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Social Business Software News & Analysis

Want Engaged Employees? Show Them the Big Picture

2014-23-July-Big-Picture.jpgWhether they're building rockets, smartphones, microprocessors or cars, large organizations are under extreme pressure in today’s competitive environment. They are struggling to get the most from their people, generate more innovative ideas than their competitors, become more efficient and effective and -- of course -- bring their products to market faster than anyone else.

Within this landscape, the recent social business technologies have been recognized for their ability to drive productivity. McKinsey estimates employee productivity can be increased 25 percent through adoption of social technologies and establishing a "networked enterprise."

But little has been said about the unintended, long-term benefit of adopting an innovative social platform -- the ability to connect employee's work to the bigger business strategy. 

From Intranet to Net-Work: The Rise of the Digital Bridge Builder

As an intranet professional, your career is about collaboration: Of systems and processes, not just people. The web is a network and those who thrive on the web network, connect and collaborate. It’s the same with the intra-net, where the lines are increasingly blurred between what is "internal" and what is "external." 

Aha! Social Can Transform Businesses - and Create Value, Too

2014-15-July-teamwork.jpgGo ahead. Make collaboration a priority at the next meeting with your senior leaders. New research confirms what people like Oscar Berg have long been preaching. In fact, there is clear evidence companies across industries are creating value with social business. 

That's the key finding from the just released third annual Social Business Global Executive Study and Research Project. Conducted jointly by the MIT Sloan Management Review and two subsidiaries of Deloitte LLP — Deloitte Consulting and Deloitte Services — the report is based on insights from surveys, interviews, literature and what the authors describe as "robust debates."

Social business has come of age, the report finds. What's more, proponents no longer have to feel like they are talking to the wind when they argue its merits. "Increasingly, corporate leaders realize that social business is changing the way organizations operate and the experiences they provide to their customers and constituents."

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.

What You Can Do About Your Failing Social Implementation

2014-16-June-Hurdles.jpgOrganizations looking to implement social solutions face common barriers to success: lack of defined purpose, absence of executive support, unsupportive work culture, poor implementation planning. And while the numbers may seem daunting -- with Gartner estimating that 80 percent of social initiatives will fall short of expected goals through 2015 -- the following guidelines can help set a social initiative on a path to maturity.

Why Social Implementations Fail

2014-13-June-Stalled.jpgIn early 2013 Gartner published a report indicating 80 percent of Social Business efforts will not achieve their intended benefits through 2015. That is a staggering number and a bold prediction to say the least. Gartner can back up  from the data unearthed during its extensive research into social business.

At the same time, the importance of social as an integrated business tool is mounting. In 2013 MIT Sloan Management Review released a report stating that 18 percent of respondents to their Social Business Survey in 2011 said social was “important today.” In 2012, that number increased to 36 percent and in 2016 this number is expected be 69 percent.

As social grows across industries and vertical markets, many companies are facing common implementation barriers. The interest in using the solution runs high at the start and then slowly drops off as organizations move to deploying it across the company, leaving many organizations wondering why this is happening and how it can be addressed.

Yammer Expands Support to 28 Languages

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Social business is only as good as the ability to communicate in the local language. 

To tackle that, Yammer is offering localized versions. The web client now supports 28 languages. In addition, its mobile apps come in 12 languages and both the iOS and Android apps have a message translator.

Invite the Right People for Enterprise Social Network Success

Launching an Enterprise Social Networking Tool (ESN) can be daunting. But if you invite the right people to the initial launch, it can make a difference in the adoption and success of your ESN across your organization. There are a few types of people you'll want to invite as they all play important, but different roles in the organization. And if you want to get them really involved? Play to the WIIFM mentality: if people know what’s in it for them, they are more likely to get involved.

Yammer Chats Synced With OneDrive, SharePoint Files

Tossing around a Microsoft Word doc for review via email is a long-gone practice.

Microsoft hopes document collaboration is that much easier in the enterprise with its release today of document conversations, a new enterprise social experience feature applied across Office 365. Microsoft announced the news in a blog post authored by Christophe Fiessinger, a group product manager on the enterprise social team.

Speed Business with Collaboration and Engagement

2014-30-May-Cheetah.jpgI find myself thinking again about the buzziest of buzzwords: engagement and collaboration. Just what do they mean? Engagement is about people’s connections to technology, and collaboration builds connections (and ideas) among people.

You know what engagement really is? It’s speed.

Integrating Yammer with SharePoint 2013: Navigating the Options

2014-22-May-Directions.jpgIn 2012, Microsoft Office General Manager Jared Spataro told the audience at the SharePoint Conference that “Microsoft is all in on Yammer and SharePoint.” Spataro made it clear -- Yammer would be the social collaboration tool of choice for SharePoint going forward.

Office 365 would be the first major beneficiary of Yammer integration, but SharePoint on-premises would see integration in future service pack releases. Microsoft would support SharePoint 2013’s out of the box social features for a period of time, but they would not be enhanced or developed further. This sent shock waves of confusion and concern throughout the SharePoint Community and has spurred heated discussion since.

The Catch-22 of Social ROI

Another year has passed and we are still trying to define the Return on Investment (ROI) for social tools in the enterprise. We are bombarded with stories of successful implementations but finding hard numbers that can be quickly applied to our own organization remains a challenge. The existence of failed efforts provides the holders of the money reasons to doubt the few numbers that can be pulled together.

How the Freemium Model Outflanks the ROI Question

2014-21-May-DJ.jpgNobody goes to the store (or these days, iTunes) specifically to buy an obnoxiously catchy pop song that they’ve never heard before. Chances are they’ve heard it for free somewhere first. No offense to Pandora and Spotify, but let’s call this the radio model. A song is played for free, the listener likes it, and only then makes a buying decision. This is actually a very good description of how and why enterprise social network licenses get purchased, and a telling factor in why social ROI is a fool’s game.

After all, you can’t measure the value of a pop song. It makes you happy, sure. And we all know you can work better, run faster and just in general be more successful when you’re happy … but good luck trying to prove any of that.

Cisco Simplifies Its Collaboration Suite

cone of silence.jpg

If you've worked in an office in the past 15 years, odds are you've used Cisco's desk phones, attended WebEx conference calls or watched colleagues over Cisco's TelePresence video service. Maybe you've also used Lync, Skype, Hangouts or some of the many others services to collaborate with others.

Now, Cisco claims you can choose all of the above thanks to a significant shift in the San Jose, Calif.-company's collaboration suite strategy. At its Cisco Live conference, the company introduced options to simplify its systems while cutting costs.

"We want to bring amazing collaboration capabilities to every room, every desk and every pocket," said Peter Ulander, vice president for marketing. He said the company did a good job of helping people connect through voice, video or data conferences, but all through three services that operated as separate businesses within Cisco.

Hunting Unicorns: 5 Approaches to Measure Social Business ROI

2014-12-May-SocialROI-Unicorn.jpgWe face two major measurement problems when trying to measure the impacts of social business software: demanding stakeholders and intangible outputs. To grant project sponsorship, the C-Suite wants to see how you will measure return on investment (ROI). Meanwhile, from a human perspective we can inherently understand the value of engagement, dialog and innovation in the workplace, but it's very difficult to measure these intangibles in dollars and cents.

How do we begin to quantify the impacts of social business software on organizations or are we simply trying to chase a proverbial unicorn?

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