Posts Tagged Portals

Key Links for SharePoint 2013

These are some key links for SharePoint 2013:

Overview Video of Microsoft SharePoint 2013


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AvePoint’s – EMEA SharePoint Usage Survey 2012

AvePoint released their EMEA SharePoint Usage Survey 2012.

It’s worth a look :

A survey of more than 700 IT managers and administrators from public and private sector businesses in Europe, representing more than 1.2 million end users…

A view of SharePoint usage by version taken from the report:



This is post is purely for informative purposes, and is not placing comment, opinion or promotion of AvePoint  products or services.

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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.


This print screen shows the expanded discussion thread taking place.


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


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.

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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Some thoughts on the latest G+ User Interface

Last week Google made a significant refresh of the user interface to their G+ social network system.

Google+ – UI update Introduction



There were obviously much comment made on the likes and dis-likes of the revised interface.

I see it as a positive improvement and also a stepping stone on to further service integration and UI tweaks.

The reason I see it as a “stepping stone” move, is the number of comments the perceived unused quantities of “white space” that have been placed into this iteration of the UI.


      I like the vertical left navigation menu that Google has introduced.

   What I’d like to see the options is

Like this:

G  More-3

So you can see | view Gmail in the same interface window (browser tab) as G+.

So perhaps the “whitespace” section could be preview of the GMail inbox | Google Docs,  or by using the GMail |Google Docs icon from the vertical menu you would use those services inside the G+ wrapper.

I would even suggest Gmail could deliver message notification inside the G+ stream, while still being able to filter into the inbox, the time | activity stream of G+ and Gmail message can occupy the same flow.

For example Photos are already well integrated into the G+ interface – so I don’t particularly see why others can’t be.

In fact both these  Photos lead to the same place.

Universal Menu – Photos G+ Menu – Photos
image image

So Google is duplicating its menu system across its “common” menu system and in G+  vertical menu.  I would expect to see convergence in this area.

I don’t like having to switch tabs to use these other Google services or that clicking on links would open in new tabs.

This is what Facebook gets right – all their services happen in a single browser tab.  Whether it is messages, notifications, other services all operate within a single browser tab.

I hope & think Google will come around to this way of delivering its services too.

What do you think?

Do you prefer multiple tabs or single tab for multiple services?

Would seeing Gmail messages appearing inside G+ appeal to you?

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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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Mobility & Augment Reality (growing up fast)

From Evernote:

Mobility & Augment Reality (growing up fast)

About a year ago, I remember watching this video of the Layar implementation in Amsterdam.

I was stunned at the quality and size of application and its implementation. Though I was also left thinking ok, what next, where and when will I come across it?

Now a year on, I think it’s fair to say Layar has grown significantly – “having over 1000 published layars, covering every country in the world ”.  Ok but, there are other services about, though this wikipedia article looks a little behind the times (an emerging competitive market?)

Anyway, the item that brought me around to thinking about this again, was the IBM seer augmented reality application for Wimbledon tennis championships.

This brings together location data feeds, tags and links about of points of interest, via location recognition and user interaction.  It supplements the location recognition and augmented reality with live video streams and community interaction via feeds from twitter.

I’m impressed by the depth of information and interaction this application delivers to visitors to the event. Which brings obvious value to people who are unfamiliar with their no doubt crowded surroundings, and also want get best experience and interact with rapidly changing events around them. I do wonder how many people attending Wimbledon will actually use the application (as a percentage of total attendance) [itunes counts downloads right?]and how the local mobile transmission infrastructure will cope with peaks of demands from such an application like this.

The wikipedia article providing a good list of use cases and applications of AR, and some examples are so commonplace they often get forgotten as AR examples. “Commonly known examples of AR are the yellow “first down ” lines seen in television broadcasts of American Football games using the 1st & Ten system, and the coloured trail showing location and direction of the puck in TV broadcasts of ice hockey games.”

Certainly the IBM seer applications makes me think that corporations and intuitions, and not just events will be providing AR apps or layer(ar)s for navigation and points of interest guides to help people move around their company locations, or as a guide to an art gallery or museum for example.

Certainly the rise of continued proliferation of powerful smart phones and mobile infrastructure in many industrialised nations makes a the use of apps for this purpose a strong likelihood.

Intuitions like museums and galleries, could has many (re-usable) point of interest markers (like a barcode – readable by Blackberries or other handsets) or a GPS marker stationed as they wish or required. These would be a great way to replace (single-use) paper based information transfer and yet provide all the regular information about the current item on display or the exhibit. As well as link the visitor to a lot more content or community interactions sourced from across the internet.

I would be grateful for such navigation aids available at a company locations, these would really help people find their way to or from meeting rooms, amenity or other corporate facilities.  They’d be great at helping people around temporary diversions etc.  These would be great at conferences and submits too.  Though I can imagine elementary “I trust my GPS, I don’t need to think, so I’ll walk off a cliff” mistakes will become popular humour stories at the company restaurant.

I wonder whether it makes sense to build stand only applications like IBM seer or produce a bespoke layer within a comprehensive platform like Layar ? Also I’ve failed so far to mention Google maps or latitude or Google earth , which may be already merging into a global AR platform.

I guess in some way this is only a matter of time, but the matter or manner of implementation will still surprise I’m sure.

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Thinking on Portals, Application Servers & Middleware, and Strategic Enterprise Architecture

Recently I attended an event the Oracle Middleware 11g Forum around the launch & release of their Fusion Middleware 11g suite of products.

Oracle should be commended on the swift work they have done of incorporating the technologies and services they have acquired into their own product set.  Within the 11g release there is the unified and integration of mainstream Oracle products with the product set acquired from BEA Systems (WebLogic and AquaLogic etc.)  There is a clear standardisation around the Weblogic server as the strategic application server within the Fusion Middleware stack.

The pending acquisition and integration of Sun Microsystems into Oracle will pose a few interesting questions around existing complementary product set. But also to give the obvious capability of singlehanded delivery of hardware, OS, middleware, and application stack.


Both of these acquisition brings much more of a level set between Oracle and IBM in the J2EE space around enterprise portal, application server, content management, SOA and middleware.  This should bring another boost of invigoration to this marketplace, which is already looking lively because of innovative adoption around consumer social computing services and mash up or widget integration technologies.

An example of the IBM Middleware stack: (taken from an article about “Develop and Deploy Multi-Tenant Web-delivered Solutions using IBM middleware”)

An example of the Oracle Middleware stack: (taken from an article on the blog of Eric Marcoux “What do you want to know about Fusion Middleware ?”)

However this doesn’t rule out other players in this space, such as Microsoft, Autonomy, Opentext  etc. While they may not be so closely aligned around the technology or industry space, or perhaps bring such a broad offering, as IBM or Oracle they should not be ignored. In fact their strengths or niche plays should be significant influencers on the strategic enterprise architecture of an organisation.

What then are the questions that should be asked to ascertain that the Strategic Enterprise Architecture choices are optimal for your organisation?   Caveat :– I am not claiming to be an enterprise architect! However I hope these should be reasonably logical and common sense, and the answers should go some way to revealing the degree of alignment between the enterprise architecture and business requirements.

  • How does my End-User (desktop and productivity suite choices/need) integrate or align with choices around Portal and Enterprise Content Management and Enterprise Applications?
    • Do they complement or conflict?
    • Do they offer the integration that enables users to engage in business processes, or does inflict conflicts and hindrances?
  • Is there a sensible balance between departmental application choice and autonomy in comparison to corporate mandates and direction?
    • Are there governance policies in place that sustains a level of commonality across business units?
    • Is there a that framework allows departmental processes and requirements to be surfaced and delivered in a uniform way?
    • Is Identity and Access management provided centrally?
    • Are compliance, security and risk management services provided in a consistent manner?
  • Are the Strategic Enterprise Architecture choices enabling or preventing the evolution of a competitive business model?
    • Is the architecture promoting an agile and adaptive business model & culture?
    • Is it helping to make the best of the human interactions and capital within the business?
    • Is it serving to optimise TCO and reduce overheads, via enabling virtualisation, centralisation or cloud services technologies?
    • Is it serving the business through enabling a greater percentage of core business orientated employees, by reducing the focus on operating non-differentiating IT services & functions?
    • Is it enabling the business to serve the influential outliers – business partners, suppliers and customers?

These are by no means a definitive list, but I hope you think them relevant and helpful. I’m sure there will be areas I’ve over looked or ignored so please chip-in with more, comments and feedback.

There some good material here :

Enterprise Architecture Scorecard

The Open Group Architecture Framework

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