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Enterprise Collaboration News, Reviews

Prediction for 2015: The Fall of People, Process and Technology

2014-18-December-Strike.jpgI don't know how many more years I'll be able to keep it up -- every year I try to make predictions that are unique, bold and a little bit against the grain. Last year I predicted the rise of lefties, two years ago I went with big data finding an Andy Warhol all of its own. This year I'm going extra bold, and extra big: I predict an age old enterprise IT axiom -- People, Process and Technology -- will wane and emerge anew as People, Perseverance and Technology.

In the Future, We Will Still Need to Work

A lot has been written about the future of work. The tenor of some recent discussions resemble the social media hype from five years ago: lots of pretty pictures with little research or data behind the pictures. While there is valuable research and qualified researchers working in this area, the noise in the system is extreme. It takes effort and commitment to quality to conduct research, analyze results and it takes experience to understand the impact.

I wish I could simply state -- "here I am, an expert, ready to set the record straight" -- but that isn't the case. But I can call BS on specific points that have been written and are simply wrong. You can't talk about the future while ignoring facts, history and experience. Yes, the technology is changing rapidly and the human response to these changes is complex, but guesswork will not help us get through the evolution.

A Year of Employee Engagement Advice, Minus the BS

2014-17-December-Employee-of-Month.jpgHow a bold but simple act of respect helped turn one organization around.

Employee engagement matters. 2014 sent us a barrage of “5 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement” and “7 Things Great Leaders Do” posts, and many of them had some good nuggets. We get it. You get it.

There have been studies and data that most employees aren't engaged and those that are drive a remarkable profit. Their customers are happier and so are their bottom lines.

Microsoft Pushes Yammer Deeper Into Enterprises

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Microsoft is pushing Yammer deeper into the enterprise with the addition of Yammer to the Office 365 K1 plan. It’s a small step forward, but gives users who don’t have desks access to it where they didn’t have access before.

Microsoft doesn’t say whether it has changed its mind and decided to offer Yammer to users who previously lacked access, except to say that it wants to give it to workers that have no fixed abode.

Wrike's Work Management Platform Wrinkle: Customization

Wrike claims it got the tricky part of enterprise project management and collaboration right with its release this week.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based provider revealed its Dynamic Platform, which it describes as a major update that adds the key function of customization "at every level of the product for every user."

"Before today, customers usually had one of two choices -- go for a user-friendly product that also wasn’t customizable and was really cookie-cutter," said Wrike CEO Andrew Filev, whose seven-year-old startup now has 150 employees. "Or you could go with an enterprise project management tool that will cost you an arm and a leg but then leaves the customization in the hands of IT. So there's a big lag there."

Get Your Hands Dirty with Microsoft's New Office App

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Microsoft Office is about as sexy as _____. You fill in the blank. And you’ll probably have to strain your brain to think of something that’s dull enough. “Cardboard” comes to mind.

If there’s any good news around that, it’s that Microsoft gets it, and they seem to be thinking rather carefully about what to do about it.

Making big changes to Word or Excel could be disruptive, and in a bad way, because if we were asked to work with something radically different, we’d be likely to check-out non-Microsoft options too.

But what about PowerPoint? Do our presentations provide the same exceptional, modern experiences as tools like Prezi do? Are they as easy and enjoyable to use? Can we create and consume them equally as effectively on PC’s, tablets, phones?

A Look at Product Management Tools [Infographic]

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Like their sales and marketing colleagues, product managers are searching for new tools to help them use data better, particularly in order to create more customer-focused products, states a new field guide and infographic by SiriusDecisions.

The infographic – Product Management Tools and Technology Study 2015 – gives a snapshot of the tools and technologies product managers are using today, while the field guide – Product Planning, Prioritization and Roadmapping 2015 – provides businesses with criteria they should consider when evaluating product management tools, as well as profiles 11 leading vendors against those criteria. 

“Product managers see their colleagues in sales and marketing becoming much more automated,” said Lisa Singer, research director for SiriusDecisions.

“They’re keeping their ears to the ground for tools that are going to help them understand the data, too. These tools allow them to grab hold of the data like their colleagues to better understand their customers, better understand their users, and better understand the ecosystems their products are working in.” 

Bob Zukis Out as CEO of Bloomfire After 'Short Stint'

Bob Zukis is no longer the CEO of Bloomfire, the new CEO confirmed for CMSWire tonight.

Zukis, the social business author and Forbes contributor, took the job as leader of the social collaboration provider just eight months ago.

His first day on the job was April 8. His last day was sometime in September, according to his LinkedIn profile. That gives him six months at Bloomfire -- compared to nearly 29 years at his preceding job as a partner at PwC.

Huddle: Has It Crossed the Hurdle or Still Have More to Prove?

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Zouk Capital led a Series D round of funding of $51 million for London-based enterprise collaboration platform provider Huddle last week because of its "content-centric collaboration" platform and focus on secure external collaboration rather than cloud storage, sync and share.

Nathan Medlock, partner at London-based Zouk Capital, told CMSWire that Huddle "combines our investment thesis of resource efficiency with best in class technology, a government and enterprise customer base, strong and proven management team and exceptional growth trajectory."

"What we like about the platform itself," Medlock added, "is its focus on secure external collaboration rather than cloud storage, sync and share -- collaboration is where the true value now lies."

8 Components of a Truly Integrated Digital Workplace

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We are living through an age in which the digital environment of work is becoming much more important than the physical workplace. The digital workplace has the potential to transform how companies operate on the front line, how employees communicate and collaborate internally, and even what it means to be an employee.

Yet most organizations have digital workplaces that are equivalent to boxes of junk. Employees have to stumble through heaps of applications, each with a different interface and security protocol.

Huddle Gets $51M to Prove Its Value is Collaboration, Not Files

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Huddle founders Andy McLoughlin and Alastair Mitchell have something that Box CEO Aaron Levie badly wants. And it’s not the $51 million in new funding they announced yesterday, a car with a steering wheel on the right side or even a British accent.

It’s having his company recognized as an Enterprise Content Collaboration platform provider or, in other words, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that goes beyond file sharing and not only gets the right information to the right people but also gives them the tools they need to achieve their goals, all in one place.

Levie didn’t tell us this, of course.  But Box, in its S-1, which was updated this week, calls itself an “a cloud-based, mobile-optimized Enterprise Content Collaboration platform that enables organizations of all sizes to easily and securely manage their content and collaborate internally and externally”. Ask the modern worker what Box is, and if they’re familiar with it, they’ll tell you it’s the Dropbox for business, which may be a whole other problem.

Apple, IBM Mega Deal Reveals First Offering

2014-10-December-The-Reveal.jpgIBM's 2014 has been all about partnering with consumer giants.

On the heels of its summer mega deal with Apple, enterprise software and hardware giant IBM struck a partnership with Twitter.

Today, IBM unveiled the first offering from that Apple deal -- IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions. IBM's apps and cloud services mesh IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad users in the enterprise. 

In reality, these IBM deals are enterprise-targeted, but the foundation is business giant meets consumer giant.

International Consumer Machines? ICM? Not quite, but in a year where IBM could use a boost, they're definitely turning to their consumer friends to boost their enterprise big data and analytics offerings. 

4 Ways SharePoint Navigation Breaks Usability Best Practices

2014-10-December-Broken.jpgThere's been a lot of interest lately from business users and SharePoint site owners in SharePoint's usability (or lack thereof), but the issue doesn't seem to receive as much attention as other topics. When experts talk about SharePoint, they focus on migration, administration, governance, development, cloud, and mobile. Any mentions of usability take a backseat and are only brought up by usability enthusiasts. It's time to bring this subject to the forefront.

What a Digital Workplace Is and What It Isn't

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There are as many definitions of the digital workplace as there are organizations. But in light of this month's focus on the digital workplace, it could be useful to look at what a digital workplace is, and clarify some of the things that it is not.

Skype-Lync Video Calling Available (For Some)

2014-09-December-Chatting.jpgMicrosoft announced it's rebranding of Lync to Skype for Business to much fanfare last month. This went beyond a rebranding exercise, and involved joining the Lync infrastructure with Skype. The timing of when this would be completed was unclear, aside from a vague promise of sometime in 2015. 

At the end of last week, Microsoft took a major step forward in this project. Users of both platforms can now hold video calls with each other -- provided they have the latest version of Skype for Windows and Lync 2013. But not everyone is happy.

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