Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report (May 7, 2008)

The People Part of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Chi-Town Daily News is a citizen journalism publication, and they are using 37signals Highrise for managing the newsroom. “Highrise enables us to collect contact details on our volunteers in one location, assign the volunteer to an editor, track stories to completion and send automated reminders when deadlines are missed.
  • Don Tapscott says that corporate inertia prevents ‘mass collaboration’ in the way it could. “The other thing is that many people mistakenly believe this is about social networking and hooking up online, or creating a gardening community, or putting a video on YouTube. But all of that is so 2006. This is a new mode of production. There’s a profound change in the ways that we orchestrate capabilities to create goods and services and to innovate. I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say it’s the biggest change in a century to the corporation.” The big problem: a corporate culture of control rather than enablement.
  • The British think that more work will be done from home in the years ahead. “The institute put findings from the report to more than 1,000 senior executives. It found 74% expected “virtual teams of employees”, working at a distance from each other, to become the norm by 2018.” (hat tip, Jessica)

The Technology Trends of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Mainsoft released SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Notes, for displaying and accessing SharePoint document libraries from within the Notes 8 interface. “This add-on to IBM Lotus Notes 8, an Eclipsed-based Rich Client Platform based on Java, provides
    point-and-click access to Microsoft SharePoint content, including Word documents, Excel worksheets, and PowerPoint presentations, from within Notes. Mainsoft professional services can also build composite applications across SharePoint data and Java or .NET line-of-business applications.
    ” See coverage at CMSWire, Notes on Productivity, and Ed Brill from IBM (“While ideally, we’d be having a conversation with Notes customers about Quickr as having similar functions to this typical use of SharePoint, the reality in some organizations is that SharePoint is “in’, and not going anywhere. Since we’ve seen in talking with vendors and customers that 80% of the SharePoint use case is “file server 2.0”, the Mainsoft integration is a logical way to have both products peacefully coexist“).
  • Colligo announced a patent award for peer-to-peer database synchronization. “Synchronous peer-to-peer database synchronization is a core technology that has been used in Colligo products since 2001. This technology employs an efficient method for replicating databases without the need for a central server. In contrast to traditional approaches, Colligo’s peer-to-peer technology extracts changes from individual local databases and synchronizes them in an efficient manner directly with other individuals on a local network. One application of the technology, employed in Colligo Workgroup Edition for Lotus Notes, is used for peer-to-peer replication of IBM Lotus Notes databases. It allows mobile teams equipped with wireless capable laptops to instantly and securely replicate Lotus Notes databases directly between clients, improving productivity and collaboration when disconnected from the Domino server.
  • Jeff contemplates the future of RSS, and notes 11 main areas of forward-looking interest. Of particular interest to Jeff is his #10, “Attention Streaming: This is something I am intensely interested in. We, as in a small group of leading companies, are just starting to get some momentum here so prognosis is good.
  • Adobe released a Pro edition of Adobe Acrobat Connect, its web conferencing service. “Acrobat Connect Pro includes many new features for Web conferencing such as options for archiving and editing recorded online meetings; new presence capabilities that can allow federation with popular instant messaging (IM) clients; and powerful compliance and usage reporting tools. eLearning enhancements include break-out rooms to let students in virtual classes initiate separate conversations online; rapid authoring of video-based content; integration with Learning Management Systems (LMS) from Blackboard and SumTotal; and tools that track and organize online classes. Users also can easily tailor training sessions or meetings that help capture participants’ attention and increase knowledge retention, resulting in an online learning experience remarkably similar to an in-person class.” Available end May 2008.
  • Xythos is hosting a webinar on how Web 2.0 and software as a service can improve ECM in the enterprise, an May 21. “Many organizations struggle to effectively respond to the collaboration explosion that has occurred with the advent of Web 2.0. Adopting Web-based document management and collaboration tools may assist in delivering easy to use options which help businesses stay in control of content and better address increasing security and compliance challenges.” Registration required.
  • … and an hour later, NewsGator is hosting a webinar on delivering enterprise social computing with SharePoint on May 21. It’s about the use of the NewsGator Social Sites offering for SharePoint. Registration required.

Insights on Being Productive and Effective as an Individual

  • Adrian suggests kick-starting your day with a quick win on an easy first task. “The way to get off to a flying start in the morning is to park your to-do list on a slope the night before. At the close of the day run through the items on your to-do list and work out the first one or two tasks that you’ll attack in the morning. Try to pick something that will be easy to get finished – after all, the idea is to park facing down the slope, not up it.
  • Productive work: that which attaches itself to an investment, as compared to that which is immediately consumed. “Is your time being consumed or invested? Are you working on activities that will return value, or finishing tasks that won’t matter when you’re done? Is your energy devoted to things you’ll care about 5-10 years from now, or will none of it matter?
  • Nicholas has 8 key thoughts about doing stuff better. Eg, “0: stop doing the non-excellent things; 1: do 1 thing at a time.
  • Want to be more innovative: schedule uninterrupted thinking time (and forget hiring the business guru). “Dr. Edward Hallowell is the psychiatrist who coined the informal term Attention Deficit Trait (ADT) to describe this phenomenon. He maintains that the cognitive impact of all these interruptions causes people to work well below their full potential. They produce less output, think superficially, and generate fewer new ideas – despite working an increasing number of hours.

Other Noteworthy Insights

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