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Social Enterprise – What, Why and How? – Part 2

Starting from where i left off in my last blog on Social Enterprise: What, Why, How?, in this blog we look at the key aspects of Social Enterprise which help an enterprise worker

Aspects of E2.0

E2.0 adoption is reliant on the “new workforce”. Are the new workers going to be so different than the well established norms of business?

What’s “new” in this new workforce.

John has been hired as a shipping expert at ACME, a global shipping company.
He had shipping as a minor in his academic curriculum.
John wants to easily access, share and extend data and maybe from a “Social” context.

ACME wants John as productive ASAP with optimal investment.

Given the above scenario, how do aspects in E2.0 help ACME and John meet their goal?

Aspects of Enterprise2.0 for John

As captured in my earlier blog on Social Enterprise, E2.0 has multiple aspects, some of which we will try to delve deeper into.

1. Information Discovery

 John needs information to be readily accessible. There is heaps of intelligence built into ACME in the form of people, documents and process.
How can John consume so much so fast?
The probable answer is the information discovery has to be “as needed” by him.
We cannot overload John with all the terabytes available. So we need to make available to him the information he needs.

Whether the above information discovery is a “PUSH” from ACME or a “PULL” by John does not change the nature of the system.
The system should be intelligent to disseminate the information as requested.

2.  Signals

 Social context works on signals. Humans also share signals between themselves to make things work. Whether it is a phone call, email, etc signals have existed forever.
There are two aspects of signals.
 a) Subscribe
  John could subscribe to any signal source (person, system, group) and listen in (RSS is an example). He could learn light-years of industry knowledge using trusted signals.
Also, he could apply this knowledge to his routine work. The synonym to signals is “noise”. E2.0 has to improve the signal to noise ratio, else John will end up making costly errors. Or he will find the system useless.

 b) Connect
  John needs to be available to connect with the experts, peers, customers, content for problem solving. ACME has to make sure this is easily possible.

Social Networks can be an example. To get to a colleague, a friend, or to a source of information should not be painful.
Connections could be based on peer recommendation, degree of separation, or as simple as a free search.

3. Object Context

 For John to be effective at his job, John needs to apply the “Information” he discovered and the “Signals” he is subscribed towards a business activity.
Activities have objects associated to them. E2.0 capabilities will be relevant to John when he can apply them to an activity he is working on.

e.g.  A shipping piece has gone missing and John has to act.

The shipping packet ran through multiple processes and multiple organizations. To be able to satisfy the “need to deliver the shipping package” on time, John needs an easy way to access the history/context of the shipping package as it flows through the enterprise chain.

Context cannot be only structured data. Multiple informal unstructured interactions by the handlers at each stage, could give very “RICH” data to John
The object context could be leveraged in information discovery and signals to make the experience for John, ACME and customers more rewarding.

The conversation wrapper associated to a structured enterprise object will lead to a more efficient consumption.


E2.0 will be a reality. Some already exist in patches. How we apply aspects of E2.0 and many more could potentially change the experience for users to use the system. Bottom line, each aspect of E2.0 needs to be applied in the business context it has to live in.

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