Enterprise IT ISVs should not bet on social media applications catching fire anytime soon. A toehold for these applications has been established with enterprise IT organizations for financial services businesses, but for far different objectives than is the case for manufacturers of consumer goods (Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, etc). What we’ve heard from our contacts is that these applications (principally social media “add-ons” for Microsoft® SharePoint®) have been successfully implemented to hasten collaboration between different business lines to better support clients. But given the inherent tendency of these businesses to coalesce around silos, we see steady, but slow growth over then next near term for these applications.
Building social media features into other applications, such as SharePoint, which will require some effort, on the part of enterprise IT customers, to implement business process re-engineering (BPR) may make sense. There is a substantial level of discussion, presently (summer, 2012), around the topic of “adoption” for products like SharePoint, which we think is simply another name for BPR. Therefore, it is safe to assume that Microsoft and its partners understand that successful implementations of SharePoint will require BPR. Of course, BPR requires, at a minimum, a re-organization of silos. As these groups are restructured opportunities will likely emerge to utilize social media applications to hasten succesful completion of processes.
If enterprise IT market place realities, as we have delineated them above, make sense for your business, then you may want to proceed with social media product development. The same process should be implemented to test product assumptions as we have sketched through earlier posts to this blog. Skipping this step will likely prove to be a costly oversight. Once again, a market sampling campaign should produce useful indicators of customer interest in the product. Further, customer notions about features, benefits, etc. should be utilized to modify a product to better fit market needs. After all, the closer product development adheres to market sentiment, the greater the likelihood of a positive reception for them once they are finally released for purchase.
IMB Enterprises, Inc. welcomes opportunities to design market sampling programs for enterprise IT ISVs. Our expertise includes contact list development as well as direct engagement. As well, we have extensive experience with integrated direct marketing efforts. Please call Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Ira at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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