Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The Business is A Social Network
Christopher Carfi has a note on the role of social networks within the enterprise: Key point is that they won't be advertising based. The point should be obvious to everyone, I don't understand how people could not understand this: organisations are networks of people, skills, information/knowledge and resources. Most of the benefits will not be reaped within any one function or application, it will be reaping the space between applications and processes. It won't be just a forklift upgrade from using the phone on your table with the Direct Dialling capability to using a softphone on your computer; it won't be a clever way of using/not using email. It will be in more granular sensing of what actitives are linked, and what needs to happen in the case of that event. To post a blunt example, I leave a comment on the recent Service Untitled post about a poor experience he had with Toyota. How does Toyota sense this? who should get a call, what "interaction opportunity should be offered"? Could they "sense" that this particular post was about the fact that a particular part did not function well, or that a particular dealer wasn't all that friendly? How could Enterprise2.0 solutions re-design how this is handled? It will be about giving people more power at the point closest to their task so they can define how they get the job done better. Sounding a bit fluffy? Well, its not. In the Service Untitled example, it would have been easy enough to have an automated system that knew which tow trucks were nearest the caller location, and patch them through so the driver and the customer could give each other directions and assurances. It should have been easy for the customer service person to give the customer an experience that had some kind of "relationship content". The fall-downs in the example are based on not knowing what is happening in other parts of your service network, or not being able to follow the conversation. For maybe twenty years some people have thought about the organisation as an inverted pyramid, with management and resources there to enable the front line person to deliver more effectively. One of the ways VoiceSage is built for these principles is that we allow you to customise the outbound contact campaign as much as possible, and we put you in total control around how you want this to happen. And hopefully, we've made it pretty easy to build flows that integate with other processes or triggers in your business. That's all pretty good, when you dig into other solutions, you might find some surprises in there. But we also allow the user to share their work with others in the company, so you can build a pretty damn good contact campaign, and share it with another worker, maybe on the other side of the world. We allow them to adapt that campaign and re-save it. Thinking about processes as something that can be shared, adopted, and adapted is part of what will enable companies to reap benefits from Enterprise2.0 initatives. And because it delivers real, measurable, and fast benefits, enterprises are happy to pay for the service. And that's why everything isn't about advertising models.