Social Networking in the Workplace Part 2

Abstract: This article provides an overview on social networking within the workplace.

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Vendors Mix Public App Features into Internal Solutions

Some software and application vendors today are taking an approach for providing a blend of enterprise social networking and enterprise collaboration with those often found in public social networking and public collaboration sites.  For example, Salesforce.com offers a company wide networking application called Chatter which allows users to create profiles and groups, see status updates, share files and make recommendations, plus much more.

Other technologies provide robust applications which are typically installed within the enterprise such as Oracle’s Web Center Services, which provides social computing services such as wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, forums, instant messaging and presence, people connections and activity streams, plus many more functions for the enterprise user.

Internal Solutions Don’t Natively Integrate with External Sites

Most enterprise social networking and enterprise collaboration applications do not provide an out-of-the-box connection to the public applications. Among the many reasons for this is the fact that there are so many different potential applications to integrate with. Other reasons include the challenges of integrating internal security with public domain security, controlling the sharing of sensitive materials outside of an organizations firewall, and ensuring that employees are able to follow company policies in regards to information sharing and company information policies.

Final Thoughts

We always want it all, but we must be aware of the practical constraints and challenges that may impede our goals. There are practical ways to share information through social networks. Many organizations have a presence on Facebook and LinkedIn and share information freely with their target audiences.

Having a presence on these site channels to reach the masses has been very effective. However, these are external applications from a company’s enterprise and should be treated as such. Use caution with the information you wish to share, or invest in technologies like Oracle’s Information Rights Management where documents can be sealed for designated users.

Engaging the enterprise with public social networking and collaboration can be done, but do it wisely and for purpose….not just because you want it.

Editor’s Note: You may also be interested in reading:

Oracle Focuses on WebCenter Sites (Formerly FatWire)

Originally posted by Troy Allen on CMSWire on September 19, 2011. 

Abstract: Oracle’s acquisition of FatWire demonstrates a determination to continue expanding Oracle’s WebCenter family of products while providing an organized and integrated set of tools.

FatWire AND Oracle UCM’s Web Content Management?

I was fortunate enough to attend a partner conference at Oracle’s headquarters in Redwood Shores, California, just prior to the announcement of the re-branding WebCenter product launch. Our meeting focused on Oracle’s vision purpose behind the rebranding and grouping of their portal, content management, web content management and enterprise social applications. During the meeting, we were presented with Oracle’s already published pending acquisition of FatWire (which has since been re-branded to WebCenter Sites).

Grouping these technologies together into a single family of products makes total sense and will definitely make it easier for Oracle’s customers in navigating the wealth of solutions that Oracle offers, but I was perplexed as to why they added FatWire to their family.

I was a former Stellent employee and, along with the company, came into Oracle through an acquisition in early 2007. During my time at Stellent, and in the few years after that while at Oracle, the content management team had a view that if we were competing in a deal with FatWire for content management or for web content management, one of us was in the wrong deal. Our perception of FatWire was that it was a niche product to create and manage “Brochure-ware” website. In fact, it was very rare that Stellent/Oracle ECM competed against FatWire.

FatWire Complements the Stellant/Oracle ECM Suite

During the meeting, we were presented with a very good overview of FatWire’s suite of products, and I was impressed. I began to understand why Oracle made an offer to them. The Enterprise Content Management suite from Stellent/Oracle (now called WebCenter Content) has always been focused on helping companies to gain control of unstructured content and truly manage the content’s lifecycle. It had a web content management portion of the suite that allowed organizations to create dynamic websites to share content with partners, customers and the World Wide Web in general. WCM was always focused around presenting and sharing very document-centric websites. It also provided an industrial strength approach to supporting portal-based applications with content.

FatWire, on the other hand, had always taken the approach of creating, managing and publishing business-user savvy websites focused on informing targeted audiences. It also included a content management application to support the websites it created and managed. Sales cycles for FatWire were more business-oriented where the Oracle ECM suite was more technology-driven. The FatWire product was specifically designed to allow organizations to create and manage intuitive websites for informing targeted audiences rather than just providing a framework for sharing documents to potential consumers.

In speaking with Oracle’s Product Management, Sales Management and technical resources since the official acquisition of FatWire and formal release of the WebCenter re-branding, it is clear that Oracle understands the strengths of WebCenter Content (Stellent/Oracle ECM) and WebCenter Sites (FatWire) and how they complement each other.

The overall vision is simple in nature and very logical; WebCenter Sites is the front door to an organization. It creates rich and robust informational websites without the heavy IT support overhead of some of its competitors. WebCenter Portal (formally WebCenter Suite) is the information infrastructure which allows organizations to create highly functional intranets and extranets where users can interact, communicate, transact and share information. WebCenter Content is the enterprise foundation of information that supports not only the WebCenter products, but Oracle Applications as well.

New Doors and Opportunities

Oracle’s excitement over the FatWire acquisition is well founded. In my own consulting activities, I look forward to introducing the WebCenter Sites technology to customers and helping them to establish it as an entry point to a robust infrastructure that supports all their business requirements. From creating informational sites that easily direct users to interactive and transactional portal sites, to sharing content inside and outside of the organization, Oracle WebCenter opens new doors for Oracle and unlocks growth and opportunity for Oracle’s customers.

Oracle’s WebCenter family of products represents a truly organized and integrated set of tools designed to support all of an organization’s information and communication requirements.

 

New Technology Solutions Company Launches in Atlanta

TekStream builds experienced team of industry experts to deliver long-term and cost-effective solutions for enterprise companies

ATLANTA, July 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — TekStream Solutions, LLC, announced today its launch as a new Atlanta-based information technology services firm.  The company will specialize in providing content management, enterprise portal and resourcing services to enterprise businesses, and has already signed on notable Fortune 500 clients.

The executive management of TekStream consists of Rob Jansen, CEO; Judd Robins, Executive Vice President, Consulting Services; and Mark Gannon, Executive Vice President, Resourcing Services. The trio, together with its senior team of experts, has deep and extensive experience delivering long-term and cost-effective technology solutions for large clients in a wide range of industries.

“After decades of enterprise companies investing in technology solutions for many individual business units with different functional needs, companies are left with disparate systems and deep inefficiencies.  They are challenged to manage the volumes of content and internet-based services that have been created during a transition to digital content,” Jansen said. “Our specialty is finding solutions to these company-wide problems faced by enterprise businesses, such as consolidating and streamlining systems and creating ‘anytime, anywhere access’ to data for employees and customers.”

According to Jansen, newer technologies have resulted in a changing work environment that involves an experienced and mobile workforce.  Companies must make it easier for knowledge workers to share, connect and collaborate across geographies.  TekStream helps companies make information and services available to workers across many different channels and devices.

TekStream also serves companies looking to rebuild staff previously trimmed during the down economy and executives looking for ways to restructure teams with greater efficiencies.  Rather than hiring full-time workers, companies can turn to providers like TekStream who offer extremely experienced talent that specialize in their unique business challenges to reduce risk and increase business agility.

While there are many industries and technologies, TekStream has developed “repeatable solutions” to address similar needs, such as compliance that allow companies to adhere to industry standards. The company has achieved “trusted advisor status” with large software suppliers such as Oracle that provides clients with deep product expertise, access to product roadmap/strategy and unparalleled support.

About TekStream Solutions, LLC

TekStream Solutions is an Atlanta-based technology solutions company that specializes in addressing the company-wide IT problems faced by enterprise businesses, such as consolidating and streamlining disparate content and application delivery systems and the market challenges to create “anytime, anywhere access” to data for employees, partners and customers.  TekStream’s IT consulting solutions combined with its specialized IT recruiting expertise helps businesses increase efficiencies, streamline costs and remain competitive in an extremely fast-changing market.