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Enterprise Collaboration News, Reviews

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.

TigerText Expands Its Secure Texting for the Enterprise

2014-09-December-BradBrooks-quote.jpgLike it or not, your coworkers probably share sensitive corporate information in texts. For them, it's a matter of convenience that helps them to collaborate with coworkers. For many businesses, that represents a nightmarish brew of security concerns, compliance violations, data loss and policy breaches.

Today, TigerText expanded its enterprise-grade texting service, hoping to add to the 5,000 healthcare facilities that already use its secure cloud-based network. The five-year-old company also has its eye on expansion into the financial services and government sectors, which face comparable challenges in controlling the information shared by workers.

If IT leaders have learned nothing else during the BYOD era, they learned that resistance is futile. Workers will use their own smartphones at work and the best strategy is to help them to do so safely. In healthcare, for example, doctors and other caregivers form shadow networks to share updates on patient status and other factors, often in violation of government privacy regulations and employer information governance policies.

How Will Employees Work in the Future? [Infographic]

2014-09-December-Remote-Work.jpgSome people believe that, in the future, most employees will work virtually. Others believe that managers will be no more. And still others share the vision of organizations as flat as pancakes.

But what does the future of work really look like? Jacob Morgan should know. As a Future of Work consultant, speaker and author, he’s just published a book about it. 

Here's a Way to Pull Your Project Data Together in Office 365

Although Microsoft has been developing Office 365 at a ferocious rate recently, it still remains a suite of individual applications designed to accomplish specific tasks. To enhance user navigation, harmon.ie has developed a single screen view of those applications and what’s happening in them.

This week, it took that a step further with the launch of its new Project Management Solution, an extension of its harmon.ie email that enables users to pull together all the information that is passing through Office 365, OneDrive, Lync and Yammer on a given project for easy access on either mobile or desktop.

Discussion Point: Helping Employees with Targeted Content

Thumbnail image for Discussion-Point-640x480.jpgIt's a double edged sword, this glut of information that companies have at their disposal.

It's a source of revenue and potential driver of innovation. It's also a source of frustration, lost time, lost productivity and lost revenue. The problem isn't new, though it grows in complexity as more sources of information are introduced.

To mitigate the information chaos, companies have turned to targeted content delivery, which presents relevant information for an employee's context. While evidence of this tactic can be seen in the targeted messages marketers deliver to customers, the practice isn't as evident behind the firewall. In theory it's possible, but in practice? It's a different story.

The SharePoint Landscape from 30,000 Feet

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If SharePoint were a character in a movie, it would be Rocky Balboa, or maybe Mark Twain (“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”). With the end of the year around the corner, it's a good time to take a 30,000-foot view of the lay of the SharePoint land and see what's in store for 2015. While SharePoint may not be perfect, the technology is something many enterprises count on. We've seen great growth and energy in SharePoint over the past year and there are some events and developments that will be driving the technology next year.

Psst, Microsoft: Look What Gmail Users Can Do Now

Google and Microsoft are duking it out over the cloud and they’re both pretty sure that providing services around content is key. And while some may think that it’s a foregone conclusion that the Redmond, Wash. Software giant will dominate  because  of its Office franchise, CEO Satya Nadella certainly isn’t acting like it’s a done deal.

Consider all that he’s done to drive traffic to Office 365 and One Drive of late, including its recent acquisition of mobile email app Acompli.

It’s not just that, but Microsoft also seems to want steer crowds away from Google which is probably why it struck a deal with Dropbox for file storage in the cloud. And Dropbox, for its part, isn’t making things any easier for Google Drive product managers. Earlier today it officially opened up its Dropbox for Business API, a move that will make it simple for app developers to build solutions that businesses want on its platform.

How a Mobile Social Network Connected a Start-Up's Employees

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Do enterprise social networks (ESNs) have the ability to influence or change company culture or identity? They do, although the experience will vary dramatically from organization to organization, and may be quite subtle or slow.

What's New in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015

Last month, Microsoft promised the quick release of Dynamics CRM 2015 for cloud and on-premises. Sure enough, it made good on its promise Dec. 1 with the release of both Dynamics GP 2015 and an update to its enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, Dynamics AX 2012 R3.

For digital marketers. the focus of this announcement will be the CRM release — which brings the Cortana voice-command technology to the CRM software for the first time.

Does Enterprise Communication Need Yet Another Player?

We need to change the way we communicate and collaborate around work. Email is dead. Ditto for never-ending meetings and conference calls that force you to be in a particular place and at a particular time for way too long.

The future of work is mobile, social, open, collaborative and agile. How many times have we heard that said? And how many products claim that they can deliver on that?

Where Enterprise Mobile Fits in the Digital Workplace

2014-02-December-Texting-Riding.jpg“Let’s just make the intranet accessible on mobile devices. It looks fine on my smartphone, I just have to zoom in a little.”

Nope. No, no, no. That is not a good enterprise mobile strategy. It misunderstands the role of mobile devices in employees’ work lives and the transformative power of well-designed mobile tools.

For those looking to develop strategic, integrated digital workplaces that deliver high business value, understanding the role of mobile devices is critical.

Did Microsoft Buy Acompli?

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UPDATE: It’s now official. Acompli confirms Microsoft has acquired it. Sources say that it sold for around $200 million, though no one we have approached is willing to go on record with a number. While we’re waiting for Microsoft to spell out its reasoning for making the purchase, it’s safe to assume that it’s yet another step up CEO Satya Nadella’s ladder to a mobile first, cloud first world.

Not just that, but it also gives the enterprise yet another reason to move to and stick with the Office 365 platform, with which Acompli is already integrated. It also offers “amazing” support for email and file services from Apple, Dropbox, Google and Box, the company boasts.

In a blog post, Acompli co-founder and CEO Javier Soltero explains that his team sought to create a mobile e-mail product for enterprises that is “Loved by users and trusted  for IT," which is pretty much what every enterprise collaboration vendor promises to do. But based on our quick look at the solution, it has hit the mark and is destined to keep raising the stakes with Microsoft’s ample resources to fuel its growth.

Current Accompli users should note that, according to Soltero, their “app and accounts will continue to work and the team will continue on our fast pace of improving and adding new functionality every couple of weeks.”

Forget Email, Text and Chat - It's Time to Talk Again

2014-26-November-Call-Me.jpgLotus Notes creator Ray Ozzie thinks it’s time to pick up the phone and have conversations again. There’s nothing wrong with email and texts, he says, but sometimes a simple phone call with a co-worker or a call with a group is the best way of getting something done. Especially because it allows us to really connect via tone of voice and human emotion.

And yes, Ozzie knows that iChat exists and that the conference call has already been invented and is too often loathed by all.

Are Your Processes Customer-Focused?

2014-26-November-Nesting-Doll.jpgWhen business leaders turn their focus toward processes, they often do so with an eye on becoming more efficient in how they handle payroll, manage finances or generate and distribute reports.

While it’s true that these routine tasks need to run smoothly, companies that look at processes solely as a way to improve the quality of a project or improve lead time, are missing a golden opportunity to positively affect the customer experience and spark innovation within their company. So says David Hamme, author of the book "Customer Focused Process Innovation," and managing director of Ephesus Consulting.

Build Digital Workplaces Fit for the Future

2014-10-November-Future-Tool.jpgThat’s rather a tall order isn’t it? Building a digital workplace fit for a future that is unknown to us -- and possibly even unknowable given the unpredictable and disruptive nature of digital progress.

The solution to this tall order lies in pulling out the enduring principles and themes we see operating in successful digital workplace programs, especially those that are not technology-specific. The nature of the organizations and the scope of the programs themselves may vary, but the nuts and bolts of the mechanism, such as clear strategic alignment, user-centered design, strong governance and rigorous measurement, are common to them all.

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