Social business tools promise to help us to share, explore, discuss and advance ideas in a fun, collaborative way. But it's not always like that.
Often, the social community turns into commodity, as CMSWire Writer Carrie Basham Young pointed out recently.
Maybe that's what Oracle had in mind today as it added Social Station to its social relationship management suite.
In a statement, the company cited a recent IDG Enterprise report that said enterprises that invest in "consumerized, easy-to-use technologies" see a 56 percent increase in employee productivity along with a 46 percent increase in customer satisfaction. Who doesn't want that?
Social Station was presented as a new "workspace" within the Oracle Social Cloud that provides such a personalized and intuitive social business tool.
“Consumers today have high expectations of technology applications’ capabilities and usability, and those expectations don’t stop when they enter their workplaces,” Meg Bear, group vice president for the social cloud unit, said in the statement. "By making it easier than ever to understand, report, and share social insights across the enterprise, we are enabling our customers to move at the speed of social to align and impact business metrics and strategy."
Of course, all social business tools claim to make it easier for far-flung workers to find each other, communicate and collaborate "as the speed of social." That's the point, isn't it? And Oracle's newest is no different. It claims to do this with some expected items along with some more interesting ideas. Let's start with the ones you might expect:
- A better user interface
- Drag-and-drop tools to personalize the user's workspace
- One-click sharing and annotation to share thoughts across silos
- An improved calendar
Some New Twists
But before you say "ho-hum," Oracle added a couple of twists to the announcement that make it a bit more interesting. For example, there's a multiview layout that adds visibility into social insights by allowing users to monitor conversations by network, stream, metric, graph type, date range and time.
Also, to help make the tool more useful in different types of workplaces, the company plans to add new modules for curating content, engaging influencers and creating a command center.
Finally, there's a custom analytics module to mix-and-match 120 metric points with thousands of customizable reporting options. That's intended to help users customize their views of social data in a way that enhances real-time understanding.
Whether any of this will speed the adoption of enterprise social networks is an open question, but it at least looks like an effort to make collaboration look a little more like high-speed rail and a little less like a locomotive stalled on the tracks.
Title Image by Doug Schnurr / Shutterstock.