Monday, June 2, 2014

Transforming Domino into a Social Collaboration Platform, Part 3 - Teaching an Old Dog To Do New Tricks

Transforming Domino into a Social Collaboration Platform, Part 1 - Where Do We Begin?
Transforming Domino into a Social Collaboration Platform, Part 2A - Experimentation
Transforming Domino into a Social Collaboration Platform, Part 2B - Experimentation

So now that we had all the tools and capabilities to create our social collaboration tool, what should be build? We wanted to build a SMB solution similar to IBM Connections or Yammer, a small business solution that utilized the power of enterprise technology.

So we were all set with our mighty tools in hand and created our new social collaboration solution.  Like all application development, how a designer/developer thinks is not how users thinks. We developed our first version in early 2013 and users shot it down!!! How there they? But the true set in. 

From our discussions with our clients and watching how they worked, they were not interested in a general social collaboration tool, but a focused solution that provided only the tools that they needed for their tasks in hand.  Effective communities or groups were no more than 20 to 50 individuals and in most cases under 10 not hundreds or thousands.  Therefore, we had no interested in recreating a general social collaboration tool.

Instead, our goal was to build a community-centric solution not an individual focused solution, a purposeful social collaboration solution that allowed users to manage focused tasks for which communities were created.  As a result, things like activities are tracked only within the context of the community not the individual.  This seems anti-socially compared with Facebook and others, but the reality is that unless there is a purpose that drives the need for social collaboration, users will most likely not use it.  In a large enterprise environment, there are other driving factors that define things differently so solutions like IBM Connections are more appropriate.

So what were the important things that clients wanted?
  • Create and share content in a community/group environment
  • Allow members with the appropriate access to create, publish, and organize content within folders environment
  • Ability to create open or restricted communities
  • Ability for members with the appropriate access to comment on published content within the community
  • Ability to control email notification when content is published
  • Ability to create restricted sub-communities within a community and allow only certain community members access
  • Control who had the ability to create communities so that community creep would not occur.
  • Ability to find and locate content with a community
  • Ability for community members to send messages to each other in a private environment.
  • Regardless of whether the community member was an internal or external user, they had the same capabilities and features when assigned the appropriate rights
  • Ability to tailor the solution with different add-on capabilities controlled by the community manager
  • Full management of the solution using a web interface
  • Keep their content and information secure and private
  • Desktop and mobile device access.
  • Extensible API
  • Simple, easy to user interface
  • Minimalistic environment to reduce the clutter
  • Activity-based trigger workflow
  • Ability to incorporate the solution into other applications


So back to the drawing board we went. After another year of redevelopment and many redesigns and architecture changes, we now have version 2!  It has something new, something borrowed, and something old, iPhora Foundation + Domino/XWork + Integrated Business Framework.  iPhora Touch 2 is finally here.

Next time,

Transforming Domino into a Social Collaboration Platform, Part 4 - The Results So Far


1 comment:

quintessens said...

I think you made a right decision creating a community focused solution. You need to define your niche.

Sadly to see that Notes's Teamroom is not being enhanced nowadays