Collaboration

In this last post in the series on Niall Cooks 4Cs of Enterprise 2.0 we look at ‘Collaboration’. Software platforms in this category are high in formality and high in interaction, with the key technology in here for enterprises being the wiki in my opinion (the other technology being human-based computation). The best-known deployment of a wiki is Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that is created and maintained by those with a specific interest in one or more sections. This allows for rapid content creation but can also lead to inaccurate or biased information being posted. This is due to the structure Wikipedia employ as opposed to the technology under-pinning it though, as there is no single ‘gate-keeper’ of authenticity.

Niall details in his book the differences between cooperation and collaboration as they are often used in the same sense and interchangeably:

For the enterprise, wikis offer the ability to quickly create and update information stores pertinent to a long term project or objective. This may be as an online helpdesk, where users can see the solutions to issues and contribute to these solutions as they encounter them. Another common function is to create the organisational policies and procedures in a wiki format to allow quick updating as the needs of the business change or as new disruptive technologies are implemented. For those that worry about control over these documents, relax; a lot of enterprise wiki software platforms allow for change approval processes before changes are accepted.

Nokia Lumia 800 review

Thanks to Gen-i and The Leading Edge I have taken receipt of a brand new Nokia Lumia 800 handset. As a Microsoft house, I am keen to see the senior team use Windows mobiles instead of the Android ones but up until now there hasnt really been anything of quality to use. The Lumia 800 promises to work well with Sharepoint so I am giving it a test drive.

Unpacking was nice, instead of the usual lift off boxtop we pull the innards out, revealing the handset. Drilling through the packaging we get the users manual, a rubberised protective case and then to the lower level with headset, USB cable and wall charger. I like the idea of a round charger, fits MUCH better into a power board, unlike pretty much every other charger that seems intent on taking up at least 2 sockets. Searched for a battery, before realising it is already in the handset and has a partial charge. In the had, the handset feels nice, curved edges and a weight that says ‘I am here’ but not too much that suggests its a brick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The setup of the handset was quick and painless. Sign in with a Windows Live account and a Nokia account and you are done (or sign up for them as you go). For me the portrait keyboard is a little small, but even with my big fat male fingers it was responsive and no errors were keyed.

So onto setting up corporate email. On other handsets this has been painful, having to enter email addresses, domain logins and OWA settings. With the Lumia I entered my email address and password, it came almost straight back for my Active Directory username and password and then it started syncing, and fast! 174 Contacts were copied from the SIM in seconds and I was ready to go. I was ready to test the Sharepoint integration so connected the phone to the corporate wireless network, clicked into Office and into Sharepoint. As expected, it couldn’t load my live site as it is running SP2007, but it prompted me to open it in a browser. I did that was was really surprised at how fast it loaded and how usable it was. Flicked into a document library and opened a spreadsheet faster than I could on my laptop!

I am in the process of upgrading to Sharepoint 2010 so pointed the Lumia at the UAT site. Instantly connected and had all the sites and libraries available. One thing I did note was the look & feel goes out the window, you have a list view instead of the traditional website view as can be seen in the photo to the left. Undecided how I feel about that right now, from a navigation view it does make it easier and faster, but if I am investing in branding I want to see it.

The Marketplace seems good. I know a lot of people have said there is nothing there (well okay only 60k apps versus 500k for Android or whatever the numbers are) but quantity isn’t always a good measure. There are plenty of good free and paid-for apps available right now, and I would be almost prepared to argue that the ones there are more useful than a lot on the other two OS’s. Going to spend a bit of time today and over the weekend seeing what else this bad boy can do I think, but initial thoughts are bye-bye Android, hello Microsoft!

Cooperation makes it happen

We are now half-way through looking at how Niall Cooks 4C’s of social media can be applied in the Enterprise. Having cover the two models with low interaction (Communication and Connection) we now look at Cooperation.

So what do we mean by Cooperation?

According to Cook, applications that fall into here are high in interactivity but still pretty casual. Here we find social search, media sharing and social bookmarking and cataloguing. Its about sharing what you find useful with others and enabling colleagues to search for knowledge based on the collective search histories and bookmarking.

In an enterprise, sharing documents, pictures and video can add substantial value through the ideas they can generate. The price of storage is always dropping (floods in Thailand aside) so there is no real reason for businesses to prevent this cooperation from happening. In fact, if IT departments DON’T provide the framework, employees will circumvent them and upload the material to sites like You Tube, Flickr and Dropbox.

Social bookmarking is such a simple concept, yet when you mention it to people they initially looked puzzled then they get that ‘aha’ moment on their faces when they realise how powerful sharing links to web pages can be. So much time can be saved by staff sharing sites they find of value. I was in a meeting today and mentioned this concept and the amount of chatter it generated once the people in the room realised how often they all search for the same information and how much time would be saved by sharing pages they find.

Below is a really good video explaining the concept further, using the website del.icio.us as an example of social bookmarking. To see a real-world example of del.icio.us, check out my links page here.

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So can you see a place for these tools in your business? Have you already used some? Let me know in the comments below your experiences with these and other tools to support cooperation! Hat-tip to Sesame St for the title of this post.