Working Across Boundaries

June 16, 2013 · · Posted by grl

ImageIn his Jun 2, 2013 blog post, Chess Media analyst and author Jacob Morgan asks: How Open is Too Open? He asks "Would you be comfortable working in an all glass building where people can see everything you do and every move you make?" Jacob outlines the benefits of transparency: "Keep everyone on the same page; Build trust and fostering better relationships; Allow employees (and customers) to contribute ideas and value when they see the opportunity to do so." Jacob recognizes that a balance needs to be struck, but not being transparent enough may do more harm than good. He ask: "How open is too open?" I agree with the benefits Jacob outlines, and believe the answer to Jacob's question depends on the answer to a critical question: "Transparency for what purpose?" I'll start the ball rolling in with this post, including some real-life customer examples.

For example, if you work for a consulting (or law) firm, your clients have a strong, natural expectation that their work with the firm will be kept private from other clients, even if client work is more broadly shared internally among members of the firm. Some work within the firm may be more closely held for good reason - ranging from employee health records to Board meeting minutes. I believe it's a mistake to limit collaboration to work that must be visible by all members of the firm. I also believe it's extremely valuable to work with external clients, suppliers, and partners as well internal teams, within and across necessary and natural boundaries. The question I'd like to discuss is: "How do you balance transparency, boundaries, and the need to work across boundaries?"

Jacob recognizes that a balance needs to be struck, and uses an analogy that compares a glass building vesus "a regular building that just doesn't have locked doors."

"I do believe that organizations need to be much more open and transparent but there’s a balance that needs to be struck here. There’s a big difference between showing everything to everyone vs making things open to people should they want to see it. To use an analogy it’s the difference between constructing a glass building vs constructing a regular building that just doesn’t have locked doors." - How Open is Too Open?

I'd say "very few locked doors, where needed to get work done, particularly with external stakeholders."

In an early Three Places for People blog post, I use a similar analogy:

"Great architects of physical places know that people bring expectations and norms about the kind of behavior that's appropriate and enjoyable to any physical space. Architects are skillful in designing spaces to match their clients desires and expectations by providing cues that are easy to perceive and appropriate for the intended purpose, but a lot of the norms of the same physical space become clear only from social context.

If you walk into a conference room with a group of people you don't know talking quietly around a table - and someone closes the door behind you - you'll likely speak and act differently than if you walk into the same room with people you know laughing, eating and drinking. If you walk into a theater you'll probably seat yourself quietly in the audience rather than striding onto the stage (see the Re-Placing Space reference).

What fascinates me about social software is how we're learning to create places with perceived affordances - features and user models - that seem natural for different purposes and intentions. I use Facebook, Traction Software's TeamPage server, and Twitter as three separate places: my neighborhood, my workplace, and the public commons I like to use." - Three Places for People

One Traction TeamPage customer matches the consulting firm / client example precisely. The firm is near the top of the list of 100 global firms in their market. They use separate TeamPage spaces for each client, but allow members of the consulting firm to work across all client spaces. Members of the firm use TeamPage's project, task, milestone or client space dashboards to focus, and can also step back to a bird's eye view across all activity that they are permitted to see, organized by Space or by Person (with activity stream, project, task and milestone tabs on each individual's Profile). See Action Tracking, Project and Case Management in TeamPage

Another Traction TeamPage customer provides services to customers worldwide, with over 5,000 employees operating in over 150 locations and 75 countries. The firm uses TeamPage to get new clients onboard; author and share client and location specific procedures; track and communicate status including response to weather conditions and other forces that require changes to planned procedures. Shared access to procedures, notifications, and changes build strong business relationships that are a competitive advantage for the firm. Tens of thousands of complicated procedures need to be constantly changed and reviewed in near real time by both the firm and clients. The shared procedures are the core operating plan for the firm and the basis for everything the client values and pays for. TeamPage dashboards, notification, action tracking and search provide simple, reliable and secure access for each client, while allowing members of the firm to maintain global awareness, diving into any project, task, or space to quickly resolve an issue or come up to speed, see Deep Search.

In summary, I believe there's no reason to settle for a collaboration and action tracking solution that only handles internal collaboration, or assumes that everything happens in a building with glass walls and no doors. Real business value and sustainable competitive advantage often depends on working easily within and across boundaries that need to be in place to do business.

Related

The Work Graph Model: TeamPage style - Working with internal and external teams

Borders, Spaces, and Places - Walks through specific examples of boundaries and boundary crossing activity

Explaining Twitter - One of Three Places for People - About the social architecture of three places: 1) a public commons (like Twitter); 2) a place for friends and family (like Facebook); 3) a place where you work (for me, Traction Software's TeamPage server).

Intertwingled Work - Working across siloed systems and boundaries set up to meet business purposes - like the consulting firm client example.

A Circle is not a Space - How Google+ circles make it possible to share individual conversations with a list of circles each individual controls (later extended to groups) versus sharing work within one or more spaces. Some distinctions are important to understand when you want to handle collaboration for a business or other purpose over an extended period of time.

June 2013 | Enterprise Collaboration & Social Software Industry Report, Redwood Capital

ImageA new Redwood Capital Group industry report released the first week of June 2013 focuses on Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software. The thirty-two page report includes Market Trends, Competitive Landscape, M&A Activity, Private Financing, Valuation Trends, and Emerging Private Companies, including Traction Software. You can download a free copy of this and related industry reports from the Redwood Capital Sector Focus page.

Download and read the full report for carefully drawn analysis and insights on Market Trends and Competitive Landscape in Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software as well as detailed summaries of relevant M&A and investment transactions for 2010-2012.

A few Market Trends and Competitive Landscape highlights:

From Overview

Image"Socialization and collaboration technologies are currently reshaping the established enterprise collaboration market as well as creating whole new categories of offerings, especially around private social platforms. In addition, many other enterprise applications such as CRM and unified communications are heavily transformed through the incorporation of new technologies including group messaging & activity feeds, document collaboration, and analytics. Much of this change is being driven by the consumerization of IT and the incorporation of social technologies. As businesses look to leverage the benefits of improved “connecting” and “network building” that employees have experienced with Facebook and other social solutions, a convergence is occurring between the enterprise social software and collaboration markets..."

"It is important to think of socialization and collaboration, not just as point solutions, but rather as activities that encompass a wide range of functionalities that can be incorporated into many enterprise applications. Further, we think the idea of “social networking” for the enterprise has given people the impression that these applications are simply chatty online versions of the proverbial water cooler. In fact, many tasks and projects that must be completed in a business context require connecting and collaborating with other works both inside and outside the enterprise. The concept of “social software” in this regard is really around providing a software platform that helps coordinate these connections around a work activity (such as processing a customer complaint or processing a claim or new account, which requires both connecting with other works as well as completing certain documentation. As a result, private social platforms simply provide a useful means for workers to comment, share, collaborate and follow the flow or completion of a project or task."

"Later is this document, we discuss the differences between people-centric platforms vs document centric platforms. While some platforms may truly be document centric (such as an online whiteboarding platform) or people centric (such as a CRM related application), we suspect that over time, many platforms will integrate the concept of both the social as well as the document management side to provide solutions that significantly improve the efficiencies with which workers can perform their daily activities."

From Market Growth

"While the enterprise social and collaboration software sector is experiencing substantial growth, as with any new, emerging area, trying to get an accurate estimate of the market size or potential, is challenging. A recent report by IDC estimated that “enterprise social networks and collaboration” will grow from $800 million to $4.5 billion by 2016. While this certainly implies robust growth, we believe there are a number of relevant categories the IDC study did not include, such as project management software and certain vertical-oriented solutions, which only make the opportunity that much larger. Project management and vertical solutions are particularly important sectors as we expect players focusing on specific industry verticals or functional areas to offer highly compelling ROI propositions to CIOs and thus remain competitive against the larger, horizontal platforms offered by established enterprise software vendors."

from Competitive Landscape

"Since the offerings from players in the enterprise social and collaboration sectors include a wide range of differing features, it can be difficult to compare the competitors and their platforms and even determine the categories in which they really compete. Further, the terms “collaboration” and “social software” are used with widely different meanings, each often with the intent of including the other. However, socialization and collaboration are different, and while being closely related, involve different functionalities. In order to help break down the space, we find it useful to look at the core focus of an application. In general, most solutions fall into two core areas of focus: document-centric or people-centric."

Document Centric

"Document-centric offerings are based on collaboration, content or data sharing, or presenting content (documents, files, presentations). Players in this area often fall into categories traditionally thought of as “collaboration”..."

Key Document-centric subcategories: Group Collaboration Workspaces, Project Management Systems, Electronic Calendar and Time Management; Online Proofing & Editing; Mind-mapping and Diagramming; Conferencing. [see report for subcategory descriptions]

People Centric

"People-centric solutions are focused on human interactions and are designed to make these interactions more productive. While people- centric offerings may include some document- centric tools, their core focus is on human interaction..."

Key People-centric subcategories: Private Social Platforms; Social Task Management; Social CRM; Peer Review & Ideation; Other Social Tools [see report for subcategory descriptions]

On Social Task Management: "Social task management, while similar to document-centric project management solutions, is a people-centric distinction. Many private social platforms are essentially focused on task management so this category is also perhaps just a slight narrowing of the broader private social platform concept discussed in the point above. While many of the tasks workers perform focus on a document, email or form, much of this work is often done in collaboration with others. As collaboration and private social platforms integrate these two aspects, many project or task management systems become as much people-centric as document-centric."

For more information, please contact the author:

Russell Crafton, Partner
rcrafton@redcapgroup
Redwood Capital
885 Third Avenue, 25th Floor
New York, NY 10022
redcapgroup.com

Related

May 2013 | Getting Work Done with Social Task Management

May 2013 | TeamPage listed as key product in Technavio's Global Enterprise Social Networking Market Report

7 May 2013 | Real Story Group's Updated Traction TeamPage Evaluation in Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software Report

7 Oct 2011 | Jacob Morgan - Emergent Collaboration Vendor Review: Traction Software

Blog1883: Laser focused E2.0, without the risk? Get Traction!

18-19 Jun 2013 | Traction Software E2 Boston 2013 Social and Collaboration Track Sponsor

ImageTraction Software is happy to be a Social and Collaboration Track sponsor at this year's E2 Boston Conference. Please visit Traction Software at Demo Pavilion 38 to see how customers build better products and work better together using Traction TeamPage. Traction Software is a leader in social task management and a consistent innovator in delivering business value to demanding customers around the world. Learn how John Hagel of Deloitte documented and analyzed a TeamPage customer's 61% reduction in time required for compliance activity using TeamPage.

ImageWhen you visit the Demo Pavilion you can also get a free copy of Jacob Morgan's excellent book: The Collaborative Organization: A Strategic Guide to Solving Your Internal Business Challenges Using Emerging Social and Collaborative Tools, see Greg's Amazon review. We'll give away twenty-four copies to people who: 1) Ask for a free copy of Collaborative Organization by Tweeting a request to @TractionTeam before Monday 17 June, and 2) Show up in person and claim your book, first come, first served.

E2 Boston conference is at the Boston Marriott Copley Place in downtown Boston, 17-19 June 2013. Register with priority code CMTRACTION and be our guest for a free Keynote and Expo Pass or save $200 on full registration. The Keynote and Expo Pass entitles you to attend keynote and free sessions, visit the Demo pavilion including the 5:30 to 6:30PM cocktail reception Tuesday and Wednesday. Hope to see you there!

For Traction E2 Boston updates, follow @TractionTeam on Twitter. To pre-schedule a meeting with Jordan Frank or Greg Lloyd at E2 Boston, please email e2boston@tractionsoftware.com, use Traction's contact form, or shout out to @TractionTeam on Twitter.

See www.e2conf.com/boston for event details and registration.

May 2013 | TeamPage listed as key product in Technavio's Global Enterprise Social Networking Market Report

ImageTraction Software Inc (along with its Traction TeamPage product) has been recognized as a key player in TechNavio's upcoming report on the Global Enterprise Social Networking market 2012-2016. TechNavio analysts forecast "the Global Enterprise Social Networking Software market to grow at a CAGR of 51.94 percent over the period 2012-2016." They continue: "one of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increased requirement of intranet interactivity among multiple teams in an organization. The market has also been witnessing an increased use of mobile enterprise social networking for sales activities. However, the risk of confidential information leakage could pose a challenge to the growth of this market."

This requirement for intranet interactivity and confidentiality led Traction Software to offer TeamPage in in both cloud hosted and easily deployed on-premise forms. For the intranet use case, the need for information security led Traction Software to introduce a moderation capability with TeamPage 4.0. The trend toward increased teamwork was a driver for TeamPage's deeply integrated action tracking and project management starting with TeamPage 5.1, extended to task, tag, discuss and share information stored in external line of business systems as well as the public web and private intranets.

To learn more about the Technavio report, please visit Global Enterprise Social Networking market 2012-2016. The PDF will be available in June.

May 2013 | Getting Work Done with Social Task Management

ImageAlan Lepofsky @alanlepo of Constellation Research coined Social Task Management last summer to describe a trend he saw in December 2011 as task management started to enter Enterprise 2.0 systems. Lepofsky's presentation at E2.0 Boston 2012 highlighted Traction TeamPage as a social business platform with a native (versus integrated) task management (slide 34). Luis Suarez @elsua does a fantastic job of summarizing key points in Social Task Management - When Social Business Got Down to Work. Later in the year (October 2012), Constellation Research published Lepofsky's research as Getting Work Done with Social Task Management. The research speaks to problems with traditional standalone task management systems which create top down choke points, lose context, limit collaboration and create information silos. Lepofsky argues that collaboration is at the core of social task management while describing the many benefits.

You can learn more about how Tasks work within the social and collaborative fabric of TeamPage in Action Tracking and Social Software: Meet Project Management (a post on Traction Software's initial project management capabilities released with TeamPage 5.1 in November 2010). The TeamPage Project Mastery Video is also a terrific introduction to TeamPage's social task management model. See also Greg Lloyd's The Future of Work Platforms: Like Jazz from February 2011.

7 May 2013 | Real Story Group's Updated Traction TeamPage Evaluation in Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software Report

ImageThe Real Story Group's Kashyap Kompella @kashyapkompella posted an update describing RSG's new version of their Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software Evaluations research covering twenty-five key software vendors. The new version includes a major update for the Traction TeamPage section, including TeamPage project management, action tracking, TeamPage's ability to span and connect systems of record, and the ability to embed TeamPage discussions in other Web applications.

Kompella remarks that TeamPage is unique in that it's "best thought of as a platform to build custom collaboration applications around interconnected pieces of information." Check out Kompella's blog post, and follow the links to get the full report.

Our experience with customers reinforces the Real Story Group analysis of broad TeamPage scenario fits and strengths, including the ability to configure TeamPage to match the needs of specific business use case and organizations. TeamPage's architecture and Traction Software's experience make it simple to configure TeamPage in days - not weeks or months - and easily extend TeamPage as desired.

See also Jordan Frank's Laser focused E2.0, without the risk? Get Traction! blog post on Real Story Group's E20 Marketplace Analysis.

1 March 2013 | Traction Software Named to KMWorld's 100 Companies that Matter in Knowledge Management

ImageFor the ninth consecutive year, KMWorld recognized Traction Software by naming the company to their annual KMWorld 100 Companies that Matter in Knowledge Management. KMWorld’s list is compiled by KM practitioners, theorists, analysts, vendors, their customers and colleagues. This is the 13th year of the list. "Criteria for inclusion varies, but all companies have things in common. Each has either helped to create a market, redefine one or enhance one, and they all share two things—the velocity of innovation and the agility to serve their customers" says Hugh McKellar, KMWorld Editor-in-Chief.

Greg Lloyd, Traction Software President and co-founder said: "We're honored that KMWorld consistently ranks Traction Software as a company that matters in Knowledge Management. Traction Software employees work closely with customers to build a stronger and more useful TeamPage platform." Lloyd continued, "Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter 2012 TeamPage releases introduced many user interface, performance, and Developer SDK additions and improvements to make it easier for customers to get work done. I thank Traction Software's employees and customers for earning this recognition." See the 2013 KMWorld 100 list.

TeamPage 2012 highlights include:

  • Unified search to make lookup of spaces, people, projects and tasks quicker and easier;
  • Type-ahead completion for navigation, with optional index based type-ahead suggestions for content search; uniform work in progress autosave and finish later actions to avoid accidental loss of work;
  • Invitations to make it simple for members of a space to add new people to a TeamPage space by sending them an email invitation;
  • An inline widget to collect and summarize selected tags, dates, and other standard or custom properties from all types of TeamPage content, making it easy to create dynamic tables for task summaries and other uses;
  • New calendar event support to manage meetings and other dated activities along with project, task, and milestone dates;
  • Drag-and-drop editing of TeamPage calendar events;
  • Improved synchronization and notification for TeamPage and external calendar items;
  • Improved email digest, print, RSS, and Atom view styling, detail and context cues; improved Active Directory integration and caching;
  • Streamlined navigation header, dashboard, calendar and document tab interfaces;
  • JMX-based metering of TeamPage server state;
  • Improved iPad, iPhone and Android support;
  • Performance improvements;
  • Twitter style status that can focus on a selected project, milestone or task, as well as birds eye summaries organized by space or person.

25 Oct 2012 | ZDNET Japan on the TeamPage Cloud

ImageA column in ZDNet Japan covered the release by Applied Knowledge Co, Ltd, Yokohama of the TeamPage Cloud in Japan. They wrote "The greatest advantage of TeamPage is that it provides the virtual space to aggregate any information concerning the business and progress in the work space." The column discusses how companies in Japan can take advantage of collaboration tools like TeamPage to produce business value. Japanese companies can get started with Cloud and Download options as of the first of October 2012.

1 Oct 2012 | Applied Knowledge Company Ltd Brings Cloud-hosted TeamPage to Japan

ImageTraction Software partner Applied Knowledge Co, Ltd of Yokohama Japan today announced availability of cloud hosted TeamPage for the Japanese market. AKJ President Masayuki Kojima said: "TeamPage provides a new communication infrastructure for projects and multi-team organizations within your company - now available as a cloud service." TeamPage cloud pricing starts at 7,908 yen per month for ten spaces and twenty-five named accounts, see www.TractionSoftware.jp for price, ordering, and product details. TeamPage cloud options include Attivio Advanced Search and Social Enterprise Web. Traction Software offers cloud hosted TeamPage to customers outside the Japanese market, see TeamPage Pricing and Licenses.

Image
www.TractionSoftware.jp

English translation of AKJ Press Release (by Google Translate)

See also Applied Knowledge Co Ltd - Bringing Traction TeamPage 5.1 to Japan

1 Sept 2012 | KMWorld names TeamPage A Trend-Setting Product of 2012

ImageKMWorld recognized Traction Software's TeamPage as a 2012 Trend-Setting Product of 2012, citing TeamPage for "action tracking, Twitter-style status, threaded discussion, collaboration, social networking and deep search." KMWorld editor Hugh McKellar writes: "This year more than 700 products/product families were whittled down to the 89 listed in these pages. Each company whose products are listed below helped to define and enhance a market critically important to our readership by listening to and working with customers. They all represent a commitment to innovation and their customers." Traction Software is honored that KMWorld has selected TeamPage as a Trend-Setting Product for the fifth consecutive year. » Read KMWorld Trend-Setting Products of 2012

15-17 Jul 2012 | SLA 2012 Annual Conference and INFO-EXPO

ImageTraction Software's Jordan Frank will be speaking on Pharma Competitive Intelligence at this year's SLA 2012 Annual Conference in Chicago, Noon 16 July (see session summary below - and slides in Monitoring and Leveraging Social Media Chatter, on the Internet and in the Enterprise). You can also meet Jordan at the SLA 2012 McCormick Place INFO-EXPO Booth #4, Sunday through Tuesday. Follow @TractionTeam and @JordanFrank on Twitter, conference code #SLAChicago!

Pharma Chatter: Capturing and Managing Non-traditional Information for Competitive Advantage

Learn about the unique nature of competitive intelligence in the pharmaceuticals industry and hear how info pros are using it to improve their organizations' competitive advantage. Learn how insights from a variety of sources can help you to deliver value to your organization.

MODERATING:
Craig McHenry, Pfizer Inc.

SPEAKING:
Lisa Orgren, Septagon Research Group
Heather Bjella, Esq., Aurora WDC
Jordan Frank, Traction Software
Monday July 16, 2012 12:00pm - 1:30pm @ Convention Center, Room E264

The Collaborative Organization - Free signed copy, Traction Software Booth 418 E2.0 Boston 2012

June 13, 2012 · · Posted by grl

ImageI've read an advance copy of Jacob Morgan's upcoming book, The Collaborative Organization: A Strategic Guide to Solving Your Internal Business Challenges Using Emerging Social and Collaborative Tools. I'm very happy that we decided to give Enterprise 2.0 Boston folk a chance to meet Jacob and get their own free, signed copy at Traction Software Booth 418 next week. Jacob says: "The purpose of this book is to act as a guide for executives, decision makers, and those involved with collaborative initiatives at their organizations". I believe he hits the mark with a book of lasting value, as do reviewers including Vivek Kundra, former Chief Information Officer of the United States; Erik Brynjolf, MIT Center for Digital Business Director, and others.

Jacob organizes his book into three parts: The Opening, The Middle Game, and The End Game. The Opening chapters talk to people in organizations who are just getting started with their initiatives. It covers business drivers, case studies, evaluating risk, and getting the right people involved. The Middle Game chapters cover topics including defining goals to match your business, developing a strategy, vendor evaluation, dealing with resistance, rolling out a platform, and developing governance. The End Game chapters talk about strategies for sustaining and maintaining these initiatives in the long term, including a bonus chapter on Enterprise 2.0 with Andrew McAfee.

Jacob's book is based on his own analysis and research, including interviews, case studies and survey responses from 234 individuals around the world, working for companies ranging from 1,000 to over 100,000 employees, with responsibilities ranging from mid-level to C-level executives. The Collaborative Organization is vendor neutral, involving actual practitioners who are implementing collaborative tools and strategies for their organizations - not vendors or consultants.

Each chapter includes analysis, examples and a well-written Summary and Action items section, with actionable advice that you'll turn to often. Chapters include case studies, examples and results drawn from practitioner experience, not hand-wavy fluff.

It's a handbook you'll have on your desk for the next few years. I particularly like:

  • Chapter 2 - The First Step to Recovery is Admitting You have a Problem on business drivers and problems (20 pages)
  • Chapter 7 - The Adaptive Emergent Collaboration Framework practical advice on choosing and adapting approaches to match your business goals and culture (27 pages)
  • Chapter 8 - Resistance is Futile on barriers to success (13 pages)
  • Chapter 12 - Measures of Success, practical advice on measuring soft benefits, hard benefits, and defining business value (19 pages)

Traction Software is the only source for full hardbound copies before the book's official ship date in July 2012! Show up in person at Traction Software's booth 418 during E20 Boston 2012 Showcase Exhibit hours. Follow @TractionTeam on Twitter for times when Jacob will be available for signing and to talk with him about business challenges using emerging social and collaborative tools.

Free copies are limited. I'll post rules for an online Enterprise 2.0 Twitter quiz you can use to put yourself first in line for a copy. You must show up in person to claim a book, but the Twitter quiz should be fun too!

Update: See E2.0 Boston 2012 Twitter Pop-Quiz for rules and quiz highlights.

Update: Thanks to the @e2conf staff and everyone who dropped by booth 418 to talk, and pick up a free copy of Jacob's book. After you read it, please post a review on Amazon to let others know what you think. Here's my Amazon review.

Also, after visiting us at Booth 418, don’t miss Robert Morison (@rfmorison), author of Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, Better Results at Talent Analytics Booth 232.

See 19-20 Jun 2012 | Traction Software Enterprise 2.0 Boston

The Future of Work Platforms: Like Jazz

Extending the fabric of work, or How to Be Emergent

NHS Part 3: NHS Orkney Board gets TeamPage and £28,000 Annual ROI

ImageThe Board of Directors at National Health Service's Orkney hospital use TeamPage and iPads to eliminate paper at board meetings. The move saves £28,000 per year in printing and related costs, and was covered by both The Guardian and BBC News. This use case follows a history of NHS Orkney innovation with TeamPage. They first used the platform to address a failing grade in a communications audit (See National Health Service Orkney (NHS Orkney) and expanded its reach to integrate their legacy directory with TeamPage profiles (see NHS integrates Intranet 1.0 with Enterprise 2.0 to get Social with TeamPage 4.0).

The National Health Service in the UK is one of the world's largest employers. TeamPage is deployed at several locations, including the Orkney hospital where it was deployed in response to a communications audit that came out poorly. It solved the communication problem at the time by allowing operational and clinical users to post communication and key resources such as policy documents and pages. It also allowed individuals to share "classifieds" such as announcing they have some extra concert tickets - these announcements formerly were sent to the whole organization. So, the platform satisfied critical communication and knowledge sharing, while also covering the incidental communications that were important for employees, but otherwise created a lot of noise in email traffic.

Until recently, Orkney printed significant amounts of paper for their Board of Directors before each board meeting. The process was expensive to the tune of £28,000 for printing and associated costs.

They moved to a "paper-light" process by moving the documents to a PDF format and sharing via a TeamPage space. The purchase of iPads made it easy for the board members to sync the documents, carry them around, and access them throughout a Board meeting without worry about battery life.

The Guardian quotes Chairman Scott as indicating: A 'spend to save' initiative was put into play using capital resources to purchase iPads and we removed printers from desks, cleared out our stores of printing material and instilled in board members the need for them to use technology and reject paper use."

Having seen success right off the bat, Chairman Scott talked about his intention to expand their digital efforts in an interview with BBC News: "In my view we need now to spread the initiative down through the organization." He added he believed NHS Orkney was the first public body in Scotland to follow such a "paper light" approach.

At A Web That Works - Social Tools and Programming at NHS, David Rendall expands on these stories with specifics on why iPads were chosen, where TeamPage plays a role, and other aspects of their network that come together to deliver this solution.

19-20 Jun 2012 | Traction Software Enterprise 2.0 Boston

ImageTraction TeamPage makes it easy for people to communicate, work together, and stay on top of what's happening anywhere in their business, including line of business systems and the public Web. Learn more about TeamPage, now with new Cloud pricing options. The first 30 days are free and you can start with a monthly plan at less than $2.50 per user per month for 25 user accounts. Traction Software will be at Enterprise 2.0 Boston Booth #418 on 19-20 June. Line up early for a free, signed pre-release copy of Jacob Morgan's new book, The Collaborative Organization.

Image The Collaborative Organization: A Strategic Guide to Solving Your Internal Business Challenges Using Emerging Social and Collaborative Tools by Jacob Morgan, McGraw Hill, 304 pages, hardback. Meet Jacob at booth 418 Tuesday or Wednesday during Expo hours, and get a free autographed copy, courtesy of Traction Software. Quantities are limited, so follow @TractionTeam on Twitter to get book signing times, and line up early! There may be a test!

Vivek Kundra, Former Chief Information Officer of the USA. "In today's global economy, collaboration is key to building a connected, engaged, and sustainable organization. Jacob's book guides leaders on how to develop strategies to build this type of 'Collaborative Organization.'"

Erik Brynjolfsson Director of MIT Center for Digital Business and co-author, Race Against the Machine and Wired for Innovation of Chair of the MIT Sloan Management Review “Most business leaders understand how critical collaborative tools are to the success of their companies. What they need now is a guide, based on hard data and practical experiences, that shows how to put those tools to work. Jacob Morgan fills that need with this book.

For Traction E2.0 Boston updates, follow @TractionTeam on Twitter. To pre-schedule a meeting with Jordan Frank or Greg Lloyd at E2.0 Boston, please email e20boston@tractionsoftware.com, use Traction's contact form or shout out to @TractionTeam on Twitter.

This year's E2.0 Boston conference is at the Hynes Convention Center in downtown Boston, 18-21 June 2012. See Traction Software at Expo Pavilion Booth #418 from 11:15AM through 5:30PM on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 June 2011. Register with priority code E2BOSTON and be our guest for a free Expo Pass or save $500 on full registration. The Expo Pass entitles you to attend keynote and free sessions, visit the Expo pavilion, and attend cocktail reception 4:00 to 6:00PM Tuesday and Wednesday. Hope to see you there!

See e2conf.com/boston for event details and registration.

See also Why we're here. TeamPage at Enterprise 2.0 Boston 2012

The Collaborative Organization - Free signed copy, Traction Software Booth 418 E2.0 Boston 2012

Laser focused E2.0, without the risk? Get Traction!

May 10, 2012 · · Posted by jfrank

I really like how Kashya Kompella from the Real Story Group offered a great dose of context for his E2.0 Marketplace Analysis Q2 2012: "Slightly modifying what the ancient Greeks said, you cannot dip your finger twice in the same (activity) stream." Simply said, there is not a lot of room for risk when an enterprise makes an attempt at an E2.0 effort, whether they are trying to build knowledge in a wiki, approach project management from a perspective managers actually like, or wrap up the whole effort with blogs, discussion, and a social networking layer on top.

In his 4D chart below, Kompella grades market players based on vendor business and product risk. Unlike most quadrant analyses, this is a case where being high upper right is not good.

Image

By way of example, perhaps he grades Newsgator as low vendor and high product risk because they've been around a long time (vendor stability) but their product focus has changed entirely three times (from RSS client to RSS Server to Social layer on SharePoint).

The Vendor and Product risk appears general as the color of the circle also demonstrates an area of risk based on the vendor's focus on the E2.0 market. Oracle is the lowest rated on product risk, but they are colored white to indicate a very low focus on E2.0. So, perhaps Oracle is a good choice for your next database, but don't hold your breath if you are counting on them for your E2.0 platform.

Traction Software and our product Traction TeamPage show up low and to the left (low product and vendor risk) in a cluster with Microsoft and Oracle. However, we also show a Black circle (compared to White for Oracle and Purple for Microsoft) demonstrating laser focus on the Enterprise 2.0 market - as has been our focus since our founding and long track record.

Of course, none of this matters if the platform isn't any good. This chart doesn't say much about the product itself except for its focus and the rate at which its being overhauled, which can be a sign of innovation (good) but it also may warn of a sloppy underlying platform or poor vision as new capabilities are added. Traction TeamPage was built from the start as a journaling and editing system - which laid ground for every E2.0 "feature phase" starting with Blogs and then leading to Wiki, MicroBlogging, Discussion, Social Bookmarking, RSS, Project Management and User Profiles / Social Networking.

To gauge quality, there are ample analysts who've weighed in on that matter, showing TeamPage has a stable platform upon which we've been able to innovate successfully over the last decade. Here are a few recent indicators:

  • Forbes.com contributor Haydn Shaughnessey says: "Traction, for my money, is the best conceived collaboration suite for companies that have a technical development requirement." He cites Traction Software as an example of a business that successfully competes with large companies like IBM by retaining: "... close attention to client needs, a personal desire to explore changes in the work environment, and a desire to see those reflected in the platform."
  • The 9th Annual MIT Sloan CIO Symposium has announced Traction Software as one of ten finalists for the 2012 Innovation Showcase as its Traction TeamPage product represents a cutting edge B2B solution that combines the strong value and innovation to enterprise IT.
  • CTOLabs adds Traction Software to its companies of note list, "firms we believe enterprise technologists should track":
  • Jacob Morgan from Chess Media Group says: I’ve seen the Traction product a few times now I have to say that I really like it and not just for small and medium size businesses. Traction offers an amazing search integration feature which many large vendors can’t even come close to replicating."

So, if you want a platform that rocks and remains cutting edge in the E2.0 marketplace, all without introducing vendor and product risk, Get Traction! And do it risk free as we just introduced new hosting options and the opportunity to try it free for 30 days, then pay monthly. Check it out.

23 Apr 2012 | Traction Software Named Finalist for MIT Sloan CIO Symposium 2012 Innovation Showcase

ImageCambridge, MA – April 23, 2012 – The 9th Annual MIT Sloan CIO Symposium has announced Traction Software as one of ten finalists for the 2012 Innovation Showcase as its Traction TeamPage product represents a cutting edge B2B solution that combines the strong value and innovation to enterprise IT. Traction Software will receive key exposure to many of the world’s most creative and influential IT executives at the Symposium on May 22, 2012.

"Traction Software is honored to be selected as a finalist. CIO's should want to unlock actionable value hidden in their expensive line of business applications and scattered file system, SharePoint, or other servers," said Greg Lloyd, Traction Software President and co-founder. "Traction TeamPage's capability to search, navigate, tag, task, discuss and share live data in business applications or the public Web makes collaboration at work strikingly simple and effective: it works like the Web."

Traction TeamPage makes it easy for people to communicate, work together, and stay on top of what's happening anywhere in their company, connecting people, business applications, and the Web.

“We are very impressed with these top ten Innovation Showcase finalists, as their technologies demonstrate incredible state of the art thinking to today and tomorrow’s challenges,” said David L. Verrill, Executive Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business, and the Co-chair of the Innovation Showcase. “The Innovation Showcase provides a terrific one-of-a-kind opportunity for these start ups to gain a larger visibility in front of IT executives, key stakeholders, and venture capitalists.

For a full list of Innovation Showcase finalists visit the Innovation Showcase Overview.

The Innovation Showcase will take place at 6:20pm in the Kresge courtyard tent on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at MIT, in Cambridge, MA. The full agenda of the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium is available at the Agenda page.

About the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium
The MIT Sloan CIO Symposium is the premier global event for CIOs and senior IT executives to become better business leaders. In one day, CIOs and senior IT executives receive actionable information that enables them to meet the challenges of today’s changing global economy. The annual event offers a day of interactive learning and thought-provoking discourse on the future of technology, best practices, and business that is not available anywhere else. The MIT Sloan CIO Symposium is organized and developed by a team from the MIT Sloan Alumni Club of Boston, the MIT Center for Digital Business and the Boston Chapter of the Society for Information Management. Visit mitcio.com for more information and registration.

To stay connected to the community developing around the Symposium, please join The Global CIO & Executive IT Group (An MIT Sloan CIO Group), which can be found on Linkedin.com. Follow Symposium updates on Twitter: @mitciosymposium.

7 March 2012 | Forbes - Social Business Is A More Moral Form of Business: Discuss

ImageForbes.com contributor Haydn Shaughnessey says: "Traction, for my money, is the best conceived collaboration suite for company’s that have a technical development requirement." He cites Traction Software as an example of a business that successfully competes with large companies like IBM by retaining: "... close attention to client needs, a personal desire to explore changes in the work environment, and a desire to see those reflected in the platform." Thank you! Shaughnessy is co-author of a new ebook, The Elastic Enterprise an account of how some stellar companies are reinventing business. » Read the article.

1 March 2012 | Traction Software Named to KMWorld's 100 Companies that Matter in Knowledge Management

ImageFor the eighth consecutive year, KMWorld recognized Traction Software by naming the company to their KMWorld 100 Companies that Matter in Knowledge Management. The list is compiled by a team of judges including KMWorld editors, analysts, system integrators, theorists, practitioners and a few select users. "We're honored that KMWorld continues to rank Traction Software as a company that matters in Knowledge Management," said Greg Lloyd, Traction Software President and co-founder, "In 2011 Traction Software released TeamPage 5.2 introducing capabilities make live content in external documents, public or intranet Web pages, and even database records social objects seamlessly integrated with Traction TeamPage's action tracking, search, collaboration and communication. I thank Traction Software's employees and customers for earning this recognition, as well as KMWorld for awarding it." » See the 2012 KMWorld 100 list

8 Feb 2012 | CTOLabs - Traction Software: Connected Work

ImageCTOLabs adds Traction Software to its companies of note list, "firms we believe enterprise technologists should track": The future of work: 
collaboration, conversation, identity, work product, action tracking and activity streams in context, coupled by permission-aware deep search, spanning systems of record and transactional business systems. Traction TeamPage connects people, actions, what you create or find in TeamPage, the public Web, your company’s intranet and your line of business systems, simply and securely. » Read the full quote

11 Jan 2012 | Forbes - In Social Business, How to Prioritise a Successful Outcome

ImageForbes.com contributor Hayden Shaughnessy writes: "By moving social media practices into the enterprise we will change the way senior managers communicate, the way employees communicate with customers, and possibly people’s experience of work." He asked three platform vendors, including Traction Software President and co-founder Greg Lloyd, to respond to three questions on how a company can make social a success, starting from Day 1 requirements, benefits to the employee and enterprise outcomes . Greg's advice includes: "“Social” use can informally open up a timeline of activity to make it easier for people working on the same activity – including people who may be from different parts of the organization or even customers, partners, suppliers. Jon Udell and Jim McGee call this “Observable Work” (on a personal basis “narrating your work” hits many of the same points). It’s very easy to do, and generally well accepted – people learn by example." » Read the article

See related Enterprise 2.0 and Observable Work
The Future of Work Platforms: Like Jazz
Borlaug Global Rust Initiative Wins 2010 Forrester Groundswell Social Impact Award
and TeamPage Connected Work

21 Dec 2011 | エンタープライズソーシャル+サーチで「知識管理」の課題解決

ImageITPro Active has published a white paper by Traction Software Partner Applied Knowledge Co, Ltd on Social Enterprise Knowledge Management and Search. A Google English translation of the article begins: "Knowledge management is an eternal challenge for companies. Traditional knowledge management approaches are not quite accumulated knowledge and fresh content to help you develop your business even if the substrate is stressed not utilize excessive accumulation have also been organized, and there is a problem."

"As a solution to these challenges is to leverage the structure of social networks like Facebook and blogs, and enhanced security and access privileges for enterprises, "enterprise social computing" is effective to introduce. Furthermore, this "search" By fusing a vast company that distributed the "knowledge" that enables integration of information."

See Google's English translation of the ITPro article and register to download the white paper (in Japanese).

7 Dec 2011 | Tech Expert Offers Advice to British Company That Plans to Ban E-mail for 80,000 Workers

ImagePRNewswire Dec 7, 2011: Leading unified information access company, Attivio, suggests alternate approach to all-out ban. "Visionary companies must find ways to change the way e-mail is used; not banish it," commented Sid Probstein, Chief Technical Officer at Attivio in response to widely reported news that a 'zero email' policy is underway at one of the world's largest IT companies. Thierry Breton, CEO of British-based Atos, wants to phase out e-mails over the next 18 months.

Probstein offers prescriptive guidance for businesses facing similar challenges. "Workers are drowning in information overload, so Mr. Breton's reaction to the effectiveness and value of e-mail is natural and visceral; but reverting to phone calls and verbal conversations for most internal correspondence is not the answer. The reality is that businesses need to enable efficient collaboration amongst their workers, and they need to preserve and provide access to historical information. Otherwise, they are perpetually re-inventing the wheel each time similar issues arise." ...

Organizations can dramatically reduce e-mail volume by using it where it makes sense, by deploying Traction TeamPage and other advanced Enterprise 2.0 collaboration tools for specific tasks like project management, discussion groups and exception handling. The federal government, for example, has taken this path to reduce e-mail volume. A recent Department of Defense study reported a 50% reduction in time spent on electronic communications management after implementing Traction in a technology testing program.

"The key to effectively managing e-mail is to retain the right information and enable users to control it as they do any other important corporate resource," explains Probstein. He provides tips for end-users to create value from e-mail:

  • Link internal correspondence that relates to external communications from customers and partners;
  • Use a Unified information access strategy to identify relevant, messages;
  • Secure and index e-mails with other important files, E 2.0 collaboration tools, intranet pages, and content from CMS or competitors' websites;
  • Discover e-mail through the normal process of search, running reports, or monitoring dashboards.

Good advice Sid! Read the full Press Release

See also Extending the fabric of work, or How to Be Emergent
Email isn't dead - It's only sleeping

15-16 Nov 2011 | Traction Software Enterprise 2.0 Santa Clara

ImageTraction Software's Greg Lloyd and Jordan Frank will be at Enterprise 2.0 Santa Clara Booth #208 15-16 Nov 2011. We hope to see you there! Traction Software will announce pricing and general availability of new Social Enterprise Web and Attivio Plus options, see Jacob Morgan's Chess Media Group review and Traction Software on Connected Work.

TeamPage's Social Enterprise Web option gives you freedom to add a Task tag, comment or share pages you find on the public Web or your company's intranet. You can add a badge or TeamPage comment widget with one line of Javascript. Or share, task, tag and comment on any Web page using TeamPage's free Web browser extension for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome.

TeamPage’s Attivio Plus option fuses TeamPage and External Systems of Record to work like the Web

TeamPage integrates search and discussion. Tag, task, and share content stored in SharePoint, email in Exchange, Documentum, File servers, SQL Databases, the public Web, private intranets, and other sources.

Don't miss Greg Lloyd on Tony Byrne's panel Marketplace Choices: Platform vs Products panel, Tuesday 15 Nov 2:30-3:30pm. Greg will join Oracle, Moxie Software, and Microsoft representatives in a lively discussion. Be our guest and Register with priority code CPHFES22 for a free Expo Pass, or save $500 on full conference registration. See us at the conference, or follow @TractionTeam on Twitter for TeamPage news you won't want to miss! To schedule a meeting with Jordan or Greg at E2.0 Santa Clara, please email e20santaclara@tractionsoftware.com, use Traction Software's contact form, or shout out to @TractionTeam on Twitter.

Conference Details This year's Enterprise 2.0 Santa Clara conference is at the Santa Clara Convention Center, 14-17 Nov 2011. Traction Software will be at Expo Pavilion Booth #208 from noon through 6:00 PM Tuesday and Wednesday. Register with priority code CPHFES22 for a free Expo Pass or save $500 on full registration. The Expo Pass entitles you to attend keynote and free sessions, visit the Expo pavilion, and free cocktail receptions from 4:00 to 6:00PM Tuesday and Wednesday. See you there!

29 Oct 2011 | KMWorld - Rich options expand the collaborative horizon

ImageWriting in KMWorld Magazine Judith Lamont quotes Forrester Analyst Rob Koplowitz: "Many companies are placing a big bet on collaboration to support their business activities. In particular, the workplace is moving toward one in which many business applications are integrated through collaboration and exposed through the social layer." Lamont chooses Teampage customer the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) as her first example. BGRI is an international research project funded by the Gates Foundation and others to organize and conduct research aimed at stopping the spread of crop disease that threatens a third of the world's wheat supply. "The organization selected TeamPage from Traction Software as the collaboration solution and the Attivio Active Intelligence Engine (AIE) to aggregate the many types of content on the website. TeamPage includes wiki, blog and social networking capabilities. "We chose TeamPage because it could be deployed very quickly and was simple to use," says John Bakum, webmaster for the site, which is hosted by Cornell. The site was up and running in just a few weeks, and has grown rapidly over the past several years."

One of the first steps taken was to provide the community with information that had been scarce or expensive. "We arranged with the publisher of the Wheat Rust Atlas to put a PDF version of the book on our site," Bakum says. "The book was out of print but was a valuable resource, and now it's available to all the researchers."

The website helps expedite the administrative aspects of conducting research. Forms to request screening for wheat rust or dispatching seeds that may be resistant to the disease are available on the website, for example. "If a lab in Canada has a variety of wheat that may be resistant, researchers can send it to nurseries in Ethiopia and Kenya, where it can be grown and tested. Our website acts as a central place for that data, benefiting researchers around the world," Bakum explains."

Because members upload files into collaboration workspaces via e-mail, some content arrives in the form of attachments. "Attivio searches Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets and other types of files, even if they are attachments," Bakum says. Much of the site is public, but TeamPage allows for the creation of internal spaces that are password protected, to enable private virtual meetings.

» Read the full story

See also Borlaug Global Rust Initiative
19 Nov 2010 | Borlaug Global Rust Initiative Wins 2010 Forrester Groundswell Social Impact Award

7 Oct 2011 | Jacob Morgan - Emergent Collaboration Vendor Review: Traction Software

Image"I’ve seen the Traction product a few times now I have to say that I really like it and not just for small and medium size businesses. Traction offers an amazing search integration feature which many large vendors can’t even come close to replicating." Chess Media Group Principal and author Jacob Morgan just started a weekly series of concise, consistent, and even-handed public reviews of vendors in the emergent collaboration / Enterprise 2.0 space. Traction Software is honored to chosen for the second review in Jacob's series. Jacob asks wide-ranging questions on overall direction, along with practical questions on integration, support, pricing, maintenance, time to go live, technology, focus, capabilities, customers, key differentiating factors from competition, along with Jacob's candid take.

Jacob continues: "I think their approach to using search as the backbone behind collaboration is also very unique, in fact they are the only vendor that I have spoken to which highlights search and discusses it in such an integral way. I like the focus of not having to integrate various systems together which requires duplicating and then syncing content but I also wonder how deep the search functionality can go into things such as billing and invoicing systems, service request systems, or ERP/CRM systems. The platform itself is very intuitive and easy to use, everything extraneous seems to have been removed but without compromising the UI or the functionality of the platform. I also think their pricing model is also quite attractive." » Read Jacob's full review and Greg Lloyd's comment.

See Connected Work
Related Traction Software Introduces Social Enterprise Web

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