Blogger: Mike Gotta
Some recent posts on Collaborative Thinking. Follow the citation links to read the full article(s):
First Take: Microsoft Business Productivity Suite Online - Communications Online
Microsoft announced this week (Monday, March 2, 2009), that its Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), was available for trial in 19 countries. It disclosed Office Communications Online would be available in April 2009. I wanted to share some thoughts on the unified communications aspect of the strategy.
- What this is... Primarily (overwhelmingly for that matter), this initial offering will be about hosted instant messaging (IM), presence and web conferencing.
- What this is not... This is not about hosted unified communications or even hosted OCS. It is better to think about this initial effort as "more LCS-like than OCS-like".
- Recommendation... It's hard to really identify a reason for a large enterprise to be interested in the initial release of Communications Online
- Questions and Future questions (note: mostly technical)
Sponsored Conversations: Four Models But Nothing Perfect
ReadWriteWeb touched off a small firestorm of reaction around a report published by Forrester regarding "sponsored conversations". The intensity of the comments tells you how volatile the topic has become. The concept of sponsorship is pretty broad - organizations sponsor a wide range of events, publications, and activities that ultimately align to different objectives related to brand, community, customer, marketing, and so on. Extending the concept of "sponsorship" to social media is clearly going to have its ups-and-downs as everyone learns out in the open. After reading through the article, the comments, and some postings from Jeremish Owyang (Forrester), the following segmentation came to mind. It's not perfect - and I don't pretend to focus exclusively on social media. But the segmentation below might be helpful to people trying to decide on the pro/cons of sponsoring blogs (or other communication/content vehicles).
Models (this is just one example, perhaps incomplete) can sometimes help people be more specific on the good/bad of an approach, and help construction of other scenarios that might actually help people reach common ground. These four examples might result in four others - iteration of the models and refinement of the arguments can ultimately help identify scenarios that might actually be acceptable and build community consensus along the way...
Social Messaging & Socialtext Signals: Before We Get Too Excited...
Update: Actually, the folks at Yammer, Socialcast, ESME, and other "Twitter-like" enterprise vendors or open source efforts should all address these issues...add comments and I'll aggregate them into a summary post. ... Without this type of information (despite the well-deserved media coverage), I'm afraid the product will be virtually dead-on-arrival for most organizations that have these requirements for other messaging/communication systems - they apply to these tools, regardless of what we call them (i.e., micro-blogging).
Twitter Compared to IM, Email and Forums
Overall, I'm optimistic that Twitter-like capabilities will find their way into the enterprise. In fact, I'm certain they will. The question in my mind is whether they emerge as extensions to existing unified communications platforms, or as a new class of tools (from vendors such as Yammer, ESME, Socialcast, Socialtext) that can sustain a competitive differential over time - and - satisfy the policy controls necessary to meet compliance and other demands. Vendors like IBM and Microsoft may not see enough of a critical mass (in terms of enterprise demand) to focus on social messaging. That leaves perhaps a 1-2 year window for vendors specializing in this area to take messaging in another direction than where traditional collaboration vendors (namely IBM and Microsoft) have brought us.