Every industry has it’s own unique issues within their collaboration story. And the story doesn’t end when your organization buys an enterprise collaboration platform like IBM Connections.
Why? Because, no doubt, you use many tools in your work day to organize and share data, keep track of clients and leads, manage issues or a git repository, etc. Think about it – all these tools to get things done and collaborate with data, processes, and people in your organization, and all of it in different systems that don’t talk with each other. Collaboration? Hmm – more like two steps forward, one step backward given all those silo’d systems!
Maybe you have a fragmented email culture as well – which creates churn, politics, and other linear work models and inefficiencies. Perhaps all your silo’d tools prevent cross-enterprise engagement and lead to miscommunications and confusions?
IBM Connections “Integrated” by AppFusions – a platform to bring all your systems together in unlimited contextual communities – is the solution to your problems. It’s time to stop wasting time, bouncing all over the place! It’s time to work smarter and faster, drive attention to key content in context, and reduce data and process duplication efforts. It’s time to streamline your workflow. Finally, a collaboration solution that “just works” – 24/7 for you.
In the spirit of this month’s IBM InterConnect in Las Vegas (see you there!), let’s think about IBM Connections “Integrated” – in a real-life scenario … Meet Vincent, a Las Vegas native.
Hello, I am Vincent.
I run a large Vegas casino hotel with high rotating traffic, which results in a very high volume of documentation – from employee data to guest information to incident reporting to housekeeping management records… yeah, it’s A LOT.
For years, given the diversity of our workforce, data was tracked via our central Facilities office that doubled as HR. They use a number of systems to get their job done. Over time, however, Facilities began to balk at the enormous amount of documentation, the many incident and record tracking systems, and the different levels of expertise required for HR.
HR was spun-out as a separate department, but we decided to move all our data records into Dropbox, categorized by different types. We also deployed JIRA ServiceDesk for incident tracking, and records associated with incidents were attached to the logged incidents. This helped a great deal, but still, it’s a never ending chase.
The HR spin-out was a good thing, but it brought to light other issues, of lacking real-time community communications, relationship development, and ongoing collaboration. While the data tracking and records issues were solved partly, we ended up with more systems and no central place for the many types of communities the casino needed (internally and externally)…
Enter IBM Connections integrated with Dropbox and JIRA ServiceDesk. We are thrilled with the new system since now everyone is looking at other ways to improve our work processes via integrations into the IBM Connections system. The good thing is everyone is aligned, in one home – the silo’d system is gone.
The journey is just beginning – we hope to also build communities within Connections for our external customers that are regulars. By connecting with those customers closer, we can grow our relationships and they will come back more often. We are also excited about the IBM Connections integration with Salesforce – it’s about time we had access to our CRM within our HR and Account Management communities!
Thanks for reading! Vincent’s Vegas casino story is one of hundreds … unsure how your industry or organization would benefit from IBM Connections “Integrated?” Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll help you connect the dots!
It was a great conference that I would highly recommend, if interested in getting up front, close, and personal with “who’s who” in the IBM Connections’ ecosystem. This includes the many folks that work daily to make IBM Connections’ customers successful: IBM developers, PMs, and IBM Collaboration Services’ (ICS) management — they were all there!
In addition, the conference was attended by a passionate group of customer end users and administrators, and dozens of expert consulting implementors from across the globe.
With a packed schedule, it was an exciting two days and we are grateful for attending!
For our part, on Thursday afternoon, AppFusions’ Patrick Li and Ellen Feaheny presented about our new AppSpokes Framework for faster development and deployment of single code-based integration applications for cloud, on-premise, hosted, or hybrid IBM Connections environments. We’ll be sharing more on that soon enough; just getting going with some initial deployments.
David then took it another level and added the header integration into AppFusions’ Immersive for Atlassian Confluence, in IBM Connections, and with a bit of additional theming, he morphed the Confluence theme to mirror the currently applied IBM Connections look and feel/theme.
For example, this:
… which looks a whole lot like the default IBM Connections theme, as shown here:
AppFusions’ Technical PM and overall great human Danielle Zhu was also with us, and AppFusions’ “Boston-camp”spin-off wouldn’t have been the same without her!
AppFusions left the conference with more knowledge than we arrived with or brought too, which to me means success. Our plate runneth over on great IBM Connections’ integrations plans and fired-up-ness — going to be a great rest of the year! THANKS to the Social Connections planning team!
Earlier this month, Atlassian released JIRA 6.1, the very latest in their increasingly slick and easy to use project and issue tracking system. The latest release introduces an improved workflow editor as well as improved search.
JIRA 6.1 is all about making change happen faster, for everyone in the organization.
For users of Google Apps, what better way of increasing productivity for all than automating the JIRA sign-in process using your existing Google Apps account. Minutes saved are minutes accumulated are minutes earned!
AppFusions’ Google Apps SSO Authenticator for JIRA simplifies user management. It automatically assigns users to groups and optionally automates JIRA user creation.
This is another post in our discussion on DVCS and git (see our git category in the right column for more). Distributed version control (DVCS) makes it easy to share changes as every change has a guid or unique id. With DVCS git, you can get the best of both worlds: simple merging and centralized releases. We will continue a Wednesday post on aspects of git and git resources into May. Atlassian provides a git tool with their Stash offering. In this post I want to go over the key steps in migrating to Stash.
Before You Begin:
Make sure the following steps have been completed.
Staging Environment – Set up a staging Stash environment to perform a test run of your import first, for review and validation before doing the production run. Note, this is best practice for ANY major service efforts with Atlassian systems. You can use an evaluation license for this test.
Atlassian Stash, git, SVN installed – Install Atlassian Stash on staging server, as well as git and SVN. (SVN install is required for the import processing.)
Mail server – Configure SMTP mail server settings on Stash serverbefore you begin the import process. At the completion of the import, you will receive an email notification of success or failure (which can take a while depending on the size of your import).
SVN Permissions – You will need permissions authorization to your SVN repositories that will be imported, or the ability to import the SVN repositories “anonymously”. The importer supports both scenarios.
About Stash Logging – Stash process logging is logged to logback.xml in stash-home. Importer logging is logged to stash-home/logs.
1. Review the “Before you begin” checklist and “Getting Started” steps.
2. Access the importer user interface, as follows:
Select the Source Code Import option in the Repositories menu, or,
Click Import… button from the Projects screen
3. In the UI, define your SCM, and URL for the SCM Repository Source.
If you require SVN authentication, select “Use Authentication”. You will be prompted for SVN username and password.
If no authentication is required, do not select this option. The import will access SVN anonymously.
If the SVN server URL is https, no problem. The certificate will be detected, and this is supported.
4. Define your Stash target, as follows:
Select “Existing” or “Create New”.
Select/define project (depending on existing or new).
Define repository name
5. Click [Fetch SVN authors…] button to continue.
6. In the Source Code Import Details screen, your set import configurations are shown. Stash users are mapped to SVN authors, but you can override these mappings here. Check/adjust all of your SVN authors as desired, then click [Import into Stash] button to continue.
7. The Source Code Import Commenced screen is displayed. When import process has completed, an email with results will be sent to the logged in Stash user.
If an error occurs during the process, the import is halted and you will be emailed the results.
At anytime during the import, you may check progress in the Importer logs, located here: stash-home/logs.
Depending on the size of your import, the full process can take some time, so please be patient.
8. Repeat this process on your production server
9. Congratulations!and we’d love it if you let us know about your success!
If you have any questions on DVCS and how best to work with git and Stash contact us at: email@example.com. At AppFusions we have also developed a Source Code Importer for Stash, Atlassian’s git offering. This importer significantly decreases the challenge of migrating SVN to git.
IDC concludes that the “increasing sophistication of use cases demonstrates that the market for enterprise social software is maturing quickly. Organizations are looking to engage internal users and customers in an ongoing conversation, inside and outside the firewall. As usage increases in breadth and depth, activity streams, discussion forums, blogs, and wikis are becoming assumed functionality of enterprise social software to facilitate collaboration in real time and in context.” I would certainly agree with this assessment.
Application integration is increasingly becoming a success factor. IDC notes that “Customers are demanding broader and more specific collaboration scenarios that tie together internal and external constituents, deliver sophisticated insight into user behavior on the network, and extend seamlessly across mobile form factors.” These seamless extensions and the connection of internal and external constituents requires comprehensive integration that is designed to address business objectives.
Their key success criteria include: the ability to extend activity streams, blogs, and wikis to a broad range of stakeholders. The optimization of the mobile experience, comprehensive analytics that can “perform behavioral and predictive analysis on data generated by the network,” a scalable platform that can extend to customers, and partners, as well as handle different roles, company sizes and industries, and “prepackaged integrations with collaboration tools and major enterprise application vendors delivered via the cloud.”
IDC notes that such social tools as activity streams and blogs are becoming required functionality within the enterprise. As social tools mature beyond initial marketing applications, use cases have grown into such areas as customer experience, sales enablement, digital commerce, socialytics, innovation management, and enterprise social networks.
The latter use case provides a means to find relevant information and people through connecting people, data, and systems in an overarching system. Collaborative workspaces are the outcome and the foundation for the connected enterprise.
Enterprise adoption of the new enterprise social software is on the rise. There has been as 40% year-over-year market growth. In this current survey 67% of organizations have implemented a corporate-sponsored enterprise social software solutions. While there are standalone solutions, many vendors have moved to more open and connected offerings through the use of APIs. This allows social software to be embedded within work processes, a topic I have covered before (for example, see Putting Social Media to Work and Giving Social Media a Good Job)
IDC concludes that “enterprise social software will eventually become the backbone of the ESN for a number of reasons.” This is being fueled by the recognition that connecting employees, customers, and partners is key to success. As McKinsey found, “higher operating margins (again, self-reported) than competitors correlated with a different set of factors: the ability to make decisions lower in the corporate hierarchy and a willingness to allow the formation of working teams comprising both in-house employees and individuals outside the organization.” Collaborative technologies create more agile organizations and these companies achieve higher profits.
In 2012 IDC expects to see enterprise applications and other collaborative applications being upgraded to include social functionality or becoming integrated with enterprise social software solutions in a complementary fashion.
It is an exciting time and we are pleased to be part of it thorough application integrations.
This is another in our discussion on DVCS and git (see our git category in the right column for more). We will continue a Wednesday post on aspects of git and git resources into May.
We see DVCS and git as a major transformation in how software is created. Atlassian’s Stash provides behind the firewall git management. As fast as git is, Stash’s easy UI enables development to be even faster! Following are some useful resources on Atlassian’s Stash.
If you have any questions on DVCS and how best to work with git and Stash contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
At AppFusions, we have also developed a Source Code Importer for Stash, Atlassian’s git offering. This importer significantly decreases the challenge of migrating SVN to git for use with Stash and is currently available from AppFusions.
In this post I want to go over the basic differences between version control (CVCS) and the newer distributed version control (DVCS) and then discuss the pros and cons of DVCS. Traditional version control (CVCS) helps you backup, track and synchronize files. Distributed version control (DVCS) makes it easy to share changes as every change has a guid or unique id. With DVCS git, you can get the best of both worlds: simple merging and centralized releases.
First let’s look at CVCS as shown in the chart below. The central repository serves as the hub and developers act as separate spokes. All work goes through the central repository. This makes version control easy and sharing difficult.
With DVCS git there is more interaction directly between developers as shown below. Atlassian’s Stash is their offering in the DVCS git space. For more information see this Atlassian Stash overview.
This brings in a number of advantages.
Everyone has their own local sandbox.
You can make changes and roll back, all on your local machine.
No more giant checkins; your incremental history is in your repo.
DVCS git works offline.
You only need to be online to share changes.
Otherwise, you can happily stay on your local machine, checking in and undoing, no matter if the “server” is down or you’re on an airplane.
DVCS git is fast.
Diffs, commits and reverts are all done locally.
There’s no sketchy network or server to ask for old revisions from a year ago
DVCS handles changes very well.
Distributed version control systems were built around sharing changes.
Every change has a guid that makes it easy to track.
Branching and merging is easy.
Because every developer “has their own branch”, every shared change is like reverse integration.
The guids make it easy to automatically combine changes and avoid duplicates.
With DVCS, there is less management.
DVCS systems are easy to get running since there is no “always-running” server software to install.
DVCS systems may not require you to “add” new users since you can just pick what URLs to pull from. There are also some disadvantages of the current versions of DVCS that you need to be aware of.
You still need a backup.
Some claim your “backup” is the other machines that have your changes, but what if they didn’t accept them all? ** What if they’re offline and you have new changes?
You still want a machine to push changes to “just in case”.
In Subversion, you usually dedicate a machine to store the main repo; do the same for a DVCS.
There’s not really a “latest version”.
If there’s no central location, you don’t immediately know whether to see others for the latest version.
A central location helps clarify what the latest “stable” release is.
There aren’t really revision numbers.
Every repo has its own revision numbers depending on the changes.
Instead, people refer to change numbers that are not intuitive. But, you can tag releases with meaningful names.
If you have any questions on DVCS and how best to work with git and Stash contact us at: email@example.com. At AppFusions we have also developed a Source Code Importer for Stash, Atlassian’s git offering. This importer significantly decreases the challenge of migrating SVN to git for use with Stash and is currently available at the Atlassian Marketplace.
Updated Feb 2, 2013: Added full video of this session at the end of this post – enjoy, especially the rockstars – at the beginning and throughout!
(@jonathancoulton ‘s Code Monkey playback, the demos, and @avantgame ‘s VERY inspiring and insightful “gaming” talk are a “Don’t Miss” – see video below!)
This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. Here are my notes from 2011 and 2012I am very pleased to be back again after the last two years. Kevin Cavanaugh, VP Strategy, Social Business and Nigel Beck, VP Business Development led the opening session.
Jonathan Coulton played a rockin’ session of “Code Monkey” to get us awake after last’s night events. (IBMConnect live play at bottom of post!)
Nigel said there will be five demos from IBM partners. These firms just did the work without having to talk to IBM. You can just go to the IBM site and get started.
There were 27 initial entries into the AppThrowdown. From those, 14 challengers presented at Monday’s throwdown sessions. Of those, five were voted in, to do a repeat performance at today’s Keynote event.
The first demo was from SugarCRM. It provides CRM solutions. Clint Oram CTO and Co-Founder did the demo. Kevin mentioned that Clint has read every Stars Wars book.
SugarCRM is the currently fastest growing CRM app. It can turn every employee into a salesperson. Sugar CRM links to IBM Connections to use its capabilities to help with collaboration around sales. Activity streams, and OpenSocial embedded experiences support remote management of SugarCRM transactions, directly from IBM Connections, providing users with the easy and convenience of progressing the lead transaction right from within Connections. Or, Connections mobile!
Andrew Filev from Wrike did the next demo. Wrike does social project management. Wrike integrates with IBM Connections to become more social. I have covered them before (see for example Wrike Takes Project Management Mobile). Emails can be integrated into Wrike and Connections to become social objects with version control. So the team can become more efficient.
You can reach out to team members and assign tasks. Wrike is mobile enabled to extend its reach. The tasks get pushed into the activity stream in Connections to better monitor progress. Wrike is very scalable. One client has over 2,000 tasks on a project. You can look at resource availability to help fill the team.
Colin Goudie and David Simpson, Senior Developers at AppFusions led the next demo. Being part of the AppFusions team, I was very pleased to see this portion. AppFusions builds packaged software integrations that bring enterprise systems together.
Colin and David showed integrations between Atlassian JIRA and IBM Connections. It uses OpenSocial gadgets, OAuth2 support for seamless interactions, real-time live-link activity streams, and embedded experiences. This integration is especially great in bridging the gap between business personnel and engineering/product management in a corporation.
With the Immersive for Atlassian JIRA, for IBM Connections, ANY user of IBM Connections can quickly log JIRA tickets from any part of the company, whether they have a JIRA account or not! (AppFusions also has integrations with Confluence and Stash, with IBM Connections – which they did not have time to demo!) These integrations are also supported by IBM Connections mobile, so you can also interact with JIRA, Confluence, etc. from your mobile device.
Next Colin and David showed a quick demo of IBM SameTime integrated with JIRA (issue tracker), Bamboo (continuous integration server), Fisheye (SVN source code manager), Stash (git repository manager), and Confluence (enterprise wiki). Directly from the Atlassian applications, Sametime presence is live for any user, any place a users name is shown. By right-clicking, users can launch a basic chat or even video chat, if your Sametime subscription supports this.
John Tripp from Trilog did the next demo. He is also an opera singer. He showed a demo integrating their project management app and Connections. You can start in Connections and go to their project app. You can use the Connections activity stream and have your project work get aggregated into a Connections community.
He showed a social gantt chart. The work in their app appears in Connections to make use of its capabilities. You can update status in Connections and it will appear in their project app.
Russ Fradin from Dynamic Signal was next up. He does marathons. The tool does social CRM. He said that your employees can be your greatest advocates with Dynamic Signal. Their solution can manage the whole process giving employees some freedom and the company some level of control to strike a balance.
Activities in Dynamic Signal appear in the Connections activity stream. The company can present messages that it would like its employees to share on their Twitter and Facebook pages and other means. Employees can earn points for this activity. Others can see this and also share it. Employees can share content that their company wants shared and get rewarded for it.
Kevin said there is an open app dev challenge coming up with $5,000 in prizes and there is another contest with same prize money. These are in OpenNTF.org. Jane McGonigal next spoke. Her recent book is, Reality is Broken, and it covers her topic in more depth. She said there are 1 billion gamers in the world who spend over an hour a day gaming online. She said this is good news. Over three hundred million minutes are spent each day on Angry Birds. The average Call of Duty player spends a work month a year playing. Many players called in sick when a new release came out.
In contrast 71% of workers are not engaged in their work. This costs companies 300 million annually as well as lack of innovation. Gaming can be used to get the right engagement. The engagement economy is about unlocking the energy put into gaming. For example 100 million hours went into Wikipedia. This is only 7 days of the time spent on Call to Duty playing. If you can put this time to work on world problems or company challenges much can be done. You want mass participation. Girls are catching up to boys in gaming hours and 92% of two year olds are playing games on their parents’ devices.
She showed ten positive emotions that people get from gaming. They are in order: creativity, contentment, awe and wonder, excitement, curiosity, pride, surprise, love, relief, and joy. These positive emotions have a great impact on how we solve problems. These positive emotions can overcome stress. There is science backing this up. She has a site – show me the science – to give access to the studies. For example, children who play games score higher on tests of creativity.
Gamers spend 80% of their time failing but they are willing to hang in there to succeed. Studies show that ADHD symptoms seen to disappear when people are gaming. Also cooperation is enhanced through collaborative gamers. Gamers with autism show higher social awareness when doing multi-player gamers. Gamers can outperform drugs on the treatment of depression. Games make us resilient and more likely to get going until you succeed. She showed some great pictures of gamers in action and focused on their tasks.
She said that the opposite of play is not work but depression. If you can put play into work people will perform much better. She showed brain images of active gamers vs those watching them. The active players have much more active brain images. This is especially true for the area, hippocampus, where new learning takes place. These changes are lasting.
One project turned to the game, Farmville, to transfer the participation in an actual city garden. They got a 400% increase in participation. I certainly agree that making work into play gets better results. People doing their passions do not retire. When I was developing training programs for businesses in the 80s, including IBM, I always tried to introduce a game aspect with simulation. This could occur in a computer-based game or a classroom situation. It shortened the required training time and increased perform at the end of the experience and then again on the job. This was especially true if you could bring the learning tools back to job to help with the work.
Updated Feb 2, 2013: Added full video of this session below – enjoy, especially the rockstars – at the beginning andthroughout!
In the former posts, we noted how git usage has increased significantly over the past two years. As reported by Red Monk, git’s share in the version control system (VCS) industry almost tripled in two years, while the centralized version control (CVCS) share has declined by better than 50%.
Recent job openings/expertise reflect this same trend as reported on the “More @watterjames” blog. In the report, we find that there are 5,165 listings seeking people with git expertise. Traditional VCS’s, like Subversion/SVN expertise, shows 9,114 job listings. This generally balances with git’s 25% plus share of VCS repositories and Subversions 50% plus share (per RedMonk’s article).
It is interesting that in the @watterjames blog that other types of VCS flavors are not called out as a skill at all, in comparison. (I would have thought that CVS, Perforce or TFS at least would have made the list.) Also, I would have guessed that the percentage increase in job listings is actually a bit larger for git expertise, just as the git usage numbers achieved much greater percentage increases as reported through Red Monk.
Not doubting Mr. James’ reporting — just found the report to indeed be interesting when analyzing from this perspective. Git is a high focus.
git “job expertise” generally gets applied in two flavors of software development environments.
There is SaaS git, or hosted software-as-a-service git repositories, by GitHub and BitBucket by Atlassian. Both of these options offer limited free source code hosting.
Then there is behind-the-firewall git hosting, for more secure enterprise repositories. This market is served by GitHub Enterprise and Atlassian Stash, which are git repository managers for corporations.
Incidentally though, with git management applications (both SaaS and behind-the-firewall versions), “git expertise” is even less required – since thy whole point of these applications is to make source control management significantly easier and faster. Developers can spend time coding, with streamlined coding workflow mechanisms (like pull requests and easier merges, for example) – NOT fighting with their source control management (SCM) system.
git as a DVCS flavor overall gained its traction during the recent years’ open source community surge on hosted GitHub. That said, given that most open source contributions are by individuals, university projects, or small group teams vs. mid to large corporations, it can easily be argued that git in the corporation is still fertile ground in terms of market potential.
Despite the impressive git trends and momentum, thousands upon thousands of corporations or development organizations — small, medium, or large — are still on legacy VCS tools, such as SVN, CVS, or Perforce. As git continues it’s high-growth pace, so too will the proliferation of secure git Enterprise solutions grow.
Both Atlassian Stash and Enterprise GitHub are really at a nacsent stage in the enterprise world still, compared with the overall potential of the market. While nearly a third of all projects are now employing DVCS, versus 14% two years ago, almost 70% of projects remain in CVCS (per Redmonk).
The coming few years will be interesting times in the VCS industry, as mainstream corporations jump into the fast-spreading git wildfire.
AppFusions recently released a Source Code Importer for Atlassian Stash that is available now. The importer significantly decreases the challenges of migrating from a CVCS code repository system to git with automation, for use with Stash. Other flavor import support is on the near-term radar (which flavor do you want most? Tell us). Please “watch” the listing and do let us know if you have questions.
Note: AppFusions provides full-service sales support for all Atlassian products. We are happy to answer any questions or provide you with quotes. We also have strong expertise to help you through anyflavor of migration — simple to complicated.
We’re here to help you in your every Atlassian service need!
Happy New Year! Thought we’d start out the New Year with a power hitter on demystifying the wild world of social media – that is, for business.
What’s the tricks, the secrets, the behind the scene aspects, and a whole slew of other obvious and not so obvious nuances that we think are good and godly advice in this social marketing entrenched world that we all live in. Whether you like it, agree with it, do it, or not – one thing is sure: it’s here to stay, so we’d suggest, get on the train, or the train will leave the depot (or has already) without you!
In this very useful book, Mark presents the strategies and tactics of the world’s best social business organizations, including IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Google, JetBlue, and several small businesses.
Mark also offers a playbook that businesses can use today to make effective use of social business practices. In fact, McKinsey has predicted that there is over a trillion dollars in benefits waiting for those organizations who properly use social business practices so this is a worthwhile goal to pursue.
The book includes how to create and nurture a high performing “digital village” or internal social network. It also offers ways to connect with your “digital network” and build a community of brand advocates. It then includes how to manage a sales and marketing funnel with a social wrapper.
I asked Mark what motivated Mark to write the book? He replied:
The majority of senior executives I meet are feeling a stinging sense of urgency that their businesses must adopt a true social business model if they are to remain relevant, sustainable and profitable. However, most simply don’t know how to go about it.
I wrote Socialized! to give businesses a roadmap for capturing the power of social inside the organization and out.
Mark makes the very important point that successful social business starts inside your organization.
With the initial emphasis on social media marketing, this has often been overlooked as a crucial step toward social business success.
First, there are many internal efficiencies that can be realized by socializing business processes and these are part of the trillion that McKinsey counts. Putting social media to work inside the organization is a topic I have often discussed (see, for example, Giving Social Media a Good Job).
Second, a focus on external social business alone, without an internal social business component, will not make the necessary transformation of the business culture to realize both the external and internal benefits. This crucial link is often coined/termed: “social business”.
There’s much debate out there on what’s the difference between ‘social business’ and ‘enterprise 2.0’, in terms of terms (for example, here on Quora) – and we won’t go into that debate here, but in short, both are about collaboration, bringing it together: people, systems, and processes, whether internal external, or both.
Mark provides ten rules that are essential to build a culture achieve a closely connected business culture, or, as he refers to it, a “digital village.” Developing this digital village mentality allows for the creation and sharing of critical content across the enterprise. Aspects include: employees, management, operations, processes, workflow, technology, strategy, standards, and governance. It requires the updating of structures, processes, and workflow and making the investments to ensure these efforts succeed.
I am glad that Mark includes technology. Too often, people say, “well, it is not about the technology, but the people.”
Actually it is about both. For the connected enterprise or digital village to work, you certainly have to have the right culture in place. AND you also have to have the applications integrated so there are actually connections within the digital workflow. This second fact is often overlooked and then you end up with a bunch of frustrating silos.
Mark offers eight requirements for the digital village. These include developing a code of conduct and realigning the village to make it a social environment. Then you need to deploy social platforms to support the infrastructure of the digital village.
This is where application integration comes into play. Now you can leverage the collective intelligence of the village. To make it real you also need training and a more human focus to HR.
Finally, analytics need to be put into place to gauge the health of the digital village and make adjustments. Benefits need to be spread across the organization.
Once the internal digital village is in place you can turn toward to market with a unified force. The term “markets as conversations” introduced ten years ago though the Cluetrain Maninfesto remains highly relevant. Communities become one of the main platforms for these conversations. Mark contrasts old model behavior that was centered around onward communication and the new model of actual exchanges.
I asked Mark, “What are the most critical things for organizations do to become socialized in an effective way?”
He replied with the following three points.
Connect and empower thought leaders. ” I can’t emphasize enough that traditional marketing is dead. Your customers don’t trust your advertising as much as they do the individuals they have been following for years, so make it a priority to build reciprocal relationships with influencers. Once you’ve connected with them, you can work together to talk about the pains your customer community is experiencing, which your product can solve.”
Build or join an external community. “Building an external community around your brand is one of the most powerful things you can do to positively impact sales, create goodwill, and generate ideas. It’s also an effective feedback vehicle. Imagine thousands of people discussing topics related (and sometime unrelated) to your products every day.Your community is answering support questions, helping other members with career aspirations, or just networking. If your brand or product does not yet have enough authority to build a community around it, and if there is already a robust and thriving community where your customers are hanging out, then by all means join it. If your competitor is running it, you’ll need to create a community around another subject related to your product.”
Build internal online communities. “To support an adaptive organization, employees need to connect, share, and expand on ideas. This is a critical part of becoming a more social, adaptive organization. Employees must have the ability to share insight with each other easily and visibly. Imagine a professional sports team that doesn’t practice or share information about the opposing team. Indeed, imagine a sports team that doesn’t review its game tape. How effective would they be long term?”
There is much more including the rise of the social employee and a playbook to support and engage this employee.
The book is rich in practical examples and guidelines. I certainly recommend it to anyone embarking on a social business program.