What Enterprise Social Business Software Should We Use?‬‏

Following on from my post about Deloitte’s contradictory experiences of using both Yammer and Microsoft Sharepoint, it begs the question – what enterprise social business software should you be using?

In the video above, CIO’s from two companies, Equinix and Flextronic, talk about this issue. The approach taken by Flextronic – who employ 200,000 employees in 30 countries – is a combination of open infrastructure and experimentation, using small pilots. This exact approach won’t work for everyone, but if we boil this down to a core idea that everyone can apply, then I would recommend a design thinking led approach:

In this interview, Jive’s CEO Tony Zingale provides some good inputs into this design process:

  • The consumer Web 2.0 is driving demand, but don’t wait or expect Facebook (and others like them) to build a solution suitable for the enterprise.
  • The cloud vs self-hosted question is important to some companies (although I would add, not all).
  • Its not worthwhile trying to build it yourself – but make sure what you buy is built from the ground up, to be a social system.

So what do built from the ground up social business tools look like? Here is a good overview from tibbr:

As the tibbr video shows, social business tools can integrate with existing enterprise information systems (systems of record). In your organisation, this might include existing information management platforms like Sharepoint:

We also need to support other simple ‘social’ business activities needed by users, for example calendars and scheduling etc:

Also, pick tools that allow us to ‘nudge‘ users, rather than forcing change:

Consider all these points and you should find that users love the tools you provide them…

BTW If you are interested in some theory behind these examples, see my presentation, Architected for Collaboration, and my post on Designing Social Workplaces.