Microsoft is going in the right direction with smart email filtering and collaboration enhancements, and in closing the multi-year gap to catch up to Google functionality down to just a few.
However, naming the program as something that it is trying to eliminate reeks of a PR failure, and it's not even launched yet.
The program's goal is remove as much unimportant mail from a user’s inbox as possible. This is an admirable goal, and one that is already in place in Google's Gmail (and now Inbox), and Yahoo mail.
The problem? Naming it....CLUTTER. That's right, calling it exactly what it aims to eliminate from your e-life. Here's hoping for a rebranding effort on a good idea that could be sunk by its own name!
November 11, 2014 Update:
Too late! It has been rolled out as Clutter, an Inbox Tool for business Office 365 users. So much for early adopter feedback! If you are an individual and would like more power to manage your email, check out Google's new Inbox.
Wyoming Business Reports that this week, the Wyoming Legislature will be asked to fund a one-time ask of about $15.8 million to build out the state's proposed 100-gigabit unified network adding to the potential for redundant 100-gigabit rings through the state.
Wyoming has already become home to quite a few data centers – including a massive one created by Microsoft in Cheyenne – that now handle a lot of traffic across the nation. Troy Babbit, Wyoming's Broadband Enterprise Architect for the State of Wyoming, said that the Unified Network would increase the attractiveness of Wyoming for that type of use, among other prospects.
The Unified Network was one of the main topics at last year's Second Annual Broadband Summit for the State of Wyoming.
It is wonderful to live in a state that, despite having the lowest population in the United States (and I believe the best scenery), places a priority on high-speed data and sees it as the opportunity and knowledge pipeline that it is.
In a previous blog article on Productivity I wrote about listening to TED Talks during long Wyoming commuting times. TED Talks are short video or podcast recordings on a wonderful variety of topics. TED began in 1984 as a conference on Technology, Entertainment and Design (although I swear I remember hearing it called Technology, Education and Design). At any rate, it had been an annual conference in or around Silicon Valley, but as the popularity of these Talks spread - so did the talks themselves.
Independent TED Talks are called TEDx. I wrote about attending the one in Jackson Hole a few months ago. I'd like to share this one with you - it's from a TEDx Talk in Bloomington, Indiana, and was filmed in 2011. It's presented by Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think Inc., where he researches and teaches about positive psychology.
This broadcast is just over 12 minutes (or read the transcript) and is a great reminder of how a positive attitude can further productivity by boosting intelligence, energy, and creativity. If you don't find it in your work, find it elsewhere and apply it to your work - life balance!
I think Microsoft is going in the right direction. This is a move to end forced and artificial ranking, and to move toward Pay for Performance, which more greatly fosters collaboration.
We've seen many entities that seem to crumble, or at least stagnate, under the scarcity model of business. The general illustration of this model is that there is a limited portion of a pie available to the whole company. Therefore, it becomes the best interest of each department to get the largest piece of the pie as possible. Think of the pie as resources, skills, or operating budget. This creates swirls of bureaucracy, in which managers spend large amounts of time in political maneuvering to obtain as much of the pie as possible.
Results of this often include sandbagging budget dollars, and hoarding knowledge or information. And this simply is not an effective way for a business to grow, improve, or prosper. Just think of how this wasted time and effort (and useless frustration!) could be better employed. This causes even the most well meaning managers to rule by fear and control, and that is not conducive to employee engagement.
However, a shift to an abundance model of management begins with a cohesive vision of the company's goals and objectives, shared across the organization. This model still realizes that some resources may be less readily available than others, but encourages management to collaborate and develop solutions from within those parameters. Having an increase of ideas around the table, especially as a result of employee engagement focused on reaching the same company objectives, makes solutions much more readily apparent.
In the end, encouraging employees to collaborate - rather than compete against each other - holds greater promise for growth and development, and greater engages your employee base. Pay for performance still allows you to manage or encourage poor performers and praise your high performers while pursuing cohesive objectives.
How long will the bulk of corporate America take to follow suit?
How connected is IT within your Business? I mean more than connected...to the internet. A new Forrester Research survey commissioned by Effective UI (User Interface) finds that approximately 39% of the IT Executives polled believe that their internal IT organizations deliver projects on time, and on budget.
Think about that for a minute. Thirty-nine percent of anything, for most people, would represent failure. Let me illustrate that another way:
The eye-opening part of the above statement is that this is considered pretty normal. Other studies peg that success rate at closer to 30%. Several reasons are cited for this, and I can second many of them from my own experience.
Notably, larger companies have a lack of Business and IT alignment internally. This creates an us-versus-them mentality, particularly when budget dollars are closely held. It creates walled little cube-lands where information is hoarded rather than shared, and self-preservation ranks higher than collaboration.
Drilling deeper into some of the issues are continuously changing requirements midstream (this is where Agile or Waterfall IT Project Management techniques can help), overburdened in-house IT organizations, and lack of big-picture project management skills or experience in house for IT projects.
Paintrock Consulting Services can help you beat that paltry 39% success rate across the industry, because we allow you to focus on your core business. We work with stakeholders at each level of your organization to help shape your IT project. We can manage a portion or an entire IT project, including development and testing process, security, collaboration platforms, cloud services, coordinating local and offshore teams, new technology deployments, communication and training planning, and stakeholder engagement.
This work should be done in alignment with your business's goals and objectives, using your brand and voice for consistency to communicate your changes, and in collaboration with - not in opposition to - your existing departments.
Forbes reports that for inspired or forward-thinking organizations involved in cloud computing, cost savings and efficiency are just the icing on the cake. What they really are pursuing is something deeper to the business– to develop high-powered analytical capabilities. They look at cloud and see analytic opportunities.
My experience in supporting multiple organizations in moving to cloud services is that without strategic governance, cloud services aren't so much better at enabling analytics as opposed to provide additional repositories for data to be stored and managed. If you're just shoveling e-junk from one repository to another, analytics won't help you.
A move to the cloud requires a clear strategy and a strong governance policy to ensure that strategy is met. As the old saying goes, "garbage in, garbage out". Moving to the cloud allows you to purge your files of what your company is no longer required to retain for documentation, and to create a clear classification taxonomy that will allow your employees to find the relevant information that they require to perform their jobs. And that doesn't begin to address the requisite security aspects that must accompany your data.
Once you do move your content to the cloud, and ensure it is clear and classified, you can utilize analytics to help you in any number of ways, including identifying further opportunities for your core business.
Paintrock Consulting can help you plan your cloud move, as well as the governance and security policies your organization needs to manage your data.
I'm proud to announce that I was voted as one of Hyattville Community Center's new Board Members recently, while out of town! My first order of duty was to migrate our outdated and unused website. It had been hosted as a free community service by a company that was decommissioning the option, and the platform used to create it ceased being supported by its maker in 2003.
It also had to meet the following specifications; the first and most important of which was FREE hosting. This was difficult, but we landed on Blogger (over Wordpress, for a variety of reasons). Once that was decided, the community desired the following - which required notable customization due to the platform. That included some of the following: