Let's face it: We all make mistakes now and then -- especially when it comes to implementation. This week we looked at the lessons you can learn from such failures. 

3 Enterprise Collaboration Failures and Lessons Learned

Jacob Morgan of Chess Media Group put together a short list of three common mistakes that occur in enterprise implementations. Here's a peek at each:

  • Forgetting about the Users: "When you create a certain expectation in the mind of the users it’s important to deliver on that expectation."
  • Starting with a Tool: "Collaboration technologies are just that, technologies. They don’t guarantee success and they don’t solve problems. That is up to the people. Understanding what the business problems are and developing a strategy around how to solve those problems should always come first."
  • Choosing the Wrong Tool: "Prior to deploying anything I believe it’s important to get a good understanding of how receptive and open your employees are to using something new. It’s also crucial to develop a set of use cases around how employees can use the new tools and what the value of the new tools are to the individual. Without speaking with your users first and understanding how they work, the tool is useless."

Check these out in detail here.  

Enterprise Collaboration: 5 Lessons Learned from Google Wave's Failure

If Google Wave is anything, it's solid proof that even a multi-faceted communication platform full of useful features can fall flat. With that in mind, here are a few pointers to keep close when considering collaboration tools:

  • Identify Problems, Don't Create Them: In the world of business, usefulness takes precedence over glitz and glam. Sure, the thought of the second coming of e-mail mashed together with chat and multimedia sharing capabilities was exciting in theory, but it became very clear in practice that the combination didn't answer a pressing need. 
  • Determine the Audience: Collaboration tools should be created with an audience in mind. Wave wasn't positioned as specific to anyone, and that became very clear when both businesses and consumers hit respective walls.
  • Baby, Take Off Your Cool: The hype surrounding Wave manhandled the blogosphere, was a trending topic on Twitter, and filled forums to the brim. Basically, the media convinced people they needed Wave before anyone even got a chance to test run it. When the platform didn't deliver the magic fairy dust and unicorns it promised, the resulting cloud of digital disappointment was almost tangible.
  • Consider the (Less Complicated) Competition: Wave very quickly devolved from the next "it" tool to a really fancy chat platform, which would have been okay if anyone actually wanted a really fancy chat platform.
  • Don't Take on Too Much Too Fast: Aside from the real-time text entry thing, the features Wave offered were really great and continue to live on — separately — within other sections of the Google kingdom. Further, platforms like Chatter and Yammer have since added similar functionalities, but they've done so slowly over time.

Early last year a few experts predicted the enterprise wouldn't adopt the sort of functionality offered by Wave in a timely manner, and they were right. Google's hand failed for a few reasons, but mostly because it was too much to handle at once. Have a more detailed look here

Chatter vs. Yammer? You Miss the Point 

In honor of our enterprise collaboration theme this month, we sat down with Salesforce.com EVP Alex Dayon to talk about the fundamentals of collaboration product and project success, how enterprise social diverged from consumer social, and to ask a few obvious questions about the on-going Chatter vs. Yammer debate.

Here's a segment of our interview:

Going Mobile with Yammer, The Options

As most other enterprise companies these days, Yammer has begun to let its users collaborate on the move. In this post, Chris Wright examines our current options: 

  • Blackberry: Yammer for Blackberry lets you view all Yammer feeds, send and receive updates, and reply to existing updates. The interface has been improved since the last version and you can not switch between networks.
  • Windows Mobile: Yammer doesn’t do quite as well with its support for Windows Mobile. The official app is designed for Windows Mobile 6.5, with little yet on the way for Windows Phone 7. Yammer is designed for the enterprise market, an area Windows mobile was aimed at but one it never really took hold of. It seems Yammer isn't waiting to see if the new OS fares any better.
  • iPhone: The iPhone app replicates the Blackberry application, with one or two additions. Users can browse the Yammer members directory directly from their phone (useful when looking up contacts on that train journey), and you can then email or call them. The iPhone app is regularly updated, with the most recent version in the store at the end of last year.
  • iPad: There is currently no dedicated app for the iPad for Yammer. But this is something the team is at work on right now. Dedicated features will include a ‘iPad mail’ layout, using the added space to lay out the Yammer interface more elegantly. Unfortunately there is currently no estimated released date.
  • SMS Text messages: Finally, Yammer offers the ability to use good old fashioned text messages to interact with the system. Basically the service lets you send updates via text message and receive messages of those you are following. Whilst this is currently only supported in the US, international availability is on its way.