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Social Software News & Analysis

Why Collaboration Solutions Fail [Infographic]

2014-13-October-communicateGo ahead. Give your employees yet another state-of-the art, fresh off the cloud (or out-of-the-box) solution for collaboration and communication.

Odds are few of them will use it anyway … unless you do two not-so-shocking things. Can you guess what they are?

Here's a clue: the technology itself isn't the problem. 

A new study by Softchoice, a Toronto, Ontario-based technology solutions and managed services provider, confirmed unified communications (UC) and collaboration tools have the power to accelerate productivity, bring people together and increase employee engagement. However, most UC implementations fail because employees are left out of the process, the research found.

Here's why.

ROI Is the Wrong Tool to Justify Social Investments

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Social media and social networking have become core business tools in the business world. Every major brand has some level of social media account or social engagement with its customers at this point, but the question remains how to measure the value associated with social media and social networking. To do this, companies look for a Social Return on Investment but get hung up in the process. Why does this happen? 

Don't Launch a Social Business Collaboration Solution Unless ...

2014-24-September-Kick-Off.jpgIt’s the season in which I find myself doing a lot of armchair quarterbacking on the weekends (which involves yelling at the TV from time to time -- Go Hawks!). I know I’m not alone. When you are that involved in the outcome, it makes the wins all the more sweet.

During the work week, I have the pleasure of actual quarterbacking for business collaboration, in partnership with customers and clients -- not to mention my own team. What I've seen is that the philosophy you bring to the table makes a real difference to your success.

The Greatest Enterprise Collaboration Tool in the Universe

social business, The Greatest Enterprise Collaboration Tool in the Universe

Finally, some true enterprise collaboration software that works

I've been in B2B technology reporting for the better part of this century. You may be surprised to hear I've seen a few product pitches. 

Lately, the hot software product is the enterprise collaboration tool. Let's communicate. Collaborate. Share files. Share documents. Avoid meetings. 

Let's streamline all forms of communication into one platform and forget about the old days of disparate systems that don't talk to each other -- and in turn make humans bad at the same thing.

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.

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