Social Networking Needs to Be About Knowledge Transfer

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Social Media: Measure, Monitor and Mean It

Highlights and suggestions from Burson-Marsteller's Global Social Media Check-up.

When it comes to social networking in the enterprise, the biggest strategic opportunity in front of IT organizations today is leveraging these technologies to come up with ways that truly facilitate the transfer of knowledge across the organization.

Sit down with almost any business executive and before long they will lament in one form or another some deal or project that didn't get done right because somebody in the company was out of the loop or the organization was missing some critical piece of information.

But rather than take a strategic approach to social networking with these goals in mind, too many IT organizations are thinking about social networking as a relatively simple adjunct to email that helps reduce email storage costs. While that's an important attribute of social networking in the enterprise, it should be viewed more as a side effect of social networking rather than a primary goal.

To help companies exploit the real business potential of social networking, Moxie Software, a provider of a social networking platform that is delivered as a service, is adding Customer Spaces applications to its service that allow customers to capture customer service information in a way that makes it easily accessible to the rest of the company. Moxie CEO Tom Kelly says these customer service applications are really the beginnings of what he expects will be a series of "knowledgebases" that customers will increasingly rely on to govern the flow of information across a social network.

There is, of course, no shortage of social networking software options for the enterprise. But Kelly says that Moxie believes that services in the space will eventually win out in much the same way that won out over on-premise Siebel software in the CRM space. It's a lot more cost effective for Moxie to develop Customer Spaces applications for multiple customers than it is for any one customer to develop a custom equivalent.

No matter what path you decide to take to bring social networking into the enterprise, the one thing that should be uppermost in the mind of the company leadership is how to use these platforms to gain a major competitive advantage, versus just deploying something that just happens to be the popular thing to do at the time.

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