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Enterprise 2.0 News & Analysis

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.

London Firm Bets Money on the Internet of Things

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Gartner expects the Internet of Things (IoT) will be driven by small entrepreneurs rather than big tech companies. And that means funding for those entrepreneurs is going to be crucial.

So far, compared with the funds available for start-ups in other areas like social or information management, there is relatively little investment in IoT start-ups. However, Reply, a London-based consulting, systems integration and digital services company, is taking up the torch and setting up a new trans-Atlantic initiative called Breed Reply.

Personalizing Your Office 365 Content with Graph and Delve

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Last month, Microsoft introduced Delve, built on top of Microsoft Graph. Graph joined people across the enterprise in a single, unified… well graph. But Delve offered those connected users a way to find each other.

There is a lot of reason to be excited about it, especially for those who have been following the Microsoft One strategy.

That strategy was further clarified by CEO Satya Nadella’s Mobile First, Cloud First mantra. But it wasn’t entirely clear for those outside the loop what Delve is and where it came from.

To clarify this we asked Cem Aykan, senior product manager for Office Graph and Delve.

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.

Here's What Happens When Employees BYOD

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Security-related headaches around BYOD may make users want to BYOB.

That's what you can conclude from a new survey that shows organizations with bring your own device (BYOD) policies have twice the number of security concerns as other organizations.

“BYOD introduces a variety of potential risks from security and policy perspectives, as well as end-user privacy,” said Eugene Liderman, director of the office of the CTO at Good Technology, the company that sponsored the Mid-Market Mobility Trends Survey.

Thanks Google, I Can Manage My Own Bills - and Privacy

Google releases some pretty cool apps on a regular basis. But, it just doesn’t seem to get the whole privacy thing. This week, it announced that it is extending its Google Now personal assistant technology to enable it read your bills — and tell you when they’re overdue.

The first thing that will strike most people is that they don’t really need anyone to tell me when they owe money. It's a sure bet that they are painfully aware of that themselves.

The second thing is privacy. Google has already admitted that it snoops on your emails to produce personalized advertising. Why would it want to look at your bills?

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.

Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends for 2015 #GartnerSYM [Infographic]

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Can’t get enough of lists? Another Top 10 was revealed during Gartner’s Symposium/ITxpo 2014 in Orlando, Fla., this time focusing on technology trends for the coming year. 

“It all starts with digital business,” said David W. Cearley, Vice President and Gartner Fellow. “Welcome to your digitized future.” In presenting the trends, Cearley noted that strategic trends are those likely to have the biggest impact in the next three years.

The 2015 trends fall into three groups:

  1. Merging the Real and Virtual World
  2. Intelligence Everywhere
  3. Emergence of the New IT Reality

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.

Why CEOs and Other Top Execs Need CIOs - and the IT Team

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As a customer-focused business leader, you may not like IT. You may even think everyone in the IT department is socially awkward because they spend more time interacting with computers than people.

But whether you like it or not, if you want to close sales you’re going to have to invite IT to your business meetings.

Perish the thought that anyone from IT will sit in on a sales call. However, it's important to sit down with your IT team and listen to what each person has to say about the state of your technology. Otherwise, there’s a pretty good chance you won’t have to worry about sales calls.

There won’t be too many of them.

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.

Top 10 Strategic Predictions for 2015 and Beyond #GartnerSYM

Gartner’s Symposium/ITxpo 2014 in Orlando, Fla. is in full swing — and the Twitter stream is abuzz with snippets and quotes from keynotes and sessions focusing on a digital first world, business units as technology startups, the rise of smart machines and digital humanism – all feeding the event’s theme around digital business.

This morning Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella seemed to captivate the audience during a packed keynote. He emphasized that the company wants to excel at "productivity, broadly defined" and "getting the platforms right." He also stressed the company's commitment to the Internet of Things, noting:

Of course, no Gartner gathering is complete without predictions. Daryl Plummer, vice president and Gartner Fellow, gave attendees a peek at Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Predictions for 2015 and Beyond and how they impact the strategy and direction of IT and business.

Entitled, “Digital Business is Driving ‘Big Change,’” Gartner’s list makes it clear that, for businesses to survive in the digital world, they need to invest in customer experience and people.

Hackers Want Your CRM Data: Here's What To Do

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The cyberattack on JPMorgan Chase has affected 76 million household accounts, a far larger number than originally expected. The inroads hackers made into the bank has rattled the tech and financial community, to say nothing of Capitol Hill, where legislators are looking anew at cybersecurity legislation.

The reason for their nervousness is clear: JPMorgan Chase is probably one of the most protected institutions in the world. If hackers can successfully breach its security, what chance do other companies stand?

It's a sobering question and there is no pat response other than to treat the event as a wake up call: if a company or industry is perceived to have a rich treasure trove of data within its systems, know that it's fair game to hackers.

And what contains more rich, personalized data than customer relationship management (CRM) systems?

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