We have come a long way from corporate wikis. Today, smart enterprises are leveraging advanced social platforms to promote communication and openness.

Much the same as we use Twitter and Facebook to connect with like-minded individuals and share thoughts and ideas in our personal lives, social applications in the enterprise have the power to connect teams with common goals and objectives. Gone are the days of corporate silos. To be competitive in today’s market, companies must encourage collaboration and break down the barriers of enterprise-wide communication.

With a social enterprise, org charts don’t matter and all users have a voice. Rather than sending ideas up the management chain, real-time discussions over chat or messaging encourage teams to interact and share more freely.

The term Enterprise 2.0 refers to the use of interactive social tools combined with Web 2.0 technologies in the enterprise. Rather than relying on structured business data models and processes, Enterprise 2.0 is characterized by unstructured data, user generated content, social engagement and transparency.

Cloud computing provides the framework for Enterprise 2.0 – enabling web collaboration, anytime/anywhere communication, real-time accountability and open APIs for interconnectivity.

User Experience Comes to the DAM Enterprise

There has been a paradigm shift in the last few years in enterprise software. User experience has become as important to the business user as it is to the consumer. Somewhere along the way, we realized that they are the same people.

Previously, IT drove system implementation and design and there was a strong focus on technical requirements, but today, the user matters. Cloud technologies have enabled users to implement solutions based solely on their needs. Without the requirement for servers and IT, users are able to evaluate and select cloud solutions by seeing, touching and experiencing them.

Today, user experience can, and often is, the difference between a good system and a bad one. Whereas, 10 years ago, user experience wasn’t even on IT's requirement list.

Enterprise 2.0 takes user experience to the next level. Not only are these new technologies focused on UI design and usability, they enable the user to contribute content, customize their environment and form their own meaningful connections. The user drives the experience. And since improved user experience means an increase in user adoption, this is a key benefit to Enterprise 2.0.

The Growth of Enterprise 2.0

We are seeing a shift in cloud technologies of all kinds towards social capabilities in the last few years. For instance, Salesforce.com launched Chatter, an enterprise collaboration platform and complement to Salesforce CRM, in 2010.

Two major players in the Enterprise 2.0 space -- Jive and Yammer -- have also seen impressive growth. Jive, collaboration and social software for the enterprise, had an exciting IPO filing in 2011. Yammer, an enterprise social network, is also on an impressive trajectory, boasting a user base that includes 85% of Fortune 500 companies.

And this growth isn’t slowing down. Forrester reports that the Enterprise Social Software market will grow to US$ 6.4 billion by 2016, a compound annual growth rate of 61%. With all this hype, where is Enterprise 2.0 in DAM?

The Social DAM

Digital Asset Management (DAM) is a set of tools and processes to manage, retrieve, share and distribute rich media files. DAM is leveraged across the enterprise, from marketing to creative services, from the web team to the sales team and beyond, often extending to vendors, partners and distributors.

With so many stakeholders playing a role in DAM, there is ample opportunity to build connections and work collaboratively. Yet, many of today’s DAM solutions lack the social and Web 2.0 features needed to encourage engagement and communication. In addition, a lack of integration capabilities has led to the DAM solution in the enterprise being a standalone, siloed system, often resulting in poor adoption.

The opportunity for Enterprise 2.0 in DAM is now! A social DAM connects users who share a role in the digital supply chain -- from creation to consumption -- from design to publishing and distribution. A social DAM bridges these relationships and allows for connections based on similar needs, functions or roles. A social DAM promotes rapid collaboration and shortens the feedback loop resulting in faster production and delivery.

Characteristics of Enterprise 2.0 DAM

  • Cloud-based anywhere/anytime access
  • Real-time notification of changes
  • Commenting and collaboration tools
  • Accountability of users and actions
  • Customized user experiences
  • Dynamic subscriptions and feeds
  • Web APIs for integrating data and systems

Digital Asset Management is no longer just search and archival. A DAM should enable users to work more effectively together, provide a platform for open communication, and engage users within all roles and stages of the digital supply chain. Engagement means user adoption and user adoption is the single most important indicator of the success of an enterprise solution. A social DAM is one that users want to use.

As social networks and other Enterprise 2.0 technologies continue to gain momentum for business, social collaboration will most certainly be a requirement for all DAMs in the future. In an environment with CMS, ECM, MRM, CRM and many other tools competing for user time and attention, social engagement may become the difference between DAM success and disappointment.

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