Social Business Networks Tap Into a Powerful Knowledge-base for Collaboration

Your company has email, the Internet, an Intranet and team meetings. Do you really need a social business network to successfully communicate and execute on your corporate strategy? Absolutely.

What is a Social Business Network?

An internal social business network is an online community where employees can leverage existing knowledge, skills and relationships of co-workers anywhere in the organization to get work done more efficiently.

Social business networking software may include some or all of the following tools:

  • User profiles - provide users with their own internal Web pages (similar to Facebook),where they can include personal information including special skills or language capabilities;
  • Blogs - employees can express themselves and share ideas about projects;
  • Communities - connect online through groups and communities through common interests (similar to LinkedIn);
  • Collaboration - To-do lists, wikis, and document and calendar sharing, allow employees to actively contribute to ongoing projects;

Collaboration Made Easier and Faster

Business software tools are the means to share knowledge within your organization. Team collaboration is about sharing knowledge and reaching consensus within the team. Your employees generate knowledge and insights every day that could be used to improve business systems or complete projects more efficiently. A social business network allows your employees to associate themselves with people and topics of interest, enabling the organization and individuals to find subject-matter experts, form teams or organize into micro-teams within the organization. Unless you are utilizing a social business network internally, you are leaving a large amount of untapped expertise on the table. Critical corporate knowledge can be leveraged instead of staying trapped in information silos like email, laptops and enterprise applications.

A key benefit of using an internal social business network is the increased response rate. Because of the new culture of 'rapid feedback' (exploding since the evolution of Twitter, and to a lesser degree LinkedIn and Facebook) it allows for a quicker exchange of information, making it a powerful tool for internal communication.

Of course, user buy-in is critical to successful implementation of these business networking solutions—the more people who use it, the more valuable it becomes. Reaching a critical mass on the Internet is difficult enough, but doing so within a closed Intranet is an even bigger challenge. In a company, the user-base is relatively small, and communities are often segmented by teams, offices or projects, which is counter to the basic premises of "idea sharing". The internal network should be used instead to connect your isolated knowledge workers who are on the road, in different offices or who work in other time zones.

Conclusion:

Social business software solutions are becoming a critical component in collaborating in the modern knowledge-based organization—they enable information sharing and the creation of knowledge that can greatly enhance success. Organizations that embrace the power of business social networks will lead the competition and achieve greater business success.

About SuccessFactors

SuccessFactors is the global leader in business execution software. The SuccessFactors Business Execution Suite improves business alignment and people performance to drive breakthrough results for companies of all sizes. More than 8 Million+ users and 3000+ companies leverage SuccessFactors every day. To learn more, visit: www.successfactors.com.

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