Thursday, October 09, 2008

Enterprise Micro-Media


It's The Enterprise, Stupid

Great article on RRW on Twitter in The Enterprise, at BestBuy. What I take away from this:

  • Short messaging is powerful and many will send and consume "micro-social content" while on the move; everyone understands texts.
  • Social media will be made or consumed "around work", during breaks, before or after shifts; it may be made during "idle time".
  • They are using "short codes" so people can text in ideas, responses, etc. Good idea me-thinks. Of course deploying short codes is an issue, especially in the USA.
  • BestBuy initially went light on integration, but lingered on issues around authentication before considering deeper integration issues. If you are who you say you are, you tend to be a bit more careful though, so this one needs balance.
  • People don't want to manage "multiple identities in multiple streams", i.e. Twitter, Jaiku, Yammer, etc. etc. Perhaps indicating the future fluidity between personal identity and work life identity. After all, someone only has to Google you to find out about you. That's why they are building "containers" within which conversations occur. Some containers will be open, some will be restricted. This is where Jaiku really messed up with not moving forward fast enough.
  • Location awareness is something that they will be looking at, mostly because you want to see the people that are around you and near you for some types of questions. Watch this one go crazy as location awareness is embedded in the browser, and the browser goes to the phone (Firefox, and Chrome). Then watch it go mad when RFID hits it. 
  • Trust is an issue when you begin to use social media, because you may not know who these people are, even within your own company. So you have to figure out how to provide social validation to get things started.
  • Initiation and Consumption: BestBuy bought in the solution that worked best in Outlook because that's where all their employees live. Think about that. Now think about the price of MSFT stock. Early adopters may be all "net centric" but the majority of people live in Outlook, IE, and their phone.

Example of Enterprise 2.0 Communications Mashup?

A lot of these issues ring true to me. At VoiceSage one of the things that we have (behind the scenes) is the ability to deploy inbound SMS-codes, and also outbound SMS a part of a flow. We had a client that was a large university that posted different Short Codes in Printed Media and in Outdoor advertising with the advice to text the word "study" to the short code number. VoiceSage would then ring them, ask them a few qualification questions, and then patch them through to the appropriate knowledgeable staff member. Neat use of a call flow I think. And one that the client came up with, not us.

Between the Two, Governed and Ungoverned Mashups?

I am sure that in-store staff could come up with some pretty neat promotions if they could create and deploy them within some kind of overall policy. But that's not exactly "in the spirit" of the BestBuy story above. I think the spirit of the BestBuy story is more in the lines of increasing the information flow, releasing some control of its granularity, and opening up the enterprise to the power of weak-linkages. In this respect VoiceSage is more the "governed mashup" to the "ungoverned mashup" of Twitter et al.

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