Article written for, and published as The 5 Pilars of Collaboration – Interview with Dan Latendre,CEO of IGLOO Software on Technorati.
Social Business Collaboration
IGLOO Software is a company that develops securely stored social, collaborative business solutions that can be used for employees, business partners and customers. Delivered in the cloud, the company’s social software includes an integrated suite of content management, collaboration and enterprise social networking features.
Canadian-based, you may not have heard of Igloo before. But there’s truly a greater reason for that–they are behind the scenes. In fact, their collaboration suite powers the social workplace of such notable names as Motorola, International Data Corporation, Deloitte, RBC Royal Bank, and the ATP World Tour.
In speaking with Dan Latendre, the CEO of IGLOO Software, there are several things that at a fundamental level make this company and its product appealing to companies seeking to leverage social. His company is built upon five pillars.
1. Documents still matter
The social wave has arrived, but at its core, documents still matter. “They are the number one knowledge repository,” Dan explains. What’s key to IGLOO’s purpose is to socialize these documents. Dan continues, “What’s important is not just the document itself, but what are the comments, and how’s it being used?” IGLOO has set out to help companies establish policies and procedures around this.
2. Collaboration needs context
By the very nature of the “social revolution,” content management has become more social, as well. Content is no longer just documents, but now includes video, tweeting, likes, and reviews. The imperative for companies is to manage this stuff to create business value. IGLOO sets out to do this by merging documents, content and collaboration all together.
3. Social can have structure
Explains Dan, “Many CRM-focused, and other singularly specialized companies only give you the outcome. What it doesn’t tell me is what teams are doing to drive that.” This is where IGLOO intends to make a difference. In the new realm of marketing and sales, leads are cultivated and nurtured at many different touch-points. Places we haven’t historically considered. Determining what your team is doing to contribute to the sales campaign across the board is a new measure important to companies.
4. Usability rules
Usability is essential to adoption. Dan and IGLOO understand this. “Everything has to be based on context. If I’m in the sales area it should look different than the customer service area,” he comments. And so the product is designed as such, as well to work with the tools that people use today. Things like mobile products, instant messaging, and miro-blogging are all integrated.
5. Work is not a place
This one threw me off a bit, at first. Then Dan explained it, “Today, you don’t work like we did in the 1990s, with a desk and a desktop.” As mentioned prior, media like the tablet, mobile technology, and telecommuting are all essential elements to evolved business practice. IGLOO has been designed to accommodate these cross-geographical boundaries.
These five pillars appear to be working well for the quickly growing company. In addition, I believe there’s a “sixth” pillar: Responsiveness. If you’re going to build and sell social, than live it. Unique to Igloo, and part of their competitive advantage in an extremely agile and responsive product development process–50% of their upgrades and changes are driven by changes around customer requirements and customer feedback. Customers are an integral part in shaping how the product is built. These customer driven updates in 90-day cycles.
And this resonates to companies, as well. International Data Corporation (IDC) helps business executives, IT professionals, and the investment community to make fact-based business decisions on technology purchases and corporate strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts worldwide provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology trends and industry opportunities. They recently selected IGLOO to better facilitate both their internal and external collaboration needs.
From a recent report on their adoption, Mary Conroy, Director of Marketing for the company said “The IDC Insights community is quickly becoming a popular forum for IT professionals, achieving 78% growth in new membership this past year. With IGLOO, our goal is to take engagement to a whole new level by enabling a more open exchange of knowledge, between practitioners and analysts, around common topics and industry challenges.”