Industry Updates

Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report (April 2, 2008)

The People Part of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Darren looks at how the available of more advanced collaboration tools may reduce email usage and volume over time, and suggests that the new Sametime Advanced chat rooms have something great to offer Lotus shops in this regards. “I’m not suggesting for one minute that chat rooms will replace e-mail, but I suggest that they can replace e-mails for selected business activities. Along with all of the other items that you gather, you can associate a chat room (or rooms) with a business activity and define that as the place to communicate. Everyone can see the transcript, no-one has to ask for the history (not even late joiners). No-one has to repeat anything as the transcript exists as one continuous persistent dialogue, even if you step out of the dialogue for several days or perhaps weeks. The chat can be real-time, or can be asynchronous as you can catch up on the discussion later. And through a rather neat capability which plugs into the Sametime client you can be alerted to activity going on inside the chat room so that you join in.
  • Sarah’s tips for working effectively on a distributed team: (a) used a technology tool that gives you access to all of your shared material wherever you are, (b) get together with others on the team whenever possible, (c) nominate a team “glue” person, and (d) have annual face-to-face planning meetings.

The Technology Trends of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • HP acquired with Tower Software, to get its hand on Tower’s records management capabilities and its customer base. Per CNNMoney, “HP said the acquisition will be conducted through an off-market takeover bid. The offer is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2008.” Guy sees the acquisition being about (a) better integration of software, and (b) an improved connection to the SharePoint ecosystem.
  • Microsoft released Windows Mobile 6.1, an update for its mobile device platform. It includes updates to the user-interface and Web browsing. “In Outlook Mobile, users will be able to cut and paste, a feature that can be useful, for example, for moving a long string of numbers on a package shipment from a document to an e-mail. Previously, users had to write down information to be able to move it, Microsoft said. During other demonstrations, users were able to bring down a complete image of a YouTube video, not just a portion of one.” Kevin has a list of supported devices.
  • mindSHIFT purchased Collaboration Online, a hosted services provider. “Founded in 2002, Collaboration Online provides hosted Microsoft Exchange Server, Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Dynamics CRM to partners and small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) under multiple brands.
  • O3Spaces released O3Spaces Workplace 2.2.1, a document management and collaboration suite. “O3Spaces Workplace 2.2.1 incorporates a greatly enhanced Workplace Assistant. This trademark desktop component now sports an ’application style’ user interface, with a generic Workplace repository file browser. It allows you to upload multiple files and folders to the Workplace by drag & drop, or download a selection of files and folders for off-line work. The new Workplace Assistant makes it even easier to share any type of file from any application, while retaining the benefits of the Workplace repository’s security, versioning and locking mechanisms.
  • Microsoft released updated guidance on when organizations should use Exchange Public Folders and when they should use SharePoint. Essential summary: if you already are using public folders in Exchange, don’t move to SharePoint except for document sharing and custom applications. And they promised future support: “Exchange Public Folders will be supported for 10 years from the release of the next major release of Exchange Server. There is no emphasis here to push you off of Public Folders.” CMSWatch calls these recommendations “surprising”. “In all, the Exchange Team didn’t go so far as to say that SharePoint only made sense for document-oriented collaboration and workflow, but they did suggest that replacing Exchange public folders with SharePoint won’t be straightforward. This appears to be a Redmond-wide message, as the SharePoint team even cross-posted this entry in their blog. As such, it’s likely that, unless Microsoft greatly enhances SharePoint, any fantasies your Exchange administrators harbor around getting rid of public folders won’t be realized until well after 2013.

Insights on Being Productive and Effective as an Individual

  • Build strong relationships with a few people, rather than only building weak relationships with a large number. The key: having people that will take action on your behalf.
  • Jason offers some ideas on gaining another 10 minutes each day: (a) make an errands list before you visit the shops, keep an ‘agenda’ list for everyone you want to talk with, use speedkeys on your computer, work with paper more, get up as soon as your alarm goes off, and more.

Other Noteworthy Insights

Categories: Industry Updates