Get Social & Collaborate!

Entries in Collaboration (5)


Why collaboration matters for global companies

Business models across many industries are being rapidly redefined as new entrants harness new technologies to gain a competitive edge. But how well are new technologies going to help longer-established companies, if their existing technologies are presenting challenges?

In a survey of knowledge workers, almost all of respondents said they have felt overwhelmed by information to the point of incapacity.

Clearly, companies won’t get the most out of their employees if they suffer from incomplete communication, conflicting or fragmented information, barriers to collaboration, and feeling in the dark about the progress of shared tasks.

Are you nodding your head to some of this?

There is a way of overcoming these problems and becoming nimble once again – as well as responsive and competitive. It’s by way of a tool called Social Collaboration.

“Social what?” we hear you say.


Social Collaboration is actually a simple concept: it’s the joined-up efforts of multiple stakeholders in pursuit of a common goal. Social Collaboration is common on the internet because available technologies make it easy to share, develop and analyse information.

In short, Social Collaboration improves performance.

A crucial concept behind Social Collaboration is that “ideas are everywhere”. People share ideas in an open environment, and the discussion is not limited to only those who have domain knowledge. All ideas are valued.

Social Collaboration tools are essential to an organisation’s Digital Transformation strategy because they simplify how people find, use and share information. They also ease how people work together, track progress, attend and conduct meetings, and at the end of the day get work done.

This is particularly important for distributed or global companies with a workforce spread across various locations and working in different time zones. A report by McKinsey on the issues facing global organisations found that these companies believed the knowledge, skills and experience across their workforce was invaluable but they suffered from a major problem: transferring the expertise learned in one market to another.

Take the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of hearing implants – Cochlear. Five years ago Cochlear identified the need to enable better collaboration between their global offices and laboratories. They especially wanted a solution that could host their entire global user base.

Cochlear chose ISW to provide the solution, and the heart of the technology from ISW was IBM Connections, IBM’s Social Collaboration software. Cochlear’s staff of 2700 worldwide can now call upon internal expertise easily and consistently, create communities of expertise, and collaborating across the room or across the globe.

The potential rise in productivity from social technologies for highly-skilled, knowledgeable workers critical to growth has been measured at between 20-25%. In addition, companies using these tools report an average 36% better customer service.

To help your organisation’s Digital Transformation journey, we’ve created an infographic outlining how you can expand your business with social collaboration tools, download it here.

If you’d like to see first-hand how you can empower your workforce with social collaboration tools at our Connections Ignition workshop, to register your interest, click here.


Inform Australia (a.k.a. AusLUG) call for Speaker Abtracts

The awesome team organising Inform Australia 2014 (previously AusLUG) have announced the new dates for the event, being Sept 4th & 5th Sept in Melbourne. This will be the 4th annual event and it is great to have it back in Melbourne for the 2nd time.

Inform recently announced that the event is open now for speakers to submit abstracts. Having been fortunate enough to speak at the previous events I can only encourage everyone to have a go and share your knowledge. Developers, Administrators, Users, Managers, Business people, IBMers....all sessions ideas are welcome and the audience tend to be great and interactive. Connections, Domino, Sametime, Traveller, Smartcloud, Talent Suite and Kenexa, Digital Experience, Forms, Portal, Worklight, User Adoption, Success Stories, technical or business, or even just a general topic related to collaboration.

So go on, give it a go. I guarantee you won't regret it. To submit an abstract just head over to the Inform site, register, and then just submit a session from your Profile page.


New Blog Design & Domain

Welcome to my new blog design and place to talk about what I am doing and thinking! I had been using the older brownblog for the last few years and I decided it needed a facelift. I also wanted to refocus my blogging to what I am really doing which is helping our clients to better collaborate.

I have this idea of a collaboration blueprint. A map or detailed design if you like of what business and people need to enable collaboration. In fact not just collaboration for the sake of it but collaboration that has a positive impact on what we do. Collaboration that improves our work and helps us achieve our objectives. This blueprint isn't about specific industries but rather about the different facets and tools needed by people to work with other people online, offline, in the office, remote, mobile, next to each other, or on the other side of the world. Hence the new domain

So as these ideas come together I am going to present them here. I am still going to continue to use the blog as a way of documenting or recording some of the more technical work I am doing. I have found this to be a neat way or recording techniques I use so that I can use them again in the future. Hopefully this also has the effect of helping a few other people that are facing similar challenges. And off course I will still have the occasional personal topic or just a comment on something I find interesting.


Sametime 7.5 Feature Blog

There is a neat Sametime 7.5 blog running over at IBM developerWorks. Ted Stanton has been posting Sametime Sunday (I am guessing this in on the same theme as Show N Tell Thursday). There is some great insites into some of the new features coming in Sametime 7.5.

I particularly like the Click to Talk (VOIP), and the automatic changing of your status depending on what you are currently doing is also neat. An example is Can't Chat Now, In a Meeting. When you are in a meeting it automatically changes your status to match. This is great as how many times does it happen that you are in a Sametime Conference and hence online, but as you are in a meeting you actually want to have a status of Busy. 


Using a Wiki for Workflow

searchSMB has an interesting article on using Wiki's for tasks that used to be done using basic workflow.

Wiki's are becoming far more common place and organisations are starting to accept them for corporate applications. An example given is the instance of a group meeting where notes are taken which are then sent around everyone in the meeting for approval/correction. With 4-5 people this might take a few days with normal sequential workflow. Put it in a wiki and everyone can update it when they want with an automatic history of what has changed.

Off course this could be done using a smarter workflow process in Lotus Notes. Using our workflow engine you would just set this up as parallel workflow rather than sequential. Off course there are complications to deal with such as replication conflicts but there are ways to manage this (another topic). I guess the point is though that a Wiki can be used for this purpose without the complexity of extensive workflow.

The one thing that seems to worry a lot of our clients regarding Wiki's is that anyone can modify anything. The point here of course is that there is a detailed history of changes automatically generated. Hence there is full visibility of what has been done by whom.