I attended the e20summit in Frankfurt after submitting and being accepted to facilitate an Open Work space session. The conference was organised to discuss and and provide use cases and examples of the application of Social Media and Enterprise 2.0 within large enterprises.
It turned out that there were a number of areas that were presented and around which I had discussions:
- Social Software tools and their use. A number of use cases were presented talking about what I call ‘vanilla‘ uses of Enterprise 2.0 tools. The use cases were useful to see that enterprises have started to experiment with internal social media. It’s great to see that these projects have been sponsored by senior executives (CxO) or divisional heads.
- Ideation. Ideation is the use of social media to foster and drive innovation and ideas from staff across the enterprise. Again, it was great to see their use for getting people involved, together with using voting, recommendations, collaborative filtering etc to find the best ideas to be exploited.
- Social Recruitment. One bank was using public social media (facebook, linkedin etc) to develop relationships with potential candidates who were interested in the bank and potentially working for them
- Social Media Training. An interesting starting point, but nevertheless important, area was around internal social media training and certification for staff. The lack of awareness and understanding and an enterprises’ fear of letting their staff use social media something that needs to be overcome.
One important thing that was confirmed to me is that Social Media and its’ use internally and externally will transform the enterprise and how the relate to prospects, customers, partners, suppliers – in fact anyone who engages with an enterprise or brand.
Some quarters still believe that it is a fad – and I have had those discussions with sceptics, but I saw from the conference that large enterprises are taking this activity seriously and are looking for ways to innovate.
The future for me, after this conference, rests with a number of areas:
- Looking beyond the ‘vanilla’ Enterprise 2.0 solution. Most implementations that were discussed at the conference were stand alone and used tools in isolation. Future developments must see and drive changes to embed these paradigms into the business – Social Business.
- The next phase of Knowledge Management, Collective Intelligence and capturing the Intellectual Capital of the enterprise. KM failed the first time – it turned to selling document stores which were never used. Unstructured data tools – such as social software – are creating another island at the moment.
Finally, I really enjoyed the conference – great to meet people dedicated and evangelising social media in their enterprises and delivering real business benefits.
It would be good to see companies build Social Business Strategies – to truely have CxOs start thinking about embedding social media in everything they do.