A Perspective from Down Under: NewsGator named Finalist for Microsoft Australia Partner Awards 2012

Over the course of 2012, I’ve been lucky enough to see how Australian and Asian businesses have come to terms with what exactly “enterprise social” means to them. Whether they are just getting started with social or they are maturing their social workplace, one thing is certain: Microsoft continues to cement its position as a leading platform for business computing. With SharePoint’s undeniable popularity as the system of record for most organisations in this part of the Southern Hemisphere, it’s simply a natural and logical progression that SharePoint also becomes the system of engagement. After all, who needs yet another application to clutter their workplace – especially when it is not integrated with their existing IT systems?

Highlighting this synergy, I am thrilled to share that NewsGator has been named a finalist of the 2012 MAPA Microsoft Partner of the Year Award for Software Applications. NewsGator was selected from a national field of top Microsoft Partners in Australia for delivering market-leading customer solutions built on the Microsoft platform. This builds on our recognition by Microsoft last year as the US Worldwide Partner of the Year and our being named a Globally Managed partner earlier this summer.

As we approach the Microsoft Australian Partner Conference next month, I’d like to share my take on the evolution of the social enterprise in the local region.

  1. Most executives I have spoken to would agree that adoption of social tools is just slightly behind North America and Europe, but not by much. One of the main reasons for this is the often cited dearth of concrete third party analysis and research specific to our region. Fortunately, NewsGator and Microsoft have teamed up to fund research specific to this region for business leaders to make clear benchmarking decisions based on objective, thorough analysis. Stay tuned for these vital data points.

  2. Cultural differences cannot be ignored. Becoming fluent in social workplace tools, either directly or indirectly, will transform your company’s culture. While Australians are supposedly the most prolific users of LinkedIn and the most avid photo sharers in the world, their uptake of enterprise social is slower than their brethren across either pond. This will change as vendors provide better local support (more on this in a moment.) Even more interesting to contrast this, is that I have seen leading Singaporean and Malaysian organisations jump feet first into social when historically they would consider themselves to have a patient attitude towards emerging technology adoption. Why?The most commonly cited reason for enabling social tools is to gain competitive advantage while expanding globally in the Asian century. To succeed in this global capacity, organisations need a solution that is localised in their mǔyǔ (that’s Chinese for mother tongue) and is supported by local partners around the world. Again, follow our blog for the upcoming research on social adoption in Australia and Asia. Xièxiè!

  3. Finally, one of the most disappointing things I noticed regarding the social solutions offered in the past to Australian organisations was the lack of appreciation for local regulations and standards. I am thrilled to announce that NewsGator has already taken strides to tailor our solution to the specific needs of the Australian market.

    a. Australian government agencies at both the state and federal level has been largely overlooked by social vendors. Acts like the upcoming Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) dictate that organisations should maintain data sovereignty of confidential information and stay “out of the clouds.” Now, thanks to our partners, it’s easier than ever to deploy NewsGator in your own private, dedicated environment where your data is secure and housed in country.

    b. Records Management of highly confidential social communities, anyone? I’ve noticed that not a single vendor has even tipped their hat to the Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS) whereas NewsGator not only adheres to, but excels with these standards thanks to records management in SharePoint and integration with tools like RecordPoint.

    c. Non-profit organisations often deal with distributed teams and by their nature require a high level of engagement with their staff in order to keep morale high. NewsGator has recently partnered with several non-profits such as Disability Services Australia, Campbell Page, NPS Medicinewise and others to provide cost effective social solutions. We believe it’s important to give back to our society wherever and whenever we can, and NewsGator is honoured to help these important causes.

NewsGator will continue to demystify what enterprise social means for organisations across Australia and Asia Pacific, while making sure we adapt our solution to the local needs of the market and guide you to success. We recognise that’s the only way to continually be considered for recognitions such MAPA 2013 and more! For now, please come by our stand at APC 2012 if you’d like to see NewsGator’s solutions in action and learn more about how we can help you navigate the world of social.

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