Jive's New Community Platform - JiveX

Customer communities looking to go to the cloud are in for a treat.  On top of our biggest cloud release for social enterprise networks, we also unveiled at JiveWorld13 our new cutting-edge community platform for the cloud -- JiveX.

For years we’ve heard countless success stories from you about how you’re using our industry-leading customer community platform to engage with customers.  You’ve shared with them and learned from them in truly meaningful ways that helped increase loyalty and at the same time reduced costs.  Now, with JiveX, you can have the power of this platform right in the cloud...with all of our latest innovations rolling in more frequently.  Check out what’s available with the introduction of JiveX -- coming to a cloud near you in early 2014:

Facebook, Twitter and Marketo Right At Your Communities’ Fingertips

JiveX communities can now integrate Facebook and Twitter streams so that the social conversations people are having merge directly and seamlessly into one central hub.  JiveX communities can also incorporate data from CRM and marketing systems like Marketo, helping keep teams focused on key metrics and delivering on business objectives.

 

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Analytics With An Impact

We’ve built point-and-click analytics into JiveX, giving community managers real-time insight into their contributors’ sentiment and even providing information about how to improve the efficacy of their posts, thanks to our Impact Metrics product.

 

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We didn’t fix what wasn’t broken.

The popular features you all love -- like advanced gamification, sophisticated search and theming that highlights people, places and content from inside the community -- are built into the fabric of JiveX.

At the end of the day, we know that an engaged community of customers matters more than any single product innovation - and with the power of the cloud behind it, the JiveX community platform is poised to deliver value like never before.

 

The 2 Ds: Before, During and after a Project

In any project, be it a greenfield or an additional modules implementation, an upgrade within the SAP environment or any other system, the Decisions and Documentation or the 2 Ds are the project’s lifeline during set up, project implementation and beyond into support.

Imagine you need to remind yourself why a crucial decision was made or locate key information that’s buried in documentation. Hands up how many of you have had a problem finding it? This article explains how you can make that problem disappear by using the 2 Ds.

My discussion and examples focus on SAP and HR/Payroll modules; however, the topic is applicable to any project inside or outside SAP and HR/Payroll.

The 1st D: Decisions

From the inception of a project decisions are made including which architecture to use, where to house the teams, which modules to implement, how the go live procedure will look, how to perform a cut-over and what the warranty/support will be.

These decisions are made by holding official steering committee meetings, running working parties, having coffee chats and by email. Some decisions are made and retained in email correspondence while others require white papers to be produced.

White papers or decision papers are written and circulated by email for input and final approval. Once approved, they are often siloed within a server folder or a document management system. This precludes ready access for users.

Back to those emails and decisions that are made during the life of the project. Emails are sent to a select number of people for feedback on a topic or maybe one of those white papers. They are then forwarded to others, but perhaps one person in the group hasn’t been included on all the toing and froing before it reached them and they, in turn, forward the email to another person. They may ask the same question as one of the original reviewers and which has already been answered. Since they are unaware of previous discussions and agreements, this may block any new decisions until prior discussions can be located and verified.

During a recent SAP Support Pack Upgrade project, I used a business collaboration tool known as Jive. It allows the user to set up groups for internal and external members and for them to receive notification of any activity in that group. Instead of creating emails, discussion threads are created and as members think of someone else to invite, they are added to the discussion. Since the complete discussion is located in a particular thread, the new group member/s can read the discussion from inception to the current point. With this historical background they are equipped to make a better informed decision and not hold the group up.

The 2nd D: Documentation

We also maintained all documents and spreadsheets within Jive and therefore the same group. This had a dual purpose: 1) version control was provided meaning we could revert to an earlier version, if necessary 2) other team members were able to open the document or spreadsheet in Microsoft Word or Excel and follow the changes as they were published.

Having the communication contained within Jive meant that new discussions could easily point to earlier discussions and/or reference a file (PDF, spreadsheet, document, etc.). Also, as spreadsheets appeared as new versions, comments could be added with useful facts about the addition in the new version. Any comments related to the document stayed within it and anyone new was able to understand how and why it had progressed the way it had.

The support pack project was to upgrade the SAP system to the latest set of notes from SAP. I took advantage of Jive’s fast search facility to store all the notes in a special group.  Entering the search engine – a note number, word or phrase – quickly highlighted all notes, documents, discussions, and files matching the search term.  The field can be further refined to only search documents (i.e. documents, spreadsheets, pdfs).

Collaboration and version control

The project manager could monitor the status of discussions and documents at a high level or granular, if required.  A particularly interesting document was the issue register. Having a simple spreadsheet logging any issues found during the testing would send a notification when a new version was published. The project manager would therefore know when to check the sheet for new changes.

Using the Microsoft Office plug-in from Jive meant that the project manager (or anyone else with access to the group) could have the issue register open and be a co-editor with any other parties who had the same file open. Once any of these members published a new version the others received a notification within Excel that a member had made changes. They could then choose to merge the changes, replace their file or ignore the changes. By choosing merge, the project manager is able to see which fields and rows have changed. This is the same for Word documents.

Future proofing

Now that the project has gone live with the upgrade and time progresses and the question is asked why a certain decision was made the team can search Jive and find those references to the decision. Searching emails is dependent on retaining all of your emails, something that isn’t always the case when you begin to exceed your email quota. Getting a list of emails then means you need to open each one and read through it and if it isn’t the one you were looking for you move to the next to only find it is about the same subject. That is because every reply is treated as a separate email. While in jive searching shows all references in a discussion and once you realise that isn’t the discussion then clicking on the next discussion isn’t another component of the previous discussion but another discussion with all replies uniquely contained within it.

Businesses do not consider emails to be an asset because they are between individuals and are classified as a personal communication with a large volume considered as noise. Centralising emails duplicates, triplicates and so on the same information every time it is forwarded to another person. Searching this centralised email storage would create a list with many more emails with the same information.

By reclassifying emails as an asset, businesses retain important decisions that contribute to documentation. This is created during the project and towards the end of the project. Even though the documenter tries to capture the most important information and decisions, it is hard to remember all the decisions taken. Even those that are captured do not allow the user to retain any history of how a decision was reached. The added benefit of centralising discussions (emails) means they become a natural part of the prepared documentation.

Documentation once prepared is rarely updated, either because it is ‘lost’ in some multi-level folder or on some drive that isn’t accessible or forgotten. Storing it in an enterprise collaboration system allows a new member of staff to search for the document or be led there by a ‘pointer’ to the document.

Streaming and the 2 Ds

Another benefit of using the enterprise collaboration tool is the ability to set up different groups or segregate discussions into specific streams. When working with several clients, I had a stream for each client showing when a client started a discussion, responded to a discussion or updated a document. Their updates went into the stream I had set up for their group. This meant that I could focus more of my time on the client without having to trawl through emails, especially from colleagues who were working with me across several clients, searching for responses relevant to the client I needed to focus on.

During my time using this enterprise collaboration tool I noticed efficiencies in reusing documents and discussions. Starting discussions in the applicable group meant that all members were aware of the topic without the need to re-email the document or discussion to another member who was included later. Pointing a new arrival to the group allowed me to quickly refer them to the discussion that needed their input.

Conclusion

Overall I find the enterprise collaboration tool easy to use and structured. It allows me to focus on the client at hand, creating efficiencies in use of time on both sides. When I need to revisit discussions, I can quickly refresh my memory on the status.

I suggest you seriously consider how you can use enterprise collaboration tools in your business and projects.

If you require further information, contact me at peter@martarna.com.au

New Jive Cloud Release - Heaps of New Features

A few things to look for in this release:

  • Making Decisions -- Turn all talk into real business decisions. Users can now mark comments or replies as a Decision, Helpful, or Needs Action. Needs Action allows you to assign content items to yourself or others to review before making a Decision. Content owners can also mark the top-level discussion, document, or blog post as Final. Visual badges for these states (Helpful, Needs Action, Decision, and Final) help community users quickly see what has been decided, assigned to someone, or finalized.
  • Purposeful Place Templates -- Help users achieve business value more quickly with preconfigured place templates designed for specific business use cases. With templates like Deal Room, Campaign Planning, and R&D Planning, place owners are sure to find a template designed for every collaboration use case. Place owners can quickly create a useful place or make an existing one more focused. In addition to useful built-in features, place templates include interactive and customizable content tiles that support specific business goals, and can even bring in third-party content that users rely on to get their jobs done.
  • Bidirectional integration for Salesforce.com
    • Deal Rooms in Jive -- The Deal Room place template features out-of-the-box integration with your Salesforce instance so you can connect SFDC opportunities and accounts to bring relevant context into Jive for team members supporting your deal. This integration includes the ability to bring Chatter entries into the Jive group's activity stream, and comments in either SFDC or Jive are synced bidirectionally.
    • Jive data in Salesforce -- Salesforce.com administrators can install a Jive Visualforce element within SFDC. This allows sellers to view a snapshot of data from their Jive Deal Room directly within their SFDC opportunity view ensuring sellers can stay connected with the collaboration in Jive.
  • Impact Metrics -- Measure your impact in the community! Individual analytics data lets you know if everyone actually read your super-important post and helps you understand the impact, reach, and sentiment of content you've authored.
  • Theming: Custom Links -- Ever wanted just one more button in the main navigation bar? Now community managers can create a custom button to help users quickly get to the community's most popular or useful pages or even to external links. For example, you could create a Report a Bug button or a Quick Links drop-down menu featuring several URL links.
  • Jive Anywhere -- Now includes a nifty snapshotting feature so you can grab that chart, or image, or other key piece of context from the Web or other enterprise application and bring it into Jive to discuss with your colleagues.
  • Carousel Widget -- Embed rich images and news content into a carousel widget without sacrificing browser performance.
  • Rich content previews in stream -- Status updates have never looked better! Status updates with public web references (web pages, video, etc.) now come with rich content previews directly in the stream!
  • Expanding the Content Editor with a fixed toolbar -- No matter the length of your content, the content editor's toolbar stays pinned while you scroll through your content. Write your next long blog post with the edit toolbar always a click away.

Modules and Add-ons

Here are the new or updated modules and add-ons available with this release:

  • New Native iPad App -- Jive from your iPad, baby! Jive for iPad makes it easy to stay connected to your community when you're away from your desk. You can manage your Inbox, scroll through all of your streams, create and edit content, and search for people, places, and content.
  • iPhone App Improvements -- An exciting update to our iPhone app featuring additional content types, access to your custom streams, direct messages from profile pages, and radical performance improvements so things load much faster. Yay.
  • Jive Present -- Now with Android support and CRM integration.
  • Jive Anywhere SDK -- Build custom cartridges for Jive Anywhere to deliver powerful, application-aware extensions to Jive Anywhere that enable users to bring all of the right context from anywhere on the web into Jive.
  • Jive for SharePoint -- A full update to our Jive for SharePoint offering lets you bring documents from SP into Jive, socialize and collaborate on them, and view them in either Jive, SP, or both!
  • Jive for Office and Outlook -- We've added even more capabilities to more closely mirror the collaborative experience within Jive. We've added threaded discussions and the Making Decisions feature so you can mark things as Correct or Helpful right from Outlook. You can also manage your Follows and email notifications from Outlook, Like content, and more.
  • Events -- Events adds calendaring and event invitations to Jive spaces, groups, and projects, and can integrate with Outlook calendar functionality. Events is available for Essentials+ and Enterprise networks.
  • eDiscovery -- System administrators can search the community for the content records of specific users and export that data for use with discovery-related requirements, including litigation or internal investigations. Available for Enterprise networks in the Cloud.
  • Box Integration -- Add or change a document in a Box folder, and see the changes reflected instantly in Jive. Add or change a doc in Jive, and the same thing happens in Box. Whether you’re working in your browser, Jive for Office, your Jive mobile app, or Box mobile app, all files and comments are synced across all systems. Searching is integrated too, so you can easily find content whether it resides in Jive or Box. WOW.
  • streamOnce for Jive -- Allows users to collaborate with non-registered Jive users (for example, an organization's partners and vendors) right from Jive through an integration with Outlook and Gmail.
  • Resonata for Jive -- Measure sentiments (positive, negative, and so on) about content and individual contributions within Jive, designed specifically for externally-facing communities.

Removed in This Release

  • Internet Explorer 7 Support -- Please note that this release works with IE8 and above only. Users on IE7 will not be able to access the system. For additional details on system requirements, see the online documentation.

What’s in store for HR/Payroll in 2013 and beyond?

Organisations need to gear up now for some significant changes to SAP HR/ Payroll taking effect in the coming financial year. Peter Stulcbauer highlights the changes you should be aware of.

Changes to regulation relating to termination payment and superannuation will have an impact on SAP HR/Payroll solutions – here's what you need to know to be prepared.  

Termination Organiser Workbench

From 1 July 2012 Employment Termination Payments (ETP) will be subject to two thresholds. The first is the ETP cap of $175,000. The new second threshold is the Whole of Income cap set at $180,000. The lowest calculated threshold will be used to determine how much of the payment is to be taxed at the higher rate. Until January 2013, the Termination Organiser Workbench wasn't equipped to handle these calculations automatically. SAP has since released changes that allow you to calculate the cap to use in determining the tax free portion, if any. The enhancement involves new custom and technical wage types, new tables and screen enhancements. Along with the enhancements to the Termination Organisation Workbench, the payment summary for ETPs will be in the new ATO format. Companies using workbench will have a better mechanism to record the various components that make up the payment and simplify reporting on the ETP payment summary.

Superannuation Guarantee rate

The rate will increase from 9.00 per cent to 9.25 per cent on 1 July 2013 with annual incremental increases peaking at 12 per cent in 2019. This first increase in 10 years will impact over 50 per cent of the Australian population. Employees on total remuneration packages may need their base component reviewed and adjusted to cater for the increased rate. Employees receiving superannuation at a rate greater than 9.25 per cent may not be impacted. Any custom developments using the old rate will need to be reviewed and tested to ensure that the new superannuation guarantee rate is used from 1 July 2013.This means there will be changes to the SAP configuration and employee data. If your organisation pays employees for a period before 1 July on or after 1 July your system must use the new rate. Any employees aged 70 or over on 1 July must receive the new Superannuation Guarantee rate.

Reporting

The Australian Government has decreed that from 1 July 2013 employers have an obligation to inform employees when superannuation payments have been deposited into the employees’ superannuation accounts. This is not the date the employer sends the payments to the superannuation fund or clearing house, but when the actual payments are deposited into the employees’ accounts by the superannuation fund. However, the ATO is still in discussion with the industry on the formats and method that will be implemented. Once agreement has been reached, requirements will be published and payroll system suppliers, e.g. SAP, will need to develop a solution and roll it out to their clients. This will impact the payroll with new/modified tables, infotypes and messaging between the SAP system and the superannuation fund.

I believe this solution will not become available at least two to three months prior to the 1 July kick off, leaving little or no time for payroll clients to implement it. Instead, I believe businesses will be given a reprieve and instead may need to implement the original proposal put forward by the Federal Government i.e. to include a statement on payslips indicating the expected timeframe when the superannuation amount will be deposited. An example payslip statement could read: “The superannuation amount will be deposited in your superannuation fund within 28 days from the end of the quarter.” Either way, room will need to be found on payslips to accommodate the extra information.

Transmitting funds

The final change on the horizon is scheduled for 1 July 2014. The Federal Government has put a system in place which will streamline the transmission of superannuation amounts from businesses to superannuation funds or superannuation clearing houses. This change will utilise a standardised e-commerce format to communicate with superannuation funds and clearing houses. Businesses will have to use a single format, no matter how many different funds they send monies to. The ATO has prescribed that from January 2014, the superannuation industry must work with employers to transition to the solution by 1 July 2014. This applies to medium to large organisations, that is, any organisation with 20 or more employees. In the second half of 2013, SAP clients can expect SAP to release changes that will allow the implementation of this requirement. To date, no SAP notes discussing the proposal or time frames have been released.

This article is intended to give employers and support teams an overview of the key areas that will be impacted in payroll and HR modules between 1 July 2013 to1 July 2014. I highly recommend that businesses make themselves aware of all the legislative and SAP changes that may impact their operations by contacting their support teams, ATO website or other groups who can provide advice.