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Implications of Failing to Become a Social Enterprise for Global Companies

The Digital Landfill column of AIIM published 8 Tips for Transforming SharePoint into a Social Business Hub on December 1, 2011. We were struck by the following observation from this column: “Two thirds of global companies with annual sales of $1 billion or more are failing to become social enterprises, according to CapGemini Consulting global study released earlier this month.” While we agree with the viewpoint of the author (not clearly identified, but possibly attributable to the AIIM President John Mancini) that it would be valuable for two thirds of global companies to hasten their “evolution” into social enterprises, we would not label the condition of their present state a “failure”. In our opinion the word “failure” carries harsh connotations. When applied to business process evolution, as the author of this piece intends, then “failing to become” evokes images of misguided efforts or, even worse, efforts not thought through correctly.

Unfortunately, as we see it, making a judgement about the observed extent to which global companies with annual sales of $1 billion or more have evolved into something called social business, is not helpful. We would rather see simply the statistics along with a clear and simple definition of “social business” which, like so many abstractions, is less than meaningful to our eyes.

We understand why global business has not opted to implement many features of “social business.” As we noted yesterday in a post devoted to an effort made by Microsoft to provide a pathway for global business to add cloud work spaces for SharePoint to work spaces located in traditional data centers, we highly recommend that social business advocates frame the benefits of their approach in a similar “hybrid” strategy that will allow global business to choose what is useful and secure for addition into approved procedures. Such a “hybrid” strategy will provide a friendly path where, perhaps, we may note some movement forward towards social objectives, over time.

We offer a deep set of video training content that includes individual tutorials on useful “social” SharePoint procedures and techniques, for example Meeting Workspaces or blogs in SharePoint or, finally, SharePoint My Sites. If you would like to hear more about how our video training can be applied to bolster the adoption of social features in SharePoint, then please either call us at (630) 786-7026, or Contact Us. We will be happy to elaborate with additional suggested videos and specific tips.

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