IBM Lotus Connections Applications
Where to begin deploying Connections?
Profiles – fits in organizations where the informal network is more powerful and actually useful than the formal organization. Originally, I thought that Profiles would be useful in large and frequently changing sales organizations were account executives need to know skills and competencies of the marketing, product management or competitive intelligence types that support them.
At one company, it is useful to discover the backgrounds of those who had worked at leading competitors. The idea is these resources could provide insights about how to win against the competitor that would not normally become institutional information. Sharing that information within a wiki or posting its availability in a profile account is organizationally useful.
The power of this database is probably increased if it were formed into an organizational structure manager that provided authority and hierarchy information that could be used by HR and finance approval workflows.
[[Wiki]]s, being openly edited documents of substance in the tradition of the [[wikipedia]] are a part of Lotus Quickr, and are a great way to develop technical documentation. The idea being that the users, sales and marketing types have something to contribute to product documentation too. So, instead of just counting on document developers to do the product documentation, companies can look for higher quality by engaging the stakeholders more directly.
Blog – Product managers should have internal blogs to describe ideas for new features, record new competitive updates, and promote their products inside the company. Externally, the CTO and CEO blogs are growing in popularity, but the trouble is with being open enough so the blog doesn't become a house organ.
Contact center agents needs access to product support information particularly in the telecom industry. A recent study that I worked with Steve Taylor, of Webtorials.com on the MPLS Total Customer Experience, recognized that users of MPLS appreciated that their telco had persons available to answer the help line, but rated very poorly those persons' technical skills and knowledge. Having access to a wiki would improve those persons' ability to respond to customer inquiries and problems.
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