Enterprise Social Networks, Part 2 of 3: Solving Email Issues

Are there any potential solutions to the email problem?

An enterprise social network (ESN) is kind of like Facebook with security. With Facebook, you build a community of friends, post a comment or a picture, and all your friends can see it and comment on it. All your friends are now part of a discussion that started with your original post.

An enterprise social network works the same except that you have greater control over access, permissions and security. For example, you’ll create multiple groups for different purposes each with different members.

As the diagram suggests, an enterprise social nework centralizes communication and organizes documents and messages consistently. Documents and discussions are secure and complete; document management is automatic.

The time savings are significant: you no longer need to create folders and rules, hunt for messages and documents, or (worse) help others hunt for messages and documents.

The risk from lost or compromised documents is significantly reduced with everything centralized in your control. This may be especially important if your team uses laptops and mobile devices (which can go missing) or includes people outside your organization who may not be subject to your information management policies.

The benefits are multiplied when you consider several teams in a project and then multiple projects.

Many industry insiders believe that enterprise social networking is, potentially, the Next Big Thing. This may be why Microsoft recently paid US$1.2 billion in cash to acquire Yammer, a four year old company with an ESN platform.

But, I’m sure you’re asking, just what does this discussion have to do with strategic business planning? And what’s the benefit for small planning teams?

Next: Embedding enterprise social networks in your favorite app.