Posts Tagged Enterprise 2.0

Gist – going off in a nearly new direction

I previously wrote about Rich Contact Management Services which mentioned services such as Gist (now part of RIM|Blackberry).

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They recently released the news that they’ve “decided to shutdown the stand-alone Gist service.

This makes a lot sense, from looking at the need to further integrate the myriad of social and contact based services we all rely upon and then really embed those services into the underlying platform.

While Blackberry continues to have well publicised issues the Gist team have got a strong remit and goal to deliver:

    • Since our acquisition we built the BlackBerry Playbook Contacts app and more recently, our team has been tasked with creating the native address book/contact manager for the next generation platform, BlackBerry 10.
    • In addition to our core focus on the Contacts app, we have been given expanded responsibility for everything social at RIM including BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook and Twitter apps and instant messaging as well as much of the identity platform, location services and user analytics features.

It’s good to see them acknowledge other players in this space – see their support page

I’ve tried Nimble, and will take a look at some of the others on list.

I wish the Gist team luck in delivering this goal of pulling much more together and integrating services the across the SOLOMO (SOcial-LOcal-MObile) |rich contact management space.

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Other sources of SOLOMO material:

Do you think SOLOMO (SOcial-LOcal-MObile) is a growing space for application services? 

Do you think this is a sensible move for Blackberry and Gist?

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Rich Contact Management Services

I’ve been interested in the services developed by providers such as Gist (now part of RIM|Blackberry), Rapportive (now part of Linkedin) and Xobni.

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These work across multiple PIM (email | phone | contacts) and social networking services to bring together a rich and comprehensive profile of your contacts.

Typical service features include:

  • Rich contact profiles
    • Picture | Avatar
    • PIM contact details
    • Latest updates on connected networks
    • Latest relationship history
    • Shared networks and frequent contacts
    • Autosuggest of contacts in mail creation
  • Contact sync services across devices and between contact management stores (address books)
  • Gadget | Extension services to incorporate further services

Since I’ve been using a Blackberry 9300 Curve I’ve been able to use both the Gist and Xobni applications for Blackberry, in addition to the integration I already have with Gmail. (the images above give some idea of the Blackberry mobile UI to these services).

I particularly like the integration with Gmail as this screen shot and youtube shows.

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Xobni Smartr

There is also very strong integration with Outlook from both Gist and Xobni. (Gist – did also have a Lotus Notes plugin too – see here – but it is now withdrawn)

As these systems bring together a single cloud store of contacts, available through multiple form factors and mobile devices.  I see stronger pull for these services in an Enterprise or business context.   For example in sales, where finding that contact, understanding the relationship history, recent updates etc. could create better lead generation or decision making in pursuing an opportunity.   Which is probably why Rapportive are now part of Linkedin.

I am a little surprised there isn’t more integration and support in the enterprise, these type of products could definitely help overcome some of disconnect and lack contact to enterprise expertise and resources that remote workers experience.

Does a unified and integrated view of your key contacts appeal to you?

Are you using these products?

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Jive Anywhere – a social browser extension from Jivesoftware

Jive released a browser extension today : “Jive Anywhere” (article via Techcrunch) also see “Jive Anywhere: socializing the web.”

In the print screen examples below you can see how the extension expands out from any browser tab to show the discussion and content in your community related to that page.

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This print screen shows the expanded discussion thread taking place.

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When it’s not required it can be easily tucked away onto the right hand scroll bar, like so.

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I have to agree with other commentators like Alan Lepofsky who write :

“I don’t say this often, but Jive Anywhere has the potential to be one of those rare “game changing” technologies with respect to the way people work.”

In his article “Jives Latest Release Takes Integration To 11

I think of this tool in the following way:

In the world of the hunter|gatherer, the foraging for knowledge by the information worker, this is now a must have tool!  Jive Anywhere brings the community to bear and support that virtual roamer, and allow them to return the goods into the heart of community – the people and context that matter in an instant.  At its best reducing the time to action and response, but in simple terms helping people stay in touch and up to date.

This pervasive availability of connectedness into your core community, to garner and share knowledge in this way is a real step change.  Especially with the support of context “cartridges” for particular sites or service providers. (e.g. Salesforce.com)

I liken this to the evolution of browsers that brought social network connectivity into each tab, via  the extension apps and underlying API integration of from the social network.  Also this mimics the advantage that blackberry had when it brought email, voice and texting into a single mobile device.  In some way Jive are jumping ahead of their competition with this browser extension release.

There are a couple of things I would like to see evolve in this extension:

  • multi-community support – in the same way that some twitter extensions support multiple twitter, it would be useful to use the tools for different communities and contexts.
  • better support of SSO | Identity federation – I don’t see it supporting common enterprise security configurations in its current state.
  • mobile browser | app support –  many people will browse the web on smart phones or tablets, and they will need this extension in those devices contexts as well.

Download and Install Jive Anywhere from >> here 

What do you think?  Have you tried this yet?

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A short personal anecdote for why Social CRM matters!

Attribution : esthervargasc

Wikipedia defines Social CRM as

Social CRM is use of social media services, techniques and technology to enable organisations to engage with their customers.”

From Paul Greenberg:

CRM is a philosophy & a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, workflow, processes & social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted & transparent business environment. It’s the company’s response to the customer’s ownership of the conversation.”

My Story:

I’ve often discussed the need for personal data (photos, music, videos) protection services  with my colleagues, most frequently across Twitter.  We have a varying set of philosophies or tactics to meet our personal requirements and circumstances. However, I always find it a refreshing discussion to get updates on best practices or new product discoveries as we exchange techniques and recommendations.

What was remarkable about the last discussion was the personal invitation from one of the vendors discussed to find out more about their products and services.

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It was great to see them reach out to me, for simply having mentioned “crashplan” in a previous tweet of mine.

I thought it was right to response with a commendation:

@crashplan no not at the moment thanks, appreciate the contact though – kudos for customer service :-)”

So the conversation was short, and this time they didn’t get a sale. 

However, as a potential customer for the future, their interaction at this juncture – striking while the discussion with colleagues was still fresh and relevant to myself achieving 3 important things:

  1. I was impressed at their customer service support, they demonstrated customer and “potential” customer opinions matter and their awareness that a brand is always dependant on customer perception.
  2. They have active brand advocates amongst my peers, and their experiences and recommendations are the ones I trust most.
  3. They capitalised their opportunity to impress upon me as a consumer the professionalism of their product and services.

So my question to you is:

What are you doing to understand the sentiment and mood of your customer base, and more importantly are you using opportunities of brand advocacy to reach out to potential clients?

Once again Kudos to Crashplan for understanding Social CRM and getting it right!

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Working in web – A role for a specialist, or a job for everyman?

Mum at work, Mid 1950's

1950’s Typing Pool (attribution & rights – LadyBanana)

From Wikipedia : “A secretarial pool or typing pool is a group of secretaries working at a company available to assist any executive without a permanently assigned secretary. These groups have been reduced or eliminated where executives have been assigned responsibility for writing their own letters and other secretarial work.”

How skilled at manipulating the tools of the day should the average information worker be expected (or seek) to get by with?

Does working with web pages | online content merit a special case?

This is something I’ve seen come back around in discussions as people recognise more and more that managing their place on the web.  The act of Curation = Deliberately and actively placing, storing and sharing information | content on the web (corporate or otherwise). Has become essential to remain “in business” – visibly valuable.  These spaces or pages can be a simple shop front statements or more complex social or workflow enabled pages in a web based content management platform.

So if  this is “important” then why are responses that tend to be heard are…

“I don’t know how to do that!”  or “I haven’t got the time to learn about that!” or “That’s programming, I’m not that technical!” or

“Isn’t that something you did years ago, when you were (technical|in development|scripting)?” [delete as you see appropriate]

Why do we get these negative sentiment…

[this is not my responsibility | it’s not worth the effort | what benefit is this to me?]

type of responses?

Is web working really different from other information worker tools?

Do you see the same sentiment registered when describing working with documents, creating presentations or spread sheets?

I would suggest there is a different angle on the requests…

“Can you help on this?” or “Do you know a way of…?”

The sentiment tends towards a much more positive, and self-motivated set of responses – seeking to obtain knowledge or take personal responsibility on how to educate or develop their skills.

And this all happens in the day, of FAQs, online help in text, picture and video form!

SO do we need to recognise the need for a dedicated pool of web content editors managers?  (i.e. bring back the typing pool)

Or is this just people seeking to hide behind excuses of one form or another?

What could be discouraging their engagement or involvement?

Is the platform or technology to blame?

It could be we are spoilt with the user experience in of more application based tools and the web is still not consistent enough in the presentation and user experience it offers?   That is true as web based services do vary considerably in their ease of use, and they don’t tend to offer much in the way of common standards or approaches to empower or enable users.

Some services try to keep things simple by only providing a limited set of structures and gadgets or widgets to bring content to the pages. They tend to provide great tools for the masses to participate in common collaboration mechanisms, but may restrict how complex content can be structured and linked together.

Other services allow a more under the covers method to develop the content and the structure from the ground up.  These enable more powerful and bespoke structures for content to meet a more custom structures or workflows.

So do these inconsistencies and variety of capabilities, provide sufficient requirements for dedicated content editors – community managers, wiki gardeners etc.?

Yes I think so, perhaps these reasons do justify a specific role or team, but I think this is only a temporary position.

We may presume that the continuing advancement web | application interface development will eventually remove the barriers presented by these current limitations and inconsistencies.  Will that finally level the ability field between web work or applications?  As more than likely all common applications will be fully web served and directly served via a browser.

Perhaps, then this is representative of cultural issue and something we need to be aware of?

Will the ability competently manipulate shared | common content and structures continue to present a skill divide between the information workers of tomorrow?

How much will competent web content editing and management become an absolute necessity as a skill of an information worker? Will the ‘open’ community nature of work present an on-going challenge to how willing or comfortable people feel about sharing or actively contributing  to a shared workspace?

I think this is could still remain an issue, especially if the negative sentiment and attitudes (noted above) persist meaning that the effort of “Collective Curation” needs to remain with a select few.

I believe we need to start:

  • Placing more emphasis or at a minimum parity on working in the web as we do with traditional workstation based applications.
  • Thinking about how to help people adopt an attitude or behaviour of work that encourages and enables them to “narrate their work” or “curate at source”.  Helping them  to decide in process of assessing or developing information what is required to remain in the shared corpus of knowledge and what is trivial and of little or no long term value, and so to store or dispose that information in the correct manner.
  • We need to start using “collective curation” strategies and principles to our knowledge to ensure it remains as value as possible. 

Perhaps in fact the principles or interactions and responsibilities around using “Common Land” could be a useful template to an approach of community content management?

In so much as people recognise a need to share and responsibly manage and steward a common resource, to ensure it remains a sustaining and useful resource for the benefit of all involved for the long term.

So What do you think?  Is this something you’ve noticed too?

Useful references:

List about Collective Curation

Understand collective curation in under 90 seconds

A summary of how we all share and interact with information around us.

We’re becoming information curators

Brian talks about opportunity for all be information curators

Wikipedia : Digital Curation

What is Digital Curation?

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My view of the Jive NewWayTour – London, 24th May

I attended the Jive NewWayTour in London yesterday.  The event was put on with Logica, hosted by Chris Morace (Senior Vice President of Business Development, Jive) and had a keynote customer presentation from BUPA‘s Nick Crawford (Head of Group Internal Communications, Group Marketing), talking about their implementation of Jive for their 52K global employee base.

Key Points from the Jive Key Note:

Early adoption days are over.  Gartner MQ for social software is 5 years old. Jive is a  MQ Leader in everyone  – Social Software for Workforce, Social CRM, and External Social communities.

Key use cases:

T-Mobile – use Jive inside and outside the firewall.  Prior to public launch of “MyTouch slide” – smart phone.

Estimated $100 Million saving from using ‘internal’ launch to key employees and tracking issues in Jive and then learned from that to serve their customers better and faster.

Newscorp – 50K global co. WSJ, Fox News, Avatar, Glee etc.

Using social software since 2008, know what social software can or can’t do.   Trying to create a sense of ‘family’ in the company, that is globally dispersed and representative of lots of different brands.  Running best practices courses and education for digital journalists through Jive.

Mattel – largest toy co in the world.  What’s their next big product? Idea source from 30 K employee. “Computer Engineer” Barbie – created big external buzz after internal idea sourcing.  Success achieved on ‘no extra’ money – it’s a new way of doing things.

Key Points from the BUPA Key Note:

About BUPA: 52k employees across 11 countries – healthcare leader and partner, extracting value and synergies by collaboration across their businesses. Grew by Acquisitions.

Why Jive: ( access, space to collaborate, news sharing, viral, iterative and vendor supported, management and reporting, searchable, multi-lingual, web 2.0, budget)

BUPA and #jivesoftware  on Twitpic

(photo credit: John Schwiller)

How Delivered :

Group IT, Comms and HR collaborated on the platform in soft launch phase to deliver the platform for corporate launch.

Launched and positioned as “BupaLive” – your job, Facebook – your social life, Linkedin – your career

Challenges and fears – dispelling a few myths:

Fear vs Time  >> fear of a lot things at start, decreased over time.

  • facebook in the work place | productivity will decrease <> treat people as grown ups
  • internal comms will lose control of the message <> need to adapt and change role and coach leaders | don’t lose control of message
  • won’t be able to handle the volume or type of feedback <> can see what the conversation or feedback and respond to it
  • it’s a young person’s game <> not really relevant lots of  engagement across all ages
  • business units don’t have the resources <> not true Group comms (now grown to 3 people) smaller at launch & Jive has improved comms and productivity.
  • how much will it cost <> still in budget | low level of customisation keep service easily iterated by vendor.
  • management will lose control | why do they worry? (ineffective managers?) <> most engaged employees are active on the platform (leaders of the future)
  • it’s not secure in the web | structured approach and sign up <> monitoring and educating, treating people as sensible and able to use common sense.
  • can’t calculate the ROI <> see Business benefits below…

Adoption and use:

Corp comms, driving viral use, used competitions, e.g. introduce a friend and win an ipad etc.

Only 16K employees have PC and laptops, some people no device or email address | care homes | activity coordinators … doing things in their own time, logging in from home.

Employee engagement analysis showed better and score higher with users of bupa live

Users growth linear 2010 = 5k,  2011 = 11K – worked through each business group.

Created collaboration groups over 1800

Users and leaders – chicken and egg (bottom up and top down)

Viral video “get moving” global challenge

BUPA Mobile app dev – passionate and involvement – 16 weeks planned, delivered in 8 weeks

Internal crowdsourcing – “top tips questions” – ” joint venture information” – all supplied  by  SME’s  from other  business units than question source.

Group conference site – loaded all presentations and videos for main corporate conference for larger engagement and dicussion

Business benefits/Engagement/ROI:

10% estimate £190K saving (700 users questioned |at year 1)

Telesales increased by 2% because of collaboration in Jive

Mobile app dev – IPhone app – £20K saved

What’s next:

big brainstorm | vip leaders group | more functionality in Jive 5 etc.

There were also options the following tracks after the keynotes.

  • The New Way for Business Leaders
  • The New Way for Technology Leaders
  • Jive 5 Overview for Customers

I attended the Jive 5 overview, in which there were about 60 participants in the room.

Here’s a list of companies represented at the Jive 5 Overview stream (and where possible their activities with Jive)

Cancer research uk – patient care external use
Cisco – external use
Danone – external and internal use
British Sugar – internal use
BP – internal use
Deutsche Bank – not yet customer but very keen to explore
BUPA – internal use
Thomson Reuters – internal|external uses
Infosys – internal use and partner

Logica – internal use and partner
Serco – internal use
Dachis group – internal use and partner
National History Museum – internal|external use

About Jive 5:

Apart from revamping the UI for focus on activity streams, and a comprehensive mobile device support via HTML 5. Jive have been a number key acquisitions to cement their leadership in the social business arena.

Proximal Labs : To enable social graph analytics and recommendations.  Giving more targeted content for the users and the Social Media & Sentiment Analytics application in the Jive Apps Market space.  A combination of real time search & analysis of big data sources (Twitter, Facebook), as well as inside the firewall to (Jive, CMS) etc.

Offisync : To provide more fully feature Microsoft Office integration – to allow better value extraction for customers from both MS Office and Jive.

The Jive app marketplace is also a key part of version 5, enabling lots of service providers and vendors to provide tighter integration and surface their application functionality inside Jive.

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Oregon on my mind (a bad twist on a well known song – I live 4750 miles away) – but my head’s full of information from there


(see more about this answer)
I’ve had a normal working week, 5 days of (working from home/teleworking/virtual working) – whatever term you feel fits best.  At no time during this working week, have I had any direct contact (phone/email) with anyone there (Oregon).  I’ve not visited Oregon, or feel that it’s at all likely to happen at any time in my future.
But I have been thinking about the connectedness I use/or am served by to replace the co-location & presence that is the norm for most people (presuming they’re office based too*) in their working week.  What information that I seek out or flows towards me and how that gets utilized (turned into value) for my benefit or those I feel connected with.
Of course, I talking about social tools and interactions.   But why, do I need them, doesn’t my enterprise provide all the tools and services I need? After all I have:

  • phone
  • email/IM
  • calendar
  • contact list/address book
  • portals and intranets

Well frankly these are almost useless for “keeping in touch”.  Hang on, it doesn’t mean these aren’t used, no they are heavily used, but in driving business processes forward, pushing business content/context around, discussing objectives and goals. Not “keeping in touch” – the exchange of light weight, social context, interpersonal information, relevant to location, relationship type, personality, and sharing things in common between the individuals/groups.  Of course, these are relationship-centric, but business only moves forward on the basis of trust and relationship!
In fact, even with ‘more’ regular|frequent contact with colleagues via the ordinary  tools (email/IM/calendar and phone calls), I had a struggle making smooth arrangements, anticipating needs/requirements and trying to make best use of my time and theirs.  This sometimes leads me to having a sense of frustration and annoyance, feeling of being short changed, disenfranchised, or feeling a lack of transparency.  But then I realize, at the moment I’m different, I have been spoilt or altered by a change of culture – and they’re just doing what they do as well and as best they can.  What I feel would be considerate and normal courteous behaviour, are not deliberately denied me, these behaviours are not shared because – they don’t see the value, the opportunity (it can’t be necessary – as it doesn’t happen) and they don’t have the tools to do the job (the effort required to make the ordinary tools do so is too tedious).
Should they change their habits? – I hope so
Do they wish to? – perhaps
Are they convinced it will work? – probably not
If they were will it take time and effort? – undoubtedly, by us (those convinced) and them.
So why Portland, Oregon, why this week?   Answer : Coincidence, events and connections.
Coincidence: Simultaneous occurrence of events that may or may not be linked directly – but have relevance to the observer.
Events: Meeting, gathering, conference.  Specifically #oscon and#Jive #midYear #salesKickoff (I’m not directly connected to either – but I was (well enough) informed to know what was going on at both.
Connections: relationships, links, loosely coupled ties, – people I know, people I know of, people I don’t know.
So a subset of these (connections) participating in the social tools I also engage with, served me with enough information to assemble more useful picture of the happenings, engagements and points of interest in Portland, Oregon this week.  And that was much much better than what I could perceive or deduce about the events, happenings and engagements with some of my colleagues.
Actually some of the focus on Portland, was seeded by conversations last week, but the same could have (but didn’t) with conversations with colleagues too!
So what connections and information did I feel affinity with Portland, Oregon this week:
Relationships: 2 people from CSC I know/have met were at #oscon this week (I follow 2 of them on Twitter – and Tripit(1) played it’s part too)
Links: 1 CSC, 4 Jivers (I’ve had phone calls with all of them, almost met 1,  I follow 3 on Twitter)
Loosely coupled ties & Ambiance: (other colleagues/contacts) : Several other colleagues and contacts also engaged like me (at a distance) with the same events. Several significant others (respected industry noteables – 1 – I’ve met, and several I’ve heard of) were also directly or indirectly engaged.


Social significance:


Portland Oregon = (2xR+5xL+((number of Reply tweets I saw relating to people I follow/know)xLCT) = Social Rank Quotient
Work Event = (2xR) = Social Rank Quotient


Portland Oregon = 38 = (2×5+5×2+60×0.3)
Work Event = 10 = (2×5)


So where was this value I mentioned?
Ok, so work didn’t collapse and things didn’t break, just because I didn’t know more in advance about the “work event”.  But, I wasn’t directly connected/involved with that “work event”, just like I wasn’t directly connected to the events in Portland.
However, I now know a great deal more about events in Portland, Oregon that will benefit how I interact or work those individuals going forward.  I also played my part a little better in removing disruptions from those I knew who were engaged in events in Oregon, by not adding to their inbox, leaving voice mails on the phone etc.  Which didn’t happen with my colleagues – there were several exchanges of information that  So the social sharing, informs me both as an educational tool, but as relational service to prevent inconsiderate, inconvenient & unnecessary communications increasing the disruption factor of already busy lives.
I now realise that Twitter serves a few specifics purposes for me.
1) A back channel and social interaction mechanism for that absent ‘office banter’ that takes place in office.  The most important group or list I respond to is my colleagues list, though those I mark as “close” (consider strong tie) are given an almost equal attention.
2) Education and news flow – current affairs, opinions and happening are broadcast and pushed to me via Twitter. I learn on the go.  I still use news sites and a feed reader, but the “bite-size” chunks in Twitter keep me informed and current.
3) These social tools aren’t simply a nice to have, play thing – it’s more of way of life and a way of work.  A significant behaviour that I share with others and benefit from a collective effort of participation.  See Luis’ blog post for more on social philosophy.
If you’ve got to the end of the post – thanks for sticking with it.

  • How do engage you in social tools?
  • How do they bring benefit to you?
  • Do you perceive a social rank to the degree that events and occurrences are shared with you?

For more on Portland, Oregon see http://www.travelportland.com/
*For reference – if I did visit my local office every day of the week, my closest organizational colleague (by geography) whom I regularly work with is based in the south a 180 miles away.  I consider the “closest” colleagues those I connect with on Twitter.

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