Newest Enterprise Social App: Mentoring - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Enterprise Architecture
News
7/27/2011
11:42 AM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Newest Enterprise Social App: Mentoring

Connecting employees and mentors online proves efficient, says Triple Creek, whose software has found fans in AT&T, Fannie Mae, and Agilent.

Nimble Contact Integrates Connections Across Mail, Social Networks
Slideshow: Nimble Contact Integrates Connections Across Mail, Social Networks
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Mentoring works better online, according to an enterprise mentoring software specialist, and major companies are signing up to use it to supplement or replace traditional corporate mentoring programs.

In the Triple Creek system, users create profiles of their professional skills and the skills they could use help developing, and they can send an online invitation to a mentor they would like to be matched with.

"People accept it like they accept a LinkedIn invitation," Triple Creek President and CEO Randy Emelo said in an interview. As necessary, administrators can also assign mentors to specific engagements "so there is less choice in the matter" in that case, he said.

Triple Creek plans to announce Wednesday that AT&T, Fannie Mae, Agilent, Baird, Northern Trust, American Axle, CPMS, Sysmex, Unicredit, and Lasalle have all adopted the latest version of its software, Open Mentoring 5.0. "We've created a guided or structured learning process that leverages the social layer," Emelo said. "There is a matching algorithm at the center of it that brokers the mentoring relationships."

This is a more ad hoc way of educating a workforce than formal training programs and yet mentoring mediated by an online service turns out to be much more effective than traditional mentoring programs, where participation is often very low, Emelo said. Although Triple Creek markets itself under the label "enterprise mentoring software," many customers don't refer to their implementations as mentoring services, instead calling them something like "learning collaboration." Lockheed Martin refers to its program as a "knowledge continuity" strategy to pass knowledge from more experienced users to more junior ones.

One way an online system expands the possibilities is by allowing employees to connect according to the skills they possess, or are seeking to learn, regardless of geography. In most cases, the mentoring relationship is conducted entirely online using phone calls and Web conferences, Emelo said.

Lisa Zuegel, who runs Agilent's Next Generation Leadership Programs, said in a statement that the high tech measurement firm will use Open Mentoring 5.0 to "achieve speed to competence, to market, and to enduring results" by connecting scientists, engineers, and service providers with peers they can learn from. "We know that our employees are our true differentiator, and we need to enable them to share, integrate, and collaborate outside of their domain of expertise to make their greatest contributions."

Training software has also been turned into social software with products like Taleo Social Learning. Emelo said Triple Creek's mentoring software can be used as a complement to formal learning management systems and other training products.

Another area of overlap is with enterprise social software, since Triple Creek provides its own system for establishing profiles and making connections between employees rather than leveraging a common platform such as Jive, Yammer, or SharePoint. "We are speaking to several of those providers," Emelo said, and Triple Creek can integrate with them at the level of single sign-on across accounts. So far, Triple Creek still needs to provide its own profiles because it tracks different data and user preferences, he said.

See the latest IT solutions at Interop New York. Learn to leverage business technology innovations--including cloud, virtualization, security, mobility, and data center advances--that cut costs, increase productivity, and drive business value. Save 25% on Flex and Conference Passes or get a Free Expo Pass with code CPFHNY25. It happens in New York City, Oct. 3-7, 2011. Register now.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Deb Donston-Miller
50%
50%
Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/1/2011 | 3:28:35 AM
re: Newest Enterprise Social App: Mentoring
Connecting users with people who have like interests and/or can provide a particular area of expertise reminds me a lot one of the big selling points of portals/intranets back in the day. That was a great idea, but I'm not sure how many companies actually effectively made use of the technology in that way. It seems that social networking technology as we know it today will provide a much more effective platform for that kind of "mentoring."

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard
Commentary
Learning: It's a Give and Take Thing
James M. Connolly, Editorial Director, InformationWeek and Network Computing,  1/24/2020
Slideshows
IT Careers: Top 10 US Cities for Tech Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  1/14/2020
Commentary
Predictions for Cloud Computing in 2020
James Kobielus, Research Director, Futurum,  1/9/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll