Enterprise Social Software and Collaboration Report 2009 – More Doorway than Doorstop

Enterprise Social Software Report 2009I have to admit – when my copy of the Enterprise Social Software and Collaboration Report 2009 from CMS Watch arrived, I was a bit daunted when I heaved the envelope – this thing seemed like a doorstop.  I opened it and typically just fanned open to a few pages, catching glimpses of catalog-like inventory pages on various enterprise software products… honestly?  Is this just a huge, expensive collection of RFP responses?  Having other reading material ahead of it in line, I set it on the pile.  Honestly, I procrastinated a bit before tackling it. 

Big mistake.

When I finally dove in I was pleasantly surprised.  The extensive introduction is a fantastic foundational read for anyone getting into social software or social media in an enterprise setting.  There are well over 100 pages of detailed analysis on topics such as the business case for social software, a vivisection of social software types and services, and scenario-based vignettes of social software.  There is an extremely deep dive into the actual inventory of software products and platforms, with descriptions, ratings, feature matrices and screenshots.  And in classic fashion, the executive summary is saved until the end.

What’s so great about this report is that it is more enterprisey than wonk-ish.  Of course, social software is still new-but-busting-into many large enterprises.  The Social Software Report is a playbook for this market.  The analysts provide fantastic feature descriptions and real-world usage patterns, but also cover fun topics like Compliance in detail just as great.  Describing the differences between real-time versus cached LDAP credentials from both compliance- and point-of-failure angles is Good Stuff for the Enterprise Architect.  Covering archiving is good (they do this), but doing it within a section called “Lifecycle Management” shows you they get it.

There are suitably large sections on the big platform vendors (30-ish pages on Sharepoint), since many enterprises own one or many of those already.  But there is still plenty of coverage on best-of-breeds like SocialText and Jive.  Detailed functional reviews are followed by technical architecture descriptions – which, I know from my own tedious research experience, don’t always jump off the vendor sites at you.

If you are engaged in any explorations of social software, don’t make the same mistake I did.  If you are going through a selection process, it’s ridiculous to not check this report out.  But even if you have constrained options or a preferred vendor that’s already a done deal – this report will flesh out your understanding of the marketplace for social software enough to get you kicked out of the next BarCamp for being a suit.

Good stuff, this report – check it out!

Technorati tags: social software, social media, cms watch, enterprise 2.0, web 2.0, collaboration, research, industry analysts

Cleared the Hurdle with the FiveFingers Challenge!

We far and away cleared our goal for diabetes fundraising this year!  Thanks to everyone who heeded the call.

Final Push for Diabetes Fundraising – and the Vibram FiveFingers Challenge!

With less than 24 hours until the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes this year, I want to make one final fundraising push. We are amazingly close to our fundraising goal, with less than $500 to go:

jdrf-thermometer-2535

If we can close the gap, I will take up the challenge issue by my friend Terry and I will do the Walk in my Vibram FiveFingers:

vibram-fivefingers-kso-1

It’s a bit bizarre as they are not exactly Mall footwear, and not exactly January-in-Minnesota footwear. Yes, I will spend a lot of the time explaining them to people and putting up with odd looks, but that’s part of the fun.

So bug your friends and family, and support my Vibram challenge!

Cross posted at:  http://runlikemonkey.com/2009/01/23/final-push-for-diabetes-fundraising-and-the-vibram-fivefingers-challenge/

24 Hours of Diabetes

Our kids helped us put together a YouTube video about our life with diabetes, so please take 6 minutes from your day to watch.

If you want to support us, please check out our JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes fundraising page.

Also posted at http://runlikemonkey.com/2009/01/14/24-hours-of-diabetes/.

In Mourning – co.mments Shutting Down Due To Spammers

commentsBoo.  Hiss.  There is a lot of complaining about spammers, but now they have crossed the line.

Announced on the http://co.mments.com site this week:

co.mments will be shutting down Jan 11, 2009. It’s been a wonderful ride, unfortunately regular upkeep, and our friendly spammers, have turned it into a chore. I need the time and energy to focus on other things, so sadly, I’m going to shutdown the site by the end of this week. Thank you all for your support, Assaf

Cote clued me in to co.mments two years ago.  In my book, this site was the hands-down sleeper hit of the Web 2.0 world.  It provided a personalized and surgical way to slice through web conversations.  My co.mments feed in Bloglines was the first feed I checked – every day, no exceptions.

What a drag – is there anything to replace this?  I will seriously miss this service.  Thanks for the ride, Assaf.

Fundraising to Cure Diabetes

We are participating again in the Walk to Cure Diabetes coming up in a few weeks.

We are hoping to put together another special message to support our fundraising this year – stay tuned for that. But in the meantime, check out our slideshow from last year to help understand how we feel about diabetes.  As our boys like to say “it sucks” – we need to get rid of it.

Please visit our fundraising page if you are interested in support us!

(also posted at http://runlikemonkey.com/2009/01/05/fundraising-to-cure-diabetes/)

Getting Real Value Out of Sales Pitches

Tony Byrne is right on when he says:

Increasingly I find SEs somewhat removed from actual implementation details (except what they’ve customized on their own laptops). While comfortable issuing jargon about “persistence layers” and “dynamic cache invalidation,” they don’t always have much depth on the mechanics of how their tools actually work behind the scenes.

Amen.  How tired are we in large enterprises of product pitch teams actually composed of all sales staff?  The ostensibly technical people in the room, as Tony says, often really understand just how to install and manage their demo environments.  If technical people are on the customer end, they need to be on the sales end as well.  We want to know how it runs in virtualized environments, how it integrates with policy server environments (read:  not just LDAP), how we can comply with policy around electronic records, electronic signatures, and audit trails.

These come from the professional services domain, not the sales domain – at least in a meaningful way.  Sales people are important too – but don’t forget to invite PS along next time you come calling.

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