With the imminent arrival of Social Media Week and speculation on how many will join the ranks of millionaires (or billionaires) in light of Facebook’s IPO, Social has been on a lot of people’s minds.

Our experts brought us back to school this week and offered some practical advice on how to capture the power of social software to create more agile, responsive and collaborative organizations. Some commonly held myths about Drupal were dispelled, we remembered the customer and got some practical, strategic advice on information architecture tools and things to remember when shopping for an Enterprise CMS.

School’s in session!

Back to School: Social Business 101

Social Business 101: Building the Foundation

By Rob Howard (@robhoward): As new forms of social media proliferate and enterprises scramble to keep pace with their customers, social business is a force that cannot be ignored.

This year I expect we’ll see many more stories about how organizations are using social software to evolve how they run their businesses, communicate with customers and uncover incredible value.

As an industry recognized leader and innovator, we’ve seen some great success stories:

  • Projected savings of over US$ 30 million for a large telecommunications company as it changes how it supports its customers.
  • Identification of over US$ 100 million of new sales pipeline that was previously unidentified.

While impressive, these kinds of stories aren’t new. However, they are precisely the type of stories that get the c-suite even more excited about social business in 2012.

5 Signs Your Company Doesn’t Get Social Business

Oscar Berg (@oscarberg): Ask ten people what Social Business means to them, and you will come back with ten different answers. But if you look closer, you will soon find the common denominator: it’s about putting people back in business.

It is about getting the right work done in a better way by connecting people, helping them have valuable exchanges and build and maintain fruitful relationships. By bringing coworkers closer together to each other as well as to partners, customers and other stakeholders, your company can become [almost] as responsive, agile and innovative as it was when it consisted of only a handful of people.

Collaboration in 2012: Predictions 5 & 6

David Coleman (@dcoleman100): Following up on my last two posts, here are predictions five and six for what 2012 holds for collaboration in the enterprise:

#5. Reinventing the Collaborative Supply Chain
Supply chain is one of the most siloed processes in the enterprise. It is one of the 6 critical processes I have talked about in the past that has “collaborative leverage"

#6. Bring Your Own Device: The Changing Nature of Video Conferencing
It was not so long ago that we were looking at high-end video conferencing (called Teleconferencing) technologies that cost US$ 250K per room (and you need at least two rooms). But over the last 3 years video conferencing has started to change.

The Digital Workplace: How Sociable is Your Intranet?

Martin White (@intranetfocus): The language we use defines our national identity and culture. In the UK most of the people living in Wales can speak English but under the 1993 Welsh Language Act all public-sector websites that contain information relevant to Wales have to be in English and Welsh. Certainly English is a very useful default language, and it is fairly easy to work with around 850 words. The other 1 million are just there to confuse everyone, including many native speakers.

Getting Down to Brass Tacks

The Art of SharePoint Success: Strategy – The Costs & Benefits of SharePoint Strategy

Symon Garfield (@symon_garfield): In our last gripping installment we began to consider the business case for SharePoint and I introduced the ideas of the Left Brained and Right Brained business case. In this episode we’re taking the excitement to unprecedented heights as we analyze the costs of SharePoint.

SharePoint Information Architecture: Tools of the Trade

Steven Pogrebivsky (@metavistech): A fair amount of work goes into the role of a SharePoint Information Architect. And every architect should have his tools, right? What does Microsoft provide out of the box, to design, deploy and manage an information architecture in SharePoint? Let’s have a look.

Enter the SharePoint IA

No matter how you get started, an IA from scratch or a modification of something already existing, the role of the Information Architect is a challenging one. And that means you need a knowledgeable SharePoint IA helping you out. Yes, you still need your Business Architect who understands how the business needs to work, but you also need that SharePoint knowledge to help you figure out how to make it fit.

How Adaptive Case Management Speeds Automotive Leasing & Financing

Deb Miller (@debsg360): If everything seems to be in control, you're not going fast enough.”
-- Mario Andretti, champion racing car driver

In the world of automotive racing, speed is paramount. When it comes to automotive financing, speed is equally important. However, it is not enough to just move faster. The race to engage and capture new business requires agility, coordination, and control. In this article, I continue my writings on adaptive case management  by focusing on how it is being successfully applied in automotive and equipment financing.

Remember the Customer

Adobe’s Kevin Cochrane Talks ReOrg, Customer Experience in 2012

Barb Mosher (@barbmosher): In November of last year, Adobe did a pretty serious restructure,  making the decision to focus on Digital Marketing and Digital Media. More than a few people might have wondered what exactly was going on. But when you take the time to consider what Adobe did, you realize they were following their own advice: focus on the customer.

Mobile Content Strategy: Is Less Always More?

Martin Rapavy (@bee_cms): The most prominent advice about mobile content is to be concise. The content for web should be short, but the mobile content should be even shorter. While this is certainly true, some take this "shortening" to another level.

Being concise doesn't mean that the content shouldn't make sense and actually become useless.

Shopping for a CMS?

Myths & Realities of Drupal

Felipe Rubim: In the decade since its quiet emergence onto the scene, Drupal has become an industry standard in the web content management and web publishing field, one with an almost cult-like following among developers.

With its sophisticated, easy-to-use Drupal Core system and thousands of modules for additional customization, Drupal has something to offer everyone, whether you’re a high-performance development team or a small business owner who doesn’t know the first thing about Web Content Management Systems (Web CMS).

The rise of Drupal has led companies of all sizes to consider it for their content management needs, and for good reason. Its open source nature makes it incredibly cost-effective, while its options for customization are unmatched for flexibility.

But there’s a catch.

Choosing an Enterprise CMS: Ovum Names EMC, IBM, OpenText Market Leaders

Virginia Backaitis: Choosing an Enterprise Content Management platform is no easy task for today’s CIO, according to Mike Davis, senior analyst at Ovum and author of the company’s report “Decision Matrix: Selecting a Content Management Platform Vendor."

Davis believes one of the principal difficulties is caused by commoditization in the Enterprise content management marketplace. More simply stated, the primary vendors in the space now provide all (or nearly all) of the basic capabilities that enterprises with 1000-plus employees list as “must-haves” in their RFPs. These typically include: a platform approach, document management and records management (DRM/EDRM), web content management (WCM), digital asset management (DAM), transactional content management (TCM), archiving, capture and scanning, and output management.

That being said, Ovum says that it is still possible to differentiate between the top vendors.

Choosing an Enterprise CMS: Ovum Names Market Challengers, Followers

Virginia Backaitis: My previous post discussed the three ECM vendors (EMC, IBM and OpenText) that Ovum named as Market Leaders in its report: “Decision Matrix: Selecting a Content Management Application Vendor.” With this article, we'll take a look at the vendors named Market Challengers and Followers.

As always, thanks for checking in with our feature authors and come back next week for more valuable insights from seasoned practitioners.