11/28/2012

IBM Rational selects IdeaJam to power another "Jam" event

Tags: ideajam cloud voicejam domino


IBM's Rational Software division has once again selected Elguji's IdeaJam Cloud for their "VoiCE Jam". The Voice Jam (https://voicejam.ideajam.net) will commence on December 3rd, and run through December 13th. Pre-registration is now open.

Read more about the Voice Jam on the IBM Rational Business Partner News blog >

IdeaJam is powered by IBM's Domino server technology.




11/27/2012

Register for our upcoming webinar "IdeaJam: Corporate 'social networks' for innovation and idea management

Tags: webinar ideajam ideation social social_business


IdeaJam idea and innovation management software

Join us for this free demonar (webinar) on Tuesday, December 4th, at 1:00 PM EST (GMT - 5). Learn how other companies are using IdeaJam with their employees, customers and partners. See how they customized and configured IdeaJam to meet their specific challenges and see how easy IdeaJam is to quickly get up and running in your organization. We will also show you can integrate IdeaJam with your applications using the extensive IdeaJam programming API.

Register now >




11/27/2012

Announcing a new version of IQJam

Tags: iqjam xpages notes domino app application



We are excited to announce that a new version of our IQJam software for IBM Notes and Domino environments will be released on Monday, December 3rd, 2012. IQJam is powered by IBM's "XPages" technology. Here is what's new in this version:

New Features Added

  • Added a "Terms and Conditions" page to be displayed and accepted prior to a person using IQJam. Enable this feature in the Control Panel.
  • Added the ability to have the RSS feeds enabled or disabled.
  • Added the ability to have the "Respond via Email" enabled or disabled in email notifications. Enable this feature in the Control Panel.
  • Added the ability to enable/disable "Leader Board", "Tags", "Help" and "Logout" items in the main menu.
  • The IQJam logo area can now extend up to the "Ask a Question" button (750px wide).
  • The height of the IQJam logo header area can be configured in the Control Panel. The default is 50px.
  • Ability to specify your own graphic for "Correct Answers". The image can be selected in your IQJam skin.
  • The first 50 words of a question are now shown in the Recent, Answered and Unanswered views. You can define the color of the text in your IQJam skin.

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed a bug with the IQSpace and Tag Follower emails that was causing emails not to be sent.
  • Fixed the CSS for the voting buttons on a question. They now respect the hover and background colors defined in the skin.
  • Fixed the CSS to properly size the number of answers shown on a question page in the "There are X answers".
  • Fixed the CSS for links in answers. They can now be defined in the IQJam skin.
  • Fixed a bug where the color of the vote box on answers were not using the color set in the IQJam skin.
  • Fixed the CSS for links in answers in the Recent Answers view.
  • Fixed a bug that prohibited participants from attaching files to answers on questions that were not created by them.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing the "Enable attachments on comments" settings in the Control Panel.
  • Fixed a bug in the Question page that was causing the entry form to "jump" when the "Check for similar questions" button was clicked.

An evaluation version will aslo be available for you to test drive in your environment. If you are interested please let us know.




10/29/2012

Meet Elguji Partner Centric Fusion

Tags: partner ideajam canada iqjam


banner_partner.gif

Elguji is proud to announce that Centric Fusion located in Ontario, Canada is now an authorized Elguji Partner. We have worked with Ryan Hosford, Centric Fusion's President for many years in his various roles with IBM Partners and in the IBM community. We couldn't agree more with as what is stated by one of his customers:

"I have known Ryan for a number of years now and have worked closely with him in the Lotus Notes/Domino spectrum. He balances a level of professionalism with a laid back flair that draws people in. He continuously drives for innovation and believes passionately in loyalty, dedication, and being first and foremost - genuine. He strives on building solutions, and has built his success based on that straightforward approach to business. It has been a privilege to have worked with him over the years and I look forward to many more. - Michelle Mann"

About Centric Fusion

Centric Fusion have successfully built and managed a global network of authorized resellers, led product launches and built a brand over 10 years for a manufacturer in the industry. Centric Fusion’s approach is built on providing valued advice and premium options with senior level insight at no additional cost. Centric Fusion is not a “consulting” company who is looking to offer additional services at a cost or to promote their own products.

Centric is your dedicated resource in lean times, your extra resource on your project team, as they understand that everyone is short staffed these days. Centric Fusion will assess the best options for your needs, in an efficient manner and allow you, as the customer, to decide which product is best suited for your environment. They are always pleased to share their expertise and insights based on available information at no additional cost.

Centric Fusion provides you with options to leverage this “know-how”, with access to a broad range of solutions. Centric Fusion will help you and your organization to identify potential solutions, evaluate options and make the right choice the first time around.

Elguji Software Partners >


05/25/2012

IBM's Rational Software Division Chooses Elguji for their "Jazz Plan Jam"

Tags: cloud ideajam jazz rational developerworks


IBM's Rational Software division in cooperation with IBM's developerWorks has selected Elguji's IdeaJam Cloud for their "Jazz Plan Jam". The Plan Jam (https://jazz.ideajam.net) will commence on May 30th, and run through June 6th. Pre-registration is now open.

From the Jazz.net Blog:

Well then, I’m happy to announce our first ever Jazz Plan Jam, which begins on May 30. Together with our developerWorks colleagues, we’re trying something new as part of the planning for our next revision of our Jazz products.

Normally we triage new requests, participate in conversations in work items, read the forums, interact with many of you in one-on-one conversations and through our client programs. Then, at the start of our planning cycle, we agree on the most important items that will make their way into our products.

This year we’re supplementing the normal stuff by inviting you to an open, on-line Jam session.  During the Jam, you can propose new ideas for improving our products and give a thumbs up or thumbs down to the ideas of others. Our hope is to learn not only what is most important to you, but also to spark your creative juices. We can’t promise to implement all of the ideas, but the Jam results will influence how we prioritize what we do next.

IBM worked with Elguji to custom tailor the Plan Jam to meet their specific requirements as well as providing them with guidance and best practices for conducting "Idea Jams".

Elguji has powered cloud based jams for Winn-Dixie, The USDA, The Department of Interior, Austin Independent School District, The Australian Goverment and many more.

Read "Jazz Plan Jam – Come jam with us!" on the Jazz.net Blog >




04/03/2012

Social in Business: Back to the Future

Tags: social-in-business social-business technology social-technology tools


In this installment of the social in Business we address the Technology of Social in business. .

Rather than rattling off the current social tools market with my color commentary, I felt this topic is a good opportunity to talk about the “technology” of Social Technology. My main point is that there are many tools that fall into the social technology market category. The social capabilities that each tool supports are key to knowing which tools to deploy in the business. You've by now likely heard me preach about the perils of installing technology for technology’s sake (cue soapbox). If you’ve been following this series by now hopefully you have caught on that social in business is not a " build it an they will come" scenario; that it takes time, forethought and concentrated effort to make social solutions a success in the business environment.

Rather than rattling off the current social tools market with my color commentary, I felt this topic is a good opportunity to talk about the “technology” of Social Technology. My main point is that there are many tools that fall into the social technology market category. The social capabilities that each tool supports are key to knowing which tools to deploy in the business. You've by now likely heard me preach about the perils of installing technology for technology’s sake (cue soapbox). If you’ve been following this series by now hopefully you have caught on that social in business is not a " build it an they will come" scenario; that it takes time, forethought and concentrated effort to make social solutions a success in the business environment

  • First came e-mail, which has dominated electronic communications since the early 1970’s and still (according to a recent Ipsos/Reuters poll) supports more than 85% of communications worldwide. E-mail continues to make our working lives better and miserable all that the same time.
  • As productivity tools and networks improved collaborative tools began to make more sense for doing interactive processes with groups of people.
  • Then, as networks expanded (corporate and Internet) and devices got "smarter" (e.g., mobile phones and laptops) we looked to better forms for real-time communication (e.g., chatting and conferencing) and collaboration. This movement helped to bring down organizational and operational barriers of time, device, and location.
  • As the Internet grew and improved security emerged, the consumerization of electronic communications exploded. The opportunity to re-design the interfaces for electronic communications allowed us to add on more nuanced personalization and interaction with our information and colleagues.

Buying or building depends on existing tools (read licenses), the firm’s IT environment, the goals for social, risk and business tolerance. These choices can't be made in a vacuum. Sound social tool decisions can only be made by understanding how social technology is supporting the business: electronic communication with a personal touch.

So what does that mean for social in business? It means that choosing social tools depends heavily on the way the business communicates and how that communication supports the business’ needs. Savvy companies take time to understand their environment and business needs, to identify specific use cases and purposes for the social tools and then assemble the tools accordingly. In other words, knowing the value of communications tools on the business and which ones are most appropriate for the firm is paramount to a successful social tools strategy.

The social business tools market is growing rapidly and, typical of new markets, the market is dynamic and volatile. It’s a complex equation to decide which tools to deploy. The gnarly set of options today include:

  • Cloud or in-house
  • Hosted (dedicated or shared)
  • Consumer (e.g., Facebook or Google+)
  • Traditional productivity vendors e.g., IBM (Notes+Samtime+Connections) or Microsoft (soupped-up SharePoint)
  • Cloud-based business solutions e.g. Yammer or Salesforce.com add-ons
  • Social business solutions such as Jive or SocialText on/off premises

Buying or building depends on existing tools (read licenses), the firm’s IT environment, the goals for social, risk and business tolerance. These choices can't be made in a vacuum. Sound social tool decisions can only be made by understanding how social technology is supporting the business: electronic communication with a personal touch.

Our Social in Business Series


Part 1 - What we are talking about
Part 2 - Build it and they will come (?)
Part 3 - What are we doing here anyway?
Part 4 - Rubber meet Road

About Karen Hobert

karen_hobert.png

Karen is an IT industry research analyst focused on communication, collaboration, content management and social software technologies. She offers over 23 years of hands-on and market expertise to enterprises planning, designing, and deploying shared information systems. You can see more of her thoughts at Karen Hobert's Connecting Dots blog.




03/15/2012

Social in Business: Rubber meet Road

Tags: strategy social business social software social in business


In this next installment of Social in Business we focus on Strategy.

Hopefully the thesis of this post shouldn’t knock your socks off; in a nutshell, businesses need a social software strategy in order for the social in business to be successful at the firm.

Want to reach the holy grail of an e-mail free working environment? In reality what you’ll likely find, especially if you do the strategy legwork, is that the goal is not getting rid of e-mail. Rather, the goal is to improve e-mail usage so that it is not a drag on productivity. And yes, social tools can help with that. That goal, however, will never be achieved unless the firm puts in place a strategy with plans and guidelines for effectively mitigating e-mail stresses through social tools.

By strategy I mean a well-considered plan for selecting, deploying, managing, and educating users on the technology that will support social working activities. Social software options (e.g., vendors, tools, cloud, on-premise) options can become overwhelming very quickly. A good strategy considers the different options, how the business works, and then gauges success through identifiable metrics and milestones. It also means doing a fair amount of homework on the technology state, corporate governance, internal communications, cost factors, and operational requirements for deploying different options. Assessing this information and building a strategy that addresses these factors of the business not only aids in making decisions but also helps to identify viable solutions and (hopefully) documents the rationale for those decisions.

Why is this necessary? Because, like anything else in business, times and technology change. If the firm knows why it chose something in the first place, and documented what was successful and what failed, it will be a lot easier to modify and keep up with new trends as they come along. For example, knowing why the firm chose an on-premise solution over cloud-based solution is valuable information, especially if the reasons, cost, and rationale for that choice are documented and the plan is clearly defined on paper. It becomes much easier to recalibrate choices or make changes should a compelling reason for one choice become obsolete. Going back to the example, subsequent network upgrades might cloud-based solutions easier to support and more cost effective, hence the firm can quickly revisit the old rationale and decide if it applies any longer.

Strategies also help to communicate to the business and executives the nature of social software and that it takes time for success. Documenting the plan for development, deployment, and success metrics for social in business helps non-technical colleagues understand the cultural and working shifts that come with social software. It becomes much easier for the business to support new technology efforts if they know what to expect and when.

We all know that a good strategy and plan makes life easier with fewer gotchas when it comes to deployment. It can be hard to reign in enthusiasm for something new that will solve the “big” issues, but it’s worth the effort to take the time for strategy. No matter what the strategy is, the firm is better off with one. Even if the strategy is to let things grow organically and ad hoc, at least the consideration of the risks have been addressed, communicated and documented. What’s not to like about that?

Our Social in Business Series


Part 1 - What we are talking about
Part 2 - Build it and they will come (?)
Part 3 - What are we doing here anyway?

About Karen Hobert

karen_hobert.png

Karen is an IT industry research analyst focused on communication, collaboration, content management and social software technologies. She offers over 23 years of hands-on and market expertise to enterprises planning, designing, and deploying shared information systems. You can see more of her thoughts at Karen Hobert's Connecting Dots blog.




03/08/2012

Social in Business: What are we doing here anyway?

Tags: social business social software enterprise


This is the third post in the Top Dog/Elguji Social in Business blog series. The first post was entitled "Social in Business: What we are talking about" and the second was entitled "Social in Business: Build it and they will come (?)".

Today we focus on Objectives.

So if you’ve followed my blog (or other similar minded bloggers) you’ve likely come across one of my occasional rants about the pitfalls of buying technology for technology’s sake. This is sort of one of those posts in this installment of “Social in Business”, Objective.

It’s hard to pick a technology, even an everything-including-the-kitchen-sink type of technology as social software, if you don’t know what you need it for. Actually one of the drawbacks of technologies that offer many options, such as social software, is that it is the potential answer to many issues. Vendor’s sales and marketing like the Swiss Army Knife utility of social software because they can answer “yes” to many customer needs but it makes things that much harder to for the customer to figure out if it really needs the product or not. More specifically, with so many options it can be very hard to identify which parts of the product offer the most value to customer’s business.

Who knew the toothpick on the Swiss Army knife would end up being so handy? Taking the Swiss Army knife analogy a bit further, today there are many versions of the renowned knife on the market that customer’s really need to know what they want to carry around in their pockets and what is likely to be most useful; corkscrew or none? For me a corkscrew-less version would be virtually useless. And what about the semi-retired boy scout who might benefit more with a Leatherman. It’s all a matter of knowing which features will serve the greatest purpose for the unique needs of the customer. Regardless of which model the customer chooses, they will likely use some tools in the kit more than others depending on their needs.

The same applies when choosing social software for enterprises. Much depends on the firm’s needs and how it operates. In other words, if a firm has a strong hierarchy with lots of structure and formalized ways of completing work its social software needs are likely to be different from a de-centralized, cross-organizational firm that functions in more organic ways. Both are viable organizations but they have very different objectives and expectations for the social software technologies that they employ.

Before picking a specific social software technology, and more specifically a vendor, enterprises should look at the objectives for the technology. If it turns out that there are many objectives, pick the objectives that will provide the most value to the firm. Make these the leading objectives for the technology to solve and focus on how to achieve them. Some may be solved without any technology or simply by improving on existing technologies. But the key idea is that the firm must know what it needs to work on before picking a tool or technology.

Identifying the leading objectives for social software in the enterprise and how to meet them cannot be done in an IT vacuum and must include input from the business and operational sides of the firm. This will ensure greater success and adoption when the business is part of creating the solution. It is vital for enterprises to understand the working culture, needs, and goals for the social technologies they want to deploy prior to choosing which one to buy. Otherwise they might just end up with a giant, expensive brick in their pockets.

About Karen Hobert

karen_hobert.png

Karen is an IT industry research analyst focused on communication, collaboration, content management and social software technologies. She offers over 23 years of hands-on and market expertise to enterprises planning, designing, and deploying shared information systems. You can see more of her thoughts at Karen Hobert's Connecting Dots blog.




02/29/2012

Social in Business: Build it and they will come (?)

Tags: social business people social software


This is the second post in the Top Dog/Elguji Social in Business blog series. The first post was entitled "Social in Business: What we are talking about". Today we focus on people.

Social - tending or form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others.1

By its very nature, the term social implies people. I particularly like this definition of “social” since it is open-ended enough to us to consider “others” as either people or information. After all, in the world of “social software” what we're really discussing here are technologies that foster relationships between people and other people, people and information, and information with other information. Bottom line is that social in business aims to tap into people and the human factors of how work gets accomplished. This is tricky stuff. There are so many subjective factors that a one-size-fits-all approach to social software in the enterprise is virtually impossible. What we can do is look at best practices and figure out if they support the specific business or process we seek to improve and then apply what makes best sense to succeed.

As noted in our first post, enterprises are moving beyond the "it's just a fad" opinion of social software to cautious optimism and beginning to formulate just what social software would look like at their firm and how it can improve business. The fact that social software in each business can mean different things is probably a blessing and a curse. On the one hand it's great to have many options but on the other hand it means more complexity in figuring out which options to implement first or which things will support the firms needs the best.

Understanding which options to pick means having a good idea on how people at the firm work and what tools will help them do their jobs most effectively. Today that's a moving target. With mobile, consumer tools (e.g., Facebook, Google Plus), globalization, telecommuting, and the changing workforces, not only are the lines blurred between work and personal business but also navigating the matrix of different working styles is becoming more difficult to quantify and address. For example, the fact that I’m siting in a café in downtown LA right now while writing this does not mean I am any more or less effective than if I were sitting at a desk in an office building. In other words firms need to address all of these “human” factors to keep up and make a productive working environment.

Since people are vital to social in business we are seeing HR, Operations, and departments other than IT initiating social in business. This makes a lot of sense, considering that we are talking about working with and impacting the culture of the organization and how it works. It also makes sense that parts of the organization dedicated to its culture and operations are very interested in what happens with social technology. IT has the power to make the enterprise more effective but IT has never been accused of being a social mover or shaker. Rightfully so, IT really should not be in the business of changing corporate working culture; it should be in the business of making sure that people work effectively and securely through the proper use and implementation of tools. IT’s role is to help the human factors side of the business succeed at social in business. This can only be accomplished through planning, implementing, and cooperating with the people parts of the business.

Social software in business isn’t just a matter of “build it and they will come.” Rather, social in business requires first, an understanding of how people work together with others (people and information) to conduct business. Only then can IT implement and create an ecosystem that will support the social business needs most effectively.

1. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social

About Karen Hobert

karen_hobert.png

Karen is an IT industry research analyst focused on communication, collaboration, content management and social software technologies. She offers over 23 years of hands-on and market expertise to enterprises planning, designing, and deploying shared information systems. You can see more of her thoughts at Karen Hobert's Connecting Dots blog.




02/21/2012

IdeaJam V1.9.1 is now available

Tags: ideajam news evaluation


IdeaJam idea and innovation management software

We are happy to announce that IdeaJam V1.9.1 is now available for download. Elguji customers with active maintenance and support agreements can download this version at http://elguji.com/download. The release notes for IdeaJam V1.9.1 are also available.

We also have evaluation versions of IdeaJam V1.9.1 also available. Interested? Drop me an email or feel free to fill out this short form.