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Enterprise Social Networks: Must-Have Features Guide
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This is a progress report on our search for the companies and individuals to feature in 10 Top Social Business Leaders, which will be the subject of a BrainYard digital issue we will release in November as the E2 Innovate conference kicks off in Santa Clara, Calif.
I hope to have representatives of the companies we choose join me for a presentation at E2 Innovate, but first we need to figure out who they are.
The capsule summaries below have not yet been vetted. They're based on a quick read of the nomination form submissions. I'm sharing them in the hope of getting feedback on the ones you would like to see rise to the top of the list. Have you worked for or worked with any of these organizations? Can you vouch for them?
The entries are listed in chronological order of when they were received, not in order of preference. We will be selecting 10 companies to feature, plus a business leader and a technology leader (not necessarily from the same firm). The nomination form provided the option of naming a business leader, a technology leader, or both.
Not surprisingly, most of the nominations came from the public relations representatives of social software vendors. We are still interested in seeking out organizations that are not on this list, but ought to be. Who are the shy but deserving candidates you would recommend?
The very first nomination I received was from IBM, nominating itself for its embrace of social media and social software. In many ways, this is perfectly appropriate because IBM has been a pioneer in things like setting policy for employee use of social media and sharing that policy publicly. However, IBM is also a major player in social collaboration and social media analytics software, and I made a ruling early on that I did not want to be telling stories about how software vendors are using their own products. Ditto for a nomination of the Microsoft IT department for its internal use of SharePoint and, now, Yammer. I'm sure there's much to learn from all of these examples, but I'd rather focus on smart users of social technology, beyond the inventors of the technology.
One software company that I've left on the list for now is SAP, partly because several people I asked for advice suggested that SAP ought to be considered. Although SAP has a social collaboration/social workflow product called StreamWork, its biggest social business story is the smart use of customer, developer, and partner communities.
Here are the nominations that survived my first cut:
CEMEX: Effective use of IBM Connections for internal collaboration, specifically focused on improving innovation within the building materials company. Within a year, over 20,000 employees were engaged, more than 500 communities had formed, nine global innovation initiatives were underway--and ideas started flowing around the world among specialists in all areas and levels of the company. Business leader: Gilberto Garcia, CEMEX's innovation director. Nominated by: IBM.
TD Bank Group: Partly, this is another IBM Connections success story, but TD Bank is also a good example of the marketing communications and IT functions coming together to define a social business strategy in a regulated industry. Business leader: Wendy Arnott, Vice President, Social Media and Digital Communication, TD Bank Group. Technology leader: Glenda Crisp, CIO for Corporate Segment Technology Solutions, TD Bank Group. Nominated by: IBM.
Domo: Domo's software as a service promises to help organizations get more value from their business intelligence data. All employees were required to participate in the #domosocial experiment to increase social media literacy, and this is also being incorporated into training for new hires. The #domosocial experiment was the idea of Josh James, Domo founder and CEO (former CEO and co-founder of Omniture). Business Leader: Josh James. Nominated by: Domo.
Weston Solutions: As a leading environment redevelopment company of 1,800 employees, Weston has been called upon to support emergency response efforts during and after 9-11, the Challenger disaster, and more recently Hurricane Katrina, the Joplin Tornadoes, and flooding of the Missouri River. Weston is applying social collaboration to the challenge of bringing together a wide variety of stakeholders for each of their highly complex projects. Technology leader: Bob Hackett, VP, Information Services. Nominated by: NewsGator.
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