If there's one thing we learned this week between info360 and the acquisition of Yammer by Microsoft, it's that the question is no longer if you should adopt social business strategies within your enterprise, but how.
While you're busy figuring out the ROI on social software and questioning if it will turn into a breeding ground for idle chatter, your employees are already finding and using the tools they need to get the work done.
We heard how socializing activity streams can help bring unity to a scattered digital workplace, how HR can use these tools to expedite and streamline all elements of human capital management and how all of these tools combined just spell out good business.
If I had a Yammer ...
Maria Ogneva (@themaria): Before we can speak about what’s working in social business, we need to understand what a social business is. While there are quite a few definitions out there, to me social business is just a natural evolution of business. Peter Drucker said that “the purpose of a business is to create a customer,” and this hasn’t changed.
Oscar Berg (@oscarberg): "Rather than following a process, I follow a cloud of activities.”
That’s how a colleague of mine, a software developer, described the nature of his work. To me this also captures the nature of how knowledge work is evolving: it is becoming more fluid and unpredictable, with little structure and repeatability. Add to this that knowledge work is becoming increasingly interdependent; completing a task often requires many interactions with information entities from different sources as well as with people from different locations, organizations and time zones.
Hyoun Park (@hyounpark): Is the point of becoming a Social Business really just about supporting Millennials and breaking down silos or is there more to it than that?
When social media and social networking initially entered the workplace, managers wondered how to effectively integrate these technologies into their standard work processes. Even as companies successfully used blogs, wikis and activity streams to accelerate information sharing, they struggled to effectively use these semi-structured and unstructured communications within applications that typically required data fields that were structured and defined.
As companies think about the future of social business, they must start to think about how social tools can be integrated with their existing applications and processes.
An argument can be made for both sides of the fence. For example, more time spent on the intranet may mean people can't find what they want and spend a lot of time browsing around or searching. Or perhaps the system is so slow it takes forever to log-on and download a document. (Jonathan Philips, from the team at Intranetizen, gives a nice description of this dilemma in his article, "It’s not about the outputs, it’s about the outcomes").
Virginia Backaitis: The deal is real — Yammer has agreed to sell itself to Microsoft … but it’s the rest of the story and the analysis that’s really interesting.
The Wall Street Journal is now confirming that Yammer has agreed to sell itself to Microsoft for US$ 1.2 billion. They cite their source as a “person familiar with the matter” who could be anyone, maybe even Yammer founder and CEO David Sacks.
Virginia Backaitis: Repeat after me.
If it’s a hit on the consumer web, it will be morphed to the enterprise. If it’s a hit on the consumer web, it will be morphed to the enterprise. If it’s a hit on the consumer web …
This is what today’s CIOs need to know now if they want to remain viable for tomorrow. If they fail to heed the lesson, they risk being perceived as “failing to lead” and their reigns may be short-lived.
Martin White (@intranetfocus): I’ve decided I live and work in a parallel universe. Through a time warp site collection I am able to read columns, books, reports and prognostications on the impact of social business on organizations and on the way in which intranets and digital workplaces are going to change to support evolving social business initiatives in the Social Business Universe.
The Tools and Techniques of Customer Experience
Felipe Rubim: Web Content Management Systems (Web CMS) have been around for a while — yet there still appears to be quite a large number of organizations that are either not using one at all or are not using one properly when implementing their digital marketing strategy for multi-branded websites.
Jim Belosic (@shortstacklab): I’ve had conversations with representatives from major brands and agencies who will tell me they’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a national ad campaign, but then balk at spending $30 a month on their social media efforts. Companies seem to have no problem spending money on traditional methods like coupon books, newspaper ads, mailing lists, radio and television spots, etc., but when it comes to social media, they somehow can’t get their wallets open. While you may be able to use Facebook or Twitter for free — advertising, engaging, and tracking are not.
Gerry McGovern (@gerrymcgovern): Making things that are simple and useful is often the result of a lot of boring and tedious work.
Getting to the heart of simplicity is about having a real clarity of purpose. What is the core use of the object you are designing, of the piece of content you are creating? What is its most essential function?
Martijn van Berkum (@njitram): With the coming cookie law in Europe, the Do Not Track header option added to future browsers, default rejection of third party cookies in more and more browsers and several high profile security and privacy breaches of big organizations, fear around the privacy theme for online marketers and site owners has reached a fever pitch.
Bard Farstad: In the hunt for better performing online solutions marketers are continuously in search of smarter tools to help them optimize goal conversions and reduce wasted opportunities. Whether it's driving more clicks, purchasing products or getting signups to test drive a new car, marketers are looking for digital marketing tools that can help them.
A Request for Help
Henrik de Gyor (@hgg101): What to pay a Digital Asset Management (DAM) professional, especially a position your organization may not have had before, is a frequently asked question (FAQ). It is asked even more frequently as the DAM community continues to grow year over year. As a Digital Asset Management (DAM) professional myself, the goal of this blog post is not to state what I earn per year nor start 'salary fixing' what it costs an organization to employ one or more DAM professionals. But I am going to ask you to do something.
For All You Information Managers Out There
Symon Garfield (@symon_garfield): Last time I resorted to sensationalist headlines and claimed that you don’t want users to adopt SharePoint. You want them to adopt the business solutions that you build on the platform, and the secret to successful adoption is to make your solution useful and useable. This week we are going to see how to bring it all together and to create an adoption plan for your useful and useable SharePoint solutions.
Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet): With broad adoption of SharePoint 2010 coupled with the business need to drive down costs and management overhead of information technology, many organizations are looking more closely at hosted versions of SharePoint -- both private and public cloud offerings, as well as Office365.
Questions about the service popped up again this weekend while I was presenting at SharePoint Saturday Orlando (#SPSORL) before making my way over to #TechEd2012 across town. So I was very interested in the session on Office365 for the Enterprise, presented by one of Microsoft's service managers.
Mike Ferrara (@mikecferrara): Have you ever wondered why projects continue to fail miserably even when you throw plenty of PM hours towards them to prevent that from happening? How about design meetings that never get anywhere, because logical conversation is stifled?
This is something that I deal with every day in my practice, and it’s a problem I’ve been trying to wrap my head around for years. If you just stood up and yelled “Yes!” to the above questions, then you need to rather quickly read The Heretic’s Guide to Best Practices. You will not regret it.
The social business conversation is only midway. Be sure to check in next week for more looks at the pros and yes, occasional cons of the social enterprise.
Title image courtesy of Jorg Hackemann (Shutterstock).