I just read an article at David Strom at ReadWrite Enterprise. It’s titled, “How Lotus Notes Changed the Collaboration Landscape“. The title is a bit of a misnomer. It should really be, “A Short Review of Social Technologies and how They Will Change the Collaboration Landscape”. Yeah, neither is all that catchy but the second one hits the point. The article points to a recent review by pwc of social technologies and puts up an image of that review I find interesting. IBM and Tibco come out looking pretty good according to the review. All social tools show a need for improvement but most have some real functionality that’s evolving towards some really useful software.
What I found interesting reading through the report (and there is a lot more in there than this matrix, including case studies and interviews with thought leaders), and what prompted my chat with Laube, is how much the process of adopting social media tools inside enterprises has mirrored the adoption and growth of Lotus Notes back in the early 1990s. Back then Notes was a game-changer: prior to that no one had really produced any software to help workgroups collaborate on anything of substance. Laube was the prime mover when he was at Price Waterhouse to buy the first 10,000-seat license ever, and oversaw the growth of Notes there when he was CIO.
The new social media tools are going to have as much of an impact as Notes did in its day, according to Laube. The problem, he said, is that they aren’t oriented toward accomplishing particular tasks, other than staying in touch with your friends and colleagues. “It is easy to miss particular things in your news feed in Facebook, but in a business context that isn’t okay at all,” he said.
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I’ve been doing a lot of face to face work with clients and I can say that many are asking for collaboration and search combined in an Activity Stream of some kind. I’ll have to blog on what that means later. In the meantime, check out this post and the link to the pwc study.