My Last AppGap Post


I have been reviewing software for the AppGap and writing about other topics for this blog since January 2008.  It has been a great run and much fun. I have met many great people and been exposed to some ground breaking software. It has been a wonderful way to stay current with the market and observe its trends.  I often refer to the blog myself, using the Appopedia to look at past reviews.  This resource is organized by both product category and by vendor.

Last November I moved back to my childhood home, New Orleans, to focus more on my painting.  Here is a post on my move: Driving Through Hurricane Sandy To New Orleans.  Here is another post on my more recent experiences with the Arts Council of New Orleans where I do a monthly booth to sell my paintings.

I will continue to stay connected to the emerging technology space and write about it on my Portals and KM blog, as well as the AppFusions blog. However, I am also modifying my PKM blog content to include more posts on my new hometown and my painting, as well as stories on new technology trends and software. I will announce this move the beginning of May.

I greatly appreciate the support of Francois Gossieaux and his Human 1.0 team, especially Kelly Morrissey. They continue to do interesting work in the social business space. It was also fun to work with them on the FastForward blog where I started in 2007 with the FastFoward conference.  We are looking into ways to make that content accessible again. This is an exciting space and it is with great reluctance that I make this move.

IBM Brings Social Business and Integration to Messaging


I think that social business is the most significant transformation in business today and application integration is the backbone of this effort.  IBM has been making significant moves in social business for some time and has included application integration as a main part of its initiatives. See for example my post: IBM Connections 4.0 Offers Expanded Social, Integration, and Analytic Capabilities and my coverage of IBM Connect 2013. They were recently named by IDC the worldwide market share leader in social software for fourth consecutive year. Now IBM is extending its social business lead by bringing messaging into the social experience, turning email from a client application used only for messages to a core component of a platform that changes the ways people communicate across the enterprise.

Research from IBM supports this rising importance of social media. According to an IBM study, 82 percent of chief marketing officers (CMO) plan to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years. IBM’s 2012 CEO Study identified the same trend—while today only 16 percent of CEOs are using social business platforms to connect with customers, that number is poised to spike to 57 percent within the next three to five years. See my post on the 2011 study for similar trends.

I recently spoke with Scott Souder, Program Director, IBM Messaging & Collaboration Strategy , to learn about the news in email. Offered on- premises, in the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business, hybrid or on popular mobile devices, the new offering of IBM Notes and Domino 9.0 Social Edition helps business simplify and accelerate social business adoption in the marketplace, providing employees with a single access point for all of their collaboration tools—social media, email, group activities, blogs and more. See a sample screen shot of IBM Social Mail below.

IBM Social Mail

For companies using Microsoft Outlook, IBM also provides a new social connector that brings the capabilities of shared files, communities and other key social capabilities directly into the Outlook client to ensure social email can be a reality for virtually any business.

Scott said that the goal is make email available in multiple tools, Connections and Notes, and multiple devices: laptops, mobile devices, and tablets. There is seamless integration so you can work within whatever tools you want. IBM has also developed a updated interface for Notes mail with improvements to spacing, fonts, and colors to provide a 2013 look. Ease-of-use is second goal with the simplified interface, which provides numerous consumability and productivity enhancements in the release. A third goal is an increased focus on application integration built on Open Social 2.0. This integration can enable embedded experiences and allow content from other apps to be integrated with email.

A sample use case can be seen through an employee who is working on a new marketing project.  Using a single interface this employee can check email, as well as activity streams containing the latest work from each team member, share files with colleagues, view new blogs on topics relevant to the subject and more without ever leaving the context of where the employee chooses to work In addition, since the service includes a broad device platform support, each team member has access to the same content all through their mobile device of choice, whether it’s an iPhone, Android device, Windows Phone or the new BlackBerry 10.

Connections Mail can be used to triage incoming mail more effectively. IBM wants to take email both out of a silo and away from being a fire hose . Future plans include increased filtering and analytics, which should enhance a user’s ability to focus on “What’s important now?” IBM is making significant moves in big data. It plans to take this capability into the email space by using what is known about the email user to make assumptions in filtering email.  IBM is  also going beyond the accommodation of the multiple devices with BYOD – or even “BYOC” (“Bring Your Own Client”) – to  exploit choice and flexibility in multiple backend platforms upon which Domino runs.  These are all moves in the right direction as they reflect the rising need for increased integration on all levels.

Moxie Software Partners with Microsoft to Enhance Customer Service Capabilities


In November, Moxie and Microsoft announced a partnership to pursue a joint go-to-market strategy to offer Spaces by Moxie within MSFT Dynamics CRM. (See – my post – Moxie Integrates with Microsoft Dynamics CRM).  In March, Moxie announced full integration with MSFT Lync to further strengthen their contact center capabilities. I recently spoke with Tara Sporer, VP of Marketing at Moxie software and Nikhil Govindaraj, VP of Products, to discuss the significance of these moves.

As part of the partnership, Moxie Software will provide Microsoft Dynamics CRM with comprehensive, multi-channel and knowledge base solutions for delivering superior customer experiences. Offered on premises or in the cloud, Moxie Software’s Knowledge Spaces™, Email Spaces™, Chat Spaces™, Web Self-Service Spaces™, CoBrowse Spaces™ and Social Media Spaces™ are now available to work with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Below is a sample screen of Dynamics with email.

Microsoft dynamics with email copy

Spaces by Moxie enables Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers to provide differentiated and personalized customer experiences at scale. The combined solution allows customers to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM as the single source of truth for all customer and interaction data.  This ensures accurate data by allowing agents to update Microsoft Dynamics CRM while on their Moxie desktop. Moxie becomes the translation layer and Dynamics serves as the layer of record.

Microsoft Lync is their unified communications offering. It currently does not connect to Microsoft Dynamics, but now it can through Moxie so this is a very helpful addition. Lync provides integrated voice, IM, screen sharing chat, and more. Lync currently cannot do intelligent call routing, but Moxie can. Moxie can intercept the call, evaluate the needs and route the call to the person with the most related experience. This person then will have multi-channel response options. Below is a sample screen of Dynamics with chat.

dynamics with chat copy

Contact center agents can now have a single agent desktop that seamlessly works with multi-channel interactions to contact and case records within Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This ensures accurate data by allowing agents to update Microsoft Dynamics CRM while on their Moxie desktop. They can now automatically search the knowledge base from within the case record for faster case resolution.

Agents can also publish information from the case record into the knowledge base as knowledge articles to improve effectiveness of the knowledge base. This is a critical capability as it allows an easy way to keep content current without placing a heavy demand on agents.  I am sure it must increase compliance with putting upgraded content into the knowledge base.  I have seen the benefit of a god knowledge base on call center agent performance many times, accelerating performance on a variety of measures such a first time call resolution and cross-selling.

The integration of Moxie with these two Microsoft products rests on a shared foundation as .net apps. Moxie can leverage a company’s existing Microsoft infrastructure and reduce the need to purchase high-end call center services. As a result, Moxie is targeted at the mid-market and this makes sense.

The resulting integrated customer response system provides control over customer experiences regardless of what channel they engage the company. It also providers multiple self-service options and has complete mobile integration. This is a good move, as customer connections will increasingly occur through mobile channels.

This move also takes the call center out of the silos than many operate within. Now Moxie’s collaboration capabilities can be engaged to handle escalations. It puts Moxie in the center of connection between Microsoft Dynamic and Lync. This is a nice place to be and I can understand the positive customer response to this move.

2013 Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises (MAKE) Process Starts


The 16th annual Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises (MAKE) studies nominating began on April 15, 2013. The 2013 MAKE research program consists of the Global, Americas, Asian and European studies, as well as national studies for Brazil, China, India and Indonesia. This award always brings back memories. The Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises (MAKE) award has been around for some time. Back when I was with a large consulting company and involved in our knowledge management practice, I spoke at the awards meetings in London several times.  These were the days of better travel funding and the relatively early days of KM. I am pleased that this award is still around and still relevant.

The 86-page “2013 Knowledge-Intensive Sector Leaders Report,” part of the “2013 Global Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises (MAKE) Report,” has been published by Teleos. It identifies the Knowledge Leaders for over 25 knowledge-intensive business sectors. The ranking tables and commentary have been established based on the MAKE research team’s assessment of national/regional/global MAKE studies as well as a number of independent studies focusing on industry-specific metrics and rankings.

Apple was recognized as the Overall Winner of the 2011 Global MAKE study. Other include: Accenture, APQC, ConocoPhillips, Fluor, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Infosys Ltd., McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, POSCO, PwC, Royal Dutch Shell, Samsung, Schlumberger, Siemens, Tata, Toyota, Unilever, and Wikipedia.

An even more select group of organizations form the 2012 Global MAKE Hall of Fame.  These 24 organizations have been Global MAKE Finalists in each of the past five annual studies: Accenture, Apple, APQC, ConocoPhillips, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Fluor, Google, IBM, Infosys Limited, Mars, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, MindTree, Petrobras, POSCO, PwC, Royal Dutch Shell, Samsung, Schlumberger, Siemens, Tata Group, Toyota and Wipro Technologies.

Successfully managing enterprise knowledge can provide quantified returns. The 2012 Global MAKE Winners trading on the NYSE/NASDAQ showed a Total Return to Shareholders (TRS) for the ten-year period 2002-2011 of 19.7% – nearly three times the average Fortune 500 company median.

The Return on Revenues (ROR) for the 2012 Global MAKE Winners was also 3.2 times that of the Fortune 500 ROR median at 12%. In addition the Return on Assets (ROA) for the 2012 Global MAKE Winners was 9.9% – nearly four times that of the Fortune 500 ROA median.

Wrike Now Offers Mobile Visualization of Project Schedules on an Interactive Timeline


Wrike provides on-demand, online project management and collaboration solution that helps both co-located and distributed teams work together in real time.  I have written about it several times before (see Wrike Provides Mobile Project Management). Here is Wrike’s Andrew Filev presenting a demo at IBM Connect 2013. Wrike integrates with IBM Connections to become more social.

Wrike’s product vision is based on the innovative “work graph” model, connecting all work in one central hub that is comfortable to manage and navigate. Adopting the features of the “social graph” to the project collaboration space, Wrike allows users to bring together as many projects as they need and work on them in a scalable environment.

Wrike is now offering a dynamic Gantt chart as part of the latest version of its mobile apps for iPhone and Android smartphones.The mobile interactive timeline, one of the core planning tools that project managers rely on, inherits the key functions from Wrike’s web app. Even when they are in the field, users can easily browse project plans from a bird’s-eye view or in more detail, and quickly adjust them with a few taps. Just like on the Gantt chart in Wrike’s web app, mobile users can reschedule tasks by dragging and dropping them, convert them to milestones, and change other details, for example, assignees.

Ready for installation from the App Store and Google Play, users can also, in three easy steps, configure Wrike’s free mobile app to receive push notifications of project updates. As with the software’s web-based version, schedule changes are readily visible in real-time to all team members.

Review of Digital Workplace Trends 2013: Part Three – Selected Details


As I wrote in the first part of this series, I recently received a review copy of Digital Workplace Trends 2013 by Jane McConnell. Jane has conducted the annual surveys since 2006 and published reports every year since 2007. My last post begin to look at some of the details in the report. The report is over 150 pages long so I will only scratch the surface. You can purchase the report through its web site, As I wrote, if you are serious about making the digital workplace happen in your organization, it is a good move to obtain a copy.

I was pleased to see a section on Process in the report. I think this is key to getting real value out of the digital workplace. As I wrote, it is integrating the interactions with the transactions and tying the social to business process where real change will occur. A post by Andy McAfee that made a similar point. He, in turn, quotes a post by Laurie Buczek, The Big Failure of Enterprise 2.0 Social Business. “Culture will change as a result of the pervasive use of social tools.  Lack of cultural change is not social business’s biggest failure.  The biggest failure is the lack of workflow integration to drive culture change.”

Jane found that there is much to do to solve this challenge. She reported that, “very few organizations have embedded social capabilities into enterprise processes. However anecdotal evidence suggests that social integrated into processes can successfully change the way people work.” She offers a lot of detail on to make this happen.

In the investment section, Jane reported that, “mobile is the priority area for investment for 2013-2014, with enterprise social networking and information architecture also at the top of the list.” I think that information architecture is a top priority. In addition to addressing the important people issues (so they are open to connecting and willing to step out of organizational silos), there are some essential technology ones, it is also necessary to get the applications connected so conversation do not occur in technical silos. As I wrote in Putting Social Media to Work, to be effective these systems that support interactions have to be integrated with the systems of record that support transactions. The social tools also need to be integrated with each other or companies are simply creating more silos of disconnection and benefits are not realized. Application connectors are a major key realizing the business benefits of the digital workplace.

Having said that technology is critical, so are people issues and Jane has a section on Change. She writes that, “resistance to social collaboration comes from perceptions about lack of business value and waste of time.” She also found in early adopters resistance tends to come from middle managers while in the majority it comes from senior management. I think this is because in the early adopters the senior managers have bought in so things are starting to change and hitting the middle management resistance. In the majority things have not progressed far enough for middle managers to really worry. Jane offers a lot of useful content and case examples on making change happen.

Jane appropriately concludes with a section on finding your direction.  She sates that no journey is the same. However, there are some common directions to take. She encourages organizations to build a digital mindset and start with a big picture and use it to bring the diverse initiatives together. You need to focus on capabilities and not tools and define governance based on “freedom within a framework.” Always think integrated. There is much more. This is a very useful report.




Digital Workplace Trends 2013: Review Part 2 – Details


As I wrote in the first part of this series, I recently received a review copy of Digital Workplace Trends 2013 by Jane McConnell. Jane has conducted the annual surveys since 2006 and published reports every year since 2007. My last post provided an overview and this one dives into some of the detailed findings. The report is over 150 pages long so I will only scratch the surface. You can purchase the report through its web site, If you are serious about making the digital workplace happen in your organization, it is a good move to obtain a copy.

The report is organized into eight sections: transformation, mobile, social collaboration, process, experience, investment, change, and finding your direction. Transformation is going to happen and Jane found that most organizations are moving to the digital workplace concept but at different speeds – only 3% believe it does not concern them. I think this transformation will equal the significance of the industrial revolution and the related thinking of Fred Taylor but reverse many of its impacts. Collaboration tools can turn Taylorism on its head so learning goes up and down the enterprise and the whole structure is connected. The large can become nimble, as IBM has found out. Jane found that “early adopters differ from the majority of organizations in that their senior managers play an active role and are often the driving force behind the digital workplace.” Jane offers a number of excellent case examples in this and other sections.

Jane found that 2012 was the year mobile became a strategic priority for the digital workplace with 41% of organizations planning investment next year. The mobile initiatives tend to be focused on the needs of senior executives, those on the road and the field workers.  While this makes some sense, I think that everyone is a mobile worker now, even those with a desk. They often use their mobile device rather than their desktop one, even in the office. I imagine that there are few mobile workers without a mobile device. Jane did find that BYOD is widespread in the early adopters, with over 70% permitting or tolerating it. The others are catching up. However, as I mentioned in the last post, the mobile services offered today are limited in scope, with only 20% of organizations providing task-based or collaborative capabilities. The opportunity for value and competitive edge is very high here with these low numbers.

Jane found a wide range of social collaborative capabilities in place, with a high increase in interest in the past 12 months.  This corresponds to the work of Nora Barnes at the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts who has also been looking at the business use of social media over the past few years. For example, Nora found that Now 92% of the Inc. 500 are using at least one of the social business tools she studied such as blogs, and networks.

Jane found that the transformative capabilities are those with the highest gap between deployment and adoption. These include commenting, user- generated content, crowd-sourcing and social networking. They are disruptive because they challenge traditional roles and hierarchies in organizations. Yet I would add they are exactly the initiatives that will provide the most value.  Like all of the sections, the one on social collaboration is full of useful details that I will let you find in the report. This disruption impacts all of the efforts as Jane found that while early adopters have significantly more deployment, they still struggle with adoption. In many cases, even where social networks are deployed, they are not yet actively and broadly used. I do not see this as a shortcoming of the digital workplace, and a call to return to the old ways, but rather a challenge that the winners will overcome.

Let me digress with a story. When my grandfather was a country doctor in Oklahoma before it was a state, he would drive his horse and buggy for hours doing rounds. When he was finished and exhausted, he would throw the reins over and the horses knew the way home. Then he bought the first car in the county. Part of the deal was that the salesman lived on the farm for two weeks teaching him how to run and maintain the new machine. However, he kept falling asleep at the wheel and the car did not know the way home. Fortunately the roads where still related to the old means of transportation and the car would just stall in the wagon runts. He was ready to go back to the horse when he got the idea to teach one of his daughters to drive the car. She came along and took over when he got tired. We need to figure out how to get along with our new technology, because, like the horse and buggy, the old technologies days are numbered. The old ways will be just as irrelevant in a few years.

This is enough for one post. I will finish my coverage of the selected details in my next post.

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