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Social Business, Social Enterprise News, Analysis

4 Directions For SharePoint and Office 365 in 2015

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It’s going to be a big year for SharePoint, but details about what to expect are fuzzy.

Microsoft has promised a new on-premise version will be released later this year. However, it has been less forthcoming about SharePoint Online in Office 365.

Microsoft upgrades Office 365 on a regular basis and has given some indication as to where it would like to go with SharePoint Online. But a lot of questions remained unanswered.

Jive Brings Workstyle Apps to the Rest of Us

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We’ve all been told that mobile and the cloud are great equalizers. But how often do small and mid-sized businesses continue to find technologies and solutions beyond reach because of their cost, required technical know-how, difficulty of implementation and so on?

Far more often than most vendors are prepared to admit.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, said Colleen Jansen, vice president of global marketing, Jive Software. Today the company that has brought communication and collaboration solutions to enterprises and their business partners since 2001, unveiled three new workstyle apps: Jive Daily, Jive Chime and Jive People.

They’re consumer-like in look and feel, functional in that they work the way you work, easily accessible (not just anywhere, any time, any device) in that you don’t need much help (if any) from IT to set up and use them, and affordable to business and organizations of all shapes and sizes. (Though large enterprises might fare better with Jive and Jive X).

Here’s the low down on the three apps.

Singapore Firm Challenges Hootsuite, Buffer

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Consumers and executives alike are managing multiple social media accounts — a juggling act because what's appropriate for one social network may not be for another.

Celebrities generally have a third party manage their social media profiles, which is often how embarrassing gaffes happen. In the business space, more than one person usually manages the social media profile and similar mistakes have been made. How does someone solve the problem that is the social media equivalent of “too many cooks”?

Outbox Pro from Unified Inbox, a Singapore-based firm, is an app that helps those who create content get their content out there with the input of anyone — employees, contractors, partners, vendors and even customers can help create and publish social content with centralized approval, tracking, and management.

Although this may seem like a continuation of the “too many cooks” problem, it gives all interested parties a voice in creating compelling content that you can share with your social media networks, which will ultimately lead to more conversions and sales of your products and services.

The Line Between Web CMS + Enterprise Social Networks Blur

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While conducting research for my yearly enterprise social network update, a trend that had been simmering for a while bubbled to the top: Quite a few enterprise social networking vendors had or were planning to extend their software in ways that make them nearly indistinguishable from web content management solutions.

That’s not too surprising. Jive Software has, for some time, supported external communities that provide a rich user experience with its JiveX product. Other enterprise social network vendors, for example Jostle, have positioned themselves as “social” intranets. While ostensibly an enterprise social network, products such as these often fill the same role as web content management software. They are used to create rich web-based experiences for internal or external communities.

What Makes a Good Remote Boss Anyway?

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The remote working relationship is as common now as three-martini lunches for ad executives in the 1960s.

It's life. Part of the working world. It can be a nightmare for some. Others pull it off.

Form-building provider Formstack of Indianapolis, Ind., had a little fun with the concept of remote-working bosses when it tested if certain fictional characters would make good ones.

We caught up with the provider's CEO, Chris Byers, to discuss remote bosses. Trust and communication, he told us, are the foundations to a good working relationship between boss and employee in remote settings.

"Communication is the most important skill that a remote boss can develop," Byers said. "Without good communication, your employees will struggle, productivity will suffer and you will wonder why things aren’t working. Leaders need to intentionally communicate vision and culture to their employees. Remote bosses should frequently remind their team why they exist and what their work is accomplishing." 

The Yammer vs. SharePoint Governance Taste Test

2015-02-February-Coffee-Coffee.jpgDo you remember the Folgers Crystals instant coffee commercials from the 1980s? In these 30-second advertisements, a surreptitious survey is taken of diners in a fancy and presumably expensive restaurant. Served after-dinner coffee, they inevitably describe for the camera how fantastic it tastes and smells. Just as inevitably, the shock of the coffee drinkers when they discovered they’d actually been served Folgers Crystals -- instant coffee, not the freshly-brewed European blends they’d been expecting -- gave their snobbish expectations the lie.

In many ways the governance of Yammer vis-à-vis the high-powered governance features of SharePoint is similar to that cup of Folgers coffee versus flavor expected of the freshly-brewed premium blends.

Week in Review: Don't Annoy Customers + EMC Documentum Changes

Winners, Losers in Ektron/EPiServer Merger
10 views on the big Web CMS alliance.

Avoid Annoying Customers
How to "story-sell" and not bother anyone.

Will They Come to Your Online Community?
Tips and tricks to make your community work.

Meet the New Huddle CEO
Big funding in December; major executive change in January. 

Changes for EMC Documentum
What's in a name anyway? 

Information Governance Revisited
Why information governance is in the air. 

The Agile Commerce Dividend 
Seven Imperatives for Realizing the Potential of Your eCommerce Sites

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The New Age of Intranets: Planning & Corporate Communications

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When you’re in corporate communications, your job is communication first, technology second. Of course you need the right technology for your intranet (among all of the other things you do), but that technology is a means to an end. What your career is built on is the communications.

When the corp comms group owns the intranet -- as is true for many enterprises -- they aim to provide an intranet filled with engaging, relevant content that truly enhances the experience for employees. On an easy-to-use platform that lets the team focus on communications and not the hassles of daily updates.

Those of you who are actually in charge of intranet content as part of your job are laughing right now. That’s a unicorn, right? No such thing. 

Microsoft Offers New Outlook Apps for iOS, Android

In less than two months, Microsoft has capitalized on technology from its Acompli buy to create new Outlook apps for iOS and Android. Microsoft, which acquired the San Francisco-based provider of mobile email apps for $200 million in early December, boasted today that "Acompli is now Outlook."

Both apps will work with Microsoft products like Office 365, Exchange and Outlook.com as well as Gmail, Yahoo Mail and other services. Acompli is now available on the App Store and Google Play for smartphones and tablets.

According to Microsoft they will replace existing Outlook Web Apps (OWA), although not right away. Microsoft plans to leave the OWA for iPhone/iPad/Android apps on the market until it fully integrates all of their advanced features, which it expects to do by summer.

Huddle Has a New CEO

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When Huddle won its $51 million round of funding last month, its co-founder and CEO Alastair Mitchell told us the enterprise content collaboration startup would use its newly acquired cash to build out the US market (Huddle was born in the UK, and as many as 60 percent of its customers are  there) as well as to amp-up its sales, marketing and product teams so it could create even more success (than it's already enjoying).

What he didn’t mention, and perhaps the decision had not yet been made, is that the company would also be hiring a new CEO: in other words, his replacement. But it doesn’t seem as though Huddle’s investors or board asked Mitchell to step aside. Instead he said that as the company planned for the next stage of its growth, it was important for them to identify and hire a proven leader who “understood the subtleties of cloud technology and how to bring it to market at scale.” Mitchell will take on the roles of President and CMO.

The man who is now tasked with that job is tech exec Morten Brogger, who will be moving from Luxembourg to San Francisco to take on the challenge.

Q1 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (28-Jan-15)

Our industry event planner gives you the heads-up on what key industry events are coming around the corner. If we've missed something, don't hesitate to add your event to the list. (You can also view the full calendar here.)

You're Invited: Live SharePoint Video

Join CMSWire and RAMP on Feb 3rd for a one-hour webinar to learn more about how enterprise video is going live.

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Wizeline Releases Free Product Management Tool

Wizeline has good news for product managers who have outgrown spreadsheets and presentation software as tools for managing their company’s products.

The product management solutions company just announced its free Wizeline Starter plan, which allows product managers overseeing a single product to evaluate product feature requests, plan and prioritize releases, and develop visual roadmaps.

“It’s all about centralizing the information that's out there,” said Bismarck Lepe, Wizeline founder and CEO, in an interview with CMSWire. “Companies generate a lot of data, but it’s not in a place where it’s very useful. We help companies use the data to make better prioritization decisions, and then track whether the decisions made were the right ones.”

Atlassian Releases Secure Collaboration Platform

Atlassian today released HipChat Server, a communications platform that runs behind a corporate firewall.

The platform addresses the needs of companies in the financial services, government, healthcare and other sectors with stringent security requirements, said Bernardo de Albergaria, vice president and general manager of the collaboration group for Atlassian, a Sydney, Australia-based tech company founded in 2002. (Atlassian acquired San Francisco's HipChat in 2012).

6 Best People Practices In ECM

Surprise, surprise. Nearly half of the companies that responded to research by nonprofit knowledge consultancy APQC report their organizations are poor content managers.

While firms are gravitating toward the slickest, newest technologies, nothing can replace a well-developed enterprise content management strategy (ECM), the research found.

Furthermore, less than 20 percent blamed technology. The problem, they concurred, lies with issues around change management, organizational structure and accountability, the report noted.

You Support Your Customers - Now Support Your Employees

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A good customer experience is critical for any company, no question about it. Whether it’s a product or service being sold, a company can’t survive without satisfied customers. Online customer communities have been shown to be highly effective tools to provide service, relationships and knowledge that crate brand loyalty -- and more profit -- through more engaged customers who will spend more over a longer period of time.

It’s time to take that same approach with the internal employee social network.

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