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The business value of social collaboration software
Scott Hooks    

 In preparing for today's debut GROUP Talk Webcast on Lotus Connections & Quickr, I did a lot of research about the value of "Social Collaboration" in a business setting. The concept is essentially what happens when social networking concepts are applied to getting tasks done in a business setting.Just a few of the areas where social collaboration can add value to a business include:
  • Knowledge Capture & Discovery: That is, as social interactions occur, they are being retained in a searchable repository, so that others can learn from it at a later time regardless of whether the individuals involved in the interaction are still with the organization.
  • Information is organically dated, cataloged, and linked: Rather that documents sitting on a file server following some predefined hierarchy not connected to anything else (and often duplicated), social collaboration features such as tagging, integrated version control, links to author profiles, and integration with communities make the information able to be more easily located, managed without formal structure, related to similar content, and validated. This leads to "knowledge accidents" that can dramatically improve a person's contribution to the organization.
  • Faster research = reduced time to market: Social collaboration allows anyone anywhere in the network to share ideas and get feedback from sources they may not even know, but nevertheless have value to add. In addition, people see each other's feedback and can reaffirm, contradict, or expand upon it. This sort of rapid feedback from various parts of the organization can speed decision making and reduce the time to perfect the idea, thus making the organization more agile and competitive.
  • Employee self service = double payback: When a person shares their expertise and others can find it, then that person has just significantly expanded their value to the organization, because that information can not only be used when the author is not readily available, but the author does not have to be interrupted to repeatedly answer the same questions.
  • Internal talent to becomes more visible: By sharing their ideas and expertise, individuals not only benefit the business, but can also be more easily identified as potential subject matter experts in areas that the organization may not have been leveraging, thus providing increased job security and opportunity for advancement.
  • Develop Relationships: As people interact on a social network, they will form strong relationships through common interests. These relationships improve those individuals' efficiency in working with each other to accomplish organizational goals.
These are just a few of the benefits of implementing a social collaboration solution, such as Quickr/Connections in a business setting. For more on this subject, you can download the presentation and webcast replay at http://quickr.gbs.com/files, or watch the replay stream at http://think.gbs.com/GROUPTalk1.php (be sure your volume is on).

May 05, 2010
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