Thursday, December 08, 2005

KM World and Intranets 2005: Cool Tools for Collaborative Teams (Panel)

KM World and Intranets 2005
Cool Tools for Collaborative Teams
Panel discussion
Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Connie's note: I thought all speakers were very interesting, but Bob Pierce's talk was exceptional. It is worth reading down to the bottom in these notes!


Whitney M. Tidmarsh, VP, Solutions Marketing, EMC Software
Tim Kapp, Principal, BayHill Group
Stacey Johnson, President, Zen Consulting
Bob Pierce, Interwise

Whitney M. Tidmarsh, VP, Solutions Marketing, EMC Software
Bausch & Lomb
case study

Business problem for new product development:
- global teams without global tools
- lack of information accessibility
- no accountability
- missing project timelines
- no standardization in development process

New product development process:
- collaborative tools were key, but also needed secure environment as well

- 15+ people
- Many meetings, travel
- Many shared documents via email

With eRoom
- substantial ROI
- cut down on meetings – cut 1 meeting per week x 15 people X $150/hr x 4 weeks = huge saving per month
- = $76 K
- = $1 million of opportunity revenue

Tim Kapp, Partners and Co-founder

Management consultants, working to turn around companies

Why do collaboration tools fail? He has tried many tools in the marketplace, and many have failed.

Case study: Intercontinental Hotels (then known as Six Continental chain)
- after 9/11 lost revenues
- chain faced de-merger from its parent company.
- Threat of hostile takeover

- 20 distributed and mobile consultants
- 80 senior executives
- 8 teams on four continents
- Email-dependent organization
- 1 traditional document management tool
o Web-based
o 2 days train-the-trainer sessions for all consultants
o Strict compliance rules

- team created 3000 distinct documents in 6 months
o wasted money
o wasted time
o expensive risk mitigation
o high cost of coordination
- things spiraled out of control; people stopped using and went back to their original solution (email)
- full adoption was a pipe dream
- if you have 90% people adopting a product, you may have as little as 12% success – if an influential person drops out of the system, others will use it less, system drops down in usefulness (a cycle of failure). In this case the system failed in only 7 days.

Critical success factors
- has to be easy to use
- control duplication and silo effect
- support disconnected users
- don’t change the user’s behaviour
- embrace non-adopters:
o “round trip” documents – send it out to non-users, and have it come back again
o Allow participation purely by email

NextPage 2: document collaboration service

- ties together all document-based collaboration
- brings awareness to ad-hoc users
- provides real-time view of document status
- works on and offline
- doesn’t require an IT infrastructure
- has a version map that shows what has happened to various versions of a document (cool) – lawyers really like this to see who has changed things in their documents

NextPage 2 in Action with BayHill Group

- Small public company acquiring a private company
- 2 consultants
- 3 law firms
- 50+ supporting documents and presentions
- Result is 300 page SEC filing

How does NextPage benefit them?
- full participation without full adoption
- no more time spent “untangling” document versions
- familiar with their own tools (email)
- no more training users or setting up servesr
- can work anywhere, online or offline

Stacey Johnson, President, Zen Consulting

[Presentation slides posted on the conference wiki - 8 pages PDF]

Boutique consultancy specializing in efficient custom solutions.

Case study
- global handset manufacturer based in Finland [can you guess who this might be?]
- new organization created
- worldwide (virtual)
- clean slate, nothing to go by
- software developers, so everything published was very technical; very specific audience
- 3 months to develop new website
- Reduce errors, speed up the time the content was published
- Hire a global team representative of the target audience to test final website

Focus on functionality - Collaboration solution must allow for:
- centralized document management
- workflow automation – wanted a calendar showing project
- automated reporting
- template & tool library
- real-time chat, document sharing, and knowledge sharing

Best practices
- presence management – someone available to them 24 hours a day
- security – key that content was secure, not available to competitors
- integration of key tools and functions
- buy-in methods – found unique ways to collaborate with other teams that weren’t happy with their involvement – some process diagrams showing how content authors got bigger bonuses the more they collaborated
- change management
- automation – make changes based on the system

Lessons learned – factors to consider
(full 90-minute presentation is posted on the conference wiki)
1. How will success be measured?
2. how will team members interact?
3. how will interaction occur?
4. where will team members be located?
5. how will the team access the virtual environment?
6. what existing systems will support virtual teams?
7. how will individuals be held accountable?
8. what tools are already in place to support day-to-day tasks?
9. how will projects be executed?
10. what will be done to support the culture change?

Bob Pierce, Director, Product Marketing, Interwise –

Introducting enterwise-wide conferencing

Cool trends in live collaboration
- moving from usage-based service to enterprise application, like email
- shifts from events-centred model of collaboration to user-centred model
- go behind the firewall for unmatched security
- increasing embrace of VoIP for audio, levering converged IP networks
- fixed price, unlimited use models
o set conferencing free
o cuts cost in half while increasing adoption
- “externalization” of collaboration
o Outsourcers, regulators, customers, partners, consortia
- Meetings as content
o Record, transcribe, manage

Case study: UK Dept. of Trade Industry (DTI) & their development of “Knowledge Transfer Networks”
- development of knowledge exchange to increase innovation performance
- create virtual environment to find partners, leverage investors, etc.
- lots of different networking groups need to come together to make this work, exchange complex information and ideas
- 1000 companies participating in just this network

What did they create and how did they do it?
- portal, personalized to your interest
- a number of tools: Vignette, Autonomy, Vivissimo, Stratagem (sp?), Interwise
- place to share documents
- once the meeting is over, process the recording of the meeting using Autonomy turning speech into text that is a searchable archive
o allows you to jump into the text at the point where the piece of info you want is being discussed, and to listen to that part of the meeting (cool!)
o runs in almost real time – transcribing may happen in 64 minutes; or send in batches during the meeting so that it is almost simultaneous, so that it is ready at the end of the meeting.

What’s Cool
- new level of collaboration on a massive scale
- collaboration on everyone’s desktop at a unique address
- real interaction around complex problems, not just PowerPoint
- no more scrambling to find event ID
- no more per-minute charges
- record meetings and make them searchable
o jump information of interest to you
o turns it into a persistent knowledge asset
- cutting conference and collaboration costs in half

Q & A - All Panelists

No one mentioned Sharepoint. Is Sharepoint “not cool” as a collaborative tool?
- more of a toolkit than an out-of-box collaborative tool. That may change; mostly “for the masses” rather than for businesses.

Is Groove cool?
- Groove was cool. Cool graphics, but doesn’t fit in to the way people are doing business. When the novelty factor wore off, people went back to their previous solutions.
- Works best for one big project, not for a number of smaller projects. Creates a lot of icons on the desktop.

- too important to leave just to the software; however, technology can really show who has touched what and track changes
- critical; leave it to corporate policy

Blogs and wikis here to stay, or just a flash in the pan?
- blogs definitely here to stay;
- a return to pre-1950s type of marketing when people built real relationships rather than broadcast marketing
- Google using wikis extensively internally
- Blogs and wikis a natural evolution for people to work together; will probably see a continuing evolution
- Key thing for change management to use these types of systems to allow everyone to participate and give their opinions, especially at lower levels
- Asynchronous; can take output of meeting and put it into a blog or wiki and allow it to be searched by others later – new thing that is coming

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