I would like to announce my official resignation from the social enterprise app skeptics' club. For a long time I considered the business case for social networking in a corporate environment dubious at best. I just didn't see the return on investment. But then I actually talked to some Jive users, all of whom claimed measurable gains from these tools in a variety of areas. Here are five ways they derive value from socialized business, beyond increasing collaboration.
Augment Communication Transparency, Efficiency and Accountability
PerkStreet Financial COO Jason Henrichs recently said he most enjoys the increased oversight that comes with social enterprise apps. Since all conversations are on the platform rather than trapped in someone’s inbox, management has a continuous view into the team’s progress. This also prevents work duplication and redundancies because everyone is literally on the same page. Also, since users can easily rope others into the conversation with the "@" and other shortcuts, users reported drastically reduced emails, meetings and inter-office calls. FlexJobs founder and CEO Sara Sutton also said her social enterprise apps better fit communication into your workflow.
“Instead of emails that feel like you have to respond immediately, putting it on [Jive] ensures that only [staff] who have the time to check out the job will do so,” she says.
Streamline Project Management
Software developers at PerkStreet Financial also use socialized enterprise apps to facilitate scrum meetings, a key component of the agile software development methodology. Rather than hold their daily morning standup meetings in person, each member of the 37-person team posts “what I did yesterday,” “what I will do today” and “barriers to moving forward” using the hashtag #scrum. The tag allows users to quickly see what everyone is working on and chime in when appropriate. With Jive, users can also employ shortcuts such as an “!” to pull information into the thread from CRM and other enterprise systems.
Find Experts Faster
Jive surveys show sales win rates increase an average of 23 percent, and time to find experts falls 34 percent.
Centerstance Inc. Managing Partner Greg Lueck says these platforms help his sales staff answer deal-specific questions expeditiously. He recalled one situation where a partner needed someone certified in Cast Iron software integration who spoke Mandarin. The resource manager working with the partner posted the query in Centerstance’s news feed.
“They had an answer within 30 seconds… in Mandarin,” Lueck remembers. In this and similar scenarios, the employee would have otherwise “relied on a central repository of all company’s experience that is located in one person’s head, or nowhere at all.”
Better Leverage Information and Insights
Social enterprise vendors have invested heavily in social and adaptive intelligence. These sophisticated algorithms suggest articles, files and experts based on the user’s position, connections, group memberships and resources they’ve previously accessed.
“Imagine you have 10,000 people in an enterprise. Sales materials, RFPs are constantly flowing through system… Jive makes the most of this information by channeling it to the right people,”
according to Jive Product Marketing Director Tim Zonca.
Generate More, Better Ideas
Jive provides several means for employees to contribute ideas–from responding to queries and surveys, to posting ideas in a group discussion threads. Users receive gratification when co-workers and leadership “like” their contribution. Then, they are continually rewarded as they watch project teams bring the idea to fruition.
Is Your Company Socialized?
From what I’ve learned, the question is no longer if socialized business will become the norm, but when. How do you derive value from social enterprise apps? Join the conversation with a comment here.
Ashley Furness is a Market Analyst for Software Advice. She conducts expert research and runs the company’s CRM blog. Her professional experience spans journalism, sales, advertising and SEO marketing. She’s a seasoned writer having produced copy forNew York Times-owned North Bay Business Journal and theAustin Business Journal, among other publications. You can follow her @CRMAdvice on Twitter.