Dreamforce 16: Live Blogging the Benioff Keynote #df16

The annual main keynote session here at Dreamforce in San Francisco starts today at 1pm ET in Moscone Center. I’m onsite in the industry analyst section just 50 feet or so from the main stage, so I should get good photos as for the live blog. The usual flair is on display with a well produced and colorfully lit stage as the crowd streams in early to try and get a good seat. This year security is much tighter than usual and everyone has to go through bag searches and metal detectors, leading some to speculate that a special guest requiring such security measures may appear.

The Largest Technology Event in North America

As one of the few can’t-miss events in the tech industry, the 170,000+ registered attendees have taken over downtown San Francisco and set a new attendance record along the way. The news here at Dreamforce so far has been unusually pre-announced, with Salesforce’s first significant artificial intelligence play, known as Einstein, as the most important announcement so far. There’s also been plenty of other news including broader integration with Quip, their recent workforce productivity acquisition, the advent of Lightning Bolt, an improvement on their Lightning UX technology announced a few years ago, along with a new version of Salesforce1 which can be customized to corporate branding and is more easily tailored and personalized, along with data processing improvements to the company’s new IoT Cloud, first announced last year.

The recently released Salesforce Economy infographic (below) shows how far the company has come, from a scrappy SaaS startup in the mid-2000s that was making a name for itself in CRM to an industry juggernaut that has made public cloud and SaaS a reality like few others while moving into the cutting edge of enterprise technology including marketing, customer care, digital experience, online community, big data analytics, cloud service provider, and Internet of Things to name a few. The company is projected for $8B+ in revenue, offers over 3,000 apps with 3.8 million installs, 751 partners, and over 24,000 workers.

The Salesforce Economy in 2016

DSC0640912:53pm: Salesforce SVP of Research Peter Coffee is up on stage ahead of the keynote noting that you can watch the Dreamforce Benioff keynote live online and introducing various partners, including Bluewolf and Accenture.

1:02pm: Peter Coffee and is up with Julie still on stage talking about partners. Now talking about their relationship with military veterans, which they call Vetforce. Now introducing the first veteran to become Salesforce certified. “Dreamforce is all about trailblazing.” Trails and the company’s very successful Trailhead program for learning about about all things Salesforce is infused in everything here, right now do campground themes through the show.

1:04pm: Just introduced well-known musician and entrepreneur will.i.am onstage, talking about Dreamforce “as the most inspirational community there is today.” Talking about inner city kids and mentoring, not just in America but abroad. How to get them involved in computer science, artificial intelligence, and robotics. “I’m a geek and Geekdom can change inner city kids forever.” (Big applause.) Now showing a video.

will.i.am at Dreamforce 2016 (Photo by Alan Lepofsky)

1:09pm: Video from will.i.am continues.

1:13pm: Video concludes and Peter Coffee is back up on stage. (Standing ovation.) Now making a forward looking statement. “Now I get to talk, not about the culture of Wall Street, but the culture of Hawaii. A beautiful culture and one that is in the DNA of Salesforce. We are privileged to welcome Ambassadors of Aloha.” Beginning the traditional Hawaiian ceremony that is a hallmark of Dreamforce.

Peter Coffee kicking off Dreamforce 2016

Peter Coffee kicking off Dreamforce 2016

The Ambassadors of Aloha Opening Dreamforce 2016

The Ambassadors of Aloha Opening Dreamforce 2016

1:20pm: The Ambassador’s of Aloha singing a song to set the stage for the keynote.

1:23pm: The lights dim and a video starts to kick off the keynote in earnest, talking about the Trailblazer. Montage of Amazon partnership, Demandware, Commerce Cloud, the Forbes cover article that Benioff recently was profiled in. Acquisitions, AI for marketing, mentioning Einstein and customer success.

1:28pm: Benioff himself comes out. “We’re going to entertain you. We’re going to thrill you. But the #1 thing I’m going to do is thank you. All of customers, all of our partners, all of our employees.” Thanking Trailblazer, MVPs, their Customer Success Community, and many others. Going over the size of the company, the trust he has in his ecosystem, growth, and innovation, organic and inorganic.

Marc Benioff Begins His Annual Keynote at Dreamforce 2016

Marc Benioff Begins His Annual Keynote at Dreamforce 2016

1:32pm: Introduced Tony Prophet, their new Chief Equality Officer, who has come over from Microsoft. Talking about will.i.m telling him that education is the single greatest factor in helping the inner city. Talking about their 1:1:1 corporate social responsibility model, where 1% of their time, products, and equity to philanthropy. Says “it’s an incredible new, smarter world that we’re all creating together.” Talking about how his smartwatch is making him more intelligent and more connected. Mentions conversational UXs twice now. How GE is making smart cars, and Amazon Alexa. “How do we get closer to customers. That’s the power of customers. We can create a single view of the customer that’s so powerful!”

1:40pm: “Adidas is selling billions of dollars of sneakers on Salesforce. And of course Fitbit, we’re going to talk about them. And Uber and the customers they hold close. Closer to the customer. Uber’s customer is not just me, but the driver. You’re going to hear an amazing story about them today. Schneider Electric runs half the buildings in the world and their visionary CEO is here to tell you how they are changing the world. It’s the age of the customer. From Lightning, to Wave, and to Thunder. Without code. We want to bring this technology to everybody. An incredible new world of artificial intelligence has arrived, deep learning, machine learning. AI build into the deepest level of every app and in the core of our platform.”

1:44pm: “We’re here to bring artificial intelligence to the world, we’re going to give AI to everyone, just like we gave the cloud to everyone and mobile to everyone. Knowledge is limited, but imagination circles the world.” Now talking about the Lightning App Builder, their low code platform. “We’re all going to have to go a lot faster. It’s incredible how Lightning is going to help us go faster.” Talking about Salesforce Quip will make people collaborate better on spreadsheets, word documents, and put conversational. Download Quip on your phone, it’s designed or the phone service. Commending Bret Taylor for creating Quip. “It’s all about productivity.” Now talking about how the model for using our computers is changing: Voice interfaces, messenger apps, conversations. introducing Salesforce By Message.

1:51pm: Salesforce co-founder Parker Harris is on stage talking about artificial intelligence and conversational interfaces on Siri, and Facebook. Facial recognition is being driven by artificial intelligence. “We’re just going to bring AI to all of you. That’s now what you asked for. You asked for intelligence. We got to work. We found a bunch of data scientist. They were hard to find, there’s a world shortage of them. Then we realized that we had to get all the data together, integrate it, and model it. Many companies have tried to do this but it is hard. We want to make it easy. We want to take all the complex things in the world and make them easy.”

An Einstein avatar appears between Parker Harris and Marc Benioff at Dreamforce 2016

An Einstein avatar appears between Parker Harris and Marc Benioff at Dreamforce 2016

1:55pm: Parker now invites Einstein on stage, who appears virtually on the screen between him and Benioff. “AI makes you smarter. Customer data + AI + Salesforce platform makes it the smartest CRM in the world. We did not build a separate AI platform. It’s right in the Salesforce platform with your data. All of your apps are there too. This means Einstein is everyone’s data scientist. It’s going to make you a smarter salesperson, with things like predictive lead scoring. It’s usable in the app or if you’re a developer. Even our brand new cloud, the Marketing Cloud, has it built right in.”

An Updated View of the Salesforce Platform at Dreamforce 2016

An Updated View of the Salesforce Platform at Dreamforce 2016

2:00pm: Shubha Habar is being introduced as one of the key people behind Einstein. “Two years ago we were five people in a basement, and to see how it’s involved and be on stage at the largest tech stage in the world.” “Here’s the new Winter 2017 release.” Explaining how Einstein works, including with all Salesforce objects, as well as customer objects, plus calendar, e-mail, and other data sources. Einstein examines data and looks for patterns. Einstein can figure out who your competitors our, and will then surface relevant data and will even urge you to take action. It can even write the e-mails for you to take action. It can even go through the hundreds and hundreds of leads you have and assign a lead score, a single number that tells you how valuable a lead is. What will be interesting is that since every Salesforce customer gets this, there will be gains to be across the board, but it will be the companies that can actually educate their staff on how to use these very powerful capabilities to get ahead. In short, AI is another technology force multiplier that will separate the leaders and laggards apart.

Shubha Habar, one of the key people behind Einstein, at Dreamforce 2016

Shubha Habar, one of the key people behind Einstein, at Dreamforce 2016

2:06pm: Shubha wraps by saying, “Now everyone will have a data scientist, even you Parker.” Parker: “We’ve built 500 new features [into the Salesforce platform] since the last time we met in this room a year ago.” Now talking Lightning and to get a 1:1 assessment about Lightning on the 3rd floor of Moscone during Dreamforce from their top engineers and architects.

2:12pm: Video playing about disadvantaged children and HIV, and the efforts of the Salesforce involvement with RED (you can get involved here.)

RED's Ebony Frelix talking about using Salesforce to fight AIDS

RED’s Ebony Frelix talking about using Salesforce to fight AIDS

2:16pm: Ebony Frelix comes up, saying “Dreamforce is more than a tech conference, it’s a family reunion, a rock concert, and a great place to network. We have an opportunity to change the world.” Talking about the non-profit RED organization, with a mission to create an AIDS-free generation.” Uses the Wave analytics platform to drive actions with insights. RED uses Salesforce’s Community Cloud to give a global giving community, which they do almost instantly in a demo onstage.

Additional Reading: My analysis of Community Cloud, Salesforce’s flagship full-spectrum online community platform.

2:23pm: Ebony explains about RED trying to raise $1M for AIDS today, with Bill and Melinda Gates double matching and the Benioff family providing another $1M. Now the CEO of RED, Deborah Dugan, is up on stage with Marc, talking about what the organization does. Talking about Bono, her “hard charging” boss. Will.i.am is up again talking about the vital importance of public education and notees that Moscone Hall has the same color tone (of the audience) as it would have had in 1916. Suggests that making sure everyone has an education would change the competitive and entrepreneurial landscape in the tech industry.

2:35pm: Marc: “We’ve heard a great story about RED, and now we’re going to take a look another company, Schneider Electric, that is changing the world.” Rolls video about the company. Constellation’s Alan Lepofsky, who is sitting next to me at Dreamforce, notes that Schneider Electric has been shilling for a long list of technology companies lately.

Salesforce Chief Product Officer, Alex Dayon, Unveils New Products at Dreamforce 2016

Salesforce Chief Product Officer, Alex Dayon, Unveils New Products at Dreamforce 2016

2:38pm: Marc now welcomes Alex Dayon, Chief Product Officer, of Salesforce. Alex says they believe that electricity is a basic human right. Introducing a new Salesforce product, Salesforce CPQ, or Configure, Price, Quote is a type of applications that helps companies accurately resolve the price of goods across a large and constantly changing spectrum of variables. Before I can write this, he introduces another product called Field Service Einstein. Alex continues a whirlwind overview, noting how the Salesforce platforms features such as Wave all combine to deliver a highly productive and data-driven business experience. Now showing how Einstein is powering a predictions dashboard in these new apps. Demonstrating how it calculates the percentage of all the leads flowing into a company turns into business. Now need to involve a data scientist to help you, it’s built into the platform with Einstein. Demonstrates how Einstein can read your e-mails and score leads for you based on background information. It’s interesting that we’ve gotten to a point where people are probably comfortable with this type of intrusive technology, because it will save them so much time and effort.

An augmented reality demo at Dreamforce 2016

An augmented reality demo at Dreamforce 2016

2:50pm: Demonstrating an augmented reality helmet, presumably powered by Salesforce, to guide the repair of a Schneider Electric transformer. Now Marc is talking with the CEO of Schneider Electric. David Blaine was just referenced by Marc as being in the front row here. Marc: “How many people have a Fitbit here?” A lot of people raise their hands. Now he rolls a video about the company and their partnership with Fitbit.

2:59pm: Fitbit is on stage talking about Health Cloud and creating a 1:1 customer journey, touching them every step of the way, using Journey Builder and Service Cloud. Mentions something called Analytics Cloud Einstein. Has predictive capabilities. Mentions that customers have urged the company to open Fitbit data up, and they are now going to do that. Kudos to them, as it was one of the big reasons I gave them up. Now they’re talking about Marketing Cloud and the Krux acquisition. “Think about as marketers, the proliferation of channels you have to with. Krux does all the segmentation and analysis. Now switching back over to Service Cloud: “Take service from being transactional to conversational.” Demoing the Journey Build canvas, a pretty cool looking view that provides overall control of the digital customer experience and journey.

Additional Reading: The bar for digital experience is rising in exponential times

An overview of Fitbit and Health Cloud at Dreamforce 2016

An overview of Fitbit and Health Cloud at Dreamforce 2016

3:05pm: Fitbit will empower you to use your data in new ways. Can have a data-driven conversational with my healthcare position. I can jump into myHealth app, built on the Salesforce Lightning platform. Bring patients and providers closer together. Can access a nutritionist, personal trainer, doctor, and an intelligent bot that is a virtual care coordinator. It can suggest softer trails to run on, integrate with the calendar, and schedule meetings, and live video embedded into apps, can access physical therapist right in the app. In my opinion, this kind of integrated digital health experience is going to revolutionize preventative care and clinical treatment with telehealth. Talking about “Einstein Inside”

3:11pm: Marc introduces James Park, the CEO of Fitbit. James says they’ve shipped 50 million Fitbit devices so far. Mission has always been to how to take data from sensors to help people become healthful. Sleep better, eat better. Latest products are designed to help people deal with stress. We want to impact more chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes. Fitbit is now involved in over 200 clinical trials.

Marc thanks everyone and says it’s the biggest Dreamforce ever. And that’s a wrap. A good keynote but lacking a bit of the pizzazz and major announcements of previous years, especially given the pre-announcements have taken a lot of the thunder. My full analysis on ZDNet soon.

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The Building Blocks of Digital Transformation: Community, Tech, Business Models, and a Change Platform

I’ve been making the argument lately that the single largest obstacle in successful digital transformation is change itself. Surprisingly, the arrival of new technology is generally not the large hurdle to becoming more digital in a meaningful way, though it certainly represents a large and growing learning curve. Yet learning the new technology is manageable by most organizations in my experience, if they have the will to do so.

Finding the right business models can be a bit more of a challenge, but the process of discovering the best ones is increasingly well understood these days. One somewhat ironic lesson is that we’ve also learned that we usually have to build an audience first, often well before we decide on new digital business models, that are centered around some activity or capability of significant shared interest with the market, before we can experiment and find the right path forward in terms of generating value, such as revenue from sales, subscriptions, advertising, etc.

Online Communities Are the Business Construct That Create the Most Value

From my Enterprise Digital Summit 2016 Paris Keynote Deck

Why Digital Needs a New Mindset

It actually turns out the most important and challenging building blocks for digital transformation is people and the processes that can change them. Thinking in digital terms requires a significant shift in mindset, such as designing for loss of control, understanding the power laws of mass connectedness, the startling revelation that the network will do most of the work, and understanding how open participation is the key to unleashing digital value in scale to our businesses.

However, shifting the mindset en masse of the large number people that exist in the average enterprise (i.e. tens or even hundreds of thousands of workers) is not something that can be done to them, but can only be done with them as Euan Semple frequently likes to point out. So, what’s the single best venue in which to engage significantly in a time efficient and sustainable fashion? I now suggest that the most likely and cost-effective vehicle for this that we know today is online community.

The building blocks of digital transformation is a topic that I recently had time to study in depth as I prepared my closing keynote for the always terrific Enterprise Digital Summit 2016 (formerly the Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT) in Paris this month.

Step 1: Gather Stakeholders into Communities of Digital Change

The fundamental building block of digital transformation is therefore not technology, but people, a much more challenging proposition. However, if we can somehow connect the collective workforce in the organization together in an effective fashsion to begin a shared and dialogue-based process of learning, understanding, experimenting with, and then carrying out the tasks of digital transformation across the enterprise as a much more aligned and self-supporting way, then we are much more likely to succeed. As I’ve discussed, we’ve even started to witness evidence that IT is shifting in this direction steadily, with the rise of empowered change agents and even unexpected source of pre-existing tech change using forces like shadow IT as a key resource for creating decentralized technology adaptation across the organization.

But it all starts with community, for which I believe the evidence is now clear is the most powerful way of organizing human activity and creating shared value yet developed.

Step 2: Assemble a Modern, Market-Facing Technology Stack

From there, we do need to look at the technology lens at what our business does and how it does it. We can no longer realize all tech change ourselves, as our competitors have already learned that the single greatest force for value creation is capturing and wielding community contributions of customers by the millions via mass co-creation, and business partners by the thousands (see APIs + hackathons). I recently summarized the many other emerging enterprise technologies we must consider all the time as well, but the most important ones are customer facing and involved in co-creation.

We therefore must instead now becoming highly competent in building strong and effective architectures of participation, as most digital leaders harness the vast capacity of the Internet to do most of the value creation:

The Digital Business Stack: Marketplace Driven Engagement & Value Creation

Step 3: Create and Nurture Digital Experiments

From there we can combine people-led digital change at scale with a portfolio of digital engagement and experience technologies and processes — that must prominently include market-facing community — to begin creating, launching, and growing healthy and vibrant new products and services. Growing hacking in fact, has become an important new technique used by top Internet companies to ensure early lift and adoption, and has been a key subject of interest by top technology leaders like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. So grow the results of digital transformation this way, then generate revenue:

Digitally Transforming a Business with Growth Hacking, Business Models, and Community

Step 4: Get Serious About Revenue Models

Finally, the last building block is digital business models, which one the service has a successful audience or community, can be experimented with and validated, though certainly some services, such as sharing economy ones, can monetize from the outset, though often at break even levels. Below is a representative list of some of the most common Internet business models, though by no means all the possibilities. For example, there are at least 18 separate known business models for open APIs alone. The high level Internet business models break down like so:

Common Internet Business Models

For a more complete exploration, please view the video of my closing keynote on this subject in Paris on June 2nd, 2016:

Or download a copy of the Slideshare deck that I presented with.

Additional Reading

How IT Can Change For the Digital Era and What Leaders Can Do About It

The digital transformation conversation shifts to how

How Online Communities Became Central To How We Work

Communities make just about everything we do today in our organizations better. That was essentially the message at FeverBee SPRINT last week in San Francisco, a confab of several hundred online community practitioners sharing lessons learned and best practices.

To be sure, we have sometimes been able to do what digital communities make possible in other, older ways, but these outdated methods are invariably more time-consuming, costly, and scale up relatively poorly. In fact, it’s the singularly remarkable concept of letting the network do the work that is the foundational concept behind what makes a community so special in how it achieves the many remarkable things that it does.

Today, all of our organizations today are greatly outnumbered by their stakeholders. We always were. But now they are all connected continuously to us and attempting to engage. We’ve also learned that the more that we can somehow engage with them, the more shared value that can be created. One key strategy, is to gather our stakeholders around us digitally, and let them share in the effort. This offloads us and makes engagement at scale manageable, even possible.

How Online Communities Have Matured In Terms of Use

None of this is new or surprising for those who’ve been involved in communities. Created around a group of people with a set of common purposes, communities will go almost entirely of themselves, with its members supporting each other, learning from each other, innovating together, co-creating, and more, with some oversight by that absolutely key role, the online community manager.

So when companies develop purposeful digital venues and enlist the participation of interested stakeholders, those communities will still do those same things, but around more work-focused goals, like customer care, product education, sales enablement, product development, and numerous other use cases. The key concept here is that effort is shared by the entire community, and not provided entirely by the one stakeholder that used to do most or all of the work in a fairly limited, expensive, and slow fashion by comparison: The organization itself.

Getting back to the conference, I was invited by FeverBee’s Richard Millington to provide a look at the near future of community management, the profession that has emerged to make communities thrive and succeed, and which no community can afford not to invest as much as it can, if it hopes to see the desired results. Using the latest case examples and customer results, I took a look at some of the leading examples of what organizations are doing with community, to extrapolate what we all might accomplish with a bit better understanding of what’s possible. Here is what I believe that we’ve learned and what’s next for most of us.

Recent Strategic Lessons of Community Management

    • Community success measures and KPIs are maturing. In some cases, companies have gone well beyond superficial adoption metrics like unique monthly logins, and measured business impact such as process effectiveness, productivity improvements, higher customer satisfaction, and more. This letting organizations that measure and optimize for these outcomes, get outsized results.
    • New ways of working are being developed using a community-first model. Organizations like the industrial product giant Bosch have imagined how their core processes work to literally require community to get the them done, in order to maximize the benefits. I cited how one key process that took 4 weeks, was collapsed to 6 days when it was re-engineered to work using the company’s enterprise social network.
    • Community is becoming the organizing principle for digital experience. At first, using the scale of community as a shock absorber for engaging at scale, companies are finding that community makes virtually every customer and workforce function better by unleashing co-creation. Marketing works better (advocacy), sales works better (community reference checks), operations work better (social exception handling), customer care (community-based support), and so on. The same across digital channels as well, from Web site to mobile application: When community is present, the channel works better.
    • Companies that teach their employees modern digital literacy skills do better with community. Folks like John Stepper at Deutsche Bank are building skills like Working Out Loud to maximize the returns on community.
    • Community ambassador programs are driving sustained results. Just like the data now says that advocacy programs work with customer communities to drive an increase in corporate growth, the communities themselves are using formal champions programs who can be used to spread awareness, skills, and support.
    • Human resources has discovered community. The CHRO in many organizations is now sponsoring enterprise-wide community-based employee engagement efforts, while the rest of the department has discovered what amazing stakeholders are already in our communities, ready to be tapped for recruiting, hiring, onboarding, employee retention programs, learning and development, and knowledge capture.

In short, I believe the future of management itself is significantly described by the emerging role of community management, a skill which is borne out of guiding — and therefore leading — large groups of decentralized people with shared objectives towards common goals. We are witnessing the network-enablement of management in powerful ways, and it’s part of the whole package of digital skills that we must convey to our entire workforce, not just community managers, though they are the ones that need it first.

It was also great to see industry luminaries like Rachel Happe, Kare Anderson, and others at the event show us how far we’ve come with communities.

The keynote deck I used for FeverBee SPRINT 2015 in San Francisco can be found on Slideshare below:

What Lies at the Cutting Edge of Online Communities and Community Management

Additional Reading:

Defining the Next Generation Enterprise with Community

Is the Window Closing on Enterprise Customer Communities?

Unified Collaboration: How Social Business and Other Forms of Digital Engagement are Intertwining

The rich history of digital collaboration in the last 30 years has been a long and winding one. Fortunately, it’s also been a highly rewarding story that has led to literally historic advances in workforce productivity and efficiency for most organizations. Along the way, many of these advances have led to and made possible entirely new and powerful types of work scenarios.

However, I find that many organizations still treat digital collaboration as 1) a largely tactical activity that doesn’t require much deliberate enablement, structure, or process 2) mostly separate from digital engagement in general and 3) a needed capability to be solved primarily through deployment of technology, rather than from the point of view of enabling activities between people. These three tendencies alone lead to much of the shortfalls I’ve seen when new collaboration efforts sometimes underperform.

The Intertwining of Unified Communications, Lightweight Collaboration, and Social Business into Unified Collaboration

The three new categories of digital collaboration

As collaboration has evolving during the rise of the social and mobile era, I’ve found that the last decade in particular has lead to some of the most significant and increasingly disruptive refinements in the practice:

  • Social Business (internal). This is the high concept rethinking of how we work together to be more community-centric, open, and participative. It consists of a varied set of practices — depending on whose model you are following — that typically consists of business processes redesigned around new social tools such as enterprise social networks, content/document management platforms, online communities, or even enterprise microblogging services. Needless to say for those of us who have been involved, a tremendous amount of energy and thought across the collaboration industry has gone into how organizations can achieve numerous benefits if they can reorganize the way teams and even entire companies can better work together using the potent model of social media. Techniques typically include Working Out Loud, the redesign of business processes to be more participative, and all the other activities involved in large-scale social business transformation.

    Organizations have seen results across the spectrum with their social business efforts, though there have been common pitfalls, especially when the notion of ‘Facebook for the Enterprise’ has been the goal, instead of solving urgent business problems (like trying to resolve poor collaboration between specific internal groups, or making certain key processes more transparent and efficient) The general consensus however is that there is a 25% enterprise-wide benefit in terms of productivity. Lately, the drum beat on social business has taken a bit more of a back seat to full-spectrum focus on digital business transformation in many organizations. Social business has continued to evolve however, and we’ve just now reached the end of the beginning in my opinion.

  • Unified Communications. Rarely considered at the same time or in conjunction with social business initiatives, unified communications has been making steady inroads into the corporate world, despite some fairly rocky evolution over the years. The unified communications industry has attempted to sort out and make consistent the various digital communications channels within the enterprise, but has often missed major developments in the industry. The most inexplicable oversight was that unified communications vendors missed the social media revolution almost entirely, though that has now been partially addressed in some of the leading platforms now, though it took years to resolve. This meant unified communications was sometimes anything but. The issue continues to persist as new and emerging enterprise collaboration channels such as mobile apps, the explosion in enterprise file sync and sharing such as Dropbox, and even legacy content/document solutions are often still left out in the cold by unified communications solutions. Despite these additions — and I think the continuing rapid rise of new collaboration channels will remain the top problem for the approach — unified communications has become increasingly capable of delivering a core set of well integrated solutions for chat, voice, video, and presence, and now finally e-mail, social, and mobile.

    Notably, unified communications has taken nearly the opposite approach of social business. Instead of a fundamental rethinking of work in digital/social terms, it’s a much more workman like approach to providing handy new digital communication toolkits to the worker that can be used for collaboration. In the final analysis, however, the unified communications approach has been slow to deal with the important strategic issues that social business aims to address: The unfortunate “evaporation” of digital knowledge in older tools, poor visibility and participation (not enough eyeballs) in legacy collaboration methods, and the still pervasive inability to find knowledge or people in most organizations, to name just a few. Despite all this, the market for unified communications, particularly in the cloud, is now poised for a major wave of growth.

  • Collaboration suites, next-gen intranets, and lightweight collaboration apps. Recently, a number of new collaboration approaches or digital methods have emerged, some full collaborative toolkits, others just filling in still-unaddressed or just emerging point needs within organizations, or both, a strategy Google is increasingly following with their cloud offerings. These are not as comprehensive or one-stop-shop solutions for collaboration or re-imagining how workers interact with each other and produce value, but organizations are broadly considering them in general as white spaces emerge, often without considering their collaborative workplace strategy as a whole.

Given these three rough buckets of new collaborative focus within the enterprise, most of which happen in isolation from one another in the average organization, it’s been interesting to see how they’ve operated either as genuine silos or as so-called ‘frenemies’, working together a little but competing for each others user bases. But, gratifyingly in my view, some organizations are increasingly no longer so accepting of these fragmented efforts, and are proactively trying to do something about it.

The emergence of unified collaboration

I’ve been spending most of 2014 looking at what large organizations have been doing to evolve their collaborative environments and I’ve noticed several distinct trends:

  1. A strong drive for meaningful integration between collaborative silos. I’ve noticed there has been a sharp drop in tolerance for collaborative processes to be stuck in one place, platform, or audience, and not searchable or visible elsewhere. For example, I’m seeing that organizations are now seeking to connect intranets, enterprise social networks, and content/document management systems in much more meaningful ways. As Alan Lepofsky has observed recently, mail and social networks are starting to merge as well. Unified comms is also getting embedded everywhere and within many applications. I now believe we will witness considerable investment in the next couple of years in creating bridges between collaborative silos and meaningful presence for collaborative tools in business applications in general.
  2. Development of a true enterprise-wide view of digital collaboration strategy. Organizations are increasingly getting their act together and making sense of their collaborative efforts well above the level of the technologies themselves, putting together more purpose-driven plans that eliminate confusion, fragmentation, and inconsistency with collaboration technology while updating worker skills and shifting company culture to take better advantage of the possibilities. This includes, as Stowe Boyd has noted, the measurement and quantification of the collaborative environment in real-time, which I’ve found has been vital in producing feedback to guide a collaboration strategy in flight towards impactful results.
  3. An advanced notion of unified collaboration. As a direct results of the first true trends, I’m seeing the organic emergence of an important concept I’ll call unified collaboration. This is the strategic knitting together of plans, the full portfolio of collaborative technologies, and business objectives enterprise-wide into more cohesive whole. It stands out from mere unified communication by being much more overarching, contextual to the business, scenario-centric, and goal-oriented. It also reflects the understanding that there is more to collaboration than just the next big thing (aka social business), and that collaboration in all its many forms must be better and more comprehensively supported, reconciled, and enabled.

I think these trends — along with important ones like enterprise-wide knowledge streams — herald great things in the enterprise when it comes to collaboration and represents a sort of maturity proof point. I’ve begun collecting industry examples of these trends and will share them soon. Please send me your stories and case examples if you’d like me to add them.

Additional Reading:

How to Deliver on a Modern Enterprise Collaboration Strategy

Realizing Effective Digital Collaboration in the Enterprise

Rethinking Work in the Collaborative Era

Finally, I’ll be talking about this topic and others later this month at my afternoon keynote at the Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT 2014 in London. It would be great to meet you there.
Dion Hinchcliffe will give the afternoon keynote at theEnterprise 2.0 SUMMIT in London

Dreamforce 14: Live Blogging the Benioff Keynote #df14

The Benioff Keynote at Dreamforce 14: The scene before it starts

The enormous crowd here is streaming into the main keynote with Marc Benioff here at Moscone Center on Tuesday. it’s nearly 1pm PT and the main hall is filing up quickly. I’ll live blog the event here as much as possible given that the Ethernet for industry analysts isn’t working, but the private Wifi is, so hopefully we’ll get most of what goes on here.

The biggest announcement so far, out of many, has been Salesforce’s entry into the analytics and big data space, with their new Wave product. You can get a overview of the details on Wave from Larry Dignan on ZDNet and I’m sure we’ll hear about it much more during the next few hours.

I’m also expecting the following during the keynote today: 1) A roundup and year-over-year update on Salesforce1 and its ecosystem, with lots of customer examples, 2) an overview of Wave (or its “Analytics Cloud“) and the many 3rd party relationships they’ve already established, and 3) an even clearer and bigger vision for the Salesforce cloud. And plenty of philanthropy, maybe some politics, and of course, perhaps some colorful Christian Louboutin shoes.

Additional Reading: My analysis of Salesforce’s announcements and strategic direction this week.

Wave: The new Salesforce analytics cloud #df14

1:11pm: The main hall doesn’t look full yet, but there’s definitely a lot of people vying for the desks in the analyst press area.

1:13pm: Now the always-excellent Peter Coffee is up doing a preamble on the keynote. Talking the usual bit about “amazing customers doing amazing things and bringing you in the next generation of technologies.” Introducing the CIO of Telstra, who is talking about “creating a brilliantly connected future for everyone.”

Peter Coffee onstage at Dreamforce 14

1:18pm: Just introduced the CIO of Eli Lilly talking with how Deloitte Digital is “helping them architect faster and faster.” Talking about helping in compliance, manufacturing, inventory, and HR processes and gets the ROI faster using the Force platform. Coffee now talking about health and life sciences, where customer experiences for pharma apps are going right to the doctors.

1:22pm: Now have the a Hawaiian band on stage conducting a musical interlude. Didn’t catch the band name.Hawaiian band and performers at Dreamforce 2014 #df14

1:26pm: Coffee: “One of the great things about Dreamforce is that you run into amazing people in the hallways.” He says he just ran into George Zimmer in the halls (the famous voice and founder formerly of the Men’s Wearhouse), who is now talking about his new business. The new business will be “high touch and high tech. Just like Salesforce with 1-1-1, and we’ll make sure we value our customers, shareholders, and communities just like Salesforce.” Coffee asks when we’re going to hear about it. Sometime in the next few months, he says watch his Twitter account.

1:29pm: Now the Group CIO of Caterpillar is up, along with his Accenture sponsor. “Have been using Salesforce for many years, but has been fragmented across many operating groups.” Accenture is providing the frameworks and processes to sort out a more consistent CRM implementation. Coffee: “New ways of things for a company doing what’s it been doing for a long time.” Says, “people want new ways to re-engineer what they’re doing”. Paul Daugherty, CTO, Group Chief Executive of Technology at Accenture is now talking “taking things to the next level, and industry solutions they bake onto the Salesforce platform. Connected products and connected dealers that they’re helping Caterpillar ‘bringing to life’ using the Force.com platform. A good management consulting quote from Coffee: “Turning from a products focus to an outcome focus.”

1:36pm: Now the chief strategist (I think) of Salesforce is talking with Coffee about how the Salesforce platform is evolving into many new disciplines, including supply chain. Coffee asking about what areas to focus on and follow up on later, including a Mystery X product that keeps being referenced. Says to be sure to watch what’s going on with the marketing cloud, Internet of Connected Customers, analytics products (Wave I assume). Now welcoming the Ambassadors of Aloha from the island of Hawaii.

The Benioff Keynote at Dreamforce 14: The scene before it starts  The enormous crowd here is streaming into the main keynote with Marc Benioff here at Moscone Center on Tuesday. it's nearly 1pm PT and the main hall is filing up quickly. I'll live blog the event here as much as possible given that the Ethernet for industry analysts isn't working, but the private Wifi is, so hopefully we'll get most of what goes on here.  The biggest announcement so far, out of many, has been Salesforce's entry into the analytics and big data space, with their new Wave product. You can get a overview of the details on Wave from Larry Dignan on ZDNet and I'm sure we'll hear about it much more during the next few hours.  I'm also expecting the following during the keynote today: 1) A roundup and year-over-year update on Salesforce1 and its ecosystem, with lots of customer examples, 2) an overview of Wave (or its "Analytics Cloud") and the many 3rd party relationships they've already established, and 3) an even clearer and bigger vision for the Salesforce cloud. And plenty of philanthropy, maybe some politics, and of course, colorful Christian Louboutin shoes.  Wave: The new Salesforce analytics cloud #df14  1:11pm: The main hall doesn't look full yet, but there's definitely a lot of people vying for the desks in the analyst press area.  1:13pm: Now the always-excellent Peter Coffee is up doing a pre-amble on the keynote. Talking the usual bit about "amazing customers doing amazing things and bringing you in the next generation of technologies." Introducing the CIO of Telstra, who is talking about "creating a brilliantly connected future for everyone."  Peter Coffee onstage at Dreamforce 14  1:18pm: Just introduced the CIO of Ely Lilly talking with how Deloitte Digital is "helping them architect faster and faster." Talking about helping in compliance, manufacturing, inventory, and HR processes and gets the ROI faster using the Force platform. Coffee now talking about health and life sciences, where customer experiences for pharma apps are going right to the doctors.  1:22pm: Now have the a Hawaiian band on stage conducting a musical interlude. Didn't catch the band name.Hawaiian band and performers at Dreamforce 2014 #df14  1:26pm: Coffee: "One of the great things about Dreamforce is that you run into amazing people in the hallways." He says he just ran into George Zimmer in the halls (the famous voice and founder formerly of the Men's Wearhouse), who is now talking about his new business. The new business will be "high touch and high tech. Just like Salesforce with 1-1-1, and we'll make sure we value our customers, shareholders, and communities just like Salesforce." Coffee asks when we're going to hear about it. Sometime in the next few months, he says watch his Twitter account.  1:29pm: Now the Group CIO of Caterpillar is up, along with his Accenture sponsor. "Have been using Salesforce for many years, but has been fragmented across many operating groups." Accenture is providing the frameworks and processes to sort out a more consistent CRM implementation. Coffee: "New ways of things for a company doing what's it been doing for a long time." Says, "people want new ways to re-engineer what they're doing". Paul Daugherty, CTO, Group Chief Executive of Technology at Accenture is now talking "taking things to the next level, and industry solutions they bake onto the Salesforce platform. Connected products and connected dealers that they're helping Caterpillar 'bringing to life' using the Force.com platform. A good management consulting quote from Coffee: "Turning from a products focus to an outcome focus."  1:36pm: Now the chief strategist (I think) of Salesforce is talking with Coffee about how the Salesforce platform is evolving into many new disciplines, including supply chain. Coffee asking about what areas to focus on and follow up on later, including a Mystery X product that keeps being references. Says to be sure to watch what's going on with the marketing cloud, Internet of Connected Customers, analytics products (Wave I assume). Now welcoming the Ambassadors of Aloha from the island of Hawaii.

1:44pm: Now welcoming the (for real) Beach Boys, who are playing live, on the musical stage.

1:47pm: The band is a wrap, and they’re getting a big hand from the crowd. And the whole center goes dark, ominous music playing.

1:48pm:  Voice in the dark with lasers coming out: “In the beginning it was simple. Few things were connected. Individual voices were silenced. And you could buy yourself to a leadership position with traditional ads. Then it all changed. Every industry is being disrupted, and everyone and everything is being connected. It’s the single most powerful, innovative time in the history of technology. Worlds of opportunity are begin created daily. billions of products and devices are being created. Everyone has a super computer in their pocket.”

The dark intro to Dreamforce 14

1:49pm: “Introducing the customer success platform.” Clearly some optimistic new product branding. Talking about creating custom scaled 1-to-1 customer experiences, team empowerment, build mobile apps for every aspect of your business, and deploy “instantly” across “every single” device. Talking about watches, kiosks, and other new devices. Sales, service, marketing, community, analytics, and apps. “The New Salesforce”, again mentioning it as the customer success platform.

Marc Benioff comes onto the main stage at Dreamforce 14. #df14

1:52pm: Marc Benioff just walked onstage and said “Aloha” to the whole crowd. “We’re here to excite you, educate you, entertain you, inspire you.” Thanking everyone at the conference, especially customers. Walking around the crowd, saying 1,450 sessions and 145,000 people registered. 400+ companies, and 5 million people joining the event online. Mentioning that Tony Robbins and Hillary Clinton having spoken yesterday. Notes that Grammy winning music star, Wil.i.am, will launch his company here tomorrow.

2:05pm: Just did an extensive video  about Salesforce’s philanthropic activities. Now has the Superintendent of San Francisco Schools, and the Mayor Lee of San Francisco. Lee is thanking Marc for starting Salesforce in San Francisco, and setting the gold standard for philanthropy, and setting the bar for business and government working together. A pretty good inspirational overview of how the public schools, city government, and the Salesforce Foundation.

Marc Benioff talks to Will.i.am about public education, philanthropy, and his new wearable device that will be announced at Dreamforce 14 tomorrow. #df14

2:14pm: Just welcomed Will.i.am onstage. Marc is asking him what his insights into public education. Will.i.am says how he was disadvantaged, says his schooling was critical to understand his situation in life. Says that after he “made” it, he realized there was a challenge with magnet schools in California and wanted to help. Talking about meeting the Waiting for Superman maker, and asking about robotics programs, students using ESRI, about kids going to China with the State Department and learning Mandarin, and other commendable outcomes. Now talking about paying in forward, and his new company, which apparently has an API and SDK. Appears to be an app on a new wearable device. Says it will be credible and will present it here tomorrow, though media predictions are mixed. He says he funded it, founded it, and surrounded himself with engineers. Says it’s critical that we aren’t hypocritical when we ask others to do something hard, that he is learning science, mathematics, and engineering for the product, and ‘I’m from the projects’, saying anyone can do it too.

The famous Beach Boys playing 'Good Vibrations' at Dreamforce 14. #df14

2:20pm: Beach Boys playing Good Vibrations.

2:25pm: Marc talking about his first mainframe terminal. How the work of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates turned into millions of PCs around the world. Now those millions are turning into billions of computers. 5 billion mobile devices already exist. Talking about cards connected, toothbrushes connected, wearables. “Everything is getting hooked up.” And that is turning into “trillions of customer interactions.” There is now an imperative of engagement, to connect. Our vision is to build that platform for our customers to connect. “If you connect deeply, build a 1-on-1 relationship with your customers” in scale, then that leads to success. Talking about bringing all of customer information together.

2:30pm: Talking about the Berluti store when Marc moved to Europe recently. Salesperson comes up to him with an iPhone. Salesperson figures out who he is by using an app, which was Salesforce1. Asks him “does he have a suit for Dreamforce?” Which Marc is currently wearing onstage. “It wasn’t just a suit he sold me, but it was a whole relationship.” Talking about going to visit Philips and their new ultrasound machine. Screen over the stage says there will be 75 billion connected products by 2015. Talking about how services and partners are so deeply integrated. Now saying how much he likes hit Fitbit, and his community rankings.  Talking about a community of users for Home Depot at community.homedepot.com that is “inspiring us on what we can all do to bring together our customers, partners, and employees.”

2:35pm: Now talking about Neil Young’s Pono high resolution music player and service. It will apparently be launched here at Dreamforce on Thursday. And Neil built community as an integrated part of the product. Now talking about going to Berlin and Coca-Cola, and talking about being out with the customers. Said to Marc “everything in my company is mobile, all my employees, customers, and consumers on mobile.” And did this with Salesforce1. And it struck Marc that Coca-Cola has become a software company, a cloud company. “Everyone is in our business now. Its great.” Saying the 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years. Saying there is a “data divide.” Data products of the past, mentioning companies like IBM, SAP, and Oracle, and it’s “no surprise they are turning over all their CEOs.” Says, “what we need is a ‘Wave.” (Marc is walking amongst the crowd as he says all this.)

Marc Benioff talks about the new Wave Analytics Cloud at Dreamforce 14. #df14

2:40pm: Talking about Wave, as an analytics service that is “for everyone.” Note: That big data services must be enabled for everyone is something I’ve emphasized for years. And it’s a mobile-first app. And for the developers they work with, “we want to build a platform where we have all these analytics apps.” Says its “analytics for the rest of us.” Going to profile a company that they’ve worked with for 10 years, who was a partner. The partner is General Electric. Now showing a video about what they did. Voiceover: “We don’t have a luxury of weeks to months to create a new products. To try new things in the marketplace. That’s where innovation comes from. Being a builder, not just a banker.” Taking about shortening cycle times from months to seconds using Analytics Cloud. “Analytics is not longer just the domain of experts, but is now in the hands of everyone.” Very simple, very fast. “This is the platform that lets the business start to use information that matters for them and their customers.” Made a very careful statement about how it’s all secure as well. “Mobile right out of the box.” Wherever you may be, you can pull up the analytics that you need. You can mark it up and comments, and everyone can see it immediately. Beyond banking, financial serfices, “should be key for every company in the world.” “Operating at the speed of thought.”

2:46pm: Marc is back on now that the video is over. Going over Service Cloud and business objects. The visionary behind Wave: “Please welcome Alex Dayon, President, Products.” About to unveil Wave, to “bring all your data together in one central place.” GE Capital is the case study they will examine. Starting the demo. Going over the features of Wave, saying “analytics has to be fun to use.” They built Wave on tops of Salesforce1. Lots of detailed demos of Wave, including building dashboards and sharing analytics.

2:45pm: The Wave demo continues. Now doing a scenario with Brunswick, and there is an actual powerboat with the CEO of Brunswick, and they are playing out a scenario, projecting Wave data using Airplay on a TV to make a mock case for why they need to make more boats. “Wave has been designed for everyone. Every sales person, every services person, every executive.” Has the whole Wave team stand up. Has been working for two years on this project.” Alex wraps up the Wave section by jumping on a surfboard. Now the Beach Boys are back up singing “Catch a Wave.”

3:01pm: Marc has returned. Says “everything is going mobile. Everyone knows that. I run my whole business on mobile. Everyone knows that too.” Says, however, it’s not enough. “We need to build mobile apps faster. Build more apps.” “The story of Coca-Cola inspired me that it could be done.” And now giving us a video tour of Coca-Cola Germany, and how they accelerated their mobile app creation process. Talking about connectivity, scalability, and collaboration. “Everyone has to know everything about the customer. This is only possible with a fully connected platform.” Says, “we can see everything at the same time, using Salesforce.com.” “If a shipment goes wrong, the customer will see it, the salesperson will see it, and I will see it.” Theme: We are only limited by our ideas now, not the technology.

3:07pm: Marc now talking about stats on Salesforce1: 10X APIs, 4M+ apps built, 84K companies using the Salesforce 1app. “But it’s crystal clear, from talking with many of you: We have to move faster.” New devices coming next year, like the Apple Watch, will further drive demand. “Wave was the first product we announced.” “The second major product we announced is Lightning.” “Please welcome, my co-founder, Parker Harris.” Parker is coming out in a Lightning super hero costume.

Parker Harris gets on stage to talk about the new Lightning platform from Salesforce. #df14

3:10pm: Parker Harris is now up and talking about Lightning. Platform services like Force.com, Heroku, and Wave are the bottom of the Lightning model. Lighting is three things: Tools to build mobile apps “lightning vast.” Includes visual builder. Don’t have to figure out iOS and Android. And includes an all new type of user interface, including the tablet in November, and the desktop next year. Will support watches, including Will.i.am’s new watch, which we’ll see here at Dreamforce tomorrow. Giving developers Lightning Components, Lightning Framework, and Lightning Builder. Using the creaky old “lego bricks” analogy for building applications. The new Lightning UI allows you to write and deploy applications once on any device, apparently with a responsive user interface that is suitable for the device’s form factor. Giving a product demo that shows situated business analytics using a fictional company called Westlane Cafe and managing its Coca-Cola supplies with a “red score” from the application. They are showing how fast you can develop apps, by editing it and add a virtual reality component to the application on the fly (for identifying where  the merchandise cooler should be physically placed in the store.) If it all works, it’s really pretty impressive.

3:21pm: Now Parker is going to actually build a Lightning application right with the audience live. Using the Lightning Builder, which has a palette of Lightning components. Says they are going to continue developing many new components, and developers can create their own. Making mention of AppExchange, such as pulling in a DocuSign component, which you can drag to your application, and “add document signing without writing a single line of code.” No app store review. A soon as the app is saved, everyone with Salesforce1 automatically has access to the application. The app is now built. Have shipping options, an navigable map, and interfaces for phone and tablet. Now says they are going to confirm a drone delivery of Coca-Cola right in the convention center directly in the newly built app. Sure enough, an actual drone comes into the convention center and delivers the coke directly to Parker (pic now below.)

A drone delivers an order of Coca-Cola Parker Harris, triggered using a new Lightning app that was just built live on stage at Dreamforce 14. #df14

3:31pm: Marc is back onstage and introduces a video about Honeywell and their connected devices. Discussing home monitoring, appliance control, real-time monitoring, dashboards of data for contractors. “Not as much about as connecting the home, as connecting the person.” We’re able to provide a much higher level of accurate diagnostics and customer service. It changes the whole relationship.” Every connected device puts together a contractor and a customer.” “Now we’re on a journey, we can create new software and services that we sell as subscription to contractors. Now we don’t just get revenue from hardware, but also software.” All supported with Salesforce platforms and apps.

3:36pm: Introducing Linda Crawford, EP & GM, Sales Cloud. Going to talk about the “customer success platform.” Lines between sales and marketing are clearly blurring. Key for these applications to work together on the customer success platform.” About to show us the Journey Builder, where you can map out your end-to-end engagement process with your customers. Showing us an onboarding journey. “As a customer, what we want when we do business with a new company?” Showing the welcome message from Honeywell. Invites you to download a customer app. Showing upsells. Continuing to do a detailed tour of Sales Cloud.

3:47pm: The detailed demos are proceeding. Linda now introduces us to Service Cloud1. Has personalization, any device, any time, anywhere. Now also introducing the Community Cloud. Optimized for search engines, personalized community content 1-to-1 to every member of a community, moderated feeds in a new console, and has visual design tools to “spin up communities faster than ever before.”

3:54pm: Now Honeywell is up talking about their connected home products strategy, with thermostats. Marc says we’re at the keynote. Talks about Bruno Mars tonight and the Will.i.am keynote tomorrow. “Thanks everybody.” It’s a wrap.

Additional reading:

Is the Internet of Things strategic to the enterprise? | ZDNet

My Dreamforce 14 presentation on the strategic use of Internet of Connected Products | Slideshare

Salesforce.com realigns Sales, Service clouds for connected apps | ZDNet

My previous Dreamforce live blogs:

Dreamforce 12: Live Blogging the Benioff Keynote

Dreamforce 11: Live Blogging the Benioff Keynote

Social Business in Australia in 2012

While traveling around the world recently to discuss social business in Asia and Eastern Europe, I’ve been reminded by the sheer speed at which social networks are changing how we communicate. Most of the Western world has been on social networks for a while but now the rest isn’t far behind.

However it’s people like you and me, sometimes referred to as consumers by the business world, that have been leading this particular technology and societal revolution. Consequently, it’s been taking longer for those in the enterprise to sort out how the “Corporate Spring” will affect them. I’ve written about the concerns over ROI as organizations try to figure out their appropriate level of investment in social media, internally on intranets and externally for social marketing, customer care, and product development.

Australia has been interesting case in particular, and one in which I was fortunate enough to visit for the first time last year when I spoke at Social Business Summit 2011 Sydney. Australia has been listed most recently — along with other highly developed countries such as the U.S., the U.K., France, and Germany — as “social mainstream and mature” by the Boston Consulting Group. 90% of Australians use social networks, ahead of other advanced countries, such as Canada. Facebook usage exceeds 50% of those using social networks.

Aspects of a Social Business: Social Marketing, Social CRM, Enteprise 2.0, Social Intranet, Crowdsourcing

As in other countries, Australian businesses are now catching up now that their customers and workers have change their communication habits and behaviors. The same report I cite above says that 77% of organizations in Australia expect to increase investment in this social media over the next 12 months. But the fundamental question is, given the many directions that social media can take, how best to architect social media into the way a business works? How can social business best be situated in the way that organizations work to derive value that really moves the needle?

To help answer that, I’m pleased to report that I’ll be kicking off the book tour for our new book, Social Business By Design, in Australia with a series of appearances in Sydney later this month, from May 14th-18th. In addition to speaking at Intranets2012, I’ll be giving two workshops that are being exclusively sponsored by Headshift Australia. Details are below as well as here.

I genuinely hope to see you if you’re in Sydney or surroundings so that we can continue the discussion and explore of the future of how organizations will operate and create value for themselves, their customers, and shareholders.

Sydney Workshop Details – May, 2012

Social Business 101

The social media era has arrived and organisations are looking for ways to grapple with the many implications to their business. Companies are increasingly seeing the benefit and need to approach social media activities with integrated external and internal efforts. Professionals can no longer rely on point solutions and isolated activities — no brand, department, or employee is an island in the social landscape. Today, firms can learn from the lessons of early adopters and craft a solid plan for success that includes formulating a winning strategy, applying appropriate game-time tactics, and measuring for meaningful return on investment.
This session provides a cohesive and readily approachable introduction to social business that is immediately actionable by executives, line managers, and workers.

Participants at this session will learn:

  • What social business is and why it matters
  • The key tenets to social business success
  • Strategy and tactics to apply your own situation

When: 9am-12pm, Thursday 17th May, 2012
Who should attend: This workshop will be relevant to people working in different management roles, including sales & marketing, customer service, HR and operations.
Where: Headshift Asia Pacific, East Sydney.
Cost: $275 (excl. GST) per person (includes a signed copy of the book).
Tea, coffee and light refreshments will be provided.

To book this workshop, please use our online registration and payment page here. Please note, that places are strictly limited.

Consumerisation of IT

Employees have begun driving the use of consumer technology in the workplace—bringing their mobile devices, Web apps, and social networking experience with them from home—but the trend goes even deeper than that. It’s a fundamental shift away from IT creating and managing the organisation’s IT assets to accepting that employees now own significant swaths of technology and will lead the enterprise march into the future. Dion has watched organisations large and small struggle with this convergence of mobile, social, cloud and big data, and has helped them prevail in their quest to harness it for innovation to transform the way the enterprise does business.

Dion will explore the new IT landscape and share his consumerisation experiences in the field to set the stage for consumerisation in your organisation by showcasing real-world companies that represent the new generation of IT and business. Participants will be equipped with strategies that will enable them to take steps towards managing the trends and keeping ahead of current trends.

When: 2pm-5pm, Thursday 17th May, 2012
Who should attend: This workshop will be relevant to people working in different management roles, including sales & marketing, IT, customer service, HR and operations.
Where: Headshift Asia Pacifc, East Sydney
Cost: $275 (excl. GST) per person (includes a signed copy of the book).
Tea, coffee and light refreshments will be provided.

To book this workshop, please use our online registration and payment page here. Please note, that places are strictly limited.