Industry Updates

Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report (April 22, 2008)

The People Part of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Chuck shares some thinking about recent work at EMC about the use (or otherwise) of a taxonomy on its collaboration platform. The discussions around what they were trying to achieve (“primarily around orienting new users”) resulted in different ways of doing things. “But, if this experience has taught me anything, it’s that we need to be even more clear about what we’re trying to do here. There’s a ton of pre-conceived baggage around what an enterprise portal should do for its users. Part of the magic here is that we’re redefining traditional expectations in a very progressive, 2.0-ish manner.
  • There’s a whole set of things you can do to make web meetings go well. “One theme Carmine highlights is correct; it’s absolutely true that audiences are getting more sophisticated, but don’t think that you have to use the latest technology all of the time in order to capture an audience. Sometimes technologies can be more distracting than helpful. Think about the most appropriate media for your particular message and don’t ever lose sight of the needs of the audience.
  • If you are going to change the way that you use email (or any other tool), then you need to create shared agreements with the people that you use email (or other tools) to communicate with.

The Technology Trends of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Microsoft’s future plans for Groove were a topic of conversation at last weeks MVP Summit in Seattle. Key points: (1) Ballmer was looking for feedback … he suggested either making it a better offline client for SharePoint, or keeping it on a separate development path; (2) some MVPs said that Groove should stay standalone, and was a great entry point into organizations; (3) Ray Ozzie commented that there will be much greater alignment and integration between the two in Office 14 (“They are very, very complimentary and we will see in [Office] 14 and beyond, increasing association with the things you can do in SharePoint and the things that you can do with Groove in the client, increasing levels of connections, both specific functions at the UI that are designed to work seamlessly with one another, [and] increasingly the semantics underneath being brought together.“). See also InternetNews, John Milan and The Groove Blog (“Given where we are in the development cycle, it’s too early for us to be anything BUT cryptic in our response about futures. However, there is one aspect of the story that we have been discussing quite openly every chance we get: Groove’s relationship to SharePoint. Groove has an innovative client architecture. SharePoint has a powerful server/services architecture. It is easy to see the potential there for a great “better together” story.“).
  • Cisco said that customers have ordered more than 500 TelePresence units in the last 18 months. “Introduced to the market in October 2006, Cisco TelePresence has become the company’s fastest-growing emerging technology, with more than 100 customers globally. With the 500 ordered units, the vast majority of which have already been deployed at customer sites, internal deployments and philanthropic systems, the Cisco TelePresence footprint will be over 750 units globally.
  • Corel Corporation released WordPerfect Office X4, its word processing application. The software “introduces new Web collaboration and storage services, a new document redaction tool, a Web-connected digital notebook and a new business intelligence package. WordPerfect Office X4 comes with 200MB of free storage and backup, and other online services include calendaring, lists, bookmarks and contacts.” Available immediately.
  • PCWorld offers an approach for choosing collaboration software: “When it comes to choosing which service to use, you’ll want to consider four main capabilities: (1) how well you can manage all the projects you’re juggling through some sort of team dashboard; (2) whether you can hold online conferences, complete with visual conferencing capabilities; (3) how easy the service makes the process of sharing and revising the project’s shared resources and documents; and (4) how quickly team members can communicate updates as well as update their shared calendars.

Insights on Being Productive and Effective as an Individual

  • Wow, talk about bold … on-the-spot debriefing after a seminar, with the instructor still in the room. “At the end of one of the workshops, the lead coordinator stood up, I sat down, and he took about 20 minutes to get immediate feedback from the participants! (Yes, with me sitting off to the side of the room, he asked for their feedback!)” What a great idea … the participants get to start talking and conversing and turning learnings into “next things”, and the instructor gets to listen and hear and learn.
  • Stop using your mind to micro-manage all the details of your life, and get a system that you can trust to help you with it. “Similarly, if you don’t fully trust your personal systems, you are likely to be dedicating inappropriate and unnecessary mental attention to details and content, often with a resultant negative emotional component. You’ll feel pulled, overwhelmed, and often like you’re close to losing control. But you can’t trust your system until it’s trust-worthy. When is that? When you know you have captured all your commitments, clarified what you’re intending to do about them, decided the actions you need to take about them, and have parked reminders of those actions in places that you know you’ll look, where and when you need to.
  • Matt’s switched to a Mac, and shares what he’s done to keep his life organized with Mac and add-on software.

Other Noteworthy Insights

  • Cal Poly is switching from Oracle Collaboration Suite to Zimbra by the end of the year.
  • Stephen scored a Lenovo X300 for 3 monthhs, and offers his review. Net-net: “The machine is highly polished, and eminently capable of performing at a high level running Windows XP. While untested, the same could likely be said of Vista. If you can find room in your budget for a premium-priced piece of hardware, it’s highly recommended for the Windows user.

Categories: Industry Updates