Here are some practical tips from IDC for buyers of Social Collaboration Software.
In a report titled IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Enterprise Social Software 2012 Vendor Analysis, IDC outlines three major customer expectations:
1. Customers want to closely collaborate with the extended enterprise and partners; 2. Customers are looking for rich data analytics and insights from the collaboration tools; 3. There is a strong demand for a seamless integration with mobile devices and tablets.
Here are the factors you should consider if you are in the market for Enterprise Social Collaboration Software:
- At the least, the software should increase the productivity in getting things done and facilitate ad-hoc problem solving.
- The more social collaboration is used, the better are the chances of stumbling on innovative solutions to challenges. Serendipitous knowledge sharing and ability to contribute in areas outside an employee’s role are worth aiming for.
- Getting employees to use the social collaboration software is very similar to stoking a fire. Make sure you have though through the role of facilitators and “cheer leaders” that will keep the conversation going and also moderate the conversations.
- Talk to your legal team before you roll-out a social collaboration platform (this is not mentioned in the IDC report).
- Make sure the product vendor has the capability to provide adequate technical support for your users.
- Think of a grand integration strategy that includes makes your social collaboration software a “natural” tool as opposed to something that’s more of a distraction.