Industry Updates

Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report (April 28, 2008)

The People Part of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Interesting analysis of what it takes to get collaboration working in the office, albeit with a content management environment: (1) the behaviors of a “team” are quite different to that of a “group”, (2) a change from “my document” to “our company’s document”, (3) getting rid of cubicles and having common work areas, and (4) giving up on the idea that writers need quiet places to work. “Technical writers have maintained that—in order to write—they need privacy and a quiet environment. Perhaps because the profession has an overrepresentation of people with an MBTI preference for introversion, this line has been swallowed like the gospel. Strange, then, that journalists—writers, too—can function perfectly well in a noisy newsroom, with phones ringing off the hook, printers whirring away, people walking by their desks talking, and assorted deadline-driven mayhem around them.
  • Chuck talks about the strategy being followed at EMC to build a cadre of bloggers. Key ideas: find the people who have a passion to blog (wherever they sit in the organization), provide a place for bloggers to practice (eg, a sandbox), keep the corporate speak and approach to a minimum, and build a community of likeminded people who share a similar passion.

The Technology Trends of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • IBM released Version 8.1 of Quickr Entry to Notes and Domino Web Access customers.
  • OpenACircle announced its collaboration application for mobile professionals. “The software, now in private beta, offers, among other things, audio and videoconferencing, online presentations, and document sharing, for free.” Windows version is out now, Mac version is coming.
  • PalBee released a whiteboarding and video conferencing application. “The South Korea based company makes it possible to connect up to nine of your co-workers and draw notes on PowerPoint presentations, videos, and photos. You can text chat as well. The PalBee window features a video window with your participants in the upper left, the main content (PowerPoint or video) in the middle, and drawing tools on the right hand side.” Available immediately.
  • Microsoft is working on upgrades for Exchange and SharePoint so they can be better used in multi-tenanted web hosting situations.
  • Fabrice announced Version 1.0 of GrooveIT! for My Documents. “As a reminder, GrooveIT! for My Documents is : – An application to publish into Groove workspaces documents coming from several sources : local file system, sharepoint sites, groove workspaces, – Some add-ons for Word, Excel and PowerPoint to manage – open and save – documents in Groove directly from within Office tools. – A search tool to quickly and easily find documents in one or several workspaces.” Available immediately.
  • Thoughts on the migration from Notes to SharePoint: “The bottom line is this — from a purely technical point of view, migrating to SharePoint is a “neutral” activity. It neither offers great benefit, nor does it offer great harm. The decision is going to be made on a non-technical basis. The cost of running SharePoint is likely higher today, but it will likely come in line over the next couple years as skill sets improve and Microsoft improves the product. Technical folks will be able to punch holes in SharePoint to their heart’s content… there are enough gaps and issues to do so. However, SharePoint will meet a significant majority of requirements, and the amount of technical effort required to fill in the gaps will be an acceptable risk/cost to most organizations with valid strategic reasons to be moving to SharePoint. In particular, if a small/medium sized Notes environment is kept around for the ~10% of functions that SharePoint cannot handled.
  • Peter recommends Email Manager for SharePoint. “It displays emails that are sent between two parties in SharePoint and these can be searched. What’s nice is that it doesn’t require any installation on the Exchange server, which would normally scare off the IT department. So a project manager for example could set up a rule that any communication between a developer and a customer can be tracked. So in the situation when the PM gets a call from the customer about an issue, they have the ability to understand the thread of the communication.
  • Colligo opened a sales office in the United Kingdom.

Insights on Being Productive and Effective as an Individual

  • Mark outlines an argument for why excellence is the correct balance between perfection and efficiency. “If you achieve perfection without any control of the expense, you will end up with waste. This takes you out of the green excellence zone. If you only focus on keeping your costs down without any focus on perfection, you will produce shoddy work.
  • Some thoughts on being productive: “Great definition of being productive: Getting done what I said I’d do, when I said I’d do it. People who are excelling in their gifts are attractive to others. Part of growing up is naturally excelling more and more in your gifts. The things that you do in your journey that don’t fit your gifts are just as important as the experiences that fit the gifts.

Other Noteworthy Insights

  • Rumor or reality? is going Mac.
  • The Microsoft Office Labs Group unveiled their blog. “We’re a group of designers and developers that collect ideas from all over Microsoft (but mostly from Office and other products related to ‘getting stuff done’ – what we call ‘productivity’). We build working prototypes of the most promising of these ideas to see if they work as well as we hope they might.
  • Apple sold 2.3 million Macs in 1Q2008. Although it would have been a rounding error to Steve, I would have said they sold “2,300,001” if Eric Mack had purchased one. Still … there is always this quarter!

Categories: Industry Updates