My short interview with TeamLab

As a ‘Digital Nomad’ -meaning that the world is my workspace, using digital technologies- we rely heavily on online collaboration with our Fellows (i.e. our professional experts working together with us our projects). There are many tools available to facilitate project management, some good and some ..uhm.. not so good. We tried many of them, and one of the latest we’re using is from a new startup in Latvia, called TeamLab. We were impressed by the features compared to the price. Which is… free. And how can a Dutchie resist ‘free’?

After a few months of testing we are pretty satisfied what it can do. There are certainly things missing (of which being able to close certain parts for certain people is one of the most important) but TeamLab says it’s working hard on new functionalities. I’m also looking forward to their business model. Because I’m commercial enough to realize that free can not last forever. Not even in Latvia…

Below is a short interview they conducted with me on the use of their platform. You can read the original here.

TeamLab user success story #2: How I found a ‘cheaper’ project management solution close enough to my perfection

October 11, 2010

We are continuing our series of case studies from TeamLab active users and today would like to introduce Erik van der Zijden from Netherlands, co-founder of DigiRedo.

1. Erik, what do you use TeamLab for?

I use TeamLab for a variety of business cases. First and foremost for my own company, DigiRedo. With about 7 people we are passionate about implementing new media. We have some 40 projects which are pending for this year and we use TL to manage these. These projects vary from video production, website building to training and consultancy. Finally I’m using TeamLab at some of my customers, a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company (parent company 100k + employees).

2. Did you use online collaboration tools before?


3. How did you learn about TeamLab and what made you choose it from other platforms?

I don’t know exactly where I learned about TL. Most probably on some sort of blog. I’ve been using many, many SaaS solutions for online collaboration. Last year we have been introducing a platform from a large vendor within that pharma company. Costs involved: $50K. I was looking for myself for a ‘cheaper’ solution but had a specific set of requirements. TL meets about 75% of those requirements. Not perfect yet, but close enough to give it a try. I will however monitor other platforms closely but hope TL will grow closer to my perfect platform.

4. How often do you use TeamLab?

Almost daily

5. What would you call the most useful TeamLab feature?

Project Management and the ability to share stuff online.

6. What is the overall TeamLab impact?

The overall impact is that now we have most correspondence about a project in a central place. People are now already referring to TL as a central hub.

7. Have you noticed any significant changes in the way your work is organized?

Not yet specifically, therefore it needs to be integrated much more with other systems such as my GTD system, calendar, mail etc. But what I do know is that discussions about pending projects with my bizniz partner happen in a much more constructive and organized way.

Thank you for participating in our interview, Erik.


Employer Perspectives on Social Networking

A new generation, steeped in the rules and habits of the digital age, is entering the workforce in large numbers, and will soon make up the majority of employees in every company. How this generation – as well as older workers – uses social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to stay in touch with others has increased exponentially in just a few years. It is a phenomenon that is rapidly transforming the world of work.
With this in mind, Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN) recently surveyed over 34,000 employers in 35 countries and territories. The survey is intended to gauge employer attitudes toward the use of external social media in the workplace. Conducted in October 2009, the survey asked employers four questions:

  • Does your organization have a formal policy regarding employee use of external social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn?
  • In which of these areas has your policy been effective?
  • In what two areas do you believe external social networks can provide the biggest boost to your organization in the future?
  • Has your organization’s reputation ever been negatively affected as a result of employees’ use of social networking sites?

The global results revealed that an overwhelming three out of four employers indicated that their organizations had no formal policy regarding the use of external social networking sites in the workplace. Five percent of employers surveyed indicated they were unsure if their organizations did, in fact, have policies regulating the use of social media by employees.

However, one out of five employers responded that their organizations did have policies in place to regulate social networking in the workplace. And this number is likely to grow. Of those employers with policies in place, the vast majority (63%) indicated that these policies were most often effective in helping avoid productivity loss. Approximately four out of 10 employers indicated that policies were effective in helping protect intellectual property and other proprietary information. Only two percent of the surveyed employers indicated that their organizations’ social networking policies were not effective.

Manpower acknowledges that the risks associated with social networking in the workplace are not trivial. As the use of such sites becomes even more prevalent, Manpower believes that employers need to consider how social networking is likely to impact their organizations. After all, the widespread use of these sites by employees raises inevitable questions. For example, how can companies embrace the technology, minimize risk and unleash the potential of social networking in the workplace? And how can these sites actually serve the interestsof organizations by enhancing productivity, collaboration and innovation, while also serving to attract and engage employees? Thus Manpower recommends that organizations that are currently exploring social networking policy implementation, do so by designing guidelines that help them take maximum advantage of potential benefits.

Source: Manpower Research Centre
Full report here (direct PDF download)

Award for Afya Serengeti campaign

The Afya Serengeti campaign, of which we reported earlier in our blog, has won an Award of Excellence in the category Animal Health. With this award, founded by the RX club, the campaign is honoured for its creativity and execution. The campaign was developed by Circa Healthcare in order of Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, and focuses at the prevention of rabies in the Serengeti area in Tanzania. The campaign supports vaccination teams that vaccinate all domestic dogs in the communities surrounding the Serengeti National Park. We were involved in this campaign through the production of a video-series where we followed these team in their year around vaccination campaign.

Rabies is a lethal disease that still claims more than 25,000 Africans per year, mainly children. While rabies is preventable with vaccination, fighting it is a huge undertaking. The Afya Serengeti project alone encompasses an area inhabited by more than 6 million people and 500,000 domestic dogs.

This Award of Excellence is a fantastic recognition for this sympathetic campaign.

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