The Four Cs of Effective Collaboration

Tim Banting

Tim Banting

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise social collaboration, when correctly implemented, reduces decision making time and building upon the collective wisdom of communities
  • Technology is but part of an enterprise social collaboration strategy- there are other barriers to adoption that need to be overcome

Modern organizations understand they need to react to a rapidly changing business environment quickly. The need to address customer demands, react to competitive threats, and improve profitability, is largely dependent on the way employees interact and engage, collaborate and communicate – not only with each other, but also with business partners and customers. Read more of this post

Big Data and Predictive Analytics Need More People, Not More Data

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Machine learning, data mining, and advanced analytics coupled with big data seems poised to reshape the way we make business decisions, automating them and making them more effective.
  • However, if our early work with stocks, recruitment and credit scoring are any indications, our algorithmic innovations need human oversight now more than ever.

My Google Nexus tablet knows when I should leave the house in order to keep my daily routine humming along smoothly. Using historical geolocation data, search results and email trafficit knows, for instance, where I like to dine and how long it will take me to get there at the prescribed hour on the customary day of the week. Read more of this post

VMware and Collaboration: What a Long Strange Trip it’s About to Become

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • First VMware pulls back from an early file sharing and sync tool; then it sells its email platform to Telligent. So, what’s left for collaboration at VMware?
  • In a unique but potentially risky move, the company has thrown its enterprise social networking offering into the waiting arms of its endpoint management suite, VMware Horizon.

When I arrived at VMworld 2013 in San Francisco last week, I didn’t expect much in the way of razzle-dazzle from VMware’s End User Computing product group. This conference has historically resembled a three ring circus, spinning around the many wonders of workload virtualization. On that, the conference did not disappoint, featuring much ado over both software defined networking and hybrid cloud services. Read more of this post

The Event Stream Is Dead; Long Live Employee Engagement

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • If this year’s E2 Conference is any indicator of things to come, the idea of a universal ‘Facebook for the Enterprise’ is dead.
  • Instead, industry leaders from the likes of SAP and IBM are touting a more engaged notion of transparency and context.

I always look forward to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference (or the E2 Conference, as it is now called), because it is one of the few general trade shows dedicated to the broader issue of enterprise collaboration.  It’s also housed within the great city of Boston, which is always a pleasure to visit.  Where else can you expect to find true rivals (Jive, SAP and IBM, for instance) openly discuss strategic issues such as the changing role of enterprise social networking?  During one such panel comprised of these same companies, IBM’s Alistair Rennie addressed the importance of mobility, saying that having a mobile client for this or that platform shouldn’t be the prime objective.  Rather, user engagement should be the top priority for vendors and customers alike. Read more of this post

What Comes After Enterprise Social Networking? Business Networking

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise social networking is nothing more than a passing fancy, at least in terms of describing the idea of collaboration.
  • For a view into what will follow, we need look no further than our own corporate priorities and the manner in which vendors seek to meet those priorities.

Language is a slippery customer. We mold and evolve words and phrases to meet our expectations of how the world works at any given time. For that reason, words and phrases come and go, depending upon whether or not they fulfill this need. And as I’ve been informed, many of the beloved words from my youth are no longer meaningful, words like preppie, hoser, rad, tubular and of course groupware. Read more of this post

Enterprise Social Networking No Pie in the Sky Venture for IT Pros

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Current go-to-market practices within the collaboration platform marketplace call for a highly transformational experience, where the wisdom of crowds can make an organization smarter through lofty ideals such as ideation and expertise location.
  • IT professionals responsible for the purchase of such solutions hope instead for an improvement of existing collaboration tools, most notably e-mail.

In preparing some presentation materials for an upcoming webinar (later this month) on enterprise social networking, I was struck by a singular, unexpected trend – something called pragmatism.  As an industry analyst, I am used to hearing grand visions, the biggest of which is business transformation.  This is the idea that software can literally change the way a company does business, enabling it to reach into new market opportunities or to simply bring business practices back into alignment with its stated business objectives. Read more of this post

All Work and No Play Makes Jack Slightly Less Innovative

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • The consumerization of IT, Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn, bring-your-own-device: What do these uber-trends have in common?  They shake up the status quo by placing the employee at the center of the universe, bringing them together and merging their personal and professional personas.
  • This progression toward a people-first workplace has greatly influenced enterprise social networking platforms, making them more ‘humanized,’ but that is not enough.  True innovation needs free experimentation and exploration; in other words, a state of play.

In the late 90s, the extent of play within the enterprise was limited to ‘Windows shopping’ for the perfect Windows 95 desktop background color, e-mailing an ASCII art visage of Jerry Garcia, or perhaps even holding an after-hours Doom session on the company’s 10 Mbps Ethernet LAN.  Since then, of course, we’ve had ‘the internets’ to entertain, at least for organizations allowing free and full access to those climes.  However, trolling the Twittosphere in search of fleeting pop-memes is not actually play and does not actually make you any smarter, more productive, or even more informed.  That only happens when we play. Read more of this post

The Natural Collaborative Interface is No Interface

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise social networking vendors are beginning to focus their efforts on embedding collaborative functions within external applications and services.
  • The real magic, however, rests in making transparent the ties that bind all applications, their content and the  humans that use them.

I’ve been watching the middleware and software development space for some time, which has made me somewhat biased toward the idea of applications talking amongst themselves and greatly appreciative of the difficulties involved in doing so. This unifying act of connectivity and machine-level collaboration is so difficult in fact, that not every company has found pure middleware, service oriented architecture (SOA) nirvana. It’s interesting then and maybe a bit surprising to see enterprise social networking (ESN) begin to play a similar unifying role, at least for humans and the content they interact with in their daily travels. Read more of this post