Industry Updates

Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report (May 19, 2008)

The People Part of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Pfizer employees have led a bottom-up embrace of blogs. It is leading to executives using blogs to communicate with their people. “While a written policy now exists, Revell says the basic guideline is that people shouldn’t post content they wouldn’t include in an e-mail that could be read by everyone. While there have been controversial postings, it’s widely agreed they involved issues worthy of discussion.
  • Change management is key to success in Web 2.0 efforts within the organization. “But rolling out social software in an organisation isn’t akin to buying another version of Oracle. There is a certain degree of organisational readiness that needs to be achieved in order to successfully deploy and absorb the changes associated with implementing social software. And the change management necessary to precede such a Web 2.0 strategy has caught many businesses unaware.” Neil looks at the big ideas: (1) the organization has to be network-centric, not hierarchical — that is, the culture issue, (2) gauging the acceptance of the user, (3) pull success stories from early adopters, (4) create new work roles to support the roll out of social software, and (5) the people at the top have to change in order for this to work.
  • Moz at Microsoft questions the rationale for Cisco TelePresence when organizations can buy Office Communications Server and video conferencing gear from Microsoft at a much lower price point. “At Microsoft, we have really focused on building video conferencing into common applications and user experiences to make business processes more engaging. Integration into tools such as Live Meeting and Communicator, which are compatible with many third-party audio and video devices, make it easy to use video conferencing for face to face conversation, multimedia document collaboration or telework.
  • In certain circumstances, loss of trust due to being untrustworthy can be repaired, but recovering from deliberate deception is a lot more difficult. “That makes sense. We all experience periods of frustration when promises can’t be kept or circumstances result in unpleasant interactions, but those can be fairly easily overcome – especially in an established relationship or when promises are immediately made to remedy the situation. But if someone is intentionally deceitful, all bets are off.

The Technology Trends of Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams

  • Bill Gates talked about new collaboration, social networking and decision-making software at the Microsoft CEO Summit 2008. “The glitzy background to Gates’ talk was a demonstration of the Microsoft Touch Wall, also described in the talk as an “intelligent whiteboard.” This device provides a graphical display of information and uses a camera beneath the surface that can sense human touch. Gates said that the Touch Wall won’t be expensive and is currently being developed by Microsoft’s R&D labs. In addition, Microsoft’s Office and Windows division are building capabilities to work with the technology.” See also Seattle PI and the Intranet Benchmarking Forum (focuses on SharePoint as an email replacement).
  • Open-Xchange and Parallels announced a partnership for hosted delivery of the Open-Xchange email and collaboration offering. “Using Parallels Plesk Control Panel and Parallels Business Automation, service providers will be able to manage and deliver Open-Xchange Smart Collaboration through a fully-automated platform. Service providers get the flexibility to bundle and charge separately for individual resources, such as disk space, mailbox storage limits, or shared folders. Additionally, customers will be able to order, maintain, and pay for services online so that the decision to buy or upgrade results in immediate service delivery.
  • Capgemini embraced Wrike for on-demand project management service. “As a global consulting, technology and outsourcing organization, Capgemini provides services to companies from various industries and gets dozens of client requests each week. The corporation’s North American marketing services team was able to streamline its support request management, thanks to Wrike’s powerful email integration capabilities. Now with the help of Wrike project management software, Capgemini’s on-time delivery rate and customer satisfaction is close to 95%.
  • Tom is struggling with the frustrating aspects of the wiki capability in SharePoint, while finding some gold in the implementation. “Most wikis can easily degenerate into a chaotic disaster, with links nested on pages pointing to other links on other pages, with no clear sense of where you are or how deep the wiki goes. One writer at Doc Train told me her company’s wiki was an “unmitigated disaster.” With SharePoint, you can get around this chaos by adding columns on wiki pages. The columns are similar to metadata fields for the page. You can add a drop-down box requiring the user to select a category for the wiki page, and the role, and any other ways you want to classify the wiki page.

Other Noteworthy Insights

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