How Many Social Platforms We Need for Enterprise?

I think, we are all crazy about a “social computing” topic. Social marketing, social communication, social platform, social content… Few latest announcements last week drove me to some thoughts about Social Platforms in enterprise. announced Chatter – new social platform for enterprise on their Dreamforce 2009 conference. Almost at the same time, Dassault Systems presentated Social Innovation on European Customer Conference in Paris.

The question I asked myself what is going on around social platforms? How many of such we need? We thrilled by Facebook and Twetter. In parallel, we can see attempts like Yammer to replicate Twitter’s success for the enterprise place. At the same time, big platform providers like IBM and Microsoft are playing with social collaborative musculature of their offering. Finally enterprise vendors get involved and introduced their social platforms. I see Chatter and DS Social innovation are only two examples from last week. Chatter Product

Dassault Social Innovation in Plain English.

So, where we are going? Multi-platform social chaos?  I figured out few issues that in my view important to keep in mind looking on multiple social platform efforts.

1. Personal Identification in social networks. We have accounts everywhere – Facebook, twitter, corporate networks etc. As soon as we move towards multiple platforms personal identification becomes more and more important. Interesting directions could be adoption of FOAF or any other potential standardization in this area. How many of you have Google Profile? I created one, but still looking how I can benefit that outside of Google’s world.

2. Content security. Share content in social networks is important and dangerous at the same time. How we can control content shared in social networks? What will be a possible solution for content sharing in enterprise social networks as well as in mixed social networks?

3. Productivity. No doubt social networks brought a lot of advantages. However, how efficiently balance between benefits and disturbing? How I can measure productivity impact from social networks. This is another “interesting problem” in my view.

I’m sure, you enjoyed videos and looking forward to your comments.

Best, Oleg


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  • Hi Oleg,

    I think social platforms for people and social platforms for enterprise are 2 different things.

    For individuals, well you can just have as many as you wish.

    But for the enterprise, my take is that there must be a single social platform for the enterprise. Because the added value of the social platform is to foster knowledge, innovation, productivity and collaboration in the enterprise. Having a single platform means you have a single entry point to browse and search through. This is a key issue. I made a presentation on the topic :

    In this respect, from all the solutions I know, Jives is probably the best one. It offers wikis, blogs, conversations framework, tags management and spaces to manage sensitive information. I guess it has been rated quite high by the latest Magic Quadrant by Gartner.

  • Thanks for this post Oleg. I’d imagine the social platform options will multiply over the years. Everyone wants a piece of the pie, right? I’d be surprised though if folks in a company use only one platform. Different platforms offer different possibilities for different communities.

    For example now I use several platforms: three professionally and one personally. They’re a mix of sitting on my company’s servers and on the cloud. I don’t have any problem being on these different platforms because with each I gain access to totally different communities. I wouldn’t like it if they were all mixed together actually.

    We’re already at a point whereby a social platform provides you the option to publish your content on multiple spots. And there’s even nice email publishing offers like Posterous. With just one email you can publish your content on all your different platforms should you wish. In the end I think folks can only successfully manage using a few enterprise social platforms, and these will depend on what kind of job you have.

    Lastly, we already have the technology to ‘connect’ multiple platforms together, whether you’re publishing or reading information. I’d imagine the interconnectivity possibilities will widen.

    But then again, I’m not an expert. I just use the stuff.

  • Ceciiil, thanks for slides and comment! I agree with your presentation – information+knowledge+social experience can change the way we work. With regards to what you wrote about “one social platform for enterprise”. This is the point where I see the problem, and I tried to raise this question in this post. Everybody wants to have social platform capabilities as part of what they offer for enterprise. A specific enterprise will need to get one. The conflict is inside of this value proposition. And for social platforms it started about the same as PLM, ERP, BPM etc. Ownership is killing enterprise values. Don’t you think so? Best, Oleg

  • Kate, As a user, I wanted to be able to share “my content” and “my discussion” on all platforms with no need to replicate. Think about comments provided by multiple people on multiple platforms… How I can get an access to all of them? You have one community for marketing and another community for competitive and business intelligence; but how they can interact. Communities have a tendency to overlap? All these questions, in my view, are not simple if you get inside of the company. Think as a user in our company communities. Do you want to have five systems? I’m not sure… On the other side, to claim one system is also not working perfectly. We have seen this with many other examples – one of the “business process management” etc. Thanks for your comments! Oleg.

  • Oleg like so much of DS chatter it is impossible to know if “Social Innovation” is an application or a concept. It would be nice to have a more clear definition if this is a new name for what we know a something else or is this a new solution? Al la PTC’s Social Product Development, a message combined with new features added to Windchill like features on a new platform.

  • Chris, this blog reflects my opinion, so I cannot comment on DS Social Innovation strategy. I’d recommend you to watch some online materials about Social Innovation as well as product releases. My view is that this is going very aligned with the overall social software trend, Enterprise 2.0 and similar product development. Best, Oleg

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  • I think the truth is product are designed be clearly defined teams of people which means they are not designed by the massive random groups that decide to jump in and give design a try. When it comes to user feedback and market requirements there are clear team members that have the responsibility to define these, using what ever tools they can.

  • Chris, thanks for your comment! I agree, in many situations, design teams are relatively small. However, the power of social application and collaboration can be in cross-team connections. Something that can be very hard to do in a formal way. One of the examples I had a chance to explore, is knowledge referencing in large organizations. and SAP examples are not bad in figuring out how they see values of social products. I think, this is also a place that actively explored by many vendors. Best, Oleg

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