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Preserving Institutional Memory

Social networking inside your firewall can help you compete

Social networking inside your firewall can help you compete

In contrast, other customers virtually never request technical support even when they run into problems or can’t figure out how to do what they need, don’t take advantage of online education or incident reporting, continue to run the same release for years, decline to pay for software maintenance, and when contacted about their plans say they’re looking for new software because the existing tools haven’t been enhanced or modernized to meet their requirements. Often, when shown what they could be doing with their current software, this type of organization will say they don’t know how to move forward because they realize they now have different groups of users who are loyal to different application-development and BI tools that perform the same function.

If your organization isn’t in the first camp, make a pledge to move there immediately. The sooner you get closely engaged with your software providers, the sooner you’ll discover new ways to use their software for competitive advantage and to advance your own skills. Couple this with a true effort to record and share your knowledge, and you’ll soon be in a much stronger position to keep getting value from the software in the event of unplanned personnel changes.

Make the Commitment

If you and your development team make a commitment to sharing detailed knowledge about your tools and how to use them, you’ll create a work environment where people are motivated to learn and become better employees. You should also save money as people in different parts of the organization realize they might be able to leverage tools already in place to satisfy their requirements. Make it a priority to bring the benefits of today’s social networking, wiki and online video into your IT environment now so you can more effectively use the tools you have available.

Bill Langston is director of marketing for New Generation Software Inc., and a developer of iSeries BI software. He can be reached at



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