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Dear Customers and Partners!

With this newsletter we’d like to keep you up to date on what’s been happening at Pokeshot///SMZ in May and June 2014.

90 miles and counting – Pokeshot///SMZ is the fittest company in Berlin Adlershof

Not only is Pokeshot///SMZ the most athletic company in Berlin Adlershof, but it is also the healthiest. Here’s the latest chapter in this success story.

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Community Management [4/4] – Dealing with too much of a good thing, or how to break up what was so difficult to build up

John, our Penguin Community Manager, has done everything right thanks to the expert advice and assistance from Pokeshot///SMZ. So far, he has skillfully navigated his aquatic community through the inception and establishment phases.

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Gamification 101 Workshop – a report from the field

Patrick Fähling und Sandra Leupold recently conducted Pokeshot///SMZ’s Gamification 101 Workshop for one of its clients (a large German sports apparel manufacturer). Pokeshot///SMZ offers this service as a basic module in its community management consulting portfolio.

Learn more

Jive Cloud & JiveX Cloud Spring Release ’14

We recently published a blog article entitled “Jive and Cisco: The good, the bad and the actually pretty awesome,” in which we reported on the new partnership between these two companies. But there’s a whole lot more going on at Jive right now, and much of this is newsworthy as well.

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Community Management [3/4] – Could stagnating growth mean the end of John’s penguin community?

After accompanying John and his aquatic community of penguins through the inception and establishment phases, we will now take a look at how he is faring in the third, and next to last, community phase: the maturity phase.

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Jive and Cisco: The good, the bad and the actually pretty awesome

Jive posted news about their partnership with Cisco last week. Our Managing Partner Nils Heuer is a firm believer that asynchronous (Jive/Social) and synchronous (Cisco/Unified Communications) collaboration are bigger than the sum of their parts.

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Best wishes


Your Pokeshot///SMZ Team

MaturityThis article is about the customer community penguin manager John who is leading his customer penguin community through the four steps of the community lifecycle*. Within the article the reader will learn what customer community tasks a community manager has to do in the fourth step of the community lifecycle: the mitosis phase (learn more about our customer community approach here).

 

John, our Penguin Community Manager, has done everything right thanks to the expert advice and assistance from Pokeshot///SMZ. So far, he has skillfully navigated his customer community through the Inception and Establishment phases. He has also recently observed that user growth was dropping off as the community entered the Maturity phase, and that he needed to ramp up his efforts on other fronts.

Meanwhile, John’s customer community has become very stable. There is a high level of interaction among members, many of whom are now starting discussions and writing posts on their own initiative. The numbers are quite impressive. But for a while now, some of John’s penguin colleagues in the customer community have been telling him that the community is getting too big. Veteran community members, in particular, complain that the community no longer feels like a family and that too many different topics are being discussed. John now has to decide if splitting up his customer community would be a good idea.


This step must be considered very carefully because it could involve a number of risks:


  • The divided communities would return to the Inception phase, requiring them to attract new members. However, it is by no means certain that all of the newly formed communities would reach a critical mass.
  • A split-up would also entail the original customer community losing some of its members.
  • Multipliers could feel misunderstood due to their diminished influence within the community.


Because of the increasing size of the customer community and the prevailing sentiment among members, John makes the decision to split up the community. This is a very critical step for him since it means undoing existing structures. So it’s important that he proceeds carefully with the split-up, keeping in mind the following points:

  • The creation of new independent customer communities should not occur along topic-specific lines only. He should consult closely with his multipliers in order to identify what members are mainly interested in and where the division should be made.
  • It is essential to prepare the split-up in the same way that the original customer community was planned (conception – implementation – monitoring using change management principles – KPIs).
  • It is absolutely necessary that the community managers of the individual communities receive training.
  • The newly formed communities should be promoted in the original community so that its members learn about the new possibilities.

 

John can’t expect to accomplish all of this overnight. It will take some time to identify the right groups for the split-up, to conceive and implement the communities and to get members accustomed to the new structures. This new project marks the end of the penguin community series. John has already come a long way, but there’s still no telling how much further he has to go. His great degree of commitment, his creative ideas and his knack for knowing what penguins want, will hopefully translate into enduringly loyal communities.


Summary of the penguin community series and a critical assessment of the community lifecycle


John’s community passed through a total of four phases: Inception Establishment Maturity Mitosis. While his community tasks in the first phase mainly centered on attracting and retaining members (Inception : building personal relationships), his focus in the following phases (Establishment , Maturity ) shifted to moving the community as a whole forward. But at some point his community became so big that it began to undercut the sense of familiarity. Members can no longer follow activities and events because there are simply too many of them. This is when John decided to split up his large aquatic community into smaller communities (Mitosis).

 

It should be pointed out that John is portrayed as someone who can do no wrong when it comes to the customer community of penguins. In real life there are additional factors that a community has to deal with (e.g. cost pressures, competition for members). These issues were omitted from this model example in order to reduce the complexity. The main aim here was to provide a good understanding of the community manager’s duties and responsibilities.

What’s more, a customer community usually takes a trial-and-error approach. You need to try out a host of ideas and then continue more intensively with those things that promote user engagement. It can take a considerable amount of time before you discover what works in your particular situation. You also need to re-examine your activities every so often because a customer community is always in flux (members come and go). The chronological order of the posts makes it seem as if everything proceeded like clockwork. This is not the case in the real world.

It should also be noted that not every customer community will pass through all four phases of the community lifecycle. Lots of communities will never reach the Mitosis phase simply by virtue of their niche focus.

 

The focus of the community is also critical to determining the community manager’s community tasks. The activities described here have been generalized and will vary greatly from community to community. The community manager of a support community, for instance, will not have to plan as many events as the community manager of an interest-based community.

 

 


About the author:

Sandra Brückner, who studied business informatics at the Technical University of Dresden, has worked as social business consultant since 2012. She recently joined the Berlin-based social business consultancy and technology provider Pokeshot///SMZ, where she leverages her extensive intranet and community expertise to consult organizations on how to optimize their change management and community management processes.

 

*The community lifecycle model presented in this article is based on the works of Iriberri, A. & Leroy, G. (2009): A Life-Cycle Perspective on Online Community Success and Millington, R. (2013): The Online Community Lifecycle.

Patrick Fähling und Sandra Leupold recently conducted Pokeshot///SMZ’s Gamification 101 Workshop for one of its clients (a large German sports apparel manufacturer). Pokeshot///SMZ offers this service as a basic module in its community management consulting portfolio.

Gamification can be defined as the “use of gaming functionalities in a company-based environment” and refers to practices such as awarding points for particular actions or enabling users to level up. Karl Kapp describes the basic principles of gamification in his video tutorial “What is Gamification? A Few Ideas“ on YouTube. Our Jive customers have been able to take advantage of the Advanced Gamification Module since fall 2013. This important strategic partnership with Bunchball (see “Jive Gamification Module Powered By Bunchball” on YouTube) makes it possible to tap into the full potential of gamification.

In practice, gamification should always be accompanied by a strategy definition process. Thus the content of the Gamification 101 Workshop closely follows Pokeshot///SMZ’s strategy framework: Principles – Technical Aspects – Strategy Definition. To give future clients an idea of the workshop’s content, we will now describe in the detail the different components of the Gamification 101 Workshop:

Principles

This part of the workshop introduces participants to the topic. They learn that gamification is not just about motivation, but also builds loyalty, enhances interaction and even changes behavior – while also learning how to align these goals with different gamification mechanics. These mechanics include:

  • Points – awarded for a specific action
  • Badges – earned for a specific action or different actions
  • Status bar – visualizes the progress of a specific action
  • Missions – bring together several actions and also connect points, badges and the status bar
  • Levels – show the activity and membership status of a user
  • Teams – enable users to work together to complete challenges
  • Rewards – give users something special, online or offline, for their successes
  • Leaderboards – recognize active members for what they have achieved


The workshop is strengthened by lots of real-world examples and insightful tips. For example, we show our clients which mechanics work best with which types of people and how important it is to give your gamification badges an unambiguous and appealing design.

 


This part of the workshop closes with a discussion on how the mechanics are incorporated into a gamification strategy and how this reinforces the larger community strategy: IntegrationFigure 2: Integration of a gamification strategy into a company‘s community strategy


The second part of the workshop teaches participants how to use the Advanced Gamification Console. This gives them the knowledge they need to implement mechanics on their own after the workshop.Customer_Feedback_1_1

Technical aspects

To be able to effectively present the technical aspects of Bunchball’s Gamification Module, it was very important for all employees that were to be involved in the company’s gamification initiatives to attend this part of the workshop. This ensured that the various staff members working together on gamification had a common understanding of what can be achieved with the Bunchball Gamification Module, while showing them where it is necessary to take a different approach for special requirements.Bunchball’s Gamification Console brings together the strategy and the actual implementation of gamification mechanics on the platform. It can be used once the module has been purchased and installed in Jive. Before delving into the new console and all of the features it offers, participants first learned what types of general settings are available in the Jive Admin Console. This covered the rights concept for the Gamification Console and the new tabs in the Jive Admin Console that provide several new capabilities. Once the first settings were made, which included assigning rights to workshop participants, the following elements were presented and explained:

  • Structure of the Gamification Console
  • Team formation
  • Creation of actions and missions
  • Catalog set-up
  • User management

Bunchball Console

Figure 3: Screenshot of the Advanced Gamification Console


The Gamification Console is divided into five main areas, which are:

  • Site (general overview of settings, security options, levels, teams, etc.)
  • Actions (overview of all actions and missions)
  • Catalog (overview of items that can purchased)
  • Users (detailed information about individual users, e.g. completed missions, point totals, action tracking)
  • Analytics (data on real user actions to help measure the success of gamification initiatives)


These items were especially stressed at the workshop, because in actual work scenarios employees have to be able to navigate quickly and easily through the console to find exactly what they’re looking for. The learning process was reinforced by having participants create some workshop materials themselves, which helped them to become familiar with the Gamification Console and learn how specific changes and individual settings play out on the platform.After this introduction we explored the technical possibilities in greater detail in order to show participants how to implement special scenarios and complex missions. They now had the chance to put the theoretical knowledge they acquired in the first part of the workshop into practice by creating custom missions (with complex rules and interconnections). These requirements, which were planned in discussions prior to the workshop, were to some extent client-specific. Here it became clear where theory and practice diverge and where it’s necessary to adapt one’s own approach to realize a particular scenario with the Gamification Console. Participants were taught, for example, how to:

  • Define rules for accomplishing a mission
  • Create missions for teams
  • Assign missions to a particular area
  • Integrate new point categories

This method of instruction and the fact the workshop took place on-site turned out to be very advantageous as it made it possible to quickly clarify difficult points through immediate feedback and develop new solutions together.

Customer_Feedback_2_2

Strategy definition

It is crucial to view gamification as a supportive measure; it should never stand on its own without any connection to the larger community strategy. Why is this so important? Gamification itself can have a number of functions, whether it’s increasing motivation, building loyalty, enhancing interaction or even changing behavior. The company that wants to leverage these possibilities must first absolutely sure what the overall objective is. Implementing badges and points in the wrong area won’t create added value for the company. In fact, this could have a negative effect by encouraging undesired activities. Our client recognized this as well and re-examined in detail its gamification strategy, prompting several changes to the mechanics. A good example is the “following people” feature. The client originally planned to award points and a badge for this activity. Over the course of the workshop, however, it became clear that this does not support any of the community’s goals and that the emphasis should instead be placed on encouraging sharing and interacting – not motivating users to keep track of what other users are doing. This approach ultimately brought about a strategy that was consistent with and complementary to the goals and use cases of the sports community.

Customer_Feedback_3_3

Summary and outlook

The workshop gave the client a deeper understanding of the concept of gamification and its various mechanics. This enabled it to then acquire a good grasp of all technical aspects and appreciate the importance of incorporating the gamification strategy into the larger community strategy – before working together to craft a strategy for the client’s specific situation. Building on the topics covered in this workshop, Pokeshot///SMZ offers further modules and support as part of its community management consulting portfolio. This ranges from strategy development assistance to implementation services and the definition of custom KPIs.

If you want to learn more about our Gamification 101 Workshop or other clients’ experiences with this workshop, please feel free to contact us.

Dear Customers and Partners,

With this newsletter we’d like to keep you up to date on what’s been happening at Pokeshot///SMZ in March and April 2014.

 

"Social Business meets talent management" at HR Innovation Day 2014

This year our thought leader Sandra Leupold will once again be taking part in HR Innovation Day, which is being held on May 24 in Leipzig. She will not only be giving a presentation, but will also be leading a workshop on how to integrate aspects of social business in talent identification and retention...
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Jive and Pokeshot///SMZ change how GP JOULE communicates

GP JOULE is a company that looks to the future: based in Reußenköge on Germany’s North Sea, it is reinterpreting the concept of agriculture, which involves using renewable energy sources to combine economic profitability and environmental awareness...
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Community Management [2/4] - Engaging in macro-level activities, or how to keep my penguins in the water

In Sandra Leupold's previous blog article about the inception phase, John the Community Manager Penguin literally took advantage of the penguin effect to reach a critical mass…

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Insanely great Reporting and Analytics for Jive

Effectively reporting on community metrics is a continued challenge for many Jive customers. We’ve taken A new approach to using big data analytics tools that…
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Measuring social performance with the balanced scoreboard

How does one measure the success of a social business platform? This is something companies usually want to know right after implementing such a solution. But there are no easy answers...
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Invitation to INTEGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM WORKSHOP from Jive:

On behalf of Jive Software, we would like to invite You to join Jive experts and a select group of Jive customers as we focus on Extending and Expanding Your Jive Investment. From Pokeshot///SMZ Nils Heuer will join this events as a leading technology and add-on expert for Jive. During this interactive session, Jive experts will focus on Jive's cutting-edge integration and development technologies, which provides IT professionals a platform to fulfill a more active role in modernizing and socializing your existing technologies.

 

More information and the registration you can find here:


Best wishes


Your Pokeshot///SMZ Team

This article is about the customer community penguin manager John who is leading his customer penguin community through the four steps of the community lifecycle*. Within the article the reader will learn what customer community tasks a community manager has to do in the second step of the community lifecycle:: the establishment phase (learn more about our customer community approach here).

 

In my previous blog article about the inception phase, John the Community Manager Penguin literally took advantage of the penguin effect to reach a critical mass of users in his aquatic community. Now it’s important that he adapts his activities to the needs and requirements of the establishment phase, shifting the focus from a micro-oriented approach (directly contacting users, initiating discussions) to a macro-oriented strategy. I will explain in this article why this is important and how he makes the transition.

 

Nearly all communities pass through a community lifecycle that consists of the same phases:

Inception Establishment Maturity Mitosis. This article will deal with the most important aspect in the establishment phase: engaging in macro-level activities.

 

John’s customer community is growing larger and larger. He still maintains his contacts with the penguins by sending messages, starting discussions and writing posts. But he’s slowly realizing that the customer community is becoming so big that he’s no longer able to contact each member personally. And on closer examination one sees that this isn’t even necessary. The community has reached a size where it should do this on its own. An emerging group of multipliers now perform these community tasks for John. Multipliers are those members who identify strongly with the customer community; they do lots of important things like getting discussions started, helping other members find their way around the site and winning new users.

 

John quickly recognizes the new situation and rethinks the activities that he had undertaken for the inception phase. He sees that it is now necessary to identify and support the multipliers. After all, they bring in new members and motivate existing ones. After a while, he notices that fish alone is not incentive enough for the multipliers to stay engaged; instead, they prefer to acquire different rights and privileges like being able to start their own multiplier group or ban penguins from the community for misconduct.

John also has to realign his strategy for acquiring new members. He no longer has the time to contact all potential new members personally. In fact, he needs to pinpoint his target group and divide it into subsets of penguins who have similar needs and priorities, while also developing a suitable marketing plan. The main questions he should ask himself are: Who is my target group, and how can I effectively reach them?

 

In this phase, John begins to organize regular events and activities in order to keep the customer community attractive to his penguins. He makes sure to plan both one-time and recurring events to provide users with not only a sense of regularity but also with new incentives to stick around. At this point at the latest, John should use gamification techniques to encourage members to engage in the community.

 

One thing that is extremely important is the community’s content. This should always be up to date and give users new insights into community-related topics. A tried-and-tested approach is creating content directly from the community’s members and activities. There is nothing most members would like more than to read about the community itself. John therefore publishes each week a blog article that introduces interesting penguins in the community. Who doesn’t like reading about himself or his friends? By taking this approach, John is able to create community-based content that prompts other penguins to visit the community, read the blog articles and make efforts to be featured in articles themselves.

 

He is also putting a lot of thought into the customer community’s strategy during this phase. He knows that it is necessary to constantly collect and evaluate data. Without such information, he can’t tell how the community is performing and whether it’s in good shape. What’s key here is not only gathering quantitative data like the number of active and inactive penguins, but also collecting qualitative data. One such qualitative metric is the so-called sense of community. This measures to what extent members feel they are integrated into the community and the community understands them, as well as how strongly members think they can influence the community. A healthy community has both: very active users with a strong sense of community. John compares the data on his community with his targets and can make adjustments if things aren’t developing as fast as he had hoped.

If John hadn’t adapted his efforts to the phase his customer community is currently going through, the aquatic community would have slim chances of achieving sustainable, long-term growth. Large numbers of his penguins would most likely get bored of connecting in the ocean water, because the community wouldn’t be offering anything new and exciting (events, activities, content) and wouldn’t be further developing itself (strategy). But John wouldn’t even notice this, since he wouldn’t be gathering and evaluating community data.

 

Summary

During the establishment phase, John needs to boost the number of members, make existing members want to stay in the community and keep developing the community’s overall features. In short, his community tasks include:

  1. Attracting new members and multipliers
  2. Motivating existing members to be active in the community through both special one-time and regularly recurring events and activities
  3. Ensuring members and visitors have an exciting experience through, for example, engaging content
  4. Further developing the community through the insights gained from the collection and evaluation of KPIs
  5. Creating a sense of community among the members

John’s customer community will eventually reach a point where only low growth and a modest increase of user activity can be expected; this is called the maturity phase. You’ll learn what community managers like John should do in this phase in my next blog article.

 

About the author:

 

Sandra Brückner, who studied business informatics at the Technical University of Dresden, has worked as social business consultant since 2012. She recently joined the Berlin-based social business consultancy and technology provider Pokeshot///SMZ, where she leverages her extensive intranet and community expertise to consult organizations on how to optimize their change management and community management processes.


**The community lifecycle model presented in this article is based on the works of Iriberri, A. & Leroy, G. (2009): A Life-Cycle Perspective on Online Community Success and Millington, R. (2013): The Online Community Lifecycle.

How does one measure the success of a social business platform? This is something companies usually want to know right after implementing such a solution. But there are no easy answers, since soft, difficult-to-quantify factors play a major role in the social software context – which is the logical consequence of a system that fosters better communication and interaction among employees. This blog post will provide insights into how companies might overcome the challenges of measuring social "ROI".


Let’s start with some basic ideas: Performance indicators provide useful insights into isolated aspects of a social business platform. But to be able to evaluate the totality of information, one has to view performance indicators from a number of perspectives and merge them with other data. On one hand, there are certain quantifiable metrics that give us feedback about how the system is being used. Some of these are very easy to calculate because today’s social business programs come with out-of-the-box capabilities for generating usage statistics. On the other, one quickly runs into the limits of what information can be collected on soft factors because, as mentioned above, such data is difficult or impossible to quantify. The two approaches to data collection – the purely objective and the purely subjective – have their distinctive pros and cons. It is necessary, however, to mix the two types of data and present the information in a unified way in order to gain a better understanding of the big picture and get actionable takeaways that will help your company reach the next level. Experience from previous social business projects has shown that the balanced scorecard is an effective tool for accomplishing these objectives.

 

The balanced scorecard in a nutshell

A balanced scorecard is a concept used to measure performance that moves beyond a simple set of performance indicators. It ties together the different viewpoints that go into determining the indicators in a strategic manner. Striking a balance between the varying perspectives, the approach provides a complete picture of performance on an easy-to-interpret scorecard. The original version of this balanced scorecard consists of four perspectives that can be adapted according to the specific business context: 

 

  • The customer perspective that assesses the satisfaction level of customers.
  • The financial perspective that brings together financial data to evaluate fiscal performance.
  • The internal business process perspective that appraises how well business processes are meeting objectives such as a certain level of efficiency or effectiveness.
  • The learning and growth perspective that collects and analyzes data on both employee and organizational self-improvement.


How can companies use the balanced scorecard to measure success?
To get started with your own balanced scorecard, simply follow the steps below. This is a procedure that has proved effective at Pokeshot///SMZ time and again.

  1. Define performance objectives2997473310_2246053915_o.png
  2. Develop performance indicators and determine the measurement method
  3. Identify the perspectives
  4. Assign the performance indicators to the different perspectives
  5. Describe both specific connections (between the indicators) and generic connections (between the perspectives)
  6. Set target values
  7. Make recommendations for action based on performance analysis
  8. Critically assess perspectives, performance indicators and connections and realign where necessary


It is evident that this approach places a high value on the connections between performance indicators (see point No. 5). This works to the strength of the balanced scorecard and enables actionable insights to be derived in areas like usability, duration and frequency of use, level of awareness and information source preferences.
To make everything as clear as possible, let’s take a look at a real-life example. A company collected data on a number of performance indicators to measure the success of its newly launched social intranet. The indicator “unique user” indicated that 9 out of 10 employees regularly visited the new tool. There is nothing negative about this figure at first glance. But managers at the company became suspicious when results came in later that said only 3 out of 10 employees were “satisfied with the new tool.” Because of our extensive experience in this area, we at Pokeshot///SMZ were able to assist the client with this issue. We recommended visualizing the performance indicators in a balanced scorecard, while also assigning the indicators to perspectives and describing any interconnections. Suddenly it was possible to draw more far-reaching conclusions. These new insights helped to explain the initial finding through a critical assessment of the “unique user” indicator. An answer was also found to the question, Why do 9 out of 10 employees use the social intranet if most of them are not satisfied with it? It turned out that there was no alternative to the intranet within the company; employees had to work with this tool. Without bringing together quantitative and qualitative data in an easy-to-understand format it would not have been possible to gain this insight.     


Summary


To make measuring success a reality, it is important to remember a few points:

  • Social business platforms foster better communication and interaction among employees.
  • Soft factors play a major role in measuring performance.
  • The collection of purely objective or purely subjective data will not achieve the desired objectives.
  • The balanced scorecard is a tool that combines the strengths of both of these types of data collection.
  • The specific performance indicators must be in line with the overall social business strategy.

 

We will explore the topic of performance measurement in greater detail in the future and hope to have interesting discussions with you on this important subject. You will also have an opportunity to learn more about performance measurement on March 10, 2014 in Hanover, Germany, where Pokeshot///SMZ will be taking part in the expert panel “Determining the value of social collaboration ROI" at the CeBit’s Social Business Arena. Come by and let’s continue the conversation after the panel. I look forward to seeing you!

Dear Customers and Partners,

With this newsletter we’d like to keep you up to date on what’s been happening at Pokeshot///SMZ during the first months of 2014.

 


SmarterPath and Translation Manager Releases Feb. '14

Pokeshot///SMZ is pleased to announce the new releases of our Jive add-ons SmarterPath and Translation Manager. After putting a considerable amount of time and energy into the development of additional features, we are excited to tell you what’s in store for you. SmarterPath As some of you remember, we launched the social LMS add-on SmarterPath…
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Community Management [1/4] - Reaching the critical mass or how to get my penguins in the water?

[SB] Today I’d like to describe the factors that are key to reaching a critical mass in newly launched communities. Most community managers follow the lead of older, more established communities and take actions that are more suitable for full-grown social networks. So it is essential that community managers know which phase their community is…
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Jive and JiveX Winter 2014 Releases - what you need to know

Last week Jive announced that the Winter 2014 Releases are now available for Jive and Jivex. Here is a brief summary of all the new features. Jivex at a glance Want to get quarterly updates right when they are released? That’s not a problem anymore. Jivex for external communities is now available in the Cloud….
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Pokeshot///SMZ helps VDW roll out its new social intranet portal

VDW, headquartered in Munich, turned to Pokeshot///SMZ for social software consulting and technology support when it decided to implement a social intranet for its more than 250 staff members. Its new employee portal VDW Engage was launched in October 2013 leveraging the power of Jive Cloud. VDW is the only manufacturer worldwide to specialize exclusively…
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Pokeshot///SMZ strengthens consulting team with addition of community and change management expert

Pokeshot///SMZ, a leading full-service software consultancy and technology provider, is pleased to announce that the business informatics specialist Sandra Leupold joined its Social Business Consulting team in mid-January. Sandra brings extensive experience in the fields of community and change management and e-learning, areas that she focused on in her previous position at T-Systems Multimedia…
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Pokeshot///SMZ matches the Christmas donations made to children’s aid groups

Pokeshot///SMZ would like to extend a special thanks to all partners and clients who forewent receiving a Christmas gift in favor of making a charitable donation. These acts of generosity raised a total of 840 euros for children’s aid organizations. Pokeshot///SMZ also matched these donations euro for euro, so both the Children’s Guardian Angel Association…
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Best wishes


Your Pokeshot///SMZ Team

Pokeshot///SMZ is pleased to announce the new releases of our Jive add-ons SmarterPath and Translation Manager. After putting a considerable amount of time and energy into the development of additional features, we are excited to tell you what’s in store for you.

SmarterPath

content_types

As some of you remember, we launched the social LMS add-on SmarterPath last year and won the “Jive Extend” Award on the strength of this innovative application. The rationale for creating this app was that traditional LMSs, which are completely disconnected from where work is getting done, are not the application of choice for either employees or for trainers. Our SmarterPath solution embeds social learning directly in the Jive user experience. Instructors can leverage content directly from Jive to build their courses. And participants can progress through learning paths while working in Jive, using familiar Jive features to collaborate with peers. Now we have released a more advanced version of SmarterPath with several new features that will boost the impact of social learning in your Jive environment.

We’ve added helpful new functionalities like “Community action: Follow person”, which enables learners to easily connect with subject matter experts, and “Community action: Follow place”, which allows learners to be asked to join a social group within Jive as part of a training. Also new is theexam builder feature that lets trainers easily build exams and quizzes using true/false, multiple choice, multiple response and fill-in-the-blank questions. This powerful tool also generates reports like the answer breakdown report, which will also be available for SCORM-based eLearning trainings.

exambuilder

What’s more, Jive 7 is fully supported, which means SmarterPath is now available as a Jive 7 add-on. The add-on includes the SmarterPath app as well as a purposeful place template for creating training-specific groups. We also simplified training set-up by adding learning elements that don’t have to be linked to a training path and that don’t require you to create an asset first. From now on, leaners can also comment on lessons, start a discussion or just give feedback on the lesson level. Last but not least, you can now generate an activity report to track what’s happening in all your training paths.

You’ll find more information about SmarterPath on our website or on our Pokeshot///SMZ space in the Jive Community:
SmarterPath Social Learning for Jive


Translation Manager

The Translation Manager for Jive is a must-have add-on for customers running Jive in either an internal multinational environment or a customer facing community with global reach. The time and cost saving tools add a host of advanced multilingual capabilities to your Jive environment. This includes simplifying translation and management of the UI text and editing labels and interface elements directly in the frontend. You also have the ability to translate Jive content into the users preferred language automatically and in real time, and you can create multiple language versions of documents and present the correct version to users based on their language settings. For example, if you run Jive in an international organization, you are likely to run into situations where content needs to be provided in different languages. In cases like these, the Translation Manager add-on from Pokeshot///SMZ is just the right tool for you. Find out what new features Translation Manager now offers you.

First of all, the Translation Manager add-on, which includes the i18n, multi-language content and automated translation plugins, is available in Jive 7. In addition, we improved our i18n plugin by implementing the following optimizations and features:

  • The “Go” button has been removed
  • You can now switch to a new language in the form by simply changing the language in the dropdown menu
  • Values for search or pagination will be kept
  • Key settings pop-up
  • Explicit cluster synchronization
  • Date of latest language export and modification
  • Export all languages:
  • Via the extended options there is now the possibility to export the properties files (including the customizations) for all languages (ZIP archive)

You’ll find more information about Translation Manager on our website or on our Pokeshot///SMZ space in the Jive Community:
i18n Translation Manager
Multi-Language Content
Automated Translation

VDW, headquartered in Munich, turned to Pokeshot///SMZ for social software consulting and technology support when it decided to implement a social intranet for its more than 250 staff members. Its new employee portal VDW Engage was launched in October 2013 leveraging the power of Jive Cloud.

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VDW is the only manufacturer worldwide to specialize exclusively in products and services for endodontics (root canal treatment). This has helped VDW attain a leading position in the market, allowing the company to focus strongly on quality and innovation and thus maintain its competitive edge into the future

To ensure that it is well equipped to meet the challenges of tomorrow, VDW realized how crucial it was to develop and better exploit its internal processes, improvement opportunities and innovation potential. For VDW and its General Manager Dr. Matthias Kühner, the key objective was to find solutions that would help facilitate internal communications and collaboration among employees. These considerations prompted VDW to begin exploring the topic of social business about a year ago.

Once the initial requirements and use cases had been identified and defined, the search began for a suitable solution. Jive and IBM Connections made the short list. At the end of the evaluation process, VDW opted to go with Jive as a result of feedback from employees who participated in a pilot project with the various solutions. The decisive factors were the usability and practicality of Jive. It was also important for VDW to have a cloud solution that offered flexible expansion options. With SmarterPath, the social learning management tool developed by Pokeshot///SMZ, VDW found just such a solution. SmarterPath plays a major role in the new social intranet – it enables VDW to upgrade employee onboarding, carry out training programs and accelerate partner enablement. The social learning management system can be integrated directly in the Jive platform, which was one of the big pluses of choosing Jive.

After VDW decided to use Jive, VDW looked to Pokeshot///SMZ to help it implement the Jive-powered social intranet portal. VDW required that one provider be able to perform all support services – from implementation consulting to product delivery and set-up to technical assistance.

In order to quickly get employees working with the new tool and achieve the first results, it was important to take a pragmatic approach to implementation. Together, VDW and Pokeshot///SMZ developed a project framework that would enable Jive to be set up within six weeks.

During the implementation phase, special introductory sessions were held with key users and concept and execution workshops were carried out for the individual use cases. Pokeshot///SMZ also configured and customized Jive to fit VDW’s own specific requirements. A fast, trouble-free roll-out was made possible by taking advantage of Jive Cloud’s flexibility; however, individual settings and adjustments could still be implemented.

The backing and support of VDW’s management were vital to successfully making Jive the primary platform for employee collaboration and communications. The active participation of the management team at meeting and workshops enabled swift decision-making and fast action on key issues. What’s more, management’s close involvement throughout the roll-out process made clear the new social intranet’s importance within the company.

VDW also made certain that specific change management and communications measures accompanied the introduction of Jive, which were also a key factor to the roll-out’s success. The new social intranet was launched mid-October with a central kick-off event and a video message from the General Manager Dr. Matthias Kühner. Additional communications and roll out activities are being implemented to encourage and help employees take their first steps on the intranet portal. These activities will also prove valuable in transforming the Jive platform into a sustainable employee community.

VDW saw quick results in day-to-day operations because of an adoption and activation strategy that called for use cases supporting the different departments and their employees with everyday work to be executed at the very start. Usage statistics and feedback from employees and management show that the new intranet is achieving the desired objectives – streamlined processes and workflow, increased collaboration and flexible communications.

Pokeshot///SMZ’s consulting specialist Christoph Rauhut and product expert Nils Heuer have provided VDW support throughout the entire Jive roll-out process and with follow-up activities. Results achieved so far will be monitored against the VDW’s objectives and expectations in forthcoming review workshops. These sessions will also be used to identify new use cases and devise optimization strategies, with the goal of expanding the social intranet’s impact and effectiveness.

Pokeshot///SMZ’s team wishes VDW and all of its staff continued success and looks forward to providing further advice and assistance in the future.

Last week Jive announced that the Winter 2014 Releases are now available for Jive and Jivex. Here is a brief summary of all the new features.

Jivex at a glance

JivexWant to get quarterly updates right when they are released? That’s not a problem anymore. Jivex for external communities is now available in the Cloud.

The new release introduces a Jivex CRM Connector that enables you to easily link up discussions and cases to your CRM system. This makes sure your customers always receive answers to their questions.

To provide a better overview of what’s happening on your different channels, Facebook conversations, Twitter and RSS are now offered right in-line. The Jivexupgrade allows bi-directional connection with your Facebook fan page and Twitter, while also automatically inserting posts and RSS feeds.

Enhanced search capabilities have also been implemented: now it’s possible to highlight answers in search results, and admins can give users the ability to mark content as official or outdated.

And that’s not all. If you run a Jivex external community, you’re just going to love additional new features like redesigned profiles, optimized SEO, personal analytics, advanced gamification and segment campaign planning.

Jive at a glance

Following up on the release of Jive 7, substantial optimizations have now been made for internal communities as well.

Jive has finally improved the quality of their translations within Activity Streams and the Inbox. This was necessary because the translations were sometimes very confusing and unnatural.

Jive also recognized that more and more customers are moving to Jive Cloud and have concerns about security. This prompted Jive to make encryption at rest available.

In addition, Jive has now optimized the performance of Producteev, which was introduced as beta in the Fall 2013 Release to replace traditional tasks. Producteev now provides task filtering (“active and completed” & “Tasks I’m following”) as well as many more new features and enhancements.

Last but not least, Jive has also rolled out a Universal iOS app upgrade, desktop notifications andJive + Box improvements to make working within Jive easier and more productive.

You can learn more about the Winter 2014 Releases at the Jive Community.

Dear Customers and Partners,

 

With this newsletter we’d like to keep you up to date on the latest events at Pokeshot///SMZ in 2013. We also thank you for an eventful and successful year and look to the coming year with confidence and optimism. We wish you and your family a merry christmas.

 

Don’t just think practically - be practical too

Companies are faced with numerous challenges in today’s complex business environment. But how should they best go about solving them? It’s important that they first think in terms of concrete use cases, instead of product and tools, and identify the best solution for their particular business challenge before even considering which technology or application to use. Learn more

 


The Pokeshot///SMZ Zolutions

We have updated our website to provide you our new Zolutions. There you will find concrete use cases to guide you from the challenge to the solution with the help of our expertise and our products as well! Learn more

 


Video - Development of Add-ons for Jive 7

A little over a month ago our colleagues Stephan Müller-Ziebur, Nils Heuer and Christoph Rauhut went to Las Vegas, to represent Pokeshot/SMZ as a sponsor at JiveWorld13. Besides the keynotes and a myriad of great sessions, we found the JiveTalks format quite interesting. Learn more

 


The Velocity of Digital Business

If you want to be successful in your business, you have to develop a mindset that embraces change. But how is it possible to come out on top when change is the only certainty? There are no easy answers to this dilemma, but it is a reality. Learn more

 


NEW- Jive 7 Features Overview

After bringing innovation and further development of existing features together Jive announced a couple of brilliant features and improvements at the JiveWorld2013. Jive 7 will be released for Jive Cloud first and will be available as an on-premise solution by the end of the year. Learn more

 

Best Wishes


The Pokeshot///SMZ Team

Dear Customers and Partners,

 

With this newsletter we’d like to keep you up to date on all recent events at Pokeshot///SMZ.


JiveWorld13 is almost here!

Join Pokeshot///SMZ at Jive’s leading social business event from October 22nd–24th in Las Vegas. The Berlin-based social technology experts are doubly thrilled to announce their participation. Learn more

 

Pokeshot///SMZ named finalist for the 2013 Jive Awards!

Pokeshot///SMZ has been selected as a finalist for this year’s Jive Awards in the Extend Jive category on the strength of its social learning management solution SmarterPath. Learn more

 

Find out about our latest products and solutions

Social Business meets German Engineering! Our main areas of focus are translation, multilingual support, integrated communications, social learning management in addition to many other products and solutions that boost the social business capabilities of Jive environments. Learn more

 

Pokeshot///SMZ expands consulting and operational capabilities with three new team members

Social business consultancy Pokeshot///SMZ is pleased to announce that three new employees have joined its Berlin office, thus increasing its capabilities in the areas of social business consulting and business service management while also addressing the company’s dynamic growth. Learn more

 

Athletic eco friendly: SMZ’s staff bikes some 90 miles every day

Many roads lead to Berlin Adlershof: Three buses, two streetcars and one train take researchers, developers and students each morning to Europe’s most state -of-the-art and innovative science an media hub. Members of SMZ’s staff, on the other hand, travel to work in a refreshing and remarkable way. Learn more

 

Best Wishes

 

The Pokeshot///SMZ Team

Dear Customers and Partners,

 

With this newsletter, we’d like to keep you up to date on what’s been happening at SMZ SocialMediaZolutions during the summer months.

 


SocialMediaZolutions shows its social commitment

During the summer months, SMZ is making fitness for all a high priority: We are helping those with physical and mental disabilities to exercise with healthy individuals on equal terms. Learn more

 

SmarterPath - A new way of Social Learning

At JiveWolrd 13 SMZ/Pokeshot will be presenting our newest solution for social learning management: SmarterPath. Learn more

 

SMZ/Pokeshot sponsors JIVE World for second year in a row

This year, SMZ/Pokeshot once again takes center stage: from October 22nd- 24th, JiveWorld13 returns to Las Vegas. Nostalgia for the hugely successful JiveWorld12 has driven SMZ/Pokeshot to become one of two silver sponsors for this year’s JIVE conference. Learn more

 

Interview with Stephan Müller-Ziebur at JIVE-Partner Summit 2013

Stephan Müller-Ziebur, Managing Partner of SMZ, answers different questions, on how to create a succesfull social business around JiveSoftware at the first official JIVE Parter Summit ever. Here you can watch all the questions from the interview in Frankfurt am Main. View the interview

 

SMZ strengthens team with two hires

SMZ is pleased to announce during these summer months the addition of two new staff members: H.C.L Barz and Stephan Leuendorff will bring new energy and experience to its team in Berlin Adlershof. Learn more

 

Best wishes

 

The Pokeshot/SMZ Team

Dear Customers and Partners,

 

With this newsletter, we'd like to keep you up to date on what's been happening at SMZ SocialMediaZolutions.

 

Presentation of "The Value of Social Business" Given by Christoph Rauhut

At the inter:gator Search Days 2013 conference, held on May 23 and 24 in Dresden, Germany, the heart of Silicon Saxony, SMZ Senior Consultant Christoph Rauhut gave a presentation on "The Value of Social Business." View the presentation

 

SMZ Is Now Jive Consulting and Professional Service Partner

SMZ announced that it officially became a Jive Consulting and Professional Partner as of April 2013. This partnership will enable SMZ to consolidate its position as one of the leading providers of Jive services and support in Europe as well as to better serve its clients. Learn more

 

SMZ/Pokeshot Soon to Release Social Learning Management System (LMS) for Jive

The cloud-based LMS service, called SmarterPath, is scheduled for availability on the Jive Apps Market within the next few days. It bridges the gap between traditional learning management systems and social/collaborative learning and enablement, and is fully integrated into the Jive platform. Learn more

 

Adidas Launches New miCoach Facebook Support App Built by SMZ

Our client Adidas has released a new miCoach Facebook app for user support, for which SMZ led the technical development. In an interview, SMZ's CTO Guido Hofmann explains what the app can do, what role we played and what challenges we faced. Read the interview

 

Relaunch of the SMZ Website

Last Friday we unveiled the newly designed SMZ website, which provides more insights into the company and a host of information about SMZ's services and products. Plus, our news blog will regularly inform you about what's going on at SMZ. Visit the website

 

Best wishes,

 

The SMZ Team