WebSphere Portal Coolness Factor Just Shot Through The Roof

by Erica Driver.

Today, IBM announced that it will bring Google's consumer-style Web utilities, called Google Gadgets, into WebSphere Portal 6.0 and WebSphere Portal Express. Nearly 4,000 Google Gadgets will be available to WebSphere Portal 6.0 customers at no additional cost. Google Gadgets include things like package tracking, Wikipedia searches, language translators, weather, and--my personal favorite--the Virtual Flower Pot. (Just today I realized that the reason my red tulips weren't growing is because I wasn't watering them by mousing over them frequently enough.) What this all means:

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Retention Management Best Practices – Hard To Find

by Barry Murphy.

Last spring, Forrester introduced the concept of retention management, which extends records management to all content from creation through long-term retention and destruction (check out the Retention Management document).  Seems simple enough, but with so many repositories of information (hard drives, network file shares, SharePoint sites, email servers and archives, and any number of managed repositories) extending retention policies to all of it is all but impossible.

To get a sense of how organizations address retention management, I reached out to approximately 300 companies for a research interview, figuring maybe 10 would be willing to speak about what they are doing.  In an indication of how hot the topic is, over 30 companies wanted to speak further.  Having conducted about half the interviews so far, it’s clear we are at the very beginning of the learning curve for retention management. 

Some emerging hypotheses to date:

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How To Restore Email To Its Productivity-Enhancing Glory

by Erica Driver.

I just got off the phone with a small software startup called Get Back Software. For $3/team member/month, a department head can use Get Back’s product, called Postware, to put a cap on the number of emails that people in their group can send. The thinking behind this new software as a service is that email has turned from a productivity-enhancing tool into a productivity sinkhole, and that by giving workers a limited “email allowance” you can change their behavior—you can get them to think twice before cc:ing their boss or replying to all, or inviting a colleague to lunch via email rather than by walking down the hall or picking up the phone. I agree with the core premise here—that the productivity benefits of tools like email (and instant messaging and mobile devices) go down when the volume of communications hits a critical mass and when workers have no control over the volume and frequency of interruptions to their work.

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Call For Collaboration Strategy Documents

by Erica Driver.

My mind is a sieve. It can take a few requests before I remember to do something. And even with a few prods, it takes a while for me to get moving. But I've gotten so many requests along the lines of "What does a collaboration strategy document look like? What should it include?" that it's all I'm thinking about these days.

I will be publishing a sample collaboration strategy document in Q2. If you have developed and documented an enterprise collaboration strategy and would be willing to share it with Forrester for the greater good of industry research--with our promise to guard it and not share it with anyone outside the company--we would love to include you in our research. You can find me at edriver@forrester.com.

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eLearning Can—and Should—Have Many Homes

by Claire Schooley.

Making the decision of where to place elearning within a company’s organizational structure is often a challenge. Clients have asked me about this a lot in the past few months. Some may say, “Well, that’s easy, it belongs in HR,” Maybe, but not necessarily. I have seen eLearning find homes in five different areas of the business:

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Spilled Latte Leads To OpenOffice.org Experiment

by Erica Driver.

On Friday morning I ventured out in the newly-fallen snow for my morning latte. The tree branches were heavy with wet snow. It was gorgeous. But promptly after settling in at my desk I miscalculated the length of my arm and spilled about 12 oz. of coffee and milk all over my laptop. Little red lights blinked a few times and my screen went dark. That was it. Done. Gone. Dead.

I got on the horn with Forrester's top-notch IT group and I had a new laptop at my doorstep in about 24 hours. Forrester IT rocks. But I'm not here to bemoan my clumsiness or sing kudos to our help desk. I'm here to tell you what happened when I took over my husband's laptop for the remainder of the day. He doesn't have Microsoft Office installed on his machine; he uses OpenOffice.org 2.1.

I had no choice -- I gave it a shot. I was able to get some of my tasks done, but not all. And the learning curve was not insignificant. For example:

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The Emerging Content Architect Role

by Kyle McNabb.

We’ve interviewed a number of enterprises over the past few months to understand what makes their Web operations tick. We want to understand how Web teams are organized, what key roles they have, and what lessons learned they can share with others. Our findings will be published later in Q1 2007, but we’ve found one particular important role that we believe every enterprise should pay close attention to – the content architect.

Most enterprises have content locked away in channel specific silos such as the corporate Web site, email campaign management systems, the call center, and in some cases direct mail (print) channels. Each channel’s often supported by its own operation – people, process, and technology. The end result? Customer confusion as they receive inconsistent, often different information from the enterprise depending on what channel they work with. For example, a customer may go see a campaign (content) on a self-service site, but when they call the call-center to find out more information, the call center hasn’t been informed of the campaign and can’t answer.

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