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Social Business Software News & Analysis

Jive Bridges the Gap to Office 365

If you don’t talk to Office 365, you don’t have an enterprise play. At least when it comes to productivity apps, that is.

OK, maybe that’s not true quite yet. But it soon will be.

That’s why Jive, a leading provider of communication and collaboration solutions for business, has built software connectors for Microsoft Office 365, including Outlook Online, Office Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.

“We’re bridging the gap between on-premise and cloud versions of Microsoft Office and SharePoint to make collaboration and communication seamless,” said Colleen Jansen, vice president of product marketing at Jive.

Gartner Names Wise Choices for Workplace Social Software

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In the market for social software? Gartner included 17 vendors in this year’s Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace. 

Like all of the other Garter Magic Quadrants, it's quite difficult to make the list. And squeezing into the Leaders quadrant is especially challenging. In this case, only Microsoft, IBM, Jive, Salesforce and Tibco managed to earn a spot. 

However, Gartner points out that Challengers offer solutions that have a strong market presence, and adds that these vendors have the market position and resources to become Leaders down the line. VMWare, Atlassian and Sitrion earned spots in this quadrant.

Drive Social Adoption with SharePoint and Yammer Analytics

With the advent of SharePoint 2013 and Yammer integration, companies have struggled to monitor and manage the integration, adoption and usage of the collaboration platforms deployed across the enterprise. SharePoint Administrators are having a difficult time gathering meaningful metrics on SharePoint and Yammer usage and adoption. Community managers, IT managers and business leaders need metrics that show who is using the platform, how it’s being used, and how far the reach of social collaboration has extended into the enterprise. These measurements are key to ensuring that collaboration is being integrated into business processes.

6 Things to Consider Before Buying Enterprise Social Software

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The social software market is dynamic and growing. It's customer rather than vendor driven, and grew by 15 percent last year, according to Gartner’s recently published Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace.

In the past, customers were primarily concerned with product maturity and support. But now they're more focused on collaboration and social capabilities, and how both can be seamlessly embedded into daily operations.

Kato.im Launches Free Enterprise Chat Solution

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Kato.im, a business communication service provider, just announced the launch of its new product, Kato Teams —  a free professional chat solution offering live 1:1 and group messaging, file sharing and search capabilities.

It's designed to improve the efficiency of business communication, according to the Oakland, Calif.-based company.

Kato Teams aims to bring the best of IM and email functionality to the enterprise, at zero cost to businesses.

Does Jive Do Social Better by Putting the End User First?

Jive may be one of the last enterprise social collaboration pure play vendors that hasn’t been acquired. That may very well free it to do what its competitors can’t — namely, to innovate and integrate without constraint because it isn’t locked in to anyone or anything.

The company is committed to helping its customers realize more engagement, more value and more results through its platform which is used by leading corporations such as EMC, Prudential, Thomson Reuters, T-Mobile and many others.

Yesterday the company, which Gartner has named to its Leaders Quadrant, unveiled its “Summer Cloud Release” which aims to drive productivity in the enterprise by providing “a more customized, enhanced, enterprise collaboration experience across all mobile devices.” The release leverages Cisco’s real time communication services like WebEx and Jabber.

Manage Inbox Overload with In App Collaboration

According to Forbes "the average person spends 13 hours a week just reading and processing email.” But over the past few years things have started to change. In-app communications is trying to take people out of their inboxes by sending messages within the context of specific applications.

7 Traits of Highly Effective Social Business Initiatives

What differentiates the companies that capture the full value of social technologies from those that do not?

These organizations are usually successful because their leaders don’t see social technology as just another tool or a new shiny object, but as a catalyst for organizational transformation and an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.

To achieve this transformation, the implementation of social business initiatives must be tightly coupled with a robust change management program. This approach helps shift mindsets and reduce resistance as these new technologies are incorporated into day-to-day workflows, helping transform organizational structures, systems and processes.

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.

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.  

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?

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.

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