Industry Updates

Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report (May 13, 2008)

The People Part of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • One vendor argues that wikis are bad for external customer collaboration, due to four reasons. “I think many companies rolled out Wikis for their customers and incorrectly assumed they were ideal because they give the company one place to go to maintain information. As usual, this is right and wrong. For the company, it might appear to be low maintenance. However, this is a fallacy because the maintenance load grows substantially as the Wiki grows. For the customers, it is not ideal and leads to frustration and antipathy. My advice is to use a Wiki selectively, but don’t make it the central tool to collaborate with your customers.
  • Glance Networks released a video interview with MailWise, talking about how they are using the Glance desktop conferencing tool. “Without Glance, we wouldn’t be able run our business.
  • One Communications Corp. is using telepresence to link its offices, and is finding it great. ““The technology has come so far so fast that it’s very easy for anyone to run it,” says Russell Oliver, the company’s vice president of strategy. Mr. Oliver says the company’s six videoconferencing rooms, which use a system designed by Norway’s Tandberg ASA, are fully booked on most weekdays.
  • Partnerships in law firms: Chuck says stop that already, and go for collaboration instead. “I would suggest you collaborate where you can if you really want to work together. If he or she wants an office, let him or her get an office. If he or she wants a secretary, let him or her get a secretary. If his or her minds changes and he or she wants to move on from you, let him or her move on. Create a structure that allows for organic collaboration in which people can be what they want to be, and do what they want to do, and in which you can work together when you can, and not work together when you do not want to or are unable without having to bust bank accounts and business structures and feelings to do it.

The Technology Trends of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • GotThingsDone released Version 2.0 of its web-based project management service, with new capabilities for team project management. “WhoDoes 2.0 introduces new instruments that makes managing of the projects activities and the sharing of information within the team even easier, a new graphical user interface more intuitive making it more usable and a new approach more collaborative to facilitate team work.
  • Video interview with a couple of IT professionals who have embraced SharePoint. Benefits: “It’s all bundled into one location.”
  • Alfresco released Version 2.2 of Alfresco Enterprise, its enterprise and Web content management platform. “Industry leaders such as Electronic Arts, Activision and Sony Pictures Imageworks Interactive use Alfresco to provide advanced user experiences, create communities around their products, and deliver this at dramatically lower cost through the benefit of open source. These new community oriented product micro-sites need to be highly-scalable with the ability to integrate rich media with user generated content, and support rapid content updates for a fresh customer experience, while promoting a consistent brand.” (hat tip, Seth)
  • Deva from ClearContext says there are three areas where email clients haven’t kept pace with change: volume of inbound messages, integration with digital artifacts beyond email messages, and context. “Email has become a dynamic project management and collaboration tool where people routinely exchange status updates and work assignments for projects, have group discussions, and often replace status and planning meetings with emails. That requires real integration between all of the pieces of information beyond the emails themselves – the associated task lists, appointments, documents, etc. And integration extends beyond the email platform to external applications on servers or in the cloud (CRM, project management, HR, basically any enterprise app) that require all that data – a process that now often involves cumbersome manual exporting or copying of that information from the messaging platform to the application.” ClearContext has an upcoming release that will address some of these issues.
  • SlideShare announced $3 million of additional investment from Venrock (hat tip, Ross). “SlideShare is using some of the money to relocate from Mountain View to San Francisco, where they’ll have a larger office. It will also grow its team from about 10 people to 18, mostly with local hires even though the bulk of its development occurs in India.
  • Cisco released two new TelePresence offerings, one for personal use and one for large conference rooms. “With the introduction of the Cisco TelePresence System 500, the immersive power of Cisco TelePresence is extended into the personal office. This smaller form factor retains all the same qualities of the life-size, face-to-face Cisco TelePresence interaction while giving organizations the flexibility to support intimate, one-on-one meetings or enable employees to join larger group meetings from personal workspaces. The Cisco TelePresence System 500 also provides a lower-cost entry point for medium-sized businesses to experience telepresence in communication with partners, customers or suppliers.
  • Research In Motion and two other partners announced a $150 million fund to encourage the development of mobile applications. “Agnostic to both stage and balance sheet, the BlackBerry Partners Fund will not restrict the development of mobile applications and services to any single mobile platform or any specific industry segment. The Fund will be designed to advance the industry by fostering development and driving the entrepreneurial spirit to create the most innovative mobile offerings for customers.
  • Research In Motion and Microsoft announced an agreement to integrate various Microsoft Windows Live services with the BlackBerry. “The integration of Windows Live services into the BlackBerry platform will allow customers who use Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger on their BlackBerry smartphone to benefit from the BlackBerry platform architecture with the ability to communicate in real-time using push technology, and offering an exceptional mobile communications experience. Customers will also be able to seamlessly access their Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger account from their BlackBerry smartphone by simply entering their Windows Live e-mail address and password once.
  • TANDBERG announced that it has shipped 10,000 personal TelePresence units, that being the Centric 1700 MXP. “The 1700 MXP features CD-quality audio, an integrated HD camera and a 20″ flat-screen monitor that seamlessly switches between the PC content and brilliant, HD video calls for an unprecedented level of interaction and collaboration throughout an entire organization.

Insights on Being Productive and Effective as an Individual

Other Noteworthy Insights

  • Walt on the Lenovo IdeaPad and Asus U2E.
  • Sascha at PC Magazine on the BlackBerry Bold vs. iPhone. “The iPhone/BlackBerry smackdown really began when Apple pledged to make the iPhone compatible with Microsoft Exchange servers. This created a sort of hysteria that the iPhone would then take over corporate America. But the BlackBerry’s dominance in corporate America isn’t about its cutting-edge design. It’s about several things that the iPhone doesn’t have …
  • Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Office 2008 for Mac, and promised Visual Basic for Applications (again) in the next version.

Categories: Industry Updates