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Latest Social Business News & Articles

The Next Phase of Collaboration: Getting the Job Done

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While many companies struggle to adopt social business practices, others have found ways to generate real business results through collaboration.

The difference often comes down to a structured approach to social business that was explored yesterday in a CMSWire webinar featuring Jim Lundy, CEO and lead analyst for Aragon Research, Matt Wenger, CEO of ThinkTank and Kim Glover, manager of knowledge management for FMC Technologies. The session was sponsored by ThinkTank.

What's structured collaboration? Lundy explained it's basically a mash-up of existing social techniques with product management technologies augmented by predictive analytics.

Find Your WorkType, Courtesy of Jive

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“How the heck did I get stuck in this role?”

Admit it, you’ve probably run out of a meeting and into your cube, hidden your face in your hands and bitten your lip to keep yourself from screaming these words or others like them — at least once or twice.

If you’re like most people, you’ve worked in a department or on a project where your “assigned” responsibilities didn’t play to your interests or strengths. Maybe you’re someone who thrives on getting things done and that job has been assigned to the dreamer in the corner who keeps coming up with new ideas instead of acting.

And then there’s that woman who keeps telling everyone how great they’re doing instead of coming up with a plan.

Wouldn’t it be great if your team lead or manager knew the work styles of you and your coworkers better? And for that matter, you’d like to know a bit more about how everyone gets things done too. Like does “soon” mean in five minutes or “I’m still thinking" about the best approach?

It depends on who you’re working with and talking to, of course.

And while it would be great if a job title reflected a person’s work style, that’s usually not the case.

What to Do When Yammer Adoption Stalls

Plenty of companies have early success with Yammer. And then it stalls. Or they hit growing pains and the early enthusiasm wanes.

This scenario can happen to any enterprise social network (ESN), but it seems most pronounced in Yammer, partly because Yammer has such a large market share, but also because its freemium model means that the usual business-case test criteria (and the useful thinking that goes with it) can get bypassed.

Discussion Point: Is There a Secret Sauce for Employee Engagement?

Thumbnail image for discussion-pointHappy employees = happy customers. Yet we've all seen the numbers from Gallup: 63 percent of workers worldwide are not engaged at work, and a further 24 percent are actively disengaged. Businesses recognize the benefits of engaged employees — for retention, for productivity, for increased customer satisfaction — but struggle with how to create work environments that support this goal and in many cases feel unprepared to meet the demand.

This comes at a time when businesses are under pressure to differentiate themselves through customer service and at a time of increased connectivity, increased information availability, increased challenges in finding organizational information — all of this resulting in "overwhelmed employees."

Something needs to give, but where should companies start? 

Office Graph From a Partner's Perspective

2014-17-October-Sidecar.jpgWhen Microsoft showcased the power of Office Graph through Project Oslo, the Microsoft partner community collectively wondered about extensibility and API access. But as with many Microsoft products, it will take the greater partner community to push Office Graph into the mainstream.

To explore this dynamic, I spoke with Yaacov Cohen, CEO of Harmon.ie, to discuss the Microsoft Office Graph reveal and how it will impact the Silicon Valley-based software developer and its product line.

Microsoft Gives Office 365 More Social Love

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Microsoft wants to make it easier to search and collaborate. 

Last week it improved the social collaboration abilities of Office 365 by upgrading Outlook Web App (OWA). This week, it's giving OWA more love by improving the OWA interface and navigation tree to make it easier to use, especially on tablets.

This Is Not A Social Network

2014-13-September-Not-A-Pipe.jpgWatching the livestream and tweet stream of #BIF10 a few weeks ago sharply reminded me that Twitter is not a social network.

It is a medium that connects, conveys and spreads a social network. It has moments of brilliance, hours of banality, and wondrous conversations sometimes slide into noxious platitudes.

Why Collaboration Solutions Fail [Infographic]

2014-13-October-communicateGo ahead. Give your employees yet another state-of-the art, fresh off the cloud (or out-of-the-box) solution for collaboration and communication.

Odds are few of them will use it anyway … unless you do two not-so-shocking things. Can you guess what they are?

Here's a clue: the technology itself isn't the problem. 

A new study by Softchoice, a Toronto, Ontario-based technology solutions and managed services provider, confirmed unified communications (UC) and collaboration tools have the power to accelerate productivity, bring people together and increase employee engagement. However, most UC implementations fail because employees are left out of the process, the research found.

Here's why.

Microsoft Sweetens Office 365 Collaboration Options

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Think collaboration and you think Google. Maybe. Or Box or Dropbox. You don’t think Office 365 really, even though its enterprise collaboration abilities have greatly improved in the past two years. However, that could change. Microsoft has just made it a lot easier to collaborate using Outlook Web App (OWA).

It is doing that by making it easier to share files using OneDrive for Business. Specifically, it is targeting email attachments and email threads that can lead to all kinds of unpleasant problems around versioning.

HR Intranets Go to the Next Level

2014-09-September-Donkey-Kong-Real-Life.jpgSince the early days of intranets, people-related processes and transactions have been one of the main use cases for the intranet. Employee self-service has helped to save real money with intranets improving processes, allowing employees to view payslips, book annual leave, select training and much more.

Too often, however, the HR section of the intranet feels more like a collection of links to other systems than a coherent and consistent digital experience. Leading organizations are now choosing a different path, by focusing on extensive integration with other systems to elevate the intranet user experience around HR processes and transactions.

This not only improves efficiencies and reduce costs, but also makes the employee aware of critical HR information around pay and benefits, recognition and more.

Jim Lundy: Driving Value from Social Business Networks

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It's been years since companies began adding in-house social networks to enhance collaboration among employees. Now it's time to get real business value out of them.

Until recently, many companies have struggled to get their employees to supplement their email and IMs by engaging in conversations with geographically-dispersed coworkers. Even more elusive was finding measurable value in their status updates.

That's about to change, according to Jim Lundy, CEO and lead analyst for Aragon Research, who has spent nearly three decades looking into social business strategies, talent management and related fields. During that time, Lundy spent 12 years at Gartner Research, where he formed and led its collaboration and social software team. 

What to Do Before You Become a SharePoint Developer

So you want to be a SharePoint developer.

It’s a topic that has been discussed around the web numerous times. However I still find myself talking to .Net developers who want to become SharePoint developers by jumping right into coding. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to reiterate some key points — things you should and shouldn't do before you deem yourself a SharePoint developer.

Bring Your Workforce Together with Open APIs

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A funny thing happened over the last decade or so: Our work networks got really, really big.

It wasn’t that long ago that even the most seasoned salesperson’s address book would have maybe a couple hundred entries. Now, though, it’s common for the average worker to be connected to more team members, vendors, clients and conference contacts than the 500 LinkedIn counts.

Is Your Intranet Stuck in the Stone Age?

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The reason no one uses your organization’s expensive collaboration software is because your employees absolutely hate your intranet.

You would think that by 2014, we’d be past stone-age issues like cluttered landing pages or non-existent search options. Sadly, dinosaur intranets are still the reality for many enterprise organizations.

Are you an intranet dinosaur? Let’s bring your intranet back into the 21st century.

Social Will Not Succeed Without Business Process Integration

2014-01-October-Integration.jpgIt's been said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.”

We see this theory in action every day within most corporate environments as businesses try to apply the latest technology without understanding how to integrate it into their daily business processes. Information Technology and business groups make this same mistake repeatedly with the same result — lack of adoption and usage across the enterprise resulting in a failed implementation. Users don’t hold onto legacy technology because they fear change: they crave change! But in order to be effective, the technology has to be woven into the user’s daily business processes.

Want Happy Employees? You Gotta Work at It

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Your workforce is changing. But most businesses still don't understand how to motivate, satisfy and retain this increasingly global, diverse and, yes, demanding employee base.

That's one of the findings from a new study by SAP SE, a German software company that has invested in a number human resources-related companies over the last few years. Conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of SAP, the study shows too many companies are still stuck in the stone age when it comes to everything fro salaries, flexibility and overall abilities to keep top talent.

ROI Is the Wrong Tool to Justify Social Investments

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Social media and social networking have become core business tools in the business world. Every major brand has some level of social media account or social engagement with its customers at this point, but the question remains how to measure the value associated with social media and social networking. To do this, companies look for a Social Return on Investment but get hung up in the process. Why does this happen? 

The Metamorphosis of the Social Enterprise

2014-26-September-Change.jpgThe Social Enterprise is dead … but it hasn’t disappeared. Rather, it has been replaced by a remarkably similar concept: the Digital Workplace. According to Gartner, the Digital Workplace "enables new and more effective ways of working, improves employee engagement and agility, and exploits consumer-oriented styles and technologies."

Don't Launch a Social Business Collaboration Solution Unless ...

2014-24-September-Kick-Off.jpgIt’s the season in which I find myself doing a lot of armchair quarterbacking on the weekends (which involves yelling at the TV from time to time — Go Hawks!). I know I’m not alone. When you are that involved in the outcome, it makes the wins all the more sweet.

During the work week, I have the pleasure of actual quarterbacking for business collaboration, in partnership with customers and clients — not to mention my own team. What I've seen is that the philosophy you bring to the table makes a real difference to your success.

Intranet Search: Where Documents Go to Die or KM Enabler?

2014-23-September-Lost-and-Found.jpgOrganizations look at search, its use, management and funding in different ways. My colleague who runs our organization's corporate intranet noted that although he isn't the business owner of “enterprise search” for the organization, employees go to the intranet, see a search box and assume that the intranet team is responsible for search.