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David F Carr
David F Carr
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Social Business Nominations: Do I Hear A Second?

Help us develop our list of 10 Top Social Business Leaders.

Enterprise Social Networks: Must-Have Features Guide
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 listing below is my first cut of the candidates recommended through the call for nominations.

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 nomination app on our Facebook page is still active. You can also contact me at @davidfcarr or [email protected]. Although I'm still looking for names to add to the list, we will have to start making decisions to narrow and focus it very soon.

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.

Unisys: Unisys, which designs, builds and provides "mission-critical" technology and services for organizations worldwide, has made a significant commitment in deploying new social computing technologies and processes within its own global enterprise improve connection and workplace collaboration among its 22,000 employees, drive operational efficiency, streamline innovation processes and increase marketplace agility. Business leader: Gloria Burke, Director, Knowledge & Collaboration Strategy and Governance; and Rajiv Prasad, Director, Knowledge Management & CTO Operations. Technology leader: John Knab, Director, IT Applications. Nominated by: NewsGator.

SAP: SAP's leadership among social businesses is best reflected by the SAP Community Network (SCN), a community of SAP customers, employees and partners who contribute and collaborate to determine best practices in business technology. SCN's diverse community (members in more than 200 countries) extends beyond 2 million users and attracts more than 30,000 new viewers each month which range from developers to business analysts to consultants and product specialists. Business leader: Oliver Bussmann, SAP CIO. Nominated by: SAP.

McKesson: Using social collaboration based on SocialText to unify information in multiple repositories for the use of teams supporting the health care software company's electronic medical records and practice management products. In addition to consolidating information for internal customer support personnel, McKesson made a version of the community accessible to its value added reseller community. Business leader: Tim Kelly, Executive Director, Customer Support. Nominated by SocialText.

Avanade: Avanade, a global technology consulting company, had a relatively strong base of collaboration and community technologies in place already, but has exploring the deeper connections possible with social technologies. Business leader: CIO Christopher Miller. Nominated by: NewsGator.

Canford Audio: Canford Audio, a leading manufacturer and distributor of audio and video equipment to the professional sector, is increasing its worldwide sales performance and driving process efficiencies as a result of implementing a social business product from m-hance seamlessly integrated into its accounting system. Benefits include cost savings of $120,000 per year by improving productivity for knowledge-based workers by up to 8% per user and increased employee engagement by up to 5%. Technology Leader: Durwin Brown, IT Director. Nominated by: m-hance.

DaVita: DaVita Inc., a provider of kidney care that delivers dialysis services to patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease, operates or provides administrative services at more than 1,800 outpatient dialysis facilities in the United States, serving approximately 149,000 patients. Many of its 40,000 teammates are not regularly connected by email or other computer systems, but the Eureka! website originally implemented to solicit input from biomed technicians has developed into a broader platform for driving improvements and efficiencies across the company. Business leader: Chan Basho, Director of Corporate Finance and Anurati Mathur, financial analyst. Nominated by: Spigit.

Enterasys: Enterasys Networks, a global provider of wired/wireless network infrastructure and security solutions, created isaac, a solution that uses social media and mobile apps to securely manage and monitor their customers' networks. Enterasys isaac is a social media interface that securely enables networks to communicate with humans in the language of social networking. IT networks can now communicate status and receive a company's commands all from social networks including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Salesforce Chatter. Business leader: Vala Afshar, Chief Customer Officer. Technology leader: Dan Petlon, CIO. Nominated by:

Red Robin: Red Robin, a chain of more than 450 burger restaurants, understands the power of social connections and letting employees and customers share and interact via social channels. The company has a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter, and has created social media campaigns like BurgerHub, a website that allows restaurant-goers to share pictures and videos of their Red Robin dining experience, and the "Chief Burger Officer" contest, which used a social voting mechanism to elect Red Robin's first "CBO" (a loyal customer). Red Robin uses Yammer internally to coordinate marketing and operations and for training. Technology leader: Chris Laping, SVP of Business Transformation and CIO. Nominated by: Yammer.

Infusionsoft: Infusionsoft serves over 10,000 small businesses and 36,000 users worldwide with its all-in-one sales and marketing software. The leadership team at Infusionsoft adopted Moxie Software's Collaboration Spaces as a social platform that would encourage inter-departmental communication and foster collaboration across the organization without any technical hurdles. Business leader: Hal Hallaway, senior vice president of corporate and cultural development. Technology leader: Kimberlee Morrison, culture content evangelist.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and

Social media make the customer more powerful than ever. Here's how to listen and react. Also in the new, all-digital The Customer Really Comes First issue of The BrainYard: The right tools can help smooth over the rough edges in your social business architecture. (Free registration required.)

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