Friday, October 31, 2008

Some Things in Life Really Are Free

I’ve written before about wikis in academia. I believe deeply in the value of wikis in this area – for administrators, professors, researchers, as well as for students.

For students, in particular, it is challenging to find the budget for new software and applications to help muddle through the process. But students can benefit so much from using technology for research, group coordination, collaboration, project planning and more.

Plus, students who use and become comfortable with business software and applications while still in school will be more prepared when they enter the workforce. I wish I had a wiki to use to manage my projects while I was in college!

That’s why, although SamePage is an enterprise wiki, I was part of the team that put together the plan to offer SamePage version 4.0 FREE to university students with an .edu email address. All students need to do is sign up at They can include up to five users in their group. It’s simple and straightforward. The interface is user friendly and utilizes a WYSIWYG editor, so students don’t need technical expertise. In addition to the collaboration features, there are discussion forums and a blog element.

Some things in life really are free. And when this phenomenon occurs, people should reach out and grab it. That’s exactly what we hope students will do with SamePage v. 4.0.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Content is King

Alex Jefferies, senior research associate at Aberdeen Group, explains the ‘why’ behind wikis:

“The guiding philosophy behind a wiki is really quite simple: content is king. In other words, the benefit derived from an enterprise wiki depends greatly on the amount of information contributed by users."
The most successful organizations are the ones who are able to spark a high degree of employee adoption. The result of such adoption ranges from a dynamic glossary of company-specific terminology to a forum for new employee ideas. In fact, many organizations are using wikis as a training platform, one where they can centralize FAQs and best practices for use in the onboarding process. The multitude of uses has led the majority (59%) of best-in-class companies to either leverage, or plan to leverage, internal wikis.”

The key findings of Alex’s recent Sales 2.0 report show a correlation between companies that utilize wikis as part of a sales program and improving sales. But what we also know is that a wiki is only as valuable as the content employees put in there.

Not sure what to put on your corporate wiki? According to Stewart Mader, wiki consultant and blogger, “A wiki can be especially useful for commonly needed information, like FAQ, guidelines, HR or purchasing policies.” He gives more details in a recent article.

So go forth and populate your company’s wiki!

Monday, October 13, 2008

SamePage 4.0

Last week, our team was busy with finalizing and announcing SamePage version 4.0. The focus of this release is technology enhancements and product improvements that better meet the needs of large enterprises. Scalability is a key challenge of software implementation in large enterprises. Software can become cost prohibitive, when scaling it up costs an arm and a leg.

That's a key reason SamePage is one of the few wikis that can scale in a cost-effective way.

Some highlights of the new release include:

- Increases scalability for large enterprises.
- Improved performance of wiki based on new Java technologies
- REST-based Web services integrate with other enterprise applications
- Enables direct content creation between the wiki and web portals
- Users can now create and collaborate around charts and tables with new database and chart plug ins
- New baseline version of the software

Alex Jefferies, a senior research analyst with Aberdeen who has just completed a report entitled, Sales 2.0, said:

"Large companies are furiously searching for effective ways to collaborate outside of traditional and laborious methods, such as email. The benefit of an enterprise wiki is that it allows for efficient project or procedure collaboration, without burdening employees with a never-ending flurry of emails. Organizations who are currently using internal wikis have found applicable uses in everything from project collaboration to creating a dynamic glossary of company-specific terms and practices to help onboard new hires."

I fully agree with Alex’s assertion – indeed this has been one of our key messages.

If you prefer, the complete list of features and release notes are available at:

Don't take my word for it though, try it yourself. Anyone can sign up for a free trial; no matter what size your business, or even for personal use.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Aberdeen on Sales 2.0

Aberdeen Group just released a Sales 2.0 report: Social Media for Knowledge Management and Sales Collaboration.

The crux of the study is examining how companies are and have the potential to shorten sales cycles and increase productivity by utilizing Web 2.0 tools.

The timing for data like this is impeccable. The US economy is going through tough times, and companies need to proactively sell more to survive and compete in these trying times. Cost-effective tools and technological advancements become that much more valuable during difficult economic periods.

According to the report, 45% of 210 companies surveyed that use social media within both the sales and marketing departments experience year-over-year improvement in lead qualification rates.

“The pressure to increase top-line revenue growth (63%) and improve overall sales productivity (60%) were identified by survey respondents as the top two pressures causing organizations to focus resources on the organizational capabilities and technology enablers use to improve sales performance,” it says in the executive summary.

It’s a good sign for enterprise wikis. Wikis are a cost-effective technology solution to collaboration and knowledge management challenges.

“As sales managers search for effective ways to manage their teams outside the traditional avenues of meetings and emails, wikis allow for project and team collaboration around a certain account or opportunity.”

There are a lot of interesting numbers and concepts expressed in this Aberdeen report that I plan to revisit. For example, Aberdeen’s report stresses how crucial it to the success of an enterprise social media / Sales 2.0 initiative to have the support of senior management. Download the report today.