Industry Updates

Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report (March 4, 2008)

The People Part of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Ken outlines a three step approach to motivate teams: (1) summarize the situation, highlighting four key areas of focus (timeline, team, main deliverable, and its importance to the enterprise), (2) present the consequences, and (3) create and implement a plan.
  • Chuck notes that information overload is happening at EMC within its social media platform, and they are wondering what to do about it. In particular: how do people direct their attention to the interesting and relevant things. Some of the proposals on the table: RSS feeds, taxonomy, content rating, and more. My immediate reaction: there needs to be a bit of Attensa-style attention analytics and alerting, based on the reading behaviors that people are doing.

The Technology Trends of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Microsoft announced that its online services for Exchange and SharePoint are almost ready to go. US companies can sign up for the beta, and the rest of the world can get it in 2H2008. Chan has details. See also Seattle Times, Wall Street Journal (“But mostly, Microsoft will be competing against itself“), Peter de Haas (enterprise foundation, licensing model, partner opportunities), and InfoWorld.
  • NewsGator released an updated edition of NewsGator Social Sites for SharePoint, with new social networking capabilities. “The new release of Social Sites will make it easier for people to discover relevant information and experts within an enterprise by providing a graphical display of a person’s social network based on both explicit and implied connections with others. Social Sites’ advanced social network capabilities will display a user’s strongest colleague connections, recommend additional connections based on common content and interests, and suggest the best ways to connect with new colleagues. The Social Sites release will also enhance employee collaboration by enabling users to create, discover, and join ad hoc communities that span organization boundaries to connect people with common projects, areas of expertise, activities, and interests. These communities will facilitate collaboration by providing rich discussion capabilities, centralized document management features, and the use of tags, relevance data, and RSS feeds to keep all members up-to-date on their communities’ latest news and activities.ComputerWorld explains it this way: “[Social Sites 2.0] provides visualization to see which colleagues map most strongly to you based on subscriptions and tags and can recommend new colleagues to you based on community membership and [blog and wiki] reading patterns.

Insights on Being Productive and Effective as an Individual

  • Hold people accountable for results, not attendance. “So, now that the engine of productivity isn’t a factory line, a machine or a business process, but is driven by ingenuity and good thinking, why do we still maintain the 8 to 5 fiction?
  • Laura proposes some ways of taming the technology that you use everyday: (1) get rid of excess information, (2) use proper netiquette, (3) leave effective voicemail messages, (4) use your phone as an effective productivity tool, and more. “It’s amazing how useful technological tools can be — but it’s equally amazing just how distracting they can be, especially when they’re not properly used. Instead of responding mindlessly to that hunk of plastic and electronics when it bleeps at you, learn to put it to work for you in an effective and organized manner. Understand what to avoid, what to take advantage of, and just as importantly, where the OFF button is — and how use it.

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