The Enemy of Collaboration

image A week ago, I wrote an article for CMS Wire on The Long Hill for Enterprise Collaboration.  Normally I put an announcement at the top of my blog sharing the link, but I wanted to write this post, and I’ve just been a tad busy…

You should read the article before proceeding much further.  In the article, I talk about the challenges facing the adoption of collaboration tools, an important one being the desire to perform one activity in one interface.  Email is a classic example because, for all its faults, you can collaborate with anyone with an email address.  People will tend to stick with one tool and not keep switching unless they are the “stopper” that is always on a mission to convert people to the good of collaboration platforms.

Well, this scenario is something I have seen quite a bit.  There is one example that really drives home the need to get people not just out of email, but to get everyone into something that can transfer collaborative data between systems just like email is transferred using SMTP today.  That example….me.

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"Cloud Content Management" Hype

headdesk Every now and then, I read a post/article/tweet that makes me slam my head against the nearest hard surface.  The culprit this time was an article titled Cloud Content Management to Challenge ECM?

I saw the title and was intrigued.  I then read it and realized that the author had started falling for some market speak.  I quickly determined that the fault was not completely with the author.  Yes, they had fallen under the spell of some marketing and should have been strong enough to resist.  The real villian here? Box.

Remove the Cloud

Okay, lets think this through, logically.  First, let’s look at Box’s definition of Cloud Content Management.  When you look at it, you see them describing a SaaS offering.  More importantly, you are seeing them talk about the advantages of hosting it on the internet as opposed to your server room.

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Review: Enterprise 2.0


Enterprise 2.0, New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges

Andrew McAfee

I’ve been following Andrew on Twitter for a while and have enjoyed his posts.  So when I heard that the author of the term “Enterprise 2.0” had written a book on the topic, I was initially skeptical of the value to me.  How much new stuff would there be in the book for someone who, while not an expert, was very familiar with the topic?  After hearing about some of the hype, I decided to give the book a try.

I am glad that I did.

Aside from having a handy book that I can hand people to learn about Enterprise 2.0, the book helped me crystallize my understanding of Enterprise 2.0 and helped me think of better ways to explain it to people.

So money well spent, but what did I learn?

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SharePoint 2010, Live from Vegas

I didn’t get to go to the SharePoint conference this year, or any other year for that matter, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t represented. My company sent three people, including Jed Carr, our SharePoint Solution Lead. After much cajoling, I convinced him to share his thoughts on the conference for everyone to enjoy.

So without further ado…here’s Jed.

SharePoint Conference 2009

Anytime you get a chance to go to Vegas, it usually turns out to be a good time. This trip, although work related, was no different…plus it was free. My company flew me out and put me up for this year’s SharePoint Conference. Overall, I thought Mandalay did a great job of managing the 7000+ attendees, most of which really wanted to be there. Also, to my surprise, I barely managed to miss a session. I thought there would be more down time, but every time a session ended, I usually found another one I didn’t want to miss.

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Email, Part of this Nutritious Breakfast

Last week I got into a discussion with a few people on Twitter about email as a collaboration system.  It started when I sent a foolish tweet:

RT @lehawes: Email is not a collaboration system!! It is a communication system.

People started getting riled up. Some solid points were made about people using it for collaboration, but my point was that people using email for collaboration doesn’t make it a collaboration system.  I collaborate using the phone, but it isn’t a collaboration system.

I decided that a post was needed to fully explain the difference as 140 characters is just too limiting.

Remember Sugar Cereals?

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ECM and Enterprise 2.0 – AIIM Throws Numbers on the Wall

Enterprise 2.0 is a growing theme out there in the wild of the Internet. This is especially true in the world of ECM where vendors are looking to add all those “Web 2.0” features to their platforms. EMC, Open Text, and IBM are all releasing new “Enterprise 2.0” products. It is a smart play because people with ECM and collaboration tools are looking to their vendors to provide the newest Enterprise 2.0 features in the “next upgrade”.

AIIM saw this trend a while ago and did some research.  In May, AIIM updated their research. I was “lucky” enough (lucky being defined as someone who follows AIIM leaders on Twitter and clicks on links) to get an early copy of the results, AIIM Industry Watch: Collaboration and Enterprise 2.0, on Friday before the general announcement of availability. I thought I would share what I found.

Numbers, Numbers, Everywhere…

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Enterprise 2.0 Versus Reality

I was reading a post from James on implementing some Social Networking tools within a large Enterprise, Even more untold perspectives on social networking within large enterprises. It was an interesting post as it reflected, from a different angle, an issue that I have had to deal with recently.

My basic challenge is simple. A company decided that they needed to consolidate their knowledge (their word) and implement ways to both expand and re-purpose their information. I’m thinking Enterprise 2.0=Knowledge Management. I’m thinking cool new technologies. I’m getting all excited.

Then during a requirements session I hear, What is a Wiki?

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Fitting SharePoint into the ECM Picture

Previously I compared eRoom and SharePoint. I noted several basic features, but didn’t really say that either was dramatically better than the other. They are both solid collaboration options. That is the key here. SharePoint measures up well to eRoom because they are both the same thing. They are Content Rich Applications that focus on Collaboration. They are not ECM solutions. eRoom admits it. SharePoint doesn’t.

SharePoint doesn’t appear to deliver on its promises with its out-of-the-box functionality. As was predicted and then observed, SharePoint requires multiple third party components and other customizations to achieve its true potential. The core problem that comes from this approach is managing components from multiple sources.

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SharePoint and EMC

One of my favorite Documentum bloggers outside of yours truly, Johnny Gee, has been blogging of late on SharePoint and Documentum. He ran a three part series comparing the two. Yesterday, he posted an entry comparing SharePoint and eRoom. This was even commented upon by an Enterprise Architect blog that I regularly read by James McGovern. I read the entry, and it has drawn an interesting, and very dead-on, observation. The latest post has a very decided pro-eRoom stance. In Johnny’s defense, he was just posting some observations from a reader and not taking credit. One the other hand, it is a very biased view of the world.

First, let me say that I do not have the depth of knowledge to take up SharePoint’s defense in detail. I am also not as inclined to do so being a little pro-EMC. However, I will make two statements about eRoom and SharePoint:

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