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Collaboration News & Analysis

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. 

Ellison Does His Own Demos, Loves His New Job #OOW14

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It was classic Larry Ellison on stage, part brilliant computer scientist, part hammy comedian, always entertaining.

Oracle OpenWorld, his company's mammoth annual convention that virtually shuts down the heart of San Francisco's SoMa district, will continue through tomorrow.

But Ellison's keynote presentation yesterday pretty much solidified the intended message for the capacity crowd: Oracle, which trailed its rivals to the cloud, now wants to be king of the cumulous.

Oracle Builds a New Station on its Social Route

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Social business tools promise to help us to share, explore, discuss and advance ideas in a fun, collaborative way. But it's not always like that.

Often, the social community turns into commodity, as CMSWire Writer Carrie Basham Young pointed out recently.

Maybe that's what Oracle had in mind today as it added Social Station to its social relationship management suite.

Planview Snaps Up A Collaboration Firm

2014-13-August-Patrick Tickle a.jpgAlmost every enterprise has both companywide projects and those guided by small teams. Juggling those with the available resources is the all-too-often elusive key to successful project management.

Companies are increasingly turning to social business tool to supplement traditional project management and agile approaches. In response, large vendors are adding cloud-based features and communication tools to existing product suites.

Planview today said it has acquired Projectplace, a Stockholm-based collaboration in the cloud company, to blend more collaboration into its current line of portfolio management and agile products.

Second Survey Finds Slipping Confidence in Tech Sales

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For months, the question asked softly around Silicon Valley has been: Is this another tech bubble?

With restaurants filled with well-paid tech workers and home prices soaring into the stratosphere, such doubts are usually shrugged off with a phrase that hasn't been heard much around the San Francisco Bay Area since the spring of 2000: "It's different this time."

Yes, it is different. Significantly, Silicon Valley giants, unlike the tiny start-ups of the dot-com era, are highly profitable, and some have billions of dollars in cash. However, the outlook for technology rests on a highly complex economic and geopolitical landscape, and that has been shaken recently by the potential for Russian intervention in Ukraine, the strikes by ISIS in Iraq, Israel's actions in Gaza and new fears about the debts of some European governments.

Since setting a new high a month ago, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index, like much of the broader market, has fallen back in choppy trading. And, in just the past week, two independent studies have found new signs of doubt that technology sales, while still growing, will reach levels expected when 2014 began.

Social, Analytics and Smartphones Driving IT Spending Growth

While smartphones remain the top dogs in IT spending, the research firm IDC reports analytics, collaborative applications and data management will help drive stronger spending through the end of 2014.

The firm forecasts worldwide IT growth of 4.1 percent in US dollars. It notes that without smartphones, the number would be just 2.8 percent (in US dollars).

"Aside from smartphones, the strongest growth will come from software, including rapidly expanding markets such as data analytics, data management and collaborative applications including enterprise social networks," the firm noted.

Oscar Berg: 'Collaboration Pyramid' Improves Enterprise Communication

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Technology can help companies adapt to today's fast-changing landscape, but digital strategist Oscar Berg says firms also must develop a "communication culture" throughout the organization.

Berg, who works with the Avega Group, a consultancy in Malmö, Sweden, discussed the need for greater collaboration during a one-hour CMSWire webinar last week. He explained why businesses should change, how they can change and the technologies that can help them.

Why? Because factors including new consumer behaviors and  rising global competition are making business unpredictable. "This means organizations can't do long, detailed planning. Instead they have to be prepared for change, to quickly adapt to new conditions and situation," he said. "This is quite a challenge."

Take that, Cisco: Microsoft is Tops in Enterprise Collaboration

social business, Numbers Proof: Microsoft Beats Cisco in Enterprise Collaboration

Maybe it hasn't reached Red Sox-Tampa Bay Rays level. But Cisco and Microsoft are certainly watching each other in the enterprise collaboration space.

Last month, Cisco told us it was gunning for Microsoft with its Jive integration.

Microsoft then defended its own suite.

Nothing like numbers to clear up the argument -- for now, anyway.

Microsoft has finally caught up with Cisco and generated more revenue from its enterprise collaboration infrastructure activities in the first quarter, according to new data from Synergy Research Group.

Cisco CMO Reveals Her Pain Points

2014 May 20 Blair Christie Cisco 320 centr tm.jpgAbout 15 years ago, Blair Christie made one of those life-changing decisions. She gave up her notion of seeking her fortune on Wall Street to become the investor relations director for Cisco, helping to guide Wall Street's expectations for the networking powerhouse.

This week, amid the hullabaloo of the sprawling Cisco Live conference -- it takes up all three halls in San Francisco's Moscone Center plus an adjacent high-rise hotel -- Christie said she's oh-so glad she found the way to San Jose, where she now serves Cisco as chief marketing officer.

Stepping aside from the hoopla from the conference, she shared an inside look at her marketing strategies with CMSWire. We were particularly interested in which tools the mammoth B2B tech vendor uses to market itself globally, but also asked her about her mobile and social strategies, and about her biggest "pain points" as a CMO. 

Cisco Simplifies Its Collaboration Suite

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If you've worked in an office in the past 15 years, odds are you've used Cisco's desk phones, attended WebEx conference calls or watched colleagues over Cisco's TelePresence video service. Maybe you've also used Lync, Skype, Hangouts or some of the many others services to collaborate with others.

Now, Cisco claims you can choose all of the above thanks to a significant shift in the San Jose, Calif.-company's collaboration suite strategy. At its Cisco Live conference, the company introduced options to simplify its systems while cutting costs.

"We want to bring amazing collaboration capabilities to every room, every desk and every pocket," said Peter Ulander, vice president for marketing. He said the company did a good job of helping people connect through voice, video or data conferences, but all through three services that operated as separate businesses within Cisco.

Gartner's 4 Magic Words for IT

2014-05-May-Susan-Landry.jpgDo your eyes glaze over when you see all the IT buzzwords thrown at you today? Sure they do.

Like anything involving language, words tend to lose their meaning when use too frequently or improperly. It can be a particular problem when complex topics overlap as they often do at the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit running through Wednesday in Los Angeles.

In an effort to combat that, two Gartner execs boiled down the challenges facing today's IT managers to just four words, setting the stage for the 2,000-plus attendees attending the show in the JW Marriott. Managing VP Susan Landry and Research Vice President Jeffrey Mann focused on engagement, digital, content and integration while refining the meanings of those words to apply to today's context.

Why are those words more important than all the other techno-babble terms floating around? "Because they are bigger for a reason. They matter," said Mann as he and Landry began their keynote presentation.

IDC Again Calls IBM a Leader in Enterprise Social Software

social business, IDC Cites IBM as Leader in Enterprise Social Software Again

IBM's getting the nod for its enterprise social software -- again.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) named the Armonk, N.Y.-based software giant as the worldwide marketshare leader in enterprise social software for the fifth straight year, IBM told CMSWire today.

IBM produces in its social business portfolio IBM Connections and Smarter Workforce technologies deployed in on-premise or in the cloud.

IBM's Take on Going 'Mobile First'

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For businesses to really nail success in the mobile enterprise, the first thing they should probably realize is it’s not easy.

It’s one of IBM’s messages from its report, “The upwardly mobile enterprise: Setting the strategic agenda.”

How does your company interact with customers on mobile? How does it develop and deliver products and services via mobile? How does mobile apply to physical, human and digital capital?

“While there are always risks associated with the use of new technologies,” IBM concluded in its study, “we also see risks associated with not taking advantage of mobile capabilities as customers’ expectations grow, and new and emerging competitors achieve results in this space.”

SharePoint, Collaboration Success Through Lens of Former Dell CTO

Call it a chief change in technology.

HiSoftware Inc. announced earlier this month the appointment of former Dell chief technology officer and Microsoft SharePoint MVP Chris McNulty as its company's CTO. 

With an MCTS, MCSE, MSA and MVTSP certification, McNulty has more than 20 years of software experience, including overseeing Dell solutions for SharePoint, Office 365, Yammer and related technologies.

He's also an occasional CMSWire contributor who's written recently about new patterns of collaboration in SharePoint and SharePoint's key enhancements over the last 10 years.

CMSWire caught up with McNulty for a Q&A on his new role, his past role at Dell and collaboration in the enterprise.

Alfresco CTO: Intelligent, Adaptable, Amazing Tech Ahead

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John Newton has a vision of what technology and enterprise collaboration will look like in 2024. 

Trust these future goggles. They've got plenty of experience. Newton is the CTO and chairman of Alfresco, an open source enterprise content management provider. But back in 1990, he co-founded, designed and led the development of Documentum, which was later acquired by EMC.

"Assuming that it continues on more or less the pace it has so far, and there’s no reason not to think that, there is some amazing stuff that’s possible," Newton told CMSWire in a phone interview from the AIIM Conference this month, where he spoke. "Extremely high resolution displays. Virtual reality types of devices. New ways of inputting into computers. A lot of wearable technology that will go beyond the consumer stuff and actually make systems more usable for us."

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