’s social layer, it provides a single sign-on for Yammer and a feature allowing users to access Yammer with their Office 365 credentials. What's more, it will work in all the different applications that come with Office 365.