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Enterprise Collaboration News, Reviews

The Real Force Behind the Digital Workplace

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The digital workplace is grabbing much of the spotlight these days as interest in moving from physical to virtual workspaces grows. Given our heritage of “clustered workplaces” dictated by the lack of transportation and communication resources in the 18th century, such a movement would seem to make eminent sense.

While a lot of the attention focuses on the availability and use of the technology that make it possible, there is a second major component to a digital workplace: the workers who, in the end, will make it succeed … or not. Because the tools alone don’t usually do the work, our primary concern should be on the workers and the organizations in which they work.

What's Hot and What's Not in Enterprise Mobility Trends

2014-22-December-Cell-Phone-Ski.jpgMobility has been a hot topic in the enterprise space for nearly two decades, but the times have changed since the world was dominated by Blackberry and Palm. The enterprise mobility space is now a robust, highly specialized, and rapidly responsive environment where even Microsoft allows users to edit Office files on third-party mobile applications.

Why? User experience, integration and productivity rule the market. And for IT administrators, understanding the trends that drive this ever-changing marketplace is crucial.

Electricity Transformation Strategy

Imagine it’s the early 20th Century and electricity is all the rage. Companies are hiring Chief Electricity Officers and the hottest topic for boards is how to develop an effective Electricity Transformation Strategy.

Digital Workplace = Connected Workplace

It’s a given: thriving companies in the global marketplace need a high-quality digital infrastructure to sustain and scale success, yet internal user experience (UX) is often an afterthought.

Why? Maybe because we forget the most basic reason why digital infrastructures need to exist. At the root of all information exchange is: connection. At the root of all connections are: human beings.

As sophisticated as systems can ever become, their use and impact are limited by the extent to which people adopt them. Employees are people, ergo: they’d better be enthusiastic adopters of your systems, or else! Fortunately, connection appeals fundamentally to most people. Digital workplace systems must make it compelling, intuitive and relatively easy to connect people with others (including customers), information, ideas and even a sense of community.

Getting Culture Right is Key to Modern Success

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Many companies start out being exceptional. But as they grow, there is a dark, powerful force that pulls them towards average. While many things can cause this, one of the most overlooked is an organization’s attention, or lack thereof, to fostering positive culture.

Whether you like it or not, organizations have a culture -- a shared set of values and beliefs that help define the way that employees think and act at work. So, rather than letting it fall to the wayside, why not make it one you love? 

Prediction for 2015: The Fall of People, Process and Technology

2014-18-December-Strike.jpgI don't know how many more years I'll be able to keep it up -- every year I try to make predictions that are unique, bold and a little bit against the grain. Last year I predicted the rise of lefties, two years ago I went with big data finding an Andy Warhol all of its own. This year I'm going extra bold, and extra big: I predict an age old enterprise IT axiom -- People, Process and Technology -- will wane and emerge anew as People, Perseverance and Technology.

In the Future, We Will Still Need to Work

A lot has been written about the future of work. The tenor of some recent discussions resemble the social media hype from five years ago: lots of pretty pictures with little research or data behind the pictures. While there is valuable research and qualified researchers working in this area, the noise in the system is extreme. It takes effort and commitment to quality to conduct research, analyze results and it takes experience to understand the impact.

I wish I could simply state -- "here I am, an expert, ready to set the record straight" -- but that isn't the case. But I can call BS on specific points that have been written and are simply wrong. You can't talk about the future while ignoring facts, history and experience. Yes, the technology is changing rapidly and the human response to these changes is complex, but guesswork will not help us get through the evolution.

A Year of Employee Engagement Advice, Minus the BS

How a bold but simple act of respect helped turn one organization around.

Employee engagement matters. 2014 sent us a barrage of “5 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement” and “7 Things Great Leaders Do” posts, and many of them had some good nuggets. We get it. You get it.

There have been studies and data that most employees aren't engaged and those that are drive a remarkable profit. Their customers are happier and so are their bottom lines.

Microsoft Pushes Yammer Deeper Into Enterprises

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Microsoft is pushing Yammer deeper into the enterprise with the addition of Yammer to the Office 365 K1 plan. It’s a small step forward, but gives users who don’t have desks access to it where they didn’t have access before.

Microsoft doesn’t say whether it has changed its mind and decided to offer Yammer to users who previously lacked access, except to say that it wants to give it to workers that have no fixed abode.

Wrike's Work Management Platform Wrinkle: Customization

Wrike claims it got the tricky part of enterprise project management and collaboration right with its release this week.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based provider revealed its Dynamic Platform, which it describes as a major update that adds the key function of customization "at every level of the product for every user."

"Before today, customers usually had one of two choices -- go for a user-friendly product that also wasn’t customizable and was really cookie-cutter," said Wrike CEO Andrew Filev, whose seven-year-old startup now has 150 employees. "Or you could go with an enterprise project management tool that will cost you an arm and a leg but then leaves the customization in the hands of IT. So there's a big lag there."

Get Your Hands Dirty with Microsoft's New Office App

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Microsoft Office is about as sexy as _____. You fill in the blank. And you’ll probably have to strain your brain to think of something that’s dull enough. “Cardboard” comes to mind.

If there’s any good news around that, it’s that Microsoft gets it, and they seem to be thinking rather carefully about what to do about it.

Making big changes to Word or Excel could be disruptive, and in a bad way, because if we were asked to work with something radically different, we’d be likely to check-out non-Microsoft options too.

But what about PowerPoint? Do our presentations provide the same exceptional, modern experiences as tools like Prezi do? Are they as easy and enjoyable to use? Can we create and consume them equally as effectively on PC’s, tablets, phones?

A Look at Product Management Tools [Infographic]

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Like their sales and marketing colleagues, product managers are searching for new tools to help them use data better, particularly in order to create more customer-focused products, states a new field guide and infographic by SiriusDecisions.

The infographic – Product Management Tools and Technology Study 2015 – gives a snapshot of the tools and technologies product managers are using today, while the field guide – Product Planning, Prioritization and Roadmapping 2015 – provides businesses with criteria they should consider when evaluating product management tools, as well as profiles 11 leading vendors against those criteria. 

“Product managers see their colleagues in sales and marketing becoming much more automated,” said Lisa Singer, research director for SiriusDecisions.

“They’re keeping their ears to the ground for tools that are going to help them understand the data, too. These tools allow them to grab hold of the data like their colleagues to better understand their customers, better understand their users, and better understand the ecosystems their products are working in.” 

Bob Zukis Out as CEO of Bloomfire After 'Short Stint'

Bob Zukis is no longer the CEO of Bloomfire, the new CEO confirmed for CMSWire tonight.

Zukis, the social business author and Forbes contributor, took the job as leader of the social collaboration provider just eight months ago.

His first day on the job was April 8. His last day was sometime in September, according to his LinkedIn profile. That gives him six months at Bloomfire -- compared to nearly 29 years at his preceding job as a partner at PwC.

Huddle: Has It Crossed the Hurdle or Still Have More to Prove?

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Zouk Capital led a Series D round of funding of $51 million for London-based enterprise collaboration platform provider Huddle last week because of its "content-centric collaboration" platform and focus on secure external collaboration rather than cloud storage, sync and share.

Nathan Medlock, partner at London-based Zouk Capital, told CMSWire that Huddle "combines our investment thesis of resource efficiency with best in class technology, a government and enterprise customer base, strong and proven management team and exceptional growth trajectory."

"What we like about the platform itself," Medlock added, "is its focus on secure external collaboration rather than cloud storage, sync and share -- collaboration is where the true value now lies."

8 Components of a Truly Integrated Digital Workplace

We are living through an age in which the digital environment of work is becoming much more important than the physical workplace. The digital workplace has the potential to transform how companies operate on the front line, how employees communicate and collaborate internally, and even what it means to be an employee.

Yet most organizations have digital workplaces that are equivalent to boxes of junk. Employees have to stumble through heaps of applications, each with a different interface and security protocol.

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