Posts tagged "linkedin"

Document Management Roll-up: Can't Let Go of the Paper, Has SharePoint Met Its Match?

This week there’s been a couple of wild claims doing the circuit, not least of which is the demise of SharePoint at the hands of Salesforce.com’s Chatter, while Microsoft gets social with Outlook.

Outlook Gets Social

The promised link between Microsoft Outlook and social networking has finally happened with Microsoft reporting this week that software updates between LinkedIn (site) and Outlook have just been released in beta.

Designed for Office 2010, the new set of applications that will also include email links for Facebook (site) and MySpace (site) will go on general release later this year.

The LinkedIn connection to Outlook lets people using the email program stay in tune with any changes in job status, contact information or affiliations being shared by friends at the career-focused online community.

The company says that the new connections are all about bringing, friends, family and colleagues into your inbox and enables you to communicate with them and see their social activities at the same time.

If you’ve been following us here you will be aware of the problems that managing unstructured content in emails is causing enterprises.

Likely that the same companies can hardly wait to thank Microsoft for this new Outlook ability. The test version of Outlook is available online at the Office website.

SharePoint To Be Killed By Chatter?

That Salesforce.com (site) has launched the private beta of Chatter, an enterprise collaboration tool for the cloud will stir some interest; that some of those involved in the private beta say Chatter heralds the end of SharePoint should cause more than a stir.

The end of legacy collaboration software like Microsoft SharePoint and IBM Lotus Notes is here," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com. "Consumer Internet services like Facebook and Twitter have shown us better ways to collaborate …".

Muscle-flexing aside, Chatter does come with a number of document collaboration tools, amongst other features, that should be useful for those with document management issues.

In this respect the document sharing and security settings are of interest. With Chatter, users can instantly and securely search the Chatter feed to access, share and even download the documents and other information files via an Internet browser.

It also enables users to manage who has access to what information based on Force.com platform security settings, which decides what information can be seen by who.

If you’re interested in more, you can find out more from the website, but nothing there would seem to back up Benioff’s claim that SharePoint is on its way out!

We Can’t Leave Paper Alone

According to AIIM (site) office staff just won’t give up on paper copies, despite the wide availability of scanners and document management systems.

A recent survey by the content management organization found that 62% of important paper documents are still archived as paper. Even when documents are sent off for archive scanning, 25% are photocopied beforehand “just in case” and less than a third of the paper originals are systematically destroyed after scanning.

Despite the fact that the legal admissibility of scanned paper documents has been established for nearly 20 years and is nailed down in legislation and standards around the world, there is still this suspicion among users that they may need to produce the original paper copy at some stage, the study says.

In the survey, 70% of the respondents agreed with the statement, “Users feel that paper records are needed for legal reasons.” Even at the organizational level, in 25% of businesses the legal admissibility of scanned documents is still seen as an issue.

According to AIIM president John Mancini, we still haven’t tapped into the real potential savings of using document management software, because we just can’t let the paper go.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can download the research from the AIIM website.

How Is Your Records Management?

Something else from AIIM this week that might help companies see how effective their records management software: take AIIM’s quick, easy online assessment to find out what stage of records management competency your organization is in, and then learn more about that stage, its risks and the benefits of progressing to the next.

Participants will be asked 13 questions in order to determine their organization's Records Management competency. Once the assessment is completed, participants can download the Solution Brief for their identified stage which includes information on:

  • Current state of records management
  • The risks of your current state
  • The benefits of progressing to the next stage.

And it’s all free.

Iron Mountain Adds Archiving

We couldn’t let this week go by with some mention of the acquisition of Mimosa Systems by Iron Mountain for an estimated US$ 112 million in cash.

Iron Mountain is a major player in the information management market with this deal providing it with an on-premise content archiving solution — in this case Mimosa NearPoint — to complement their cloud based offering.

Mimosa NearPoint is an email archiving and eDiscovery solution. Version 4 was brought to market last June, offering an integrated content archive that includes not only email, but also content in blogs, wikis, documents and more. It also improved content search, case management and came with a new user interface and data capture methodology.

It's these capabilities along with being able to now capture and manage content from additional devices like desktops, laptops and systems like SharePoint that caused Iron Mountain to choose Mimosa.

SMB Tech Roll-up: Social Media Is Good And Bad For Business, With Security Top of Mind

We have a mixed bag of news for SMBs with conflicting views on whether social media is good or bad for business. There was a lot of other research published this week giving a considerable amount to think about for companies in, or thinking about entering the tech fray.

Social Media is good for Business?

American SMBs are turning to social media in an effort to boost their customer base, according to the recently released, Small Business Success Index.

Sponsored by Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business, the report shows that over the past year alone social media adoption by small businesses has doubled from 12% to 24%.

The research showed that nearly one out of five small business owners is actively using social media in their business with many of them investing in social media applications, including blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

The biggest expectation small business owners have from social media is expanding external marketing and engagement with 61% of the respondents indicating that they use social media to identify and attract new customers.

Amongst the findings:

  • 75% surveyed have a company page on a social networking site
  • 61% use social media for identifying and attracting new customers
  • 57% have built a network through a site like LinkedIn
  • 45% expect social media to be profitable in the next twelve months
  • 72% have found ways to operate more efficiently

However, it also showed that there were still some concerns about using social media with:

  • 50% saying it takes more time than expected
  • 17% saying it gives people a chance to criticize their business in a public forum

Only 6% felt that social media use has hurt the image of the business more than helped it.

Download a copy of the Small Business Success Index and also find out how your business scores on the six key dimensions of small business success from the growsmartbusiness.com website.

Social Media Is Bad For Business?

The flip side of the Small Business Success Index is the report from Webroot, which was also published this week showing that IT managers in small and medium-sized organizations believe malware spread through social networks, Web 2.0 applications and other Web-based vectors will pose the most serious risk to information security in 2010.

The data is part of a new survey of 803 IT professionals in companies with 100 to 5,000 employees in the United States, the UK and Australia.

The vast majority of respondents (80%) say Web 2.0-based malware will be a problem in 2010. In fact, seven out of 10 (73%) said Web-based threats are more difficult to manage than email-based threats. Survey respondents also identified data security and confidentiality, data loss prevention and securing mobile and laptop users as the top three priorities for Web security in 2010.

Webroot commissioned the survey to identify the threats security professionals most anticipate in 2010, the weakest links in Web security and how companies are addressing these issues.

Key findings include the fact that nearly one quarter of those surveyed believe their company is very or extremely vulnerable to threats from:

  • Microsoft operating system vulnerabilities (25%)
  • Unpatched client-side software (24%)
  • Browser vulnerabilities (24%)
  • Web 2.0 applications (23%)

The majority (73%) of respondents agree that managing Web-based threats is more challenging than managing email-based threats.

And while many believe they are under threat, many others have already been compromised. These included:

  • 23% compromised by employees who accessed personal Webmail accounts
  • 24% used social networking sites
  • 25% used P2P networking
  • 32% downloaded media

If you’re interested in more check it out on the Webroot blog.

SMBs Maintaining Not Upgrading Software

SMBs are spending more than half their budgets on maintaining existing software than they are on new or upgraded software, according to the latest Forrester's Enterprise And SMB Software Survey.

The survey of nearly 2,200 IT executives and technology decision-makers at enterprise and small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) in North America and Europe is part of Forrester's Business Data Services (BDS) series, which helps Vendor Strategy professionals profile their target market's budget allocation and technology adoption.

The survey shows that the poor economic environment has created a backlog of business application software upgrade activities for firms, and many plan to address the issue this year.

Amongst the areas companies will be spending on are:

  • 21 percent of SMBs plan to upgrade existing finance and accounting software,
  • 19 percent of SMBs plan to upgrade their customer relationship management (CRM) applications,
  • 18 percent of SMBs plan to upgrade industry-specific software.

In addition, more than 20 percent of all SMBs have concrete plans to implement CRM or information and knowledge management (I&KM) software in 2010 or later, representing the fastest-growing SMB software markets in 2010.

While cloud computing has many enterprises interested, growth of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications is driving the market more, and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is still slow, the report also shows.

More information about Forrester's Business Data Services is available at the Forrester website.

UK SMBs Save By Not Using WiFi

Instead of relying on Wi-Fi hotspots, small enterprises’ employees should use mobile broadband USB sticks and datacards when traveling to save their businesses an average of UK£ 2145 (US$ 3368) each year depending on the number of employees on the road, according to research by UK telecoms, technology and media consultancy Analysys Mason.

Entitled Small Enterprises Save Money With Mobile broadband, published ahead of Mobile World Congress 2010 just finishing in Barcelona, it shows that each employee who travels throughout the year can accumulate Wi-Fi hotspot charges of up to UK£ 700 (US$ 1099).

All in all, the quality of service, simplicity and performance of mobile broadband in the UK is very good. SMEs can choose highly competitive offerings, with or without contracts from different providers.

This short report is part of Analysys Mason’s Research Enterprise program on the global enterprise and SME sectors.

If you’re interested in more, details of the report can be found on the website.

Social E-Mail Wars: Outlook Integrates LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace

Rather than creating an in-house social networking tool like the thus-far-catastrophic e-disaster more commonly known as Google Buzz, Microsoft (site) has decided to integrate the elite right into their own platform.

Introducing LinkedIn, Facebook and Myspace for Outlook 2010:

The Outlook Social Connector

Social networking within e-mail isn’t a brand new idea; Outlook’s Social Connector (OSC) was first touched on by Microsoft in November of last year. The addition aims to be enterprise-y by connecting people with their colleagues in a familiar environment.

"We don't want this to sort of be the next great time waster in the workplace," pointed out Will Kennedy, a corporate vice president for the Office group.

Features include:

  • The People Pane A name, picture, and title for your colleagues whenever reading a message from them.
  • Rich history See a communications history for each person that sends you messages with access to the most recent messages and attachments.
  • Activities Download and see real-time activity for your colleagues from business and social networks.
  • Get friendly Request someone as a colleague or friend with one click. Synchronize those colleagues with Outlook and keep them up-to-date as their information changes.
  • SharePoint 2010 Connect to the new MySite social networking experience right out of the box with the OSC & SharePoint 2010.
  • Extensible A public SDK allows anyone to build a connection to business or consumer social networks.

microsoft_outlook_socnetworking.jpg Outlook Social Connector

LinkedIn for Outlook

LinkedIn for Outlook allows Office 2010 Beta users to connect the OSC to a public network for the first time. By doing so, you can take advantage of all that niftyness mentioned above. Yes, this means you can view your LinkedIn colleagues’ status updates and photos next to the e-mail messages they sent you.

Also, in case you haven't put two and two together, it also means that when a colleague updates their contact information in LinkedIn, their contact info is automatically updated within Outlook. The same goes for phones synced with Outlook—contact info from the Web is automatically synchronized with your mobile.

Facebook and Myspace Partnerships

Even though Kennedy says Microsoft doesn’t want the OSC to be viewed as a time waster, they’ve sprinkled some popular social networking platforms in as well. The integration of Facebook and Myspace offers all the same perks that the addition of LinkedIn does:

outlook_facebook.jpg Facebook for Outlook

Says the official Microsoft Outlook blog: “Our vision for Outlook (and the OSC) is to provide a communications hub that is vital to both professional and personal communications; by integrating with both Facebook and MySpace, Outlook 2010 enables you to connect not only to co-workers and colleagues, but with all of your friends and family within your Outlook Inbox.”

Social E-Mail

It's kind of a big deal now, wouldn't you say? And as hard as Microsoft tries to convince us all that this connector isn't a time-waster, it's highly unlikely it'll be seen that way—at least, in part. However, there two points of interest with this approach: The inclusion of LinkedIn will surely attract the fickle enterprise, and could be the one tick that equals staying power for this tool. Secondly, Microsoft didn't mess around with in-house solutions. This may or may not be Google's biggest mistake with Buzz (other than the whole privacy thing), as it seems people love them some Facebook and Twitter time (note: there's no talk of being able to push information towards Twitter or Facebook from within Outlook yet). 

Are we ready for everything Google, or is a combination of our favorites the golden ticket? It'll be interesting to watch these two solutions compete.

Get started by downloading Office 2010 Beta.