Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report (April 1, 2008)

The People Part of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Chuck suggest that companies already “get” collaboration, and have a lot invested in collaboration (conference rooms, audio and video conferencing, and email). Rather than positioning social media collaboration tools as competing with these, Chuck suggests drawing out the complementary nature of the same.
  • Collaboration is about technology AND culture. Chris wants us to spend more time on the second. “If you are introducing the idea of collaboration for the first time or are trying to kickstart a stalled initiative, addressing the cultural component of collaboration is critical. It’s not enough to have the best technology for supporting collaboration installed in your company…you must have people that will leverage that technology in the context of their business goals.

The Technology Trends of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • EditGrid released a plug-in for Atlassian Confluence, so that users can create, view and edit spreadsheets directly on their wiki pages. Key features: multiple users can see changes in real-time, import and export from current systems, and integrated live chat, among others. Available immediately. See also EditGrid.
  • Lookout Software released OfficeCalendar 4.5, for sharing Outlook calendar, contact and task information with other users of Outlook. Exchange Server is not needed. Users can access their shared calendars through Outlook web access. “OfficeCalendar Online gives those who don’t always have access to Microsoft Outlook on their desktop PC the ability to access their personal, shared, group and resource Outlook calendars from anywhere, at anytime, using a web browser. Outlook web access is ideal for users who travel or work from public computers frequently.
  • CMSWatch released the 2008 SharePoint Report, a comprehensive evaluation of all things SharePoint. The report runs to 190 pages. “Probably one of the most interesting findings in the report is that SharePoint is fast becoming the next IBM Lotus Notes — and not in a good way. For years people implemented Lotus Notes databases like crazy, seeing them as the best way to store and share information. Now you hear more about moving all the content and data into SharePoint. But what’s the point if you are just going from one messy datastore into another?” See CMSWatch for licensing details.
  • Scotiabank is exploring the use of an enterprise social network, based on Microsoft SharePoint, with 800 employees based in Canada. “Scotiabank has laid out guidelines for its employees, but has not put any controls on what users can post to the internal network. The idea is that users follow the same practices they do when sending out an email or using an existing network.
  • Google will start rolling out offline access to Google Docs next week. It will initially only support editing current documents.
  • Cemaphore Systems released MailShadow for Google, to synchronize email from Outlook/Exchange with Google Mail. “MailShadowG synchronizes all content in real-time, duplicating the content and allowing users to view it from Outlook or via Google’s Gmail, Calendar and Contacts, said Cemaphore President and CEO Tyrone Pike. For example, calendar entries in Microsoft Outlook will appear in Google Calendar. Or, e-mails sent from Outlook will appear in Gmail.” See Cemaphore for details.
  • Google released new email archiving capabilities for Gmail. “Since the service is hosted by Google, there’s no hardware or software to install. And it provides powerful search tools to help you quickly locate relevant emails when you need them. Message Discovery also includes email filtering and security, which blocks spam, viruses and other threats before they reach your servers or inbox.
  • Projjex released its online collaborative workspace, for sharing tasks, documents, notes and meetings. The Dashboard provides a summary of upcoming tasks and meetings from across all project spaces.

Insights on Being Productive and Effective as an Individual

Other Noteworthy Insights

  • LiveScribe started taking orders for LiveScribe, for those customers that placed a pre-order. The pens will take 4-6 weeks to ship, and only support Windows XP and Vista at the moment, and will only be sent to addresses in the US. A Mac edition is coming. See also the LiveScribe Blog.

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