Your Employees' View Consolidating Enterprise Social Networks



Overheard at the water cooler — the topic is enterprise social networks (ESNs):

“What are you guys using?”

“We use Yammer.”

“I used that before Microsoft bought it. How is it now?”

“It does what we need it to do. What do you use?”

“Jive. It showed up one day and we started using it.”

“I hear Sales is using Chatter. It’s integrated with”

“Makes sense. Yammer’s integrated with Office 365 where our email is as well, so there’s good overlap.”

“Yeah. You should try Jive.”

“Yeah. You should try Yammer.”

Enterprise social network or enterprise social silo?

And so it goes. Which one should the guys in Sales try? Yammer? Jive?

You don’t need to eavesdrop on your co-workers at the water cooler to know two things very clearly:

  1. ESNs give a solid boost to productivity. Employees use them to micro-blog about the projects they’re working on, tools they’ve found, processes they don’t understand and help they need. They do it with less formality and overhead than in email or on a wiki, and with a smoother conversation path.
  2. ESNs spring up separately and take on a life of their own in Engineering, Tech Support, Sales and other functional groups. In fact, some users post to different platforms when their job involves more than one group.

So they are the proverbial double-edged sword: They encourage internal communication (which your company wants), but they result in silos (which your company doesn’t want).