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Enterprise Collaboration News, Reviews

Huddle Gets $51M to Prove Its Value is Collaboration, Not Files

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Huddle founders Andy McLoughlin and Alastair Mitchell have something that Box CEO Aaron Levie badly wants. And it’s not the $51 million in new funding they announced yesterday, a car with a steering wheel on the right side or even a British accent.

It’s having his company recognized as an Enterprise Content Collaboration platform provider or, in other words, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that goes beyond file sharing and not only gets the right information to the right people but also gives them the tools they need to achieve their goals, all in one place.

Levie didn’t tell us this, of course.  But Box, in its S-1, which was updated this week, calls itself an “a cloud-based, mobile-optimized Enterprise Content Collaboration platform that enables organizations of all sizes to easily and securely manage their content and collaborate internally and externally”. Ask the modern worker what Box is, and if they’re familiar with it, they’ll tell you it’s the Dropbox for business, which may be a whole other problem.

Hortonworks IPO: Why It Has to Happen Tomorrow

2014-11-December-Wall-Street.jpgYou can bet that the folks at Hortonworks’ won’t sleep much tonight, instead they’ll likely be replaying and rethinking every move they’ve made as a private company and every aspect of their strategy. As the youngest of the three primary, independent, commercial Hadoop distribution providers, they’ve gone from saying that they wouldn’t be talking about an IPO anytime soon, to suggesting that it might happen in 2015, to secretly filing in August, to unveiling the filing last month, to setting the date for the actual offering -- it’s tomorrow.

What’s the sudden hurry?

As Gartner analyst Merv Adrian puts it, “There might not be a better time.”

And, at least in the near term, he may have a point. Unless it’s possible to go back in time, that is.

Apple, IBM Mega Deal Reveals First Offering

2014-10-December-The-Reveal.jpgIBM's 2014 has been all about partnering with consumer giants.

On the heels of its summer mega deal with Apple, enterprise software and hardware giant IBM struck a partnership with Twitter.

Today, IBM unveiled the first offering from that Apple deal -- IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions. IBM's apps and cloud services mesh IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad users in the enterprise. 

In reality, these IBM deals are enterprise-targeted, but the foundation is business giant meets consumer giant.

International Consumer Machines? ICM? Not quite, but in a year where IBM could use a boost, they're definitely turning to their consumer friends to boost their enterprise big data and analytics offerings. 

4 Ways SharePoint Navigation Breaks Usability Best Practices

2014-10-December-Broken.jpgThere's been a lot of interest lately from business users and SharePoint site owners in SharePoint's usability (or lack thereof), but the issue doesn't seem to receive as much attention as other topics. When experts talk about SharePoint, they focus on migration, administration, governance, development, cloud, and mobile. Any mentions of usability take a backseat and are only brought up by usability enthusiasts. It's time to bring this subject to the forefront.

What a Digital Workplace Is and What It Isn't

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There are as many definitions of the digital workplace as there are organizations. But in light of this month's focus on the digital workplace, it could be useful to look at what a digital workplace is, and clarify some of the things that it is not.

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?

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