Tag Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft releases global survey results on ‘Enterprise social’ adoption

Microsoft have released an interesting infographic about productivity and how workers perceive that social tools will benefit them in the workplace.

Microsoft recently commissioned a global study asking 9,908 information workers in 32 countries what social tools they’re using, the value they’re seeing, and what barriers they’re encountering.

The results show that employees across the globe are interested and excited by enterprise social tools and are taking social tools to work with them, even if it goes against company protocol. The survey results are detailed in this deck and summarised in the infographic below:

Research highlights include:

  • Nearly half of employees report social tools at work help increase their productivity; but
    • More than 30% of companies underestimate the value of the tools, often restricting their use.
  • More than 40% of employees feel there isn’t enough collaboration in their workplaces, and that social tools could foster better teamwork; as a result
    • 33% say they are willing to spend their own money to buy social tools.

There are interesting statistics about the way that men and women differ in their adoption of social tools:

  • Men are more likely than women to attribute higher productivity levels to social tools in a professional setting.
  • Women are more likely than men to believe their company restricts the use of social tools.
  • Men are more likely than women to say these restrictions are due to security concerns, while women are more likely to blame productivity loss.

Different industry sectors had concerns about social tools adoption too:

  • Financial services and government employees are most likely to say their company places restrictions on the use of social tools, likely due to the high level of regulation in those sectors.
  • Professionals in financial services (74 per cent) and government (72 per cent) are more likely than those in other fields to say these restrictions are due to security concerns,
  • Professionals those working in retail (59 per cent) and travel and hospitality (57 per cent) are more likely to blame productivity loss.

There are some interesting responses in the data and a validation that Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer was in line with its future direction to securing its place in the market as a social business increasing team collaboration and ‘drive business value’ for organisations.

Eileen is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact Eileen to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.


Do you still hate IE?

Love it… From the Internet Explorer ‘browser your loved to hate’ site

So is it true? have you abandoned IE for Firefox or Chrome?  Did you try them and gone back to IE?

My browsers of choice:

  1. IE
  2. Firefox – when a web site just won’t run in IE
  3. Chrome  — if I absolutely have to…

I’m still loyal – no matter how hard it has sometimes been Disappointed smile

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

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The evolution of productivity. From Cooltown to cool world..

I remember when I worked at HP, I was blown away by the innovations in technology hardware and software that was coming out of the futures lab.  Biometric readers for log on, cars that knew where the next petrol station was, devices that recognised who you were and digital displays in cars.  I was looking at an unlikely technological brave new world that amazed me.  At the turn of the century, satellite navigation systems weren’t common and had a large margin of error, phones didn’t have nice user interfaces, and cars weren’t very intelligent.  The Cooltown video, developed by HP in 2001 showed an incredible world, with connected systems, location aware devices and email that responded to voice commands.


The video is now a trip down memory lane.  Did you recognise the early versions of things you use every day like the smartphone, email that talks to you, web conferencing, VOIP calling  and GPRS tracking?  Technology like this is now part of our daily lives.  Software such as Windows has evolved significantly too since the early days of the GUI and Microsoft have been giving tasters of how the future of productivity is going to look like 10 years on from here…

I’m sure in 10 years time, we’ll be looking back at this video and wondering what all the fuss was about, but hopefully videos such as these will inspire us to create the need for the next technology generation.  it may only be a dream now, but… who knows?

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Microsoft introduces social collaboration with Dynamics CRM

imageIt’s been quite a while since I directly blogged about anything coming out of the Microsoft stable, our paths have diverged slightly over the last couple of years. 

But I stumbled across an interesting announcement which I thought was worth a mention.  Microsoft are incorporating features to help businesses become more social.

These features will enhance the sales cycle, improve the customer relationship with the brand and keep everyone up to date with exactly what is happening with the Sales opportunity.

Microsoft have updated their Dynamics CRM product to keep them in line with offerings such as Salesforce, SAP and Oracle.  This service update has added social components, known as “Social Wave 1” such as activity feeds, real time notifications, microblogs and interaction on a conversation platform like Facebook. Users of Dynamics can subscribe to specific activity feeds such as sales opportunities to keep them up to date as the sales cycle progresses.

This platform will allow you to have near real time conversations on sales leads and opportunities.

Some of the new features that will be included in the new version of Dynamics CRM product are:

    • Activity feeds. Configurable, real-time notifications on important relationships and significant business events via a blended view of micro-blog posts and interactions for a person, customer or sales opportunity.
    • Micro-blogging. Status updates and notifications regarding business events and actions, providing simple experiences for users.
    • Conversations. Post questions, observations, suggestions and status updates, allowing users to collaborate quickly and efficiently, locate information or expertise and gather feedback from others.
    • Automated activity updates. Post information directly to the activity feed based on configurable event rules (for example, when a sales opportunity is closed). People can subscribe to or “follow” these activity feeds and consume them in a variety of ways.
    • Mobile activity feeds. A new Microsoft Dynamics CRM mobile Activity Feeds application for Windows Phone 7 allows users to view their activity feeds while away from the office.


The UI looks very similar to Facebook withimage Feeds and comments on the Workplace what’s new tab.  Interaction between team members can be seen by the rest of the workgroup.

The service update is tightly integrated with Office 365 to bring a more unified experience in their CRM online service – the “Enterprise cloud” as it’s known as.

There’s even an interface for Windows phone 7 so that you can keep up with what’s going on whilst mobile.

Microsoft plans to deliver 2 service updates per year to keep abreast of changes in social collaboration and changes in cloud offerings. 

Coming up, there will be support for Firefox, Chrome and Safari too in 2012 so you’re not restricted to just the IE browser as well as bringing access to Dynamics to IOS and Android.

This move gives users a more consumer based experience that brings records relevant just to them or any other record in the system to give a timeline of statuses on particular records.  The system can also post statuses to the activity feeds to the timeline –= a bit like an application posting to Facebook.

It’s a nice update from Microsoft and it brings the Customer into the CRM experience.  Everyone will be fully up to date on every Sales opportunity which will result in a much more personalised touch to the sales experience.

Image credit: Flickr

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.


Microsoft acquisitions mapped London Tube style

I love this.  A really detailed graphic showing all of Microsoft’s acquisitions – in an easy to read layout. Created by Robin at Ripe tungi and called out by Techmash Companies come and they go.  They get absorbed by other companies who grow and grow as a result.  I remember several of these names, now long gone, rebranded or dropped from product development.


Zoom in to get a closer look – pdf version here.  You can also see the cost of each acquisition along the way. They seemed rather busy in 1999 when they started preparing for their mobile offering and again in 2000 when they bought into a lot of communications companies. 

There’s a key at the bottom of the map – in the pdf version of the map – which is much easier to read,  showing how much each of these offerings has cost Microsoft.

Nice one Robin Smile