If you deployed an enterprise social network at your company a few years back, you probably wanted to be “one of the cool kids.”

It was, after all, the thing to do, right? “There was this sort of fad stage where you got on social because it was the hip thing to do,” Brian Kellner, chief technology officer at Denver, Colo.-based Sitrion, said during a June 9 CMSWire webinar. 

Now enterprises try to solve real problems with social. Can we find experts to answer questions? Can we connect better in the enterprise? Will it drive better business results?

Social on SharePoint

To answer those questions, enterprises must look internally first. What are you trying to get out of an enterprise social network, Kellner said during the webinar, “Social Success Beyond Yammer and SharePoint."

“How will it fit into your existing infrastructure today” and going forward, Kellner asked. 

Sitrion officials believe they can offer the tools to help you determine this. Their enterprise social networks can help users get the most of out of their SharePoint deployments. They implement a layer of social.

Enterprises will always have the need to integrate social into existing investments like SharePoint, Yammer and Exchange and Lync.

What does the SharePoint landscape look like? It’s certainly seen some adjustments the last couple years.

“Two years ago there was the notion that if you had SharePoint there were only two choices -- you were going to the cloud or SharePoint was dead,” Kellner said. “This caused a lot of concerns and questioning from a lot of people that had made investments in SharePoint. They didn’t want to halt all of their plans and go to the cloud. They had built a lot of on-premise investments.”

Then came the announcement about a year ago Microsoft made an on-premise investment for SharePoint. So cloud wasn’t the only option -- hybrid was.

“It went from fairly bleak to a whole new world of possibilities. But it had no new native social features planned,” Kellner said. “For us that was wonderful because we’re taking on the investment of SharePoint and making it much stronger with social capabilities on top of it.”

Kellner said the majority of companies are “still not ready to go completely to the cloud.” They may have moved some things -- like email moving to Office 365 -- but in some cases he said organizations move into the cloud but then “completely back off or back into a hybrid scenario.”

Connections, Reporting

sitrion, webinar

Sitrion offers social features such as questions, communities, gamification and compliance.

With questions, the Sitrion platform includes backend functions that track questions, suggest experts, suggest answers and provide ratings on answers. Good answers can possibly mean more badges for participants, depending on how organizations set up their gaming metrics.

“We analyze what you’re typing as you’re typing,” Kellner said.

“We have lots of deep integrations we tie directly into SharePoint because we’re running on SharePoint and are governed by SharePoint security. If someone blogs on SharePoint we can move that blog into the stream. We have lots of integrations with email. Some companies want to move away from email, but we have co-existed email with social networks.”

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License Title image by Kevin Dooley.