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Doing Business with IBM Connections. A masterclass! (23rd September 2013, London)

Sep 5, 2013   //   by Stuart McIntyre   //   Blog Posts, events  //  1 Comment

UPDATE: DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND OUR CONTROL THIS WORKSHOP HAS HAD TO BE POSTPONED.  A NEW DATE WILL BE PUBLISHED ASAP.

Collaboration Matters takes pride in approaching Social Business and Collaboration from a business-value perspective.

It is therefore never about “technology for technology’s sake” but instead we help our customers to focus on transforming their organisations to become increasingly open in approach, to share knowledge more widely and to collaborate in ever more transparent ways with colleagues inside and outside the organisation. Therefore tools and platforms such as IBM Connections are merely a means to an end rather than the focus of the work that we do.

Michael SampsonWe love working with others in our community that feel similarly, and Michael Sampson is a shining example of this. From his vendor-neutral approach through his brilliant books on Social Business and User Adoption to his exceptional workshops, we feel that Michael sets the standard for analysing why and how Social Business techniques can be leveraged to generate business value.

For that reason, Collaboration Matters is delighted to announce that we are hosting an upcoming Doing Business with IBM Connections masterclass delivered by Michael, to be held in St. Pancras, Central London on Monday 23rd September 2013. This is an updated version of the successful workshop that was ‘tagged on’ to Social Connections V in Zurich back in June.

The Doing Business with IBM Connections masterclass provides a forum for quickly exploring real-world applicability of IBM Connections in organisations today. The workshop presents ten core collaboration scenarios that business people do on a day-to-day basis, and examines how to bring each of these to life in IBM Connections 4.5, in the context of business and human factors. The scenarios include co-authoring documents, managing meetings, running projects, and making decisions. Each of the ten collaboration scenarios are explored, with demonstrations to bring each of the scenarios to life. Attendees do more than just hear the ideas; they also get to see each of the scenarios being worked out before their eyes.

If your organisation is exploring the potential benefits of using IBM Connections, this workshop provides a vendor-neutral, independent perspective to guide your planning. And even if you have been using IBM Connections for some years, this workshop provides targeted advice on making the most of the platform to help you and your organisation do business better.

Discounted ‘Early Bird’ tickets are available until 6pm this Friday, so if you would like to attend, register ASAP!

What matters to Collaboration Matters ?

Sep 5, 2013   //   by Stuart McIntyre   //   Blog Posts  //  No Comments

Collaboration really does matter to us. We started our business on the principle that helping people to work together in new and smarter ways was a good thing to do.  We won’t hire anyone in our business unless they exhibit a passion for this. So Social Business is in our DNA.

We understand that many forward-looking organisations are looking for new ways to work together smarter to innovate by capturing, sharing and working on ideas to deliver a better customer experience.

And that some of these organisations will want us to help them to succeed with Social Business projects which drive positive change.

This will take leadership and a willingness to experiment with new ways of working together.

A social business recognises that people do business with people and provides new tools to enhance the ways people can interact to get work done. Our drive is to provide the platforms, processes and know-how to help you do this.

Helping you to work smarter together.  That’s what matters to us.

McKinsey Quarterly: Making internal collaboration work – An interview with Don Tapscott

Jan 23, 2013   //   by Stuart McIntyre   //   Blog Posts, videos  //  No Comments

One of the best resources for those interested in Social Business has to be the McKinsey Quarterly.

As many of you will know, McKinsey & Co are one of the most respected management consultancies around, and are involved in a significant volume of work with organisations around the world on Social Business and internal productivity. The McKinsey Global Institute produces a regular annual report into the use of Social Business – a must read for sure.

However, the reason for this post is to direct you to this interview with Don Tapscott where he describes why effective knowledge management within enterprises requires replacing e-mail with social media. Filmed in September 2012, Don does a great job of explaining how Social Business tools will revolutionise business in this decade, and how it should be approached differently from previous collaborative technologies.

(If you prefer to read these kinds of interviews, the transcript is also available).

I particularly like Don’s example of an organisation cancelling 80% of their meetings that were ‘informational’ by sharing the information online in place of the meeting.  

Collaboration Matters believes that this Social Business ‘revolution’ is as significant as Don and others state, and are working with organisations to make massive gains in productivity through the shift from meetings and email into a much more efficient social strategy.

Get a fantastic deal for IBM Connect 2013 with Kenexa

Jan 9, 2013   //   by collabmatters   //   Blog Posts, events  //  5 Comments

Update 10th January 2013: It seems that this deal was too good to be true and thus it has been withdrawn. If you managed to get your registration done in time then well done!

At Collaboration Matters we love to look after our customers, and so we are delighted to be able to share a fantastic deal with you courtesy of Kenexa.

The IBM Connect 2013 conference is coming up in just 2 weeks time. Many of you will know it as Lotusphere, but the near-20 year old conference has now been rebranded to IBM Connect, to reflect the new focus on Social Business and Smarter Workforce topics as well as the traditional messaging and collaboration areas. The conference this year takes place from 27-31 January at the Dolphin and Swan resort at Walt Disney World.

As a special offer to customers and prospects of Kenexa (a recent acquisition by IBM in the Smarter Workforce category), there is a special offer as follows:

Attend two days of the conference for just $995—saving hundreds off the two-day rate. Use code MAFFZR

Attend all five days of the conference for just $1,295—saving hundreds off the normal full conference rate. Use code JSHTTA

We recommend that all our IBM Collaboration Solution customers attend Connect – there really is no better place to hear the latest news about the products and solutions you use, as well as being part of the best community in the business.

Click through to register – there’s no time to waste!

Joining the team… Sharon Bellamy

Sep 13, 2012   //   by Stuart McIntyre   //   Blog Posts  //  10 Comments

I am truly delighted to announce a new member of the Collaboration Matters team, Sharon Bellamy.

In many cases, Sharon will need no introduction, as you will already be familiar with her great work on IBM Connections at a number of organisations, regular blog posts, appearances on This Week in Lotus, speaking engagements at user groups and Lotusphere conferences, her efforts to co-found and organise the Social Connections user group and indeed, her status as an IBM Champion!

If you haven’t had the fortune to meet Sharon yet, hopefully you’ll soon have the opportunity to get to know her enthusiasm, tenacity, deep technical skills and boundless energy!

Sharon will be working to deliver Social Business projects to our customers, including technical and business consultancy, managed services and training.

Welcome Sharon!

The Social Business imperative – a time of radical corporate change

Jul 17, 2012   //   by Stuart McIntyre   //   Blog Posts, publications  //  No Comments

Rooven Pakkiri, Head of Social Business at Collaboration Matters has recently had a paper published by the well-respected UKSG organisation. It is entitled ‘The social business imperative – a time of radical corporate change’ and is featured in their ‘Insights: the UKSG journal’ publication for July.

Here’s the excerpt:

UKSG Rooven article 300px‘Social business’ is about the inspired use of collaboration technology platforms inside the company firewall to solve business problems. It has often misleadingly been described as Facebook or LinkedIn for the company, but it has a much more profound objective than social networking sites. It represents a technology-led paradigm shift that will reshape the culture and processes of organizations within five years. This article explores the very heart of social business: the emancipation, distribution and consolidation of knowledge – which aligns neatly with the traditional roles of publishers and libraries to date. It looks at the background, in terms of economic theory: increasing the value of ‘labour’ over ‘capital’, and the promise of social business: to make better use of the knowledge embedded around the organization, looking at examples from the real world and assessing the cultural implications, such as valuing patterns over process or influence over hierarchy. In conclusion, the article presents a final vision for social business: loyalty and gamification, the future of work and the end of the traditional workplace.

Covering topics such as ‘Background economics: the evolving dynamic between labour and capital‘, ‘The promise of social business: optimization of knowledge‘ and ‘Understanding the value of pattern over process‘, Rooven presents an overview of what Social Business is and how Collaboration Matters takes it to our customers.  This isn’t about technology for technology’s sake, instead as an enabler for a paradigm shift ‘that will reshape the culture and processes of organizations within five years’.

You can download the paper free from the UKSG site.

IBM introduces the IBM Connections Suite

May 15, 2012   //   by Stuart McIntyre   //   Blog Posts  //  1 Comment

At the Social Business event in the Netherlands today, IBM announced the new IBM Connections Suite.

The Convergence of Social, Unified Communications, and Content Management

Including IBM Connections, IBM Connections Community document libraries, IBM Sametime Advanced and IBM Sametime Unified Telephony Lite, this new solution is designed to provide an organisation will all the tools to offer its users a cohesive suite of social collaboration tools.  I’m sure that you will hear more from Luis Benitez and others as the day goes on in terms of details – I know that there are some great video demos to look out for too.

From our perspective, this new bundle provides a single part number for a really cohesive bundle of tools: instant messaging, VoIP, microblogging, communities, social profiles, document libraries, instant polls, forums, media galleries and so on.  When you compare the breadth of the solution with anything from Jive, Socialtext, Microsoft or SalesForce.com, it all stacks up tremendously well.  Like for like, there really is no comparison in ‘bang for the buck’.  IBM has done a super job of pulling it all together into one product.

As always though, Social Business is not really about the technology.  It is an enabler to help an organisation and individuals working within it to get to a culture where sharing carries less friction, where information and resources are easier to find and where the organisation is flattened to a point where it becomes about the ‘wirearchy‘ rather than the ‘hierarchy‘…

The Connections Suite will absolutely provide an organisation with the bundle of tools it needs in its’ kit bag.  The next challenge is how to implement them in a way that supports the organisation’s goals and direction.  That’s where IBM’s partners (and internal services team) need to step in, to remove the complexity from this bundle of products, make it into a really cohesive single solution and then to layer ‘the interesting stuff’ (user adoption, customisation, business process alignment, community management etc.) on top.  We can’t wait!

The rise of the Community Manager and the Collaboration Garden: an IBM Social Business Briefing

May 1, 2012   //   by Rooven Pakkiri   //   Blog Posts  //  No Comments

For our third IBM Social Business Briefing (aka Wicked Wednesdays) on 25th April at Royal Exchange in London, we felt the time was right to move the discourse from thought leadership and education to a more practical footing.

Of course, we still leveraged the superb network of independent thought leaders who we are lucky to have at our events BUT at this latest event we changed / evolved the format.

On this occasion I framed the discussion on the emerging role of the Community Manager (seen by some as the ‘rock star of the Enterprise’) and then actually used a collaboration platform to discuss, collaborate and innovate around the chosen topic.

The objective or rather the output of the debate was not simply to gain a better understanding of this subject (the fastest growing job role in Social Business) but also to create a job description for the role of Community Manager which could then be downloaded and iterated by users.

To help us achieve this we introduced attendees to the Collaboration Garden – a place where the Wicked Wednesday discussion and collaboration goes on in and around the physical events.

Once inside the Garden, users could not only record their opinions and raise questions but they could also examine (through the software) the potential responsibilities and attendant tools on hand to assist a Community Manager with user adoption – e.g. gamification and social media feeds.

The overall sentiment was that this was our best Wicked Wednesday to date and pointed the way forward for future events.  Weaving the use of the collaboration platform into the discussion from the start had a number of important effects:

  • It forced us all ‘to drink our own champagne
  • Individuals contributed to the Garden on-premise and remotely (including from Spain and Ireland)
  • It highlighted how much was lost when we simply spoke and did not record
  • Live collaboration in the platform allowed for multi-threaded conversations which themselves were profoundly different to normal conversation
  • Those who were not familiar with a social collaboration platform experienced it in a way that was far more refreshing and natural then the traditional demo mode

Wicked Wednesdays are all about sharing and collaborating with those who attend the latest trends, twists and turns in the Social Business journey. We take risks at this event; we have to in order to keep things fresh and real.  So it was particularly gratifying to hear that the new format was warmly welcomed by those involved.

We are planning our next Wicked Wednesday/Social Business Briefing to take place in June and in keeping with our need to innovate we are experimenting with moving the venue from the Royal Exchange to a comfortable, friendly, coffee shop in the city which should be fun.

For more information, feel free to contact us directly.

Collaboration Matters awarded IBM Platinum Achievement Award

Apr 30, 2012   //   by Stuart McIntyre   //   Blog Posts  //  7 Comments

Collaboration Matters were delighted and incredibly honoured to be publicly recognised by IBM last week at the Software Partner Marketing College at IBM South Bank in London.

The ‘IBM Software Platinum Achievement Award – Outstanding Marketing Achievement’ recognised those business partners that have marketed IBM’s and their own solutions in innovative and ground-breaking ways over the past year.  Finalists were Portal, Applicable, Barrachd and Collaboration Matters with Collaboration Matters taking the award.

Activities that were highlighted in considering the award included:

  • The Collaboration Diner at UC Expo (breaking the mould for trade show stands, by making the main event the conversation and contribution, not the sales effort)
  • Our ongoing series of Social Business Breakfast sessions (combining education and discussion on topics and issues relating to Social Business all through a combination of face-to-face and tool-based collaboration)
  • The Collaboration Garden (an exclusive invite-only Social Business platform allowing organisations and individuals to trial, learn, discuss and be educated around the power of Social within Business)

Key to all of these initiatives has been our focus on being ‘refreshingly different‘ – an IBM Business Partner like no other.  It is great to see IBM reward our efforts:

“Collaboration Matters are creating innovative solutions with IBM collaboration technology in response to the Social Business models more and more customers want to pursue.”
Mark Barrett, Business Unit Executive, Partner Sales, Software Business, UK and Ireland

Thanks must go to my colleague Rooven (who was behind the concept for the Collaboration Diner), to the team at Arrow ECS (our VAD) and to all those at IBM UK who have supported our efforts this year.

Different technology, same values

Apr 27, 2012   //   by Stuart McIntyre   //   Blog Posts  //  4 Comments

A Lotus Notes ad from the R5 days, circa 1999:

I am ready‘, ‘I am connected‘, ‘I am not alone‘, ‘The power to work the way you want‘, ‘Share work and ideas‘ and so on…

This was describing Collaboration, Messaging and Workflow software from 13 years ago, but could so easily be describing the impact of Social Media and Social Business tools (such as IBM Connections) today.

My goodness, Lotus Notes and Domino really was painting a vision of the future…

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About the Blog

Authored by Stuart McIntyre and Rooven Pakkiri, this is the corporate blog for Collaboration Matters covering the topics of Collaboration and Social Business.

However, unlike most corporate blogs, we won't pull any punches or slip into dull company speak, we aim to tell it as it is and to demonstrate true thought-leadership in this space.

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