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Enterprise 2.0 News & Analysis

'Work Like a Network' Isn't Rocket Science, It's People

2014-27-August-Rocket-Science.jpgYour personal network, your social network(s), your corporate network, your neural network … you can’t swing a cat these days without hitting a network (Note: no cats were harmed in the writing of this column). And then Microsoft uses the phrase “work like a network.” What’s the big deal?

To me, “Work Like a Network” is the basis of fundamental communication and sociology of the workplace -- not rocket science. It’s marketing spin, just like “BYOD” and “consumerization of IT” and “Mentos: The Freshmaker.” But there’s a slight twist that Microsoft brings, and it’s an important one.

Does Jive Do Social Better by Putting the End User First?

Jive may be one of the last enterprise social collaboration pure play vendors that hasn’t been acquired. That may very well free it to do what its competitors can’t — namely, to innovate and integrate without constraint because it isn’t locked in to anyone or anything.

The company is committed to helping its customers realize more engagement, more value and more results through its platform which is used by leading corporations such as EMC, Prudential, Thomson Reuters, T-Mobile and many others.

Yesterday the company, which Gartner has named to its Leaders Quadrant, unveiled its “Summer Cloud Release” which aims to drive productivity in the enterprise by providing “a more customized, enhanced, enterprise collaboration experience across all mobile devices.” The release leverages Cisco’s real time communication services like WebEx and Jabber.

Dave Gray on Work Like a Network and the Role of Hierarchies

2014-26-August-Dave-Gray.jpgIt's been two years since Dave Gray published "The Connected Company" with Thomas Vander Wal. Since then, the disruptions to the marketplace noted in the book have only accelerated. But companies are still struggling to keep pace.

At the time of the book's release, Gray noted a lesson from evolution -- organisms must evolve with their surroundings or risk extinction. It's a lesson many businesses have learned the hard way.

Manage Inbox Overload with In App Collaboration

According to Forbes "the average person spends 13 hours a week just reading and processing email.” But over the past few years things have started to change. In-app communications is trying to take people out of their inboxes by sending messages within the context of specific applications.

Organization Site Search Is Still Not Working

Until organizations introduce processes that prioritize findability, then site search will continue to fail miserably. 

7 Traits of Highly Effective Social Business Initiatives

What differentiates the companies that capture the full value of social technologies from those that do not?

These organizations are usually successful because their leaders don’t see social technology as just another tool or a new shiny object, but as a catalyst for organizational transformation and an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.

To achieve this transformation, the implementation of social business initiatives must be tightly coupled with a robust change management program. This approach helps shift mindsets and reduce resistance as these new technologies are incorporated into day-to-day workflows, helping transform organizational structures, systems and processes.

Best Fit Solutions Beat Best Practice

2014-20-August-Bad-Fit.jpgHuman Resources has become overly-reliant on the notion of "best practice" to solve business problems. But the highest performing companies go beyond this to find "best fit" solutions.

Social Networks Scale, When Will Social Tools?

Social Business, 2014-19-August-Beehive.jpgI’ve observed a curious arc in the discourse around social networks, especially in the past few years since open (or "consumer") web applications like Facebook and Twitter have gained hundreds of millions of users. The discussions about how we live and work in social networks in real life have changed, and in a subversive way. The enormous scale of these tools have led us to consider the world as an unbounded single network, while in fact we operate in many distributed and discontinuous social networks. 

Bloomfire's Collaboration Train Steams On

Bob Zukis has been a busy CEO since taking over Bloomfire in April. He and the enterprise collaboration provider are at it again this week with some updates to the platform in the areas of content creation, discovery, community and mobile.

Zukis has stated his case clearly in talks with CMSWire about the Bloomfire platform: Successful enterprise collaboration drives business results and stands out as more than just another Facebook for the enterprise.

"Most competitors focus primarily on providing static file management or a Facebook-style newsfeed," Zukis said. "Bloomfire enables true team-based collaboration by leveraging multiple types of content -- files, videos, web links, questions, announcements -- and putting this information in the hands of those who need it when they need it."

Forget Community - 'Social' is Now a Commodity

Social Business, 2014-18-August-For-Sale.jpgRemember the glory days of Enterprise Social software? When startups were acquired and innovations were exciting? When we all believed that social technology could help us change the way we worked for good? Death to email!

The ESN crickets have been chirping for some time, because corporate social networking software is now a commodity, not a community. Disappearing are the days of hoping for ideation, serendipitous discovery, executive dialogue with worker-bees, and earning millions of dollars from new product ideas gleaned from conversations. The enterprise is tired of the hype; companies who have not seen success are ready to give up. With myriad ESN vendors, the proliferation of social features across productivity, storage and project management products, and an inability to prove that standalone enterprise social software has ROI, the commoditization will continue and eventually bury the industry as we know it. Think it’s not possible? I beg to differ for two reasons.

Fast, Flexible, Innovative: Why Networks Thrive

Social Business, 2014-15-August-Networks.jpgVienna, September 1901. A man you’ve probably never heard of, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, was born. A man whose theories are helping to shape the future of how you do work. Ludwig von Bertalanffy, let’s just call him LvB, is the forefather of evolutionary systems thinking -- something you’d usually find described in dry university textbooks -- but he has had a radical effect on how we depict and predict interactions in systems in biology, physics, anthropology and social sciences.

Why does this man born more than a hundred years ago make a difference to you now, sitting in your cubicle or reading on your tablet? Because LvB originated general systems theory that demonstrates why thinking holistically is critical to surviving and thriving and why reductionist perspectives lead to extinction.

The 3 Most Damaging Enterprise Social Network Myths

2014-13-August-Myth.jpg

It’s the summer of 2014 and enterprise social networks are as hot in the market as they were a year ago. But there remain a handful of persistent myths and half-truths that organizations still encounter on the path to “working like a network.” Like the Greek gods and loony theories about Jon Snow’s real parents on Game of Thrones, these myths never really die. Unlike those other myths, though, the ones around enterprise social can really hold you back from a successful deployment.

If you’re interested in truly achieving success with an enterprise social rollout, you'll need to tackle these roadblocks head on and have a strategy in place to accept, address and sometimes even outmaneuver them.  

As Technology Needs Rise, So Does Security

The workplace is no longer limited to a seat behind a desk, and technology trends continue to evolve to meet the demands of roving offices. Companies want easy efficient business technology, but they also want security.

This is evidenced by a significant second quarter rise in mobile customer relationship management (CRM), Business Intelligence (BI) and document editing apps and secure instant messaging apps in the Good Technology Mobility Index report for Q2 2014.

The second-quarter analysis by the mobile security solutions provider analyzes enterprise apps and data usage for more than 5,000 companies in over 180 countries and is published every quarter.

“Enterprises are realizing the need for secure mobile apps and mobile business process workflows,” Lynn Lucas, chief marketing officer at Good Technology, told CMSWire. “Two years ago, the lion share of the industry discussion was around device choice and email. Today that focus is shifting to technology that allows employees to work efficiently whether they’re onsite or off.”

When 'Work Like a Network' Won't Work

Social Business, 2014-12-August-Godzilla-Swim.jpgHierarchy has become the bogeyman of the "future of work" movement. Listen to some commentators, and it sounds as if the honest worker in the corporation is being oppressed by power-crazed managers, hoarding information like Gollum with a hangover. Presumably some of these managers were promoted from honest worker level, so does hierarchy bestow power, which immediately corrupts?

Not so fast. There are definitely bad hierarchies, but like all organizational forms, they can be done well or done poorly. Hierarchy still has a role, especially in larger, more established businesses, and some scenarios exist where a networked approach would be detrimental.

Business Relies on the Strength of Networks

Social Business, 2014-11-August-Helping-Hand.jpgNot too long ago it was possible for a company to make long-term detailed plans and then execute those plans over a period of several years. They could -- with fairly good accuracy -- predict the demand of their products or services over years, and match supply accordingly. Consumers remained fairly stable in their attitudes and behaviors towards products and services. Everybody needed to buy a new fridge, car or television set every 10 years or so. Since the needs didn’t change that much over the years, neither did the products -- all that was required were some new features and an updated design.

A hierarchy of managers made sure that plans were followed and executed. The role of management was to execute the business model as efficiently as possible, focusing on cutting cost in order to increase market share through competitive pricing and increase profits and returns to shareholders. Management created and refined policies and procedures to make sure that operations ran like a well-oiled machine, and all measures of success and incentive systems were geared towards efficient execution.

Needless to say, today's business environment is very different.

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