Report: How Digital Canvases Enable Hyper-Collaboration

May 18 2018 02:31:02 PM Add/Read Comments [2]


There are several challenges related to information and application overload which impede the speed of work. One of the ways to reduce these challenges is by limiting the scope of the content and conversations that are displayed, to just the items that are contextually relevant to the desired task and topic. In my new report: How Digital Canvases Enable Hyper-Collaboration, we examine how this new user-interface can speed up the way people work.


How I Curate News for My Research

March 2 2018 10:51:54 AM Add/Read Comments [1]

I often get asked how I keep up with and curate all the news I use in my research. Honestly, it's a bit of a mess! I cover hundreds of software vendors, which means a lot of press releases, blog entries and product briefings. I have valuable information stored in several tools including email, note-taking, file-sharing, tasks, etc. Below is an example of one of the processes I follow leveraging Evernote.  Towards the end you'll see the feature that really makes this process work for me... the ability to change the created and modified date of notes.

AvePoint LMS and the Microsoft Education Ecosystem

February 15 2018 12:11:33 PM Add/Read Comments [0]

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with Dux Raymond Sy and his team at AvePoint to discuss their new Learning Management System and the state of the Microsoft Education portfolio. As a top Microsoft Business Partner, AvePoint has a deep understanding the Microsoft platform and is leveraging components of Microsoft Azure (such as AI for audio and video transcription) and Office 365 to build new business solutions which can be surfaced in AppSource catalog. Learning Management Systems are not just for schools and universities, they play a vital role in the training and certification of employees in businesses of all sizes.

Here are my thoughts around AvePoint LMS and Microsoft's Education offerings including OneNote, Teams, Surface, Hololens, LinkedIn, Lynda and more.


If a Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

January 31 2018 04:03:29 PM Add/Read Comments [0]

A quick tour of my home office and some of the devices I use to create videos.

Product links:

Blue Snowflake microphone

DJI Osmo steadycam

Insta360 camera

Logitech Brio webcam

Microsoft Surface Book laptop

Microsoft Windows 10 Mixed Reality


Microsoft Updates Teams with New Integration Features

January 30 2018 03:00:00 PM Add/Read Comments [0]

Today Microsoft released an update to Microsoft Teams that enhances the "seamless hub for personal productivity and team collaboration" experience.

Here is my review:

Can ALE Rainbow Differentiate Via Verticals

January 26 2018 03:00:00 PM Add/Read Comments [0]

This week I attended Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise's (ALE) partner and analyst conference, Connex18 in Riga, Latvia. ALE is currently known mainly for unified communications, contact centre, PBX and telephony type solutions, but they are evolving to a more cloud based Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) provider. For my coverage area, that means they are entering the Enterprise Group Messaging (ex: Microsoft Teams, Slack, Cisco Spark, etc.) market with their product ALE Rainbow.  In the video below I provide my thoughts on the event.

Slack Shared Channels Help Provide External Collaboration

January 18 2018 04:00:00 PM Add/Read Comments [0]

Why is email so popular? Because it works. If you know someone's email address you can send them a message. It does not matter which email system they use, what client they use, what device they use, where they are in the world, etc. Anyone can email anyone else. However, that ease of use also enables the issue with email, its misuse for scenarios better suited to other tools. Contrast this to social networking, where the only people that can communicate with each other are people in the same network. Within a company social networking is great. Employees can communicate, collaborate and coordinate with any of their colleagues, because they are all using the same tool. But what happens when you want to bring in someone from the outside like a customer or a partner? Typically that requires giving them an identity and password on your system. That raises all sorts of security, administration and licensing issues. It's also a pain for the user, because it means yet another ID/PW on yet another system to remember. Now multiply that over and over again by the number of external connections and you quickly see why social networking has some serious hurdles for adoption with external participation.

Slack is hoping to improve this situation using what they called Shared Channels. This feature allows two companies (who are both already paying for Slack) to communicate with each other using a channel that spans across the two different companies. So say Company A uses Slack and they want to connect with their customer Company B (who has to also be using Slack), they can create a shared channel that employees in both companies can use. This is much better than Company A having to create, manage and pay for IDs and PWs on their system for Company B's employees.

In Sept 2017 Slack announced (the beta of) Public Shared Channels, which allow anyone in Company A and Company B to join a shared conversation. Today Slack announced (the beta of) Private Shared Channels, which also allow two Slack customers to bridge their organizations, but in this case the channels are hidden, and administrators need to invite members to join. I think this will be a far more common use case than public shared channels, as most cross-company conversations are better suited to a limited audience.

It's important to note that Slack's shared channels are currently not available for Enterprise Grid customers. I hope this is rectified soon, as this feature will become increasingly important as large enterprises try and improve adoption of social tools.

Shared Channels are a great step in the right direction towards making social networking easier across organizations. But don't forget, this is just for Slack customers. Each social networking tool (Slack, Cisco Spark, Google Hangouts, Workplace by Facebook, etc, etc, etc) is still its own silo, unlike email where anyone can communicate with anyone else. Until social networking supports cross product communication (which may never happen), communicating with people that use a different products will remain a challenge.