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Enterprise Collaboration News, Reviews

Microsoft Defends Collaboration Suite Against Cisco Charge

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Microsoft responded to Cisco's charges against its enterprise collaboration suite, telling CMSWire that it provides the most "complete, integrated set of social, collaboration, and communication technologies" to allow companies to "transform" the way they work.

Cisco directly called out Microsoft last week on the heels of its partnership announcement with Jive. It told CMSWire that with Jive, Cisco "supports complete communication and collaboration, end-to-end." With Microsoft, Cisco added, "you would need to get bolt-on offerings from other vendors in order to approximate this set of integrated capabilities."

Gartner Execs Redefine 'Integration' and More

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There was lots to learn at the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit this week, including the definition of "integration."  Thought you knew that one? Wrong.

Managing Vice President Susan Landry and Research Vice President Jeffrey Mann kicked off the conference by boiling-down the overused buzzwords of enterprise technology to just four bon mots: engagement, digital, content and integration.

They gave a unique spin to each. For example, they said that engagement is what happens when employees actually use workplace apps to do a better job. And content isn't just a stack of documents. It's a reflection of what your company thinks.

Digital technology isn't about digitizing everything in sight, but leveraging digital technologies to reinvent your business.

The Learning Organization as Social Business

McKinsey has repeatedly published very aggressive outlooks for the value that could be created from companies progressing to the social business. In a 2012 report, the research firm estimated that social business technologies could improve productivity across the value chain as much as $1.3 trillion annually, just for the enterprise sectors of professional services, CPG, advanced manufacturing and retail financial services. According to McKinsey, two-thirds of that forecast value aligns with improving collaboration and communication within and across enterprises.

But for such value to be achieved from transformative collaboration, enterprises must change culturally, operationally and strategically to accommodate new ways of learning, sharing and applying knowledge that benefit individual and organizational performance. Only through cultures conducive to widespread collaboration and knowledge sharing can enterprises find their way to the competitive strength of the Learning Organization.

My Future of Work, Collaboration and Relating

For the past eight years I’ve been boots-on-the-ground either as a practitioner or in support of practitioners who were trying to bring about change within their organizations, often from a tech first perspective. They’d identified connection, collaboration, engagement and productivity efficiencies as the rationale for these efforts. Some talked to tech analysts, pundits, consultants. They’d read books and case studies. Some even got brave enough to talk to their employees and customers about what they needed and fought through the corporate mechanisms to try to answer a piece of that call.

We chanted encouragement in the background, patted each other on the back and commiserated when the behaviors didn’t change. How could they when we were simply talking about technology? Those bemoaning their 20 percent adoption rates chalked it up to a bad integration, feature set, project management or worse, let our cynicism take over and insist change will never come, that we are doomed to dysfunction -- or even worse, that it’s just tools. It really doesn’t matter if they use them or not, as long as the paycheck comes on time.

Making the Right Case for Social Business

Making the Right Case for Social BusinessIn spite of a rash of vendors flooding the markets in recent years to help us "socialize" the business, many enterprise buyers still feel skeptical that an investment in social technology will deliver a sufficient return.

Our mandate at 451 Research is to analyze the impact of innovative and disruptive enterprise technologies. We look at social business in all its forms -- be it team collaboration, file sync and share, workforce management, etc.

Though we see a lot of innovation, we are not seeing that much disruption -- there is clearly a distance between enterprise buyers and technology vendors right now. It's a gap that we believe can be bridged in a number of ways, but will require work from both buyers and sellers alike.

Want to Succeed in Social Business? Invest in It.

This year’s State of Community Management research is the culmination of five years of defining, helping to develop and documenting the discipline of community management -- a critical enabler of social business. This year’s research surveyed objective artifacts of community management maturity and enabled us to compare programs across industries and use cases.

The good news is that 76 percent of communities have approved strategies. This is a great indication that organizations and executives can now envision the value communities will contribute to their business and suggests a maturing market.

The bad news? Only 35 percent communities have approved and resourced roadmaps.  

Cisco Guns for Microsoft with Jive Software Integration

social business, Cisco Guns for Microsoft with Jive Software Integration

Cisco under CEO John Chambers (left) isn't hiding its intentions with its integration with Jive Software for enterprise collaboration.

It wants to go after Microsoft. And probably IBM, too.

How do we know? They told us.

"Through this partnership, Cisco supports complete communication and collaboration, end-to-end," said Peder Ulander, vice president of collaboration solutions marketing for Cisco. "With Microsoft you would need to get bolt-on offerings from other vendors in order to approximate this set of integrated capabilities. With our offering, you get everything, from the world’s leading web-conferencing solution to the leading social collaboration platform, all from one vendor."

The Elephant in the Room: Evolving Work Styles

The Elephant in the Room: Evolving Work StylesWith all that has been studied, written about, developed and tweaked in the area of the social enterprise, why are some of the world's leading organizations still struggling with their social initiatives? Is there something that all of the pundits are missing?

The answer is the elephant in the room. We can discuss solutions until we’re blue in the face, but the answer lies within the evolving dynamics of work styles that we’re seeing across the board at business and enterprises.

Jive and Cisco Partner to Cut Enterprise Collaboration Software Noise

social business, Can Jive, Cisco Break Through Enterprise Collaboration Software Noise?

Everyone wants one thing in one place — right now, in real time. 

Marketers, customers and enterprise workers all want it. And now Jive and Cisco are partnering to provide it in the form of new enterprise collaboration.

The two companies want to combine the best of two worlds: Jive's enterprise collaboration platform and Cisco's real time technologies like WebEx and Jabber. The goal is to bolster that "one" theme: one place for employees to communicate and collaborate, one place for customer communities to thrive and grow, one place for partners to drive business outcomes. 

"Cisco is one of the most well-respected companies on the planet, with hundreds of thousands of companies leveraging their real-time communication and collaboration offerings," Tony Zingale, CEO and chairman of Jive Software, said in a statement. "Together, we can bring Jive's industry-leading collaboration platform to these customers, and help drive even deeper and more productive business outcomes across their employees, customers and partners."

Where the Differences Lie in Enterprise Social Networks

Where the Differences Lie in Enterprise Social NetworksAs more companies look to enterprise social networks to help boost collaboration, taking the first step can be difficult. Deploy the wrong enterprise social network and no one will use it, providing little to no value. Get it right and barriers between functional silos will fall and teams will operate with greater efficiency, flexibility and responsiveness.

The difficulties that companies have had in deploying enterprise social often start right at the beginning. It’s not hard to understand why choosing a product can be tough since most enterprise social networks look almost identical. All the basics are there in just about every product including microblogging and conversations, groups, and document, file, and content sharing. Security and other major enterprise deployment factors are also similar across vendors and products. On the surface, all enterprise social networks look the same. The path to value, however, lies in some key differences.

Need Your Employee Engagement to Shift Gears?

Need Your Employee Engagement to Shift Gears?An employee outlook study in the UK last year found that sixty percent of employees are "neutral" – they’re neither engaged nor disengaged at work.

While this isn’t as damaging as having an army of actively disengaged employees, it’s still a big concern. Or maybe it’s better seen as a big opportunity. With the right strategy, you can release this untapped well of employee potential.

Getting to the 'What, When and How' of Mobile Strategy

2014-30-April-Starting-Line.jpgThe questions around how to become a truly mobile enterprise currently centers around a “this vs. that” argument -- hybrid vs. responsive? Build iOS first vs. build Android first?

It's tough to figure out a mobile approach. But while these questions are great to ask today, they don’t tackle the bigger picture of mobile strategy tomorrow.

LinkedIn Adds Content Partners Program to Its Resume

In case you haven't noticed, professional network LinkedIn has added "content network" to its resume. To beef up that credit, the site has added a partners program to help companies create sponsored content.

Sponsored updates are LinkedIn native advertisements, where company created content is distributed to targeted audiences on the site. To assist companies with creating and distributing sponsored updates, two new kinds of content marketing partners have been created – sponsored update partners and content partners.

Mobile Steps Out of its Second-Class Role

First it was desktop computers. Clunky, rooted, desktop computers.

Then came laptops (which several customer service representatives have informed me are no longer called laptops, hence the extreme heat felt while using the computer on my lap was my own misuse of the tool and not a defect of the battery. But that's a story for another day).

Then came smartphones and not too long after tablets, many of which belonged to the employee. A much abbreviated timeline of employee's computer workstations, sure, but suffice it to say that companies still struggle with how to meet employee expectations for mobile.

Rocky Mitarai, senior product marketing manager for Adobe Connect, took some time out to explain where the potential lies when you provide workers with the right technology and why mobile should no longer be treated as a second-choice.

5 Steps to Effectively Manage Your Mobile, Social Workforce

5 Steps to Effectively Manage Your Mobile and Social WorkforceWhat was the first thing you reached for before getting out of bed this morning? Your smartphone, right? You had to look up your calendar, latest updates on your Facebook wall and maybe peek at emails sitting in your inbox.

The explosive growth of mobile and social technology is no surprise: It is a natural evolution of how we as humans interact. Mobile and social technology has provided us with the ability to organize, and connect faster and better than ever before. It’s not just a vehicle for connecting with old friends or keeping up with the latest celebrity news, but rather a powerful tool that helps people unite, mobilize and act on a global scale. It’s been the voice of revolutions, united people across the world to bring disaster relief to the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, and has been responsible for placing worldwide attention to social, political and environmental issues.

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