The last couple of years have been thrilling times for social software within the enterprise. Several case studies showed the positive impact social software had on businesses around the world. Most of these early adopters were sure that their first steps into social software would soon be extended to the whole organisation. However, if you revisit these companies today many of them are still at the pilot stage or are – due to lack of acceptance by the employees – considering a change to different software. All of these companies proceeded rapidly from the heights of optimistic adoption to the depths of the adoption desert. This is the adoption course I have seen in many companies. Common indicators of being on the declining slope of adoption are:
- 10:90 A few employees love it – the majority doesn’t care
- The existence of more closed sites than areas of open communication
- Complete lack of management contributions
(“welcome to our social _____” posts do not count)
- Social software is just an additional tool added to the stack
- Employees are using social software for work – but on the internet
What went wrong? All of the companies I worked with had not understood the different nature of social software and had been deluded by the quick initial success of the adoption process. Let us look into the causes for this in more detail. Continue reading
I am a gamer by heart and can’t wait for gamification to enter the enterprise. Work could be so much more fun and engaging. At the same time companies would benefit from introducing game concepts as well as they can help people to understand complex business situations more quickly to act faster. I see a problem with many gamification approaches out there, though. All of them are focusing on driving competition between employees of the enterprise. Take Leaderboards, Ranks, Trophies for example. It’s about standing out from others. It’s not a bad thing to drive competition as all of us like to compare our performance to others. But there’s something flawed with gamification if we cannot create a spirit of fair play and team play as well. Why? Otherwise Gamification for Enterprise Apps will suffer from the Zynga effect: Farmville & friends did a great job creating a sticky game – largely driven by optimising the game experience based on social analytics. So what happened? People know when their time is being exploited. Some realize sooner, some later, but in the end everyone is losing interest. Gamification has to prove it’s long-term motivation for employees as well as to give answer how it can support a sustainable and healthy corporate culture. The enemy is not the colleague but the competitor… or the KPI… or the budget.
I’ll be on my way to cozy Karlsruhe searching for answers to this and more questions on GEELab‘s BizPlay tomorrow. Looking forward to work with some of the most profound minds of gamification out there. tbc
I spent some quality time by the sea this summer and found a great way to stay on a little longer: I was able to work at the Cloudster co-working space nearby. Cloudster aims at making a difference by combining a commercial co-working space with a space where people can work on ideas towards improvements in the local community. The real-life location is complemented by a virtual environment, providing tools for ad-hoc collaboration and communication – much of it hosted in the cloud.
The consequences of such a project’s combination of real-life and virtual aspects are not yet fully appreciated by most companies. The cloud concept is not just a new technical approach; it will revolutionize the way we work in large companies: Continue reading
Salesforce claims to have the thought-leadership on enterprise 2.0 cloud software. And the guys are doing a brilliant marketing job. So how come Salesforce.com cannot deliver its vision on its own platform? Nearly none of the web2.0 achievements is present in salesforce products. Take the Sales Cloud for example:
- No google-instant features in any of the lists – you have to click on search. We are past that for years now.
- Popup-dialogues – come on, popups?
- Search – Tremendously unsatisfying: You have to insert placeholders like * for yourself. And we are not even speaking of “did you mean” features.
- Emails: Did you ever try to “browse” through an email history on Salesforce.com?
- Tiny fields and boring design add up to the “early-2000″ user experience
What’s even more striking: Salesforce.com launched Chatter as a major social improvement quite a while ago. Let’s not talk about whether chatter can compete with Yammer or Socialcast and take a step back to look at the big picture: The launch of Chatter could have been the chance to have a social makeover for all Salesforce areas:
- Sales and Service are about people: Why not give leads/contacts/etc. an avatar-picture like on Chatter, too? (Update: Salesforce introduced this feature)
- Many people are on linkedin or other networks: Why not link these accounts and retrieve complementary details from social networks?
- Visualization of networks could identify key employees and customers leveraging existing data in salesforce.
Without consistent social features and a pre-web2.0 user experience Salesforce feels like a 90s-database with a fair micro-blogging tool attached. Salesforce.com has still a very strong position in the market but without significant UX improvements the gap between marketing and real offering will make it easy for competitors to deliver similar services that are much more fun to use.