Friday, March 4, 2011

We Matter

eTouch was named one of KMWorld's 100 Companies That Matter in Knowledge Management. After being included in August 2010 as one of KMWorld's Trend Setting Products of 2010, we were really honored to also be included in this knowledge-management-specific list.

Read the eTouch press release, our CEO blog post and KMWorld article.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Fire Hose of Information

My interest was immediately piqued by the startling title -- "Don't You Dare Email This Story" -- of this article in The Wall Street Journal.

The article is about information overload. No surprises there, as we're overloaded with information at every turn from colleagues, friends, on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, with news articles, blogs and so on and so on. We can't seem to take a vacation during which we can completely disconnect, often because of the fear of even more overload when we return relaxed and refreshed.

The reporter begins her article with this stat:
"Information workers, who comprise about 63% of the U.S. work force, are each bombarded with 1.6 gigabytes of information on average every day through emails, reports, blogs, text messages, calls and more, according to preliminary data from a report coming later this year, an update of the 2003 "How Much Information?" report."

But it gets more interesting as reporter Andrea Coombes writes:
"U.S. companies lose an estimated $900 billion a year in lost productivity because of information overload, according to Basex, a research and consulting firm."

Wait, what? We have so much information, it is making us unproductive. Geesh. Didn't you think it was supposed to do the opposite? I mean, our competitors can't catch us off guard because we're reading the same things they are every day; and we're always on the bleeding edge of industry trends, because we know what everyone is doing and thinking every minute. If only that was the case.

Instead, a lot of this great 'content' out there is just noise. Not all of it; there's lots of important, successful thought leaders saying and writing valuable things. But we have to weed through it all - separate the weak from the chaff. It isn't easy to do. Tools can help.

This WSJ reporter gives suggestions, and there are some valuable tips in there.

I've found that sharing links, sites, articles and an occasional IM session to get status updates with my colleagues on our wiki that functions as our intranet works wonders.

What works for you?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Wiki for All Reasons

Just to keep you in the loop, this week we announced another new client. As always, I find it fascinating all the different types of enterprises and ventures with a wiki commonality.

This time, SamePage was selected by Growth Dynamics International (GDI) as the secure networking, collaboration and content-management platform for members of its online learning website, Lifelong Learning Community. Its global members will take online courses, complete private assignments, as well as shared work, and interact regularly with other members in groups and discussions.

It's kind of a self-help / motivational group with common goals and interests. Not an 'enterprise' group, by any means. Yet they should benefit tremendously from having a secure platform that allows them to share select information, collaboration worldwide and work together.

“We spent quite a bit of time researching potential solutions before we came upon SamePage and knew it was the perfect solution for our collaboration, security, information-sharing and content needs,” said Doug Fike, director of GDI, which founded “Most CMS options didn’t allow for enough collaboration; more socially focused options didn’t have the structure and security we needed. SamePage offers the best combination for our virtual community, and it is easy to use for our non-technical members.”

Read more about SamePage document management and security features.

What do you use your wiki for?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Content Migration's a Snap

A couple of months ago, I spoke with a reporter from EContent Magazine about content migration. She was interested in learning about the process, however difficult or easy it may be, of moving content into a new and better software product. [The article is slated for the March issue, and I'll post it when it's live.] Of course, she didn't only want to hear from me about how great SamePage enterprise wiki features are, so we got in touch with a customer.

I put her in touch with Dave Collins, the founder of Penchant Software, which is now a division of 3PD, the nation's largest direct-to-home delivery company. I hadn't previously heard much detail about Dave's experiences with SamePage. I was thrilled when he raved about his migration to our enterprise wiki software, made easy with our Universal Import Tool. Dave had so much valuable insight into the process that we decided to interview him more and put together a case study about his process and experiences.

You can download the case study PDF from

Dave transitioned his massive HELP desk documents into SamePage a few years ago after learning about wikis in an MBA program. (Hooray for Web 2.0-savvy university professors!) His biggest concerns with a migration were that he couldn't have a lot of down time, and he couldn't lose ANY documentation, videos, hyperlinks or anything else. With the use of our tool, he didn't.

“I had no idea how fast it would be, but it was great,” recalls Collins. “With the next release, we modified our help URL to go directly to the wiki, and that was it. Being so easy – that’s what you always hope for.”

SamePage immediately made Dave's life easier.

“SamePage removed all of our choke points…. It’s a million times better process for managing and updating content," explains Collins. The sky's the limit. SamePage is an easy way to quickly organize a large amount of content. It doesn't need much training...”

Read more about Penchant's easy migration to SamePage.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Little Bit Older

Another year is rapidly coming to a close. It'd been a fun, fast-moving and enjoyable; but most importantly productive!

It's probably a bit cliche, but I always look forward to reading year-end insights and predictions for the coming year. The predictions aren't always mind-blowing. I mean, come on, could anyone (not at Apple) have predicted the iPad? But it interests me to see what the industry pundits reflect on and predict.

Here are some recent posts I've enjoyed:

- Ani Gadre, eTouch CEO likes the growing collaboration the enterprise 2.0 marketplace is seeing, anticipates a greater blurring of the lines between knowledge management, collaboration and enterprise 2.0.
- Ron Miller, editor of Fierce Content Management, sees predictions as a necessary evil and does a closing report on his 2010 predictions. His 2011 predictions will come next week.
- Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimeter Group says research reveals corporate focus on integration, staffing, advertising and measurement in 2011.
Deb Lavoy on CMS Wire believes we can't make predictions, "we can only set our direction and respond to what happens....developing our vision and making it come true."
- Read Write Web Enterprise reported on Gartner's 2011 predictions of strong growth for enterprise SaaS and social software.

There will be more predictions in the next week, I'm sure, and I'll read them with interest. One thing is for sure -- Enterprise 2.0 will continue becoming increasingly established as a viable area in which companies will invest in order to make better use of internal knowledge.

Here's to a happy, healthy and successful 2011! Cheers.

Friday, November 19, 2010

E2.0 Meets Human Resources @E2.0 Conference

I've been reading about the recent Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara and a few perspectives emerged. From some people, it sounds like the show was the same old thing, while others either had a different experience or are just better able to capture the essence of what is new and different. Some round-up articles I like include Ron Miller's editorial in Fierce Content Management and Gil Yehuda's 'What You Should Learn..." blog post.

I have also enjoyed the feature that allows you to watch the keynotes online. There was a panel keynote session I found very interesting entitled, "HR Meets E2.0 and the Cloud." They almost lost me at the beginning of the session, as the discussion centered mostly around Facebook and Twitter. I get that these social networking sites are increasingly important for business, specifically recruiting as it pertains to this discussion, but they are on the line between enterprise and social and I don't consider them enterprise products. Anyway, it wasn't long before they got back on track (for me) and the discussion was very interesting.

It's always fascinating to hear end-users talk excitedly and openly about their internal processes and how they get to true enterprise software deployments that have a real impact on the company. And that's what I heard about in this session.

In fact, Kiera Smith from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the publishing company, made what I see as the most striking point of the discussion. She explained that if HR departments want to make changes, it is important to start viral - don't wait for top-down approvals to go ahead with an E2.0-based programs. Her department started with free software solutions in order to prove capability of the solutions and show C-level management that it was worthwhile and the company could truly benefit from them. She gained the confidence of the users and built up a user base and was then able to bring solutions into the firewall. It's an approach I talk to daily with prospective customers, but it carries weight coming from a company that succeeded this way.

Other panel members included Eric Lane from Intuit, Oliver Marks from Soros and ZDNet and Tony Treglia from T2 HR Consulting. They talked to onboarding and offboarding, knowledge transfer, employee retention, managing performance, guidelines and advice for other companies.

I'm paraphrasing a bit, but any worker has to be optimized early, said Intuit's Lane. There's a heavy focus on making somebody effective quickly to get value; and the employee will feel more engaged and productive. Marks added that collaboration silos within the E2.0 solution work great; employees are looking for clarity of purpose.

Treglia made an important point that some companies today do still block sites like Facebook and that traditionally, HR departments are slow to adopt to new mediums. One example: "We can use Facebook to post new jobs, but the site is blocked internally."

Companies will have to come to grips with situations like this and be prepared to change policies to meet the needs of the changing workforce, their knowledgebase and the places they go for inspiration. Marks explained that there's a huge collision between the social marketing world and enterprise when it comes to onboarding.

Lane stressed that every E2.0 technology has to work together edge-to-edge. He said they started with 10 on-premise systems and now has only 2 - the rest are in the cloud.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy World PaperFree Day!

Did you know that today, October 28, is World PaperFree Day?! AIIM has declared it so.

AIIM, if you don't already know, is a non-profit organization community that provides education, research, and best practices to help organizations find, control, and optimize their information. AIIM is asking people to do the following today:

1. Conscientiously make a point to not PRINT
2. Investigate a business process or technology that can cut the paper waste in your office
3. Participate in or Produce a local Paper Free Day event

In the video AIIM created, there are 8 key tips to use less paper in the long term. I'm going to focus on number 3: Use Web 2.0 technologies like wikis and blogs for internal communication and collaboration.

There are a number of key benefits to organizations and enterprises with going to wikis and blogs in an effort to use less paper, including:

  • It saves money. There are so many affordable or even free web 2.0 options out there today, that the money spent on printing and reprinting customer materials and the like can be prohibitive.
  • It saves time. Changes and collaboration take place in real time. With a wiki, you don't have to worry if someone got your file attachment via email.
  • It's green. But don't take my word for it. “We’re in such a green environment now that when we’re able cost effectively cut out the printing and the shipping and save on all that paper, that’s a pretty big thing,” said DICE client services and head of marketing, Melissa Courville.
  • More content, less noise. The content development and collaboration process is centralized in a wiki. So there's no need for 5 people to print, edit and then email around for everyone else to do the same.
  • It's easier to maintain for the long term. The thought of moving all corporate documentation, or files, or whatever you're working with, into a wiki seems daunting and time-consuming. But it's not necessary to do it all at once. You can do it gradually, or as things come up, or hire an intern to scan and categorize everything and create quick wiki pages. whatever system you use to get it on there, the important part to remember is that once it's digital, it can live there forever - static or changing.
  • Less emails. This ties in to many of the points above in this list. There is a movement for email-free lives. I'm not ready for that myself, but I do love the idea of less emails with bulky attachments that people have to print to compare versions, review or otherwise work with.
  • It's the future.

I am prepared to live up to AIIM's three requests of me today. Are you?

Watch the video to hear more about AIIM's mission and the other 7 tips that will help you help your group or organization to use less paper.