Launch your social intranet now

Glancing through today’s tech news I came across:” Yammer Now Works With”

And it brought to mind something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately and that is how social network tools are quickly transforming themselves into a social intranet (i.e. tools to be used for a company’s private internal network purposes). Facebook and Twitter have made the power of social networks clear in our personal lives so its natural that this paradigm is beginning to take hold inside the corporate environment.

I’m a big fan of Salesforce’s Chatter applications and have recommended this to many of my Hawaii clients that are interested in Salesforce, Google Apps, and other social enterprise applications.

So what’s the big deal about using social network tools for a private internal corporate network?

Leveraging the social network paradigm is more than just doing Facebook or Twitter internally.  If that’s all your company is doing, there’s a good chance its just a replacement for the water cooler chat.  I’m talking about something more: following business processes.    Let me explain:

In Facebook and Twitter, you “Follow” people or friends you have an interest in and their subsequent activity, be it tweets, photos, checkins or status updates, subsequently show up on your “wall”. This does wonders for keeping in touch with those you care about.  But what if you could follow a business process?  What if you could follow an invoice as it makes its way through A/R, then payment?  What if you could follow a proposal and look at all the conversations across the organizations that take place in regards to this proposal? What if you could follow a customer and any transaction, action, call, or email related to that customer was displayed on your private company “Wall?”.    Can you imagine how much better your organization will run if everyone is able to easily be kept apprised of the all the parts of the company they care about? Just as Facebook as inevitably changed your life, so too will the Social Enterprise (or Social Internet or Social Workplace, whatever it ends up being called) will change your company’s future forever.

This movement is sweeping through the corporate world.  It has just begun to catch on and just like Facebook before it, will spread like wildfire once everyone understands the benefits.