26
Nov

Don’t look to Facebook at Work to change much in the world of enterprise social, but enterprise recruiting could be a different story

Facebook At Work, should it be released in early 2015, isn’t likely to make a dramatic appearance on the market for enterprise social computing solutions. It’s not as if consumers of this kind of computing solution have few choices. But the market is constrained and, perhaps, for a set of good reasons:

  1. Hierarchical organizations have demonstrated substantial resistance to enterprise social computing solutions
  2. Facebook at work appears to be taking a path into the enterprise leading through BYOD and BYOA, and the consumerization of IT computing
  3. Organizations supporting lots of silos have not demonstrated much success implementing enterprise social computing solutions
  4. It’s unlikely Facebook at work will introduce any new features beyond those already offered by entrenched competitors
  5. Neither is it likely Facebook will offer anything like the analytics tools already available to enterprise social consumers using tools offered by Microsoft, IBM, or even Google

So if this rumored suite of tools isn’t likely to make much of an impression on the enterprise social market, then why all the publicity about it? One can argue Facebook is the leading solutions provider for social computing; therefore, any step they take in an enterprise computing direction is worth some commentary. But this argument doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. The history of the efforts of a number of other solutions designed for the enterprise social computing market is not filled with a lot of clearly successful efforts. Bottom line: enterprise social computing is a special kind of requirement, not necessarily a right step for the average organization and, potentially, a detriment to its healthy performance.

But perhaps Facebook, itself, is powering a lot of the “online chatter”. They certainly have a lot to gain should they establish a position as a serious option for this type of computing for enterprise-class organizations. Further, if they approach the market from the direction of LinkedIn, as the article from the UK Daily Mail contends, they will have more to gain. Popping up as a competitor to Yammer will require a lot more work on the backend then Facebook is likely to want to undertake. Even more, it will require Facebook sales and marketing personnel to win over prospects from enterprise IT organizations — not likely to happen anytime soon, in the opinion of this writer.

Taking a piece of LinkedIn’s business with corporate recruiters and the executive search firms supporting them is another matter, and one where Facebook looks like a real force, especially when their expertise in the mobile ad serving market is factored in to the equation.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved

15
Sep

Microsoft Magnetizes a Large Turn Out for an Online Q&A About Delve, a New Feature of Office 365

On September 10, 2014, Microsoft’s Delve and Office 365 teams hosted an online question and answer session on Yammer. The session was very well attended by what appeared to be technical representatives from a cross section of corporate tenants of the Office 365 service. The question topics were all specific to Delve, a new feature of Office 365, which addresses data search from a new angle. Delve first serves results from the most frequently used content sources (prioritized in “trending” order). It can even push information out to Office 365 users from any content repository for which “signals” have been configured.

The Delve question and answer session took the form of a Yammer “yamjam”, which is, presumably, Yammer’s version of Twitter’s “tweetjam”. This writer noted well in excess of 100 posted questions on a wide range of topics. Of particular interest were several on the question of the controls available for corporate tenants to selectively expose content for search use to this new feature. The answers posted from Microsoft personnel indicated a lot of forethought had been undertaken by the Delve and Office 365 teams on the question of information privacy in advance of this public forum. So it should be safe to assume a comparatively smooth rollout for the feature.

On the topic of just how quickly Office 365 tenants can add the feature to their subscriptions, it appears the right answer is “very quickly”, indeed. With merely one changed settings to our Office 365 Enterprise plan subscription, we were able to set up our tenant for Delve. We were happy to find a new tab in our Office 365 ribbon within less than 2 hours of changing the setting. The feature is not yet operational, but we expect it to “wake up” overnight, or very soon, thereafter.

What kind of impact can the availability of a feature like Delve create for Office 365 consumers? Given the importance of search, as a persistent, daily activity for most Internet consumers, and the unique requirement of corporate online consumers for a type of search capable of sifting through a very wide range of content repositories, the short answer is likely to be “big and positive”. This likely reaction should be even more likely for corporate Office 365 consumers in heavily regulated industries.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved