Pie’s comments on the Yammer purchase

Thanks to the wisdom of Gmail, e-mail that I receive where I am just “one of the many” gets filed away in the “Bulk” folder.
I try to check it every now and then, and got a surprise today when I saw an email alerting me to Laurence Hart’s latest blog post.
I was surprised because he had written about the purchase of Yammer by Microsoft. I didn’t even know that this had occurred! (Been very out of touch lately).
You can read Laurence’s post above. I like his analysis.

Thanks Laurence

Word of Pie

There is going to be no shortage of analysis of Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer. I’m not going to take time to parse it all. I do want to share some quick thoughts on the acquisition while everything is still fresh on my mind and the deal seems more likely to be completed.

Yammer Cashing Out

Yammer was one of the pioneers in the the Enterprise 2.0/Social Business space. The issue that over the years as the space has evolved, the amount of evolution coming from Yammer has been limited. Their product has gotten better but they remain, at their core, a micro blogging service.

imageThe space has been moving on though. People have been learning that all these Social Business tools work best when they are part of the business process, not when they are on their own. With Yammer, you may produce less email and generate greater visibility…

View original post 327 more words

Promise #2 – The Public Sector Digital Landfill

Digital Continuity logo

Refer: 14 Unfulfilled Promises


In my post “The Public Sector Digital Landfill” I described how NZ Archives were creating a Digital Continuity Strategy that would “ensure that valuable information is preserved and migrated when necessary to the latest formats and media, appropriate metadata is attached, and documents that are no longer relevant are securely deleted”.

I also expressed some excitement at the fact that NZ Archives had drawn up a “Digital Continuity Action Plan“, and stated that I would be following the progress of it.

Delivering on the Promise

I admit that I didn’t follow what was happening with that initiative. However, I recently made contact with Mike Crouch from NZ Archives.

Turns out that NZ Archives has been doing a lot with regards the Digital Continuity Action Plan.

Digital Continuity Action Plan

The Digital Continuity Action Plan is described beautifully in a publication that Archives NZ actually published in 2009. You can view it in HTML format here, or a PDF copy can be downloaded here.

The key messages given in the report really made sense to me. They are:

  • There when you need it – digital information will be maintained so that it can be accessed when needed.
  • Authentic and reliable – public-sector digital information should be tamper-proof and free of technological digital rights restrictions
  • Trusted Access – Publicly available information should be findable and usable by all New Zealanders,  and sensitive information will be protected from unauthorised access.
  • Do nothing, lose everything

2010 Conference

In May 2010, a conference was held with experts from Australasia, North America and Europe who presented on a range of aspects in the digital preservation and information continuity fields. There were three streams, and the presentations, and recordings of the sessions can be viewed/listened to here.

2012 Conference

At the end of March, another conference was held. The title was “Digital Preservation by Design”. It looked like there was an excellent line-up of speakers from around the globe.


The idea of digital preservation has been taken seriously by the government in New Zealand. The last of the four key messages (see above) sums it up well: “Do Nothing, Lose Everything.”

Promise #1 – The value of a Content Management system

Refer: 14 Unfulfilled Promises


In my post “The value of a content management system” I described how the US Air Force Medical Service had added an E2.0 interface to their content management system, and finished the post by trying to find out if I could republish some of the material from the article.

Delivering on the Promise

Instead of republishing excerpts from the post, I have included a link to the post, so that you can read it yourself:

Social Network Enlightenment Found in the U.S. Air Force Medical Service

BLUG – I’ll be there


I’m going to the Belux Lotus User Group conference that is being held in Antwerp, Belgium.

Am I a big Lotus user? No – not really.

Then why am I going? Because the sessions they’ve got lined up look excellent!

There are three main streams – Development, Administration, and Business/Other. I’ll be attending the “Business/Other” sessions.

Social Business

At this years “Lotusphere” (IBM’s big conference), there was a big focus on Social Business. And and looks like this will be playing a big part at BLUG.

After what looks like a very interesting Opening Keynote, there will be a Panel Discussion on  “Social Business”. Does this “buzzword” actually has any credence?

Members of the “Panel” include Luis Suarez, who has been living without e-mail the last 4 years, Femke Goedhart, an IBM Champion (and someone that I met at a SharePoint event last year), Stuart McIntyre, a Social Business Consultant (and author of the blog Collaboration Matters, and Chris Miller (aka IdoNotes) from Connectria.

This is one discussion I’m looking forward to.

Further in the “Business/Other” stream there will also be sessions on Cloud Computing, Balancing freedom the freedom of social media with the corporate restrictions that are often necessary, hearing how to “survive” in the business world without e-mail, as well as some other interesting sessions.

As I mentioned, I’m not a big “Lotus” person, but I feel that you can learning can come from all different sources. So I’m ready to learn. I’ll be there with my notepad (yes – the paper-based version) taking notes.

I’m also looking forward to meeting some of the IBM/Lotus crowd. (If you see me there, come and say “Hello”).

Nerd Girls

And…before I forget – I’m looking forward to seeing the Nerd Girls. At Lotusphere 2012, these girls organised the “Spark Talks”. These talks are very, very good (and inspiring). I wrote about one of the Spark Talks in an earlier post, and I am keen to see what the girls have organised this time.

A comment by David on “Social Leadership”

In my last post, #SWCHAT – Social Leadership, I mentioned that there seemed to be the feeling that there was no such thing as “Social Leadership”.

In response, David Christopher, the host of the #SWChat’s, posted a really valuable comment. You can read it at the end of the above-mentioned post, but I feels it’s really worthy of its own post…

The term “Social Leadership” doesn’t really exist in business today but it was clear from the event that leaders need to start understanding and working towards being more social.

The reason reason? Empowerment.

With a social business infrastructure the old hierarchical structures are broken down and decentralised. Employee’s become more empowered and open collaboration becomes the norm.

Leaders therefore need to evolve their leadership styles to accommodate this type of new workplace, a social workplace. Once they embrace this type of leadership then the tacit and explicit knowledge of the employees can be shared openly and becomes an incredible asset. An asset that is often ignored or not realised.

This is the future, the next generation workplace as some call it but many companies are still a long way off achieving this.

The SWChat event last week clearly highlighted this.

I’m looking forward to next weeks chat. Thanks David.

#SWCHAT – Social Leadership

  Yesterday, David Christopher hosted another Social Workplace Tweet Chat.

Social Workplace Chat is a weekly event on Twitter where people from all corners of the globe come together to discuss topics around The Social Workplace. This particular chat session is an incredible way to learn more about the “Social Workplace”.

David is an excellent host, and knows, exactly, how to encourage excellent discussions on the topic in question. You can find out more about up-coming #SWCHAT’s, as well as interesting stuff over the most recent one, at http://www.stopthinksocial.com/swchat/.

This week’s chat covered “Social Leadership“.   The main feeling about this was:

There is no such thing as “Social Leadership”.
Leader is inherently “social”.

Further to that, David also put forward three other questions:

  • Why are companies not adopting a “Social Leadership Infrastructure”?
  • What type of people do you see embracing Social Leadership, and what type do you see fearing it?
  • Are introverts more comfortable with Social Leadership?

The answers to these were interesting. Based on the fact that the “Social” Leadership didn’t actually exist (see above), the responses to these questions tended to concentrate more on the adoption of social media (i.e. the web 2.0 tools used).

With regards the last question, many references were made to a book titled “The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership”. This seemed to be the basis for this week’s chat. I have bought the book, but have only had a chance to skim through it.  David, however, wrote about it on his blog.

I have captured the essence of the chat in Storify. Click here to read it for yourself to read the discussion (note I have removed Retweets, and any “small talk” tweets).


[Alternatively, you can download a PDF version here.]

What is Enterprise 2.0 – by AIIM

As mentioned in an earlier post (“Innovation Management“), I’m following AIIM’s Enterprise 2.0 Practitioner course, and it’s really helping me transform all these ideas on what I “think” E2.0 is, into a more clear, and better defined understanding.

Here’s a slide deck that AIIM have made available on “What is Enterprise 2.0”. It gives a succinct overview and provides some good information.

Innovation Management


I’m following the AIIM Enterprise 2.0 Practitioner course at the moment, and in Module 4, there is a slide that contains the following definition of Innovation Management:

Innovation management is the economic implementation and exploitation of new ideas and discoveries, and the implementation of an innovation culture in an organization, to promote and make possible the development of new ideas and business opportunities. Innovation management consists of innovation strategy, culture, idea management and implementation of innovation processes.

– John P Riederer, University of Wisconsin.

While reading this, I couldn’t help thinking about 3M. If you recall, in my post Innovation policy from an unexpected mine – 3M, I described how William L McKnight, the head of the company, did just what was described in the definition above. He gave Dick Drew an environment where Dick could develop his new idea, one that was totally different from the core product of the company. And it was this environment, this innovation culture, that allowed 3M to grow to what it is today.

Why Virtual Events Matter – a post by Daniel O’Leary

I have started watching the presentations from the AIIM Virtual Social Business Conference. Even though I was not able to “attend” the conference live, AIIM are making all the sessions available for a limited time.

Thanks to a twitter feed that was running at the conference, I saw that Daniel O’Leary, an “AIIM Capture Expert Blogger” had written an excellent post on the value of Virtual Events.

Here is a link to his post…Why Virtual Events Matter


I’ve just signed up for…The AIIM Social Business Virtual Conference

AIIM social_business agenda

I decided to sign up for the AIIM Social Business Virtual Conference, scheduled for 8 September 2011.

Looks like an impressive line-up. Really keen to hear what each speaker has to say. (The fact that the sessions will be available for up to a month after the conference is going to be invaluable.)


There are three tracks:

  • Strategy
  • Use Cases
  • Governance


Click here for AIIM’s Conference agenda.


The impressive line-up of speakers includes:

Andrew McAfee – Founder of the term Enterprise 2.0
Keynote Speaker: Driving Collaboration and Engagement with Social Business

Dr. David Weinberger, – Author & Public Speaker
Keynote Speaker: The Network Way of Knowing and Deciding

John Mancini, AIIM, President
Keynote Speaker: Setting up for Success, The Social Business Roadmap; Lessons Learned & Next Steps

Claire Flanagan – CSC, Director, Social Collaboration Strategy
Getting Beyond The Field of Dreams: Building a Successful Social Business Strategy, Inside and Out

John Stepper – Deutsche Bank, Managing Director
Change the Work! Stop Evangelizing and Start Doing

Debra Logan – Gartner, Vice President
Key Issues for Enterprise Information Management, 2011

Edsel David – Fannie Mae, Director, Knowledge Management
Building an Effective Collaboration Framework

Andy MacMillan – Oracle, Vice President of Product Management
Today’s Successful Businesses are Social Businesses

Dianne Kelley – Viacom, Director of Records Management
Records Management in the Social Media World

Dan Latendre – IGLOO, CEO
Social started in the cloud – why should it live anywhere else?

Billy Cripe – BloomThink, Principal BloomThinker
Why Go Mobile? Am I Cool Enough?

Hanns Kohler-Kruner – HKK Consulting, Owner
How to Develop a Governance Policy for Facebook

Jacob Morgan – Chess Media Group, Principal
The Business Impact of Collaboration

Ajay Budhraja – Department of Justice, Chief Technical Officer
Agile Collaboration for the Enterprise

Carl Weise – AIIM, Industry Advisor
Survey of AIIM & ARMA resources

Bert Sandie – Electronic Arts, Director, Technical Excellence – Knowledge Workers
The Emergence of a New Breed of Savvy Employees

Ming Kwan – Nokia, Marketing Manager
Share to Connect at Nokia

Bob Larrivee – AIIM, Director and Industry Advisor
How Mobile Devices Will Transform Paper Processes

Jennifer Leggio – Sourcefire, Senior Director, Online Marketing
The State of Social Business and What to Expect in 2012

Ken Bisconti – IBM Enterprise Content Management, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy
Social Business meets Enterprise Content Management

Andrea Baker – Chief Social Engineer
How IT Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Facebook

Gayle Weiswasser – Discovery Communications, Vice-President, Social Media Communications
How Discovery Engages with their Audience

Jesse Wilkins – AIIM, Director Systems of Engagement
How to Develop a Governance Policy for Twitter; Records Management in the Age of Twitter

Steve Ressler – GovLoop, President & Founder
Community Development for Social Business, A GovLoop Story

Related Links

Speakers :

The Use of Collaborative Software in Virtual Teams

I was delighted to discover a whitepaper by Eike Grotheer’s on “The Use of Collaborative Software in Virtual Teams”.

I’m interested in how “virtual teams” operate and work together, and so started reading his work. Then I realised that I had actually been part of his research. To gather data for his thesis, Eike had sent out  requests to participate in a survey in May 2010. (Google still has a cached copy of the survey). In November 2010, he sent out the results of his research. And I never looked at it!  (Kicking myself now, though!)

As I read Eike’s work I got even more excited – his research not only involved communication in virtual teams, he had used TAM (Technology Acceptance Model) to determine the effectiveness of the software.

(If you are not familiar with TAM (Technology Acceptance Model please check out my earlier posts: Predicting User Acceptance; and Applying (loosely) the Technology Adoption Model to a Real-Life situation)

Eike had used some pretty advanced statistical techniques to analyze his findings (Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient; Kruskal–Wallis one-way analysis of variance), and I won’t go into those in detail.

Survey Results Summarized
  • 265 people responded to the survey,
  • There was also a very large variety of tools in use (Microsoft Outlook, SharePoint, Microsoft Project Server, Lotus Notes, Lotus Sametime, Lotus Quickr, and Google Apps were all listed, along with other collaborative applications).
  • Most of the features that are frequently used can be split into two categories:
      • Tools for sharing and managing information (e.g.  document, content and knowledge management)
      • Tools for direct communication between team members

User Satisfaction and the Use of Collaborative Software in Virtual Teams

OK – this is where it started getting interesting. Eike rightly states that

the use of information systems can only provide a benefit to an organization if users first of all have interest in using them and then actually make use of them.

To try and explain this the Technology Acceptance Model was devised (refer earlier mentioned posts for more detail). It states that the a user’s intention to use a system is influenced by the perceived usefulness and  the perceived ease-of-use.

Eike analyzed these two determinants (perceived usefulness and perceived ease-of-use) to determine their impact on the use of collaborative software. (He points out that, as everyone who responded to the survey is already using collaborative software, the intention is already known, and that the use is measured.) 

Again, I won’t go into too much detail. In the survey there were 4 statements that were related to the perceived usefulness, and 4 statements that were related to perceived ease-of-use.

Performing a bivariate correlation analysis on the data from the survey, Eike was able to show that there was a positive correlation between the perceived usefulness and the actual use. This effectively proves (statistically) that the more users perceive collaborative software to be useful within a virtual team, the more they will use it. (Sounds logical, but then this fact means that the TAM can be verified).

Tackling the other determinant of the TAM, Eike did a bivariate correlation analysis between each perceived ease of use item, and the extent of use of collaborative software.

There was no significant correlation which meant that the ease of use of collaborative software  has only a minor effect on the usage behaviour. However, it wasn’t actually possible to draw a conclusion as the survey participants were all experienced IT users, and the difficulty of the software may not have prevented it being used.

Going further, Eike investigated the impact of TAM factors on project success. Again using statistics he was able to show that there was a positive correlation between perceived usefulness and project success, and between perceived ease-of-use and project success. This confirmed that a relationship between the use of collaborative software and project success does exist.

In other words, the more useful the participants perceived the collaboration software that was used in the virtual team to be, as well as how easy they thought it was to use, had a positive impact on the success of the project in all aspects.

Summing it up

Sometimes it is easy to think “well, that’s already obvious”, but I always find it valuable to be able to scientifically prove (in one way or another) what everyone assumes.

And that is why I found Eike’s research exciting. From a handful of well thought-out survey questions, he was able to scientifically prove that

if software is considered useful by its users, it enables them to become effective and productive in their work, and if it is easy to use, it enables them to make use of it straight away, and leads quickly to desired results. 

Other useful links:



A meeting of the great ECM minds – the #ECMJam

Today the second ECM tweetjam was held. The topic:

the connection between ECM and SocBiz

Organised by Bryant Duhon, the list of participants looked like a veritable “Who’s who” of the giants in the world of AIIM and ECM.

As mentioned – this was the second ECM tweet jam. You can read Bryant’s initial explanation of what it is here:


And…here is Bryant’s report on the first ECM Tweet Jam:


Bryant will be writing a report of today’s ECMJAM. It will be worth waiting for.

If you want to read the raw tweets though, check out the tweet stream

Related Posts

Laurence Harts post on the ECMJam

Social Media in Business

Life is social.” …  “Business is social.  People buy from people they like and they like people who know them.  When we meet someone in their office we look at pictures on their wall so we can share something in common.  We want to build intimacy and trust.  Social media is just an electronic way to listen and engage…extending the old school way of going to someone’s office.

The above is a quote from a Forbes article (by Gene Marks) that I recently read. The article was discussing the adoption of social media in business.

While it seems that there is certainly a lot of interest in using social media in a business sense, there just hasn’t been that “compelling reason” to adopt it without question.

However there are still those that seem to see a real benefit (as seen in the quote above”, there are still a lot of people who don’t.

From what I’ve seen, business is still being run by a generation that hasn’t grown up with the web2.0 “idea”. And…there still isn’t a real business use that makes “C” level staff decide to implement it, without trying to work out first what they are going to use it for. (For some ideas on this, check out one of my earlier posts “ESS (Enterprise Social Software) – user adoption“)

Here’s the link to Gene’s post: Am I Wasting My Time On Social Media?

Social Media and Pharma Industry, a Paradoxical Oxymoron?

The following is an article that was originally posted on PharmaIQ.

The author is Cristina Falcão.


The world’s most highly regulated industry seems doomed to “forward retreat” tiptoeing into social media. Why? The reason lies on social media’s gist – user generated content (UGC) is the raison d’être but also the main drawback, since the lack of rules on the accuracy of online content (written by the users of websites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) makes pharma accountable.

Effective guidance, equally issued by the EU and US drug agencies, is urgently needed, before pharma companies can use social media’s valuable contribution in areas such as pharma-vigilance, clinical trials, R&D, and employee- recruitment.

What is the current guidance situation?

Unlike in the US, the European Directive 2001/83 (Community Code) forbids public advertising of “prescription-only medicines”. On the other hand, EU offers little specific guidance on social media (apart from some EFPIA -guidelines on websites, and the PMCPA’s (UK) “Brief guideline on blogs”), and waits for the US approach; however, FDA rules on pharma, internet and social media, which draft was due at the end of 2010, still have not been issued.

Major concerns

Pharma companies are responsible for the contents of a sponsored website (sponsorship can simply be advertising); yet, it is virtually impossible for the industry to control a website’s UGC without undermining the dynamic nature of social media. Adverse events reporting (AER) is a nightmare: the law states pharma companies must report all those events to the respective regulatory agencies, where they are stored in databases to monitor drug safety. It is impossible for the industry to monitor all AER’s, and marketers fear that user-generated content will include complaints about their drugs’ side effects; what makes it even worse, is the fact that FDA’s databases are regularly searched by lawyers for potential class-action suits.

Nevertheless, there are many pharma companies using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media tools; the only way out, is to monitor activity on any social media platform where they are present, using disclaimers, reserving the right to remove unwanted comments and redirecting drug questions to the company’s website.

Clinical trials

Patient-recruiting for clinical trials through social media, grants decreased R&D costs to the industry. However, clinical trials have several types, designs, and sample groups; social media, alone, is not the universal source. It can prove to be a double-edge sword, if patients interact and exchange information before the whole trial is completed; also it does not ensure evaluable data in the end. Patient- recruiting outside the physician’s own pool of patients has high dropout rates; tweeting about a clinical trial may build awareness of the opportunity, but does not guarantee an engaged PI, who will lead the patient through the clinical trial, thus assuring collection of meaningful data.

Although ‘social media’ is the overhyped buzzword of our time, for pharmaceuticals it will be a treacherous route: regulations will undoubtedly limit (further) interaction with the public, but increase accountability – it not being worth the effort or risk.

All we know for sure is that the debate has only started.


Click on this image for the original post



Related Posts:

ESS (Enterprise Social Software) – user adoption

In an earlier post (“Let’s Share“) I discussed the benefits of sharing information in the workplace.

One of the ways to do this is be using ESS (Enterprise Social Software). This includes employee’s blogs, wikis, and micro-blogging.

However, just providing the tools does not mean that will be used.

Murali Sitaram, (Vice President and General Manager for Cisco’s Enterprise Collaboration Platform Group), has written an excellent post in which he describes ESS, and the value it can have in the workplace.

I would like to borrow a few paragraphs from one particular section in his post in which he discusses strategies for User Adoption:

  • Make it personally valuable:Enabling employees to post, tag, bookmark and share information enables them to create their own personal learning environment and build relationships with peers based on similar interests. Adoption will not be driven directly by what processes they are involved in, or any other formal activity that directs their role. Instead, their use of ESS is influenced by their own goals – which might tie to career development, recognition of their expertise, or professional networking.
  • Make it a community effort:People often enjoy helping others and collectively co-creating something of value. Adoption can be facilitated by posing challenges for employees to overcome. For instance, inviting employees to participate in solving some of the more pressing issues facing the company (products, markets) or their department (customer service, data quality) can tap into the goodwill of employees to contribute.
  • Make it the new way of working:Over the years, companies have changed the means of production by deploying office productivity tools, or automating work activities by deploying various business applications such as CRM. Employees had to change the way they worked as the work itself changed in terms of its tooling. In some cases, we can change the work itself such that people blog instead of creating documents, or share information via wikis rather than email. As people become comfortable using tools for their daily routine, they can become more comfortable using the same tools to voluntarily participate in communities and professional networks.

These points describe excellent ways to not only encourage the use of social media tools in a company, but to also bring about a change in the culture of a company in a way that is not “thou shalt, or else!” way.

I really encourage you to read Murali’s post. You can find it here.

Enterprise 2.0 and Enterprise Collaboration Alignment

E2.0 Enterprise 2.0 communication social network

Originally from “Enterprise Collaboration – What’s Your Problem?

You want to complain? Go ahead.

Just read a great post by Steve Radick. His post discusses how, even though, we have such a great opportunity at the moment, to communicate how we feel about something in the work place, we still don’t.

And we never have. Who ever wanted to send an “anonymous” e-mail to the HR department about something that was royally pissing you off? Or to fill in an on-line survey about management in a truly honest way. We all know that in an organisation, if the communication is via the computer, then it ain’t that anonymous – “Oh look, unknown employee using computer WEX321 (ip address has criticised the way the Director runs the company. Let’s just make note of that.”

Steve’s post is quite interesting and he discusses ways to encourage honest feedback.

Here’s a link to his post: Got a Problem with the Organization? Speak Up!!


Click on graphic for a larger version

Got a Problem with the Organization? Speak Up!!Got a Problem with the Organization? Speak Up!!

Should Small Business Give Twitter A Twirl?

Should Small Business Give Twitter A Twirl?

via Should Small Business Give Twitter A Twirl?.

As someone who has heard about Web 2.0, but never really “got it”, I am now on a journey of Web 2.0 discovery.

The article listed above is good. At least I know now, that I am not alone.