Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Facebook for the UK Enterprise?

There is a recent Forrester report entitled 'Facebook for the Enterprise: Catchy Phrase or a Strategy for Collaboration?'. This document highlights several case studies where social networking features have successfully been implemented within large companies.

I should also qualify that what it does not recommend is that companies set up a replica of Mark Zuckerburg's Harvard project to 'poke' their colleagues all day. But it does suggest that companies could use some social networking features to leverage the work of Information & KM professionals to solve business problems. (It also strikes me that if you have an younger workforce who are used to 'personal' social networking sites, that they will find the move to Enterprise Social Networks that much easier). According to Debra Aho Williamson , author of the recent report: B2B Marketing on Social Networks:Engaging the Business Audience
"...marketers will spend far more over the next few years to create and manage their own social networks for business customers, partners, suppliers and vendors"

Note: I'm currently writing up an interview I did for a magaine with Tim Young CEO of Socialcast, who are an on-demand provider of corporate social networks. He also provides several interesting examples (which I'll publish here soon hopefully).

However, all the examples I've seen of companies who have done this are based in the USA. So why have no UK organisations seemingly not stepped into this arena yet? Well UK companies may be willing to consider it following a recent survey that gave 88 percent of delegates (surveyed at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston and the Web 2.0 Strategies event in London) as eager to start using social networking for the business. In fact, 94% of the UK businessese surveyed believe social networking would be beneficial to use at work. This compared to 82% of US organisations.

So who did this research? That will be http://www.trampolinesystems.com/ , the UK's own provider of Enterprise Social Network products.

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