Missing the Point: Enterprise Social Platforms Are Disconnected From Work. “Worksocial” is the Answer

The pervasive influence of Facebook in the consumer market has prompted a rising tide of “enterprise social platforms” trying to bring social media into the workplace. Almost all the early entrants taking advantage of this trend are missing the point. The golden ticket for business value is not bringing external social media into the workplace. It is bringing work into the realm of social technology.

Most enterprise social platforms will be productivity killers because they are disconnected from work. They are yet another siloed platform, cut off from broad enterprise processes, systems and data. They are simply a new channel for water-cooler talk.

What comes after Facebook is “worksocial” – an approach and technology that starts with the processes and data that drive the business, and overlays the innovation of social collaboration (including mobile access) over those business engines.

Take Yammer (recently acquired by Microsoft) as an example. In Yammer’s short life as an independent software company, they never really evolved past content sharing and collaboration. In Microsoft’s world, it’s really nothing more than an evolution of the SharePoint platform. The current joke making it’s way through the Twitterverse is that MS will rename Yammer “SharePoint Cloud Server 2012 Mobile Enterprise Social Networking Edition.”

What comes after Facebook in the enterprise is “worksocial” – an approach and technology that starts with the processes and data that drive the business, and overlays the innovation of social collaboration (including mobile access) over those business engines. Context to business goals, metrics, reports, and process flows is what differentiates worksocial. And this is what Microsoft didn’t get when it bought Yammer.

As mentioned earlier, Yammer simply fills in the obvious cracks in SharePoint.  It fails to connect social collaboration and sharing with a meaningful work context in an enterprise.  The end-user will ultimately have one platform for sharing and collaboration (SharePoint/Yammer) and another where real work gets done (ERP, CRM, BI, etc). Yammer doesn’t even begin to bridge these worlds of structured enterprise processes with collaboration.

This is precisely what Appian is delivering with worksocial.  It brings Social collaboration into context. It enables measurements of how collaborations rendered results. And it adds social collaboration features to the traditional “work” expertise Appian has in processing tasks, records, and reports.

In a nutshell, worksocial is the seamless integration of:

1)   Work – The ability to drive enterprise processes, integrate data and systems, execute and enforce business rules, assign and measure tasks, and analyze business results.

2)   Social – A naturally open collaboration style that promotes open conversation strings and collaboration. The ability to share and collaborate in any business artifact and from any device.

The value of worksocial is equally clear:

1)   Measurements and Visibility. Worksocial brings measurable meaning to social collaborations and their impact on work.

2)   Access. Not only access to any corporate data, but also access to open conversation strings and from any device(Mobile, Tablets, and Desktop/Laptops).

3)   Efficiency. The overall experience of integrated social collaboration and work in a single user experience and from any device drives measurable efficiency gains throughout the enterprise.

Worksocial is the next evolution of Appian’s history of market-leading innovation. Contact us to learn more about how worksocial can help your organization turn the Social and Mobile revolution into real business value.

Ben Farrell

Director of Corporate Communications