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Nigel Wallis, research director at IDC Canada. (Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)
Nigel Wallis, research director at IDC Canada. (Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)

Earlier discussion

What is the future of office communication? Add to ...

You raised my biggest concern - privacy. There are few businesses that I can think of that would appreciate seeing internal discussions on a public forum. There are plenty of tools that allow for discussions within an Intranet such as SharePoint and Lync, both of which we use and can include external contacts if desired.

1:46

[Comment From Nigel Wallis]

It's funny how that always comes up. That it decreases productivity.

1:47

[Comment From Nigel Wallis]

If I look at the typical usage of phones in an office - how much is work-related versus personal life? Or mobile phones for the mobile workforce? Ultimately, it comes down to whether you hire good people - if your workforce can't handle the appropriate usage of an IM client, then you have other, bigger cultural issues.

1:48

[Comment From Nigel Wallis]

Richnov - absolutely agree with you. That's one of the big selling points for IBM's Lotus Connections and Microsoft's Sharepoint products. That they have the features of their cloud competitors without the risks. That said, for products like Salesforce.com

1:49

[Comment From Nigel Wallis]

Salesforce.com

1:49

[Comment From Nigel Wallis]

(sorry about that) Chatter product - it's natively cloud. So if your VP of Sales buys into the underlying systems of record going into the cloud, then the system of engagement will follow.

1:50

[Comment From Nigel Wallis]

in fact, increasingly, email systems are going into the cloud as well -and it's hard to imagine any component of the business and personal life that is more fraught with privacy implications than that.

1:51

[Comment From Kevin P ]

Besides top-down support, what do you see as critical success factors for a successful social networking deployment inside the enterprise?

1:55

[Comment From Nigel Wallis]

Kevin P - at least a loosely defined purpose for the tool, whether internal or external. For instance, we've seen a number of companies launch Yammer - and not explain why anyone should engage with it. At first, a few people (hyper-enthusiastic types and over-sharers :) jump on it. But if it's an echo-chamber, they'll lose enthusiasm. In contrast, if the point is that the customer service department can now use a wiki to deal with the most common questions / concerns with the products - and that loops in the engineering department - then there's a richer, faster feedback loop between two departments that probably don't talk to each other, and may in fact be located in different cities.

1:56

[Comment From Richnov ]

"Cloud" is conceptual. Enterprises with strong IT components will evolve their own "clouds" that live behind a firewall and provide secure, robust comms across geographic and continental boundaries. It's not easy or inexpensive, but it is effective. Having a social media component to these clounds at technology evolves seems natural. But businesses will definitely want to protect their IP and that means their employees' discussions.

1:56

[Comment From Nigel Wallis]

So pick low-hanging fruit. For instance, use twitter as a way to help deflect calls to customer support - or to engage your firm's biggest fans to effectively do product support for you. Likewise, in HR, use a tool explicitly for performance management.

1:57

Niamh O'Doherty - Thanks Nigel. Any last words before we wrap this up?

1:58

[Comment From Nigel Wallis]

Thanks for having me on this chat. I appreciate everyone's time, and I would say that in closing, I would expect that email is not going away - but that it will be augmented by new technologies & new uses over the next 3 years. Cheers

1:58

Niamh O'Doherty - Thanks everyone. Please feel free to continue the debate in our comments section - looks like there's a lot to talk about!



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