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Social Software News & Analysis

Focus on the Last Mile of SharePoint Automation

2014-30-July-Long-Road.jpgThe rise of social and collaborative networks has changed the nature of the business interaction. The inbox and the Rolodex have become foreign to us. We expect instant access, constant updates and alerts, and data about every aspect of our lives to be readily available. We expect common business activities to be automated, streamlined, easy. Many of our measurements for success in business (certainly from the information worker's standpoint) revolve around the quality of the user experience we receive -- or create for our customers.  

When surrounded by a team of people, it is easy enough get the necessary help from others to work through a complex or confusing business process. However, as an employee in a remote office, most of your daily information worker activities are likely self-driven. Many of the interactions that require involvement from others, who may be located in another time zone, can take time and reduce your productivity while you are waiting. Suddenly it is not just about identifying the right person for an approval or feedback but about balancing their availability against your project and time constraints.

Take Control of Growing SharePoint Environments

2014-28-July-Conductor.jpgSharePoint is complex. With increased SharePoint adoption comes a number of IT challenges -- more users, more content and increased mission-criticality. Yet managing and maintaining a high-performance environment doesn’t require a costly or complex solution. Staying ahead of a rapidly evolving SharePoint environment requires a commitment to success, backed by proactive and thoughtful goal-setting, testing and measuring.

SAP Jam's Approach to Social: It's All in the Work Patterns

2014-25-July-Loom.jpgThe social adoption and ROI discussions are getting louder as more and more enterprises implement social collaboration solutions and struggle to find success. Adoption and ROI are difficult areas to define, measure and implement. The Altimeter Group released a report on The Evolution of Social Business detailing how organizations that have implemented social have created technology silos and lack clear focus or strategy in how it should be deployed across the enterprise.

As social has become mainstream over the past few years, we have seen major software vendors across vertical markets and solution types integrate social into the fabric of their core products. Dion Hinchcliffe highlighted this trend in 2011 in his blog post “Putting Social to Work,” where he described the integration of social with ERP suites like Oracle, IBM, Salesforce, Microsoft and SAP.

I recently spoke with SAP's Social Software Solutions Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sameer Patel about social adoption and ROI. We discussed how SAP views these issues and how it developed the SAP Jam platform to address them. Its an interesting approach that's worth exploring in more depth.

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."

Why Zimbra's Collaboration Platform Jumped on Mezeo's Cloud

social business, Why Zimbra's Collaboration Platform Added Mezeo's Cloud

It's been about a year since since Telligent acquired Zimbra in the social enterprise software space. Telligent rebranded to Zimbra's platform.

Zimbra is confident in its platform, no doubt. It's a regular in the Magic Quadrants and Waves for social software and communities, and in March it released its latest update of its community software solution: Zimbra Community 8.0, featuring customer support and private social networking for remote and mobile workers. 

Today Zimbra brings a level of security to its platform its CEO said is unmatched. It acquired Mezeo Software, which provides file sharing and cloud storage capabilities for service providers, governments and other companies.

This allows Zimbra to use Mezeo’s technology portfolio that includes patents that cover aspects of storage efficiency and file security, and it adds file sync and share for secure and private collaboration.

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.

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.

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.

Why These 6 Enterprise Social Platforms Lead the Way

There are some new kids in town. And some old ones still on top.

Forrester released its first Wave for Enterprise Social Platforms in three years this month. In its second quarter  2014 report, it named IBM, Zimbra and Jive as leaders for the second time, and tossed Salesforce, Microsoft and Tibco in the top for the first time. Zimbra was formerly known as Telligent.

 IBM Connections, Salesforce Chatter and Communities, Microsoft Office 365, Zimbra Communities and Tibco tibbr were cited as leaders in the space.

Gartner had a similar take on leaders of social software.

Yammer Expands Support to 28 Languages

Yammer Localization Lead Small.jpg

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.

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