Microsoft 365 Plus the Always Expanding Office 365 Portfolio

July 10 2017 02:00:00 PM Add/Read Comments [0]

July 10th at Microsoft Inspire, their Worldwide Business Partner conference, Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365, a new purchasing model that bundles Windows + Office 365 + Enterprise Mobility and Security.

They also introduced three new (SMB focused) business applications... plus made MileIQ available to select O365 plans.

  • Microsoft Connections—A simple-to-use email marketing service.
  • Microsoft Listings—An easy way to publish your business information on top sites.
  • Microsoft Invoicing—A new way to create professional invoices and get paid fast

Microsoft Continues To Strive for the Modern Workplace

I was very pleased to see Microsoft continue to push the messages around the intersection of Personal Productivity/Team Collaboration and Artificial Intelligence. In the keynote, they demonstrated several scenarios where Office365 is being enhanced with automation from Cortana and Microsoft Cognitive Services. Perhaps the most impressive (Future of Work) demo was how Microsoft combines Yammer and Stream to hold all company town hall meetings, where the talks are transcribed and translated in real time by Microsoft's AI tools.

Here is the information I collected during the keynote:




Is Amazon Thinking of Buying Slack?

June 15 2017 01:31:06 PM Add/Read Comments [0]

Did Jeff Bezos wake up this morning and say: "Alexa, acquire Slack?"

Rumours are circulating that Amazon may be interested in acquiring Slack. Below are my thoughts on a) what market is this really in? b) how would it fit in with Amazon's portfolio?


For more information:

Box Drive Adds On-demand Enterprise File Streaming

June 14 2017 10:47:21 AM Add/Read Comments [0]

Today Box introduced the public beta of Box Drive, their new desktop integration that allows people to browse and access all the enterprise content they have access to, without having to synchronize the folders and files down to their local computer.

In the video below I discuss the trend of on-demand file-streaming and look at what the major players are doing in this space.

It's interesting to note, today's public beta release comes exactly 3 years after Box's acquisition of Streem. Coincidence? 

Reference URLs:


IBM Enhances IBM Connections with Acquisition of TIMETOACT XCC

June 7 2017 06:28:56 PM Add/Read Comments [0]

On May 31st, IBM announced the acquisition of TIMETOACT XCC (the product, not the company and staff), an intranet platform that is built on top of IBM Connections. IBM plans to bundle XCC with IBM Connections in Q32017 as a new offering named IBM Connections Engagement Center. The additional cost for Engagement Center has not yet been announced.

While IBM Connections is a very good community platform offering, it was lacking some features needed to make it a true corporate intranet. XCC adds things like custom page layouts, page based branding, personalization based on job role, location or areas of interest, and workflows for content publishing. In the past IBM would promote the use of IBM WebSphere Portal along with IBM Connections for corporate intranets, but that was often seen as costly and complex. With XCC, IBM Connections customers will be able to install, configure and manage a single platform, since Engagement Center is built on Connections. Alternatively, customers can choose IBM’s cloud based deployment option and leave the administration to IBM.

I want to highlight that I get pitched on hundreds of products a year, but I have to say TIMETOACT’s founder Felix Binsack is one of the most persistent marketers out there! Congratulations to him on the hard work and dedication that lead to this deal.

Growing the Base?

I’ve often criticized IBM for a lack of investment in their collaboration portfolio, so I am happy to see this transaction take place. Corporate communications, news, knowledge bases, and employee engagement are all an important part of company intranets. With competition such as Microsoft SharePoint, Google Sites, Jive Interactive Intranet, Salesforce Communities, Igloo, ThoughtFarmer and Jostle, it is good to see IBM bolster the features of IBM Connections. However, I don’t see this acquisition increasing IBM’s customer base, as XCC customers are all already IBM Connections customers.  Perhaps IBM will announce migration tools from some of these competitors to Engagement Center? If not, this is a good opportunity for business partners.

If IBM wants to get the attention of the industry and gain new customers, my guidance would be to take a more aggressive approach. For example, what if IBM were to acquire Evernote and seamlessly integrate it across IBM Connections, Verse (email) and Watson Workplace (group messaging)? How about acquiring a CRM vendor to enhance the way Sales and Marketing professionals work? How about a task management vendor to augment (or replace) the IBM Connections Activities feature? (similar to XCC, they could acquire Kudos Boards since it’s already based on IBM Connections)

So while the acquisition of TIMETOACT is good news for IBM Connections customers, I hope this is just the beginning of IBM’s strategy to enhance and expand their collaboration portfolio and customer base.


Introducing Digital Adoption Platforms

June 6 2017 03:44:29 PM Add/Read Comments [0]

> Click here to purchase and download the report <

The portfolio of business software, websites and mobile applications employees use to get their jobs done is growing rapidly. With each tool having a different look and feel, different features and different processes, learning how to effectively use all these tools quickly becomes a big challenge. If these hurdles are not overcome, adoption of the tools suffers, support costs go up, and the value of the tools goes down. On the external side, prospects and customers face similar challenges when navigating the wide variety of websites and social media applications required to engage with their favourite brands. This type of friction reduces customer loyalty, hurts sales and creates a bad reputation for the brand.

To solve these challenges, a new category of software is emerging that can be integrated into applications and websites to help guide people from right within the context of the task they are trying to perform. Constellation Research refers to this category as Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs) and organizations of all sizes are using this new type of software to coach people toward more successful adoption of applications and websites.

This report, which is part of Constellation Research’s Future of Work research theme, defines the business need for Digital Adoption Platforms, discusses their benefits and provides example use cases.

- Executive Summary 
- Four User Experience Issues That Impede Software Adoption 
- Trends Contributing To The Emergence Of Digital Adoption Platforms 
- Digital Adoption Platforms: Modernizing Legacy Help Systems 
- Categorizing The Maturity Of Digital Adoption Platforms 
- Getting Started: Focus On Core Use Cases 
- Conclusion

> Click here to purchase and download the report <


Microsoft Build: How Developers Can Redefine Productivity

June 3 2017 01:48:34 PM Add/Read Comments [0]

At Microsoft Build, their annual developer conference, they emphasized the opportunity that the Microsoft platform (Office 365, Azure, Windows 10, etc.) provides for developers to help redefine personal productivity and team collaboration for hundreds of millions of people.

Here is a quick summary of the key topic areas:

Here is a video where I provide my thoughts, feedback and analysis of the key items from Microsoft Build.
00:00 - 01:30: Introduction
01:30 - 09:14: Microsoft Teams
09:14 - 10:27: Microsoft Graph
10:27 - 13:48: Artificial Intelligence, Microsoft Cognitive Services
13:48 - 15:19: OneDrive Files on Demand
15:19 - 18:21: Mixed Reality, VR/AR, Hololens
18:21 - 19:42: Windows Story Remix
19:42 - 21:45: Intelligent Meetings
21:45 - 24:52: Recap/Conclusion (and Project Emma)


Event Review: Infosys Confluence 2017

May 25 2017 02:00:00 PM Add/Read Comments [0]

In the following 4 minute video I discuss Infosys's artificial intelligence (AI) platform NIA and Infosys.Digital.

And here is a Storify review of my Tweets about the event