While the end of February, and with it, CMSWire’s focus on Social Business is drawing to a close, our experts are still going strong sharing their insights into a concept you can’t afford to ignore (if you still are). From the sounds of this past week’s Tweet Jam, there are as many thoughts about what makes a business a social business as there are practitioners, but the consensus is that it's time to stop treating this as a separate entity, and just look at it as the new way we work.

Another phenomena that can't be ignored? Big Data. And don't worry SharePoint, we didn't forget you.

It's Not too Late to Get Started

Getting Started with Social Business: Building the Culture

Hyoun Park @hyounpark_AG: In my previous article, we discussed the five key drivers for adopting Social Business. With this follow up, we will what companies have done who have been most successful in creating an optimal culture for Social Business deployments. By understanding the processes, skillsets and organizational structures associated with business value, we will see how companies have prepared themselves for collaborative success.
To recap, the five key drivers for adopting Social Business are:

  • Effective partner/supplier collaboration
  • Need to increase innovation
  • Identifying new market opportunities
  • Increasing employee cohesiveness on a global/enterprise-wide scale
  • Fear of losing proprietary and institutional knowledge

Each of these profiles had different strategies and focus areas for their social deployments.

What Matters in Social Business

Peter Kim @peterkim: There's no doubt that social business has arrived. In three short years, we've adopted this umbrella concept to encompass function-specific concepts like word of mouth marketing, consumer advocacy and Enterprise 2.0. But what exactly is social business?

As a definition, a social business harnesses fundamental tendencies in human behavior via emerging technology to improve strategic and tactical outcomes. There's a lot more to unpack in support of that statement — so let's talk about what matters in social business.

Knowledge Management & Social Business: The New World of Work

Kevin Conroy @seattlerooster: “The reports of my death are an exaggeration,” the great Mark Twain famously remarked in 1897 upon hearing accounts of his own passing.

I’ve been fascinated by recent posts here on CMSWire assessing the health (or lack thereof) of “knowledge management” and debating whether it is dead, dying or will morph entirely with what most people in the CMSWire community have come to label and know as “social business.”

As some have noted, one of the underlying challenges associated with even having this discussion is that definitions around the terms “knowledge management” and “social business” are broad, fluid and in regular flux. That being said, the ongoing debate has been interesting to read and I wanted to throw my hat in the ring, based on some direct perspectives from the front lines:

Using Social to Drive Business in 6 Easy Steps

Jacques Pavlenyi @mediamutt: As technologists and engineers we love shiny new objects. I'll be the first to admit it's fun to dive right under the covers and see how all the moving parts look and fit together. But it's easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. This is business, not consumer technology; focusing on the technology too often means losing sight of business outcomes.

So it's always a good idea to regularly return to basics. And what's more basic than a return to business fundamentals. An analysis of where CMS and social fit into your organization doesn't have to be a huge, multi-year, strategic project (although it can be). It can be as simple as a departmental “skunkworks” project.

Key Steps to Becoming a Social Business

Kimberly McCabe @kimberlymccabe: Social networking found its way to being adopted by the masses because it’s powered by them. You don’t need to have an audience, or be famous, or have a well-known brand at the start — but you can start to build a social network by finding people that have similar ideas or interests. But before you crash the social scene, you need to be aware of your environment.

The Anti-Social Side of Business Email

Daniel O’Leary @danieloleary: If you are serious about social business and reducing the technostress on your staff and customers, do yourself a favor and make a commitment to go on an email diet in 2012.

Need a great reason why? How about this:

33,024. UNREAD. EMAILS. My jaw hit the floor in disbelief as the number sunk in. How does one amass that many emails? Sign up for every newsletter on the planet? Play 700 simultaneous games of Words With Friends?

As some of you may already suspect, a huge majority of these were emails on which I had been Cc'd and Bcc’d because someone, somewhere, thought it was important. Then pops up YET. ANOTHER. EMAIL.

And It's Not too Early to Start Making Plans

What You Need to Know About Big Data Hype

Cheryl McKinnon @cherylmckinnon: The backlash against the buzzword of the year — big data — to some extent has begun. As Forrester's James Kobielus so eloquently put it, “Some shiny new thing gets built up until it’s too big for its britches and then we delight in shooting it down.” Practitioners who live and breathe content and information management technology on a daily basis can become tired of the hype behind new labels and acronyms as they get more and more attention from technology marketers and pundits.

But mild annoyance with an overused label does not negate reality. “Big Data” is something very different for most information professionals. Starting the learning curve now — rather than when a crisis or new initiative pops up out of nowhere — is what practitioners in the IT, compliance and business process automation arenas need to do.

Don't Forget the Customer

Customer Experience Management: The Key to Web Strategy in 2012

Rob McCarthy @RobMMcCarthy: In the age of social and mobile customers, all paths lead back to your website.

I recently took part in CMSWire’s tweet jam about the current trends in Customer Experience Management or CXM as the industry have now labelled it. The debate centered around several key points:

  • How online versus offline customer experience is blurring.
  • How do customers interact with services (e.g. booking collections, making payments etc).
  • How can businesses understand these interactions and improve online customer experience.

When looking at service delivery online, there are several actions that a business can take to understand and improve the customer experience. The goal of many service heads is simple: “get the citizens to interact online, it's cheaper for us!”

Mobile Apps, Web CMS: On a Collision Course or Major Synergy Value?

Martijn van Berkum @njitram: For companies with robust Web CMSs, the move to a mobile app brings up many challenges to create consistent and seamless customer experiences.

For the last ten years, the predominant online channel and platform for online communication was the Web. And with it, the technology to manage this: Web CMSs. Every piece of content, be it text, images, video or audio, is stored and labeled with metadata. Mature Web CMSs serve millions of pages every day to millions of visitors of the website. Large editor groups work in real-time on one or more websites, powered from large Web CMSs. Knowledge of how to work with your website and engage with your customers is stronger than ever in most business-to-consumer organizations.

The last few years, mobile is hot. It's so hot, people begin to call this the "Post PC era." The number of smartphones and tablets are exploding worldwide as marketers scramble to use mobile to engage with their customers. They push out apps as fast as possible, make mobile sites, look for a push strategy, work the Android and iPhone app stores to get in the top 10 best sold apps, etc.

Keeping Up With SharePoint

SharePoint Applications: Process Redesign & Capabilities Mapping

Joe Shepley @joeshepley: For those of you keeping score at home, I’m in the middle of a series on how to build and deploy successful SharePoint document management applications, with the goal of migrating end-users off of the most prevalent legacy document management system out there: that unholy trinity of shared drives, hard drives and email.

Last post, I began walking through a process that, while by no means a silver bullet, in my experience will give you a better chance of success than the typical approaches, e.g. if you build it, they will come.

  1. Process mapping
  2. Process triage
  3. Process redesign
  4. Capabilities mapping
  5. System design and testing
  6. Migration planning
  7. Communication and training
  8. Go live

We covered the first two steps there, and that’s the place to start if you haven’t already done so. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into the next two: process redesign and capabilities mapping.

The Art of SharePoint Success: Strategy – Benefits of SharePoint

Symon Garfield @symon_garfield: In our last two installments we have been exploring the business case for SharePoint. We’ve introduced the idea of the left-brained business case and the right-brained business case, and we’ve looked at the costs of SharePoint. In this episode we are bringing the business case discussion to a climax with the difficult bit: the benefits of SharePoint.

This is article number 12 in the series exploring my four point framework for ensuring long term, measurable success with SharePoint. There are four element to the framework:

  1. Governance
  2. Strategy
  3. Architecture
  4. Transition

Clearly articulating and quantifying the benefits of SharePoint is where many people struggle. It’s difficult because as a platform SharePoint has so many potential uses and applications. The secret to success is to break the problem down into smaller and more manageable chunks. Firstly examine the technology benefits and secondly estimate the business related benefits.

Thanks again for reviewing the week with me. Next week promises more practical advice on how to make your enterprise more social, as well as an inside look into how last week's Social Media Week shook up the business world in New York City.