News Updates (September 17, 2009)

Who’s Bending to Who? … Michael asks whether collaboration applications bend to the will of the users, or the other way around. “What the IBM survey data really suggests is that there is still a high level of frustration when it comes to making enterprise applications bend to the needs of the business. Far too often, business users have to bend to the way enterprise software works. At the end of the day, that only serves to stifle business process innovation because, right now, it’s still too hard to get the software to execute the business process just the way you want it. So are we really making any progress when it comes to collaboration, or are we just spinning our collective wheels?More

Ribbon in SharePoint 2010 … Peter comments on some of the upcoming changes in SharePoint 2010. “SharePoint gets that spit shine in its upcoming new version. SharePoint 2010, now in beta, is a tremendous improvement in all respects. It’s slick, sporting a new interface that pulls in the ribbon UI that has become a staple of the Office suite in Office 2010, and it’s snappy, responding quicker than ever to design or administrative needs. It also logs solid improvements in the areas of central administration and site development.More

Justifying Governance … Brien offers some suggestions about how to quantify the benefit of a SharePoint governance plan: regulatory compliance, legal protection, and fewer help desk calls, among others. “In a lot of ways, the justification for a governance document is a lot like the justification behind implementing SharePoint in the first place. If your organization is using SharePoint, you must have had some good reasons for employing it. If those rationales worked before, they will probably work now. Maybe your organization needed a good content management tool, or maybe it needed individual departments to be able to create websites on the fly. Whatever the reason, somebody used it as a justification for implementing SharePoint. You may be able to use similar reasoning to justify your SharePoint governance document.More

Collaboration Demonstration … CubeTree is providing a collaboration environment for attendees at the SAP for Utilities conference. “UtilityCollaboration is divided into several topic groups, some of which will follow the subject matter at the conference. Through this technology, conference attendees will have real-time access to presentations, videos and special blog posts, wikis, chat, search, document sharing, links, tweets, polls, feeds and featured articles. Another set of topic groups will also be released, which will allow utility companies to collaborate freely on specific topics during the conference and beyond. Here, members will share experiences, develop best practices and work on common industry issues.More

Co-Working for Collaboration … Co-working offers collaboration benefits. “The creative, knowledge economy thrives when cross-fertilization of ideas happens. Sharing a water cooler or coffee pot with people who have different backgrounds, jobs, and ways of thinking may spark new ideas and original solutions to problems. This is precisely what happens when groups of self-employed individuals and micro-sized businesses comprised of only a handful of people share office space or “co-work.”More

Cisco’s Collaboration Strategy … A review of the philosophy underlying Cisco’s internal collaboration strategy. “Cisco’s betting big on collaboration that draws manager input from all levels as the main driver for its strategy to grab new markets. And it’s taking a decentralized, rather than top-down, tack. The approach is stirring a sharp upturn in executive productivity and creativity. This hints that other firms may gain by following Cisco.More
– It’s driven from the top … John, the CEO.
– New executive boards make group decisions about Cisco’s strategic direction.
– Cisco is able to make quicker, more informed decisions this way.
– Cisco promotes the internal use of web technologies to support collaboration.

Collaboration ROI … Bob offers some ideas about demonstrating the value of collaboration tools, and cites some examples. “Clearly, the benefits of collaboration can be difficult to measure. For example, how do you assign a value to something like the increased productivity that results from more effective sharing of knowledge among employees? Or how do you know how much the company has gained from ideas generated by customers? One easy answer is: You don’t need to measure these things. Just put the technology in place that enables better collaboration and you’ll reap benefits in ways that don’t need to be measured. Take a leap of faith and assume that any technology that fosters better communication and knowledge sharing in the organization will ultimately prove to be well worth the cost. But in case that doesn’t fly with the finance people, there are more orthodox ways to measure and demonstrate the benefits of collaboration tools.More

Other Items
– Oscar points to an exploration of the benefits of online social networks to organizations.
– Part 2 of the story about JohnsonDiversey migrating from Notes to Google Apps.
– A review of Android, the Google smartphone operating system.
Docova is a document collaboration system for Lotus Domino.

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