Archive for June, 2012
by Bill Ives
I have written about harmon.ie several times. See for example – Harmon.ie Provides Social Email to Help Drive Enterprise Collaboration Adoption. Their tools focus on increasing user adoption of collaboration tools include bringing central components of SharePoint into both Outlook and Lotus Notes. Now they have moved a step further gone mobile and unveiling the capbility to bring Microsoft SharePoint document collaboration and social interactions to the iPad – “harmon.ie for iPad, greatly extending then reach of collaboration capabilities for the enterprise.
This makes a lot of sense as so far, more than 67 million iPads have been sold. According to Apple, 94 percent and 74 percent of Fortune 500 and global 500 companies are respectively testing or deploying iPads. For the iPad to realize its potential it must have the ability to bring in enterprise apps such as SharePoint. This is a good starting point as 78 percent of enterprises already use SharePoint, according to Forrester. To accomplish this harmon/ie has provided a secure, consistent enterprise iOS application for SharePoint users on-the-go.
Now business users can work on a presentation from their desktop, drag-and-drop it to SharePoint, and send a link to colleagues using harmon.ie in Microsoft Outlook or IBM Lotus Notes. Then, as they go on the road and can still see document updates from colleagues using their iPad. They can access the latest version of the document, edit it from wherever they are and share it with the team when they are back online. The team will receive a real-time update once the revised document is uploaded.
There is both a free version and low cost version with full features available through iTunes. This is exactly they type of capability that is needed to make iPads a truly enterprise platform.
by Bill Ives
Here is another set of notes from my sixth Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston. Here is a link to a summary of last year’s notes. I will start next month with a summary of all my notes. I attended Irwin Lazar’s workshop – Building a Unified Communications and Collaboration Roadmap”. Irwin is Vice President, Communications Research, Nemertes Research. Here is the session description for the workshop:
“During this interactive workshop we’ll walk through the components of a successful unified communications and collaboration workshop. Using benchmark data gathered from hundreds of companies we’ll show you what works, what doesn’t work, and what are the key criteria for evaluating success. We’ll discuss how to address organizational and management strategies, how to extend collaboration services to remote and mobile workers, how to cross company boundaries, and how to implement new collaboration methods with respect to budgets and the installed base of platforms.”
Irwin’s firm does a lot of research and he provided results of this work through out the session. They did interviews with 240 organizations and conduct in-depth conversations with senior IT professionals. They looked at 16 verticals and the participating companies ranged from fewer than 250 employees (13%), 250 – 2500 employees (29%, and over 2500 employees (58%).
He defines a road map as a statement of technology direction for the next 3 – 5 years. Then you turn it over to the architect to design and build it. He showed a sample road map covering 60 months. It included technologies, funding sources, and other necessary requirements. He showed several samples with different visualizations and areas of focus. Then tend to be complex to read in a single slide. Below is a sample chronological road map.
Their research finds that the more business involvement in IT projects, the higher the success. This has been my experience also. It is good to have someone deeply involved in the business going back to IT with the functional problems. Having multi-disciplinary teams are essential. If work is done in silos it will create problems and overlap. About 60% of companies they surveyed have a business IT liaison role.
What is collaboration? – Anyway you work with someone else: video, voice, messaging, social computing, document sharing. The latter is often forgotten. About 50% of firms said Sharepoint is their social platform, their document sharing system.
In one case study the primary tools for collaboration: 100% email, in person next, video conferencing, and at the bottom – social media. Social networking was still low on the priority list.
Unified communications is often defined differently. Now it is the integration of all collaboration tools through any device. He provided an UC reference architecture (see below). Deployment now: voice – 100%, IM – 79%, 75% web conferencing, cell phone integration 65%, on demand video 57%.
Organizational challenges are much bigger than the technical ones, especially with the lack of cross-functional communication. So many different groups are looking at different tools raising many issues. Integration of tools remains a big issue despite what the vendors claim. Firms picked this as the biggest challenge – 58%.
UC&C Road map – Voice: Issues, own or outsource, who is right vendor, dedicated servers or virtualized, soft phone or desktop phones, how to support analog, SIP trunking, and how to support voice messaging. Most firms that take out desktop phones put them back quickly. But some have successfully done this. There is a shrinking of VOIP deployments. It is very expensive to rip out a working phone system. There are infrastructure costs. Also, BYOD has affected the issue, as people are less interested beyond their device.
Hosted IPT has increased a bit from 12% to 18% are using it and more are evaluating but a large number have no plans. Many traditional VOIP vendors are hardware centric and expensive so there are challengers. Some (25%) are evaluating MS Lync to replace traditional phone system. Microsoft said you can do it with what you have and it was 5% last year and now up to 12%. However, the results are mixed. Some users do not like replacing a phone with a headset. If you are ahappy Microsoft user across other apps then you are more likely to try it.
When asked when you plan to switch to a new phone system. 52% had no plans, 18% planning for 2011, 10% evaluating, 7% planning for 2012, 6% planning for 2013. Question: Are you virtualizing UC application servers? 37% no plans, 20% evaluating, 16% using now, 20% planning for 2011, 5% planning for 2012. The key challenge with UC and virtualization is that the processing power is not there locally and some stuff has to go back to the data center.
Big issues in unified messaging are the legal issues. The lawyers want voice mail and email separate for archiving and compliance simplicity. These issues often arise after deployment. They do not want executive status to be transparent. They do not want voice mail stored. There are also Federal rules on electronic communication that need to be interpreted.
UCC Video roadmap: Percent of employees using desktop: 80% of firms have 0 – 10% with video capability while 15% have greater than 50%. Users do not seem to want it and network administrators fear the bandwidth issues. However, about 50% of firms support extranet video and 40% hare planning on it and only 4% have no plans.
About 35% are using streaming video,15% are planning on it. The integration of consumer devices with enterprise video is on the rise as 41% said it is very important 17% say it is important. One trick is getting users to use it correctly.
Some integration issues: who owns the desktop? How do you manage a multi-vendor solution? Big vendors are Cisco, Microsoft, Google, and IBM. There is a lot of competition between Cisco and Microsoft. Google is ramping its enterprise offerings but there is still concern about Google as an enterprise SaaS vendor. Concerns about Google are highest amongst conservative IT cultures. About 50% of companies are evaluating desktop office apps as a service.
Issues for IM/presence integration: vendor selection, integration, extranet, and mobile.
Most companies (88%) are using web conferencing. However, while it started as an ideal SaaS app, many firms are bring it inside to bring costs down. Some have saved as much 90% of costs. If you have over 2500 employees it can pay to bring it inside. You do need to create ways to bring in outside users.
It is hard to quantify the social computing investment. There have been some mistakes made in usage of consumer tools such as Facebook. He showed a social computing architecture (see below).
Many companies are using social computing but very few have an enterprise wide strategy. This makes integration very difficult. The Cisco Quad (now WebEx Social) strategy with integration their communication tools makes this easier. IBM Connections has capabilities here also. Over 90% measure soft metrics on social and 3% measure quantified metrics. When marketing is the driver of social more firms see social as a success as people are still thinking of social more in external facing terms.
Another big issues is private vs. public access. Can people use Facebook? Some companies are very open on this and others are against it as a distraction. One company found that Facebook was the highest used application in the enterprise. However, if you block it people can take out their smart phone. The use of guidelines is a better strategy than blocking. There are privacy issues, financial regulations, and e-Discovery (SEC). There have not been test cases on the financial issues but they will be coming.
Their research is consistent with others that only 10% are user and 90% are lurkers. Most companies do find social to be useful.
Ten steps: take ownership, establish policy, engage compliance function early, formal education program, strong password management, content monitoring and logging, education, selective blocking of content, routine audits and review of logs, and regular policy review.
by Bill Ives
I am pleased to be back for my sixth Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston. Here is a link to a summary of last year’s notes. I attended Catherine Shinner’s session – Building an Online Community from Strategy, Planning, and Launch to Effective Engagement and Adoption. Catherine is a Partner with me at the Merced Group. Here is the session description:
“Building and supporting community is a powerful way to build leadership relationships, connect with customers to improve service and accelerate innovation or transform internal organizational productivity. Yet sometimes organizations grab a packaged-off-the-shelf community offering and launch a site and find that it is not gaining the engagement and adoption that was hoped for. If you’re thinking of building an online community or have started on the path, but are not sure you have all the elements in place, this session will provide you with a roadmap to community strategy, planning, launch and early stage adoption, and engagement practices.
The session will guide you through a community strategy process that is aligned with the business strategy, identifying and surveying stakeholders, accurately assessing and clarifying the unmet needs of the community stakeholders to drive the user experience, content and programming plans. Using a case example of an online community for education leaders, the session speaker will outline considerations for staffing and resourcing a community, engaging constituencies through social media, marketing and communications efforts for adoption engagement, analytics and Key Performance Indicator development to assess health of the community.”
Catherine pointed out the changes in the conference that reflect changes in the importance of online communities. In 2007 there was only one session on communities and now it is a major theme. She began with why communities matter from a strategic perspective. She showed some research that shows the change in relative asset base of S&P companies shifted from tangible assets to intangible assets. In 1982 38% of assets were intangible. In 1999 84% of assets were intangible and I am sure it is higher now. This is a major transformation. However, companies still relate to their workforce as though it was 1950 and focus on top down management build on running a company based on tangible assets. Now the value in companies lies in the ability to connect people to optimize their intangible assets but this is largely untapped. Communities are a major way to do this.
Now we have the networked enterprise, using McKinsey term. They found quantified margins gains in companies that were networked. There are many quantified benefits. There are many quantified benefits. First 77% said the tools increased the speed of access to knowledge, 60% said they reduced communication coats, 52% said they increased speed of access to internal experts, 44% found a reduction in travel costs, and 40% found increased employee satisfaction. For more detail see – Enterprise 2.0 Finds Its Pay Day – McKinsey and How social technologies are extending the organization.
In last few years some companies have embraced external facing communities to extend their relationships with their partners and customers. She gave an example of a 21-year-old neighbor who learns everything to work on his car through an online community. Also, companies that use communities inside the enterprise can benefit. Companies often focus on solely on major efforts. Communities can help pick up the smaller, more incremental improvements to complement the major efforts. Communities can be a low cost way to improve your business results on an ongoing basis.
Next she went over some community principles. First you need to bring your stakeholders into lifecycle of a community. Communities have a unique set of dynamics: These include: Participation, Collective Transparency, Independence, Persistence, and Emergence.
Catherine quoted Philip Evans and Bob Wolf in the Harvard Busienss Review article, Collaboration Rules, “where trust is the currency, reputation is the source of power.”
Catherine offered a research-based community lifecycle: inception, establishment, growth, and maturity. Each stage has considerations for growth stewardship and growth. You need active community management and executive leadership at each stage.
In stage one you need to engage and education your stakeholders: identify strategic business alignment: plan for inception & establishment; determine critical success factors and KPIs for early phases; and lay groundwork & infrastructure for growth and maturity phases
A key first step is to identify your business strategy and create alignment with community. Internal and external facing communities have different sets of goals. For example external; communities often look at customer engagement and revenue and internal communities look at productivity increases.
She next offered a community business model. Then she provided a sample community architecture. The main sections include: Community Management; Content and Events Programming; Social Media, Marketing, Communications; Platform UX, Analytics; Operations, and Governance.
Community management is a key component and this is a new breed of business management. This role remains vital throughout the four life cycles. Another role is expert curation. When you are creating a community you need to bring relevant content to offer value to the members to provide value and give them something to discuss and expand on.
The crucial success factors include: effective education of stakeholders, active executive sponsorship, proper resources for the entire lifecycle, metrics relevant to your business purpose, comprehensive governance, technology, and user experience needs to be attuned to your audience.
In stage two – establishment, you need to cultivate and facilitate along a spectrum of engagement, the active contributors, the passive contributors, and lurkers. You need to establish recognition to encourage volunteer engagement. There needs to be a regular cadence of events, programs, and communications. You need to refine resource requirements for growth. You need internal and eternal; advocacy, partnerships in place, and active cycle of engagement, analytics aligned with business purpose, and benchmarking along with active listening.
She next offered a cycle of engagement where content is feed into the community; it is refreshed through conversations; social media is used for additional relevant content discovery, and the cycle is repeated.
Then Catherine covered the growth stage. Now the community needs to have a shared sense of ownership. There needs to volunteer programs and empowered leaders, and the UX and analytic evolves with sophistication of community engagement.
by Bill Ives
Here is a book that I recently put at the top of my business reading list thanks to a suggestion by my Merced Group partner, Catherine Shinners. She posted an excellent review, Social Business for Executives. As she opens her review with the comment, “Understanding how to derive repeatable business value from collaborative community is an important senior management skill to master.” There is more and more evidence coming out about the value of social business. Many of you are familiar with the McKinsey studies that provided concrete quantified benefits (see for example, How social technologies are extending the organization).
Here is a book that gets senior managers ready for the next evolution in business: The social organization. The basic premise of the book is “being a social organization goes beyond experimenting with social media technology tools—the “provide and pray” approach. In fact, it’s not about the technology at all.” The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of your Customers and Employees, is published by Harvard Business Review Press and written by Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald of Gartner.
Now I would say there is a little bit of technology to consider (see for example – Maybe Enterprise 2.0 Is About the Technology – but this title was more provocative that meant to be taken literally. I do agree with the need to focus on the business side if you want to be successful (see for example, Putting Social Media to Work).
As Catherine notes this book is indeed about putting social business to work in larger enterprises. She quotes the authors, mass collaboration, in their definition “is a large, diverse group of people pursuing a mutual purpose that creates value..yet…who act independently to contribute open and complementary information” and thereby becomes a “collaboration community that enlists the interests, knowledge, talent and experience of everyone along its value chain to create results that exceed those possible using traditional process and small-group collaboration”
Senior management engagement and leadership is essential to make this work. First, she notes that senior management is essential for “ensuring that a community is mobilized around a business relevant purpose.” This is the key starting point that is often missing when new technology is implemented. She also notes that senior management is required for “bringing the results of the collaboration community into relevant business processes.” I have never seen a successful knowledge management for that was not business process aligned and this is even more important with social business (see for example, Integrating the Interactions with the Transactions).
Catherine reviews the very interesting case of CEMEX, the Mexican producer of concrete that was already creating huge profits through advanced use of technology in their business processes in the early 2000s. I had occasion to do a small bit of work with them during this pre-social business era and was very impressed. It is not surprising that they picked up on mass collaboration. You can see Catherine’s blog post for the case and the six basic principles for a successful cycle of mass collaboration.
by Bill Ives
I have known about AppFusions for some time and respect the vision of their leader Ellen Feaheny. I spoke with Ellen at the most recent Lotusphere and they have been working on a number of integration tools. Recently AppFusions announced a partnership with iRise®, a provider of enterprise visualization solutions to allow for simulations of Atlassian JIRA and Confluence to speed enterprise software development.
I have been familiar with the power of software visualizations for some time and have interviewed a number of venders in this space. It can be a transformative breakthrough for both software development and the creation of related training. iRise visualization gives users the ability to create visual prototypes of new software projects that look and act just like the real thing, before a single line of code is written. The technology lets stakeholders and target users “kick the tires” on new applications, including mobile apps, and give feedback while it’s still easy and less costly to make changes.
iRise Simulations for Confluence
With iRise for Confluence users can embed iRise visualizations directly within Confluence pages, enabling others to interact with and comment on live, working simulations without leaving the page. Through live simulations, vague textual use case descriptions are strengthened and quickly understood, saving endless hours of design time and confusion between engineering and product teams. Here Is a video on how it works.
iRise Simulations for JIRA
With iRise for Confluence users can easily link to and preview working iRise visualizations from any JIRA issue. Associating JIRA tasks with simulations naturally speeds development. There is no faster way to understand an “agile story” or use case than through a live simulation. Here is a video on this integration.
The demands that stem from the exploding use of such mobile platforms such as the iPhone and the iPad in business—often referred to as “the consumerization of IT” have put many organizations under intense pressure to create business applications for stakeholders who expect to take their apps with them wherever they go, and who are quickly irritated by even small usability flaws. iRise’s patented software visualization technology helps companies and government agencies meet these raised expectations of elegant design and ease of use. I think that this type or visualization or simulation is a capability that has come at the right time to help unlock what might have been a huge cost and time bottleneck for IT.
by Bill Ives
Last month I began with a post about Convo (see Convo Moves to the Web and Enhances Features). I recently have the pleasure of getting involved in a four minute video – Convo – The Evolution of Social Business. It provides a lot of useful quotes on the use of social tools that apply to the specifics Convo but also make general sense to social business.