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  • ZyncroBlog 10:02 am on January 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: business, , ,   

    Zyncro is already a leader in Japan 

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    We started out in Japan only about 9 months ago. Alongside the whole team’s excitement about our new venture in the country, there were great expectations about our new internationalization process.

    At that time, journalists, bloggers and many others gave us their support and positive feedback about their first experiences with Zyncro. All this in Japan, where there was an added challenge: having to live up to the standards of their own technology developments!!!

    Now we can happily say that Zyncro Japan is making good process and the number of companies that trust our technology is on the increase.

    Today we’re also delighted to tell you that the magazine Nikkei Computer has mentioned us among the top Enterprise Social Network solutions. The magazine, which has been around for more than 30 years, is available throughout the country and is one of the points of reference in the IT sector.

    To see the article, you need to be subscribed, however Ocean Bridge has made a summary of it in its blog, in Japanese, of course 😉

    More specifically, Nikkei Computer dedicated January’s issue to the leading solutions for improving internal communication and knowledge management, optimizing and reducing email use and reducing the costs spent on this area. It talks about the main features of Zyncro and how in Japan, like most countries, SMEs and large organizations are looking to improve on this front. This trend is confirmed by various studies and surveys, including a recent one from Prescient Digital Media, which we include here in case you want to check it out!!!

     

    Meanwhile, we continue to take leaps forward in Japan, in Mexico, in France and as we always say, in the world!!!

     

    2012 will be filled with news of new markets, which we will let you know as they go live!!!!

     

     
  • Marta Zaragoza 9:30 am on January 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: business, ,   

    Enterprising initiatives: A good resolution for 2012 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Editor’s note: At Zyncro, we wanted to mention the concept of entrepreneurship in our ZyncroBlog because, as you already know, we’re an enterprising, young and dynamic company… that is motivated by “enterprising initiatives” and by a desire to learn and grow day by day. We also want to take this opportunity to share with you the article “5 Spanish start-ups to look out for in 2012”, which mentions us as one of the 5 most promising Spanish start-ups for 2012. Thanks to everyone for making this possible!

    Coinciding with my first post on this space, I’d like to propose a good resolution for this upcoming year. Before that, a few words about me for those that don’t already know me: as an economist and entrepreneur, my career is linked with company startup and consolidation processes, especially within the area of business strategies and assessment, and improving professional and entrepreneurial skills. So obviously, my resolution is linked with this experience!!

    My “positive resolution” is for enterprising initiative, and although for many it is synonym of “setting up a company”, I can assure you that it is a much wider, constructive and interesting notion. It can represent any initiative that you want to develop within any given field, without its size, resource or scope of action being directly proportional to the value provided.

    With this positive resolution, what’s more, I hope to contribute by providing you with renewed ideas, given the infinity of attempts that we make during this period, year after year, to stop smoking, to go to the gym or to improve our language skills, among others.

    Endeavor and change

    I say “positive resolution”, because apart from the benefits that we undoubtedly will achieve on a individual level, enterprising initiative is also a way—if not the only way—to overcome this widespread recession (economic, political, cultural, etc.) in which we as a society find ourselves. I hope that you’ll agree with me that entrepreneurship is also a great way to enable the change involved in any situation of this nature, to face the future with renewed optimism and energy.

    In a wider sense, having enterprising initiative becomes a need both for society and companies as a whole and for our own life projects (personal, professional and business). Why?

    Firstly, because it enables us to renew old structures, models, beliefs, etc. something which is extremely necessary in order to undertake any change process with a clear vision of the future. We’d be very shortsighted if we thought that change comes from the institutions and those that own or sit on the board of directors of the company.

    We need everyone, regardless of the role or function they perform, to take responsibility for their part and take the initiative in diverse areas as part of the shared project (concept widely used by Koldo Saratxaga), be it from within the organizations, society as a whole or within our own personal environment.

    Secondly, the entrepreneurial process involves a path of constant learning for the person involved, which requires going through several phases:

    1. Generating ideas
    2. Analyzing them
    3. Putting them into action
    4. Consolidating them
    5. Growing with new creative and innovative challenges.

    Finally, in all these phases, we need to invest time to investigate, experiment, learn, train our skills, abilities and attitudes, etc.

    So it can be both a motivating and exciting path!

    Just like Snakes and Ladders , we each have our own dice to roll in the way we believe right. From one or more initiatives, we move around the board, searching for our mission and vision, bound by our own values.

    At first sight, the game appears to be easy, but we mustn’t forget that if we don’t spend enough time on each of their stages and activities, we may have to go back several squares or simply start again. Although, it could be worse: we could remain as prisoners in our “reality” that gives us our desired stability; in other words, we won’t developing our ability to take the initiative, find our independence, creativity and innovation, among other skills.

    I’ll finish up this post with two wishes:

    The first, that we see our passing through this world as a process of constant learning, becoming entrepreneurs who carry out all the initiatives that enable us to develop better and new skills.

    The second, to have the opportunity to participate in this space in order to develop some ideas that I’ve only hinted at here.

    Happy journey, enterpreneur!!!

     

     

     
  • Nuno Bernardes 10:55 am on November 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: business, , , ,   

    Physical Zyncrocize 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    The Ailment

    It is often said that “when the US sneezes, Europe gets a cold”. Given the current state of things, the saying rings truer than ever. The sneezing from the US NINJA crisis has developed into a full-blown cold in Europe and in many cases, the diagnostic already points to the flu or a nasty pneumonia.

    Yet in this age of globalization, the risk of catching something from the rest is high and this sickness is no longer exclusive to European companies. This flu is already an epidemic and there are many sick companies around the world!

    The Diagnosis

    After many scans and blood tests (company audits), the diagnosis is clear: the crisis and poor organizational habits through the years have confined many companies to their beds. The speech given by the (business) healthcare experts is invariably the same: take an antibiotic for the crisis, but above all, you need to change your work habits.

    I’m not going to tell you what medicine we need take to cure this crisis (I mean, flu), because I’m not a physician. But what I would like to highlight are the healthy habits that companies need to adopt to make their life expectancy higher than the average (or at least, the average).

    The Prevention

    Organizations need to improve productivity to be bigger, stronger and more resistant (to hold out against future “colds”). The world has changed. In his book Knowledge Worker Productivity, Peter F. Drucker gave some tips on the path to follow faced with this new reality , highlighting that the basic resource of today’s society is knowledge and that:

    “knowledge management is an organizational strategy designed to leverage employee knowledge and experience to increase business productivity.”

    This challenge to changeg habits in order to increase productivity will not be possible without focusing on people and their relationships, where collaboration is the key. In short, companies need “physical exercise”, or in other words, to collaborate regularly to improve their immune system.

    At Zyncro, we’re not physicians or pharmacists, but we’ve developed a tool that companies can use to put this healthy habit of collaborating into practice and hence, become more productive.

    Some of our customers see Zyncro as their “sneakers” for running, others as a “racket” for playing squash or a “bicycle” for pedalling… Zyncro doesn’t impose a particular way of use (the tool is flexible), but we do know that companies that use it regularly to work out (collaborate) and this enables them to becomes stronger, to be prepared for any sickness (crisis) that may come and finally, win competitions.

    Crises are opportunities for taking a step back and reevaluating our progress, making changes. Many organizations know they need to improve productivity, but the question is how. Well, the answer is simple: by working out (collaborating) every day. Zyncro provides them with the tool, but it takes the organization to make that step towards change. What about you? Have you signed up for physical zyncrocize?

    Note: Physical zyncrosize is recommended by the best physicians around the world.

     

     
  • Ignasi Alcalde 10:54 am on November 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: business, , , , ,   

    Sharing, collaborating and participating 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    The social networks have evolved from their initial use as a personal communication tool to become a major global phenomenon, transforming them into a important communication channel that has been firmly adopted in the business world with tools like Zyncro.

    If used properly, this new social relationship between companies and their employees and customers presents major benefits for organizations, such as helping to improve communication and customer service, or increasing productivity and encouraging self-directed learning among employees.

    Yet I think one of the best returns from implementing a tool like Zyncro in an organization is being able to map the knowledge generated internally each day and encourage all members of the team to participate in the business directions.

     

    The most innovative companies see participation
    as a vital pillar in the way they are and act.

    Nonetheless, the “how” question still remains ever-present: How can we create processes that respect our customers and/or employees contributions and that recognize the diversity of roles among customers, partners, suppliers and employees? How can we balance their diverse know-how? If we add the context 2.0 to the equation, with technology providing us with an arsenal of collaborative tools, the scenario becomes even more complex. “Designing participation” is a fascinating challenge that is gaining in importance in numerous business sectors.

    The social web has unveiled new opportunities and new challenges. As users, we’ve matured. We know that participation can offer us a wide spectrum of options: from simple feedback on an article or proposal to co-designing and co-producing new content and knowledge.

    Bob Ketner, head of Tech Virtual highlights three different methods of participation:

    • Casual participation: Contributors participate spordiacally by making comments and contributing ideas.
    • Tutorized participation: Contributors with interests, experts in key topics or members of the community whose collaboration becomes more sophisticated and sustained over time.
    • Network of experts: Opinions from a networks of experts on real projects and contents

    Looking at tutorized participation, for example, it involves professionals with new competences like a design mindset or skills in managing the cognitive load i.e. the ability to discriminate and filter information by order of importance and to understand how to optimize the cognitive function using a variety of tools and techniques. We could dub them the “curators and designers” of creative production.

    Dolors Reig in her post 9 new professions for the connected individual (in Spanish) puts forward two professional roles that she believes to be essential in a participative, co-creative business environment: the collective intelligence organizer, rather similar to the social communicologist but focused on getting knowledge products that are useful for the organization; and the participation expert who is responsible for showing the training and leadership possibilities in general and who encourages employees to exploit collective creativity and intelligence potential.

     

     
  • Albert Sampietro 10:09 am on October 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: business, , , , , , projects,   

    What major companies can learn from the SMEs 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    A few weeks ago I decided to leave my position as Chief of Technology and Operations at Zyncro and join the 15th largest company worldwide in order to help implement its “digital strategy”.  Although it was a tough but exciting decision to make (given the many days and nights I have lived through with Zyncro and its great people), I leave satisfied with the work I have carried out. I’m sure that the new CTO, Susana Duran (with whom I have worked for the last 10 years) is the best guarantee for the continuity and growth of the company.

    Not a single day has gone by in the last 3 years at Grupo Inspirit (Spamina, Zyncro…) when I have not learned something new and now the time has come to put it to use within a multinational company where keeping freshness to ideas and the pace will be a whole new challenge.

    I don’t think Im wrong in saying that major corporations (and I have worked in one for 8 years) have a lot to learn from SMEs and startups.

    The way that large projects are handled is probably one of their weak points and where the small company has a lot more to offer and teach. On the whole, big strategies that involve hundreds of people from diverse departments and various external providers end up in chaos due to communication failure, a lack of involvement from key people and an excess in the documentation generated.

    … and it is at this point that Zyncro proves a winner. Imagine a major project within a multinational with its own web page, with a people directory of all of the people involved (50 or 100 or 200 or…), with its suppliers, with all of the information in a well-organized manner, accessible and with a “comments wall” that keeps us informed of all updates that arise when it comes to meetings, documentation, etc.  Imagine all of this and what’s more, the possibility of setting it up in less that a day, and paying for one service – giving savings on hardware, data centers, licenses and systems administration.

    If we consider the level of security, there is probably more protection and control in a cloud infrastructure than in a corporate data center where access to your information is no longer in the hands of your programmers and administrators. All you need is to leave behind your old prejudices and your great new project will begin to take off.

     

     
  • Patricia Fernandez Carrelo 10:05 am on September 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: business, , , ,   

    Being 2.0… without yet knowing its definition 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    A few months ago, I was having coffee with some good friends who asked, “Pat, but what exactly… what is all of this’2.0′ business about?  We’ve heard it mentioned all over the place, even on ‘This Morning’ but we’re still not entirely sure what it’s all about!”

    The girls, all very intelligent and with university degrees… were already 2.0 but just did not know it yet.

    It was actually a lot more difficult to articulate a non technical answer than it was for them to understand the actual concept but I think we got there in the end.

    The explanation included three basic concepts: one more on the sociological side of things, the notion of sharing, and the other two, technical: internet and social networks, with Facebook and Tuenti as paradigms (because although this group of friends are almost in their thirties, like myself, they live in the Basque Country where Tuenti is still predominant even in this age range).

    When I had conveyed the idea that the basic concept of “2.0″ is that of sharing, the possibility of generating content (without the need to be a company or somebody in the public eye) as well as being able to publish it, the explanation began to take shape for them.

    The fact that we refer to it as “2.0″ is because a second generation is involved.  Second generation in terms of internet in which content is no longer just created, published and spread by a few people or those who have chosen it as a profession, but by anybody who wishes to create and share.  Of course it runs the risk of being affected by “noise” but this new publication model offers the enrichment of information, points of view and opportunities.

    2.0 has required the generation of a series of technological solutions that have made it possible for all of the cybernauts to be able to generate, publish, share, collaborate and even co-create content.  These solutions are mainly blogs (like this one), wikis (with the Wikipedia as the main representative) or social networks.

    Alongside these solutions there are also concepts such as web development based on user experience, design minimalism (Google model), use of specific IT techniques (CSS, XHTML, AJAX, SaaS… which obviously, I did not go into detail about when I explained in layman’s terms basically: “and now you can have all of that content on the Internet without the need for saving anything locally” (the cloud could not go without a mention ;-)).

    But the strangest thing about the conversation was that the girls already had knowledge about and were practicing the 2.0 style without actually knowing that it was 2.0.  The first installment of Generation Y within this group of friends…

    • Dinners are no longer organised via e-mail or SMS, but via events on Facebook
    • Group event (birthdays, parties, outings…), photos are classified into 2 groups: Facebook photo / not Facebook
    • Holidays are planned by reading blogs
    • Information is looked up in Wikipedia when unknown
    • Current informative news or topics surrounding specific people within the public eye can be read on the Twitter timeline
    • Products or services liked by one person can be useful for others by means of sharing recommendations on Facebook pages
    • E-mail is no longer used between friends or colleagues, when you write to somebody, you do so via the Facebook wall or messages
    • For job hunting you should have a good LinkedIn profile by having a good number of contacts and belong to lots of groups
    • YouTube is logged on to at least once a month for the viewing of videos and sharing of them if liked
    • You need to have a Gmail account (a bit more professional) though on a personal level, Hotmail is still used for newsletters and other promotions

    I could go on making this an endless list…  but I would rather not prolong this post preferring to end with a reflection.  And it is that this new generation that is 2.0, but that does not need know that it is just that, has it all built in already that has available to it a new way of relating to others, of interacting and even working in a completely different way to precedent generations.   It is due to this that having 2.0 tools within organisations is the best way of cultivating loyalty amongst the members of this generation, of motivating them and in addition, maximising potential resulting beneficial to both company and employee.

    Try incorporating this new trend within your organisation and see its positive results.  Your employees are awaiting this.


     
  • Patricia Fernandez Carrelo 9:15 am on August 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: business,   

    Business Crowdsourcing 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Crowdsourcing, is the act of outsourcing tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community (a “crowd”), through an open call.

    Definition of the term crowdsourcing from Wikipedia

    Crowdsourcing within a business does not relate so much to the outsourcing of a task but to the carrying out of it by a large group of people (“crowd”).

    As described in article about “How to use crowdsourcing techniques in your virtual team”, there are four types of crowdsourcing:

    1. Crowd wisdom: many individuals contribute possible answers to specific questions.
    2. Crowd innovation: when many individuals participate to resolve a problem.
    3. Crowd creation: many individuals producing something together with each participant frequently contributing a piece towards the bigger picture in line with their skills and abilities.
    4. Crowd voting: “floating” ideas that are review and voted upon by the community.

    Contributions by many individuals can lead to confusion or an excess of information though by channeling and organising them well, crowdsourcing in its different forms can be a practice that leads to a very enriching final result.

    When applied to the business world and with productivity improvement in mind, Matt H. Evans supports the idea in his article “The Power of Crowdsourcing” that this way of doing things “Crowdsourcing taps into the global world of ideas, helping companies work through a rapid design process.”

    In this way, if we combine the richness generated by the multiple contributions and the speed of the design due to the liveliness brought out by the involvement of many individuals, we find ourselves with an excellent technique to apply to our business in areas such as:

    • innovation management
    • product development
    • process improvement
    • optimization of sales and marketing/communications flow
    • corporate strategy testing
    • or even talent management

    The mass that is the  “crowd” in a company could be its employees, its providers, its partners, its clients and even its social network followers.  With the right tool such as Zyncro and with an integrated IdeaScale (management and voting system system), we can move business crowdsourcing initiatives forward as well as achieving Getting Things Done whilst involving people and making use of the potential of the entire organisation.

    Get Zyncronized and use crowdsourcing. Your company will thank you for it


     
  • Didac Lee 10:30 am on July 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: business, ,   

    Comfort (or whatever is implied by leaving the “comfort zone” and facing new challenges) 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    When talking about the culture of effort, I wouldn’t know whether to define myself as great worker or a great lazybones.  When you work on something you like, perhaps its not that commendable to spend so many hours of your life on it. There’s a natural tendency to do what we know well because it provides us with a sense of security in our day to day.  We could even disguise this sense of wellbeing by thinking we add value because we focus in on what we are good at.

    In fact, doing what we always do means were not learning.  We only grow and improve by taking part in activities we find uncomfortable and challenging, when we take the bull by its horns or when we overcome a phobia that was standing in our way.  This applies not only to personal growth but also to our professional development.  Staying within our comfort zone limits us, while venturing into unknown territory allows us to learn, progess and leads us away from mediocrity.

    There are times when leaving our comfort zone requires effort (like learning a new language).  But there are more complicated situations in which we need to directly confront our fears (of the unknown,  isolation, ridicule or not meeting people’s expectations).

    In my case, I could provide many examples of how I have left my comfort zone to face uncomfortable situations throughout my life as an entrepreneur.  I feel comfortable working in a new startup and developing innovative technological products. It is not that complicated for me.

    On the other hand, talking in public or handing the finances of my company frightened the life out of me, so I would always get out of doing these tasks with or without making excuses.  Doing what is outside our comfort zone can often cause us a lot of anxiety and so it goes without saying that the tendency leans towards avoiding these stressful or uncomfortable situations.

    There is a myth that leaving the comfort zone means working longer hours.  Its not about working more, but about facing new challenges and doing what we find requires a special effort.  It’s like when a sportsperson makes progress when faced with those that are better than them, we grow when we give the best of ourselves and fight against our flaws.

    An entrepreneur should almost always live outside their comfort zone, as they must face daily issues in different aspects of their lives.  This also has a lot to do with courage, being spontaneous and tackling things head on.

    As my friend Sampi says, do something challenging everyday (it should be something new), something extraordinary every week (it should stretch you to the limit) and something memorable every month (that can be sustained over time).

    Column published in Spanish in El Periódico on 19th July 2011

     

     
  • Patricia Fernandez Carrelo 10:23 am on July 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: business, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    How to manage happy news stories with Zyncro 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Just recently, I was fortunate to meet Grupo Intercom and its internal communications manager.

    One of the things that most stood out as soon as I walked in was the amount of awards on display at reception in recognition of ranking placement (first, second, third, …) for the 50 best companies to work in in Spain – in the 250 to 500 employee category – according to the most recent study carried out by the Great Place to Work institute.

    Upon seeing those achievements, my first thought was that Zyncro could also get many companies to achieve better working environments.

    Just yesterday at Zyncro Tech and thanks to our own corporate Zyncro, we were able to share a happy news story that made it possible for distances to cease to exist between employees, communication flowed amoungst ourselves (beginning with the personal items, we make way for improving the professional side of things) and our screens were transformed into a more motivating environment to work in.

    I will leave you with the conversation we had amoungst ourselves (in Spanish).  We consider it a little communication treasure in which… we congratulate our colleague Alejandro Scott for becoming a dad to a lovely daughter! :-)

    Congratulations again Ale on the birth of your baby girl! :-)


     
  • Didac Lee 10:26 am on June 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: business, , ,   

    The journey across the desert 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    When reflecting upon success and failure factors of innovative startups, I noticed that there is a common denominator in which they all have been successful: their ability to survive their journey across the desert, a process that begins with the launch and ends once the right commercial channel has been found. I think it’s a mistake to think that a turning a good idea into a tangible product will suffice.  It is just the first step.  What guarantees success is mass commercialization and this is complicated to attain. If our proposal is innovative, it means no previous point of reference exists.  The main problem is that we face running a marathon not knowing when it will end.  We know we must double our efforts, but as Indiana Jones would say, X does not mark the spot where the treasure lies.

     

    The entrepreneur and their team begin to search for the path to the market with high hopes and limited resources, but the market is a heartless judge who doesn’t care if you fulfill your dreams.  Probably it won’t work out the first time… Dyson needed 15 years and 5127 prototypes before inventing the bagless hoover.

    Following so many failed attempts, the mind is disheartened and looks to give up, while the heart pushes on with hope, trying to fulfill the dream. When I look back, you cannot imagine the number of times I have asked myself why I didn’t throw in the towel and take up crab-farming instead of launching unusual projects.

    I have found myself on journeys on which I asked myself if somebody in their sane mind would continue.  I think this ties in with who you are and is inevitable. I cheer myself on thinking it doesn’t matter how often I may fail, because just one success would be enough. Surrounding myself with people in an exciting and innovative environment that promotes creativity and provides a source of critical opinion are the main factors that helps keep that hope alive.

    In order to accomplish this journey, in addition to having a pair as the Nike advert says, the entrepreneur needs to the ability to maintain the team’s enthusiasm and that of the atmosphere, especially following a failed attempt, as there will be many more obsessive single-subject weekends during which the entrepreneur will repeat to themselves, why doesn’t the market accept my offer?

    My last journey has lasted 3 years and after various failed launch attempts, Zyncro now has 100,000 users and has opened offices in Japan and Brazil, and we have won the BDigital award.  Thank you all for making this possible!

    Article published in El Periodico on June 21, 2011

     

     
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