Week of January 21 update (late)

Due to a publishing glitch this post didn’t make it out last week. So pretend it’s last week and we won’t have any problems. Winking smile

On Wednesday (January 23rd) I presented my SharePoint/Yammer Case Study presentation to the UW E-Business Consortium. I got some really interesting questions and folks seemed genuinely interested in what I was talking about.

One thing that struck me from the start was that many of the decision makers in the room – the folks that are responsible for setting the collaboration and social strategies at their organizations – don’t have Facebook or LinkedIn profiles. This is akin to your dentist not having gone to dental school. I can’t stress this enough: If you’re responsible for setting policy or direction on something at your organization you need to know something about the tool. The best way to learn these tools is to actually use them. There is no Easy button here.

That Dilbert comic pretty much sums it up…

Some other points that struck me:

  • Governance and Compliance is a big point for most – everyone is paralyzed by making a decision because they’re concerned things will get out of hand, or worse, no one will use the tools. Understandable but I’d say the concerns are generally overthought.
  • Cisco vs. Lync runs RAMPANT! A lot of organizations – mine included – are using Lync for IM but Cisco for all the other communication tools (tele-presence, phone, etc.). I think most people overlook Lync as a true Unified Comm tool.
  • Collaboration tools are being used by almost everyone, every where – at least it’s good to know we’re not stuck in the 1990’s anymore with Outlook and File Shares.
  • Confidential vs. Secure vs. “I-don’t want-you-to-know-what-I-know” is a pretty common theme – I even heard one organization utter the comment “We don’t want our internal competitors choosing a tool before we choose it.” Aren’t you all on the same team?!

At the end of the day, we’re all in the same boat dealing with the same problems so you can at least take solace in the fact you’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to take some calculated chances on these tools. Start small and work your way out. Never underestimate the power of the Proof-of-Concept.

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