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Social Networking in the Enterprise E-mail
Written by Dan Beckett   

More than 160 senior IT managers and executives gathered at the Piedmont Center in Buckhead Atlanta, GA, for an informative morning of presentations followed by a CIO Panel discussion.

Michael Campbell, Regional Manager at ORACLE, made an interesting presentation on Social Networking in the Enterprise.

A Gallup poll in 2007 concluded that 18% of the employee population of the USA is disengaged. This represents an annual cost of $382 billion to US industry. Putting this figure in context, it equates to over half of the recent government bailout of the US financial institutions.

It was commented that smart businesses recognize social networking cannot easily be separated from professional networking, a conclusion stated by a recent Alexander poll. Reference to a McKenzie Group study cited a 2007 / 2008 businesses trend toward use of blogs, RSS, and other social networking tools. An observation was made that social networking appeared to increase collaboration, whereas traditional hierarchical management tended to stifle it.

Effective use of social networking necessitates a challenge to management attitudes and territorial instincts, which must be overcome to make the most of the opportunities this technology brings.

Joining Campbell at the podium, Kevin Kalb, provided an overview of how social networking is being embraced and embedded in the new breed of Oracle CRM solutions. Kalb stated ORACLE's aim is to “bring everything together for workers”, adding, “this is where the rubber meets the road.”

ORACLE CRM tools are being used to integrate transactional systems with public social networking facilities such as LinkedIn, providing access to information and communications hereto not available. Kalb qualified the use of new technologies by stating these are not stand-alone technical solutions, “they must be integrated into the business practices and processes,” adding, “[the solutions] must be adopted across the board for full benefit.”


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