Barb Mosher at CMSWire recently wrote an insightful article about Enterprise 2.0. She notes that Social Business Software has become ‘a required technology for organizations.’

ordinary_legendary.pngBarb is right. Social Software is on the move. Big time. Social business is the first enterprise application category to create material competitive advantage in over a decade. Think about it — email, Microsoft Office, Intranets, ERP and CRM, all the major enterprise applications, are now between 10 and 25 years old. It’s time for a new way.

A decade ago, enterprise technology innovation basically stopped. For too long the innovation has been on the consumer Web. As individuals on the Social Web, we are technology enabled, productive, creative, and have a lot of fun - OUTSIDE OF WORK! Think about yourself. Don’t you love what Web 2.0 technologies let you do in your personal life?

Social Business Software brings the power of these innovations and applies them in a business context. Here are a few quick tips on becoming a Social Business leader:

1) Social is the New Way to Do Business. This is Not “Facebook for the Enterprise.”

Facebook is great — for personal engagement. It is a breakthrough in the way we communicate and share with people in our lives. But it is not a platform for business. It’s not the right metaphor for getting work done. Facebook doesn’t link to business processes and has not been architected for the enterprise.

To drive a breakthrough in competitive advantage, Social Business applications must be purpose-built for the enterprise. These applications should create new ways for you to engage your people, customers, and the Social Web.

Our most successful customers don’t try to copy Facebook, Twitter or any other consumer social offerings. (By the way, any software vendor trying to copy Facebook clearly doesn't get it). The most innovate companies and government agencies take a strategic look at their entire business and apply Social Business broadly.

2) Don’t Create A Social Frankenstein.

Jive’s most successful social business customers don’t build Frankenstein monsters. A lot of companies are doing science experiments with different social technologies. They toy with departmental wikis, blogs, groups and/or small communities. While there is a lot to learn from experimenting, stitching together pieces of legacy tools and new toys will produce a monster. Not a Social Business. What is required is a platform that scales across your people, customers, suppliers, and the broad Social Web. One platform, with one integrated set of functionality and management controls.

3) Don’t Be Confused, Microsoft Doesn’t Get It.

“Steve Balmer Doesn't Get It,” screams a
recent headline in Fortune Magazine. The article talks about Microsoft’s failure to innovate.

The long overdue release of Sharepoint 2010 is the company’s latest flop. SharePoint is a good document management system. That’s it. SharePoint is a bolt-on to Office. It has limited social capabilities, and is too document and email-centric to be used for Social Business. Social Business applications are people, work-group, and collaboration-centric.

It is unrealistic to expect Microsoft to be a player in Social Business. The company has failed to pioneer one new enterprise software category for more than a decade. It doesn’t need to. Microsoft is too busy milking its cash cows: Windows, Office and Exchange. Its goal with Sharepoint is simple. Keep the milk flowing - on your dime.

4) Social Business is Everything Business Users Need and Love.

Imagine an enterprise application that users LOVE. That they want to use. And that they encourage their colleagues to embrace. Because it helps them get work done faster and better.

That’s what Social Business is. The user experience needs to be awesome. Employees and customers must love this stuff so much that they drive viral adoption across the enterprise and across external communities. These platforms must be functionally rich, require little, if any, training, and become the primary way people communicate and collaborate to drive business results.

At Jive, we strive to deliver the most powerful and effective Social Business Software.  Jive 4.5, our latest release, is a major step forward in driving breakthroughs in revenue, cost and innovation for enterprises.

We hope to see you at JiveWorld10 in September in San Francisco. At the event, we will be announcing some major news that will take the industry even further. Stay tuned.