Real Story Group Enterprise Collaboration & Social Software blog posts Copyright (c) 2015 RealStoryGroup.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.realstorygroup.com/ www.realstorygroup.com : Blogs en-us 07/01/2015 00:00:00 60 SharePoint Survivor Stories #sharepoint #DigitalWorkplace Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:29:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2868-SharePoint-Survivor-Stories? I have already circled back to you about the dimming of SharePoint's dominance as the de facto platform for workplace collaboration. Now, I'm back with some survivor stories culled from the same survey. This is more animated and agitated because it is straight from the (customer) gut.

Text in the graphics is verbatim from customers responding in their own words about their SharePoint experiences.

May this Share-Pain-Point prove a wee bit therapeutic for you. Don't suffer in silence.

]]>
Industry analyst research is invaluable in social-collaboration software selection #DigitalWorkplace #cio Thu, 04 Jun 2015 13:13:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2855-Industry-analyst-research-is-invaluable-in-social-collaboration-software-selection? Let me warn you upfront that this article may appear to be self-serving. Alas, my (main) motive here is not to promote the value of our research. I am writing this in response to a question we get asked all the time: do you have any data to prove the ROI of your research / advice.

So, I dug into the data from our most recent industry survey on enterprise social-collaboration technology.

In the survey, we asked customers to rate how satisfied they are with

  • the social-collaboration software products they are using (based on functionality and features) and
  • the vendors of these products (based on their responsiveness and support)

In a separate question, we also asked customers about the different inputs that went into their technology selection process.

Here is what we found: Customers who used industry analyst research in their technology selection process were more satisfied with their software products and vendors than those who did not.


Figure 1: Customers using industry analyst research to inform social-collaboration software selection are more satisfied with their products and vendors. Click the image to enlarge.

Could these results be due to chance? Some basic data science (ANOVA / tests of group means, in case you are interested) indeed confirms that the results are statistically significant -- i.e., not just due to random chance. There you go.

I suspect you intuitively understand the cause and effect here.  Expert knowledge about the products/vendors, in-depth understanding about their strengths and weaknesses, the experiences of other customers who used those products -- all get reflected in industry analyst research such as RSG's.

This can help you choose the best-fit software for your requirements and avoid expensive mistakes down the road. Such customers are naturally more satisfied than those who ended with products that don't work as advertised or simply prove to be a mis-match. Time and again, we hear this from our blue-chip customers anecdotally.

Now, there's also quantitative evidence about the impact of analyst research more generally.  I'm certainly happy to be part of your success.

]]>
When IT and Business Think Differently About Social-Collaboration #DigitalWorkplace #EntArch Thu, 28 May 2015 05:26:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2853-When-IT-and-Business-Think-Differently-About-Social-Collaboration? Many employee- and customer-facing digital projects can prove very difficult to pull off, but to paraphrase Tolstoy, each is hard in its own way. Partly it relates to how different "silos" in the organization perceive the key challenges.  The two main protagonists in this drama, Business and IT, are very often not on the same page.

But is there is a way for enterprise leaders to pin-point how and where this Business-IT gap shows up?

Consider the Case of Social-Collaboration

Consider social-collaboration technology, where an analysis of the challenges faced by large organizations provides some useful insights about the Business-IT chasm.

RSG's 2014 survey of Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software (get summary here) found that customer satisfaction with social-collaboration technology remains middling and enterprises have not yet achieved a high degree of maturity in leveraging this technology.

 

Figure 1: Main challenges faced in Social-Collaboration projects, as seen by Business and IT (Click image for full-size version of the chart).

As you can see from the above chart, Business and IT perceive that their social-collaboration initiatives face different challenges. Along with executive buy-in, business stakeholders consider insufficient staffing, training, and lack of best practices to be their main challenges. Apart from executive buy-in, IT stakeholders tend to perceive a very different set of challenges: lack of user adoption, insufficient governance, and funding shortages.

Among the list of main challenges, only "executive buy-in" appears on both sides of the aisle. 

Figure 2: Executive Buy-in is the only common challenge cited by Business and IT.

Some of This Is Normal

Some tension here is to be expected and maybe even welcomed -- a bit.  IT and Business stakeholders have different jobs so you might expect they bring distinct sets of concerns to digital projects.

However, different stakeholders prioritizing separate challenges may indicate teams pursuing different goals and divergent paths to maturity. They may be trying to solve localized or departmental problems, rather than pursuing enterprise-wide objectives.

Do you experiences similar alignment challenges? Talk to us - we can help untangle complex enterprise social-collaboration initiatives.

 

]]>
[Webinar] Digital Workplace at Scale: A Checklist for Large, Global Organizations #DigitalWorkplace #EntArch Thu, 21 May 2015 15:07:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2851-[Webinar]-Digital-Workplace-at-Scale:-A-Checklist-for-Large-Global-Organizations? If you manage the intranet or digital workplace for a large enterprise, you know that scalability matters — a lot.

Yet "scale" is a tricky concept in technology. In the world of packaged applications — the kind that we evaluate — people talk about scale when referencing very different things, such as feature breadth and scenario diversity (scope), functional depth and richness (complexity), and transaction volumes and traffic intensity (usage).

Since all of these meanings are relevant, notions of scale can become vague, generic, and take on a marketing-speak quality.

You don't want that.

Join RSG Founder Tony Byrne for a scalability checklist for large, global organizations. Designed to align both business and IT leaders, this checklist will help you address the unique problems of super-sized enterprises that vendors often neglect.

Register here

Webinar Details:

Registration: Digital Workplace at Scale: A Checklist for Large, Global Organizations 

Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Time: 12:00-12:30 PM EST (16:00-16:30 UTC/GMT 17:00 BST)

I look forward to seeing you there.
 

]]>
What does the future hold for Jive Software and its customers? #e20 #sharepoint Tue, 19 May 2015 11:57:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2850-What-does-the-future-hold-for-Jive-Software-and-its-customers? As our Enterprise Collaboration & Social Software research subscribers know, Jive Software is a major player in the enterprise collaboration software space. During the “Enterprise 2.0” mania of the last decade, Jive was structured and valued as a high-growth play — both before and after its splashy IPO.

However, the company is now experiencing decelerated revenue and customer growth. This along with the continued lack of profits is leading to a significant reduction in its market capitalization.

Figure 1:  From a peak of $1.7 billion in April 2012, Jive's market cap has declined to about $400 million at the beginning of May 2015. Source: YChart

Without concurrent cost reductions, this performance plateau calls into question Jive’s path-to-profitability and therefore its future viability as an independent company.

  • What does this mean for Jive and the enterprise collaboration software market as a whole?
  • What are the implications for current and future customers of Jive (most of whom, btw, seem quite happy with the platform)?

We just released a detailed 12-page paper that analyzes the strategic choices confronting Jive and makes specific recommendations for current and prospective customers.

As a bonus you also get our analysis of the desirability of different suitors for Jive Software in any M&A overtures - but from the perspective of enterprise customers, using our hand-crafted Suitorbility analysis.

Figure 2:  RSG Analysis of motivation to acquire Jive and impact on customer for different suitors, along with some wild cards. (Click to enlarge.)

This briefing is available to our Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software research subscribers for immediate download. If you are not a subscriber, you can purchase it for $895.

 

]]>
New Reference Models for Your Digital Workplace #DigitalWorkplace #KMers Wed, 06 May 2015 12:51:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2845-New-Reference-Models-for-Your-Digital-Workplace? The term "Digital Workplace" has become quite popular, and although some old hands view the term with cynicism, at RSG we are quite bullish on the concept.

Here's our definition: your digital workplace is the collection of digital systems that your colleagues use to get work done. And the foundational problem with employee digital experience today is that these systems reflect primarily how the enterprise wants that work to get done.

Many of our enterprise subscribers recognize that they need to reverse this equation and focus on employee experience "on the glass."

However, this quest gets hampered by a lack of practical frameworks that assess current state, analyze the environment from multiple vantage points, and help charter a custom roadmap.

So today we're sharing a couple of reference models with our subscribers.

1) A more traditional, architectural reference model that describes a layered inventory of digital workplace systems, to form a baseline for further analysis of functional, integration, and security needs

2) A complementary approach that examines the efficacy and usability of enterprise systems from the perspective of the employee -- tying systems analysis more closely to business value via the pursuit of employee effectiveness, engagement, and satisfaction

Subscribers can download the briefing,"Reference Models to Chart the Future of Your Digital Workplace," straight away.

If your firm is not a subscriber (and maybe it is, already), peruse this information to learn more about RSG research.

 

]]>
[Webinar] Making Sense of the Collaboration Tool Landscape #DigitalWorkplace #intranet Fri, 24 Apr 2015 04:13:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2843-[Webinar]-Making-Sense-of-the-Collaboration-Tool-Landscape? The landscape for enterprise collaboration technology is shifting rapidly. On the one hand, a variety of new, simpler solutions have hit the market for simple networking and project management. On the other hand, we have reached the era of "peak SharePoint," forcing customers of that longstanding platform to look beyond their SharePoint estates for innovation.

Meanwhile, most organizations still struggle to align people-oriented social networking capabilities with document- and process-oriented collaboration services. Fortunately, though, as a customer you have many choices depending on the breadth of your appetite and depth of your internal capabilities.

Join Real Story Group founder Tony Byrne in partnership with CMSWire for a tour of Collaboration technology choices, circa 2015. Based on RSG's qualitative vendor evaluations and customer survey research, Tony will lead you through a process of understanding your technology choice and making good decisions to improve collaboration this year.

Register here.

Webinar Details

Registration: Webinar: Making Sense of the Collaboration Tool Landscape

Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Time: 1:00-1:30 PM EST (17:00-17:30 UTC/GMT)

I look forward to seeing you there

]]>
You might already subscribe to our research and not know it... #EntArch Tue, 31 Mar 2015 15:22:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2833-You-might-already-subscribe-to-our-research-and-not-know-it...? I frequently run into people at conferences or in social media who don't realize that their employer subscribes to our research. Of course we work to get them quickly logged in.

Well, it's not exactly like a bank error in their favor...but it's a useful professional boost they didn't know they could use.

Could that be you, too? Maybe. I can't share our subscriber list here, but if you work for a large enterprise in particular, there's a chance you may already be eligible for a seat. (You can see some examples of current and past subscribers here.)

To be sure, you can check with whoever handles IT research for your organization. Or if you want a really quick answer, just ping our customer care team and they can let you know.

It's not free money from the bank, but our research can definitely save you time and trouble...and perhaps license fees on your next technology purchase.

 

]]>
New and Updated Evaluations - Jive, SharePoint, Liferay, Drupal, and Zimbra #DigitalWorkplace #sharepoint Fri, 27 Mar 2015 11:32:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2829-New-and-Updated-Evaluations-Jive-SharePoint-Liferay-Drupal-and-Zimbra? We've just released the latest version of our Enterprise Collaboration and Social Networking vendor evaluation report, with updates to Microsoft, Drupal, Jive, and Zimbra, along with a new entrant, Liferay Social Office.  Here's a sneak peek at some findings.

SharePoint

All these years we've advised that you adopt from among "complement, supplement or extend" strategies for your SharePoint platform. Now, we add a fourth: "postpone."

That's because of the convoluted and confused steps emanating from Redmond on multiple fronts -- migration to Office 365, integration with Yammer, and hybrid cloud deployments. Even though the SharePoint ecosystem is gearing up for SharePoint 2016, the majority of customers have been taking a rather sensible wait-and-watch attitude towards SP 2013. Consult our research for more details.

Drupal

While Acquia remains a good shepherd of the Commons distribution, we note that momentum is building around the OpenAtrium distro, an emerging solution for social-intranet scenarios. 

Jive

Some things in life just don't change. Just like you can always count on Jive to rename their products with each release. But this time Jive is changing more than just nomenclature; the vendor has begun a journey of unbundling the platform (which is at risk of becoming unwieldy because of all the feature additions) into narrowly focused but more usable apps.

Zimbra

Zimbra (neé Telligent) is trying hard to catch-up with larger rivals in the space who have stolen a march despite Telligent's early momentum. The real question though is whether Zimbra's social platform can expand beyond its traditional use cases around communities and whether the company has the wherewithal to pull it off.

Liferay Social Office

Last but not least, we also added a new vendor to our evaluations line-up. Think of Social Office as a Liferay Portal "distro" of sorts where you get an enterprise portal plus social-collaboration platform in one package. There is a yin and yang thing going on here, with both pros and cons. 

This latest report is available for immediate download to RSG subscribers.

If you're not a subscriber, you can download a sample evaluation here.

]]>
Immersive Environments Still Not Ready for Enterprise #DigitalWorkplace #immersive Thu, 26 Mar 2015 17:28:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2831-Immersive-Environments-Still-Not-Ready-for-Enterprise? In 2011, Real Story Group published an advisory, “Is Immersive Collaboration Software Ready for Prime Time?,” which concluded that the value of virtual worlds and other immersive environments remains questionable and risky for enterprise customers.

As an enormous enthusiast and independent researcher of these platforms, I consider this analysis still applicable today. Continuing interface complexity, coupled with difficulties in scaling due to fundamental limitations in bandwidth, means that best-case uses of immersive environments remain rooted in non-enterprise sectors.

For example:

  • Progressive education
  • Design and prototyping in a collaborative but limited context (for example, design of a theatrical stage set)
  • Some site- and scenario-specific training (such as machine control rooms or cultural training for personnel operating in foreign environments)
  • Arts and entertainment

Utilizing virtual worlds today continues to require a user base that is amenable to exploration and novelty and where “creative play” is valued above efficient productivity. End-users must still invest substantial time and effort to master the steep learning curves needed to function fluidly in a virtual environment; it takes significant skill-sets to traverse and utilize these platforms.

More common technologies such as video conferencing and desktop sharing of industry-standard applications--augmented by communication channels (for example, CAD on shared desktops using Skype)--remain more accessible, effective, and efficient solutions for enterprise.

However, technical and design innovation in the immersive space continues, and increasing VC interest is promising. Paul Allen-led Vulcan Capital recently invested in High Fidelity, a next iteration of complex virtual world by the creators of Second Life. High Fidelity has built into the user interface support for gesture and facial mapping onto avatars via camera and sensor inputs, as well as viewing via Oculus Rift. Once mature, these technologies could greatly reduce the complexity of use and navigation. The acquisition of Oculus Rift by Facebook is another monetary vote of confidence that may augur well for next-generation immersive platforms.

But, nearly three years after our initial assessment, there has yet to be a breakthrough application that radically changes the analysis regarding enterprise use.

Additionally, I predict that the vendor-provided model of virtual platforms will not be the final path to enterprise and mass adoption. Rather, the next iteration of the web—one that will be 3D and immersive in its entirety—rests in the ability of HTML5 and frameworks such as WebGL to deliver standardized 3D in the browser without the need for additional plug-ins, media players, and disparate user-controls.  Critically, advances in camera and sensor technologies integrated into laptop and mobile devices, are necessary to alleviate the enormous, current burden on the user, who is asked to manually pilot avatars in a complex environment while not losing sight of where he is on the spreadsheet.

While some evangelists claim that virtual worlds make online engagement “more human and life-like,” they succeed in this only to the extent that everyone is rendered more vulnerable to chagrin as unintended events and simple user error become publicly observable. In good-natured and flat organizations where everyone is able to be equally fallible, this may be acceptable. In those where some modicum of professional authority and hierarchy is desired, virtual worlds continue to risk rendering everyone equal along a spectrum of the absurd.

]]>
Is there a Swiss Army Knife for Enterprise Collaboration? #socbiz #DigitalWorkplace Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:19:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2828-Is-there-a-Swiss-Army-Knife-for-Enterprise-Collaboration? RSG's Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software survey (get summary here) revealed that SharePoint is not a swiss army knife for enterprise collaboration -- i.e., a single tool that can serve multiple use cases. To be sure, it probably never was.

Still, I find it interesting that many vendors (even those lacking the breadth of functionality typically found in a larger platform like SharePoint) will aggressively promote their solutions as do-it-all-systems that match all the diverse use cases that many organizations have.

The rubber-meets-the-road reality is quite different.

Horses for Courses

Using the data from our industry survey, we crunched the numbers for organizations having more than 1000 employees and found that they are employing multiple social-collaboration software products -- on average, 2.6 in an organization. (For the statistically inclined, the 95% confidence interval is 2.3 to 3.)

This leads to the obvious question: why are organizations deploying three collaboration software products? Firstly, vendors simply can't do it all. The diversity and complexity of collaboration use cases (which has only increased with cloud and mobile technologies) is such that vendors can only support adequately a sub-set of the use cases. 

Figure 1:  You're in for a surprise if you think a social-collaboration software product is like a swiss army knife that holds all the tools you need.  Image: Swistik Knife, installation art by Biju Joze at Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

Secondly, despite vendor claims / case studies of enterprise-wide deployments, many implementations remain at the departmental level and different departments could have procured different tools.

What's the Implication for Technology Buyers ?

Technical functionality and features are only parts of the puzzle. You are most likely going to rely on multiple products for meeting your enterprise collaboration requirements. So, don't ignore the integration capabilities of the products you are evaluating. Carefully look under the hood to understand how well they can play with the other systems in your technology stack.

Our in-depth product evaluations can be very handy here.

]]>
March Madness 2015: Digital Workplace and Marketing Technology Edition #digitalmarketing #DigitalWorkplace Tue, 17 Mar 2015 13:23:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2827-March-Madness-2015:-Digital-Workplace-and-Marketing-Technology-Edition? As technology advisors, every day can feel like Selection Sunday when working with our subscribers.  For most enterprises, selecting technology can be like picking a winner of the NCAA Basketball Tournament:

  • Lots of guessing
  • Favoritism to the teams/vendors you know
  • Limited research
  • A mix of predictability and surprises
  • Untold amounts of money changing hands
  • Madness...

At the Real Story Group, we have helped thousands of enterprises across the world make this process a lot less maddening. Our vendor evaluation reports and interactive online tools help you get to an appropriate short-list – an Elite Eight or Final Four, if you will. We specialize in winnowing down your choices from an entire marketplace to the vendors and products that could best fit for your needs.

Fill in Your Bracket

Thus, we are once again providing you with a Digital Marketing Technology Bracket and a Digital Workplace Technology Bracket to help you get started in your quest to "cut down the nets" with a successful technology solution.

 

You can download your own full-size Digital Workplace Technology Bracket here.

 

You can download your own full-size Digital Marketing Technology Bracket here.

Some Disclaimers

There's no such thing as a "best" software vendor. Thus, these depictions of the Digital Workplace and Digital Marketing technology landscapes are not indicative of any seedings; rather it is a simple grouping of some of the more significant content technology vendors that we cover. The vendors chosen were done so randomly since we actually cover more than 250 products from 172 vendors (you can see the full list here.) 

Good luck! And if you need help finding the right Digital Marketing or Digital Workplace technology for your enterprise, contact us and we'll help you pick a winner.

]]>
2015 Vendor Map - The Big Picture #digitalmarketing #DigitalWorkplace Thu, 05 Mar 2015 10:59:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2823-2015-Vendor-Map-The-Big-Picture? Earlier this week, we released the latest version of our Digital Workplace & Marketing Technology Vendor Map.


H1 2015 RSG Subway Map (click to enlarge)

The Big Picture

Many themes persist in this latest version (and I'll get to those below), but in the meantime, I'll answer what an RSG subscriber asked me when she first saw this latest version: "What's the big picture?"

There is no single Digital Workplace or Digital Marketing platform.
You simply cannot purchase a single product -- or even a single suite -- that will give you everything you need. That means that a workplace or marketing leader has to be conversant in several technologies, and your enterprise needs a strategy around how the different pieces will fit together.

Some technologies -- like portals, mobile and WCM -- apply to both digital workplace and customer engagement architectures.
But the way you'd use them can differ dramatically on whether the key stakeholder is an employee or customer/partner. And that's why most enterprises employ different solutions for internal- vs. outward-facing use cases.

What Is Old Is Still New

Some older trends persist...

These are highly fragmented marketplaces.
Sure, some vendors get "hot" for a year or two, but in all these marketplace except perhaps enterprise portals, no vendor can claim more than 5% marketshare overall. You have a lot of choices -- many of them good choices -- but you want the best-fitting choice, and our evaluation research will help you sort that out.

Most innovation happens at the periphery than the center.
Microsoft has largely abandoned digital marketing use cases, while IBM, Oracle, and Adobe have tended to buy innovation, rather than grow it themselves.

Get a high-rez, printable version of the map.

 

]]>
Why HR Should Care About the Digital Workplace #DigitalWorkplace #intranet Sun, 01 Mar 2015 12:55:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2792-Why-HR-Should-Care-About-the-Digital-Workplace? My colleague Kashyap has analyzed recent survey results that show corporate communications teams paying more attention than HR leaders to digital workplace issues. I'd like to think this will change, and anecdotally, I see it changing in more forward-thinking enterprises.

Why? Because the quality of your digital workplace turns out to be a big-time HR issue.

Transitive property of employee user experience

More and more we hear that enterprises look for employees who can think on their feet and make good decisions. Yet many internal business information systems treat employees like children, or worse yet, like assembly-line robots.

This phenomenon leads to what I call the transitive property of employee digital user experience:

  1. "This business application thinks I'm an idiot"
  2. "It's an enterprise application" - Therefore...
  3. "The enterprise thinks I'm an idiot"

Some organizations have tried to escape this dilemma by experimenting with social technologies and encumbering those projects with "transformational" ambitions. Well, if you've seen RSG's Social-Collaboration Technology evaluation research, you know that:

  • Many of these platforms have serious usability problems themselves, and
  • Social technology is less about becoming exceptional and more about improving your business capabilities

The digital workplace is bigger than any one application or system. It's a mindset that employee effectiveness matters just as much when they are working in front of a screen.

Clearly there's a role here for HR

Those HR teams that have made strong moves to add employee engagement and effectiveness to their portfolio are particularly well placed to add significant value.

For a growing number of employees, the workplace has become largely digital. IT quite properly seeks to address enterprise concerns like security, cost-effectiveness, and architectural alignment. But institutionally, who advocates for the needs of the employee? Your best colleagues are increasingly judging the quality of their workplace by the usefulness of their business applications.

HR leaders who don't want employees to feel like idiots will pay closer attention to just how effective that digital workplace really is...

Your Next Step

If your organization doesn't yet subscribe to our social-collaboration vendor evaluation research, you can download a complimentary sample to check it out.

]]>
Enterprise Collaboration and Software Vendors - Net Promoter Scores and More #DigitalWorkplace #RSGwebinar Tue, 24 Feb 2015 09:05:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2820-Enterprise-Collaboration-and-Software-Vendors-Net-Promoter-Scores-and-More? Many of you would be familiar with Net Promoter Score, a management tool to measure customer loyalty or more specifically, a measure of how likely you are to recommend a product or service that you use to friends and colleagues. 

RSG's Enterprise Collaboration and Social Sofware (ECSS) Industry Survey 2014 (download summary report here)  collected rich data on customer satisfaction about the products they use. We are using this data to derive Net Promoter Scores for key products that we evaluate in our ECSS market research stream

Essentially, customers are divided into three categories:

  • Promoters - who are very happy with the product and will recommend it to others
  • Detractors - who are very dissatisfied and dissuade others from using a product
  • Passives - who are neutral about their experience and neither promote nor demote

The NPS score can range from -100 (all customers hate the product)  to +100 (all customers love the product). Here is a preview of the Net Promoter Scores of a few enterprise collaboration software products (for more detailed analysis, consult our research).

Figure 1:  Net Promoter Score for Atlassian, Drupal, Google Apps and IBM Connections based on RSG's 2014 Customer Survey. (Click image to enlarge).

In tomorrow's webinar ( Feb 25, 12:00 TO 12:30 EST), I'll be discussing  key market trends as well as the Net Promoter Scores for 10 collaboration and social software products. Here is the registration link for the webinar - I hope you will join me there. 

]]>
2015 Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software Market Analysis #e20 #DigitalWorkplace Wed, 18 Feb 2015 12:20:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2818-2015-Enterprise-Collaboration-and-Social-Software-Market-Analysis? Today we released our annual briefing on the state of the Enterprise Collaboration & Social Software Technology marketplace. Subscribers can download the full analysis here.

This 10-page briefing provides

  1. An overview of marketplace trends and 
  2. Where vendors lie on RSG's risk-reality spectrum a.k.a., the RealityCheck.

This represents a moment-in-time perspective. For detailed evaluations of the individual vendors, consult our full vendor evaluation report.

The key trends we discuss in this briefing include:

  • Enterprise social use cases that are finding traction
  • Transition of collaboration technology into the cloud
  • Challenges facing social-collaboration in the enterprise

In addition to the broader market trends, you'll also find where the vendors we evaluate in our Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software Report and their products fall on a change spectrum. Here is the snapshot.


Figure 1: RSG Reality Check 2015 for the Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software Technology Marketplace (click image to enlarge)

Note that there is no single magic square here. What matters most is that you identify the best-fit solution for your needs.

In addition to the visual trajectory, you'll find "key things to keep in mind" commentary about each of the above vendors. Get the full briefing here.

]]>
Organizational Models and Social-Collaboration Success #DigitalWorkplace #e20 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:43:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2811-Organizational-Models-and-Social-Collaboration-Success? RSG conducted an industry survey in Q3/2014 on social-collaboration software usage, where survey respondents included a cross-section of organizations drawn from different industries. (You can get a complimentary copy of the survey results here.)  Now we're doing some follow-up analysis of the underlying data.

In a new advisory paper, we turn our attention to analyzing the experiences of large (1,000 to 10,000 employees) and very large (10,000+ employees) organizations with respect to organizational models and attendant effectiveness with social-collaboration technology.

Specifically, we look at the effects of the organizational model on application / use-case maturity, as well as the breadth of challenges enterprises face based on the model they choose. We see two broad models across enterprises

  • Traditional intranet teams are also responsible for newer, social software implementation. We call this the "Single Team Model".
  • Alternately, the social software team is distinct from the Intranet team. We term this the "Separate Teams Model"

Here's a preview of what we found:


Figure 1: Enterprise Social-Collaboration: Impact of Organizational Model on Maturity versus Program Hurdles

The key implication is that you need to create organizational capabilities to leverage social-collaboration opportunities.

The briefing, available for immediate download for our Collaboration-Social stream subscribers, offers additional charts and in-depth commentary on how you can improve your enterprise social implementations.

If you are not a subscriber, check out your subscription options, and download a sample evaluation chapter.

]]>
Join us at IntraTeam Event in Copenhagen #DigitalWorkplace #intranet Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:37:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2812-Join-us-at-IntraTeam-Event-in-Copenhagen? Late next month, we'll be teaching and speaking at the IntraTeam event in Copenhagen, Denmark, the region's premier event about the digital workplace, enterprise search, and related topics. If you're in Northern Europe and looking to quickly expand your knowledge of these areas, please join me there.

I'll be teaching half-day seminars on how to select the most appropriate array of digital workplace technologies for you, and also hosting sessions on collaboration & social technology, as well as a deep dive on mobile platforms for the enterprise.

Early bird pricing ends this week, so be sure to book your participation soon. Hope to see you there!

 

]]>
Introducing Realtime Shortlist Generator and Vendor Comparison Tools #pmot #tech Tue, 20 Jan 2015 18:52:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2805-Introducing-Realtime-Shortlist-Generator-and-Vendor-Comparison-Tools? When it comes to selecting new technology for your enterprise, we routinely get two types of questions from our subscribers:

1. How do I get the right shortlist of vendors to consider?

2. How does vendor X compare to vendor Y?

In an effort to help you better answer these questions, I'm thrilled to announce the launch of two new applications designed to get you real-time answers:

  • Realtime: Shortlist GeneratorTM: This is version 2 of our shortlist building application. We've received great feedback from subscribers since we launched version 1 of this application a few years ago. Recently, we've made some usability and stability improvements that make it a much more effective shortlist building experience.
  • Realtime Vendor Comparison ToolTM: with this new application, you can choose any two (or more) vendors within one of our research areas to see how they stack up head-to-head. For example, you can quickly see how your incumbent vendor stacks up versus its competitors in the market.

With both of these tools, you can generate your own custom research report based on the results of your searches.

Subscribers, you can build your own shortlists and head-to-head vendor comparisons now. If you are thinking about subscribing, you can try either tool here to get a sense of how they work.

We are actively working on more enhancements to both applications so stay tuned for even more ways to interact with the most unfiltered analysis on the market...

]]>
RSG hiring - Boston, Washington, Philadelphia #digitalmarketing #DigitalWorkplace Sat, 17 Jan 2015 17:15:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2803-RSG-hiring-Boston-Washington-Philadelphia? We're hiring:

  • Technology Researcher - entry level (Greater Washington DC or Philadelphia)
  • Technology Analyst - junior or mid-career (DC or Philly)
  • New Business Manager - junior or mid-career (Greater Boston)

See our Careers page for more details.

 

]]>
Analyzing the Analysts - Assessing RSG's 2014 Predictions #cio #EnSW Fri, 12 Dec 2014 08:40:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2798-Analyzing-the-Analysts-Assessing-RSGs-2014-Predictions? Every year, we make technology predictions about the various digital workplace and digital marketing technology marketplaces that we cover.  Earlier this week, my colleague Jarrod published our 2015 predictions.

In the interest of keeping it real, each year we review our predictions at the end of the year and see how we fared. Here are our assessments of our 2013, 2012 and 2011 predictions respectively.

And here's how we fared with our 2014 predictions:

  1. Ascent of the "Sanctioned Second-Fiddle" CMS
    Yes, this is happening big-time. Many organizations that we talk to have standardized on a second, relatively simpler Web CMS for those scenarios that require more agility (think microsites) in addition to their incumbent “enterprise” WCM platform for more complex scenarios.
     
  2. Delayed SharePoint 2013 Adoption
    Yes. But frankly, this was obvious based on past (SharePoint) history and given that best practices as well as a broader ecosystem for SharePoint 2013 are still evolving.
     
  3. Microsoft Backtracks on SharePoint in the Cloud
    No way.  Redmond has doubled down on the cloud for SharePoint.  However, they appear to be commiting to upgrading SharePoint on-premise at least through 2019.
     
  4. Enterprises Start to Own Mobile Experiences
    Another Yes. As enterprises mature and mobile becomes even more important, organizations are indeed focusing more on a broader "Mobile Experience Management" as opposed to just managing devices and apps. Our savvier subscribers are setting up mobile CoEs and beginning to treat mobile development on par with enterprise software development.
     
  5. Cross-Platform Mobile Compatibility Gets Worse
    Big Yes here. Cross-platform is not just about Android and iOS any more. It's also about other devices -- Google Glass, watches, other wearables, as well as other Internet-connected devices. Even within Android and iOS ecosystems, you have to deal with all kinds of differences based on screen size and capabilities. E.g., Apple upped the game by releasing much larger iPhone 6s to co-exist with iPhone 4x, 5x, iPods and multiple versions of iPads.
     
  6. Standalone Enterprise Portals Marketplace Becomes a Two-Horse Race
    Yes again. Nearly all serious enterprise portal shortlists that we've seen contain Liferay and IBM. eXo no longer wants to be a portal tool and other platforms are increasingly focusing on specialized use cases.  SharePoint, of course, remains the key stalking-horse here, but remains more focused on collaboration than integration.
     
  7. "ECM" Will Finally Die
    No. Perhaps this was an overstatement. Even main-frames aren't dead yet.  However, we do see a continuing trend towards applications rather than behemoth document management infrastructures.
     
  8. Digital Marketing Suite Backlash
    Halfway Yes. Adobe, IBM, Oracle, and Salesforce would have you believe they offer an integrated digital marketing stack but that's not the real story. Many of these suites still remain a collection of best-of-breed tools.  But we have not yet seen a customer backlash. Maybe this is one of those aspirational predictions: you should be concerned about the patchwork nature of these suites.  We do think a backlash is still coming, though, perhaps as soon as 2015...
     
  9. PaaS CMS Displaces SaaS CMS
    Yes. SaaS CMS players have mostly faded. Clearly Amazon is making the most money in web content and experience management these days -- simply by hosting traditional WCM tools.  Nevertheless, WCM customers continue to explore a range of hosting options, including good ol' on-premise.
     
  10. DAM and MAM Vendors Add Social and Marketing Features
    Yes, this has definitely happened.  You might not use your digital or media asset management system as your core social platform, but like nearly everyone else, DAM and MAM vendors have bolted on a variety of marketing and social features over the past year.

Okay, so that’s 7.5 out of 10 (Yes — 7 times, No — 2 Times, Partial Yes/No — 1). We give .5 for predictions that were partially correct. That’s not bad at all, in fact a bit better than last year.

Let us know if you'd like to understand any of these trends in greater detail or if you'd like to talk to us about any of the marketplaces RSG covers.

]]>
2015 Digital Workplace and Marketing Technology Predictions #digitalmarketing #DigitalWorkplace Wed, 10 Dec 2014 18:05:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2797-2015-Digital-Workplace-and-Marketing-Technology-Predictions? It's that time of year for our team of Real Story Group analysts to reveal our 2015 predictions, where we try to predict what the future holds in the technology world.

Predicting the future is always a bit precarious. We all want to peer forward, but in the real world, there are no magic crystal balls. In the list below, we identify ten trends that RSG thinks will happen in 2015. As such, they tend to be less “futuristic,” but ideally more practical.

As always, there’s a fine line between prediction and aspiration; in some cases below, we cite some trends that we might wish will happen.

This is our ninth year in a row doing this humbling exercise. If you'd like to see how we've done previously, you can view past predictions here: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007.

Here's RSG's 2015 technology predictions:

1. DAM Vendors Will Roll out DAM Lite

2. Hybrid ECM Will Come of Age

3. HR Will Rejoin the Digital Workplace Conversation

4. Enterprise Social – Hype around Unified Enterprise Messaging

5. Digital Workplace Will Say “Hello” to Analytics and Big Data

6. A SharePoint 2016 Yawn

7. Marketing Virtual Data Warehouses Will Go Mainstream

8. Drupal Split Will Characterize WCM Market Bifurcation

9. Enterprise Mobile: Apps Will Get Unbundled

10. Connected Devices Will Become a More Ubiquitous Channel

Real Story Group subscribers can download the full Advisory Paper that describes these trends (and how you should prepare and respond) in more detail.

]]>
Updated evaluations - Atlassian, IBM Connections, Oracle WebCenter, tibbr, and Yammer #socbiz #DigitalWorkplace Wed, 03 Dec 2014 13:29:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2793-Updated-evaluations-Atlassian-IBM-Connections-Oracle-WebCenter-tibbr-and-Yammer? The worlds of enterprise social networking and more prosaic digital collaboration continue to converge, though probably not as fast as you'd like.

That's just one of the conclusions from latest version of RSG's Enterprise Collaboration & Social Software Report, which contains updated evaluations for

  • Atlassian Confluence
  • IBM Connections
  • Microsoft Yammer
  • Oracle WebCenter / OSN
  • TIBCO tibbr

Consult the report for detailed evaluations of 25 different offerings, but here is a sneak peek from our most recent updates.

Atlassian, most known for its bug tracking software JIRA, is not your typical enterprise software firm but it has a certain Aussie X-factor and is generally considered to be open and customer-friendly. Confluence, it's wiki + team collaboration software is reasonably mature, but does not cater much to social-networking oriented scenarios.

IBM Connections, originally a set of different independent applications thrown together, is evolving and the latest release does a much better job of unifying the overall user experience. Connections customers tend to fall into two categories: those who kick the tires and move on to alternatives after finding it's not for them; or, Big Blue loyalists who invest heavily in customizing the platform to obtain sufficient value success.

Microsoft has indicated that developing close integration between Yammer and SharePoint remains a priority for them. But we contend that enterprise customers should not shy away from exploring Yammer alternatives. Among other reasons, architectural concerns around integration persist, particularly if you are an on-prem SharePoint customer.

Oracle appears to have dialed down the ambitions for it's Oracle Social Network (OSN) product and seems largely content with socializing Oracle middleware and it's other enterprise applications.

High-flying social layer vendors may have lost some sheen, but TIBCO's tibbr has managed to seize momentum in the last few years and gain a fair bit of visibility in the marketplace. However, you'll find traditional collaboration features on the lighter side here.

Subscribers can grab the full latest report or individual chapters right away. Others can get a complimentary sample chapter here.

]]>
Why the ship has sailed for Facebook as an enterprise social network #e20 #DigitalWorkplace Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:54:00 +0000 http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2789-Why-the-ship-has-sailed-for-Facebook-as-an-enterprise-social-network? No doubt that the Enterprise Social Software segment -- now part of the broader Enterprise Collaboration software market -- largely came into existence because of the huge popularity of consumer social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Not surprisingly we often hear that Facebook itself will make a play for the enterprise market. Facebook itself has not officially commented but the media is abuzz about "Facebook @ Work."

This Ship Has Sailed

If Facebook makes an entry into the enterprise social network segment, it may well find that the ESN ship has sailed long back. Circa 2014, enterprise customers are not generally interested in horizontal ESNs but want practical use cases that leverage social networking features. While Facebook may get some traction among smaller businesses, larger customers want to socialize business processes and legacy systems – what we termed “social as a layer" approach.

In our 2014 market analysis of this space, we called out that many pure-play social networking vendors are specializing and narrowing their focus. For instance, Socialtext is focused on HR functions. Salesforce Chatter is largely for sales and marketing departments. Under Atos, blueKiwi wants to replace email. Sitrion wants socialize SAP. Cisco threw in the towel. Many of these vendors have built integrations and connectors to other enterprise systems. (And If I may digress: like a couple in an arranged marriage, Yammer and SharePoint are still learning about each other's strengths and weaknesses.)

The crux is that customers and now vendors have moved on from simple social networking services. It’s now about use cases, integration, and ultimately employee productivity and engagement. Facebook should not expect any easy sailing here.

What Differentiators?

Facebook might lend itself to interesting enterprise use cases like expertise location. But the highly hyped “Social Graph” search function continues to underwhelm even a couple of years after it’s launch.

Facebook could also be hoping to leverage it’s high user experience quotient. That may not be enough of a differentiator, though, since many ESN vendors can offer similar experiences.

In addition to product relevance, Facebook also has to contend with other factors. Very few software companies can target both consumer and enterprise customers. Arguably, Adobe and Microsoft have been able to taste success in both segments, but Google and Apple remain consumer software companies while IBM and Oracle are enterprise plays, and the twain does not meet. Sure, Google Apps is a billion dollar business (largely on the strength of its email offering), but the sentiment that Google “just does not get enterprise needs” remains widely prevalent.

So as a technology customer, don't let this latest news distract you from your long-term strategy.  Facebook will find the odds stacked against it in any enterprise foray.

]]>