Monday, August 31, 2009

Lucky Number 8

I’m a big fan of Stewart Mader’s blog. He offers strong insights and keeps a steady flow of dialogue and new information coming to his readers. Recently, he wrote ‘8 Things You Can Do With an Enterprise Wiki,’ and I see it was picked up by other bloggers, tweeted and so on. Actually, he wrote it for Digital Landfill, and it was initially published there.

Clearly, there are a lot of things a company can use a wiki for. It varies widely, depending on what kind of work the company does and what it’s goals are for instituting a wiki. But Stewart takes a general approach that can apply to ANY company in ANY industry. I think that’s why this post has had such wide appeal.

Stewart’s 8 ways:
1- Meeting agendas
2- Meeting minutes and action items
3- Project management
4- Gather input
5- Build documentation
6- Assemble and reuse information
7- Employee handbook
8- Knowledge base (the one key external wiki benefit mentioned)

“Let’s look at eight ways a wiki can help you readjust your valuable time to get more of your essential work done, spend less time on meetings and redundant activities, and more efficiently assemble, refine and reuse valuable information,” he writes. That pretty well sums up the overarching theme here – that enterprise wikis save time, reduce redundancies and create more effective way to funnel information through team members or the company as a whole.

You know you hate it when you email a draft presentation or document to multiple people and then have to marry all the edits that come in at various times on different versions, don’t you? With wikis, that becomes a thing of the past. And no one likes it when they have to search their hard drives for all the relevant files for a new employee because there’s no central repository.

“As the wiki is used to build and maintain project proposals, documents, and other reusable pieces of information, the process of creating future versions becomes easier,” writes Stewart. “An organization’s wiki is an ideal place to provide general-use information to an internal audience.”

He doesn’t get much into the creative and collaborative benefits of enterprise wikis, but for someone who’s becoming educated about enterprise 2.0, this is a great and quick read. It helps put things into perspective.

Don't forget to follow @samepagewiki on Twitter.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Don't Ignore Email Vulnerabilites; There's a Better Way

42% of Best-in-Class companies reduced lost productivity attibutable to email by more than 20%

42% of Best-in-Class companies reduced help-desk time and the cost to remediate email related infections by more than 20%

65% of Best-in-Class companies reduced the volume of spam reaching user inboxes by more than 20%

These stats are courtesy of a June 2009 Aberdeen Group report on safe email. The focus of the report was to highlight the strategies best-in-class companies put in place in order to create an effective email security strategy, but I think there’s a lot more here if we just look a little deeper.

The report supports many of the ideas put forward by enterprise 2.0 companies about the many ways in which email is failing companies. That’s not to say email doesn’t have it’s valuable place in business. It does. But it can no longer be the end all, be all for business communications.

In the report, Analyst Carol Baroudi writes: “Well-financed email threat creators persist in propagating ever more sophisticated and potentially lethal attacks through the estimated 62 trillion spam messages sent last year……Add the rising value of sensitive data in a desperate market, and we have a set of trends that all point to critical reasons organizations cannot ignore their email vulnerabilities.”

Enterprise wikis are a valuable tool for businesses collaboration and knowledge management needs. A deployed wiki should have enterprise-grade security features that protect all of its information. When choosing a wiki to deploy, this is a tremendous benefit of deployed or SaaS products versus open source. Certainly, enterprise wikis can offer a safer environment for internal collaboration and sharing.

Follow us on Twitter @samepagewiki.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Success Story at Cal Poly Pomona

“With Word, the documents were not very searchable, and we had limited ability to share these documents at the same time. We tried to use a CMS system to create internal web pages, but it wasn’t set up to manage dynamic pages with multiple contributors at multiple times. It was unwieldy and simply not friendly for collaboration.”

This is a direct quote from a wiki user and probably has more weight than when I toot my company's horn about strengths of wikis over word and CMS systems.

I promise I didn’t make it up. Kevin Morningstar, executive director of Student Affairs Information & Technology Services (SAITS) within the Division of Student Affairs at California State Polytechnic University Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona), said it.

There’s a new case study on the SAITS experiences and successes to-date with SamePage. In it, Kevin explains how, for the first few years of its operation, SAITS was charged with (and employees struggled with) finding ways to create and share effective user and technical documentation. They tried and discarded other solutions before determining a wiki was the best fit.

Kevin explains that when his team found SamePage: “We jumped on it. SamePage came pre-packaged; it was already executable to be immediately up and running,” he noted. “And we had it up and running in 24 hours with one staff member taking care of the set up.”

“I can’t imagine we could have made a better choice,” he said. Read the rest of the case study.