My Top 10 Tweets From March 2014

April 22 2014 09:08:09 AM Add/Read Comments [0]
Below are my top 10 tweets from March 2014 based on combined number of replies, favourites and retweets. I weighted each of those three actions equally. Scroll through the widget below.

A Guide to the New Actions and Objects of the Digital Workplace

April 17 2014 07:03:24 AM Add/Read Comments [0]
In the Constellation Research report, Segmenting Audiences By Digital Proficiency, we introduced the idea of categorising people by a combination of their comfort and skill level with technology instead of by age. One of the things that contributes to a person's knowledge and comfort is an understanding of the current terminology used in the digital workplace, in this case specifically social networking.

Not long ago the main tools people used at work for communication were email and chat, and the main actions associated with those were Reply and Create Memo. In the era of social networking, employees now need to be familiar with terms like @mention, hashtag, check-in, follow, like and share.  

As a compliment to the Digital Proficiency report, Constellation has just published A Guide to the New Actions and Objects of the Digital Workplace.  This report provides a glossary of the items that digital workers should be familiar with, supported by examples from several consumer (ex: Facebook, Twitter) and enterprise social networks (ex: Jive, IBM Connections). It also covers the strengths and weaknesses of email versus social networking, and provides guidance on how employees should prepare for and use the new tools and actions now available to them.


Table of Contents
- Out with the Old, In with the Social
- What’s Wrong with Email?
  - Restricts audiences
  - Creates formatting challenges
  - Lacks useful integration
- Understand the New Nouns and Verbs
- How Does This Affect My Job?
- Quick Start Guide

Click here for more information on A Guide to the New Actions and Objects of the Digital Workplace, the first in a series of add-ons reports that build upon the Digital Proficiency framework.

It’s Time To Put The Millennial Argument To Bed

April 8 2014 12:00:00 PM Add/Read Comments [0]
Last year my colleague Ray Wang introduced The Five Generations of Digital Workers.  Expanding upon this excellent work, I've just published a new report:
Segmenting Audiences By Digital Proficiency: Using Knowledge and Comfort with Technology as a Framework for Digital Transformation

The proliferation of digital technology is causing businesses to go through one of the largest shifts since the Industrial Revolution. This digital transformation forces organizations to rethink everything about the way they do business - from the way they manufacture products to their sales and marketing strategies, even the way they communicate with employees and customers. Unfortunately, many companies start planning their digital transformation by discussing the needs of the various generations of people that will be affected by this change. While people of different generations may indeed have different wants and needs, age alone should not be the determining factor used in planning these transformation projects. Instead, Constellation recommends using a combination of a person’s knowledge and comfort level with technology, a characteristic referred to as Digital Proficiency. This report looks at five types of digital proficiency and helps guide organizations on how to tailor their digital transformation to each category.

The following chart shows the various categories of relationships of how comfort level and knowledge can be combined with respect to a person's technological savvy.

Using this framework, Constellation outlines five levels of digital proficiency and discusses the various characteristics of each category.

Table of Contents
  • Purpose and Intent
  • Executive Summary
  • Challenging the Myth that Age Affects Technological Savvy
  • “Content” Contains the Information We Create, Consume and Share
  • “People” Represent the Audiences We Interact with
  • “Actions” Are the Tasks that Enable Us to Get Things Done
  • Define Digital Proficiency by Knowledge and Comfort
  • Knowledge Comes from a Combination of Education, Experience and Accessibility
  • Comfort Stems from Beliefs, Desires and Trust
  • The Five Types of Digital Workers Reflects the Future of Digital Segmentation
  • Start By Determining Digital Proficiency
  • Recommendations: Tailor and Customize Experiences Accordingly
  • Scenario 1: Internal Collaboration
  • Scenario 2: Customer Support and Marketing
  • Parallax Points of View

Download the report snapshot here.

Purposeful Collaboration with Microsoft Yammer and Dynamics

March 20 2014 12:12:56 PM Add/Read Comments [0]
Below is the recording of my session at the SharePoint Conference 2014 that explains how collaboration should not be a stand-alone process but rather integrated with the business tools people use to get their jobs done. Towards the end I interview Steve Novoselac, Technology Director at Trek Bikes about their use of collaboration tools.

Microsoft Announces Office Graph - Connecting People And Content

March 3 2014 10:30:00 AM Add/Read Comments [1]
Today at the SharePoint Conference 2014 (#SPC14) Microsoft unveiled Office Graph, a new architecture layer that maps the connections between people and content across the Office 365 family of products. Office Graph is not something people will see directly, instead it is a "behind the scenes layer" that will be used by developers to create user experiences that surface the information in various ways. Think of it more like the electrical wiring running through your house. You don't interact with the wires themselves, but they do provide a way for devices to connect to plugs to get power.

In tandem with the Office Graph announcement, Microsoft previewed Project Oslo, their first user experience powered by Office Graph. Oslo uses Office Graph data generated from Exchange, SharePoint and Yammer and displays relevant content in a modern mosaic style user experience.

Image:Microsoft Announces Office Graph - Connecting People And Content

What does "relevant content" mean? Well, instead of sorting documents by the standard file-manager-esque name, date and time attributes, people can now find and sort content based on that has been shared with them, that they have viewed and/or liked, as well as the content that is trending. (presumably meaning the most commented and liked within their network of connections) This could represent a big step forward in helping people sort through the huge amounts of information in their organization or community. With the right information surfaced (pun intended!), people can more easily and accurately discover the content relevant to their work.

(Updated March 4th 6:00) Office Graph and Project Oslo (which is being developed by the Microsoft Fast Search team) are clearly the evolution a natural extension to the work Yammer was doing around Enterprise Graph, so it's good to see that Yammer (most notably Adam Pisoni) is having a significant impact on Microsoft, versus the other way around. Perhaps some of the people that scoffed at the $1.2B acquisition price tag may want to revisit their initial reactions?

At the moment Oslo is a Windows 8 application (Update March 4th 6:00am) as well as a web application integrated into the navigation bar of Office 365. Future plans will include mobile access as well. but ideally it will become an integrated component of products like Outlook, SharePoint and Office. That said, I can also see the merits of a stand-alone application... imagine Oslo being similar to magazine style newsreaders like FlipBoard or Zite, but for the business content within your organization.

Similar to how Oslo displays information about content, it also shows the connections people have with their colleagues. In addition to the standard "Manager, Peer and Direct Reports" hierarchy, Oslo displays the people you are working with as well as the intersection of people you and another person are working with.

Image:Microsoft Announces Office Graph - Connecting People And Content

It is important to note that Oslo is just a preview of the type of things Office Graph could make available. With a deep understanding of how people and content are connected, it is my hope that Microsoft will make it easy for people to learn more about the reach and impact their contributions are having to their organization. Imagine knowing more about who's reading your blog posts, downloading your presentations, replying to your Yammer posts, etc. I call this area Personal Analytics, or #smalldata. With Personal Analytics people will be able to see which things they should spend more time on, and which things they should focus less on. Jive Software does a good job of this today with their Impact Metrics feature, so it will be interesting to see how quickly Microsoft, or perhaps their business partner community, creates similar functionality.

For Customers and Business Partners

I don't believe today's announcements will have a large impact for Microsoft customers right away. Rather, Office Graph and tools like Oslo represent a step forward in Microsoft updating the underlying architecture needed to for improved product integration. For example, today Microsoft has to do a lot of magic (ok, it's code, not actual supernatural capabilities) to map identities and user profiles back and forth across products like Outlook, Yammer, Skype and Lync. Office Graph should make that easier, both for Microsoft, customers and Business Partners to build their next generation products and services.

Updated March 4th, 6:00am: Outstanding questions include:
- Will this type of functionality be available only in Office 365, or also for on-premises deployments?
- How will Microsoft Office Graph and Yammer Enterprise Graph come together?
- Will people be able to tweak the results displayed, indicating more or less from this person, or this topic. (similar to Zite, Google+, etc)
- Will people be able to save searches, or even set up alerts for things they want to be automatically made aware of?
- Will task management be incorporated into this, showing people not just want is interesting (trending around them) but urgent and in need of action?

Today's Microsoft announcements comes a few months after IBM announced Mail Next, their project to improve the way people combine email and social capabilities. Based on early looks, IBM Mail Next appears more focused on email and task management, where Microsoft Oslo is more focused on Office document type content. Personally, I really like the user experience of Oslo... edge to Microsoft on that one. It will be interesting to see how both companies move these projects forward and how customers react.

Video Interview On SharePoint And Purposeful Collaboration

March 3 2014 08:32:48 AM Add/Read Comments [2]
I had the pleasure of speaking with the always charismatic Dux Raymond Sy last night about collaboration, social business, SharePoint and other enterprise software topics.  Below is the 6 min video and if you want to hear more about this, please come to my SharePoint conference session at 10:45am on Tuesday.

My Top 10 Tweets From February 2014

March 2 2014 08:30:00 AM Add/Read Comments [0]
Below are my top 10 tweets from Feb 2014 based on combined number of replies, favourites and retweets. I weighted each of those three actions equally.