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Enterprise Collaboration News, Reviews

Best Fit Solutions Beat Best Practice

2014-20-August-Bad-Fit.jpgHuman Resources has become overly-reliant on the notion of "best practice" to solve business problems. But the highest performing companies go beyond this to find "best fit" solutions.

Social Networks Scale, When Will Social Tools?

Social Business, 2014-19-August-Beehive.jpgI’ve observed a curious arc in the discourse around social networks, especially in the past few years since open (or "consumer") web applications like Facebook and Twitter have gained hundreds of millions of users. The discussions about how we live and work in social networks in real life have changed, and in a subversive way. The enormous scale of these tools have led us to consider the world as an unbounded single network, while in fact we operate in many distributed and discontinuous social networks. 

Bloomfire's Collaboration Train Steams On

Bob Zukis has been a busy CEO since taking over Bloomfire in April. He and the enterprise collaboration provider are at it again this week with some updates to the platform in the areas of content creation, discovery, community and mobile.

Zukis has stated his case clearly in talks with CMSWire about the Bloomfire platform: Successful enterprise collaboration drives business results and stands out as more than just another Facebook for the enterprise.

"Most competitors focus primarily on providing static file management or a Facebook-style newsfeed," Zukis said. "Bloomfire enables true team-based collaboration by leveraging multiple types of content -- files, videos, web links, questions, announcements -- and putting this information in the hands of those who need it when they need it."

Forget Community - 'Social' is Now a Commodity

Social Business, 2014-18-August-For-Sale.jpgRemember the glory days of Enterprise Social software? When startups were acquired and innovations were exciting? When we all believed that social technology could help us change the way we worked for good? Death to email!

The ESN crickets have been chirping for some time, because corporate social networking software is now a commodity, not a community. Disappearing are the days of hoping for ideation, serendipitous discovery, executive dialogue with worker-bees, and earning millions of dollars from new product ideas gleaned from conversations. The enterprise is tired of the hype; companies who have not seen success are ready to give up. With myriad ESN vendors, the proliferation of social features across productivity, storage and project management products, and an inability to prove that standalone enterprise social software has ROI, the commoditization will continue and eventually bury the industry as we know it. Think it’s not possible? I beg to differ for two reasons.

Fast, Flexible, Innovative: Why Networks Thrive

Social Business, 2014-15-August-Networks.jpgVienna, September 1901. A man you’ve probably never heard of, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, was born. A man whose theories are helping to shape the future of how you do work. Ludwig von Bertalanffy, let’s just call him LvB, is the forefather of evolutionary systems thinking -- something you’d usually find described in dry university textbooks -- but he has had a radical effect on how we depict and predict interactions in systems in biology, physics, anthropology and social sciences.

Why does this man born more than a hundred years ago make a difference to you now, sitting in your cubicle or reading on your tablet? Because LvB originated general systems theory that demonstrates why thinking holistically is critical to surviving and thriving and why reductionist perspectives lead to extinction.

The 3 Most Damaging Enterprise Social Network Myths

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It’s the summer of 2014 and enterprise social networks are as hot in the market as they were a year ago. But there remain a handful of persistent myths and half-truths that organizations still encounter on the path to “working like a network.” Like the Greek gods and loony theories about Jon Snow’s real parents on Game of Thrones, these myths never really die. Unlike those other myths, though, the ones around enterprise social can really hold you back from a successful deployment.

If you’re interested in truly achieving success with an enterprise social rollout, you'll need to tackle these roadblocks head on and have a strategy in place to accept, address and sometimes even outmaneuver them.  

As Technology Needs Rise, So Does Security

The workplace is no longer limited to a seat behind a desk, and technology trends continue to evolve to meet the demands of roving offices. Companies want easy efficient business technology, but they also want security.

This is evidenced by a significant second quarter rise in mobile customer relationship management (CRM), Business Intelligence (BI) and document editing apps and secure instant messaging apps in the Good Technology Mobility Index report for Q2 2014.

The second-quarter analysis by the mobile security solutions provider analyzes enterprise apps and data usage for more than 5,000 companies in over 180 countries and is published every quarter.

“Enterprises are realizing the need for secure mobile apps and mobile business process workflows,” Lynn Lucas, chief marketing officer at Good Technology, told CMSWire. “Two years ago, the lion share of the industry discussion was around device choice and email. Today that focus is shifting to technology that allows employees to work efficiently whether they’re onsite or off.”

When 'Work Like a Network' Won't Work

Social Business, 2014-12-August-Godzilla-Swim.jpgHierarchy has become the bogeyman of the "future of work" movement. Listen to some commentators, and it sounds as if the honest worker in the corporation is being oppressed by power-crazed managers, hoarding information like Gollum with a hangover. Presumably some of these managers were promoted from honest worker level, so does hierarchy bestow power, which immediately corrupts?

Not so fast. There are definitely bad hierarchies, but like all organizational forms, they can be done well or done poorly. Hierarchy still has a role, especially in larger, more established businesses, and some scenarios exist where a networked approach would be detrimental.

Business Relies on the Strength of Networks

Social Business, 2014-11-August-Helping-Hand.jpgNot too long ago it was possible for a company to make long-term detailed plans and then execute those plans over a period of several years. They could -- with fairly good accuracy -- predict the demand of their products or services over years, and match supply accordingly. Consumers remained fairly stable in their attitudes and behaviors towards products and services. Everybody needed to buy a new fridge, car or television set every 10 years or so. Since the needs didn’t change that much over the years, neither did the products -- all that was required were some new features and an updated design.

A hierarchy of managers made sure that plans were followed and executed. The role of management was to execute the business model as efficiently as possible, focusing on cutting cost in order to increase market share through competitive pricing and increase profits and returns to shareholders. Management created and refined policies and procedures to make sure that operations ran like a well-oiled machine, and all measures of success and incentive systems were geared towards efficient execution.

Needless to say, today's business environment is very different.

Where User Experience Should Fit in SharePoint's Roadmap

SharePoint, 2014-08-August-Jigsaw-Puzzle.jpgMany people have singled out SharePoint's user experience (UX) as one of the main culprits in lagging adoption and engagement numbers since the launch of the platform. Arguably it wasn't until the 2010 version that Microsoft took targeted steps to remedy this, adding important usability improvements and social capabilities. It was also during the SharePoint 2010 release timeframe that the partner ecosystem grew to support design and UX. This expansion introduced new options for customers, as well as provided feedback and direction for Microsoft, leading to further enhancements in the SharePoint 2013 release, including mobile enhancements and the support of device channels.

But even with SharePoint 2013's focus on the presentation layer and ongoing UX developments inside of Office 365 -- such as deeper integration with Yammer, PowerBI and the Delve (formerly Codename Oslo) interface -- has it been enough to improve adoption and engagement?

Adobe Boosts Web Conferencing With Connect 9.3

Adobe has released the latest version of its web conference platform including enhancements in screen sharing, its virtual whiteboard, social media integration and compatablity with Salesforce.com and Microsoft Lync 2013. 

Adobe Connect 9.3 will debut early this fall.

Rocky Mitarai, senior product marketing manager for Adobe, told CMSWire the company's offering goes beyond the standard meeting experience because it's an end-to-end solution that includes capabilities in meetings, elearning and webinars. 

It's an easy-to-use solution ("immediately jump into it without any downloads") that offers robust security options for clients such as the US Department of Defense. It also, he said, easily integrates into existing infrastructure and lets users easily build custom apps.

The Barriers to Working like a Network in Office 365

2014-07-August-Road-Block.jpgIt is frustrating to see the potential of technology and not have it realized. The solution is there but, as they say in New England, “you can’t get there from here.” Such is Office 365.

7 Pain Points For Doc Management

Even after all the years of document and enterprise content management, enterprises are still buckling under the stress of trying to manage even their basic structured data. We saw yesterday, for example, in new research from Docurated, that 68 percent of organizations have five or more repositories.

We also saw that despite the rise of cloud computing and storage, the majority of content is being kept on premises and that workers spend up to nine hours per week just finding documents.

A Vision of Wearable Tech in the Workplace

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Wearable tech has been hot this year, with a lot of companies emerging as players in the wearable space. Everything from activity monitors to wearable cameras to smart watches have popped into the Internet of Things (IoT) market, some making more impact than others. And while the implications on the consumer market are clear, the enterprise market remains wide open and ripe for disruption.

There are some obvious use cases for wearables in the workplace like employee monitoring, health and safety monitoring, and access control. Hitachi, for example, has already introduced what looks like an elaborate employee ID badge embedded with sensors that track who employees talk to — as well as where and how actively. "A manager can monitor who speaks up at meetings and who spends more time at the coffee machine than their desk," Forbes reported this week.

More devices like Hitachi's will come along at their own pace and not really change the way businesses run.

The area that I expect wearables to have the largest impact and disruptive force is in helping to manage and augment our everyday interactions with both people and things.

Should You Blur Home and Work on Facebook?

social business, Don't Separate Work From Your Social Media Life?

It used to be church and state. Today, it's work and Facebook.

Separate. Separate. And separate.

Right? Maybe not.

Can you marry your job and your social media persona without hurting your company and getting fired? Maybe even advance your organization's brand?

"At a high-level, social media has the potential to influence the customer experience when employees are able to engage in dialogue with the customer and begin building trust-based relationships over time," said Alan See, principal and chief marketing officer for CMO Temps, LLC.

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