« In Down Times, Avoid Bad Advice | Main | HBS Working Knowledge: Virtual Teams »

February 01, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Alan Lepofsky

"There are of course other vendors that have social networking capabilities", such as Socialtext People http://www.socialtext.com/products/socialnetworking.php , which integrates People into the fabric of the content creation and information sharing components of Socialtext.

Bill from Atlassian

Every app in the enterprise is eventually going to have a user profile...wiki, portal, ERP, HR management system. Employees can really only be expected to keep one user profile updated inside the enterprise, especially when they have Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to manage. It's naive to think that organizations are going to have one single enterprise-wide deployment of a social network, especially when departments and business teams are increasingly choosing their own collaboration tools (think Yammer). Look at how many large organizations have more than one LDAP domain. My prediction...you're going to see different teams and departments within the enterprise using their own social networking technology. It will be highly fragmented. There's no reason user profiles are the birthright of IBM, Microsoft or even Jive. It's an uphill battle but Connectbeam has as much a claim on user profiles as anyone else.

Hutch Carpenter

Mike - thanks for including Connectbeam in this write-up. I really like your note that we're doing "a credible job of expanding the conversation beyond a tooling discussion." Really, it's about the problems any of these tools solve, not the tool feature set itself. Look at Twitter - minimalist feature set, but very powerful in terms of impact.

Connectbeam's Social Profile was built to accomplish the following:

1. Create a whole view of each employee across their activities

2. Serve as a social networking layer across different enterprise applications

3. Make expertise a helluva a lot easier to find

Bill's comment above is true. We will continue to see the adoption of different applications as many companies select the best of breed for what works for them. And many have built up a lot value in their existing apps, and want to extend that value elsewhere.

Finally, we're pursuing an API strategy that lets enterprises put social activity from anywhere into anywhere they see fit.

Paul Fisher

We've been evaluating social networking tools at FDA, including some mentioned in this discussion. They both have profile components, although they're very different in their focus. But what we've discovered is that it's not so much about the tools, but the various sources that really define expertise. There will never (ok, maybe that's a strong word) be a single system that really describes the experience, competency, education and expertise of an individual - that comes from a variety of sources in most organizations. In our organization, expertise can be based on education, articles published, lab work, experience with regulated products, special projects, working group/projec team activities, etc., etc. I've heard loud and clear that an application with self describing profiles and bookmarks/tags is just part of the equation. It also has to have (most likely capture) select information from work being performed in order to build that very effective profile of an individual's expertise/competencies. That could be from a database, a document management system, a collaborative workspace tool, eMail (ugh), etc.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Become a Fan

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter