Telsyte: 30% of Australian businesses are investing in enterprise social apps and marketing

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Social networking and media applications are becoming more popular among Australian businesses with more than 30 per cent already using an enterprise social media application and more than 30 per cent use public social networks in advertising instead of using an existing Web site, according to new research from independent emerging technology analyst firm Telsyte.

The use of social media in businesses is being driven by a number of factors – from the consumer use of public social media services to adoption of enterprise social media applications to facilitate internal collaboration to the use of social networks for company marketing programs.

When I saw this on ComputerWorld, I assumed it was the findings from a US or global survey, but it is great to see a report focused on the Australian market.

Genre analysis of how Yammer is used within Deloitte Australia

Social media technologies are making fast inroads into organisations. In the context of knowledgeintensive work the propositions of improving communication, information sharing and user involvement seem particularly promising. However, the role and impact of social technologies in enterprises in general and knowledge work in particular are still not well understood, despite emerging scholarly works in this field. In this study we aim to contribute to this stream of research. We investigate the phenomenon of Enterprise Social Networking (ESN) in the context of Professional Service Firms (PSF). Our case investigates emerging communicative work practices on the ESN platform Yammer within Deloitte Australia. We perform a genre analysis of actual communication data captured on the Yammer platform. We uncover a set of emerging practices enabled by the platform within the case company and reflect on our results in the context of the knowledge-intensive nature of professional service work. We find that Yammer in the case company has become 1) an information-sharing channel, 2) a space for crowdsourcing ideas, 3) a place for finding expertise and solving problems and most importantly 4) a conversation medium for context and relationship building.

Kai has written a short summary on his blog. But beware – this isn’t a blueprint for Yammer or any other enterprise social network. Neither does it provide data on the organisational value generated by the activity observed. As Kai also points out, in the case of Deloitte Australia:

a number of knowledge-work practices are not carried out within Yammer, even though we found these practices in some of our earlier enterprise microblogging case.

However, this is a great piece of research and provides more insight into the different ways that different organisations make use of social technologies.

Video: The State of Social Business in Australia 2012

Dion Hinchcliffe is visting Australia this week to promote his new book, Social Business by Design, co-authored with Peter Kim. The Headshift Asia Pacific team have been busy lining up speaking events and media interviews all week, however Dion and I have found time to put together a short whitepaper on the state of social business in Australia. This paper provides that all important Australian perspective on the trends and ideas outlines in Dion’s book. The paper will be published online later today, but while you are waiting we’ve posted a video talking about some of the highlights: The criteria for the case studies included in the paper, the differences between Australia and the global experience of Social Business and key insights.

UPDATE: The paper is now available to read and download from SlideShare.

BTW if you are interested in attending either of Dion’s workshops tomorrow, Social Business 101 (in the morning) and The Consumerisation of IT (in the afternoon) please contact the Headshift team by email at to request a last minute registration!

If Yammer fails, who is to blame?

A very different experience here in South Australia (at least, in the department where I’m based). Rather than just an element of social networking, we went with Socialtext, an ESN platform that offers blogging, micro-blogging, wikis, groups, collaborative workspaces and a range of other features. I think the big difference is that we didn’t just install and configure the software, we took on the cultural change that is necessary to get the best out of it. Today, you’ll see the platform used for policy development, collaborative project management, social intranet, content management and a huge raft of other business activities. Growth continues and new applications for this way of working are being found on a regular basis.
Takeaway message? Enterprise Social Networking works, but it needs more than just technology and it needs the whole package to be embraced, not just tweets.

Writing in local Aussie IT news site, Delimiter, Renai LeMay reports on an article in The Register about Yammer trials by local government in Australia being abandoned. I really liked the comment above on Renai’s piece that highlights how it can work, if the technology is supported and implemented in the right way. (I’ve blogged about that example before)

This is my comment:

I think its a little unfair to only call out Yammer on this issue, although I accept that they are fair game due to the hype that has been generated around it as a brand by both themselves and Deloitte etc. Yammer is not the only platform in this market and all the vendors (to varying degrees) recognise the need for the deployment of their tools to be supported in the way that Perry Wheeler describes. I’m currently working with a number of Australian organisations that aren’t convinced that a hands off, viral approach is the right way to do this.

Also many of the other US-based vendors in this space (tibbr, Newsgator, Jive, etc) are now investing resources into our region and I think we are only at the beginning of the mature adoption of these enterprise social computing tools. If you look carefully at Yammer, you will also see that the emphasis is now on supporting their premium paying customers to make the use of their tools more successful. Of course, none of this should come as a surprise. We’ve known that adoption of new collaboration and communication tools inside organisations can be hit and miss for decades.

Patient Opinion Australia

Patient Opinion was founded in the UK in 2005 and since then has grown to be the UK’s leading independent non-profit feedback platform for health services. Patient Opinion Australia (POA) was established in 2012 and, similar to its UK counterpart, is registered as an independent not-for-profit charitable institution. Patient Opinion is about honest and meaningful conversations between patients and health services. We believe that your story can help make health services better. How it works:

  • Share your story of using a health service
  • We send your story to staff so that they can learn from it
  • You might get a response

Your story might help staff to change services Share your story and help make our health service better!

I’ve frequently shared the story of the original Patient Opinion with the Australian Gov 2.0 community, so I’m really excited to see Patient Opinion Australia (POA) finally launch. Its going to be interesting to watch how Australian health consumers and institutions respond to the idea.


Looking around at the small amount of coverage POA has received in the media and social media, it looks like we’ll have to work through the same concerns they experienced in the UK:

Nurse for Nurses blog:

I have a concern with the anonymity of the process. Our existing government complaints process is also anonymous and this has led to organisations being put under the microscope because disgruntled people have used the process to mischief make.

I am also concerned that this website will encourage people to circumvent existing complaints management systems and use this website as their first port of call rather than giving the organisation an opportunity to address their concerns.

ABC Radio National:

Norman Swan: So what do you do about the fact that some people in the health care system who have some of the most difficult circumstances have the least access to online sites such as yours? So that you’re going to get the middle class complaining but not people who have three kids, single parents and out of work?

Michael Greco: Well, again experience in the UK has shown that that’s not quite the case. There were some concerns about for example, that elderly people don’t use the internet. Well they’ve disproven that.

However, they have received more positive coverage on the Australian Ageing Agenda (also provides a lot more background on the project in Australia).

IDC: The BYOD Trend in Australia and New Zealand


While researching this post over on the Headshift Asia Pacific blog, I came across this graph from a report by IDC. It shows surprisingly high levels of interest in BYOD (bring-your-own-device) in our region. There are more than a few laggards like Westpac, but surely they are fighting the tide?

Don’t miss this chance to meet Dion Hinchcliffe in May

We are pleased to announce that we are hosting a visit to Australia by internationally recognised business strategist and enterprise architect, Dion Hinchcliffe. He will be in Australia between Monday 14th – Friday 18th May, 2012 to promote his forthcoming book, Social Business by Design (co-authored with Peter Kim).

Cross-posted from the Headshift Asia Pacific blog, where you’ll find more details about Dion’s visit to Australia in May.