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Enterprise Collaboration News, Reviews

The Unintentional Culture of Blame

The Unintentional Culture of BlameThe irony is so rich and textured that it would be a delight to behold if it were not for the pain we all must endure. For the last few years, the calls for "a culture of accountability" have been all the rage ... and now the law of unintended consequences has come calling and is asking for its due.

How the Client Experience Defines the New ROI of Social Business

I remember when things were just getting started with Enterprise 2.0, then Social Business, how we were all trying to prove the business value of social technologies and even our very existence as 2.0 practitioners in the workplace. Do you remember how tough it was to justify yours to senior management? How things have changed since then ....

Fast forward to 2014, and while the conversation around measuring the business value of Social Business persists and is perhaps more relevant, the focus and intent of the questions have shifted. There is no longer a need to justify it, but rather an opportunity to evaluate the maturity of different initiatives as you progress on the Social Business journey. No one can deny the impact of social technologies at the workplace anymore -- and that’s a good thing. We have finally moved on.

Hunting Unicorns: 5 Approaches to Measure Social Business ROI

2014-12-May-SocialROI-Unicorn.jpgWe face two major measurement problems when trying to measure the impacts of social business software: demanding stakeholders and intangible outputs. To grant project sponsorship, the C-Suite wants to see how you will measure return on investment (ROI). Meanwhile, from a human perspective we can inherently understand the value of engagement, dialog and innovation in the workplace, but it's very difficult to measure these intangibles in dollars and cents.

How do we begin to quantify the impacts of social business software on organizations or are we simply trying to chase a proverbial unicorn?

Distributed Collaboration is Rapidly Evolving

One of the biggest disruptors of the last few years has been the distributed nature of work. People can now work pretty much anywhere, anytime, with anyone, on any content. And though content still plays a critical part, I am starting to see context as more critical for any type of collaboration. Without a common context it is hard for two or more people to work together.

Tools like email can work for one to many interactions (if you cc the whole organization), but not many to many. Web conferencing also falls under the one to many umbrella. And though a common context is required in those instances, they do not require the deeper knowledge of context that many to many interactions do, as we see in distributed teams.

Social ROI = Return on Insanity

Social ROI = Return on InsanityThere’s no way to put this delicately, so I’ll be blunt: quantifying the financial benefits of an enterprise social network is turning your company -- and the entire social technology industry -- into a three ring circus.  

The ongoing demands of individual executives, archaic software evaluation processes and an obsessive focus on employees as productivity centers instead of human beings have turned collaboration into chaos, and social analytics into a spectator sport. As vendors, consultants and analysts vie for customers and relevancy in the enterprise social networking space, we’ve become elephants that do tricks for peanuts, or tigers that jump through flaming hoops when the ringmaster says it shall be so.

Microsoft Defends Collaboration Suite Against Cisco Charge

Nadella-Chambers.jpg

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

Thumbnail image for 2014-05-May-JeffreyMann SusanLandry Gartner.jpg

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.

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