Collaboration with Micro Focus Vibe

A collaboration platform for successful team collaboration

Changing Modes of Operation

The working methods and processes in modern enterprises are changing constantly. Extremely rigid hierarchies with strictly defined areas of responsibility are giving way to more loosely coupled working groups and distributed, self-organizing project teams with high levels of flexibility in time and resource planning. Every employee is taking part in a multitude of heterogeneous projects, wherever their specific skills are needed.

Changed Requirements for Tools and Platforms

Especially the new generation of employees – that enter the work force now – are well skilled and experienced in using social networks, social tools, and Web2.0 technologies. They expect quick and straightforward methods and tools for  communication, quick sharing and easy access to information. This change fuels the demand for technological solutions that help modern businesses to not be left at a disadvantage: Enterprise 2.0 collaboration platforms.

Deploying efficient collaboration tools in an organization provides employees with the means to

  • share information quickly and efficiently
  • collaboratively work on content as a team
  • joint editing of content, information, documents, events, and tasks – together with colleagues or external project partners
  • have access to essential, critical data, independent from where they are, what time it is, and what devices they use

Organizations profit from efficient team collaboration, from structured and accessible information, and from clearly defined, simple communication methods and information pathways, allowing for higher customer and employee satisfaction.

Knowledge Management as a Challenge

The development of society through an information society towards a “knowledge society” is most strongly reflected in the importance of the resource “knowledge” as a success factor for a modern enterprise. This makes the systematic handling and manipulation of information, data and knowledge into a central challenge to face in the modern market.

Strategies and tools for knowledge management, along with other solutions of information and communication technology, are seeing more and more demand in business as well as in research and education.

Reasons for Efficient Knowledge Management in Organizations

  • Knowledge and information are important resources of your organization. Learning inside an organization and the buildup of knowledge (individually as well as in a collaborative fashion) enhance these resources.
  • To build up knowledge, it is necessary to collect, to structure, to verbalize and externalize information as well as implicit knowledge.
  • The systematization and accessibility of  individuals’ knowledge ensures knowledge transfer in an organization. The efficient use of an organization’s knowledge is dependent on quick, unproblematic and seamless access to information.
  • Employees not only profit from externalized knowledge of their colleagues, but also of their predecessors, because their knowledge is conserved  inside the organization instead of disappearing with them or dissipating due to not having been externalized.
  • Knowledge management challenges as well as enhances the skills of employees, and through networking effects and knowledge exchange, they strengthen their individual abilities.
  • The efficiency of business processes, and thus the productivity of your organization, profits greatly from a well-structured knowledge management, because working in an environment like this becomes more efficient; duplication of effort for gathering information and knowledge is avoided, the updating and refreshing of knowledge in the organization is facilitated, process optimization helps save cost.

Vibe as an online collaboration platform constitutes a capable and modern tool for knowledge management, because it provides:

  • all relevant information for any given topic or project in one, central place
  • data accessibility online anytime, anywhere
  • wikis and file management for collecting knowledge in a structured way
  • discussion forums and wikis for collecting knowledge, building it, and expanding it
  • personal and global tagging to make knowledge even more accessible
  • quick access to information via a powerful search engine, providing basic and advanced  search
  • workflows to support, enhance and facilitate not only business processes, but also the generating, the distribution and publication of knowledge and information
  • a high level of security throughout the system, utilizing transparent, universal access control for information as well as for functionality

Vibe™ as a comprehensive knowledge management tool covers a host of functionality normally provided by separate systems for document management, workflow management, content  management and groupware.

Organizing Files and Editing them Collaboratively

In businesses as well as in learning environment – no matter if in school or university – it is necessary for multiple individuals to work on documents in a collaborative fashion. The tracking of changes and the possibility of retrieving older versions of documents are very important features for an environment like this.

Document management as a strategy in an organization also implies systematization and ordering of a large number of files and documents. To enable working efficiently with them, there is an essential need for central locations for storage and archiving of data as well as a necessity for documents to be accessible with a guaranteed reliability and speed.

Using a Collaboration Platform for Efficient Document Management

The online collaboration platform Vibe™ supports efficient document management by enabling and providing needed functionalities:

Storing, Structuring, and Retrieving Files

  • Easy upload and secure storage of documents and files
  • Organizing files in folders and folder hierarchies
  • Online accessibility of documents anywhere, anytime, also on mobile devices without the need for file viewing software
  • All text content is searchable
  • Tagging of files and documents for even more efficient finding and retrieval
  • Ability to add short file notes to every version of any attachment
  • Files have a file status flag – set a file as draft, current or obsolete
  • since Vibe™ Version 3.3: synchronisation of selected folders and workspaces to the local machine using Vibe Desktop
  • since Vibe™ Version 3.3: store, retrieve and edit files stored in Vibe directly from Microsoft Office , using the Vibe Add In

File versioning

  • Files have minor and major versions for more fine grained version control
  • A configurable number of previous minor versions of a file is retained
  • All retained older versions are accessible indefinitely

Editing Files Independently or in Collaboration with Others

  • Easy modification of files from the web interface
  • Commenting on files
  • Working on documents as a team
  • Locking documents for others while editing them
  • Tracking of changes, and comparing versions
  • Notifications by email/text/mobile for contributors, subscribers and managers on changes or on publishing
  • Granting and revoking access to documents via ACLs
  • Customizable workflows for creation, validation and publishing of documents
  • since Vibe™ Version 3.3: use the Vibe Add In to comment on documents, read others’ comments, and tag documents, directly from within Microsoft Office programs

 

We provide workshops to demonstrate and teach the successful management of documents with Micro Focus Vibe™ and provide you with best practices and with customized workflow processes to optimize your document management experience.

The Characteristics of Project Work

In modern organizations, many processes and tasks take place in goal-oriented time-limited projects. The project team often consists of employees from different departments, selected for their expertise and skillset. The accustomed organizational structures are loosened, new methods of working arise.

Working in projects and in project teams requires the individual to possess particular skills, but it also needs specialized toolsets and enabling technologies. These toolsets and technologies need to allow for successful and easy planning, controlling and (self-)monitoring of projects and milestones; communication and knowledge exchange in project teams must be facilitated.

Systematic Project Management

An online collaboration platform like Micro Focus Vibe™ supports efficient project management in all project phases, from planning and kick-off of the project through project execution to the presentation of project results. Among others, key functionalities enhancing the project management efficiency are:

  • Team workspaces, featuring tiered access control for different groups of project members
  • Customizable folder hierarchies and types
  • Shared project calendars
  • Folders for tasks and milestones
  • File management for the project team (collaborative editing of documents, file versioning)
  • Knowledge management for the project team (e.g. with wikis)
  • Blogs, discussion forums, surveys, photo albums/image collections
  • Quick and easy communication across the team, using e-mail, instant messaging, and discussion forums
  • Joint editing of content, commenting on any entry or reply
  • Tagging content for easier structuring of information and for speeding up retrieval
  • Optimization of work processes in the project team with tasks as well as with workflows

The main benefits of deploying an online collaboration platform for project management are the storage of information in one central point, the ease of access to information, the fact that the project progress is documented front to back – enabling new project members to get up to speed a lot quicker – and the retention of knowledge and information over a long time. Task and milestone management facilitate controlling and project management. The goal of efficient working in project teams now becomes easier to reach, especially in spatially distributed teams.

 

Code and Concept designs your implementation of Micro Focus Vibe and offers administrator- and end user workshops as well as competent and reliable support and consulting for using Vibe to manage your projects. Benefit from our long standing experience and the best practices we have developed!

Intranet Portals in Organizations – Features and Goals

In enterprises, intranets represent the central, company-internal information portals. For employees, they are the one stop shop for relevant information, company news, forms and strategic documents. Ideally, they are designed in a way that not only the delivery of content to the employees, but also the communication between them happens in a dynamic and interactive way.

By introduction of an intranet portal, or by its reevaluation/redesign at regular intervals, the flow of information in the organization is optimized, business process performance and employee morale are boosted. If the intranet portal also provides social functionality – like forums, messaging, blogs and wikis – efficient internal communication and knowledge exchange are fostered, and the employees’ emotional attachment to the organization is enhanced. Establishing interactivity in an intranet portal reflects a company culture that makes efficient use of self-organized and self-responsible teams and that values employees’ commitment and effort to play a part in the organization’s knowledge community.

Various Design Options for Your Intranet

With a collaboration software like Vibe™, you are given a host of possibilities for designing your intranet portal. Choose features and functionalities you like and prefer to create a platform for information, a platform for exchange and communication, a company-internal social network, or a mix of all those that perfectly suits your needs. In very easy ways, you can drag and drop content into landing pages that aggregate and condense information from all over the intranet and display them in an easily readable fashion.

Content that may be used for such a landing page includes (but is of course not limited to):

  • News, announcements, events, newsblogs, project log books
  • Data forms, application forms (time off requests, account requests, sick notes etc.)
  • Surveys
  • Documents (Terms & Conditions, labour agreements, contracts, directives, standard operating procedures, house rules, etc.)
  • FAQs for employees
  • Suggestion schemes
  • Knowledge bases
  • Inventory overviews
  • Timekeeping
  • Tool and resource organisation and management
  • Image albums and collections
  • and many more …

For each item, category and type of content, access control is in effect, so there is full control over who sees what. Additionally, the option to comment on content can be enabled and disabled as needed.

 

We support you in using Micro Focus Vibe as your intranet or enterprise portal, using our long standing project experience in this area of Vibe deployment. According to your needs and requirements, we tailor your Vibe installation to your needs, create customizations and  workshops for end users and administrators.

Optimizing Business Processes to boost Efficiency and Motivation

In many cases, business processes and operating procedures in enterprises, project teams or departments can be unified, improved in quality or simply accelerated, leading to more time- and cost-efficient work in the organization.

An aspect of the optimization of business processes is increasing the processes’ transparency and a better predictability of the following steps in a process. Employees are more motivated when the achievement of partial or final goals becomes visible, when processes are predictable, and when the work load is projectable into the future. With all the standardization needed to unify business processes towards more transparency and manageability, there still needs to be room for flexibility, in order to adapt to changes imposed on the process.

Implementing and Automating Processes in Workflows

In Vibe, workflows always contain of a defined starting state, a strictly defined, well organized process and a defined end state. This enables a standardization of frequently recurring work processes and facilitates time- and cost-efficient working.

Collaborative work is being supported and enabled by the use of workflows in Vibe, since you can coordinate the single steps defined in the workflow, and can – if necessary – assign certain sub-areas of the workflow to different people for working on them. Also, a large amount of loss through process friction – e.g. through too many status meetings – are avoided, since not only task coordination, but also information flow is automated.

Vibe™ allows the deployment of integrated, custom workflow functions as well as simple use of ready-made workflow templates, enabling even workflow novices to efficiently create and use workflows. If necessary, workflows can be edited and improved without having to stop running process instances. The easy-to-use, quick communication paths of Vibe support work processes and efficient team work.

 

What Possibilities Exist for Using Workflows in Your Daily Work?

  • Creation, review and publishing of documents using actions defined in a workflow
  • Coordinating purchases/orders – automatic sending of order and notification messages
  • Supporting HR in the hiring/application process
  • Processes for employee performance appraisal, performance feedback
  • Submit and process requests and applications (time off, spending report, etc. )
  • Fill out forms, submit and process them (sick notes, timekeeping, resource reservations)
  • Customer feedback processes, (self-)evaluations
  • Helpdesk, complaints management, suggestion schemes
  • Generation of a knowledge base (via create/review/publish workflows)
  • Registration and management for seminars and trainings
  • Meeting Minutes with sign-off by participants
  • Soliciting and creation of bids
  • Project management
  • Semi-automated management of access control to give access to content inside Vibe based on process rules
  • and much more …

 

We design and implement Micro Focus Vibe™ for your organization, including the use of workflows to optimize your business processes. We develop workflows and customized workflow action code for your workflow along your requirements and needs.

The more complex processes are, the more benefit you can gain from automating them using workflows in Vibe!

E-Learning-Solutions Complement Classroom Teaching

In universities and colleges, at training and qualification providers – in all sectors of education, the concept of blended learning is more and more gaining a foothold. This concept merges the advantages of classroom teaching with those of e-learning, creating near-optimal learning conditions.

For the implementation of blended learning, one needs a flexible, safe and secure e-learning platform that fulfills the important requirements in the areas of knowledge management, document management, communication, cooperation and collaboration.

A Collaboration Platform as an E-Learning Tool

Vibe™ as a platform inherently exhibits a high flexibility and configurability, and as such provides a standardized but customizable solution for e-learning and blended learning. The following is a subset of features that are provided:

  • Supplying materials and documentation (one- or two-way, i.e. either download only, or including upload option for learners)
  • Knowledge management and file management (collaborative development of content, sharing of content, commenting on information items, file versioning)
  • Information exchange and communication in learning groups over the various channels provided by Vibe, like forums, blogs, email and instant messaging
  • Collaborative editing and compiling of exercises (computer-supported cooperative learning, learning communities, web based collaboration)
  • Customizable processes ready for automation, e.g. for handing in, giving feedback on and grading papers or for collaborative tracking and editing documents (peer review)
  • Centralized teaching and learning syllabi, shared calendars
  • Access control on data for learning communities (optionally: automated granting of access via password or by approval)
  • Limited visibility of content for different groups of participants
  • High level of data security and system security

When implementing an e-learning platform with Vibe, the possibilities range from simply supplying materials in an easy, quick and secure fashion up to a fully fledged virtual classroom, which not only accompanies the classroom teaching, but supplements and enhances it, and provides a modern form of learning to the students – independent from time and place.

 

We design, implement, deploy and support e-learning concepts to your specifications, using Micro Focus Vibe. We offer extended possibilities, customized functionality and workshops for optimizing your experience and maximizing your benefit, accessing our extensive experience, especially in a university context.

Read about our reference customer LMU Munich and the large-scale implementation of Vibe and ShareOnVibe for the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences in the Customer Success Story.

 

We support your Micro Focus Vibe™ installation

You have decided on the use of an online collaboration solution in your enterprise, company, department, or school?

We advise, consult and support you in the process of designing and implementing a solution with well-founded expert knowledge and extensive project experience. We, as an independent service provider and Micro Focus (former Novell) Partner, utilize the collaboration platform Vibe and provide a professional deployment and support for Vibe. In tailored workshops, we determine your requirements, needs and demands against a collaboration platform specifically for your use cases, and provide on-site training for administrators as well as for users.

When deployment and introduction of Vibe at your site has finished, we are ready to provide expert support, anytime. Individually customized support contracts are available. Contact us for an offer!

 

The guys at Code and Concept have really profound knowledge about Novell Vibe, they are very cooperative and it was fun working with them!

(Oliver Diekamp,  Manager Information Systems at LMU Munich)

We work with Code and Concept because they provide us with smart solutions – like ShareOnVibe – to real-world issues, rather than just implementing another piece of software.

(Dr. Werner Degenhardt Academic Director and CIO, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at LMU Munich)

 

Our Services at a Glance

  • Analysis of requirements and needs
  • Installation of Micro Focus Vibe at your site
  • Customization
    • Branding
    • Design
    • Features
    • Individual handling of special use cases
  • Workshops for end users to maximize efficiency through Vibe
  • Workshops for administrators, as enablement for maintenance and support of Micro Focus Vibe on-site
  • Support and consulting
    • Advanced support cases and troubleshooting
    • Security, data protection and privacy
    • Updates
    • Latest features and extensions

You want to try Micro Focus Vibe? – Contact us for a free license for 10 Users!