0 Replies Latest reply on May 2, 2016 8:42 AM by candicelipps

    Informatica's CIO on collaboration tools for user communities

      Great article featuring Informatica's CIO, Tony Young. Be sure to share this with your CIO!



      Data  integration software and services provider Informatica boasts a  heavy-hitting roster of customers, including 84 of the Fortune 100  companies and government agencies in 20 countries. About two years ago,  the company decided to create collaborative environments where its  impressive array of users--as well as developers and architects--could  gather to discuss technologies and share ideas. Informatica has set up  online communities for users of individual products and for local user  groups by deploying collaboration technology from Jive Software.


      In a recent interview with FierceCIO, Informatica CIO Tony  Young discussed the value that these collaboration tools have brought  the company and its customers, as well as the challenges that the  technology presents.

      FCIO: What was the impetus for deploying collaboration tools at Informatica?


      Young: About two years ago someone in the IT  organization went to our chief marketing officer and said we need to  evolve from a portal strategy to a social strategy.


      FCIO: What kind of results have you seen since setting up collaborative communities for your customers?


      Young: Our support portal has now evolved into a  support community. Our unique visitors on our community sites have grown  astronomically. Sixty percent come back once a day, and 85 percent come  back once a week. It's such a different experience from what you have  with a portal.


      In the consumer world, you might have used My Yahoo, and it's a great  destination, but once you find what you want, you leave. With a  community, people come and engage with each other. That's the kind of  engagement we want with our customers. People can come, share, post and  create the vibrant environment in which they want to participate.


      FCIO: Do you have any plans for deploying collaboration tools internally?


      Young: This quarter, we're launching our internal  communities with one of our larger internal organizations, professional  services, which is a distributed organization. Our products are complex,  and there is a lot of distributed, discrete knowledge. The internal  community is probably analogous to a combination of a Facebook page and  LinkedIn. They will be able to create collaborative groups and  discussion forums. At some point, they will be able to dynamically share  some of the products with customers by inviting them in.


      Ultimately, our goal is to roll this out to the entire enterprise.  Then the next step is to have internal/external collaboration--the  ability to form internal/external private groups. We could dynamically  create a community where we could have scheduled events, and we could  have the documents available there. Another opportunity is what we call  secret communities, which you have to be invited to join.


      FCIO: Are there any downsides to these kinds of collaboration venues?


      Young: I don't want you to think this is all a  panacea. One of the big questions we grapple with is, where does Jive  start and stop, where does SharePoint start and stop, and where does  Salesforce start and stop? What is the ideal collaboration strategy to  enable your employees and make the experience seamless for them?


      Salesforce has a product called Chatter, where a sales rep can do  posts, almost like Facebook posts. They also have a document repository,  where you can find documents, and you can stitch together presentations  pretty easily. Within Jive you can also do posts, and with SharePoint  you can do some of the document collaboration. The challenge you run  into is that you would love for a sales rep to just go to Salesforce to  do their job, but the problem is that you have the rest of the company  [using other tools]. If other people want to engage in this  collaboration, how do I enable this without having to buy Salesforce  licenses for everyone?


      There is no great model for all that. Each vendor is going to raise  its hand and say, "I am the answer." The Jive folks are pretty committed  to working with other technologies, like SharePoint and Salesforce.   I  think they realize they need to have a strategy to play nice with  everyone else.


      FCIO: What new challenges do you anticipate once you begin deploying collaboration tools internally?


      Young: When you put something out on the Web, there  are no instructions on how to use external Web sites. You just kind of  get there and you figure it out. People just opt in. When you do this  internally, we can bring in the technology and make it easier to  use. It's only valuable internally if you get the vast majority of  people participating. How are we going to create that mindshare?


      The thing you have to realize is that you don't just enable this one  time and walk away. It's a program. You have to continuously go out and  monitor usage. This is one where we'll run a pilot first, and if the  pilot is successful we'll promote that success.


      FCIO: Do you foresee the death of email?


      Young: I don't think it's going to die, I just think  its use case is going to evolve over time. It will become  point-to-point communication with latency. For many kids nowadays, in  their world email is a secondary or tertiary form of communication. But  if you're so entrenched in email, it's going to be really hard to pull  out of.