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On the last morning of info360, Mike Gotta, Sr. Technology Solutions Manager at Cisco, spoke about The Social Graph: People, Information and Communities. Because the rise of social technologies and tools has made us look at the world through the lens of people and the relationship to one another, it doesn’t make content irrelevant. In fact, it creates a challenge for integrating content into the community.

Using what Cisco calls Unified Communications, three elements are brought together: Enterprise content, enterprise social and enterprise collaboration, in an effort to bring together people, information and communities so that conversations can be streamlined effectively. It might seem obvious, but it’s not always obvious how to go about doing so. Gotta provided a few key insights:

Make platforms mobile by default

Don’t think of mobile, they way we used to think about the web -- as a separate platform. People are mobile creatures and have been, even before we used mobile devices. Yet, many companies think of mobile as an afterthought instead of an essential content delivery platform. To correct this, Gotta says to make platforms mobile by default.

Search beyond content

Similar to the way InMagic built its social knowledge networks, Gotta says that search engines within communities should be designed to be interactive. As a result, search results can be refined by relevancy, so that information is in context, not just for your search, but with the people with whom you are connected. By leveraging real-time connections, you can have access to ratings, comments and wisdom from the crowd.

Make it meaningful

Too many choices can paralyze rather than mobilize a community. Don’t make it hard for users to engage. Instead of ten decent tools, give users two or three tools that create value and have demonstrated productivity.

Gotta Collaborate

We had a chance to sit down with Gotta afterwards. We talked about the challenges the companies face when implementing social knowledge networks. Between figuring out the business ROI and the general metrics by which to measure social collaboration, companies are left scratching their heads.

While IT departments may consider their jobs done once social platforms are deployed, Gotta assures that the work has just begun. Adoption is usually the bigger challenge. Successful adoption requires a change in culture and mindset, as well as a supportive environment in which users feel comfortable engaging. Here Gotta speaks about the responsibility that both company leadership and employees share in increasing adoption and improving engagement throughout the enterprise.

Speaking of mindset, we discussed the shift in perspective that going mobile in the enterprise requires. At present, we consider knowledge workers to be the eyes and ears on the ground, but in essence there have always been knowledge workers who worked remotely because their jobs require them to operate outside the traditional confines of the office. The way they think about things has always been in the context of mobile; now it’s time for the rest of us to catch up. As Gotta says, “the device in my hands is my platform.” As a result, companies need to design intuitively for all platforms, rather than just one. Once achieved, the mobile mindset can help reshape the way we work.

Epilogue

Thanks to everyone for engaging with CMSWire during the info360 conference. We have thoroughly enjoyed bringing the conference to life via the video we have provided. We look forward to following the companies we profiled and can’t wait to see how the enterprise will evolve over the next year in time for the next info360.