Category: Collaboration

Utilizing the Employee Experience Maturity Model to Optimize Your Enterprise Collaboration

Posted by on February 19, 2015

What comes to mind when you think of an intranet? In theory, intranets should deliver results in real time. HR should be able to easily publish new policies and other documents, marketing should be able to easily find an inside expert when researching a new technology, and sales should be able to quickly get help on a new presentation. But in reality, this usually isn’t the case.

Legacy intranets are plagued with information that can’t be optimally leveraged –1) outdated old documents, 2) static content instead of useful conversations that draw out important ideas, 3) half-baked people directories instead of rich user profiles, 4) irrelevant company news that doesn’t help get our job done, and 5) lack of mobile access.

Unfortunately, due to these issues, many organizations consider their intranet the place where information goes to die. In fact, a recent survey showed that while a vast majority of organizations have had an intranet for over five years, and over 70% also utilize social business tools (e.g. wikis, forums, messaging, etc.), almost 3 out of 4 would rate their tools as BAD.

Part of this can be attributed to the strategy and approach. Just because you have an intranet and social tools, doesn’t mean it’s a social intranet solution. Organizations need a fresh approach to this problem.

Social Intranet Strategy & Tools

First, a social intranet is multi-faceted. In addition to supporting social collaboration, it needs to support the people and their profiles, user groups, tasks, files and documents, departments, projects, and communities with an organization. An intranet must also integrate easily with other enterprise systems – ERP, CRM, WCM, cloud services, and even outside social networks. In addition, a social intranet should also support the development of custom apps as necessary.

In determining a social intranet strategy, we’ve developed the employee experience maturity model to help organizations assess their current state based on employee behaviors, and establish new targets based on corporate strategy.

Employee Experience Maturity Model

The Employee Experience Maturity Model is comprised of four dimensions – Process, Collaboration, Integration, and Content. Each can be ranked along its level of maturity, from Low to High. Based on actual behaviors and not tool features, you can measure each dimension and plot your current overall maturity level.

ee-maturity-model-2

Together, these four measurements can provide an overview of how mature an organization is at delivering effective and productive digital experiences for its employees.

Content Maturity

Organizations that are high in Content Maturity typically allow their employees to own all content, making them both content producers and consumers. They also support all media types (documents, images, video, audio, etc.), and content is easily accessible by search and faceted navigation. In addition, content is published across multiple channels, with the ability for social commentary, and personalized to individual users, teams, and departments.

On the other hand, those low in Content Maturity tend to have top-down, one way communication, where documents and textual information predominates, with the use of ad-hoc repositories and no way of indexing, tracking or searching content.

Collaboration Maturity

On the Collaboration Maturity scale, companies that rank high tend to easily support collaboration both inside and outside the organization. In addition, a variety of social and collaboration tools are used, including collaborative work spaces, comprehensive user profiles, all with social content weaved throughout and the ability to easily share and subscribe.

On the low end of the scale, email and shared drives are the dominant tools used, along with other ad-hoc tools. The people directory is incomplete, and there are no social features, such as the ability to follow people and teams or comment and rate content.

Integration Maturity

On the Integration Maturity scale, those that rank high generally use standards-based, open architecture platforms that can easily be integrated with. In addition, enterprise applications are used in intranet/portal solutions, where capabilities and interactions are exposed as services. These organizations also utilize Single Sign-On (SSO) across all applications used, along with comprehensive user profiles.

Conversely, businesses on the low end use standalone apps with separate logins, often on proprietary closed systems, resulting in silo’d repositories of content, data, and people. There’s also no employees access to customized dashboards to meet their specific needs.

Process Maturity

Businesses than are high in Process Maturity have processes embedded in their intranet and other applications, which are monitored and managed by workflows that work seamlessly across applications. In addition, analytics are used for process optimization.

Those on the low end of the scale employ ad-hoc manual processes that are only available through desktop access and often not fully documented.

Strategizing With the Maturity Model

While the Employee Experience Maturity Model provides a way to assess where your organization stands, it’s important to keep in mind that a “high” rating on every dimension isn’t required, or even desired. Organizations need to choose their targets based on individual corporate strategies.

For example, companies that focus on innovation, such as startups, may be high on Collaboration and Content, but rank lower on Process. On the other hand, a cost leader may rank high on Integration and Process, but lower on Collaboration. Even more, organizations that want to maintain a singular voice would likely rank high on Collaboration and Process, but lower on Content. Determining your organization’s priorities and choosing your targets is an important part of your overall strategy.

Click here to learn more about the Employee Experience Maturity Model.

Happy Employees = Greater Workplace Productivity

Posted by on July 02, 2013

While most employers try to create a positive work environment for their employees, it’s hard to keep constant track of employee satisfaction levels, especially for large enterprises with thousands of employees. What most organizations don’t realize is just how great of a financial impact employee happiness can have on the organization.

Do the terms “absenteeism” and “presenteeism” ring a bell? According to a recent infographic created by digital agency Gravitate, lost work days caused by absenteeism — a habitual pattern of absence from work — related to stress cost approximately $30 billion a year, and even worse, lost productivity resulting from presenteeism — when a worker is physically present but lacks productivity — costs the U.S. approximately $200 billion annually! Those are some astounding numbers and should make any organization re-evaluate their workplace environment.

Not every organization can afford a Google-like playground of a work environment, where the abundance of employee perks make up for any extra added stress in the work place. So what can the rest of the organizations do? An effective way to increase employee satisfaction is through employee engagement, facilitated by collaborative internal communities that connect like-minded colleagues within the organization. Bringing an organization together has positive effects on the company culture, resulting in increased employee satisfaction and loyalty.

In a recent white paper, “How Social Intranets Enable Smarter Enterprise Collaboration“, we discuss the increasing need for enterprise collaboration in today’s workplace, along with how organizational benefits can be achieved through effective collaboration, and how a social intranet addresses these business needs.

Leveraging social tools that help connect people in creative ways, a social intranet offers a unified solution for addressing a number of corporate objectives — corporate branding and messaging, application aggregation, enterprise collaboration, social networking, document management, and more — while yielding a variety of organizational benefits, including employee engagement and satisfaction.

To download the white paper, visit, rivetlogic.com/resources/information-center.

 

Employee Happiness as a Business Tool

 

 

Liferay’s Latest 6.1 EE Release Packs a Punch

Posted by on February 24, 2012

Over the years, Liferay Portal has transformed into a complete Web platform for social collaboration, Web content management, and development tools to create customized solutions.

The new Liferay Portal 6.1 EE features extensive updates to existing Web content management and document management systems plus new capabilities that are designed to provide more power to end users. Extensive user interface updates will make document management more productive and intuitive, with desktop and mobile access, live previews, and integration to external enterprise document repositories. Liferay 6.1 EE also simplifies the development and maintenance of rich websites, with sophisticated page templates and multiple site and page version editing. The new release also integrates with Liferay Marketplace, which will allow administrators to find and install applications to extend functionality directly from the portal.

“The new Liferay 6.1 EE release matures the 6.x branch with much anticipated implementations that in so many ways completes Liferay as an enterprise-grade product,” says Alaaeldin El-Nattar, Engagement Director and Certified Liferay Trainer at Rivet Logic. “Liferay 6.0 EE introduced several services that opened the door for the development of Auditing, Reporting, Workflow, and other enterprise features, while Liferay 6.1 EE takes Liferay as a leading and powerful portal framework and packages it into a fully functional enterprise ready portal solution. We have been waiting a long time for this release and are very excited about all the client needs that we will now be able to fulfill with relative ease. I am especially looking forward to making full use of Liferay 6.1’s new CMIS support, Document Sync, Website Management, and Mobile support. Cudos to the Liferay team on a job well done.”

To learn more, please visit www.liferay.com.

Major Players in the Open Source Enterprise Collaboration Space

Posted by on March 10, 2011

CMSWire’s topic of focus for this month is enterprise collaboration. It touches on a variety of important topics that organizations should consider before implementing an enterprise collaboration tool.

One point that struck me as particularly interesting is that collaboration starts offline with the people and not with the technology platform. It seems like this is an important factor that can easily be overlooked by many organizations during the process of determining a collaboration solution. As the article indicates, it’s important for an organization to realize its own work place culture and select tools that build on what they already do. For example, a wiki solution may be a better fit for a small team of collaborators than a full enterprise collaboration platform, which may be overkill. In essence, “this existing culture should be thought of as a blueprint for a collaboration system”.

Along similar lines, it’s also important for an organization to determine what they want to achieve with enterprise collaboration before implementing a solution. Collaboration requirements for a departmental team may be different than enterprise-wide collaboration goals. The technology will always be readily available, but without the proper analysis, a solution may not be implemented in the most optimal way to achieve the desired results.

With that being said, there are a multitude of collaboration solutions available. CMSWire names a few major players in the open source enterprise collaboration space that are worth considering. Not surprisingly, Alfresco Share and Liferay Social Office were both on that list. While Alfresco Share is highlighted as a SharePoint agitator that appeals to both users and IT administrators, Liferay Social Office is commended for its product maturity and robust collaboration features.

JBoss Portal Gets a Twist of eXo

Posted by on June 10, 2009

Today eXo Platform, a leading European open source company, announced the merger of its eXo Portal project with JBoss Portal to create an open source portal platform.

The goal of the new project is to forge a strong portal solution by bringing together the technical strengths of the two projects through the open source community.

According to eXo Platform CEO, Benjamin Mestrallet, “What has always been a challenge for any portal community or vendor is providing the right balance of robust infrastructure and engaging usability features. This collaborative project will strive to strike that balance and will work to create an enterprise-grade, open source alternative to expensive, bloated closed source portals.”

“The eXo portal has some impressive functionality in terms of ease of use, UI flexibility and straightforward management administration; JBoss.org’s current portal project has a robust engine, performance and security features, combined this collaboration project will help drive portal capabilities forward,” said Dr. Mark Little, Sr. Director of Engineering, Middleware at Red Hat.

What does this new portal product mean for other open source portal platforms like Liferay and Plone? Should they be worried? They may want to keep an eye out as eXo is contributing a new project to the JBoss community, eXo JCR, which is a “robust cluster-ready Java Content Repository that is standards based and a key component for the project”. Could this be seen a threat to other portal platforms which lacks the robust content management features that eXo JCR will bring?

It would be interesting to see how the new JBoss eXo portal platform fares with enterprises in their choice of portal and collaboration software.

Next Generation Campaigning Helps With Obama’s Rise to Presidency

Posted by on November 05, 2008

Along with millions of Americans, I too watched the election results last night as the gap between Obama and McCain increased and the critical swing states turned blue one by one. While’s it’s apparent that the vast majority of Americans are ready for a change, part of Obama’s election success can be attributed to his modern way of campaigning, utilizing the power of people and technology in a way never done before during during the election process.

Obama’s campaign recruited Facebook co-founder, Chris Hughes, to build its own social networking site, myBarackObama.com. Talk about harnessing the power of the internet.

The internet grew from being the medium of a core group of political junkies to a gateway for millions of ordinary Americans to participate in the political process, donating odd amounts of their spare time to their candidate through online campaign tools. Obama’s campaign carefully designed its web site to maximize group collaboration, while at the same time giving individual volunteers tasks they could follow on their own schedules.”

This collaboration of Obama supporters resulted in some creative contributions, such as the Obama ‘08 for iPhone, where social networking features allow users to participate in the campaign process with friends.

This next generation campaign strategy was able to reached out to millions of young voters whose voices might not have been heard otherwise. But by incorporating the technologies that are second nature to this generation into the campaign process, young voters throughout the nation found themselves wanting to take part in this historical landmark event. It wouldn’t be far fetched to say that it’s these young voters who helped convert traditionally republican states like Virginia to vote democratic for the first time in over 40 years.

“It was a peer-to-peer, bottom-up, open-source kind of ethos that infused this campaign,” says Benko, a principal of the political consulting firm Capital City Partners, in Washington, D.C. “Clearly, there was a vision to this.”

It’s undeniable that Barack Obama’s campaign took electioneering to a whole new level, one that harnesses the enthusiasm of his supporters. Needless to say, this landmark election will also serve as a turning point in how election campaigns will be approached in the future.

New Case Study: Liferay and Alfresco enables collaboration in education sector

Posted by on August 17, 2008

We just published a new case study on one of our projects in the public education sector. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) does great work for advancing public education goals at the US Federal and State levels, and open source portals and content management from Liferay and Alfresco help them collaborate, find, and share critical information in support of many of their projects.

Learn more from our new Case Study: CCSSO Increases Project Efficiency Through Open Source Content Management and Collaboration.