Industry Updates

Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report (September 4, 2007)

The People Part of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Telecommuting 2.0? … Jeff remembers the hype and promise about telecommuting 20 years ago, and wonders whether it’s really going to happen this time. “Telecommuting wasn’t embraced by anyone other than zealots back then for a variety of reasons. First, the technology wasn’t there to support it. But the biggest reason was that people didn’t like it. In some cases, the telecommuters were looked down upon as slackers — or worse, mothers — and the whole idea got the image of being a career-killer. And overall, telecommuters reported that they missed the office, the camaraderie of fellow workers, the give-and-take, and besides, being home all the time gave them cabin fever. Fast-forward to today, and things are different. Very different. Colorado Biz Today
  • Benefits of Telecommuting … Matt reflects on the benefits of telecommuting, and finds particular interest in getting rid of the second car, being able to care for children while working (as per one commenter, bad idea), working longer and more concentrated hours, having fewer distractions, better retention of staff, and more. Simplified Complexity
  • Global Virtual Teams and Trust, Confidence and Communication … Ritesh outlines the increasing occurrence of global virtual teams, their additional special characteristics, potential benefits (easier and more cost effective international expansion, among others), how to manage a lead a global virtual team, how to build trust and relationships, and more. “Global Virtual Team is a necessity for an organization that strives for providing quality services to the customers spread over wide locations. There are a lot of advantages with a GVT but there are a lot of challenges too. The challenges range from cultural differences to trust between the team members. The challenges can be addressed to a certain extent by following certain set of rules and procedures and by enhancing trust between the team members.Ritesh Agarwal

The Technology Trends of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • eProductivity Beta … ICA released Beta 1 of its Notes-based eProductivity system, which combines productivity and effective working ideas with the Lotus Notes email and task management environment. In essence, it presents a complete overhaul of managing email and tasks in Lotus Notes, making the system much more usable and intuitive for managing projects and next actions. Yes, Eric’s a friend of mine, but having seen this product during development I wholehearted say this: If you use Notes and follow the GTD methodology, you owe it to yourself to check this out. Eric Mack
  • Forms Server 2007 … Oliver and Brian continue with their review of new servers from Microsoft, this time with an analysis of Forms Server 2007. After laying the foundation with what’s possible with just the InfoPath 2007 client (“Instead of merely “electronifying” paper-based forms, InfoPath can turn those forms into living documents, information gatherers, and even business intelligence tools. You get access to those capabilities by tying InfoPath forms into existing back-end data resources, something InfoPath 2007 can do on its own with user toil, but is made much easier with the addition of SharePoint.“), and what’s added into the mix with SharePoint 2007 (“Adding Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007 to the mix, however, brings a new bag of benefits packaged as Forms Basics. This amounts to a document library specifically designed to manage InfoPath forms. Creating one is as simple as choosing the Forms Library option in the Libraries menu during creation. Forms Basic brings functions that benefits most users, but the benefits are multiplied for shops making heavier use of InfoPath.“), they look at what you get by adding Forms Server 2007 to an installation of MOSS Standard (because the Enterprise edition includes it all): easy access to other SharePoint document data, easier access to external data sources, an application management feature (for tracking which data is being used in which forms across the team site), easier form deployment, and more. InfoWorld
  • Droplet and PeerMe … PeerMe and Droplet launched a multi-party video conferencing service (for up to 4 people). “The two companies have integrated Droplet’s video platform into PeerMe’s existing VoIP applications, upgrading PeerMe’s global VoIP subscribers to a “many-to-many” real-time voice/video communications service. Droplet Technology’s all-software embedded video device clients and server applications enable video capture, playback, sharing, and networking on any PC or cell phone without dedicated video processors.” Available immediately. CollaborationLoop
  • rPath Webinar on Distributed Teams … rPath is hosting a Webinar on September 5 focused on how its customers can use its tools to equip distributed teams for success. “Join rPath for this web seminar to learn how GlobalLogic, an rPath Strategic Services Partner, uses Velocity, a lightweight process and tools framework, to address these challenges. Based on the Agile Methodology and incorporating rPath appliance development best practices, Velocity enables GlobalLogic to equip distributed teams with the structure, communication and engineering behaviors needed to leverage user feedback early in the development cycle and deliver a software appliance right on schedule.dBusinessNews
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration … Gloucestershire Police will be trialing Collaborator, from Extent Software, for sharing data and managing incidents across agencies. “The need to share data across agencies is a growing requirement, and clear directive to aid the improvement of efficient management of incidents. Yet with many disparate IT systems it is certainly an area that can be problematic. However, now, thanks to a solution developed by Extent Software, known as Collaborator information can be shared securely across multiple applications, multiple platforms, multiple networks and with that across multiple agencies and departments.” Collaborator uses XML to integrate disparate systems. Bapco Journal
  • BT Workspace 3.0 … BT Workspace released Version 3.0 of its hosted online project management service. New features: revised UI layout, integrated instant messaging, and a new company contacts area, among others. Available immediately. BT BroadBand Office Blog
  • Palm Treo.Next … Palm will launch a new Treo smartphone next week, on September 12 in London. Pocket-lint, the::unwired
  • Blogs for OCS and OC … Microsoft’s Unified Communications Group released two new blogs, one focused on Office Communications Server, and the other on Office Communicator (the client). Microsoft Exchange Blog

Insights on Being Productive and Effective as an Individual

  • GTD for Bloggers … Leo outlines how bloggers can use GTD principles for better self-organization and productivity. Web Worker Daily
  • Beware the Halo Effect … The “Halo Effect” is when people ascribe positive attributes to a person or company, without evidence that the positive traits actually occur. With respect to real success, “Long-term success is comprised of a series of short-term successes. Companies that adapt have a greater chance of sustained success.Jim Estill

Other Noteworthy Insights

  • Microsoft to Buy RIM? … Some speculation that Microsoft will buy RIM (to better fight against Google, to get better hardware, to compete against the Apple iPhone), and why it’s unlikely (eg, price too high at US$47 billion). PC World, ITWire

Categories: Industry Updates