Tag Archives: IDC

Highlights of IDC’s Worldwide Enterprise Social Software 2012 Vendor Analysis

IDC has released its Worldwide Enterprise Social Software 2012 Vendor Analysis. I received a copy thanks to Igloo Software. Companies covered included: BlueKiwi Inc, Cisco Systems, Inc., harmon.ie, IBM, IGLOO Inc., Jive Software, Moxie Software, Inc., Mzinga Inc, NewsGator Technologies Inc, Oracle Corporation, Salesforce.com, Inc., SAP AG, Socialcast, Inc., Socialtext Inc., Telligent Systems Inc., tibbr, VMware, Inc., Yammer, Inc. The reports evaluates and compares these vendors. In the post I will look at the cross industry movements that IDC offers.

IDC concludes that the “increasing sophistication of use cases demonstrates that the market for enterprise social software is maturing quickly. Organizations are looking to engage internal users and customers in an ongoing conversation, inside and outside the firewall. As usage increases in breadth and depth, activity streams, discussion forums, blogs, and wikis are becoming assumed functionality of enterprise social software to facilitate collaboration in real time and in context.” I would certainly agree with this assessment.

Application integration is increasingly becoming a success factor. IDC notes that “Customers are demanding broader and more specific collaboration scenarios that tie together internal and external constituents, deliver sophisticated insight into user behavior on the network, and extend seamlessly across mobile form factors.” These seamless extensions and the connection of internal and external constituents requires comprehensive integration that is designed to address business objectives.

Their key success criteria include: the ability to extend activity streams, blogs, and wikis to a broad range of stakeholders. The optimization of the mobile experience, comprehensive analytics that can “perform behavioral and predictive analysis on data generated by the network,” a scalable platform that can extend to customers, and partners, as well as handle different roles, company sizes and industries, and “prepackaged integrations with collaboration tools and major enterprise application vendors delivered via the cloud.”

We certainly agree with all of these factors, especially the prepackaged integrations. This is the goal of AppFusions and its suite of prepackaged integrations. For example, we have a number of integrations of Altassian’s issue tracking tool, JIRA, with a variety of collaboration platforms such as IBM Connections, JiveConfluenceAlfresco, Box.com, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.

IDC notes that such social tools as activity streams and blogs are becoming required functionality within the enterprise. As social tools mature beyond initial marketing applications, use cases have grown into such areas as customer experience, sales enablement, digital commerce, socialytics, innovation management, and enterprise social networks.

The latter use case provides a means to find relevant information and people through connecting people, data, and systems in an overarching system. Collaborative workspaces are the outcome and the foundation for the connected enterprise.

Enterprise adoption of the new enterprise social software is on the rise. There has been as 40% year-over-year market growth. In this current survey 67% of organizations have implemented a corporate-sponsored enterprise social software solutions. While there are standalone solutions, many vendors have moved to more open and connected offerings through the use of APIs. This allows social software to be embedded within work processes, a topic I have covered before (for example, see Putting Social Media to Work and Giving Social Media a Good Job)

IDC concludes that “enterprise social software will eventually become the backbone of the ESN for a number of reasons.” This is being fueled by the recognition that connecting employees, customers, and partners is key to success. As McKinsey found, “higher operating margins (again, self-reported) than competitors correlated with a different set of factors: the ability to make decisions lower in the corporate hierarchy and a willingness to allow the formation of working teams comprising both in-house employees and individuals outside the organization.” Collaborative technologies create more agile organizations and these companies achieve higher profits.

In 2012 IDC expects to see enterprise applications and other collaborative applications being upgraded to include social functionality or becoming integrated with enterprise social software solutions in a complementary fashion.

It is an exciting time and we are pleased to be part of it thorough application integrations.

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate 2012 Notes: Tuesday Keynote

I am pleased to attend Enterprise 2.0 Innovate on the West Coast for the first time. It is occurring November 12 – 15 in Santa Clara Convention Center. Here my notes from this year’s Enterprise 2.0 2012 conference in Boston. Here are my notes from the Tuesday Keynote. It consisted of a series of discussions.

First, Google on Google was presented by Ben Fried, CIO, Google. Ben began by asking about how many are in IT and most raised their hands and the rest where likely checking their email. He said two factors are driving technology today: the rise of the global scale of consumer Web services and second, the rise of a tech savvy workforce. He mentioned how he learned about this. A new employee brought in a better computer that Google offered and never interacted with Google’s technology, but went directly to the Web. He became the top rated intern.

He said that transparency and respect for the user is a key goal at Google. For example, you can get any tech stuff, you can just go to a shelf and take it and then scan your badge. He said the employees are empowered to decide what they need. The bins are often more full at the end of the day as people return stuff they do not need.

The social contract between IT and users needs to change. IT has been treating users as the non-knowing and making decisions for them. Now workers are often more knowledgeable than IT. At Google you get to choose your devices and your software from a variety of choices. There is no standard requirement. People are shown the cost of the tools they are using and how your peers are doing in the same regard. You can change your devices and apps. Once they started this they got back over $400,000 of not needed stuff in the first few hours.

Google has learned that providing choices has resulted in a lower support costs. He said that they respect their users and users can take a more active role in supporting themselves.  They also hire very smart support people so issues are often resolved right away. This approach has allowed Google to grow quickly. The support staff ratio to workers has shrunk every year as the support staff has increased its efficiency and people also help themselves in this environment of trust.

People can choose their own tools. They found that people were sending more links to Google apps than using attachments. This helps version control among other things. It has also increased their collaboration speed.

An office phone is optional at Google and most people do not have one. However, real time video conferencing is expected and wide spread.

Respect for users matters. Google assumes that people know what technology is best for them.  I would certainly agree with this approach and it should be a model for enterprise IT services. Google also builds its own tech systems to support their culture and they are all cloud based. This takes much of the worry out of the picture so IT people can focus on innovation rather than operations. The CIO only pays for usage so there is much cost savings.

Ben concluded with the point that the world is truly changing. There are great opportunities for cost savings and users are very tech smart. IT is not longer the holder of all tech knowledge. It has to change and adapt to the new possibilities and the new reality.

Second, the Next Generation Enterprise Platform was presented by Michael Fauscette, Group VP of Software Business Solutions, IDC.  Michael began by saying that we are in the middle of a major transformation in tech and work. Today looks a lot like the transformation from farms to factories in terms of magnitude. With factories, people moved from the country to the city. There was a requirement for physical presence. Now connectivity changes everything. I know this as I have worked from multiple locations, including a Greek island, Samos, over the past year. I recently moved back to my hometown, New Orleans, because I can work from anywhere there is wifi and that is almost everywhere.

In the old school there was hierarchy and knowledge was considered power. Businesses were built on stable processes and did not want to change. Now change is the norm and a requirement for success. New competitors can emerge overnight. Startups can begin with only 5 or 6 people and drive millions in revenue in the first year.

Now knowledge sharing is power. Trust and transparency is key. Employees want a place were they are respected and there is culture of trust. Engagement on a common goal is a requirement.

In the 90s we built transaction systems around rigid processes. Now most problems and issues occur outside the rigid systems.  The systems for transaction are still needed but there is more. We now need to have systems for decision. We also need systems for relationships to enable collaboration.

Companies are faced with aging systems of record. But they cannot afford to replace them. To make it new, you can add a social layer on top of the old school stuff. You can have a social layer that becomes the new user interface. You can add new apps but they need to be integrated with the old apps.

The next generation software is being offered in smaller components. Vendors are going away from rip and replace to adding stuff on to the existing. Again, integration is key.  There is social and decision support. It is context aware and there is intelligent filtering to counter the information overload issue. The more your system can filter, the more efficient you can become.

Apps need to be simple in the UX with the complexity behind the scenes. The apps need to be ad hoc and work on any device, any time. We will stop talking about social apps as all apps will be social.

Then, Moving from Notification to Participation with Activity Streams was presented by Kevin Cavanaugh, VP of Business and Technical Strategy for IBM Collaboration Services.  Kevin started by noting that workforce challenges are changing. The nature of connectivity is changing as well. There are now skill shortages and changing demographics. At the same time technology is changing the way people work, collaborate, and socialize.

This changes the definition of social. It goes beyond notification to engagement. The richer nature of social business requirements goes across the enterprise. They you measure the value of the social tools by changes in the process they are embedded within.

He gave the example of CEMEX. This is company I did some work for it the early 2000s as a consultant in Monterrey. It was technically advanced then and is even more so now.  Now they are using social software in all of their processes. This allows them to spread their tech expertise on a global basis.

TD Bank transformed its retail banking culture using social software to have their branches operate as a local bank. They foster open communication and openly recognize their employees. They also get employee engagement in new moves like having Sunday retail bank hours. Pepsi created an open collaboration system for their employees and partners to spread new ideas.

He discussed what is new with IBM Connections 4. I recently did an interview with Suzanne Livingston, Senior Product Manager for Connections, on this topic. Here are my notes – IBM Connections 4.0 Expands Its Social, Integration, and Analytic Capabilities.  They use analytics more to filter content for greater efficiency. They also allow for conversations inside and outside the organization. This allows them to share their knowledge with the outside world after it is refined through internal conversations. McKinsey has found that companies than form communities with their partners have higher operating margins.  With social embedded into key processes you get engagement and usage.