• Enterprise social media and collaboration guide

    As organizations become more collaborative by implementing enterprise social networking tools, many are finding it difficult to get beyond simply providing employees another Facebook-like experience. The aim of these new ESN tools is to enable business users to tap into the collective intelligence of an enterprise to get work done in new and faster ways, which can lead to greater efficiency and better business results.

    It's true, certainly, that social networking has boomed in the consumer market and that enterprise social media tools are still struggling to gain purchase among organizations -- especially those organizations that are unsure of the best ways to apply the technology to business operations.

    According to industry reports, 2011 saw the consumer social networking scales tip as more than half of all U.S. adults regularly turned to social networking sites to connect with family, friends, and yes, even fellow professionals. On the business side, however, Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. reported that only 12% of information workers have access to ESN technology and just 8% of them use ESN at least once a week. That's expected to change, and quickly, over the next few years with some forecasts estimating that use of enterprise social media software will grow by a compounded 42.4% rate through 2015, according to market research firm IDC in Framingham, Mass.

    Though many organizations have already realized the enterprise collaboration benefits of social media, others remain skeptical and worry that the tools will provide nothing more than a virtual water cooler where personal gossip is exchanged, but little if any work gets done.

    On the contrary, businesses large and small that have carefully planned, deployed and managed enterprise social networks report that their workforces and partners have become more collaborative and have developed into cohesive business teams.

    This guide to enterprise social media and collaboration management provides supporting evidence for that argument in the form of case studies about successful social media and enterprise collaboration implementations. It also includes expert tips on planning and managing such initiatives, instructive videos about the benefits organizations can reap from their enterprise social networks, and articles about the latest trends in social media and collaboration for the enterprise. It should be especially informative for those IT and content management professionals who are curious about how best to introduce enterprise social networking to their companies. It also provides practical information on how organizations can develop a strong business case for investing in enterprise social networking technologies and set up a program and manage the deployment process.

  • SharePoint content management and collaboration guide

    As more and more companies deploy the Microsoft SharePoint collaboration platform it is becoming increasingly clear that successful use of the technology requires careful planning, management and ongoing governance.

    With SharePoint 2013 currently in beta testing, organizations continue to adopt the current version of the popular collaboration platform as they strive to become more collaborative enterprises. For many companies, SharePoint 2010 provides the features they need for their specific collaboration and enterprise content management needs. Some find the SharePoint content management platform works well for their Web content management requirements. And many others must augment SharePoint's built-in capabilities to fully meet their needs.

    At the administrator level, SharePoint's complexitiesrequire careful consideration when it comes to integrating the system with business processes and making sure files and data are backed up in case disaster strikes. SharePoint Server 2010 and its unique requirements demand special attention. Then there are the issues involved with the Office 365 product that includes the fully customizable SharePoint Online offering.

    This guide to SharePoint content management and enterprise collaboration provides a vast store of expert tips and opinions on planning and managing SharePoint initiatives; instructive articles that dig into the details of SharePoint administration and backup plans; interviews with consultants describing how organizations can benefit from SharePoint deployments; and key information about governing SharePoint collaboration installations and managing them for ongoing success. Consider it a Microsoft SharePoint tutorial and primer, with valuable insight into the independent software vendor universe that has grown up around SharePoint and which lays bare some of the platform's shortcomings.

    And, as SharePoint 2013 is rolled out, you will find updates here that follow the latest trends in SharePoint collaboration and content management, and what to expect in the newest version. It should be especially informative for those IT and content management professionals who are curious about building a business case for SharePoint adoption and how best to introduce it to their companies.

    If you have any questions or comments, or if you have any resources that you'd like to add to this learning guide, or if there's a SharePoint topic you'd like to learn about, send me an email.

    Jonathan Gourlay

    Site and News Editor, Twitter: @sContentMgmt_TT