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Enterprise 2.0 News & Analysis

Speed Business with Collaboration and Engagement

2014-30-May-Cheetah.jpgI find myself thinking again about the buzziest of buzzwords: engagement and collaboration. Just what do they mean? Engagement is about people’s connections to technology, and collaboration builds connections (and ideas) among people.

You know what engagement really is? It’s speed.

The New Chief Officer No One Wants to Meet

2014-30-May-The-Boss.jpgWe've all met him. You know him. He might be a friend. He's not alone. He might even be you.

He's the guy (sometimes gal, but she's more rare) who walks around and talks about how many people need to get canned if the enterprise is ever going to really start moving. Accountability is his creed (or at least your accountability is).

How Businesses are Benefiting From Social

2014-29-May-Whole-Foods.jpgOne of the biggest topics to emerge from the Microsoft conference circuit this year is the concept of “working like a network” -- encouraging companies to rethink how they operate, collaborate and communicate by using enterprise social technologies to eliminate departmental silos. This allows companies to better adapt and respond to ever-shifting market conditions as well as improve knowledge sharing.  

To get a good understanding of what that vision looks like, watch Yammer’s Moments video. It shows how people within a responsive organization used Yammer to collaborate and create a product that made a difference for its customers. The video ends in a new product design job for an administrative coordinator, happy customers who fulfilled their goals, and a warm feeling about the power of enterprise social. This isn’t just marketing hype either: McKinsey & Company recently conducted a survey of leading enterprise companies on the use of social networks, and nearly 90 percent reported a measurable business benefit gained from implementing social platforms.

The Innovation Based Business Case for Social

2014-28-May-First-Flight.jpgIn management science innovation is typically thought of as a process which results in beneficial changes through novel ideas or solutions. Innovation is about change -- and change, volatility and flux have been the defining features of the business landscape since World War II and especially since the 1970s. As one commentator succinctly put it in 1990, organizations must “get innovative or get dead."

Let's examine four ways social business can be associated with innovation and look at the different ways each measures value.

Can Skype Translator Bust the Language Barrier?

While being interviewed on stage at the Recode Code Conference yesterday in Pailo Alto, Calif., Windows CEO Satya Nadella demonstrated some new technology the company has been working on. 

Skype Translator, as it is currently known, will give Skype near real time translation capabilities. The program -- which will be available on all devices -- currently supports 40 languages and is slated for consumer beta later this year. 

Nadella demonstrated the program in a phone call with Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of Skype, who spoke German while Skype translated. Nadella spoke English, which was, similarly, translated by Skype for the benefit of Pall. 

In a blog post addressing the first public demonstration of the forthcoming technology, Pall had this to say: 

In our industry, we often talk about pursuing big, bold dreams, and how we're limited only by the power of our imaginations. Skype Translator is one of those endeavors, and I look forward to keeping you apprised of our journey to break down another barrier to human productivity and connection." 

Oscar Berg: 'Collaboration Pyramid' Holds the Secret of High Impact Social Business

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When Oscar Berg conceived the idea of a "collaboration pyramid," he did exactly what you would expect a social business expert to do. He shared the basic concept for the pyramid on his blog — so he could refine and improve it through input and feedback from his readers.

That's the value of collaboration, he explained. By sharing information and ideas, good ideas can become even better. 

Berg is a self-described digital strategist with a passion for simplicity and outside-in thinking … a man who devotes considerable time to envisioning the future of knowledge work.

More concretely, he is an experienced management consultant, author, speaker and CMSWire contributor based in Greater Malmö, the commercial center of southern Sweden.

He is passionate about helping customers become more successful by improving communication, sharing and collaboration — and values happiness above success. Happiness, he maintains, "comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others."

The key, he explained, is sharing knowledge. And that is exactly what he plans to do during a CMSWire webinar next Wednesday, June 4 (see webinar details here).

Syncplicity Challenge: Give Up Your PC and Mac for 30 Days

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Everyone’s talking about the Mobile First, Cloud First world. In fact, shortly after being named CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella announced that from here on out Microsoft would become a Mobile First, Cloud First company.

Want to bet how many people at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash. still spend most of their work time on PC’s?

Rather than count, let’s just say most.

That being said, we do know of a company that has challenged its employees to go Mobile Only for 30 days. And not only did the employees agree to try Syncplicity's Go Lite Challenge: They also achieved their goal.

Integrating Yammer with SharePoint 2013: Navigating the Options

2014-22-May-Directions.jpgIn 2012, Microsoft Office General Manager Jared Spataro told the audience at the SharePoint Conference that “Microsoft is all in on Yammer and SharePoint.” Spataro made it clear -- Yammer would be the social collaboration tool of choice for SharePoint going forward.

Office 365 would be the first major beneficiary of Yammer integration, but SharePoint on-premises would see integration in future service pack releases. Microsoft would support SharePoint 2013’s out of the box social features for a period of time, but they would not be enhanced or developed further. This sent shock waves of confusion and concern throughout the SharePoint Community and has spurred heated discussion since.

The Catch-22 of Social ROI

Another year has passed and we are still trying to define the Return on Investment (ROI) for social tools in the enterprise. We are bombarded with stories of successful implementations but finding hard numbers that can be quickly applied to our own organization remains a challenge. The existence of failed efforts provides the holders of the money reasons to doubt the few numbers that can be pulled together.

5 Mobile App Policies You Need

You can’t go mobile with a desktop mindset -- but that’s just what too many IT organizations do. The most commonly applied mobile app policies are holdovers from the PC environment, like two-factor authentication and selective access based on Active Directory membership. These measures may be useful in a traditional computing setting, but they’re woefully inadequate for the new world of enterprise mobility. They fail to account for concepts like jailbroken devices, bring-your-own-device (BYOD), untrusted public networks and offline usage.

To make enterprise mobility both secure and fully productive, you need to apply new policies designed specifically for the way mobile users work today. It’s not just about introducing restrictions and roadblocks -- you also need to empower people to do even more with their mobile apps and devices to enable greater business value.

CMSWire Tweet Jam: The Search for ROI #SocBizChat

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Establishing the return on investment (ROI) of any tech purchase is a challenge, but the challenge is amplified when looking at social tools. Clear cut formulas don't cut it.   What signs of progress should companies look for? And when should they expect to see these signs?

Join us tomorrow as we discuss these questions and more at our monthly Tweet Jam! 

How the Freemium Model Outflanks the ROI Question

2014-21-May-DJ.jpgNobody goes to the store (or these days, iTunes) specifically to buy an obnoxiously catchy pop song that they’ve never heard before. Chances are they’ve heard it for free somewhere first. No offense to Pandora and Spotify, but let’s call this the radio model. A song is played for free, the listener likes it, and only then makes a buying decision. This is actually a very good description of how and why enterprise social network licenses get purchased, and a telling factor in why social ROI is a fool’s game.

After all, you can’t measure the value of a pop song. It makes you happy, sure. And we all know you can work better, run faster and just in general be more successful when you’re happy … but good luck trying to prove any of that.

The Mobile Enterprise Won't Be Built in a Day

2014-20-May-Subway-Rider.jpgOnly last year, the industry was abuzz with news about "Bring Your Own (BYO)" programs ... Since then organizations have discovered three things: 1. Supporting an open list of employee-owned equipment is not practical. 2. Deploying a manageable and scalable mobile security infrastructure is "easier said than done." Plus, it’s taking longer than anticipated to get all the pieces in place. 3. So far, the only business applications workers have been able to use are email, contact management and calendar.

These complications have limited the payback that organizations have been able to reap from their BYO programs. Organizations are dealing with the first two items by limiting their approved list of supported devices, and by (finally) deploying mobile device management (MDM) or similar security solutions.

However, the lack of real business apps remains a problem.

A Shift in Business Means a Shift in Notions of ROI

Social Business: 2014-20-May-Measurements.jpgThe Big Shift is indeed a big shift. Driven by complexity, competitive pressure and the end of the office building as the primary location of people and activity. The shift is primarily about three things: 1. Leadership 2. The new learning-collaborative paradigm of work and 3. Relationship with external parties -- the ecosystem.

There’s a problem here, and it's not (only) one of culture or technology -- it's one of profound impedance mismatch between old and new paradigms of business. That is to say it's like taking a Firewire connector and trying to plug it into a video cable. It doesn’t work, and finding an adaptor is pretty hard.

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.

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