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Pactolus's Paul Blondin joins Inmagic's board of directors

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We wanted to extend a warm welcome to Paul Blondin, who is the newest member of our board of directors. He's currently Chairman of the Board for Pactolus Communication Software, and has spent over 25 years in the software industry. He'll be providing strategic vision and guidance to our management team, and we're looking forward to the expertise he'll bring to our company. To read more about Paul and what he'll be doing at Inmagic, check out our press release below.

KMWorld presents Inmagic KM Promise Award 2009

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We were excited to learn KMWorld has given Inmagic its KM Promise Award for 2009. Thank you to the editors! For more information on the award, check out our press release below.

Gilbane Boston discounts: Attend Technology Showcase for free or take $200 off any registration package

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If you're interested in attending the Gilbane Boston conference in December, but would rather see just some things at the show, we have a great option for you. All members of the Inmagic community (that includes blog readers!) are invited to attend the Technology Showcase for FREE. This gives you access to:
Think of it as the lite version of the Gilbane Conference.

On the other hand, if you'd rather see more things at the conference, we're also offering a $200 discount on ANY of the other conference options.

To get the goods, just register with discount code Inmagic.

Social knowledge management panels to see at Gilbane Boston 2009

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The Gilbane Boston conference is fast approaching -- Dec. 1-3 to be exact. This year's theme is "Content, Collaboration, and Customers," which will be broken down into four main tracks:
  • Web Business and Engagement
  • Managing Collaboration and Social Media: Internal and External
  • Enterprise Content: Searching, Integrating, and Publishing
  • Content Infrastructure
If you're interested in learning more about social knowledge management in particular, I recommend you go to these two panels:

Collaboration Challenges 2: Sharing Content
This will be an interactive discussion on the challenges surrounding effective content sharing inside and outside the firewall. This would be good for anyone interested in starting and/or improving a social knowledge management strategy. Panelists and the audience will be sharing best practices and tools they've used and that are working for them.

Moderator:
Geoffrey Bock, Senior Analyst of Collaboration and Enterprise Social Software, Gilbane Group

Panelists:
Bob Lindenberg, Senior Vice President, Putnam Investments
Ginger Richards, Pew Research Center
Jason Corsello, Vice President, Knowledge Infusion

When:
Wednesday, Dec. 2, 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Collaboration Challenges 5: Fostering and Supporting Innovation

This interactive discussion will cover the challenges of instituting an innovation management discipline, and solutions for overcoming them. This also speaks to issues such as organizational culture.

Moderator:
Carl Frappaolo, Co-founder and Principal, Information Architected

Panelists:
Mary Lou Tierney, Enterprise Architecture Planning and Innovation, MITRE
Melanie Browne, Librarian and Project Manager, Maple Leaf Foods (an Inmagic customer, by the way)

When:
Thursday, Dec. 3, 9:40 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.

And don't forget to stop by to see us in exhibit area G. We'll be there to talk shop, discuss knowledge management trends, and give you pointers for shaping your organization's social knowledge management strategies and initiatives for 2010.

If you haven't signed up for Gilbane Boston yet, it's not too late. You can register on the conference site.

Presenting our Know and Go series: Bite-sized information to help you start and improve your social knowledge management strategy

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We've put together a new educational resource to help organizations begin, plan, manage, and improve their social knowledge management strategies. Our "Know and Go" series is designed to give you the latest information on the trends and topics that will help shape your organization's social knowledge management strategy, all in a “bite-sized” format consisting of webcasts, videos, white papers, and more.

The best part is, they're on demand. Grab them whenever you need guidance. We made them for quick, easy viewing and sharing. And as an aside, this program will be launched officially in a few weeks. But we wanted to give our blog readers advanced notice of our first webcast. (Perks of being part of the Inmagic community! :))

Chris Brown, Content and Knowledge Management Consultant for Inmagic, hosts "Knowledge Management 2.0: Enterprise Social Networking and Social Knowledge Management." In this webcast, Chris covers best practices for socializing your organization's content.

New enterprise social networking technologies are beginning to gain adoption. But before you know what solution will fit your organization's needs -- or if your organization is even ready for this kind of technology -- you'll need to answer crucial questions, including:
  • Will your knowledge management needs be properly addressed by simply connecting people to people? Or do you need to connect people to the information and content that will help them -- and your organization -- become more effective?
  • Can you wait for your social network to reach critical mass before you realize value and organizational impact?
  • What role should social media play in your overall content and knowledge management strategy?
Chris provides answers and insight for these questions and more. More Know and Go sessions are in the works, and we’ll have a subscription link for you soon. In the meantime, check out the first installment and let us know what you think.

How social media adds value to your company's knowledgebase

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I contributed an article to ITWorld that covers the capabilities that social media technology can add to an organization's knowledge repository by using a social knowledge network (SKN). However, when planning your SKN, it's crucial the initiative not be viewed just as a social networking project -- because it's not. It's based on enterprise knowledge management principles. In my article I give five recommendations for extracting maximum cost benefits from your SKN. Click over to check it out. And thanks to ITWorld for publishing my piece!


Inmagic reports positive results in third quarter 2009

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A lot of positive things have been going on here at Inmagic these past several months, and we thought we'd share the news in a round-up press release. Some of the latest organizations to adopt Presto and Presto for Social Libraries are the Canadian Tax Foundation, Nisqually Indian Tribe, and the San Francisco Symphony. Software Magazine named us to its list of the world’s 500 largest software and service providers, and Edison Venture Fund recently provided the company with a follow-on investment to support our expansion.

You can read more details on the news in our press release below.

Inmagic and Maxus Australia give Ecuadorian school library a fresh start with DB/Text Works

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Jini Andrade, a librarian at a special education school in Quito, Ecuador, finally has a way to organize and catalog the 10,866 books in the school library. She's using DB/Text, which we recently donated to the school with our partner, Maxus Australia. Maxus put together a case study covering the story.

As you might imagine, the school, Ninos De Maria, Fundacion Padre Jose Kentenich, has very limited resources, and had been operating its library without any form of cataloging whatsoever. Then Sue Hodgson, recently a librarian at Resolute Mining in Perth, West Australia, traveled to Quito to do volunteer work through the organization Antipodeans Abroad. Her assignment was to work with Jini for four weeks.

Sue had used DB/TextWorks in the past and "always found it one of the most useful and intuitive library software packages around." So when she saw the piles upon piles of books strewn about the school library floor, she immediately saw how DB/Text Works would be ideal for organizing and cataloging the books.

Sue used the program to create a simple organizational structure for the library comprising nine subject areas, including Reference, Fiction, History, Language, Mathematics, Science, Arts, Religion, and English. Color coding is being used to classify subheadings.

Jini has degrees in teaching and English, computer skills, and access to a PC with Windows 2000. She has no library background. But when Sue taught her how she would catalog the books using the DB/Text Works system, she found it easy to learn.

Although Sue's volunteer assignment is over, she has given Jini the technology and knowledge to finish cataloging all of the books in the library. Other teachers at the school will be helping Jini.

Sue sent this message to Maxus after her assignment with Jini was completed:
"Your generous donation is so appreciated you cannot imagine the excitement it has generated. It will in the long term make life in the library so much more functional. It will mean being able to lend books, which is currently not allowed. I have found the project very rewarding and believe I am going to be leaving Jini with some skills and confidence to complete the project."
I think I speak for both Maxus and us here at Inmagic when I say we're so delighted to hear about the happy ending. Best wishes to the school, its staff, and the children!

For more details and photos from the project, click over Maxus's case study.

E2.0 not about technology???

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E2.0 not about technology? Really? I keep seeing this phrase echo across the E2.0 (enterprise 2.0) landscape lately, and I'm not sure of it's origin. This tech backlash could be in part due to the crowded social-technology playing field that is making a lot of noise right now. Or it could be just technology nay-sayers that have been burned in the past (and who hasn't?).

But if it's not about technology, then how does one plan to collaborate? Smoke signals? Vulcan mind melds? It can't not be about technology, just like it can't not be about culture, or executive influence, or probably 100 other factors that directly and indirectly shape an organization's social knowledge management strategy.

My take from all this requires a certain clarification: E2.0 is not about some technologies. There are certainly companies claiming "social technology" capabilities that in actuality do not resemble anything close to social -- or technological for that matter. But there are definitely players, new and old, that will emerge as key drivers in the E2.0 evolution. Our job, as end-users, buyers, vendors, evangelists, or (insert relevant title here), is to vet out the technologies that best play to our own (or our customers') organizations strengths.

SourcePOV's Chris Jones: Enterprise 2.0's biggest barrier is culture

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If you're considering or exploring enterprise 2.0 or social KM strategies at your company, you might have recognized a key barrier to entry: your organizational culture. Maybe your company doesn't value or understand the business benefits of social collaboration. Maybe executive management doesn't support it. Whatever the reason(s), many of them are influenced by corporate culture.

You're not alone. It's something Chris Jones, Consulting Principal of SourcePOV, sees often in his work. He talked about it more during a podcast with Janelle, which you can listen to above.

Chris focuses significant energy in collaboration services, a new approach he's developed for tackling knowledge management. You might recall that he presented at our user group meeting a couple weeks ago. In the podcast, he touches on some of the same themes that he covered in his presentation, "Imagine: A Knowledge Renaissance," with focus on forces impacting KM in today's organizations.

Janelle talks with Chris about the major trends he's following in KM. Chris discusses how he sees many organizations still rely on the "silo model" where enterprise knowledge is compartmentalized by departments or practice areas. Enterprise 2.0, however, has the ability to unlock these silos, allowing insight to be shared across organizational boundaries. Chris emphasizes the importance of creating a culture that values collaboration, and shared some advice for building that.

But he says culture isn't the only challenge facing knowledge workers. Another is information overload resulting from a flood of new resources made visible by social media. He sees this as a short-term challenge that can be addressed by knowledge workers taking steps to better index information. He says it's a question of establishing context, and that organizations need to focus on it.

"Establishing context has always been the mission and promise of KM," he says. "Now, more than ever, we need to get the job done."

Long-term, Chris sees holistic collaboration environments where all levels of the organization are involved in building the enterprise knowledgebase. Although he sees E2.0 as a corporate game changer, it will take some time before its effects will fully play out.

For more from Chris, you can read his blog at Driving Innovation in a Digital World. Chris also hosts three Twitter chats, that drive engagement and new insight on the themes above, including #e20ws, #smchat, and #ecosys. You can learn more about each and when they're happening at his blog. You can also follow Chris on Twitter @SourcePOV.

What has the billions spent on ECM and enterprise search accomplished?

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John Mancini, President of AIIM, pulled out these stats on ECM, ERM, and E2.0 from the organization's variety of market intelligence reports. They got me thinking two things: 1.) we've come a long way, baby; and 2.) we've got a ways to go. Assuming these stats are accurate, what has all the billions spent on ECM, enterprise search, and the like, accomplished?
31% of organizations have 20 or more content repositories that could usefully be linked, with email as the highest priority content.
The Internet brought with it a love of data, information, knowledge, and everything in between. There was just so much of it, and the proverbial Magic 8 ball (Google-like search) made it easier than ever to find information. Boy, those were the days ...

Well, the honeymoon is over and we are no longer satisfied with irrelevant search results or mountains of information spread across multiple silos. We want more. Like less time spent looking for information that may reside in a document or with an individual.
As well as manually filing inbound paper documents, 40% admit to routinely printing newly generated office documents and emails for the purpose of filing them as paper records.
It seems to me that for the past 10 to 15 years we've all been creating more silos and ultimately compounding the end-user access and productivity problem. Billions of dollars have been invested in ECM and enterprise search, and we're slowly coming to the realization that just because you have content and data, doesn't mean you have knowledge and collaboration. (This also illustrates our "physically captured but logically lost" theory.)
In 36% of large organizations, IT is managing the SharePoint roll out with no input from the Records Management Department. A further 14% admit that no one is in charge and it's completely out-of-control.
So while we might have a long way to go before we see stats like, "98% of organizations link silos and utilize social technologies to improve collaboration," we might not be so far off as we think. Sometimes recognizing the problem is half the battle.
Over half of organizations consider Enterprise 2.0 to be "important" or "very important" to their business goals and success. Only 25% are actually doing anything about it, but this is up from 13% in 2008. Knowledge-sharing, collaboration and responsiveness are considered the biggest drivers. Lack of understanding, corporate culture and cost are the biggest impediments.
And as social media becomes a natural part of daily lives (get coffee, feed the dog, check social networking sites, empty the dishwasher, etc.) we'll see more socialization in our business worlds.
47% of 18-30s and 31% of over 45's expect to use the same type of networking tools with business colleagues as with friends and family.
Social knowledge management within the enterprise might just be the nirvana that's been culminating all these years. No more silos? Access to subject-matter experts within an organization? Enhanced knowledge retention? Increased competitive advantage? Faster innovation cycles? Improved end-user and organizational productivity via socialized content? Improved workflow? Improved organizational effectiveness? Sounds like some good stats-in-the-making to me.

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