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Enterprise Collaboration News, Reviews

Is Microsoft Building an Outlook Chat App?

Apple, under Steve Jobs leadership, was known for its secrecy — very little was known about the iPhone, for example, before it was officially unveiled.

Microsoft, under Satya Nadella’s leadership, may go down in history for its propensity to leak information. There was the acquisition of calendar app Sunrise that TechCrunch uncovered a week before it was announced, the not-so-secret purchase of e-mail app Accompli and ever popular leaks about SharePoint 2016.

Now it seems Microsoft is building something called Flow, a chat app that works with Outlook.

Do Contributes to the Apple Productivity Parade

Meeting productivity provider Do has rolled out a new suite of apps for the Apple iPhone and iPad. This debut -- specifically it is a massive overhaul of an earlier iteration of a family of Apple apps -- follows the company's announcement in March that it is integrating with Microsoft Office 365.

Score another one for the tiny start up that is barely a year old.

New Workplaces Mean New Demands on Leaders

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We have been witnessing a defection from web 2.0 era "social collaboration" tools because they don’t actually help people get their jobs done

Those tools may reflect an idealized company of five or more years ago, although I doubt it. They are really designed for the needs of the first line managers of an earlier day: overseeing what people are doing, and trying to "manage" people, like cowboys "manage" cattle.

3 Simple Ways of Putting MySites to Use

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Microsoft has done a lot to enhance the enterprise social features in SharePoint 2013, and a lot of these features have been integrated within My Sites. Let’s consider the three most useful upgrades.

SharePoint is Back, Yammer... Not So Much

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Two things really caught my eye of the many announcements that came out of Ignite: the rebirth of SharePoint on premises and the end of the line for Yammer.

Everything Bill Baer Has Shared About SharePoint

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There were tons of sessions at Microsoft's Ignite conference besides mine that were good. I know it’s tough to believe. And I went to a couple myself.

One of the biggest and most well attended was a little session called What's New for IT Professionals in SharePoint Server 2016.

Bill Baer, friend of the show, senior product manager at Microsoft for SharePoint, put that one on in a big auditorium that sat four or five thousand people, something like that. It was gigantic.

So basically it was Bill telling us everything that he could tell us about what’s going to come in SharePoint 2016. Now, I’m going to just kind of go over the highlights of that.

Groups for Office 365 Transforming Collaboration

If I had to pick one word to describe Microsoft's vision for the new workplace that I saw at the recent Ignite conference, it would be that used by CEO Satya Nadella during his keynote: "Transformation."

The ever-increasing complexity of the digital workplace mandates a transformative reliance on technological toolkits that can enable collaboration among and within disparate teams across the enterprise. One such tool that stood out for me at Ignite was Groups for Office 365.

Is Your Boss or Your Phone Ruining Your Dinner?

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Admit it. While your spouse mulls over appetizers at the local restaurant, you dive into your work email. Or maybe you’re really clever and take a “bathroom break.”

Either way, you work when you’re supposed to play. We all do. Believe me, that phone tempts me even as I manage my 10-year-old's Little League team.

Is there no longer a work-life balance? Maybe not, a report by enterprise collaboration provider Workfront discovered.

Lives in Limbo: The Challenge of On-Call Work Shifts

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It’s been framed as a battle between the bottom line for retailers and quality of life for workers.

At issue are so called on-call work shifts, which require employees to call in just hours before their scheduled start times to confirm whether they need to show up.

On-call shifts help employers optimize their staffing and prevent having too few or too many employees on the clock at any given time. But employees maintain the practice leaves them in perpetual states of uncertainty, and creates endless challenges about child care and other aspects of their lives.

Intranet Search? Sssh! Don't Speak of It

2015-15-May-Conversation.jpgIf you have ever been to an intranet conference you will have noticed that no matter how much detail is given about the architecture, the content and the social media applications, very little information is shared about the search implementation. Even the otherwise excellent profiles in NNGroup’s Intranet Design Annuals provide very little information about how search has been implemented or the levels of user satisfaction. 

Are You Friends With Pat the SharePoint Cow?

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Holy cow, Microsoft Ignite was a big deal. The conference officially ran from May 4 through May 8 in Chicago, though some folks squeezed in an extra day.

Microsoft took all of the conferences they did before, big or otherwise — TechEd and the SharePoint Conference and the Exchange Conference and all those IT pro-type conferences and they put them all together in one gigantic conference called Microsoft Ignite.

I saw varying attendance estimates. The numbers I heard repeated most often and I think I read on the Internet, which automatically makes them true, is that the show sold out at more than 15,000 attendees.

Once you add the attendees and the speakers and the vendors and the Microsoft staff and a couple of stray cats, the total was probably north of 23,000 people.

3 SharePoint Paths for the Next 10 Years

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Microsoft Office 365 has proven to be a major disruption of how companies use SharePoint to meet business requirements. Rumors, fear, uncertainty and doubt proliferate around Microsoft's plans for SharePoint’s future releases, as well as the support of critical features and functionality companies rely on. Investments in SharePoint deployments have been massive throughout the pre-Office-365 years, and SharePoint continues to push its way into Tier 1 line-of-business application territory.

So, taking into account Office 365, the question is: How will companies be using SharePoint over the next 10 years? 

Intranet Value Lies in Employee Satisfaction

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Saying that intranet value is about how employees feel may seem counterintuitive -- surely it is about sales, profits and customers.

Although intranets that quantifiably support strategic goals are great, in reality most intranets play a low-key but essential day-to-day role in making employees more productive, and it is here that the real value lies. Indeed, things that are core to a business tend to have systems that are more precisely adapted to need (think CRM, SAP and DAM). The role of the intranet is to bind everything else together and fill the gaps.

Asking and Doing. The Only Skills that Matter Anymore

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Last week my son set himself to the task of building a computer. He’d heard that kids did this, and he wanted a powerful gaming computer and his (evil) mother had told him that the price of the computer he wanted was (way) too high. So he either had to earn the money or build it himself.

He thought that building it sounded cool.

He sat on the project for months. Maybe a year. After several false starts, he found a viable parts list for an inexpensive computer. I ordered them up.

The Art Of Selling An Idea

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Selling is more than just closing contracts and pushing product. In fact, there is something we mass-market more than anything else -- ideas.

While intangible, ideas are “sold” with nearly every interaction we have. We persuade people of the merits of our opinions in conversation. We gather buy-in and approvals for projects. An idea is just as marketable as any product or service and, if executed properly, can be just as valuable. 

Those who are skilled in selling or pitching ideas often earn one of the most coveted resources in business -- buy-in. Buy-in provides support in all forms, from public backing, to increased funding, to access to new connections. It is the social currency that makes many entrepreneurs rich with influence and is the one of the most powerful forces in bringing ideas to life.

However, if you’re looking for buy-in from your internal stakeholders, you need to know how to sell. 

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