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Enterprise Collaboration News, Reviews

Discussion Point: Should Work Related Email Stay at Work?

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German Labor Minister Andrea Nahles has floated the idea of "anti-stress regulation" in which companies would take steps to reduce workplace tension. Chief among these measures would be a ban on employers contacting employees after hours, by phone or email.

Nahles even commissioned Germany's Federal Institute for Health and Safety at Work last year to come up with a report on the feasibility of a possible law to protect workers from stress caused by smartphones and constant contact with their bosses.

The report could generate legislation that would ban employers from contacting workers after office hours. But the report is only expected to be released next year, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Nahles' boss, has already discouraged the idea of a contact after-hours ban.

So for now the idea remains just that — only an idea.

But it was an idea heard around the world. And as workers in the US continue to struggle with their increasingly muddled work and personal lives, smartphones at their sides and visions of email dancing in their heads, we wondered … is it such a crazy idea, after all?

Get Ready for the Age of the Intrapreneur

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We’re all familiar with entrepreneurs: the romanticized dreamers, innovators, explorers, who chart their own way in the business world. We praise their perseverance, resourcefulness and visionary approach. But it’s improbable that everyone who exudes these traits will set off to create his or her own business. A term has grown out of the understanding that there are plenty of companies that employ individuals with entrepreneurial qualities -- intrapreneurship.

AvePoint Update Looks Ahead to SharePoint 2016 Release

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Some Service Packs have long and useful futures. Some just crawl away under the IT bed and expire.

AvePoint’s new DocAve 6 Service Pack (SP) 5 falls into the former category. Given the fact that it provides an enterprise-class infrastructure management platform for SharePoint 2016, it seems assured of a long life.

Though how it will work with SharePoint 2016 is not completely clear given the holes in what we know about this pending product, John Peluso,  vice president of Product Management at AvePoint, told us there is enough information to know that DocAve 6 Service Pack  5 can manage hybrid deployments for the new SharePoint platform, too.

Too Much Information: Managing Distractions in the Workplace

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Sure it's OK to check Facebook or send a personal text while at work. That is, if you can find the time between keeping up on Yammer, collaborating over Skype and shoveling through the 125 emails the average office worker receives daily.

And, of course, that's in addition to completing your assigned tasks.

The problem here is information overload. Workers are so distracted — and frustrated — by frequent interruptions that it's costing US companies an estimated $588 billion a year in lost productivity. Often, this leaves employees feeling stressed out, sometimes long after leaving the office.

Between social networks, personal and professional email, phone calls and collaboration tools, the average worker is distracted every 11 minutes, according to a study by the University of California at Irvine.

Microsoft Ups Its Productivity Play With New Calendaring App

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It may seem like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is talking big sky when he makes bold statements, claiming his company will “reinvent productivity for a new generation,” a generation whose professional and personal lives are spent primarily in mobile apps and in the Cloud.

But if you look at what he’s been able to accomplish since last summer, it’s kind of daunting. Now you can not only access Office and many of its individual components via almost any mobile device, but your experiences with Microsoft’s apps are also on par with the best of what can be found in the App Store or on Google Play.

And if there’s a place where the Redmond, Wash. tech giant falls short, it doesn’t stay that way for very long. Not on Nadella’s watch.

You Go Girl! Jive's Got a New CEO

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Silicon Valley isn’t known for its plethora of female CEO’s, but now it can proudly claim one more — Jive Software’s Elisa Steele.

Steele, who joined the social business software provider only 13 months ago, has proven herself in short order. She started as the executive vice president (EVP) of strategy and chief marketing officer in January 2014, was promoted to EVP of marketing and products last August, and to president of Jive in November when former CEO Tony Zingale retired.

Open Source Jahia Raises $22.5M to Grow Enterprise Clients

Jahia is getting a $22.5 million cash infusion from Invus, a New York City-based investment firm, the Geneva, Switzerland-based open source content management system (CMS) vendor announced today.

The funds will help CEO Elie Auvray grow Jahia's customer base, especially in the enterprise space. Auvray told CMSWire the company plans to further develop its user experience platform to improve integration with third-party platforms — an apparent sign of more more technology partnerships to come.

Looking for Microsoft Universal Apps for Windows 10?

Only two weeks after it announced they were on the way, Microsoft has released the preview version of Universal Office apps for Windows 10. This first batch includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

These apps are available for free download for PCs, tablets and phones that are running Windows 10 Technical Preview, and will be followed in the coming weeks by the other Office apps.

Atlassian Focuses on Feedback in Collaboration Platform Update

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Atlassian is updating its enterprise collaboration software platform to streamline feedback in pages and files.

Next week, the Sydney, Australia-based provider plans to release Confluence 5.7, which company officials claim will enable users to consistently give feedback in context and in one place.

The rise in remote workers and increasingly distributed teams makes workplace collaboration more difficult than ever, Wendell Keuneman, Atlassian's group product manager, told CMSWire. "Adding to the sheer physical communication barriers is the amount of technologies, file types and communication channels that modern teams use on a daily basis. To overcome these challenges, teams need a collaboration platform that keeps everyone in sync, regardless of location or content type," he said.

Yammer Polishes iOS, Expands to Android Wearables

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When Microsoft said earlier in the week that Yammer wasn’t merely the social layer for SharePoint, it meant it. Last night, it unveiled a new round of upgrades for Yammer that will make it more mobile and embedded across the wider Microsoft portfolio.

Unlike the apps for Office, which were released for iOS and Android months apart, the Yammer upgrades for iOS and Android have landed at the same time.

Forrester Ranks Kaltura, 6 Others Leaders in Enterprise Video

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Knock us over with a feather: Video has gone mainstream in the enterprise. In a Wave released yesterday for Enterprise Video Platforms and Webcasting, Forrester Research describes video as an increasingly common channel for both internal communication with other employees and external communication with customers and partners.

Because of the growing demand for video in everything from marketing and corporate communications to employee education and training, selecting the right technology platform has become imperative. Forrester defines a video platform as software (and optionally appliances) to capture, manage and deliver one-to-many live and on-demand IP video.

So what can you do? One vendor leads the pack — and six more are credible alternatives, the research concludes.

4 Directions For SharePoint and Office 365 in 2015

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It’s going to be a big year for SharePoint, but details about what to expect are fuzzy.

Microsoft has promised a new on-premise version will be released later this year. However, it has been less forthcoming about SharePoint Online in Office 365.

Microsoft upgrades Office 365 on a regular basis and has given some indication as to where it would like to go with SharePoint Online. But a lot of questions remained unanswered.

Jive Brings Workstyle Apps to the Rest of Us

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We’ve all been told that mobile and the cloud are great equalizers. But how often do small and mid-sized businesses continue to find technologies and solutions beyond reach because of their cost, required technical know-how, difficulty of implementation and so on?

Far more often than most vendors are prepared to admit.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, said Colleen Jansen, vice president of global marketing, Jive Software. Today the company that has brought communication and collaboration solutions to enterprises and their business partners since 2001, unveiled three new workstyle apps: Jive Daily, Jive Chime and Jive People.

They’re consumer-like in look and feel, functional in that they work the way you work, easily accessible (not just anywhere, any time, any device) in that you don’t need much help (if any) from IT to set up and use them, and affordable to business and organizations of all shapes and sizes. (Though large enterprises might fare better with Jive and Jive X).

Here’s the low down on the three apps.

Singapore Firm Challenges Hootsuite, Buffer

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Consumers and executives alike are managing multiple social media accounts — a juggling act because what's appropriate for one social network may not be for another.

Celebrities generally have a third party manage their social media profiles, which is often how embarrassing gaffes happen. In the business space, more than one person usually manages the social media profile and similar mistakes have been made. How does someone solve the problem that is the social media equivalent of “too many cooks”?

Outbox Pro from Unified Inbox, a Singapore-based firm, is an app that helps those who create content get their content out there with the input of anyone — employees, contractors, partners, vendors and even customers can help create and publish social content with centralized approval, tracking, and management.

Although this may seem like a continuation of the “too many cooks” problem, it gives all interested parties a voice in creating compelling content that you can share with your social media networks, which will ultimately lead to more conversions and sales of your products and services.

The Line Between Web CMS + Enterprise Social Networks Blur

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While conducting research for my yearly enterprise social network update, a trend that had been simmering for a while bubbled to the top: Quite a few enterprise social networking vendors had or were planning to extend their software in ways that make them nearly indistinguishable from web content management solutions.

That’s not too surprising. Jive Software has, for some time, supported external communities that provide a rich user experience with its JiveX product. Other enterprise social network vendors, for example Jostle, have positioned themselves as “social” intranets. While ostensibly an enterprise social network, products such as these often fill the same role as web content management software. They are used to create rich web-based experiences for internal or external communities.

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