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.