Merry Christmas from Pythagoras!

The Festive Season is now upon us and on behalf of everyone at Pythagoras we wish you and your family a prosperous Christmas and New Year. A huge thanks to all our staff, clients and partners and visitors to our website and events over the last year for your continued support.

Our Support Times During the Festive Period

Our support team will be available for every day except the following public holidays:

  • Thursday 25th December 2014
  • Friday 26th December 2014
  • Thursday 1st January 2015

Our Support team will operate 09:00-16:00 on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.

Picture taken during the Christmas Jumper day on December 12th.

Announcing a Food and Drink Reception for our Customers

We are delighted to be personally inviting our customers to a complimentary food and drink reception on Thursday 11th December 2014 at the stunning rooftop terrace of Coq d’Argent in the heart of London’s Bank area.

The last twelve months has seen huge growth for Pythagoras across the breadth of our expertise and in new client wins. Something highlighted in a previous blog post from our CEO. This reception is a thank you for your ongoing commitment and investment in our expertise.

Alongside networking with the senior team at Pythagoras and Microsoft you will have the opportunity to:

  • Collaborate and communicate with peers from your industry
  • Connect with like minded senior business leaders

The reception is scheduled from 4pm – 8pm, please feel free to arrive and stay for however long is convenient for you.

Formal invitations will be sent to our customers in the coming days, to confirm your attendance please visit our dedicated landing page or email lee.wise@pythagoras.co.uk

Event Overview: Driving Business Value with Enterprise Social

Introduction

From myself, Kyle and the rest of the team – I’d like to extend a huge thank you to all that attended our ‘Driving Business Value with Enterprise Social’ event last Thursday. It was a pleasure to see some familiar (and unfamiliar!) faces and to open up discussion around what is clearly a lively topic!

For those that unfortunately were not able to attend, I would like to share with you some feedback and resources from the day. Hopefully I will catch you at another event sometime in the near future!

Feedback

The event feedback you provided us with is critical as it enables enables us to stay in-touch with those issues that matter most to you.

We asked you all, “Did the event meet your expectations today?” (1= Not at all, 5= Completely) and, on average, you rated the event at an impressive 4.7 out of 5! Some specific comments from the day included:

  • “Great event – very interesting and helpful. Thank you!”
  • “Thanks, really enjoyed it,”
  • “I will take the info learned today and suggest the tools as ways for improving our smart working practices”

For those of you that were interested in exploring the topics covered in more detail, we are in the process of organising a follow-up roundtable event. To register interest, or to find out more, please email my colleague Tom on tom.parker@creative-sharepoint.com

Resources

The presentations from the day can be found on Slideshare and below. For a PDF version of the content, please contact me directly on chris.clark@creative-sharepoint.com

Finally, the academic paper covered during the first session, “S.O.C.I.A.L. – Emergent Enterprise Social Networking Use Cases: A Multi Case Study Comparison”, by Kai Riemer can be found here

What Can SharePoint Project Teams Learn From Yammer?

Intro

With the increasing integration of Yammer into SharePoint, there will be a lot to learn for SharePoint practitioners from a technical perspective. How to bring Yammer feeds into existing sites or replacing the newsfeed? What social interactions should be done in Yammer or SharePoint? What about search? The list keeps getting longer. What might be overlooked however is what SharePoint project teams can learn from how Yammer work, not the product they produce.

Yammer’s development practice revolves around a few core principles. In this blog post, I’m going to discuss two in particular:

  • Data Driven Development
  • Time Limited Development

Read more

What is the SharePoint Community Site and how should it be used?

What is the SharePoint Community Site?

In the words of Microsoft, “a Community Site is a new site template that provides a forum experience in the SharePoint environment”.

There are 4 main components to the SharePoint Community Site that will be familiar to users of any forum:

Feature Description
Discussions Members can post an opinion or question to start a new discussion. Other members can reply to and like the post. The member that started the discussion has the ability to mark a chosen response as the ‘Best Reply’. Moderators have the ability to mark a chosen discussion as a ‘Featured Discussion’.
Categories Members can create categories to organise their discussions. When a new discussion is posted it can be assigned a category which other users can filter by.
Badges and Reputation Moderators can assign badges to members to indicate their status within the community, e.g. Subject Expert. Members can earn reputation by posting in discussions and through recognition by other members of their posts (e.g. when their content is liked or marked as a best answer).
Members A list of all members, including their badges and reputation earned, is held on the community site. Community Sites can be set to allow any new users to join or an approval process can be set to manage new members.

For more technical information on Community Sites I recommend the following TechNet article.

The general benefits of a Community Site, much like other social features, are clear. Again, in Microsoft’s words, “communities promote open communication and information exchange by enabling people to share their expertise and seek help from others who have knowledge in specific areas of interest.”

However, without structure or purpose, communities will fail regardless of the underlying technology. Those that go down the “build it and they will come” route risk damaging the credibility of social technologies within their business when adoption falls flat on its face because users have no idea of where to start.

The purpose of this blog article is to provide 3 use cases of the SharePoint Community Site. In each example, you will see how the SharePoint Community Site template (enhanced by other SharePoint features) can be used in typical business scenarios. Each use case includes actual screenshots of the solution.

Having read the article, you will have:

  • A better understanding of what the SharePoint Community Site is
  • More ideas around how the SharePoint Community Site can be used in a real-world scenario
  • Three, easy to implement, SharePoint Community Site solutions to get started

Read more

How is internal social being perceived, used and measured?

Introduction

New research published by MIT Sloan and Deloitte reveals how businesses perceive, use and measure social business in 2013. The report, based on a study of 2,545 respondents from 25 industries, covers all aspects social business, which it defines as:

  • Consumer-based social media and networks
  • Technology-based, internally developed social networks
  • Social software for enterprise use, and
  • Data derive from social media and technologies

In this blog, we cover some of the key findings around the internal use of social media, looking at how social business is perceived, used and measured within this context.

Read more

Productivity Event: SharePoint and Yammer Resources

For those that were unable to attend our recent productivity event with Microsoft, I have made the resources from the day available. These include some exclusive insights into the Yammer roadmap, as well as a wide range of SharePoint 2013 out-the-box demos. Read more

The Rise of the Social Workplace

The Rise of the Social Workplace

The word social has long been a buzz word in the online world, with the scale of social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook soaring to a point where we couldn’t imagine our lives without them, the workplace is now seeing the importance and gains that can be obtained from implementing social features within organisations.

Enterprise social software such as Yammer (now part of Microsoft’s Office Division) and Oracle’s Social Network have grown in popularity within business sectors and Microsoft’s SharePoint 2013 platform, initially launched with “Newsfeed” an internal social network for enterprise organisations, is now planning to give it’s user the choice between “Newsfeed” and “Yammer” to allow those organisations who have already adopted and familiarised themselves with Yammer to utilise its feature set.

Every organisation has a variety of internal business processes that will utilise social features in different ways and for that matter to different extents. A recent survey by AIIM asked enterprise users how valuable they thought social could be if integrated into their working day. Read more

SharePoint Newsfeed or Yammer: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Intro

As of last week, Office 365 and SharePoint Online subscribers now have the option to replace the SharePoint Newsfeed in their suite bar with Yammer:

SharePoint-2013-Suite-BarYammer-SharePoint-2013-Suite-Bar

Why the change?

Microsoft’s “big bet” on social is Yammer.  Microsoft see Yammer being integrated not just into SharePoint, but all elements of Office 365 and other products (e.g. Dynamics CRM).  Two of the main reasons are:

1. Yammer has experienced great user adoption, something SharePoint (out-the-box) has historically struggled with

2. Yammer has a much broader social feature set than SharePoint (although, of course, Yammer lacks much of SharePoint’s traditional functionality)

When will this happen?

As of recently, the SharePoint team have been pretty explicit about the roadmap and integration details of SharePoint 2013 and Yammer (see Jared Spataro’s roadmap update from March).  Due to the scale of the change (both culturally for users, and technically for the product teams), the roadmap has been broken down into three phases:

1. Basic Integration (ETA: this Summer)

2. Deeper Connections (ETA: this Autumn / Fall)

3. Connected Experiences (ETA: 2014>)

The most recent change, the Newsfeed replacement, is the first part of phase 1.

Although Microsoft have provided some useful guidance on how to make the change technically (read this blog), there isn’t much advice out there on whether or not organisations should make the change and what the potential impact of that change could be to their employees.

The aim of this blog post is to provide you with a starting point (and to some extent a framework) to assess that potential impact and help you make an informed decision of whether or not to stay with the SharePoint newsfeed or switch to Yammer.

Read more