Microsoft Acquires LinkedIn: Connecting Professionals With Business Process

June 13 2016 11:08:16 AM Add/Read Comments [0]

This morning Microsoft announced they are acquiring LinkedIn for $26.2B. Microsoft is one of the largest providers of business and productivity software and LinkedIn is one of the largest professional networks. The combination of the two, bringing LinkedIn data and connections (social graph) to Office365 and Dynamics could have major impacts on personal productivity, team collaboration, social selling, human resources, marketing and customer experience. 

Here are my thoughts on what this deal means for daily users and developers.



ThinkTank - The Future of Work: People, Places and Technology

May 28 2016 10:30:00 AM Add/Read Comments [0]

On May 25th I had the pleasure of participating in an all day Think Tank about the Future of Work. The event was hosted by Adobe and took place at One Kearny in San Francisco, in conjunction with the release of a new FoW study Adobe has just published.

The Think Tank brought together eight industry experts to discuss potential changes in the future of work that will take place over the next 5 years in the categories of people, places and technology. Some of the things we discussed include:
- What is work? Is it something we do for money or personal fulfillment?
- What is employment? Should we all be contractors? What is loyalty? 
- Where do we work? Office? Home? In transit? In shared spaces? In virtual environments?
- What is work:life balance, or life:work balance, or blending, or integration, or just life?
- Should work be fun? Should we have choices of what we do, or do we need to just accept what’s available?
- What’s wrong with the tools (software and hardware) we use today at work, and how can we fix them?   How will AI, VR/AR, wearables, IoT, etc. impact getting work done?
- How should performance be measured? Today jobs can scale on the web far more than they could in the physical workplace. What is the return per employee?
- How should we be paid for work? Is money the only currency? 
- Are robots and AI going to replace us all?
- Have we seen all this before, and we’re just living in the middle of a current cycle, or is something different this time?

I had a great time interacting with and learning from the experts on people and workplaces, and hope I contributed on the topics of technology. I found the event extremely beneficial, and will use the information to guide several of the topics I write/speak about in the future.

One thing I would have like to have seen us do more of is push the boundaries further. To be fair, the day was focused primarily on the next 5 years or so, but imagine the next 10 or 20! Think about transit to work via hyperloop subways, ramjet planes or self-driving cars. What about when “function specific wearables" go away, and their functionality is just woven directly into our clothes, shoes, glasses, hats, etc. ex: Imagine a map displayed right on the sleeve of your jacket. What will work be like when augmented reality provides us information in real time, right within our field of view? How will holographic displays or flexible/foldable/bendable screens impact our ability to create and consume information? The future is exciting, and I can’t wait to be part of it.

Below is the recording of one part of the Think Tank, in which Jeremiah Owyang moderates a 90 minute discussion with us all. Stay tuned, as more content will be released from the day long event, including short interviews and highlights from our brainstorming workshops. *I am looking into if anyone has indexed the 90 minutes, listing the questions and their timing.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the future of work.  Will is remain the same? Will it be completely different? What do you hope changes? What do you hope stays the same?

Google I/O 2016 - Introducing Allo, Duo, and Spaces

May 19 2016 08:51:54 PM Add/Read Comments [0]

Yesterday at the Google I/O 2016 conference they announced several new products. In the video below I share some thoughts about the new collaboration/communication tools Allo, Duo and Spaces. Some topics include:

  • Where do these tools fit into the portfolio? How do they compare the Messenger and Hangouts?
  • No matter how good the tools are, how do you get people to use them versus Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, FaceTime, SnapChat and others? It’s like Google+ vs Facebook, the best tool does not always win, as what matters is where is your network?
  • How will these tools integrate with Gmail, and Google Apps for Work 


Report: The Future of Work on Digitally Proficient Teams

May 19 2016 11:17:31 AM Add/Read Comments [0]


Announcing my latest Constellation Research report: The Future of Work on Digitally Proficient TeamsThe New Cultural and Technical Skills Required

This report contains information that can help all organizations plan for what type of people that want to hire, and for what type of training they want to provide employees.

Here is the executive summary:

Not long ago, many employees’ resumes included their typing speed and skills such as "proficient with word processing and spreadsheets.” But a very different set of skills is required in today’s digital workplace. Now, people need to work across time zones and language barriers. They need to be available almost any time, any place via mobile or wearable devices. They need to know how to create interactive content using social media and live-streaming videos. People need to move beyond boring slide decks and reports and instead visualize data patterns and derive insights to guide more informed decisions. Today’s top employees don’t just do their own jobs, they also embrace the role of company advocates and act as unofficial sales, marketing and customer support staff. Today’s employees even need to recognize that some colleagues are not even human, as artificial intelligence and personal digital assistants become part of our everyday workflow.

The main topics include:

  • Work Is Shifting from Communication and Collaboration to Conversation and Coordination
  • Conversations Power the Routine Part of Business Processes
  • Work Is What You Do, Rather than Where or When You Do It
  • Moving from Content Creation to Storytelling
  • Cognitive Digital Assistants Help Get Work Done
  • Employees Use Data to Work More Effectively
  • A Person’s Digital Proficiency Matters More than Age
  • Recommendations: Get Started on New Ways to Work

You can download an excerpt here

You can purchase the report here.




IBM Verse - Helping Shape the Future of Work

May 16 2016 10:17:12 AM Add/Read Comments [0]

In January 2016 I published a report titled Collaboration Vendors Shaping the Future of Work. The report highlights 18 companies/products that show vision in improving the way people get work done. One of the vendors included was IBM, specially their IBM Verse messaging client. Today I've published a guest blog post on that dives deeper into the why IBM Verse plays an important role in shaping the Future of Work.

An outline of the key points are listed below, and you can read the entire post here on IBM's site.

Why IBM Verse

  • Recognizing Email Needs to Evolve, Not Die: While it’s common to hear discussions about the frustrations people have with email, the reality for most workers is that it’s still a critical, even if frequently misused, communication tool.
  • The Bridge to Collaboration: With IBM Verse, they have started down the path of removing the distinction between the various product families.
  • Investment in Design: This IBM Design team’s work does not just impact individual products, but instead ensures consistency that spans the collaboration portfolio. 
  • Introducing Cognitive Computing: Of all the things IBM Verse is doing, the most significant potential contribution to shaping the future of work is the proposed integration with IBM’s “cognitive computing services” from IBM Watson. 

Conclusion: For more than 20 years IBM has been one of leaders in communication and collaboration tools. Their products are used by millions of employees around the world every day. With their renewed focus on design and the ability to leverage IBM’s Watson’s cognitive services, IBM Verse is an important product in shaping the future of work.


It’s Time To Link Salesforce’s Marketing and Community Clouds

May 13 2016 11:33:27 AM Add/Read Comments [0]

This week I attended Salesforce Connections, a conference focused on their Marketing Cloud offerings, which competes with similar platforms from companies like Oracle, Adobe, SAP, and IBM

You can see my earlier blog post, Salesforce Strikes Marketing Cloud With Lightning where I discuss the main news from the conference:

  • Marketing Cloud is updated with the new "Lightning UI"
  • New Marketing Cloud mobile app
  • Advertising Studio for targeting ads
  • Email Studio for email marketing campaigns

In the video below I cover two things:

1) An overview of the products that make up Salesforce Marketing Cloud (from 00:00-08:30)

2) My thoughts on how the Marketing Cloud and Community Cloud should work together to a) provide collaboration for marketing professionals and b) add triggers for community events to Journey Builder (from 08:30-11:06)


Related Posts:

Holger Mueller, Salesforce Connections - Bringing together Builders and Studios for Marketing Success


Salesforce Strikes Marketing Cloud With Lightning

May 11 2016 11:00:00 AM Add/Read Comments [0]

On May 10th I attended Salesforce Connections 2016 in Atlanta Georgia. This event is Salesforce's conference dedicated to marketing, showcasing their Marketing Cloud offerings.

There were four main announcements:

  • Marketing Cloud is updated with the new "Lightning UI". Read announcement here.
  • New Marketing Cloud mobile app
  • New Advertising Studio for targeting ads to the right customers
  • Email Studio for those critical email marketing campaigns. Read announcement here.

My Summary

1.) With the updated look and navigation, the full range of features (delivered via a series of Studios and Builders), and the integration with the rest of Salesforce (ex: Sales and Service clouds) Salesforce Marketing Cloud provides an very powerful platform for marketing professionals to reach their audiences across email, social media and even places like car dashboards. They deliver personalized, 1:1 marketing whenever and where ever the customer needs it.

2) I was surprised by the overwhelming focus on email (they did not ignore social media, but it certainly took a backseat to email) and pushing offers (ads), as marketing is more than just pushing discounts at people, it's building relationships and providing them information and services they need.

3) While Marketing Cloud was updated with the "Lighting UI", it is still lacking the collaboration features that the Sales and Service clouds have. I look forward to seeing them add Chatter directly into the various Marketing Cloud studios so that marketing professionals can have conversations directly within the context of their campaigns.

Here is a short video recap of day 1:

Here are my tweets from day 1. You can scroll (down) through them, or click view as slideshow.