According to Forrester “Enterprise Social Software [will] become a $6.4 billion Market in 2016”. For those who don’t know what this is, though it may say social, it isn’t exactly like Facebook, Twitter, or any of those common social platforms. The work place is flooded with all kinds of different means of communication, making it difficult to stick to just 1. Some people don’t believe that social enterprise software is going to be something that’s here for good. Others believe is the optimal collaboration resource every company needs to have. From what I can tell the benefits of social enterprise software out weigh the one drawback, the fact that it cost money.
- Capture Knowledge
What’s the use of having so much knowledge, if it’s essentially locked up for individual use? When data is transferred through email, it isn’t accessible to the rest of the company. Each person is knowledgeable in various things, but how can they help others if they don’t know who needs help? How can they help if the rest of the employees don’t know that they’re informed about these things? Social enterprise software has the ability to get rid of all of these problems. On specific platforms like Solvepath, individuals can ask questions, and the software automatically creates tags and notifies the proper people (experts). These inquiries are posted on the platform for everyone to see, with all the answers, and the one that’s deemed correct marked with a check mark.
- Leveraging Experts
I’m sure most people at your work have Facebook and/or LinkedIn, and with that you can get a feel for what kind of person your coworkers are, or what they’re good at. When it comes down to it, if you’re working in a company that has offices internationally, you might not know John Smith in America, or Wěi Wáng in China. Having a resource to get employees around the world in contact can become a major benefit. Everyone has specific expertise and can help out with different problems. Without one of these platforms, identifying these experts becomes next to impossible. Employees are an asset, each of their capabilities are unique, and we need to utilize them for their full potential.
- Everyone’s Involved
“My company uses a company intranet, why do I need to spend money on social enterprise software?” – said the CEO. Well Mr. CEO, the reason your intranet is no longer sufficient is because we are no longer living in the 90s. Most intranets do not get updated frequently, and still look like they were built years ago, but that’s not the issue. The main issue is that the corporate intranet is “the one official voice of the company” – Andrew McAfee. It’s not designed for everyone to post his or her thoughts, or questions. It’s designed for management to share knowledge to lower level employees. Another issue is that these systems don’t have the same new technologies that new social enterprise software brings to the table. Meaning they are lacking in some of the key features that make social enterprise software what it is today.
- Solves problems (present and future)
I’ve already shown how these platforms can help people who currently have problems. What I didn’t mention is that they save the conversations in a database that is easily accessible. With the help of a search bar, any questions, document, or file is retrievable in just a few seconds. For new employees this can also serve as an excellent tool for getting started. Some new employees are too shy to ask questions, some ask too many. Social Enterprise software allows new employees to ask questions online in a less intimidating environment, and it also allows them to see if these questions have been asked already to avoid repetition.
Social enterprise software is constantly expanding and becoming a must have. It is an extremely helpful, and resourceful tool when it comes to communication. These platforms increase collaboration and productivity by structuring data and integrating with many tools you already use.
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