In a recent publication, the technology research firm Gartner, Inc., named “Social” as one of the four biggest trends impacting enterprise IT (for the record, the others are Mobile, Cloud, and Information). Certainly, recent news like Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer (http://bit.ly/NSz4Ng) for $1.2 Billion validates Gartner’s point of view. And I think I can speak for my colleagues at Qumu when I write that we all agree that Social will reshape how companies collaborate and that the impact will be felt throughout the communications value chain.
So, it was with great interest that I watched the webcast of the keynotes from the Enterprise 2.0 show a couple of weeks ago in Boston. If you aren’t familiar with the Enterprise 2.0 (aka, E2) show (http://www.e2conf.com/boston/): It is an industry event that showcases tools and best practices for customers who are planning out how to create a connected enterprise. Although I wasn’t in the crowd, the show seemed fairly well-attended from the webcast.
But as I watched the various presentations online, I began to wonder about how “hot” the technology part of this space really is… Is it possible that enterprise social is just another VC-backed bubble in the making?
It seems that despite the enthusiasm – or on account of it? – the messaging coming from the vendors who sell Enterprise Social Media tools seems fairly muddled these days. The tools to enable Enterprise Social Media employee collaboration are getting more sophisticated, commonplace, and (dare I say it?) commoditized – and platform players have moved in – so it seems that from a technology perspective, the space is already past the point of revolutionary innovation.
Now, the real issue for customers who are looking to become social businesses is less about which vendor has the coolest tech features, but rather how to foster scalable adoption of existing tools to enable real organizational change.
One quote I heard was that the Enterprise Social Software space is 10% technology and 90% people. Do you think this means that the vendors who make Social technology are about to experience a slowdown?