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SCMA Conference Review: How Enterprise Social Networks Enhance Collaboration

Yesterday’s SCMA Conference was a great opportunity to travel to the beautiful area of Lake Geneva. In a short but precise introduction, Véronique Kämpfen of the FER Genève mentioned that enterprise social networks will likely replace Intranets and E-Mail. Oliver Tripet from the Swiss Community Managers Association then had the pleasure of welcoming the three main speakers and announcing their particular insights on enterprise social networks.

Speech 1: Overview, Tendencies and Value Added: Pierre Bardot, Jive Software

The five most important benefits of internal networks are strategic alignment, deal management, sales management, marketing campaigns, and customer service. In terms of customer service, here’s a specific example from a telecom provider:

In order to choose appropriate applications for enterprise social networks, companies need to define areas where communication is critical for collaboration. Compared to Twitter and Facebook, enterprise social networks are spaces where real work gets done.

Speech 2: Review of the Implementation at Givaudean: Xavier Ansiaux, Givaudan International

Giveaudan’s tactic has been to approach the topic thoughtfully. The core strategies were to win employees, increase productivity, and promote collaboration and knowledge transfer. They set up Shake, with the goal of getting people together and establishing relationships. In the beginning there were various doubts. For example, what happens if there is delicate, or negative content? Xavier said there has been very few inappropriate contributions, for the sake of users’ reputations within the company. Another aspect that has initially been questioned is usability. Internally it was never a must to join Shake, Givaudan has let its employees decide. Today more than 6000 people have joined, of which 50% are active. In total, 180 active groups have been formed around topics, allowing members to connect professionally as well as personally.

Speech 3: Improved Productivity, Governance, and Benefits for HR: Grégoire Japiot

Gregoire recommends focusing first and foremost on strategy and engagement. The main benefits of social networks are avoiding the redundancy of inefficient email, richer content, and better context. I would like to close this review with his excellent statement on how to think about investing in social network solutions.

Thanks to the SCMA for setting up a great event!

To learn more about communication, collaboration, and community solutions, check out a demo of Beekeeper, the employee communication app that keeps everyone connected.