Knowledge Management Associates and NewsGator.

by Gil Yehuda on August 28, 2009

in Enterprise 2.0

A couple of days ago I presented in a webinar with Knowledge Management Associates and NewsGator. KMA is a medium sized consulting company in the greater Boston area that consults with regional clients helping them with a variety of IT needs, including the IT support for SharePoint. NewsGator is a provider of Enterprise 2.0 software — most notably software that adds significant capabilities to the collaboration elements of SharePoint.

Below are the slides we presented. As with many slide shows, there’s more in the audio than in the slides — and I don’t have the audio recording of the event. But the slides will provide you with a good sense of the conversation flow and main topics.

The first part (what I delivered) covered an overview of terminology. I have found that many enterprise customers are (still) very confused when speaking about Enterprise 2.0 and the relationship to Social Media and Web 2.0. I’ll hear push-back from VPs who say “I don’t want Enterprise 2.0 because we don’t think that allowing our employees to watch YouTube videos all day will increase productivity.” Um, I agree with the YouTube part — but it seems like we need to start on the same page.

When I was an Enterprise Architect at Fidelity, I learned three principles of the EA practice as it relates to IT governance (one of the major roles of EA). Our jobs was to find:

  1. Common Terminology. If we don’t agree on the words we are using, then we are not working together. So step 1 is always to clarify and understand the terms. “Enterprise 2.0″ is not a self-explanatory term. Moreover, there are slightly different perspectives on it (which is OK, in my book). But we need to get clear on terminology so that we can work together.
  2. Constrain Choices. Technology choices are a problem for many organizations. There are too many of them, and they don’t all work together. The role of the architect is to help reduce choices so that only the best ones are available. This may seem counterintuitive to some. It is basically the necessary balance to innovation and chaos.
  3. Manage Exceptions. No matter how much you constrain via governance policy, there will be exceptions to the rule. A good model allows for those exceptions to be managed explicitly. So that they don’t ruin the system. It’s OK to break a rule if the rule needs to be broken — but then break it in accordance to the exception process — so that we can track it, fix it, or fix the rule.

With these three rules in mind — I always start with getting common terminology. And thus I suggested we open the webinar with a discussion of terms. We highlighted the diversity of usage of the term “social” (in this context). We described 5 of the most common places that E2.0 requests are initiated within the organization. And we described the current types of features that customers are expecting from their intranets these days. I ended my part with the question “But SharePoint?” Indeed SharePoint is the Elephant in the Room for many companies. Many have it and many don’t love it (to say the least). It provides some collaboration features — but they are about the worst in the industry (today). And yet, for many companies who leverage the other more capable features of the overall SharePoint platform, they are not going to get rid of SharePoint because the wikis, forums, and blogs provide substandard capabilities — it’s a small part of their overall use of the product.

So there is a needs/capabilities gap and that results in a business/technology challenge. There are many reasonable approaches to take. We highlighted two of them. 1. Enhance SharePoint. 2. Augment SharePoint. (and by the way, the implicit 3. do both.)

Mike Gilronen of KMA spoke about how companies can extend the out-of the-box features of SharePoint. There are many approaches that companies can take to improve their SharePoint experience, and KMA can help. Laura Farrelly of NewsGator spoke about NewsGator’s approach to adding a compelling set of capabilities onto your existing SharePoint installation — thereby giving you a SharePoint based environment that also provides excellent enterprise collaboration capabilities.

Whereas these are not the only ways that you can address the SharePoint challenge, these two have proven to be successful. So I’m glad to stand alongside KMA and Newsgator and suggest that enterprise companies committed to continuing their leverage of SharePoint also look at the approaches that KMA and Newsgator offer — that being to customize SharePoint to meet your needs, and/or to augment it with a product designed to fill the gaps.

Enjoy the slides:

KMA Insights Presents: Enterprise Social Computing

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Prem Kumar Aparanji September 8, 2009 at 2:43 am

rt @gyehuda: Getting common terminology is first of three important enterprise architecture steps:
#scrm #e20


2 Gil Yehuda September 8, 2009 at 2:20 am

Getting common terminology is first of three important enterprise architecture steps I describe here:


3 David Goldstein September 1, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Check out Gil Yehuda’s blog on and the slides from KMA’s Enterprise Social Computing webinar:


4 MMP August 30, 2009 at 8:10 am

would it be possible for you to share your slides, e.g. power point. It might lead to a cooperation with firms overseas. it is very frustrating to see slides shows and not be able to use some of the slides.


5 Gil Yehuda August 30, 2009 at 8:36 am

Dear MMP,
You should be able to download these slides from Slideshare, and you can embed them in your website or your PowerPoint Presentations. And you can point interested parties directly to the presentation as well. Just use the features found on the menu of the slideshare presentation. So please do share this with those whom you feel will benefit from it.

We ask that you maintain the integrity of the presentation (do not edit it) and the attribution (let people know where you got it). Obviously KMA, Newsgator, and I are interested in business development – i.e. letting people know how we each can help them (as a system integrator, a vendor,and an independent analyst, respectively). So we are happy to share this information widely and trust that you will find it valuable. I look forward to the cooperation with the firm you are talking about.

Please contact me, Mike, or Laura (depending on the nature of the opportunity) – our contact information is in the presentation – so that we can follow up with you and cooperate. I’m glad you found this valuable, and thanks for commenting here.


6 C.A.M. August 29, 2009 at 2:49 pm

great points! RT @gyehuda Blog post #e20 Knowledge Management Associates and NewsGator. #socialmedia #enterprise


7 mikegil August 29, 2009 at 12:03 pm

RT @gyehuda Blog post #e20 Knowledge Management Associates and NewsGator. >> Great summary, Gil!


8 Gil Yehuda August 29, 2009 at 12:58 am

Blog post #e20 Knowledge Management Associates and NewsGator.


9 Gil Yehuda August 28, 2009 at 7:43 pm

New Blog post about the webinar I did with @mikegil and @laurafarrelly that discussed #SharePoint and #Newsgator


10 Douglas Schultz August 28, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Gil – it was a great webinar. You, Mike and Laura did a great job with each presentation building on the other until we saw the Newsgator applicaiton.


11 Gil Yehuda August 30, 2009 at 8:13 am

Thanks! I’m glad you found it valuable. And thanks for letting us know.


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