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Facebook Opens Messenger to Non-Members

July 20, 2015

Facebook is making its Messenger app free, even to those who don’t have a Facebook account, we learn in “Does this Spell the End for WhatsApp?” at the U.K.’s Daily Star. What does that have to do with mobile messaging tool WhatsApp? Reporter Dave Snelling writes:

“This means even people without a Facebook account will be able to start using the service and that could put it in direct competition with WhatsApp. And guess who owns WhatApp…yes Facebook! The social network paid an insane $19 billion for WhatsApp late last year and it’s gone on to see a huge rise in success. WhatsApp now has over 800 million users and the figure is growing daily. Facebook Messenger brings users the same features as WhatsApp including sending photos, videos, group chats, voice and video calling and stickers.”

We notice that “search ability” is not among the features. Pity that; users must continue to employ an outside method to find a certain drop of info in their sea of messages. We’d value a search box over “stickers” any day, but perhaps that’s just us.

So far, the non-Facebook-member Messenger is only available in Canada and the U.S., but is expected to cross the Atlantic soon. Snelling wonders whether users will switch from WhatsApp to Messenger. I wonder whether Facebook plans to merge the apps, and their users; why would they hang on to both? As the article concludes, we’ll have to wait and see.

Cynthia Murrell, July 20, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Is SharePoint A Knowledge Management Tool

July 9, 2015

One of the biggest questions information experts are asked a lot is, “is SharePoint a knowledge management tool?”  The answer, according to Lucidea, is: it depends.  The answer is vague, but a blog post on Lucidea’s Web site explains why: “But Isn’t SharePoint A KM Application?”

SharePoint’s usefulness is explained in this one quote:

“SharePoint is a very powerful and flexible platform for building all sorts of applications. Many organizations have adopted SharePoint because of its promise to displace all sorts of big and little applications. With SharePoint, IT can learn one framework and build out applications on an as-needed basis, rather than buying and then maintaining 1001 different applications, all with various system requirements, etc. But the key thing is that you need someone to build out the SharePoint platform and actually turn it into a useful application.”

The post cannot stress enough the importance of customizing SharePoint to make it function as a knowledge management tool.  If that was not enough, in order to keep SharePoint working well it needs to continuously be developed.

Lucidea does explain that SharePoint is not a good knowledge management application if you expect it to be implemented in a short time frame, focuses on a single problem, the users improve the system, and can meet immediate knowledge management needs.

The biggest thing to understand is that knowledge management is a process.  There are applications that can take control of immediate knowledge management needs, but for long term the actual terms “knowledge” and “management” need to be defined to get what actually needs to be controlled.

Whitney Grace, July 9, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

 

Dassault Systemes’ “Single View of the Truth” Problem-Solving Approach

July 3, 2015

The article on Today’s Medical Developments titled Collaborative Design Software uses the online collaborative design video game Minecraft to consider the possibilities for programmers working together in the future. Dassault Systemes’ is in the process of implementing a change to many design engineers working more collaboratively off a master file. The article quotes Monica Menghini, a Dassault executive,

“Our platform of 12 software applications covers 3D modeling (SOLIDWORKS, CATIA, GEOVIA, BIOVIA); simulation (3DVIA, DELMIA, SIMULA); social and collaboration (3DSWYM, 3DXCITE, ENOVIA); and information intelligence (EXALEAD, NETVIBES)… These apps together create the experience. No single point solution can do it – it requires a platform capable of connecting the dots. And that platform includes cloud access and social apps, design, engineering, simulation, manufacturing, optimization, support, marketing, sales and distribution, communication…PLM – all aspects of a business; all aspects of a customer’s experience.”

The point is that Dassault wants to sell customers a dozen products to solve a problem, which seems like an interesting and complicated approach. They believe new opportunities could include more efficient design-building, earlier chances for materials specialists to cut costs by opting for lighter materials, marketing could begin earlier in the process and financial planners would have the ability to follow the progress of a design, allowing for a more transparency on every level of production.
Chelsea Kerwin, July 3, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph
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Coveo Announces Growth, Success, and an Internal Promotion

June 8, 2015

The article titled Coveo Announces Another Sequential Best Quarter as Its Intelligent Search Apps Upskill Thousands of People on Digital Journal points to increased market demand for its apps. Coveo’s mission is to aid businesses in improving people’s knowledge and ability with Search. Coveo for Salesforce offers customers a hub to resolve the issues that would typically require a customer service rep. The article explains,

Coveo for Salesforce saw rapid adoption, particularly within the high tech and financial services industries, where mid-size to Fortune 500 organizations selected Coveo to scale customer service operations. Coveo for Salesforce – Communities Edition helps customers solve their own cases by proactively offering case-resolving knowledge suggestions and Coveo for Salesforce – Service Cloud Edition helps agents upskill as they engage customers by injecting case-resolving content and experts into the Salesforce UI as they work.”

The article also discusses the promotion of Mike Raley, currently senior director of demand generation, to VP of marketing. That makes him accountable for the company’s international marketing. The article seems like good news, what with the reported “record levels of bookings growth,” but it offers no actual revenues or information about the $30 million in venture funding the company has amassed.

Chelsea Kerwin, June 8, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

 

Apple Acquires Search Startup Ottocat

June 4, 2015

Apple needed a better search system for its app store, so it bought a startup; according to TechCrunch, “Apple Acquired Search Startup Ottocat to Power the ‘Explore’ Tab in the App Store.” Writer Ingrid Lunden observes that the deal was kept pretty quiet, but suspects it was agreed to in 2013; that is when Ottocat’s website disappeared. Months later, Apple implemented the “explore” feature for its App Store. So why did Apple pick Ottocat? The article explains:

“In a nutshell, its technology essentially addressed pain points on both sides of the App Store: for users unable to find specific enough results for subject-based app searches when they don’t have a specific app in mind; and for developers unhappy with how well their apps could be discovered among a sea of 1 million+ other apps. The premise was to do away with keywords by categorizing apps into increasingly more specific subcategories that worked on a ‘drill-down’ principle — eliminating the guesswork and potential inaccuracy of keywords altogether. …

“For example, rather than searching on ‘guitar’ or scrolling through the full selection of music apps that the term might call up, or the chart for the most popular music apps — which can contain streaming apps, apps that are designed to work with specific hardware, apps that let people use their phones to play music, apps that teach them how to play a specific instrument, and so on — you can start to look at specific subcategories to find a selection of apps you may want to download.”

Launched in 2012 by Michelle Cooper and Edwin Cooper, Ottocat is headquartered in Oakland, California. Lunden wonders whether the Cooper pair is now working at Apple, and what they might be working on. Search for Safari, perchance? Maybe neither Yahoo nor Microsoft will provide Safari’s default search once Apple’s deal with Google expires, after all.

Cynthia Murrell, June 4, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Oracle is Rocking COLLABORATE

April 15, 2015

News is already sprouting about the COLLABORATE 15: Technology and Applications Forum for the Oracle Community, Oracle’s biggest conference of the year.  BusinessWire tells us that Oracle CEO Mark Hurd and Chief Information Officer and Senior VP Mark Sunday will be keynote speakers, says “Oracle Applications Users Group Announces Oracle’s Key Role at COLLABORATE 15.”

Hurd and Sunday will be delivering key insights into Oracle and the industry at their scheduled talks:

“On Tuesday, Sunday discusses the need to keep a leadership edge in digital transformation, with a special focus on IT leadership in the cloud. Sunday will build upon his keynote from two years ago, giving attendees better insight into adopting a sound cloud strategy in order to ensure greater success.  On Wednesday, Hurd shares his insights on how Oracle continues to drive innovation and protect customer investments with applications and technology. Oracle remains the leading organization in the cloud, and Hurd’s discussion focuses on how to modernize businesses in order to thrive in this space.”

Oracle is really amping up the offerings at this year’s conference.  They will host the Oracle User Experience Usability Lab, Oracle Proactive Support Sessions, Oracle Product Roadmap Session, and more to give attendees the chance to have direct talks with Oracle experts to learn about strategies, functionality, products, and new resources to improve their experience and usage.  Attendees will also be able to take accreditation tests for key product areas.

COLLABORATE, like many conferences, offers attendees the chance to network with Oracle experts, get professional feedback, and meet others in their field.  Oracle is very involved in this conference and is dedicated to putting its staff and products at the service of its users.

Whitney Grace, April 15, 2015

Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com

Current.ly App Enables Improved Search on Twitter

February 4, 2015

The review on KillerStartups titled Finally! An Effective Way to Filter Twitter! discusses Current.ly and their algorithm for sorting through the noise on Twitter. Unlike Facebook, the article mentions, Twitter has avoided the use of filters, opting for the chaos of every tweet for itself. Beyond following specific conversations or searching via hashtag, there are not very effective methods for organizing and finding relevant tweets. Current.ly offers a solution:

“Current.ly not only presents the most timely topics front and center on both their mobile-optimized site and app but also lets you search for topics that interest you, again presenting the most relevant tweets before the general jibber-jabber. It’s a great solution for anyone who wants to keep up on the conversations around current events but for whom even the thought of opening Twitter’s main feed makes them sigh with frustration.”

This would improve the hashtag search function, which is still going to present a mess of tweets. Current.ly’s search algorithm promises to bring the more relevant tweets to the forefront. Additionally sweet for many Twitter-users, Current.ly is not an app unique to use in the United States. It allows the user to pick between the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain and Mexico. The article surmises that this list will grow as the app becomes more popular.

Chelsea Kerwin, February 04, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Starting SharePoint and Office 365 on a Budget

December 11, 2014

Many smaller organizations often wonder how to utilize SharePoint and other Office 365 solutions without breaking the bank. Mark Jones on LinkedIn has written a helpful piece on how to get the best bang for the buck. Read his thoughts on “8 Ways To Learn SharePoint And Office 365 On A Budget!

He begins:

“Over the last 2 years I have spent a lot of time in the SharePoint-Community.Net and the question that comes up a lot is how to get started and learn Microsoft SharePoint (or Office 365). So here we go, this is my up-to-date list of things that will take you from novice to rockstar without spending more than a few dollars in the process.”

Another resource for making the most out of a SharePoint installation is ArnoldIT.com. Stephen E. Arnold is an expert in search and has focused heavily on SharePoint throughout his career. His dedicated SharePoint feed is a great place to start a search for all the latest news, tips, and tricks.

Emily Rae Aldridge, December 11, 2014

Most App Users Stick to the Apps They Need

September 18, 2014

The article on Quartz titled Most Smartphone Users Download Zero Apps Per Month makes that revelation and considers the reasons why. In spite of the statistics that make it sound like everyone is constantly downloading apps, most people get the ones they want and leave the rest alone. The article reports,

“Apple boasted 75 billion all-time App Store downloads at its developers conference in June, and followed up by declaring July the best month ever for App Store revenue, with a record number of people downloading apps… Only about one-third of smartphone owners download any apps in an average month, with the bulk of those downloading one to three apps. The top 7% of smartphone owners account for “nearly half of all download activity in a given month,” comScore reports.”

The article rules out expense or uselessness as answers to why this is the case. Instead most people love their favorite app and spend 42% of all their “app-time” on that one alone. Another possibility is that while Apple’s App Store was a breakthrough in 2008, it is an imperfect search system, perhaps preventing users from finding the apps that they might download. For the app cheerleaders out there, how are those apps doing?

Chelsea Kerwin, September 18, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

SharePoint Benefits from Apps

August 14, 2014

SharePoint is an extremely popular, but extremely complicated piece of software. Many organizations build their entire information architecture around it, so it is important to have an understanding about how all employees can benefit from different aspects of the system. Visual Studio Magazine turns their attention to SharePoint’s emerging focus on apps in their article, “SharePoint: All About the Apps.”

The article begins:

“SharePoint is one of the more prominent collaboration platforms . . . Implementing such a complex collaboration platform can be a challenge. If your organization is using SharePoint or planning to, you can learn more about developing and deploying custom SharePoint apps at SharePoint Live, as part of Live 360, happening this November 18-22 in Orlando, FL.”

Stephen E. Arnold has made a lifelong career out of following all things search on ArnoldIT.com, and reports frequently on the popular topic of SharePoint, on his customized SharePoint feed. He understands the complexity of SharePoint and the necessity of almost constant training and professional development. It is encouraging to see an older software like SharePoint adapting to a new format through apps and other features, but it does take commitment on the part of the user to learn new skills.

Emily Rae Aldridge, August 14, 2014

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