Tag Archive for Social Business Systems

Presentation on Social Business to Federal SharePoint User Group

This past week I made a presentation to the Federal SharePoint User Group on CorasWorks Cim v2.0 for Social Business on SharePoint 2010.   I’ve attached the presentation for your reference.  The presentation was oriented to a standard SharePoint audience, particularly one that is looking to migrate or beginning to leverage SharePoint 2010.  I’ll cover some of the key points made in the Social Business Overview and in the live Demonstration.

Key Points of Social Business Overview

- Social Business software is used to enhance engagement of users and collaboration across an enterprise.  It is gaining rapid adoption amongst early adopters.  SharePoint customers are gradually adopting it, a bit slower than the early adopters in the general market.

- The association AIIM has done some quality work in the area.  They have 65,000 members and have specialized in document/record management for 60 years – going back to film.  They are educating their members on the difference between Systems of Record (like SharePoint for Enterprise Content Management) and the new Systems of Engagement (Social Business Systems) and how enterprise IT needs to plan for the addition of such systems in their environments.  Here is a link to the white paper Systems of Engagement and the Future of Enterprise IT written by Geoffrey Moore and based on an AIIM task force on the subject.

- CorasWorks Cim v2.0 allows SharePoint users to drop an integrated System of Engagement on top of their SharePoint environment.  This differs from other market offerings which are advocating for customers to buy separate Systems of Engagement, often running SAAS.  Our message is that you are able to drive a great deal more business value by sticking with SharePoint and laying Cim on top.

- We lay out a Social Business Value Continuum with three main levels of business value.  Most Social Business vendors stop at the first level – Social Collaboration.  Cim enables organizations to drive up the stack into Social Business Processes (that combine Social Collaboration with structured Business Processes) and Social Business Systems (that go the next step and allow for distributed, interconnected systems across a SharePoint environment and to external services/applications, such as our Idea and Innovation Management solution).

- In addition, while other offerings, including SharePoint 2010 itself are primarily targeting the Social side of the equation, highlighting features such as social network, profiles, tagging and personal activity, CorasWorks Cim is focused on the Business side with features such as communities of purpose, business activity stream (no friend feeds), integration of communities with structured business processes, stage-gate support, configurable business actions and activity, reporting and analytics.  And, because we leverage SharePoint, we integrate the pure Social side into the equation, but, within the Business context.

- Cim runs natively on SharePoint, storing its data in SharePoint and leveraging it for administration and security as well as additional capabilities.


Key Points of Demonstration

The demonstration was a scenario of “A Day in the Life of a Process Improvement Idea”.  It showed how an idea flowed through a process that includes all 3 stages of the Value Continuum.  The key points where:

- Cim provides a “collaborative community experience”.  Thus, communities are not necessarily sites you have to go to.  Users are able to engage in a “community/process” from any place across SharePoint – team sites, my sites, department portals, etc. From there, they can See, Contribute, and Collaborate in one or more Cim communities, business processes, or systems across SharePoint.

- Communities may be for collaboration such as for departmental collaboration or for project managers across an organization and/or they may be tied to more specific business purposes and processes such as application change requests, knowledge pipelines, new product development.

- With Cim, users create Articles – a new rich, robust, collaborative document.  Each article is a living document that over its life-cycle may contain text, documents, comments, ratings, peer reviews, management reviews, stage approvals, final decisions, tasks and more.  We don’t talk about collaborating on or processing a Word document any more.  We talk about working on an Idea, a Contract, a Proposal, a Project, a Policy, a Solution, an Issue, an Initiative, etc. 

- The activity of users across communities or by others on items you submit (either collaborative or as part of a business process) are available to you via your personal “business activity stream” (a new Cim v2.1 feature). 

- We showed how the Process Improvements community is tied to a structured Stage-Gate based Business Process.  Management puts the contributions through a set of stages, each of which has business activities that get kicked off and completed, to move it to the next stage.  The process may be light and quick or longer and more involved with complex business activities.

- We also showed how one business activity within a stage can be to task a team to do something.  The system creates a task item in the SharePoint team site of that team.  It is related to the Article and users can interact, ie., the people in the team can do their work on the task and the managers of the process can see and act accordingly.

- After a decision is made on the idea, we showed how the user could push the idea into a “downstream” and related business process.  We showed pushing the idea into a Program Management Office to kick off a project and pushing it into a SharePoint team for implementation. 



The core message of the presentation is that organizations using SharePoint are in a fantastic position to leverage their environment to layer on Systems of Engagement that dramatically improve their efficiency and effectiveness.  It is much more than just Social Collaboration.  It is about enabling your organization to drive up this new business value continuum by leveraging collaboration within business processes that drive results. 

In addition, vendors such as CorasWorks are rapidly creating innovative solutions that can be added to your SharePoint environment.  And, since our solutions are designed for SharePoint, they inter-operate.  In reality, SharePoint is arguably the most “open platform” for Enterprise 2.0.  It isn’t about open-source code, the key to value, is to have an open application environment where users can collaborate, see activity and participate in processes enabled by product vendors, service providers, customer IT, and, the day-to-day activity of business users.

Imagine that – Microsoft SharePoint 2010 – the open Enterprise 2.0 application environment. Move over Open-Source folks, it is Open-App time.


Acyclovir side effects

How have you been?  I’ve been a bit absent form the blogsphere over the last couple of months. I’ve been on a sabbatical of sorts going deep into Social Business Systems on SharePoint.  In this article, I’ll cover what I did, what I learned, and what the near future brings CorasWorks style.

In Q3 we launched our new CorasWorks v11 application platform for SharePoint, the v1.2 version of Cim, and the v2.0 version of PPM.  These new products are the basis of our lineup to deliver value through Social Business Systems on SharePoint 2010.  So, over the last 3 months I went deep into the jungles of our customers armed with these new tools.  I focused primarily on scenarios using Cim.  I took the lead as engagement manager on a number of Cim projects and saw them through start to finish.  I took the calls, I lead the sessions, and I listened and learned.  I also engaged with a large number and variety of our customers to expose them to our new products and work on loads of new types of applications.  In addition, I worked with analysts and other thought leaders who are all sensing the growing importance of Social Business Systems in the 2010’s.  Some, may call this work, I call it learning, fun, and really rewarding.

So, what did I learn…

- Social Business Systems have power – basically the approach comes down to opening up business processes to more easily and interactively engage a broader group of people.  In the 2010’s, you will see the merging of Social tools and Business Processes on a collaborative platform.  It resonates, they work, and results of processes improve. 

- Our customers need inspiration for their SP2010 implementations – for the most part our customers have been really struggling about what to do differently on SP2010.  Yes, there are tons of new technologies.  But, how should you leverage this new platform to deliver greater value?  Are there new approaches that work?  One validated answer is the new layer of Social Business Systems.  One customer calls it the “blue” layer.  Green is the team site (collaboration by proximity) – done.  Yellow is the portal (everyone’s place to view) – over done.  The blue layer is the missing one.  This is where people interact around a purpose, a process, a goal, a community.  This is the new layer of value.  It brings it all together, yet, allows people to continue to work from wherever they work in this distributed, virtual environment we call SharePoint. It is hard to imagine how vast this blue layer of value is until you see it and experience it. 

- Idea and Innovation Management is a staple of the new world – our drive into this space makes sense to our customers.  Innovation is critical to many organizations.  Effective Idea and Innovation Management is an objective but getting there is a real challenge.  By delivering a flexible solution customers can gradually move into this area and evolve towards being a better innovator.  It is working for our customers.

- People respond to the simpler, web 2.0 UI – If you’ve seen the new “UI” of our portal, solutions, applications, communities etc., you know what I mean.  In general, people are quickly adopting the new social style UI for collaboration.  This is because it is very easy to use, interactive, and has the web 2.0 style display of information.

- Web 2.0 – The Purpose vs. the Content – Naturally, we think of the nice looking display in web 2.0 style.  However, we have discovered the importance of another more fundamental difference.  Displays like native SharePoint and CorasWorks v10 are content typed – data typed.  A library of Documents.  A separate library of discussions.  A display of tasks.  They are separate and related by proximity of all things.  In the web 2.0 displays, they are about purpose – issues, knowledge, products, customer stories, change requests.  In effect, the displays are mash-ups of different types of content.  Accordingly, the design starts with the Purpose, content type is secondary.   

- Cim is really a platform for Social Business System solutions – we started with Cim targeting Idea and Innovation Management.  Our customers are now pulling it into many different directions – we are encouraging and supporting this – it is working well.  It is very quickly becoming a platform for a much broader range of solutions. 

- Our customers want to start small with point solutions – One important finding is that most of our customers aren’t yet ready for enterprise Idea and Innovation Management solution.  They ARE very ready for smaller, more point specific Social Business Processes.  Examples are managing Application Change Requests, Customer Stories, Project Initiation, Technical Solution Challenges.  Message received!

Moving forward…

Okay, so we learned.  Now what.  Well, 2011 is going to be interesting.  Here are some things we are doing:

CorasWorks Solution Learning Centers – Over the last month we have launched two Learning Centers for Cim and PPM.  They are now available to customers in the Resources section of the CorasWorks Community (http://community.corasworks.net).  These are private resources of customers of these solutions and are being packed with solution specific material.  We envision that these solution specific resources working as a community will be more effective for our customers.

Cim v2.0 – this new version will be out at the beginning of February.  It will now have two main solutions within it: Idea and Innovation Management and Social Business Processes.  The Social Business Processes solution type is targeted to address our customers desire for more specific Business Process solutions that are easy to deploy and use.  You will see the feature set grow rather quickly (more to come…).

Social Business Process App Publishing – we will get back on the horse and begin publishing a new generation of apps.  You’ll see them in the App Store and they will be available for download in the Learning Centers.  They will be released on a rolling basis.    Note that these apps are designed to address specific scenarios such as Application Change Requests, however, with our open app design they can be modified to other scenarios.

Cim v2.1, v2.2, and v2.3 – over the course of 2011 we will be releasing 3 more versions.  With each version we will be supporting additional solution areas within the broader context of Social Business Systems on SharePoint 2010.

Cim and PPM Integration Scenarios – we will continue to work on enhancing our loosely coupled design of these two major solutions.  It is very common for our customers to invest in both, however, almost always they are different business groups.  Making it easy and non-invasive to get the two groups to share information, interact and work together as part of a broader process is a design and people objective for us.

Over the next month, I intend to catch up on my blogging on all of the subjects above.  So, stay tuned.