Archive for May, 2008

May 23, 2008

Natural units of collaboration…


I came across an interesting discussion on another blog about the natural units of collaboration.  There were some posts on “ideas” being a natural unit.   And I’m not sure ideas are a natural “unit” of collaboration. Ideas can lead to collaboration or can simply be the focus of a collaborative event or project(ideation, sharing and commenting on ideas, innovation, etc..).  Ideas, in effect, are simply a form of the broader theme of “content”.  

So content (be it ideas, files, discussions, blogs, Q&A, wikis, etc..) is really the first natural unit of collaboration. 

Second, people are a natural unit.  Collaboration being the interaction between 2 or more people. 

A third natural unit of collaboration is the “Degree of Openness” or lack there of.  Openness in the form of the internet (the whole community thing) is great — but the reality is businesses need secure collaboration and secure communities to protect IP and maintain whatever competitive advantage they have.  And communities tend to be less secure the more people involved.   And it is much easier to collaborate (and establish trust, commitment, team spirit) in smaller groups….    Likewise, as we’ve seen with the open internet (with youtube/facebook/myspace/etc) — openness is okay and works to some degree, but it still needs to be “policed” and monitored and people still want control of their privacy.  There’s probably a broader political theme I could expand on here…but won’t.

The final unit of collaboration is time.  Is it a project with a beginning and end, an ongoing project/event/business process?     Time affects resources involved too.  It also affects how we collaborate and overall scope of the collaboration itself.  The shorter the time, the less unstructured you want the collaboration to be.    In the case of an ongoing business process — you probably want that a little more structured.   Shorter time = more stress too and can affect the quality of effort. 

Content, People, Degree of Openness, and Time — there maybe more — but these 4 are the “units” of collaboration that come to my mind.   And anyone whose studied basic project management – schedule, scope, resources come to mind here.

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May 21, 2008

The Buzz on Buzz Words


There’s alot written about collaboration and innovation today.   More buzz than anything else.   It’s actually kind of funny to read how companies will not survive if they don’t innovate in the future and collaboration is the key to innovation.   Okay, I do not think there are any new revelations here and if I’m a CEO of a company, you’re probably telling me something I aleady know.

But I often wonder how this buzz starts and spreads like a virus.    Perhaps it’s when someone writes a book about how the flat world is at a tipping point.     I mean if I hear one more person talk about tipping points, I might have to drink myself into oblivion until I reach my tipping point.    Maybe it’s the management consultants who need to dream up new ways of making businesses think they need their services.   Better yet, it starts in universities where MBA students pick up these buzz words from professors who invent them as if they discovered a vaccine for polio.   And the MBA students feel the need to use these buzz words to sound intelligent….resulting in MBA-speak or MBA-ese.     Now I have my MBA and it’s a great experience and I was lucky that my program discriminated against anyone who spoke MBA-ese.

Anyway, I figured I’d look up “buzzword” and here is the definition.   A buzzword (also known as a fashion word or vogue word) is a vague idiom, or a neologism, that is commonly used in managerial, technical, administrative, and sometimes political environments.

Wow!   “a vague idiom” or “neologism”.   I didn’t think you could define buzzword with other buzzwords!   Would it not be easier to simply say “buzzword” = B.S.    Wikipedia even compiles a list of popular buzz words and links to a bunch of websites that attempt to compile them all.    One of my all time favorites is “grab low hanging fruit”.   And “peel back the onion”.   Win-win, core competency, paradigms, value added, bandwidth, critical path, take that offline, and my favorite of them all “grab the bull by the horns!”   I also love “resource action” which means you’re fired, layed off, terminated, thanks for playing and game over!      Ah…and let’s not forget there is “synergies” – a phrase which has to be said with both hands and fingers together.  I also had one manager who always talked about how he’d “circle-back”.   With all the circling back he was doing, it was pretty obvious that nothing and no one was moving forward.

And for the longest time I thought off-shoring and outsourcing were the same until someone explained it to me.  Thank goodness I now know the difference because I recently spoke with the store I ordered furniture from … and they told me that our furniture was outsourced to a manufacturer in China who in turn off-shored it to Vietnam and that’s why it is taking over 5 months to be delivered.

So what does this all have to with collaboration technology?   There must be a point to all this…. maybe it’s that collaborative technology connects people and in some strange way actually enables all this off-shoring and out-sourcing to occur much easier.   Well, sure, in some way it does.   But I think the bigger point here is that before you go and create a wiki for your project or company and start defining all the company acronyms or decide to promulgate your esoteric cogitations — goto wikipedia first and look up the definition of  buzzwords to remind yourself that the intended use of this technology is to provide clarity and visibility and actually reduce complexities…..

 


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May 18, 2008

eRoom created a mess. Was it the software or IT?


I came across a post by an individual sharing their story of how they made a mess with eRoom.  He talked of communities and openness and how eRoom prevented that — creating a “debacle”.   My response to his blog post was that I agreed and disagreed.  And I’d like to elaborate on that….

eRoom is a business tool like anything else.  If you don’t use the tool the right way, or educate users on how to use the tool the right way…then you just might make a mess.   I’ve seen some great uses of eRoom and in other cases, it was just a place to dump files. 

I’d argue the problem was in the way this organization deployed and managed eRoom.  The IT was not CLOSE enough to the business to understand exactly how people were using the tool and educating them on how they should be using the tool.   eRoom is not a tool for building open communities within or outside an organization and is not about love, peace, and the 1960s.   I “heart” eRoom was just not part of the marketing strategy from what I remember.   eRoom is a tool for secure workgroup and team collaboration!!!   Plain and simple.

Yes, people want communities and openness to share knowledge and connect and locate expertise….all that great web 2.0 stuff.   And we’ve seen a new set of tools to help address that.  However, the demand for eRoom grew because customers wanted to put content on their extranet and securely work with suppliers, partners, clients, contractors, and everyone in their extended enterprise.  

The point here is that you need to think about CONTEXT before you rollout this type of technology and make it too CONVENIENT for people to start creating messes in.   What’s the business focus?  Who is using it?  Why?  How do they want to use it?    Synchronously?  Asynchronously?  Are the users on the road alot?   What is the business context? 

Now I’m not opposed to openness and community.  However, you also need secure collaboration for projects, client work, product development, mergers & acquistions, etc….  And as much as the 20th century command-control organization might be slanting towards openness and community — I have to point to Tom Davenport (one of the foremost thought leaders for years on all this knowledge stuff) who believes that companies compete an analytics.   And my take on that is as follows — you need to take those analytics and provide visibility, transparency, measurability, and accountability to managers and partners and customers — IN A SECURE collaborative context to protect the single most important competitive advantage that companies have in this copy cat world we live in.   And that is what eRoom is best at — both inside a company and outside.  

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May 18, 2008

Sharepoint – the new intranet


It seems that many businesses out there are looking at Sharepoint not just as a portal, collaboration & content management solution …. but as a replacement to their current intranet … in effect Sharepoint becomes THE intranet.   This is an interesting revelation and one way to view Sharepoint within an organization.    I can definitely see small and midsize businesses thinking of sharepoint that way.  For a large organization, I’m not sure sharepoint is quite there yet to replace the corporate intranet….

Sharepoint replacing your intranet — becoming the intranet — that’s a big deal.  A lot of planning & analysis, a lot of time, a lot of effort and headaches.  Does it make sense in the long run? Yes.   But you will need to consider some type of phased approach.   Like getting shared team workspaces out there first so users become familiar with them and start to adopt them and see the ease of integration with MS office.   Then introduce other parts to the equation as you slowly migrate your entire intranet over to sharepoint.  Don’t just rush into rolling out Sharepoint because you think it will solve all your business problems.   Otherwise, Sharepoint will just become another problem by itself.

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May 18, 2008

Some economics to consider


eRoom’s days are numbered.  I remain a fan but I’m realistic.  Why?  Simple economics.   Sharepoint Services is free — and customers are looking to reduce costs today wherever possible.  And switching off of eRoom will save money in the short run.   The return on investment to hire some consultant or 2 to migrate off of eRoom will be recouped in a year as companies save the maintenance/support they used to pay EMC.  

Now MOSS will cost them down the road and it’s unsure if these eRoom customers actually consider the total cost of ownership and how Sharepoint might affect that over time.   The reality is that Sharepoint is untested in a large deployment — and no one really knows what type of mess it might create down the road.  You just might be migrating one mess of eroom, documentum, notes, fileshares to an even bigger consolidated mess in sharepoint —  that is if its deployment and growth are not managed properly.  

And keep in mind that it’s not easy to do migrate off a platform like eRoom…as eRoom in most organizations as mission critical an application as email.   The switching costs are high.  Even a small installation with 1 eRoom server and a few hundred rooms and a few hundred gb of data is not a trivial migration.   Imagine 7 servers or 20 servers and terabytes of data.   Sure you can write some code that dumps data out of eRoom and puts it into Sharepoint.   However, the project planning and change management planning that needs to go into this does takes many months if not longer and is a significant investment.   I think the point here is simple economics. 

I think EMC shouldn’t forget why thousands of customers use eRoom today and grew eRoom so quickly in their organization….it’s called user adoption as eRoom was easier to setup,  easy to install, easy to use (compared to the alternatives) — which made it a very economical application with a solid ROI.   And customers paid for that convenience (with licensing costs).  However, today customers no longer have to pay for the same convenience as Microsoft gives WSS away and offers a comparative collaboration and content management alternative.   And you’ve got other web 2.0 competitors jumping on the bandwagon making it a more competitive landscape now.  So you have to look at simple economics if you want to compete.  

Anyway, one word of caution for anyone thinking of migrating to Sharepoint….eRoom and Documentum have been battle tested for many years — and Sharepoint has not been tested.   And as someone who has spent years traveling the globe making this technology work over the last decade, troubleshooted headache after headache after headache — it is NOT easy to scale and manage any collaboration & content management application.   Sure, sharepoint has tight integration with office and WSS is free and there are some very positive feature of the application as a whole.   HOWEVER…I leave you with this final thought….

Collaboration & content management technology has become and will continue to become mission criticial for managing projects and streamlining and running your business processes.   Economics is really important to consider….   But so is reliability and scalability.   Think about it – can you live without email today?   Yes and no…but if email is down, it’s a headache for a CIO to hear the user complaints.   So if I’m a CIO — do you want to trust your mission critical business processes to something that has not been tested and proven????    If it goes down….if it doesn’t quite work right….or doesn’t scale right…. do you want to trust your business on it?    So seriously think about that as you think about saving costs in the short run.   Take baby steps if you are going to migrate…. think about context, make sure you are close your users, and get the right advice.  Be skeptical of the cool demos, song and dance, and marketing before you make an investment in this type of technology – no matter what platform you choose.

May 18, 2008

Facebook: The New Portal….


Facebook started out as a simple app to rate other college kids at Harvard. It evolved into what is today “finding friends and doing cool fun stuff online”.  What facebook does really well — they say “I do this in my real life with my friends….how do I do this in an online world that is convenient , easy, and fits my lifestyle.”

My prediction is that Facebook will ultimately become the portal of choice (where people won’t goto Yahoo…they’ll goto their own facebook page). The real power in facebook is that it aggregates other technology into it. Take a facebook application like Trip Advisor for example — that’s not just “cool fun stuff” to do with friends — that’s called online marketing by word of mouth. What restaurant is good in Charlotte, NC? Let me ask my friends or my friends friends. I’m a restaurant in the area — do I market with flyers, tv, google search? No. You market inside Facebook.

Facebook has single handedly turned marketing on its head — as businesses can no longer shout out information about their products or services via TV and other means — they need to penetrate your social networks from the ground up virally.   Ultimately….it’s all about the Facebook platform — and Facebook being “THE platform”….

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May 18, 2008

Collaborative Innovation: Marketing vs. the Platform


Someone recently asked me about the topics of innovation & collaboration.   The question was whether this is simply a bunch of marketing and people stuff.   They wanted to know why the technology mattered….and my response was this….

The marketing and people stuff is important — no question about it. Any successful collaborative technology deployment I was part of had “marketing” component which is very key to that overall success once you have setup the platform.  However, you must do viral marketing — leveraging the power of social networks to evangelize the platform (and based on my experiences I’d argue this is the case both outside an organization as well as inside).   

A collaboration/innovation initiative for an organization must be grass roots and bottom up. As much as you might try to “manage” innovation (eg. stage-gates,etc..). or “manage” and force the use of collaboration technology — you simply can’t.   Today – the technology is the business and the business is the technology.  And technology is equally important and the platform has to be compelling otherwise users will not adopt it!    Facebook is compelling. Linkedin is compelling. Rimm Blackberry is compelling. Google is compelling. These platforms don’t need to do much marketing do they? 😉  And others may try to copy them and they may even try to “out-market” them to compete — but overtime no amount of marketing or touchy-feely people stuff will outshine a superior technology platform with superior features that spreads by word of mouth.

May 16, 2008

THE DEFINITION OF COOL


this came my way….focused on meeting women…but I liked it anyway…

THE DEFINITION OF COOL
I personally think that being “cool” comes downto:
1) Being independent
2) Being indifferent
3) Being funny
4) Being socially adjusted
Before I get into each of these in detail, Iwant to mention something…
Usually, I tend to stick to techniques to helpyou meet more women, or give you advice to getpast limiting beliefs, etc.
I’ve realized recently that there are a fewBASIC, FUNDAMENTAL things that we, as guys, needto really “get” about interacting with otherpeople before we start trying to learn advancedstuff, like how to approach and meet women. If youdon’t have some of the basic things handled, allthe fancy techniques in the world won’t fix yourproblem.
So stick with me here, this is important.
OK, so let’s talk about the four componentsthat I mentioned above.
BEING INDEPENDENT
Independent is the OPPOSITE of “dependent”.
When you act “dependent”, you lean on others,you look to them for approval, you ask what theythink before you make a decision, you tend to wantto stay physically close to them, and yourfeelings tend to depend on what others feel andthink of you.
When you act INDEPENDENT, you lean back, you dothings because YOU decided you wanted to, youdon’t ask others what they think – instead youdecide yourself, you are fine walking away fromyour friends for awhile when you’re out, and yourfeelings are controlled by what YOU think, notwhat others think.
A “dependent” person will go into a bar withfriends, stick close to them all night, ask whateveryone else is drinking before they order, getupset easily about things that others say, andconstantly be looking for attention and approvalin some way.
An INDEPENDENT person, on the other hand, willgo into a bar with friends and be more likelyto… walk away and look around the place ALONE tosee who’s there – and feel fine about leavingtheir friends for awhile and striking up aconversation with a stranger… They’ll order adrink if they want, or water if they want – andnot care what everyone else is drinking… They’llbe cool and calm no matter what happens – even ifothers are getting upset around them… And, mostimportantly, they aren’t looking to others forattention and approval. They’re doing their ownthing, and enjoying whatever happens.
BEING INDIFFERENT
Most people in this world are ATTACHED to theoutcomes of things. They’re constantly worryingabout what’s going to happen… and talking aboutthe future in a fearful, uncertain way.
This type of person always wants to know whatother people think of them, and they’re worryingabout what they should do so other people willlike them. Unfortunately, this almost ALWAYS comesacross as INSECURITY.
An INDIFFERENT person, on the other hand, justgoes about life and takes things as they come.
The indifferent pperson, on the other hand, justgoes about life and takes things as they come.
The indifferent person is INDIFFERENT to theoutcome of whatever situation they’re in.
If it’s a man, and he’s approaching a woman, hewill be OK with whatever happens. If she’s nice tohim, great. If she’s uptight, no problem. If she’srich, famous, and beautiful… and starts comingon to him, fine. No big deal.
When you are ATTACHED to the outcome of asituation, it makes you act all kinds of freaky.You pause, act nervous, hold back, look forapproval, act insecure… and any of 100 otherunattractive things.
On the other hand, when you’re INDIFFERENT tothe outcome, it makes you MAGNETIC. Especiallywhen it comes to women and dating. Indifference isthe ultimate way to show a LACK of insecurity inlife.
BEING FUNNY
Humor is magic.
It’s a complete mystery why we find things”funny” and why we “laugh”.
Crying because someone died makes some logicalsense. It’s a bad thing, and crying expresses anegative emotion.
But when you see a dog run into a windowbecause he doesn’t see it… and he gets aconfused look on his face, you LAUGH. What’s withthat?
Humor is interesting to me, in that if you’refunny, it makes people FEEL GOOD inside. Theylaugh, and it triggers positive feelings.
If you’re not naturally funny, it’s a greatskill to learn. Read books. Watch live comedy. Dowhatever it takes to learn how to be funny.
Most of the “coolest” guys I know are wickedlyfunny. Some of them are only funny on occasion…but they “get it”… and when they do make a joke,it’s DAMN funny.
BEING SOCIALLY ADJUSTED
I know that this sounds funny, but most of thepeople I know who are “UN-cool” are not veryadjusted socially.
They lack a certain something in the “socialskills” department that makes it OBVIOUS to others(and especially to women) that they don’t know howto relate very well to other people. They justnever learned how to make others feel comfortablearound them.
If you’ve ever known an accountant or computerprogrammer that was brilliantly smart, but totallyboring, you know what I mean.
If people act kind of nervous, strange, anduncomfortable when they’re around you, then youalso know where I’m coming from on this.
I can’t teach you how to make people feelcomfortable around you in two sentences, but ifyou need to learn how to mix with people socially,then start PAYING ATTENTION to what’s going onaround you.
Watch how others dress, carry themselves, walk,and talk. Pay attention to little details… likesaying, “What’s up?” when you meet someone new,instead of “Hello, pleased to meet you” and such.
…now, is this all there is to being “cool”?
Of course not.
But it’s a great start.
If you can first get yourself to the placewhere other people want to be around you justbecause they enjoy your company, you’ll find thattaking things to the next level with women will beabout 10 times easier.
I’ve had this conversation with MANY of theguys I know who are successful with women, andthey all basically say the same thing… you haveto learn how to be “cool” and make others (women) feel comfortable just being in the same room withyou. And if you’re “cool”, this happens almostinstantly. If you’re not “cool”, then you’re goingto have a hard time making ANYONE feel comfortablewith you… never mind having a woman feelATTRACTION for you.

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May 14, 2008

Lessons Learned from eRoom …


Once you start to use eRoom, it’s very hard to work any other way.  I have used Sharepoint, Lotus Quickr, and of course the old standard email to manage projects.   And I’m a little biased towards eRoom even to this day.    Now in full disclosure I used to work for eRoom(which became Documentum then EMC) since 1999 and I have seen the cult-like following its users have.   From early adopters like the Wharton Business School to Deloitte and Ford….. I’ve been inside too many customers to count across the globe.   

SharePoint is definitely getting better and has a developer community which will no doubt help drive it’s ultimate dominance over the market.  eRoom was definitely bleeding edge for it time and there is a lesson to be learned from it.   And the lesson is that the designers and product managers of eRoom listened to customers and listened to the people in the field who made this technology work.   As a result, eRoom was rapidly deployed and easily adopted by end users.   10 things that made eRoom implemented and accepted so quickly are:

1. Ease of setup and adoption.  eRoom was designed to be easy from the start — from install to room creation — the designers of this product recognized eRoom is a productivity tool for knowledge workers and adoption is the most important thing to consider with this type of technology.   

2.  The eRoom database feature.  Again easy — simple wizard to create a database inside a room.  If you ever used Lotus Notes, there is NO developer required here.   From a simple contact list to Q&As, to part or inventory lists to document libraries — this is probably the most used and most powerful feature inside eRoom.    Highly customizable, highly secure, AND the ability to nest any other eRoom object inside a row.  And accessible via API/XML makes this a POWERFUL feature.

3. Nesting.   This is simply smart design.  It’s much more than a folder or file inside a folder….it’s ANY object inside ANY other object.   Again, this parent-child relationship makes it secure and easy to see what belongs where — keeping everything organized within whatever “context” you desire.   This also helps you secure the workspace.  And if you are anal and like to be organized — so you can easily find things later — you’ll like eRoom’s ability to nest objects too.    

4. Communities.  Again – ahead of its time.   Tight integration with multiple LDAP vendors and native eRoom membership — this community model came out in like 2001? — before the Web 2.0 craze made this a more popular buzzword.   And one of the most critical things for these types of applications is the ability to get people quick, easy, and secure access.  We’re NOT talking about openness here.  eRoom communities help you secure your workspaces, allow you to do segment the user population, and prevent “potential” access to eRooms within a community (that is if you setup communities the right way). 

5. Flexible interface.  What I mean by this is eRoom is like a blank canvas for me to paint.  As a project manager or person “coordinating” the room — I can design the room layout however I want — and again it’s EASY!   Folders, databases, room settings for announcements or status… so so so smart!!    Other competing apps — sorry, they just don’t compare (try and mess with Sharepoint interface as a non-techy…not so easy).   eRoom is flexible because it is not as structured in its taxonomy like a Documentum content server for example.  While Documentum is powerful in its own right for heavy duty content/document management — eRoom removes alot of that complexity and provides simple document management & controls.   This is yet another example where eRoom was ahead of its time — allowing users to create their own “folksonomy” using eRoom objects like folders, databases, notes, discussions, etc…   Tagging can be done with custom fields, but not many customers have exposed that feature which is ashame.  

6. Supportability — okay, every software application has it’s problems.   Having done some technical support in my former life, it’s like seeing someone naked — all the flaws, cellulite, wrinkles, etc..   And while eRoom has some sex appeal, the app is no exception 🙂   However, most sys admins setup eRoom and let it run.  The learning curve for admins is low and the biggest issue is probably scalability – not because it doesn’t scale — you just have to scale it correctly.   So don’t take the easy supportability for granted and pay attention to both hardware and application limitations as you grow your deployment — and this will make supportability easier.   Let’s face it — growth isn’t such a bad problem to have….

7. Security.   Ahh .. the global economy and new buzzwords like open collaboration, peace, love and sharing and caring — well that was great in the 1960’s, but this is 2008 — and the real buzzword people should be saying is SECURE COLLABORATION!!!!    And eRoom is by far the most secure collaboration tool out there.  Why?  Because again designers listened to customers early on and designed it that way.  Okay, one could argue “it runs on microsoft IIS”.   Sure, like 90% of the world, we are at the mercy of Mr. Softy.  But there’s a reason why law firms, professional service firms, pharma firms, energy companies and just about every industry out there uses eRoom — and that’s because they can use it on the public internet, put highly sensitive documents and project / product information in an eRoom, and TRUST that they can securely collaborate with their extended enterprise or clients.  And eRoom 7.4 even integrates rights management around documents to make it even more secure. 

8. Document Management.  Uploading documents into eRoom is easy.  3 step process: Add file, browse, okay – you’re done.  Of course with the plugin, you drag & drop from your desktop to the browser — doesn’t get easier than that.   In an eRoom, double click on the file to read or edit it — once again easy.   You want to do some lightweight content management for your line of business or department or project or business process?  Create an eRoom database with an “attachment field”.  Keep things neat, organized, and again easy to search.   It’s all about context!   Sure, Sharepoint has a doc library — but try to nest a discussion thread under each row… not so easy,

9. Project Management.  By far the biggest use of eroom is to manage projects.  Everyone works off the same page…no emailing documents back and forth, version control, etc..  And as I mentioned earlier, I like the flexibility of painting my eRoom canvas to match my project.  Easy to add a custom banner graphic, a project plan feature, easy status reporting, easy to manage issues/Q&A/tasks/scope changes, an approval process database for change requests — simple basic project management stuff most people find painful to manage in Word or Excel.   Even better, I can setup an alert email that is sent to me immediately if someone updates something I think is important.  Or I can just opt to get a nightly email summary of changes in an eroom.  This push communications makes my life easier as a project manager.

10. Customizability.  You can build so much cool stuff on top of eRoom or push / pull data to/from an eRoom.   And you can brand eRoom to make it your own too.  You want to bring visibility into who is working on what task and when it’s due across all eRooms — and the dashboard feature doesn’t quite cut it?    It’s easy to add a custom web page that allows you to slice and dice data within the eRoom tree structure and bring transparency and accountability to the work people are doing.   You want to see more robust reporting on an eRoom database?  Easy to build and secure API/xml access.    You want to pull ERP data into an eRoom to bring visibility to it there within a “secure context” — you can do it easily.

May 14, 2008

4Cs of Collaboration…


4 things to consider when implementing collaboration technology.   Any collaborative technology is difficult to implement because of change and you need to get users to adopt the software.    So if you’re concerned about end user adoption, think about these 4c’s:  context, convenience, closeness, and convergence.   

Context.  This is about focus, filtering, and providing visiblity — i.e. helping users to make sense of the digital mess of information that we manage for projects, clients, process, etc…   AND putting it all within a secure context that users can easily understand and find later.   You might think “it’s like a portal” — but it’s much more than a basic portal because an collaborative space is not just a means to display information, it provides a context to actually get work done.

Convenience.  This is about usability and ease of use — again helping to keep things as simple as possible for end users.  Fitting the technology into their daily work and personal lives.  Making this technology easy means users adopt it.  Once they adopt it — it’s hard to change as you just can’t work any other way. 

Closeness. This about end users and understanding what they need, what they want, and how they work.   If you think you can just “build it” and they will come, you are wrong.  Some will understand this technology and become power users.  As an IT organization, you need to empower those individuals to be change agents and educate them as much as possible.  You also need to pick specific projects or “contexts” and be consultative with best practices.

Convergence. A buzz word that is now more popular.  This about converging technologies.  As technology converges within the context of communities – no matter how big or small they are — the focus still remains on things like convenience, context, and closeness to foster user adoption.