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Enterprise Collaboration News, Reviews

Microsoft Pushes Yammer into SMBs

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Microsoft is pushing Yammer ... again. The focus now is on small and midsize businesses (SMBs). 

Microsoft underlined its enterprise ambitions for Yammer in November by making it available with all Office 365 enterprise plans. Now it's also added Yammer to Office 365 Midsize Business and Office 365 Education plans.

The Solution to Custom Code in the Cloud

If you've been living under a rock for the past five years, let me get you caught up: There’s been a shift in how technology is being embraced. Not too long ago, businesses created and purchased technology. Then that technology trickled down to the consumer level and morphed into something we’d use. Think the ENIAC  evolving after many years into the PC, etc.

That process is reversed today. The consumer experience comes first and businesses play catch up to the consumer technology. The classic example of this is mobile: we've been living on our mobile phones for several years, but only now are enterprises making their systems mobile friendly for their workforce.

Showdown at the Mobile Enterprise Corral

2014-07-July-Cowboy-Graffiti.jpgWhy have so many mobile enterprise companies made financial announcements within the last few weeks? In the mobile device management (MDM) space, Good Technology has filed an S1 to go public and MobileIron successfully executed an IPO. In the File Sync and Share (FSS) space, Dropbox announced a $500M line of credit after having raised $325M in funding only months earlier, and Box just announced another $100M investment.

Why these companies … and why now?

IBM Social Software Update Features File Sync On Premises

IBM's latest version of its social enterprise collaboration software suite IBM Connections is now available on the IBM cloud marketplace, a move IBM officials say makes the platform faster and easier to deploy.

The announcement today of IBM Connections 5 comes roughly 18 months after IBM's last update to the Connections platform. IBM officials boasted about the new offering's capability to bring secure file sync to on premises.

Blending Social Collaboration and Intranet Publishing

2014-02-July-Bicycle-Blender.jpgThe reports are in again -- intranets are not dead -- which is always a relief to hear. Part of the rumors of its potential demise stem from the many shapes and forms that intranets can take, which includes the rise of the social intranet over the past five years. Even this term means many things to many people and does not necessarily mean all elements are built on the same platform. On the other hand, some organizations try to build a full intranet out of a social collaboration platform such as Jive, which does not necessarily work very well.

You Could Telecommute from Montana, Too

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When I tell people I live and work in Montana, sometimes I get puzzled expressions or even jokes. The skiers and fly fisherman understand. But some people ask: Are there phones there?

Yes, there are phones in Montana! Even broadband, and sometimes fiber. We have laptops, airports and universities, too, though they might be scattered between spectacular mountain scenery and two National Parks. When I'm not biking, skiing, or chasing kids, I spend the rest of my of my day like the rest of you: digitally communicating using collaborative tools, email and social media.

This raises some questions, such as -- has technology made telecommuting easier? And can you be productive telecommuting?  The connected worker is a hot topic these days. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer last year banned telecommuting, even though she has trouble waking up for meetings. Maybe if she worked at home she would have more time to catch up on sleep. 

And the debate took on new life today when a a new law went into effect in the United Kingdom. It gives every employee in the UK the right to work flexibly if they have been on the job for more than six months.

The Future is Open and Why You Should Care

2014-27-June-Hamster-Wheel.jpgThe recent move by Elon Musk to open thousands of Tesla’s patents to the public probably left you wondering, “What the heck is all this fuss about?” or “Why would people care so much about Tesla’s patents?”

Ultimately, it’s about what could be a great benefit for you (and me), the consumer -- and by that, I don’t mean all the coverage around how this will be good for the electric automobile industry. Though that is certainly true, there’s a lot more to it than that.

By making this move, Musk has really set a precedent for why all technology companies should consider going down the same path. Why? Because “open” environments benefit the entire ecosystem -- the companies, the consumers and the industry at large.

Guess Where Workers Have New Rights to Work from Home?

It's time for CEOs Marissa Mayer and Meg Whitman to eat their words — or at least rethink their strong stances on workplace inflexibility at Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard, respectively.

Telecommuting took a giant leap forward today — at least in the United Kingdom.

Just 16 months after Mayer sent shockwaves down the spines of telecommuters everywhere with her mandate to Yahoo workers to get back to the office and just eight months after Whitman followed with a slightly less strident request, it appears workplace flexibility is making a comeback. And that includes the right to work from home.

5 Steps for Building a SharePoint Migration Plan

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From all outward appearances, we seem to have turned a corner with SharePoint 2013 migrations. Compared to previous versions, SharePoint 2013 has experienced a relatively slow adoption cycle as organizations paused to understand the impacts of the new release -- and to understand, in many cases, their cloud strategies.

Migrations to the latest version seem to now be increasing speed. Since the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas earlier this year, my own observation is that more companies are approving budgets and updating plans, and with that movement and more firm cloud strategies in place, we are also seeing an increased interest in SharePoint Online and Office 365.

The Enterprise Mobility Showdown

To achieve competitive advantage, large organizations today are developing mobile applications that meet three key objectives: 1) enable new mobile business processes for employees, 2) meet the growing mobile demands of customers, and 3) unlock new revenue potential within their business and with partners.

To accomplish this, organizations often need to integrate mobile apps with enterprise systems and data — collectively referred to as the backend.

Organizations that do not integrate mobile apps securely and effectively with their existing backend infrastructure will face competitors whose employees are more productive, whose customers are more satisfied and whose ecosystem fuels new business opportunities.

Magnolia v5.3 Integrates Enterprise Data

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Magnolia certainly spent a lot of time developing its mobile capabilities with the release of v.5 last year, and today’s release of v.5.3 only furthers those developments.

The new update focuses on developing personalized customer experiences, providing enhanced collaboration capabilities for content publishers and integration with enterprise data sources.

Again, like the v.5 release, the new functionality in v.5.3 comes through a number of task focused apps including new content personalization and tag management apps. It also opens up the Magnolia App Framework to simplify the integration of third party software.

Collaboration in 2025: Separating the Signals from the Noise

2014-23-June-Traffic-Jam.jpgThe Talent 2025 conference that took place a few weeks back gathered an audience of high ranking HR people from a wide range of organizations. I presented to them my vision of collaboration in 2025 (which will be discussed in a later article). Bob Johansen, former president and board member of The Institute for the Future (IFTF, Palo Alto, Calif.) and current distinguished fellow gave the talk prior to mine, speculating what things will be like 10 years from now.

Let's look at what Johansen predicted and what I did, and where they overlapped.

TIBCO's tibbr Integrates with SharePoint, Microsoft Outlook

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In the world of social software integration, officials at TIBCO Software Inc. say it’s a neutral country.

"We’ve always been seen as the Switzerland of technology,” Leandro Perez, director of product marketing at Palo Alto-based TIBCO, told CMSWire.

Why? Because officials at TIBCO are confident their platform integrates with any other.

And their latest integration comes with SharePoint, whose users can leverage TIBCO’s tibbr plug-in social software collaboration platform directly within SharePoint. TIBCO officials also announced integration with Microsoft Outlook software.

“Users of SharePoint use it as a document repository,” said Srini Vennakota, director of product management at TIBCO. “And it’s very important to be able to navigate those documents and be able to share comments and see context behind those documents.”

Are Intranets Dead? Jostle Doesn't Think So

Are intranets becoming obsolete? 

No way, say officials at Jostle, the 20-employee operation that offers what it calls turnkey intranet software in the cloud.

Some industry estimates cite employee intranet engagement at less than 50 percent. Jostle, however, claims some clients report 85 percent of its employees use the Jostle platform regularly.

Personify Explores a New Dimension in Collaboration

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Think about the worst part of the last online webinar you attended. Was it all those faceless slides?  Thought so.

And so did Sanjay Patel, CEO of Personify. Since 2009, he's been working on a way to enhance collaborative communications like webinars, chats and hangouts by adding depth-sensing, 3D cameras.

For most people, the mere mention of 3D conjures up visions of space monsters reaching out for them in a darkened movie theater. That's not what we're talking about here.

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